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In the Ukraine, East Meets West and West Meets East

In a global economy, Eastern and Western European law firms are converging in the Ukraine, adopting different approaches to capitalize on a booming business market. One Western European firm, London-based Clifford Chance, announced plans to set up shop in the Ukraine to better position itself to attract regional business. But even as Western law firms move geographically closer to the Ukraine, Ukrainian firms are rebranding themselves in an effort to move culturally closer to Western practices.   

As this piece reports, local firms in the Ukraine are changing their image to appeal to global clients.  Among other things, law firms are simplifying their complicated Ukrainian names and using Latin letters to spell them. Andriy Hunder, director of corporate communications at an international consultancy, explains that making a law firm name "more pleasing to the ear" can help firms position themselves as a global leader. Adopting a more Western name also helps to attract local businesses, which associate a Westernized image with status and prestige. 

As Ukraine firms Westernize their image, they face competition for clients from actual Western European firms, like Clifford Chance, which hopes to extend its ability to serve global clients seeking to business in the region. Ultimately, it remains to be seen which side will prevail in this culture clash of law firms over clients:  Westernized Eastern European law firms or Western European law firms with a physical presence in Eastern Europe. 

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on March 21, 2008 at 05:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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