Moscow, Russia

Diaz, Reus & Targ has entered into an agreement with Moscow-based LegaLife, which will act as the Miami-based boutique’s affiliate in Russia.

The deal will bring to 20 the number of cities throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the U.S., where Diaz Reus has an office, either through itself or via an affiliate.

Legalife, which offers legal, tax, accounting and business strategy advice in Russia, has 12 lawyers among 17 professional staffers, according to the firm’s website. LegaLife is also the Russian Federation representative for LAWorld, a network of law firms in commercial centers in 90 cities around the world.

Marina Zinovieva, the firm’s managing partner, said in a statement that Diaz Reus works with sensitive issues that ultra-high and high net-worth individuals face on a personal level, such as fraud and asset recovery matters to offshore asset protection, investigations, immigration issues, trusts and estates work and sanctions stemming from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. The Russian firm also assists client companies in business support, corporate and commercial law and international transactions.

Michael Diaz Jr.

“With interest in Russia on the rise, having a presence in Moscow significantly enhances our international presence,” said a statement by Diaz Reus’ global managing partner Michael Diaz Jr.

Diaz Reus’ announcement of its deal with LegaLife came just days before Paul Manafort, a lawyer and lobbyist who served as a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts, including money laundering and conspiracy against the U.S., as part of special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (The charges against Manafort accuse him of using Florida-based companies to launder $1.78 million in illicit funds.)

Neither Diaz, a spokeswoman for his firm nor Zinovieva immediately returned requests for comment as to whether their respective outfits represent any individuals caught up in Mueller’s investigation.

Diaz Reus works with clients dealing with OFAC, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and anti-money laundering rules, while also providing strategies for the resolution, litigation and arbitration of commercial business disputes. According to its statement detailing its deal with LegaLife, Diaz Reus believes its new affiliation agreement will help make it an attractive option for Russian nationals and businesses seeking counsel in the U.S. and other jurisdictions.

LegaLife’s website indicates that it has been referred work in the past by U.S. firms such as Blank Rome, Florida’s Fowler White Burnett, Wiggin and Dana, and Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.