The Legal 500

Editorial

Legal market overview

The ongoing changes to the Russian civil code, aimed at promoting the use of Russian law as a basis for transactions, remain a hot topic in the market, with Russian law firms having worked together in an attempt to influence the outcome of the debate in the hope of boosting the attractiveness of Russian law to businesses. English law is currently widely used as it is viewed as a reliable basis for the enforcement of parties’ rights. The most prominent Russian firms have enhanced their English law expertise through associations with international law firms, and have also been able to recruit high-profile English-qualified practitioners.

The corporate and M&A market was dominated by a few headline-grabbing deals, including Russia’s largest-ever transaction as Rosneft acquired the stakes of BP and Alfa-Access-Renova in TNK-BP for a combined $56bn. The size and complexity of the deal as well as the number of parties involved kept a number of corporate practices busy in an otherwise quiet year for M&A generally; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Linklaters CIS, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, White & Case LLC and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP were all involved.

The capital markets were once again dominated by debt offerings, with only a few high-profile equity offerings made. The banking, energy and real estate sectors were the main drivers of business activity in the country, and state-owned oil giant Rosneft was particularly acquisitive as it consolidated its market position and expanded out of Russia. 2013 also saw the rise of the Russian banks as major players in the market, with Sberbank and VTB Bank particularly active, making competition between law firms for places on their legal panels all the more intense.

The dispute resolution arena, in which Russian law firms compete on an equal footing with much larger UK and US counterparts, saw a number of significant developments including the relocation to St Petersburg and subsequent merger of Russia’s Supreme Court and Supreme Commercial Court.

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  • VEGAS LEX continues to represent OGK-2 in its gas turbine engine quality dispute

    On January 14, 2015, the VEGAS LEX law firm won an appeal case in the Sixteenth Commercial Court of Appeals for the sake of the Second Generating Company of the Wholesale Power Market (OGK-2)* in a dispute over the quality of a gas turbine engine (GTD-110) supplied by NPO Saturn to compel the defendant to restore the equipment's operation after a breakdown. The court ordered NPO Saturn to repair the broken GTD-110, with the cost of repairs adding up to RUB1bln, which is comparable with the cost of new equipment.
  • VEGAS LEX helps collect lost profit for Khanty-Mansiysk Non-State Pension Fund

    On January 13, 2015, the VEGAS LEX Dispute Resolution Practice won a case in the Ninth Commercial Court of Appeals for the sake of the Khanty-Mansiysk Non-State Pension Fund* in a dispute over a trust management agreement with regard to the fund's pension reserves.
  • Positive Developments for the Economy of Cyprus

    Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 It has been around one year and a half since the Eurogroup decisions to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus via a bail-in on 25 th of March 2013. Cyprus has worked hard since then to exit the financial crisis and to maintain its status and reputation as an international financial centre. Within October 2014, several positive developments which took place suggest that Cyprus is on a good path. These positive developments include: /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif";}
  • Gorodissky new practices

    In December 2014 the IP team of Gorodissky & Partners was joined by Valery Narezhny who will be in charge of the firm's new law practices such as taxes, customs and commercial laws. Valery graduated from Finance Academy under the Government of Russia (Moscow) majoring in "Finances and Credits" and the Academy of Law and Management (Moscow) majoring in "Civil Law", holds PhD degree in economics. He is specializing in taxes, currency, customs, labor and commercial laws and in court disputes. Valery started his carrier in the state bodies (Tax Policy Department, Ministry of Finance, and Government Administration), worked for a number of Russian and international law firms. He is author of more than 150 publications and 9 books on taxation and civil law issues. Valery Medvedev, Managing Partner, Gorodissky & Partners, commented: "It appears from our clients' enquiries that they are in the need to obtain consultations and professional advice relating not only to protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights but also to IP issues governed by taxes, labor, currency and commercial laws. Valery Narezhny having considerable experience and knowledge in these practices will no doubt enhance our team of lawyers and considerably enlarge the range of the firm's legal services"
  • HaoLiWen helps client resolve TP case with the customs

    HaoLiWen has advised a multinational client in a case of the customs challenge against import transfer pricing. Recently, this case was successfully closed. The customs has accepted the transfer pricing policies of the client.  The client has incurred no further import tax exposure, and the deposits put up with the customs for the shipments in question are to be refunded by the customs to the client.  
  • VEGAS LEX to support 2015 Jessup Moot Court Competition

    The VEGAS LEX law firm will support this year's Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the largest and most prestigious law school competition, which will take place in Moscow from January 28 through February 1.
  • P+P Pöllath + Partners berät die Deutsche Bank und DN Capital bei Investitionen in Onlineportal Wi

    Der Onlinehändler Windeln.de hat seine bislang größte Finanzierungsrunde abgeschlossen. Mit einem Investitionsvolumen von insgesamt etwa EUR 45 Mio. beteiligten sich neben dem Hauptinvestor Goldman Sachs auch die bisherigen Geldgeber MCI Management, 360 Capital Partners, die Londoner Beteiligungsgesellschaft DN Capital sowie mehrere Deutsche Bank Fonds.
  • MOLITOR expansion continues

    Luxembourg, 26 November 2014 - MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour, have continued expansion plans by announcing the recruitment of experienced litigator François Cautaerts. François comes to MOLITOR from Philippe & Partners as a partner, with Paulo Lopes Da Silva, in litigation and Dispute Resolution as well as specialising in Restructuring & Insolvency.
  • MOLITOR announces another partner promotion

    Luxembourg, 19 January 2015 - MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour is delighted to announce the promotion of Stéphanie Juan to Partner. Stéphanie, 37, became a member of the team in 2006 and was appointed Counsel in 2014. She will continue her practice in the area of Real Estate, Zoning and Environment.
  • GENI & KEBE HONOURED FOR PRO BONO WORK

    Mouhamed KEBE and Boubacar Diakite, respectively Managing Partner, and Head Office Manager of GENI & KEBE have been honored for pro bono work by ‘'The Brooke'', a non-for profit organization based in London.