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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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Russia > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Borrower side

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Borrower side
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Victoria Bortkevicha - Clifford Chance
    • Olga Davydava - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Igor Gorchakov - Allen & Overy Legal Services
    • Mikhail Loktionov - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Alexander Zharskiy - ALRUD Law Firm

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Vladimir Barbolin - Clifford Chance
    • Sergey Blinov - Allen & Overy Legal Services
    • Vadim Panin - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Yuri Shumilov - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Borrower side clients in Russia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Clifford Chance’s well-regarded practice is known for its expertise in the real estate, mining and metals, aviation and PPP sectors, and also advises a range of borrowers in the oil and gas, forestry and paper industries. The team handles all stages of project financing matters, debt restructuring and syndicated lending under Russian law, and is also recognised for its expertise in sanctions issues. In a recent highlight, counsel Vladimir Barbolin, Arthur Iliev and senior associate Ekaterina Matveychuk advised Integra Group on a RUB8.7bn syndicated loan from Sberbank and Alfa-Bank to refinance its existing debt. O1 Group and Norilsk Nickel are also key clients. Victoria Bortkevicha leads the team.

The ‘top-notch’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLPunderstands the commercial side of each transaction’, and its ‘experience in project financing is proven by its ability to structure the most complex transactions in the market’. Key practitioners include Artjom Buligin, who is noted for his cross-border restructuring and insolvency expertise; Olga Davydava, who has ‘a deep knowledge of debt schemes and mechanics’ and ‘superb negotiation and mitigation skills’; and recent arrival Dmitry Gubarev, who handles real estate and infrastructure transactions. Vadim Panin is ‘an open and professional lawyer who ensures the smooth documentation and execution of each transaction’. The team is currently acting for project company Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk on the financing and construction of a gas processing plant in the Amur region.

ALRUD Law Firm’s ‘dedicated and responsive’ team provides ‘a very high level of service’, utilising ‘the full expertise of a Russian law firm while also being able to handle a range of international matters’. The firm has increasingly advised on a range of transactions governed by Russian law with foreign law instruments, and has recently handled a number of financing projects for Chinese investors. ‘Proactive partnerAnton Dzhuplindirectly participates in each project, providing professional and client-oriented advice’, and recently assisted Coeclerici Commodities with a loan provided by Unicredit Bank. Alexander Zharskiy and senior associate Ekaterina Mayorova, who ‘quickly focuses on the main legal arguments in banking negotiations’, are the other names to note.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s ‘service-oriented’ group ‘always tries to find a common solution that satisfies both borrower and lender’, and ‘addresses each question properly, so all involved parties are able to grasp and assess the issue’. Konstantin Garmonin handles a range of cross-border financing transactions, advising on project and pre-export finance, acquisition finance, debt restructuring and syndicated loans; practice head Maxim Levinson has notable expertise in the energy and aviation sectors. The team recently advised Siberian Coal Energy on a $1bn pre-export financing provided by a syndicate of Western banks, and is also acting for Aeroflot on a range of high-value financing mandates.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, key highlights included advising Safmar Group on its $1.3bn financing for the acquisition of the M.Video home appliances retail chain, and acting for Uranium One on a range of cross-border agreements with international banks. Mikhail Loktionov heads the practice, where structured finance and derivatives expert Anna Nersesian is also a key figure along with senior associate Yuri Shumilov. Other active clients include Russian Railways and Polymetal.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s range of expertise includes syndicated lending, real estate finance, restructuring and asset finance. The team acts for a variety of Russian and international corporates across a mix of sectors. Practice head Alexander Tsakoev recently advised Immofinanz Group on restructuring its $930m Russian credit portfolio, and counsel Ksenia Zolotova specialises in domestic and cross-border transactions.

Allen & Overy Legal Services’ ‘co-operative and efficient team’ is ‘always effective in finding the right solution’. Igor Gorchakov and senior associate Sergey Blinov recently advised GeoProMining on a $300m syndicated facility from Sberbank. Practice head Stephen Matthews has notable expertise in real estate, aircraft and shipping finance.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited covers all English and Russian law aspects of banking transactions, and regularly handles cross-border matters spanning Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) jurisdictions including Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Vladimir Dragunov heads the practice, and is involved in a number of securitisation transactions.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP provides ‘very high-quality advice’, and has recently handled a number of cross-border projects spanning London and Hong Kong. Highlights included advising Gett, formerly GetTaxi, on its $100m financing from Sberbank, and acting for AFG National on its debt financing from Russian Direct Investment Fund. Oleg Khokhlov has notable aviation sector expertise, and Tatiana Parshak is ‘a professional and knowledgeable adviser who is highly recommended for sophisticated deals’.

At CMS, highlights included advising Uralkali on a $1.2bn pre-export finance facility arranged by a syndicate of banks including Sberbank, Unicredit and Société Générale. Key practitioner Konstantin Baranov has notable expertise in real estate, acquisition and trade finance matters, and counsel Elena Tchoubykina is recommended for cross-border matters.

Dmitry Shiryaev heads the practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which recently advised Lukoil on the $1bn project financing of Phase II of the Shah Deniz project, an offshore gas exploration and production project on the South Caspian Sea. Managing partner Natalia Baratiants also advised UTair on two syndicated loans with an aggregate value of RUB43bn.

At Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Alan Kartashkin has ‘a deep understanding of the business environment and clients’ needs’; Nik Kutnaks is praised for ‘always responding promptly and organising documentation efficiently’. Highlights included advising Norilsk Nickel on a $500m revolving credit facility provided by a syndicate of international banks including HSBC, Commerzbank and Sumitomo Mitsui.

Dechert Russia LLC has notable expertise in cross-border project and acquisition financings, and regularly advises on the financing aspects of M&A transactions. Managing partner Laura Brank is the name to note, and recently cooperated with the firm’s London-based practice to advise an ad hoc group of bondholders in Far Eastern Shipping Company on a high-value financial restructuring. Dual-qualified counsel Olga Watson advises on a range of Russian and English law issues.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ wide-ranging practice handles domestic and international financing matters, and advises a mix of state companies, organisations and municipal authorities. Dmitriy Glazounov is the key figure; Arkady Krasnikhin is also recommended.

Gide Loyrette Nouel Vostok advises government and multilateral institutions on cross-border financing transactions, and has been particularly active in the natural resources, infrastructure and energy sectors. Tim Theroux heads the team, which has advised Evraz on a number of financing arrangements. Sistema is also a key client.

Sergey Komolov is the key practitioner at King & Spalding LLP, which has notable banking, insolvency and restructuring expertise. The team also advises on credit facility provision, corporate finance and banking sector M&A.

Liniya Prava Law Firm has a strong track record in credit financing matters and interbank syndicated and subordinated loans. Key figures include Oleg Bychkov, who recently advised Tom Tailor Group on a syndicated credit transaction provided by a pool of foreign credit institutions, and Andrey Novakovskiy, who has notable securities expertise.

Noerr’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘timely responses, great attention to detail and to-the-point advice’. ‘Experienced lawyer’ Vladislav Skvortsov is recommended along with Stefan Wolfgang Weber, who is noted for his ‘business-oriented approach and absolute commitment to agreed deadlines’.

Pepeliaev Group specialises in the tax-related aspects of financial transactions, and also advises on transaction structuring and support. Igor Marmalidi handles international financial and investment transactions, and Ivan Khamenushko advises on the full spectrum of banking-related tax issues.


Lender or arranger side

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Lender or arranger side
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Victoria Bortkevicha - Clifford Chance
    • Michael Bott - Linklaters
    • Artjom Buligin - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Olga Davydava - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Igor Gorchakov - Allen & Overy Legal Services
    • Mikhail Loktionov - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Timothy Stubbs - Dentons
    • Alexander Tsakoev - Norton Rose Fulbright
    • Alexander Zharskiy - ALRUD Law Firm

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Vladimir Barbolin - Clifford Chance
    • Sergey Blinov - Allen & Overy Legal Services
    • Nikolai Kurmashev - Linklaters
    • Vadim Panin - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Yuri Shumilov - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Lender or arranger side clients in Russia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Clifford Chance advises on the full scope of asset finance deals, utilising its strengths in the competition, corporate, tax and customs areas to provide ‘an integrated approach on each transaction’. Practice head Victoria Bortkevicha recently advised a syndicate of lenders including Unicredit, VTB and Raiffeisen on a $500m loan to Lukoil for its gas field developments in Uzbekistan. Counsel Vladimir Barbolin specialises in cross-border finance matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP’s ‘responsive, diligent’ team is ‘always available for meetings’, and is ‘one of the best on the market for complex financing questions’. The firm is noted for its energy and project financing practice, and recently advised VTB Group on amendments to the $2.5bn financing provided to RussNeft. The ‘very talented’ Artjom Buligin is ‘capable of managing complex issues’; Vadim Panin ‘has an excellent ability to deliver under tough deadlines’. Olga Davydava heads the project finance practice.

At Linklaters, recent highlights include advising Caterpillar, ING, Natixis and Unicredit on Mechel’s $1bn debt restructuring; acting for Sberbank on the €1bn debt restructuring of Agrokor Group; and advising Mizuho Bank on a term loan facility provided to Gazprom. Michael Bott heads the group, where counsel Nikolai Kurmashev is also a name to note.

Norton Rose Fulbright acts for banks in financing matters across a range of sectors including energy, infrastructure, transport and healthcare. Practice head Alexander Tsakoev recently advised a syndicate of 19 Russian and international banks on a $1bn facility provided to Siberian Coal Energy (SUEK).

Allen & Overy Legal Services specialises in syndicated loans and structured finance, and regularly handles cross-border financing transactions for Russian and international banks. Practice head Stephen Matthews and senior associate Sergey Blinov recently advised VTB Bank on a RUB692bn bridge financing for QHG Shares, a joint venture owned by Glencore and Qatar Investment Authority. Igor Gorchakov is the other key figure.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited advises a mix of Russian and international clients on transactions spanning the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and has been notably active in the hedge fund, distressed asset and infrastructure finance spheres. In a recent highlight, the team advised Far East Development Fund on the RUB5bn financing provided to RusAgro for the construction of a pig breeding complex in the Russian Far East. Vladimir Dragunov is the key figure.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s ‘highly impressive’ team provides ‘good value for money’ and is ‘always able to meet demanding deadlines in complex transactions’. The firm advises a range of commercial banks and global development institutions on the full spectrum of financing matters, its key active clients including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, VTB Bank and Gazprombank. Practice head Maxim Levinson is recommended along with Konstantin Garmonin, who is ‘a gifted lawyer who provides careful and well-thought-out advice’.

At Dentons, Timothy Stubbs is well regarded for his regulatory expertise, and Evgenia Laurson handles the full spectrum of financing matters in the energy and natural resources sectors. The team recently advised VTB Bank on a $260m financing to Sovcomflot for the construction of a liquefied natural gas tanker.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising a group of export credit agencies including Hermes, China Exim and the Export Insurance Agency of Russia on the €13bn financing of the construction of the Amur Gas Processing Plant, conducted by Gazprom. Mikhail Loktionov heads the practice, and Yuri Shumilov specialises in domestic and cross-border syndicated financing.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s ‘professional, knowledgeable and practical’ team is ‘exceptionally pleasant to work with, and highly organised in co-ordinating projects’. Led by Mikhail Turetsky and Ragnar Johannesen, the practice handles all stages of acquisition finance, project finance, global loans and restructuring transactions.

White & Case LLC provides ‘swift and clear advice’. Its ‘highly professional’ banking and finance team ‘always sticks to agreed deadlines, and often works ahead of schedule’. Maxim Kobzev recently advised Unicredit, Société Générale and Rosbank on a $250m facility extended to PhosAgro.

ALRUD Law Firm has ‘a proactive approach, answering all queries in the shortest possible time and fully meeting all requirements’. Key partner Anton Dzhuplintakes a strategic approach to each issue’, and Alexander Zharskiy is noted for his mining, energy and real estate expertise.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP’s team ‘responds promptly to client requests with detailed and professional comments’, and ‘maintains a good standing among other international law firms in Russia’. Led by Oleg Khokhlov, the team is advising Eurasian Development Bank and International Investment Bank on the financing of two hydropower plants.

At CMS, highlights included advising a regional development corporation on the RUB10bn financing of its construction of two dairy facilities in Sakhalin. Konstantin Baranov heads the department.

DLA Piper’s full-service practice advises on lending transactions, leasing and asset finance, acquisition finance and regulatory matters, and has notable expertise in the real estate space. Karen Young is the name to note, and recently advised Sberbank on Belkamneft’s $2.8bn refinancing.

Hogan Lovells (CIS) is notably active in project finance, and has advised a number of Russian banks on infrastructure and investment projects across Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Managing partner Oxana Balayan is recommended along with Alexander Dolgov, who specialises in PPP and infrastructure matters.

Grigory Marinichev heads the team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, which recently advised ING Bank and Citibank on an $800m pre-export finance facility for EuroChem. The team also handled a $165m prepayment to SUEK on behalf of Sberbank (Switzerland).

Dechert Russia LLC provides ‘good value for money’, advising a mix of domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks on project and acquisition financings. Laura Brank is ‘a pragmatic and astute dealmaker who always gives sensible advice’. Key clients include Alfa Bank, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has ‘a results-oriented approach’. The banking and finance team is praised for its ‘professionalism, accountability and ability to manage complex work under tough deadlines’. ‘Excellent lawyer’ and ‘brilliant, supportive manager’ Dmitriy Glazounov is ‘always calm and reliable’. Bank Otkritie and Uralsib Bank are key clients.

Gide Loyrette Nouel Vostok’s ‘high-quality’ practice is known for its expertise in project and pre-export finance transactions, and has been notably active in the metals and mining, agriculture and solar energy sectors. Practice head Tim Theroux has been acting for VTB Bank on a $300m term loan provided to Teghout.

KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) has ‘a good understanding of its clients’. The ‘experienced, professional’ banking and finance team ‘provides practical solutions to all issues’. Ilya Ischuk heads the department. Key clients include BNG Bank, Turkish Airlines and VTB-24.

King & Spalding LLP counts a number of Russian and international banks as its clients, some key names being Sberbank, Vnesheconombank, Credit Suisse and Gazprombank. Managing partner Sergey Komolov advises on asset deals, structured financing and mezzanine finance projects.

Liniya Prava Law Firm’s team has ‘extensive experience’ and ‘excellent contacts with government bodies’. The group advises on the various operational activities of Russian and international banks and credit institutions; key clients include Sberbank, Goldman Sachs and China Development Bank. Andrey Novakovskiy and Oleg Bychkov are ‘highly qualified’.

Noerr’s ‘highly professional’ team has ‘a deep understanding of German, Russian and international law’, and provides ‘solid, business-minded solutions to complex problems’. Vladislav Skvortsov handles syndicated and single loans, restructurings and project financings, and Stefan Wolfgang Weber is recommended for cross-border matters.

Pepeliaev Group’s pan-Russian practice specialises in banking disputes and bankruptcy matters. Recent highlights include acting for Rietumu Banka on a number of bankruptcy cases before the Court of Appeal. The team is led by Igor Marmalidi, who advises on banking and securities regulations and international financing and investment transactions.

Highly professional law firmVegas Lex provides ‘prompt decisions in response to complicated tasks’. The ‘open-minded, responsive’ Alexander Sitnikov advises on all aspects of financing and investment projects, including deal structuring and risk management.


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