Baker McKenzie attorneys from the Kyiv office resumed work as Ukranian and Russian negotiators prepare to meet Tuesday on a potential cease-fire.
Many of the attorneys are working remotely from Ukraine or from one of Baker McKenzie’s other European offices, a firm spokesperson said in a statement Monday. The Kyiv office remains closed.
“Our clients require our assistance on the ground on Ukrainian legal matters and are seeking advice in relation to areas including financing, supply chains, employment and tax,” the statement said.
The firm lawyers are stepping up activity as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drags into its second month. Nearly 5,000 people have died in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol as negotiators plan to try to bridge broad differences on a potential cease fire when they meet in Turkey.
Baker McKenzie closed its office in Kyiv in late February, days after the invasion began. Dentons also shuttered its office in the city.
In addition to closing its Kyiv office, Baker McKenzie said it would be pulling out of Russia, with its offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg becoming an independent firm.
The Kyiv office had over 50 attorneys, including nine partners. In 2016, it advised Cargill Inc. on construction of a $100 million port terminal in Yuzhne along the country’s Southern border on the Black Sea.
The firm said it would resume operations in its Kyiv office “when it is safe to do so.”
“We hope to see all of our people in Ukraine back in their home city soon,” Baker McKenzie said.