Baker McKenzie became the last of the biggest name global law firms to announce plans to withdraw from Russia, shifting from offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg, which have more than 260 lawyers and staff, into an independent law firm, it said in a statement on 15 March.  

Baker McKenzie has had a presence in Russia for more than 33 years.

The statement said: "We have made this difficult decision following ongoing consultation with our multinational clients, whose urgent on-the-ground legal needs we are serving, as well as careful consideration of the wellbeing of our many people in the wider region.

"Baker McKenzie was the first global law firm to be registered in Russia, while the country was still part of the Soviet Union. The Firm employs more than 260 colleagues, including 130 lawyers, in Russia. We thank, and will continue to support, the many partners, associates, business professionals and others who have worked so hard to build this business. Many have been part of the Baker McKenzie team for decades.

"At the same time, we strongly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which stands in stark contrast to our values, the values of our clients and those of the wider global business community. We will not act for any individuals or entities that are controlled by, or directly linked to, the Russian state and/or current regime, anywhere in the world. We remain fully focused on the safety of our colleagues in Ukraine and the wider region."