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At Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, managing partner Natalia Baratiants advised key client Lukoil on its $1.1bn sale of a 50% stake in Caspian Investments Resources to China-based Sinopec. On the contentious side, the group represented Tatneft in $500m litigation proceedings against four Ukrainian oligarchs. Ilya Rybalkin and Alexey Kondratchik are also noted.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s team provides ‘premium quality legal services’ and has ‘a profound knowledge of the oil and gas industry, and solid experience of transactional work’. John White jointly heads the practice with ‘seasoned practitioner’ Mikhail Semyonov, who ‘demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the technical aspects of the sector’. Notable clients include Gazprombank Energy Services, Rosneft and Sibur.

Linklaters’ team is ‘outstanding in all areas’. Matthew Keats exhibits ‘exceptional leadership and commerciality’; Grigory Gadzhiev handles energy sector transactions; and Daniel Tyrer is a key name for major project financings. Highlights included advising Gazprom and Gazprom Export on the financing of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project and assisting Rosneft with its $140m acquisition of Trican Well Service.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP has been notably active in the oil and gas, mining, metals and power sectors, and attracts high-value transactional mandates. Practice head Jonathan Hines is assisting PetroVietnam with its proposed acquisition of an upstream field project with Novatek, and is advising Statoil on its establishment of four joint ventures with Rosneft. Roman Dashko and counsel Alexander Marchenko are the other names to note.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s team provides ‘high-quality professional advice’, and is ‘prompt, client-friendly and to-the-point’. Anatoly Andriash heads the practice, which advised Sacturino on its $9bn cash offer for Polyus Gold. Levon Kocharyan handles mining and oil and gas-related matters, and Aydin Jebrailov is a project financing specialist. Konstantin Konstantinov joined the team following the firm’s merger with Chadbourne & Parke LLP; he advises on the full range of commercial and financial matters.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised KazMunaiGas on various transactional matters totalling $680m, and on CEFC China’s $3bn financing to further develop its business. Sergei Diyachenko heads the department, which specialises in M&A, joint ventures, project financings and regulatory matters.

The team at Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLPprovides detailed responses to all requests’, and ‘helps the client see the full picture’. Practice head Danila Logofet ‘has the grit to work through every problem’ and ‘finds a mutually satisfactory solution every time’. Highlights included advising Trisonnery Assets on its $200m acquisition of Polar Lights from ConocoPhillips and Rosneft.

White & Case LLC recently advised Sberbank and VTB Capital, as joint global coordinators, on the $812m privatisation of the Russian Federation’s stake in Alrosa. The group also assisted Sibur with acquiring the Tobolsk heat and power station. Igor Ostapets heads the department.

Allen & Overy Legal Services’ team provides ‘excellent value for money, quick response times, sound business judgement and a proactive approach’. Managing partner Anton Konnov and Stephen Matthews, who heads the banking department, are the key names. The group advised Rosneft on the creation of a joint venture with Alltech Group for the development of several gas deposits.

Baker & McKenzie–CIS, Limited has significant mining sector expertise, and frequently provides regulatory, corporate and securities advice to its oil and gas sector clients. Alexander Gomonov has ‘a strong knowledge of the legal environment’ and Alexey Frolov is the practice head. Alltech Group, Alliance Mining and National Oilwell Varco are key clients.

CMS is acting for Sibur on the $400m sale of its stake in an LPG and oil products terminal to a consortium of investors including RDIF and Gazprombank. Artem Rodin, who ‘provides practical solutions to complex situations’, is advising EVN on the operation of several renewable energy plants. Natalia Kozyrenko is the practice head.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘an excellent firm, full of solid, commercially minded professionals’, and has a strong client roster of mining, energy and oil and gas companies. Russell Pollack advised Alrosa and the Russian Federation on the RUB2.2bn sale of 10.9% of Alrosa’s share capital. The team also advised Sovcomflot on a $750m Eurobond offering.

Clifford Chance’s ‘well-known’ team has notable banking and finance expertise and ‘significant experience advising on complex matters’. Practice head Victoria Bortkevicha focuses on the oil and gas sector, Timur Aitkulov handles power-related matters, and Arthur Iliev ‘is the key contact for M&A issues’. The group advised Sinohydro on its joint venture with various Chinese investors.

The team at DLA Piper has ‘excellent depth of expertise’, and ‘is able to mobilise resources from various locations to address a variety of issues in complex cases’. Practice head Feruz Fidaev and Julien Hansen are advising the Kyrgyz government and Kyrgyzaltyn on restructuring the Kumtor project. Managing partner Constantine Lusignan-Rizhinashvili handles foreign direct investment and M&A across the CIS region.

Dentons’ team is ‘always available’ and has ‘a deep knowledge of the oil and gas industry’. Highlights included acting for a consortium of investors including RDIF, Gazprombank and a Middle Eastern wealth fund on purchasing shares in Sibur-Portenergo from Sibur. Practice head Jane Tarassova, Maria Oleinik, who handles the full range of transactional matters, and Richard Cowie are the key names.

ALRUD Law Firm’s ‘large team of professional lawyers’ is ‘highly experienced in Russian and international projects’, and has ‘a great understanding of practical business issues’. Andrey Zharskiy heads the practice, and advised Mechel on the $500m sale of its coal assets to Gazprombank. Anton Dzhuplin is the other name to note.

Dechert Russia LLC acts for clients including EBRD, Mechel and Kinross Gold. Managing partner Laura Brank recently represented Commerzbank in a $55m insolvency case against Russian steelmaker Amurmetall. Shane DeBeer joined Fieldfisher in London in January 2017.

The ‘team of experienced specialists’ at Goltsblat BLP, the Russian practice of Berwin Leighton Paisner has ‘a perfect knowledge of applicable laws and an impressive understanding of client needs’. The firm advised Nord Stream 2 on legal aspects surrounding the laying of a gas pipeline, and also assisted Rosimushchestvo with a shareholders agreement for the disposal of shares in Bashneft. Anton Sitnikov and Vitaly Mozharowski jointly lead the practice.

Headed by Alexander Dolgov, Hogan Lovells (CIS)’ ‘highly knowledgeable and client-oriented’ group ‘works around the clock and knows how the market works’. Managing partner Oxana Balayan has significant transactional expertise and Alexei Dudko handles dispute resolution matters. Sberbank, Rusal and Geotech are key clients.

King & Spalding LLP has handled numerous transactional and regulatory matters across the CIS, and the Russia group works closely with its London office, advising primarily on joint ventures in the oil field service industry space. Highlights included advising GV Gold on its joint venture with a Swedish listed company. Jennifer Josefson is the practice head.

Latham & Watkins LLP has significant finance and capital markets expertise relating to the energy sector and counts RBS and Sberbank as key clients. Mikhail Turetsky advises on debt and equity offerings and also handles project finance, corporate transactions and restructuring matters.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s practice encompasses M&A transactions, project finance, international disputes, tax matters and antitrust. Dmitri Nikiforov advised on numerous oil and gas development projects, and Alan Kartashkin is noted for his metals and mining expertise. Norilsk Nickel and Uralkali are key clients.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ team is ‘well versed in the intricacies of Russian law’ and has ‘a deep understanding of the power and electricity sector’. The ‘well-known’ Taras Rabko heads the practice, where Sergey Ustalov is the other key figure. Highlights included acting for the Ministry of Finance in a $500m energy dispute between the Russian Federation and ExxonMobil.

At FBK Legal, practice head Nadezhda Orlova was part of a team advising Gazprombank on a major due diligence exercise of several industrial complexes specialising in coal extraction. Galina Akchurina and Alexander Ermolenko are also noted.

Alexander Muranov is the key contact at Muranov, Chernyakov & Partners. The firm represented FGC UES before the Supreme Court in a RUB14.2bn dispute concerning fixed tariff costs. Dmitry Chernyakov and Oleg Moskvitin are also recommended.

Energy, projects and infrastructure boutique Ost Legalcombines the highest professional standards with reasonable pricing’, and has ‘very deep industry knowledge’. The team advised Neftegazindustriya Group on its €1.2bn oil refinery modernisation project. Vladimir Lipavsky heads the practice.

The practice at PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal CIS B.V.) works across the oil and gas, mining and utilities sectors. Yana Zoloeva and Vladimir Sokolov jointly lead the department, which recently advised South Stream Transport on matters concerning the €10bn Turkish Stream project.

Pepeliaev Group’s opening of a new office in Sakhalin has increased its presence in the oil, gas and mining sectors, and the firm retains its traditional strengths in tax and regulatory matters in the space. Rustem Ahmetshin is the key name. Pavel Kondukov left the firm in November 2016.

Mining is a key area of focus at Squire Patton Boggs and the group advises on mining asset transactions, facility financing, environmental issues, regulations and mining-related litigation. Sergey Treshchev is the key name.

Vegas Lex’s Alexander Sitnikov has ‘extensive experience handling difficult projects’, and the team has ‘a strong reputation for high-quality legal expertise’. Highlights included representing OGC-2 in a $9m insurance dispute against Sogaz.

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