The Legal 500

Belarus

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Legal market overview
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ corporate head Anna Rusetskaya and managing partner Dennis Turovets are part of a working group of legal advisers acting for the Belarusian Ministry of Economy on a pilot privatisation project. Other work included acting for Exide Technologies on a joint venture project in Belarus and advising the EBRD on the financing of a technology park in Minsk. Corporate, finance and capital markets are core elements of the practice.

Baltic firm Sorainen draws on its ‘very good knowledge of the local market’ to deliver ‘advice that is straight to the point and addresses all the key issues’. Maksim Salahub and Kiryl Apanasevich acted as local counsel to Rosbank in its sale of shares in Belrosbank to Alfa-Bank. The firm recently hired two new special counsel and a number of associates, taking its tally of lawyers to 19.

Stepanovski, Papakul and Partners’ impressive client roster includes household names such as British American Tobacco, Danone and Harley-Davidson. Alexander Stepanovski heads the five-partner office, which provides a comprehensive service.

Vlasova Mikhel & Partners Law Firm is praised for its ‘proactive and result-oriented approach’. Among recent matters, head of banking and finance Tatiana Emelianova acted for Alfa-Bank during its €25m acquisition of Belrosbank, and managing partner Konstantin Mikhel has been advising GCM Global Energy plc on the construction of an ore mining and processing plant. Liliya Vlasova heads the mediation practice.

‘Aleinikov & Partners’ law firm’s practice covers corporate and finance matters as well as dispute resolution. Denis Aleinikov is praised for his ‘proactive approach and ability to provide useful advice in a prompt manner’, and Dmitry Matveyev is ‘an excellent lawyer with a highly developed talent for finding practical solutions to difficult issues’.

Borovtsov & Salei’s four-partner team regularly receives referrals from leading international law firms across a wide range of matters including antitrust, banking and finance, and corporate law. Founding partners Valentin Borovtsov and Vassili Salei are key contacts.

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati almost exclusively acts for international clients with interests in Belarus. Recent mandates include advising Deere & Company on a joint venture with a Belarusian manufacturer of agricultural machinery, and advising Monster Energy on structuring its distribution system. Managing partner Sergei Makarchuk is a key contact.

Revera Consulting Group’s 25-strong team advises domestic and international clients on their Belarusian business interests, and works closely with governmental institutions on various legal and commercial matters. The firm has created a new advocacy bureau, through which it handles contentious matters. Managing partner Dmitry Arkhipenko is recommended.

Sysouev, Bondar, Khrapoutski works to ‘high international standards’. Timour Sysouev is ‘extremely good in litigation and arbitration’, Alexander Bondar is ‘a top professional in real estate and M&A’, and Alexandre Khrapoutski has ‘the ability to provide practical and timely feedback’.

Verkhovodko & Partners LLC’s lawyers ‘have a vast wealth of expertise and professional skills’, which they put to use for a client base that includes Gazprom, Turkish company EMSAS, and a state-owned nuclear power company. Igor Verkhovodko, Dmitry Bokhan and litigator Igor Petukhov are recommended.

Archer Legal is ‘highly recommended in corporate and commercial matters’, where Oksana Batsanova is ‘creative, responsive, knowledgeable and practical’. Managing partner Ivan Martynov is ‘a good negotiator’, who is representing a British investor in a $7m real estate dispute.

Arzinger & Partners represents high-profile clients such as Zara, AKA Bank and the Belarusian Oil Company across corporate, commercial and litigation matters. Sergey Mashonsky, head of corporate Dmitry Viltovsky and head of dispute resolution Alexander Korsak are the key figures.

bnt attorneys-at-law’s client base is almost exclusively international in nature. German qualified managing partner Alexander Liessem is ‘a very good corporate lawyer’ with ‘excellent analytical and structuring skills’.

Ernst & Young has ‘sound knowledge in the field of taxation and finance’. Clients include Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, and the Belarusian Ministry of Economy. Managing partner Andrei Chumakov is highly recommended.

Glimstedt Law Firm meets ‘high standards of performance’. Managing partner Vitaly Kachelya is praised for his customer service, versatility and ‘good knowledge of local and international legislation’.

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Legal Developments in Belarus

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  • Formation of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan

    Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan will adopt new unified customs tariff and non-tariff regulations from January 1, 2010, and the Customs Union (the “CU”) of the three countries of the Eurasian Economic Community (the “EurAsEC”) will become a reality. The CU Customs Code (the “Customs Code”) is expected to take effect from July 1, 2010 to regulate the resulting integral customs zone.
  • Belarus Amends its Investment Legislation

    On 6 August 2009, the President of the Republic of Belarus signed Decree No. 10 On the Creation of Additional Conditions for Investing in Belarus. An investment contract is one of the ways of investing in the Republic of Belarus and enables an investor to obtain State support for an investment project and a waiver of sovereign immunity from suits, cautionary judgments, and enforcement of judgments and/or arbitration awards. Decree No. 10 introduces a new procedure for entering into investment contracts. It allows investors to be granted preferences and privileges under investment contracts, in addition to those granted under existing legislation, and also regulates the privileges to be granted to investors automatically upon execution of investment contracts.
  • Belarus Trademark Law Amended

    On July 15, 2009 Belarus passed the Law on the Introduction of Amendments to the Law of Republic of Belarus on Trademarks and Service Marks, which comes into force on January 25, 2010. The rationale behind the amendments is to bring Belarusian law in line with European countries’ laws - to facilitate eventual accession of the country to the WTO, and also to reflect new developments in case law.

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