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Moscow, Russia Moscow, Russia. Photo: Shutterstock

Moscow’s tight-knit elite legal community got a jolt last September, when a high-billing team set out from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld to start its own boutique. U.S. sanctions on Russia had helped prompt rainmaker Ilya Rybalkin and his colleague Suren Gortsunyan to launch Rybalkin, Gortsunyan & Partners, courting major clients that had traditionally stuck with international law firms for critical matters tied to the country.

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Dan Packel

Dan Packel covers law firms' global strategy and economics. Based in Philadelphia, he writes a weekly briefing for Law.com, "The Law Firm Disrupted," exploring change and innovation in the legal services market. Contact him at dpackel@alm.com. On Twitter at @packeld

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