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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon 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 > Dispute resolution: Litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: Litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Melnitsky & Zakharov, Attorneys at Law.

Our main specialization is the resolution of complex commercial and administrative disputes of participants in the markets of telecommunications, metallurgy, gas and oil industry, gold mining, infrastructure and capital construction, transport, and investment activities. The practice of our team includes the experience of successfully representing the interests of principals in the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, as well as in international arbitration institutions.

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Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners maintains its impressive reputation as a ‘dispute resolution powerhouse’; the sizeable team is jointly led by Valery Eremenko and Dmitry Dyakin, who are known ‘for their excellently organised and effective courtroom strategies and for always keeping a few steps ahead of the opponents’. Dimitry Afanasiev has recently handled a major post-M&A transactional dispute in the London Commercial Court; Dyakin is also active in a high-value commercial multi-jurisdictional dispute. Other highlights include representing an international carpooling company in a successful appeal against a restriction on its commercial activities. Denis Arkhipov ‘has a special legal intuition and good understanding of the Russian insurance market’. Counsels Vera Rikhterman, Tatyana Neveeva and Alina Kudryavtseva are also highly recommended, as are Alexander Kiselev and Oleg Bouiko, who ‘have a very good understanding of the clients’ needs’.

The ‘outstanding, reliable and resourceful’ team at the dispute-focused Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners is best known for its ‘strong reputation’ and ‘extensive courtroom experience’ representing domestic and international companies across a broad range of industries in high-profile Russian and cross-border disputes. ‘Well-regarded litigator’ Dmitry Lovyrev represented AFK Sistema in several highly publicised commercial litigations against Rosneft, Bashneft and the Bashkortostan Ministry of Land and Property totalling approximately $10bn. Alexander Zyuba is acting for Transneft in a number of disputes, including defamation cases, contractual and competition disputes against the Federal Antimonopoly Service. In other word, Yuri Monastyrsky is defending shareholders of Probusinessbank against financial liability charges. Maxim Muzyka is active in challenges against the competition authorities.

ALRUD Law Firm's litigation practice stands out for its ‘ability to think outside of the box, its effective strategies, strong anticipation skills and excellent teamwork throughout’. The practice regularly handles commercial disputes, including administrative, and debt-related litigation, and is particularly noted for its strengths in competition-related disputes. Recently promoted partner Magomed Gasanov is ‘a skilled litigator, knowledgeable in the nuances of procedural rules and provides strong realistic legal strategies’. Sergey Petrachkov stands out as ‘a scrupulous lawyer who takes every opportunity to turn it around to the client's benefit’. Boris Ostroukhov and Dmitry Eberents are also names to note.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited maintains its position as the ‘go-to’ practice for leading multinational corporations across a range of industries, and has a strong track record for its involvement in the most significant commercial, competition and IP disputes. Practice head Edward Bekeschenko focuses on IT and telecoms-related disputes and well-regarded arbitration specialist Vladimir Khvalei is active in disputes across the CIS jurisdictions. Denis Khabarov and Anton Subbot are the key practitioners for IP and competition disputes.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP ‘demonstrates a strong understanding and remains up-to-date with local legal developments’. The practices  handles IP litigation, real estate, commercial and tax-related disputes, among others. Key practitioner Ivan Veselov ‘is focused and quickly identifies the key solutions and obstacles for any given task’; he recently handled a number of disputes in the pharmaceutical, construction and transport space. The ‘indispensable’ Elena Trusova leads on IP-related disputes.

Standout matters for Dentons include representing a Romanian insurance company in a dispute over the invalidation of a reinsurance agreement. Roman Zaitsev is the key practitioner in the Moscow office, while St Petersburg-based Mikhail Ivanov has significant court experience representing foreign investors and major Russian companies in commercial litigation. Others to note are Maria Mikheyenkova, Andrey Neznamov and Ilya Kuzmin.

At Hogan Lovells (CIS), practice head Alexei Dudko has extensive commercial litigation and corporate investigation experience in Russian and international courts. He is representing Rosneft in an ongoing $90m international fraud litigation in multiple offshore jurisdictions, including proceedings in Gibraltar, Russia, the Cayman Islands, Lichtenstein, Switzerland and Greece. Anna Belova is acting for an oil corporation in the enforcement of a Russian court judgment in a number of EU jurisdictions. In other work, Eugene Perkunov is representing British American Tobacco in a dispute with a minority shareholder in its Russian subsidiary for the recovery of nearly $300m.

KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) has a strong track record in financial, insurance and IP disputes, representing major clients from a mix of sectors, including manufacturing, investments and pharmaceutical. The practice represented Takeda in seeking a recovery of insurance compensation payment of approximately $1.6m. Anna Grishchenkova is noted for commercial disputes and Sergey Popov for litigation in the real estate and construction sector. Managing partner Andrey Korelskiy is ‘an expert litigator’.

As one of Russian’s most well-known dispute resolution practices, Muranov, Chernyakov & Partners’ team is distinguished by its ‘exceptional industry experience and legislative knowledge, including the most recent amendments’. The firm has notable expertise in energy sector disputes; in recent work, competition partner Oleg Moskvitin, who is ‘a real specialist who knows the law inside out’, handled a number of regulatory and commercial cases for Moscow United Electric Grid Company. Managing partners Alexander Muranov and Dmitry Chernyakov handle international commercial litigation for energy and financial sector clients.

Norton Rose Fulbright is a popular choice for clients in the banking, energy, manufacturing and healthcare sectors. Department head Yaroslav Klimov leads on significant and high-value commercial disputes. Counsel Alexey Borodak has substantial court room experience and is particularly recommended for insurance-related disputes.

At VEGAS LEX, managing partner Alexander Sitnikov’s extensive experience in the corporate space covers conflicts relating to investment projects, the protection and recovery of business assets, corporate governance and restructuring. Department head Victor Petrov has a strong track record in commercial, corporate, insurance and bankruptcy disputes. Evgeniy Rodin is recommended for energy disputes. The practice represents a mix of clients from the aerospace, energy, life sciences and retail sectors.

White & Case LLC is highlighted for its ‘teamwork, flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to changing circumstances’. The ‘client-oriented’ team is active in insolvency proceedings, debt recovery, real estate disputes and the enforcement of arbitral awards. Julia Zagonek heads the department, which includes counsel Pavel Boulatov and associate Anton Vasin, who advise domestic and international clients on commercial, insolvency and antitrust litigation.

Clifford Chance is best known for its involvement in precedent-setting cases; in one key example, practice head Timur Aitkulov, Alexander Anichkin and Dmitry Malukevich successfully represented Sberbank in an appeal against Transneft in a landmark derivatives case. The practice is also regularly instructed by major international clients to act on commercial, IP, white-collar crime and bankruptcy-related contentious matters. Julia Popelysheva departed for an in-house position at Yandex.

Dechert Russia LLC has 'a superb reputation for its advocacy in complex international litigation’. A key figure in the ‘responsive, experienced and value-for-money’ team is Yuri Makhonin, who regularly assists managing partner Laura Brank  in high-value cross-border disputes in the banking and finance and construction space. The team is representing Eurobank Ergasias in several bankruptcy-related domestic proceedings.

Led by Yaroslav Moshennikov, DLA Piper Rus Limited’s litigation team recently represented Gett in ten proceedings across Russia concerning the acquisition of a regional taxi business and related damages claims. The practice has notable strengths handling contentious IP matters; in one example, Anna Otkina represented Utair Aviation in a trade mark dispute against Uniqlo. Denis Sosedkin acted for Bauer Media in a brand squatting dispute.

FBK Legal's litigation team handles commercial, competition and tax-related conflicts, the recovery of damages and bankruptcy disputes. Elena Bokareva is representing Gazprom transgaz Stavropol in a series of disputes brought by a landowner seeking compensation following the building of a gas pipeline. Practice head Alexander Ermolenko and Sergey Ermolenko are experienced in handling cases against regulatory authorities.

Led by Dmitry Surikov, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s team represented a construction company in a high-profile dispute against the Federal Antimonopoly Services’ decision to cancel a public bid for the financing, construction and operation of the Sterlitamak – Kaga – Magnitogorsk toll highway in Bashkortostan Republic.

Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP represents a mix of banking institutions, energy and mining companies and private clients in domestic and cross-border litigation. A cross-border team is representing GazpromNeft and Rosneft before the EU General Court challenging EU trade and financial sanctions adopted by the Council of the European Union. In other highlights, the practice is also representing three Russian biathletes in a high-profile libel case before the New York Supreme Court. Alexei Panich heads the practice.

The ‘very well-connected’ team at KK&P TRIAL LAWYERS ‘knows the Russian disputes market inside and out’ and is ‘highly recommended for difficult mandates’. Managing partner Maxim Kulkov is ‘a big name in the industry’ and Oleg Kolotilov is ‘an accomplished and powerful advocate’; the duo represented a Russian investment company in a dispute challenging an issue preclusion concerning a violation of brokerage activity before the Supreme Court. They are also representing the state of Ukraine in a highly complex litigation against an application by Tatneft, a major Russian oil company, for recognition and enforcement of an investment arbitral award worth approximately $150m. Dmitry Vlasov ‘is incredibly efficient and always adds value’.

At Pepeliaev Group, department head Yuri Vorobyev has extensive courtroom experience representing clients from a broad-range of sectors in commercial and financial disputes, including those concerning leasing agreements, loan agreement contracts, transactions and investments. Roman Bevzenko specialises in real estate and construction disputes. Yulia Litovtseva is the main practitioner for insolvency and debt recovery.

YUST Law Firm ‘carefully studies the documents and delves deeply into the essence of the matter’, and the team includes ‘very effective litigators’, who ‘understand the markets in several jurisdictions’. The firm has notable expertise handling contractual and subcontractor disputes; in recent work Alexander Bolomatov and Alexander Evdokimov represented Mobis Parts in a number of high-value contractual and competition proceedings. Anna Kotova-Smolenskaya is recommended for corporate disputes and Anton Sirotkin is noted for sub-contractor and real estate and competition disputes.

Allen & Overy Legal Services’ expertise in banking and finance, insolvency, competition and aviation saw practice head Igor Gorchakov act for Morgan Stanley, as the security agent and the facility agent, in the bankruptcy proceedings of South Oil Company. Elsewhere, Ilya Dvorkin is representing Aurora Airline in a series of customs and antitrust disputes, as well as corresponding proceedings concerning administrative offences.

Infralex’s strength in handling complex litigation is demonstrated through its recent work for Sukhoi Civil Aircraft in a $40m contractual dispute brought by Aeroflot. The practice represented Sberbank as part of ongoing series of cross-border insolvency proceedings relating to the bankruptcy of a former shareholder of Pavlovskgranit mining company. Yulia Karpova and Arthur Rokhlin are the key figures. Also of note is managing partner Artem Kukin, who is recommended for bankruptcy litigation.

Ivanyan & Partners has particularly strong capabilities handling commercial and bankruptcy-related disputes. The practice represented Bashkirdorstroy in an appeal challenging the Federal Antimonopoly Services' order to cancel a public bidding tender on a large road construction project. Alexey Kozyakov and Sergei Chuprygin are the main practitioners.

The team at Kachkin & Partners is praised for providing ‘a flexible and efficient service’ and ‘high-quality legally sound advice at reasonable rates’. Kirill Saskov and Dmitry Nekrestyanov are ‘extremely skillful lawyers with courtroom experience, and also have knowledge of the legal and commercial aspects’; the duo focus on commercial and real estate litigation, respectively. Significant mandates include representing a foreign investor in a real estate dispute before the Supreme Court. The practice is also active in bankruptcy-related litigation.

The team at Lidings provides ‘practical, commercial and straightforward advice’, ‘always identifying several ways to solve the problem’. The practice is active in contractual, tax, debt recovery and enforcement proceedings; in one example, managing partner Andrey Zelenin acted for Numpho Fuel Terminal in the recognition and enforcement of a North Korean judgment in a marine insurance case. Stepan Guzey ‘has good knowledge of the law and is a very skilled court speaker’ and is currently is representing a manufacturing company in a tax dispute.

Linklaters' team ‘is very experienced and creative’ and is ‘knowledgeable of how things work across multiple jurisdictions’. Vladimir Melnikov ‘is an outstanding lawyer, who is capable of dealing with the most complex projects’, he leads the disputes practice, which is regularly instructed to act for major Russian banks, energy and transport companies in commercial and bankruptcy-related disputes. Highlights included acting for Sberbank in a multi-jurisdictional €1bn debt restructuring and debt recovery dispute with Agrokor Group, the largest privately owned company in Croatia.

LP Law Firm's team has expertise in a diverse range of areas, including commercial litigation, banking and insurance, among others. Practice head Dmitriy Chepurenko successfully represented Rosbank in an appeal against Transneft, in a unique dispute challenging derivative transactions. Insolvency expert Vladislav Ganzhala also has extensive courtroom experience representing major banking, insurance and aviation clients in commercial litigation. Alexey Kostovarov is recommended for competition litigation.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's ‘client-focused and responsive’ team has notable strengths in representing financial institutions, investment funds and energy sector companies in high-value litigation. Led by Dmitry Ivanov, who is ‘a very reliable project manager’, the team is currently advising a Russian investment fund on several cross-border disputes concerning the bankruptcy of a German bank. Other highlights include acting for a global media company in a high-value IP dispute, and representing a transportation services company in competition, contractual and IP disputes.

Noerr’s ‘excellent knowledge of court practice and intellectual property procedures’ saw the team, led by Dr Viktor Gerbutov, represent the Volvo Group in various trade mark and copyright infringement actions in multiple-jurisdictions. The team is also active in insolvency and corporate disputes.

According to one client, Regionservice’s litigation practice ‘is distinguished by its long presence in the market, vast expertise in solving complex disputes for major industrial companies, and the excellent reputation of its lawyers’. The practice is notably active in conflicts relating to shareholders' rights, commercial, banking and defamation disputes. Sergey Uchitel and Andrey Pereladov jointly head the department. Also of note is managing partner Denis Rybakov.

Disputes boutique Rustam Kurmaev & Partners is praised for its ‘expertise and dedication’ and is rapidly building a reputation as a ‘go to’ firm for high-value insurance, commercial and construction disputes. Name partner Rustam Kurmaev ‘is one of the best trial attorneys in Russia, whose understanding of the client’s business and his commercial awareness is second to none’; he successfully represented Mechel in an appeal before the Commercial Court of the North Caucuses Circuit concerning the award of $282m to Rostov Electrometallurgical Plant. Dmitry Kletochkin, who is ‘a top-notch expert with an impressive track record of cases’, acted for an electronics manufacturer in an insurance claim worth over $7m.

According to one client, Saveliev, Batanov & Partners is ‘capable of handling complex corporate conflicts’. Name partners Sergey Saveliev and Egor Batanov ‘are outstanding litigators', who have 'complete understanding of the commercial interests of the client’. The practice stands out among its competitors for its niche focus on complex and technical disputes relating to shareholder rights, stock and debt capital markets regulation, and the protection of assets. Clients include Inter RAO, Fesco Transport Group and West of England Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association.

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