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  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A: St Petersburg and elsewhere
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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For some, Baker & McKenzie–CIS, Limited’s ‘highly reputable’ team provides ‘the best global advice’. Highlights included advising Orkla on the sale of its shares in LandGrand to Pioneer Group, a major real estate developer, and acting for a major European conglomerate on divesting its Russian snacks business. Managing partner Maxim Kalinin and counsel Olga Anikina are the key names.

DLA Piper has notable expertise in the automotive, manufacturing, telecoms and real estate sectors, among others. For example, department head and managing partner Denis Sosedkin advised Deme Group on negotiating two commercial contracts in the dredging and marine construction sectors, while Ruslan Vasutin assisted Zara with restructuring projects across Russia and the CIS region. Elena Zaitseva is a key name for corporate tax.

Artem Zhavoronkov heads the practice at Dentons, which advised major energy company Fortum on the sale its subsidiary Tobolsk to Sibur. Evgenia Teterevkova is ‘a knowledgeable specialist with perfect response times and a very positive attitude’. Karina Chichkanova is the other name to note.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ ‘excellent, consistent and reliable’ team stands out for its ‘short response times, clear advice and high-quality knowledge and expertise’. Practice head Elena Agaeva specialises in cross-border M&A transactions across various sectors, while managing partner Ivan Smirnov has significant corporate and regulatory expertise. The firm is advising CTC Media on amendments to federal law restricting foreign ownership of Russian mass media companies. New clients include Johnson Controls and Burlington Capital.

Vladislav Zabrodin heads the practice at Capital Legal Services, where other key figures include the ‘proactive and supportiveDmitry Churin, and Pavel Karpunin, who is ‘a good contact for Russian deals’. Kraft Heinz, retailer Next and Sodexo Russia are clients.

Heidi Paalanen-Koev is the lead practitioner at Castrén & Snellman St Petersburg, which retains a strong Nordic client base. Sergei Lee advises on M&A, venture capital, tax and general corporate matters. Highlights included advising Teknos on its purchase of Massco from a group of private businessmen.

Borenius’ ‘skilled lawyers’ handle a range of domestic and cross-border M&A and private equity deals, and have ‘a good understanding of their clients’ non-CIS issues’. Highlights included advising Servisny Metallotsentr Stami on customs issues arising from its dispute with customs authorities, and assisting Marc Rich Real Estate with currency control, voidable transactions and various other corporate matters. Managing partner Andrei Gusev is ‘pragmatic, responsive and good at handling counterparties’.

At Duvernoix Legal, Egor Noskov specialises in cross-border M&A transactions; Igor Guschev advises on corporate and antitrust law; and Alexander Arbouzov is also a key contact. The group assisted pharmacy chain Ladushka with its RUB1.6bn sale to Raduga. Other clients include IC Holding and Trigon Agri.

Eversheds Sutherland enters the ranking following its acquisition of Hannes Snellman’s Russian offices. The team acts for a mix of sellers, buyers, financial advisers and target companies. It handles the full range of transactional matters including M&A, joint ventures and group restructurings. Yury Pugach recently advised Kesko on acquiring a DIY store. Managing partner Victoria Goldman and practice head Mikhail Timonov are other names to note.

Maxima Legal assisted Trust Bank with the corporate law aspects of the writing off of RUB1.6bn worth of debt, and also acted for Technoshock on its merger with Technosila, a rival chain. Managing partner Maxim Avrashkov and practice head Vladimir Kilinkarov are noteworthy practitioners.

Pepeliaev Group’s ‘responsive and well-coordinated’ team ‘can effectively deal with multiple issues at the same time’, and ‘puts an outstanding effort into resolving complicated situations’. Sergey Spasennov heads the practice, and Elena Krestyantseva ‘is a professional, high-calibre lawyer.’ Fazer and British American Tobacco are clients.

Prime Advice’s group ‘stands out for its individual approach to clients, and for the flexibility of its proposed solutions’. Practice head Inna Vavilova has ‘a deep perception of client needs and a highly efficient communication style’. Highlights included advising Novikov Group on the creation of three joint ventures totalling $10m, and providing corporate support to 220 Volt on its overseas expansion plans.

S&K Vertical’s team ‘pays attention to all the nuances of the matter at hand’, and its ‘advice is always based on extensive practical experience’. The firm is advising the Stanislavsky Theatre Foundation on various private donations and modernisation projects, and is assisting Phenomen Films with the $41m restructuring of its group companies. Mikhail Ilin heads the team.

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