How Have Law Firms Responded To Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?

In the age of technology, people worldwide get immediate access to news from all around. Thus, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine over a month ago, on February 24th, the whole world had a front-row seat. Despite Russia’s president Vladimir Putin’s efforts to disguise this attack as an act of support for the Russian people living in Ukraine, it immediately became clear that his intentions were not as pure as he claimed. As Russia invades Ukraine, the world is joining hands and trying to support the innocent people that did nothing to deserve this horrible fate.

Because Ukraine is not currently a part of NATO, not much can be done to stop the war. At the moment, one of the main focuses of NATO is preventing the spread of the war. However, western countries are doing what they can to show support and provide assistance to the victims of the conflict. That includes supplying arms to Ukraine, but that’s not all. Firms and individuals have gotten really creative.

A large number of western brands have shown solidarity with Ukraine and shut down all operations in Russia. Those include L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, Starbucks, and Heineken, just to name a few. But, big fast-food chains and cosmetic brands are not the only ones using their power to shun Vladimir Putin for Russia invading Ukraine. Law firms that operate in Russia and abroad are doing their best to help the victims of war in Ukraine.

How Have Law Firms Responded To Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?

Much like the international brands mentioned above, many global law firms are choosing to end their operations on the territory of Russia. Firms like Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld are currently in the process of closing their Russian offices and withdrawing from that market completely. Many remain empathetic to their employees who have been affected by the war and are offering relocation packages. It is encouraging to see people showing kindness to one another in this terrible time. Many law firms have stated that they care about the well-being of their employees above all. Unfortunately, there are only a few things firms can do. Also, the people who are not willing to relocate are out of jobs.

Of course, not every firm has been able to leave Russia completely. Everybody is doing what they can to show support in light of the Russia Ukraine invasion. Debevoise & Plimpton, for example, stated that they were not taking on any new clients located in Moscow. They also mentioned that they terminated their work agreements with several clients because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The list of law firms that are shutting down their offices in Russia is growing every day. As of April 9th, this list includes the following successful firms:

•   White & Case

•   Allen & Overy

•   Winston & Strawn

•   Baker Botts

•   Latham & Watkins

•   Lewis & Bockius

•   Hogal Lovells

•   Squire Patton Boggs

Nobody can tell how long this act of protest will last, but many firms have ceased all operations in Russia already. If they do return to the country in the future, it will take a lot more than just the retreat of Russian troops from Ukraine. We can only hope that day comes sooner than projected for the time being.

Law Firms Offering Pro Bono Assistance to Ukraine

A small ray of sunshine in this horrible storm is seeing people from all over the world come together to seek justice. Many international law firms are doing everything in their power to ensure that Russia invading Ukraine will not go unpunished. As such, law firms are offering pro bono assistance to the country of Ukraine, as well as the victims of war.

Notably, Covington & Burling was hired to file a claim against Russia to the International Court of Justice. Ukraine requested the International Court of Justice order Russia to withdraw its troops from the country. The Court has not come to its final decision yet; more details Russia over Ukraine invasion are required.

 The world is patiently waiting for the official ruling from the International Court of Justice.

A number of Non-Governmental Organizations are helping Ukrainian citizens leave the war zone and move to a safer location for the time being. Such organizations are working in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Germany, and other European countries to provide support to the people fleeing the war. They are offering food, water, and other essential supplies.

The refugee crisis in Eastern and Central Europe is very real. Facilities are overwhelmed, and it’s difficult to find housing. On top of that, refugees want to earn a living and support themselves while working abroad on a refugee visa. Law firms like Dentons are doing their best to help by providing free legal advice. Together with the NGOs, they are coming up with ways to allow refugees to find legal work in their new temporary homes.

As the Russia invasion of Ukraine 2022 is not slowing down, the public is encouraged to do what they can to help. Residents of the USA, Australia, the UK, and other countries have been donating money, protesting, and raising awareness of the issue. People in countries bordering Ukraine have been donating clothes and other essential items, raising money, and even providing homes for the refugees. Their efforts show us that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Also read:How Can You Help Ukraine During the Russian Invasion?

We are Lawrina Team, and most of us are Ukrainians. Our Ukrainian team is safe. Some of them are forced to the bomb shelters, others a...

Conclusion

Firms all over the world stand with Ukraine, and law firms are no exception. Global law firms like White & Case are joining arms with Netflix, Sony, Bloomberg, and other large companies that have already suspended their operations on the territory of Russia. The sanctions imposed by the western world are meant to show the president of Russia that his outrageous actions will not be tolerated. It will take many years for both countries to recover.

Unfortunately, there is no end in sight to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In the meantime, firms and individuals continue to provide financial aid, food, shelter, and support to the people affected by the conflict.

Article by Inna Ptitsyna

Inna Ptitsyna is PR Manager for Lawrina. Inna has a law degree and great expertise in legal innovations. Along with the work for Lawrina, Inna is a part of the international community of Legal Hackers where she gives presentations about the importance of PR and marketing for lawyers.

At Lawrina, Inna communicates with bloggers and external resources to spread the word about Lawrina's projects and ideas. If you'd like to contact Inna, you can reach her via email inna@lawrina.com.


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