Russia > Capital markets
- Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Hogan Lovells (CIS)
- Morgan Lewis
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s long-established team is ‘the best among peers’, and is viewed as a market leader on the equity side, where it acted on the Ros Agro and Etalon Group IPOs, representing the underwriters and issuer, respectively, in two of the few successful Russian IPOs of 2011-12. The team is advising the Russian Federation on its $7bn Eurobond offering, one of the largest Eurobond deals from an emerging market in recent years. Moscow-based Murat Akuyev, who is recommended, works closely with Russia-focused, London-based colleagues including Daniel Braverman, Russell Pollack and Raj Panasar – all of whom are ‘outstanding partners with excellent associates’.
Linklaters CIS is best known for representing banks and cemented its reputation by advising the joint lead arrangers – including BNP Paribas, Citigroup and Deutsche Bank – on the Russian Federation’s $7bn Eurobond offering. The firm also acted for various multinational banks on substantial notes issuances. Recent equity work includes advising Evraz Group on a share swap and premium listing on the LSE. Dmitry Dobatkin heads the team.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is one of the very best for Russia-related equity markets. London-based Richard Muglia led a team which represented Ros Agro on its successful $330m IPO and listing on the LSE; and Moscow-based Pranav Trivedi advised the arrangers, including Barclays and BNP Paribas, on a series of notes offerings by VimpelCom totalling $2.2bn. Trivedi is ‘best in class as adviser to underwriters and issuers: banks don’t seek him out – they insist on him’. Office co-head Dmitri Kovalenko is another key contact in Moscow.
In keeping with its strong reputation in debt, Allen & Overy Legal Services acted on several prominent notes issues, loan participation notes (LPN) programmes, and drawdowns in 2011-12. Highlights included advising VTB on its $1bn perpetual LPN issuance – a first-of-its-kind hybrid tier one transaction in Russia. Alexandra Fasakhova and the ‘hands-on, practical and level-headed’ James Roe co-head the equity practice with Philip Smith leading on debt markets. Roe and Smith are based in London.
Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited’s Moscow team was significantly strengthened in summer 2012 when Roy Pearce relocated from London and the firm also hired Simon Morgan from Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Pearce has recently been active on debt issuances and proposed IPO deals. The firm has a strong position in mortgage-backed securities with team head Vladimir Druganov being ‘probably the most experienced lawyer in the securitisation of Russian mortgage assets’.
Clifford Chance acted for BofA Merrill Lynch on RusPetro’s £163m IPO and listing on the premium segment of the London Stock Exchange, and also advised Sberbank on several drawdowns under its $2bn EMTN programme. Arthur Iliev heads the equity team with Tamer Amara heading the debt side of the practice.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had a modest year on the equity side but acted on some notable debt transactions. Highlights included acting for the joint lead managers, including Goldman Sachs and VTB Capital, on Raspadskaya OJSC’s $400m notes issuance; and advising Russian Railways on two parallel offerings totalling over $1bn. Mikhail Loktionov heads the team and counsel Pavel Koutovoi is a key contact on the debt side.
Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP handled some impressive debt mandates during the downturn in equity deals. It advised key client Vnesheconombank on the completion of its $1bn ETMN programme – part of a larger $30bn programme. Evgeny Zelensky heads the team.
Latham & Watkins LLP’s capital markets practice is ‘superb in all categories’. It is especially well known for equity work, and advised Deutsche Bank on Polymetal’s $480m exchange offer and subsequent listing on the LSE. On the debt side, David Stewart’s team advised Promsvyazbank on its $20bn global issuance programme. Stewart, who was promoted to partner in September 2012, is ‘a superb lawyer, completely plugged-in to the Moscow market’.
White & Case LLC recruited new partner Alexandra Schukina to co-head its offering in 2011, who was previously a senior associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Fellow co-head Darina Lozovsky represented RusPetro on the first Russian IPO of 2012 – a $250m listing on the LSE. Carter Brod joined Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, which team subsequently moved to Morgan Lewis.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP’s ‘experienced, knowledgeable and creative’ lawyers acted on two Eurobond issuances totalling $4bn for key client VimpelCom. Varun Gupta heads the team.
Hogan Lovells (CIS)’ developing team acted on several Eurobond issuances and restructurings. Practice head Michael Pugh is ‘an extremely capable and diligent lawyer, who is fast building a strong reputation in Moscow as a go-to person for deals’.
Morgan Lewis recruited most of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP’s former Moscow capital markets team, following the latter firm’s demise. The recruits included Carter Brod, who had joined from White & Case LLC in October 2011 – bringing with him existing relationships with clients such as Gazprombank and Raiffeisen Bank, for whom Brod has acted on substantial medium term and LPN programmes, respectively. Corporate partner Vasilisa Strizh advised depositary Citigroup on PhosAgro’s successful IPO on the LSE – one of only three Russian IPOs to close in 2011.
Chadbourne & Parke LLP’s recent work includes advising ZAO Raiffeisenbank on a diversified payment rights securitisation programme; and PepsiCo on the ISDA master agreement relating to the derivatives and swaps for its Russian business. Konstantin Konstantinov is now the primary contact after the departure of Simon Morgan to Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s ‘very strong, client-oriented’ team advised Polyus Gold on its $635.5m private placement of shares purchased by Chengdong Investment Corporation and JSC VTB Bank. Department head Alan Kartashkin has ‘deep knowledge of Russian, UK and US rules’.
‘One of the best Russian firms in the capital markets field’. Liniya Prava Law Firm has impressive experience advising Russian companies on overseas IPOs. The team recently advised VTB Capital on a first-of-its-kind MICEX index-linked bond issuance. It also advised industrial giants Rusal and Mechel Mining on overseas listings and bond issuances. Managing partner Dmitriy Glazounov is recommended, and Andrey Novakovsky also regularly leads advice.
Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners’ practice is headed by Vladimir Khrenov, whose prior experience includes working at a Magic Circle law firm and in-house as a former general counsel in JP Morgan’s emerging markets team. Khrenov is a derivatives and structured products expert, who has been involved in the drafting of Russian legislation in these areas.
Law Firm "Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners" has ‘very strong expertise in Russian corporate, restructuring, and securities regulatory matters’, and an enviable reputation among international law firms for the quality of its advice on local issues. The firm has been very active advising key client Inter Rao on a series of substantial issuances by its subsidiaries. Practice head Alexander Nektorov is ‘accessible, proactive and diligent’.