An official from the UK's Magic Circle firm has condemned "unlawful invasions" and expressed intent to "stop work that defies our worth."
Allen & Overy, a member of the Magic Circle in the UK, has pledged to stop producing any work relating to Russia that does not reflect its values.
The company also promises to support governments throughout the world in their efforts to respond to this senseless invasion, in a statement posted on LinkedIn.
With this position, it joins a small group of reputable firms that have publicly condemned Russia's actions - and it goes further than most in announcing that it will go beyond sanctions compliance to determine what work it will undertake.
According to the statement, 'as a result of reviewing our Russian portfolio, which runs counter to our value system, we will decline new instructions and discontinue all work related to Russia. No matter what political decisions we make, we will implement them forcibly and comply with any sanctions that apply.'
Firms are being pressured to speak out publicly against the invasion and A&O's statement is one of the most forthright.
The official spokesperson for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said law firms need to exercise caution when advising state-controlled companies that are tied to the Kremlin. Following the Foreign Office's revelation that companies whose owners sought to avoid sanctions had written to it, those comments followed.
According to A&O's statement, the company prides itself on its values and commits in doing all that it can be to support friends, colleagues and all those affected, wherever they may be. A&O said it was 'actively seeking pro bono opportunities' and that it had donated to the Red Cross, which is in the field supporting the Ukrainians in extreme circumstances.
Hogan Lovells and Slaughter and May have also released statements on the invasion today, in which they indicated the firms are reviewing their client rosters in light of the sanctions. Ashurst has revealed it is no longer acting for any new or existing Russian clients, regardless of whether they are subject to sanctions.
The management team at Norton Rose Fulbright released a statement on LinkedIn expressing their opposition to the invasion in an 'unequivocal' manner yesterday. An internal memo had earlier made lawyers refrain from commenting on Russian sanctions, although the firm insisted that the policy only applied to sanctions advice and not general remarks about the invasion.
As the country's direction is unsatisfactory, global senior partner Nick Thomas of top 30 UK law firm Kennedys has announced that it is set to close its Moscow office. The firm took the decision last year as they were "uncomfortable with the country's direction."