Two former Linklaters partners, Michael Bott and Mirthe van Kesteren, have set up a new boutique law firm in London.

Launched last week, Bott Van Kesteren Partners (BVK) is aiming to provide English law advice to a range of lenders and borrowers on commodities-backed and other international structured finance.

The firm will have a general finance practice, although BVK notes in a statement that the partners will continue to focus on the practice areas they specialised in at Linklaters.

van Kesteren had been a partner at the firm for nearly 15 years, where she led its London-based emerging markets banking and structured commodity and trade finance practices, and co-led the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Ukraine desks.

She joined Linklaters as a managing associate in 2005, having spent five years as an associate at Clifford Chance.

Bott will remain in Moscow for the meantime, meanwhile, where he had been running Linklaters’ tier-one Russian banking practice for nearly 20 years, specialising in trade finance, acquisition finance and retail finance.

But he tells GTR this could change “once the situation with Covid-19 settles down”, adding that he’ll go where his clients want him to be.

The pair say they’re yet to make any hires to the new firm, but may well look to expand in the next few months.

“Right now it is just the two of us. But if the promises of future work that we’ve received over the last day or two materialise, we will definitely need to hire lawyers to help us sooner rather than later,” Bott tells GTR.