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At this gathering of independent firms from Russia and surrounding countries, Nick Eastwell, the head of Linklaters’ new emerging markets practice, was on hand to make the case for international firms. In particular, he highlighted the UK firm’s decision to spin off four offices in Eastern Europe while launching a group focused on the developing economies of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Dr Cord-Georg Hasselmann of Hengeler Mueller and Dimitry Afanasiev of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners argued for the independents, outlining international strategies based on a series of ‘best friends’ relationships with overseas practices.

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