Kirkland & Ellis is halting fresh mandates for its private equity client Pamplona Capital Management, owing to its ties to Russia-linked investor LetterOne.
The Luxembourg-based investor is facing scrutiny due to former shareholders, Russian oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven.
A statement from LetterOne earlier in March said that the duo’s shareholdings were “frozen indefinitely and they cannot receive dividends or any other financial benefit from LetterOne.”
Kirkland mandates for Pamplona Capital in 2021 include its $8.5 billion sale of clinical research organisation Parexel and its acquisition of pest controller Pelsis, according to its website.
London partner Kirsteen Nicol is also European relationship partner for Pamplona, alongside other key clients.
This is the first known example of Kirkland pausing work in light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, with all international law firms pulling out of Russia in response.
A person with knowledge of the situation said the firm has taken a “strong” view on Russian companies and has “declined a huge number of mandates out of principle”.
A statement earlier on Friday confirmed that Pamplona is winding down funds where LetterOne has any interest.
Kirkland did not respond to requests for comment.