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Clifford Chance

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chanceperforms well under tight deadlines’ and is ‘always readily available to answer questions’. The firm acts for a mix of issuers and underwriters, and has significant expertise in the oil and gas, mining and infrastructure sectors. In a recent highlight, the team advised several banks including J.P. Morgan, Sberbank and Renaissance Capital as joint lead managers on two eurobond issuances by Polyus Gold totalling $1.3bn. The firm is also advising Domodedovo Airport Group on its $350m eurobond issuance alongside a $79m tender offer for its outstanding eurobonds. Arthur Iliev is recommended along with ‘responsive, client-oriented’ counsel Evgeny Soloviev.

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Competition - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is ‘extremely service-oriented’, providing ‘fast, quality advice and a solid understanding of the industry’. The team handles major cartel cases, merger control matters, market investigations and regulatory issues, and has been notably active in the healthcare and TMT sectors. Torsten Syrbe heads the practice, where Teva Pharmaceuticals is a key client. Sardaana Nogovitsyna is also a name to note.

Leading individuals

Torsten Syrbe - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Sardaana Nogovitsyna - Clifford Chance

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

The ‘hardworking’ team at Clifford Chancealways meets the required deadlines’ and is ‘tireless in protecting the client’s interests and negotiating legal technicalities’. Led by banking partner Victoria Bortkevicha, the firm is advising Yamal LNG on the $19bn project financing for the construction of a natural gas liquefaction plant in the Yamal Peninsula. Arthur Iliev is the other key figure.

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PPP and infrastructure projects
PPP and infrastructure projects - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance acts for a mix of banks and international financial institutions on the large-scale financing of transportation, medical and sanitation projects. Led by Victoria Bortkevicha, the team recently advised Russian Communal Systems on the construction of water supply and disposal systems.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance advises local and international investors on a range of projects and property-related transactions, and the team recently acted for O1 Group on its sale of CA Immo Austria to Immofinanz. Marc Bartholomy handles property acquisitions and disposals, construction projects, financing and leasing.

Leading individuals

Marc Bartholomy - Clifford Chance

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TMT - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has ‘a good sense of the requirements of cross-border clients’ and is ‘quick, accurate and efficient’. The firm regularly advises on various sector-specific regulatory issues, and is currently assisting ER-Telecom with its St Petersburg, Leningrad Oblast and Ryazan operations. Torsten Syrbe has ‘a great ability to find the most productive solution to complex issues’.

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Tax - ranked: tier 3

Clifford Chance

The ‘responsive’ team at Clifford Chance has notable expertise in customs and currency control regulation, and regularly advises on cash pooling, cross-border tax structuring and domestic regulations. Alexander Anichkin is ‘great at combining his technical knowledge with a good sense of what is practically feasible’.

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Transport - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance specialises in aircraft repossession matters and restructurings involving Russian airlines, and is currently advising VTB Bank on the refinancing of two Boeing 748 aircraft for Volga-Dnepr Group. Victoria Bortkevicha is the key practitioner.

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Russia: Banking and finance

Borrower side
Banking and finance: Borrower side - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

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.

Leading individuals

Victoria Bortkevicha - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Vladimir Barbolin - Clifford Chance

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Lender or arranger side
Banking and finance: Lender or arranger side - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

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.

Leading individuals

Victoria Bortkevicha - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Vladimir Barbolin - Clifford Chance

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Russia: Commercial, corporate and M&A

Commercial, corporate and M&A: Moscow - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance specialises in cross-border transactions, acting for Russian and international clients across the real estate, healthcare, private equity and financial sectors, among others. Recent work includes advising ER-Telecom on its $67m acquisition of telecoms operator West Call, and acting for Mondi on its $48m acquisition of Beepack, a packaging plant in Lipetsk Oblast. The practice is headed by real estate expert Marc Bartholomy, Arthur Iliev and Torsten Syrbe, who focuses on IP and media sector transactions. ‘Rising stars’ Nick Diakoumis and Ella Omelchenko are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Marc Bartholomy - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Ella Omelchenko - Clifford Chance

Nick Diakoumis - Clifford Chance

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Russia: Dispute resolution

Arbitration and mediation
Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation - ranked: tier 1

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has been significantly active in disputes within the oil and gas, financial services, pharmaceutical and energy sectors, representing clients across a variety of international arbitration forums. The team is also well regarded in the white-collar crime space, and regularly represents clients in proceedings related to corruption, money laundering and compliance. Timur Aitkulov heads the practice, and has been involved in a number of arbitrations in the nuclear energy and mining space. Julia Popelysheva is the other key figure.

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Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Clifford Chance

At Clifford Chance, highlights included advising a major pharmaceuticals company on various Russian law issues pertaining to an internal investigation, and representing an automaker in a set of criminal proceedings arising from several instances of fraud. Timur Aitkulov heads the practice, and counsel Julia Popelysheva advises Russian and foreign companies on disputes before various tribunals.

Leading individuals

Timur Aitkulov - Clifford Chance

Next generation lawyers

Julia Popelysheva - Clifford Chance

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Further information on Clifford Chance

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United States

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Legal Developments by:
Clifford Chance

Legal Developments in Russia

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • The coming into force of the legislative package on the second stage of "Capital amnisty"

    On 19th February 2018, a legislative package on the extension of the tax capital amnesty and the tax-free liquidation of foreign companies came into force.
  • No More Linked In Russia?

    One of the biggest and most popular Internet companies, LinkedIn, has become the first target of the recent Russian data localization law. The legislation requires businesses operating online to keep Russian Internet users’ data on servers located within Russia. Read more...
  • New standards on the unjustified tax benefit included in the tax code

    The Federal Tax Service of Russia issued Letter № CA-4-7/ 6152 @ of 16.08.2017, in which it clarified to its subordinate tax authorities the application of new Art. 54.1 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation "Limits on the Exercise of Rights in Calculating the Tax Base and (or) the Amount of Tax, Levy, Insurance Contributions", which was included in the Tax Code of the Russian Federation by Federal Law № 163-FZ of 18.07.2017.
  • Information law for company participants – the search for a balance of interests

    At the present time, in various legal relationships there exists the acute problem of observing a balance of interests concerning the parties involved in these legal relationships, their legal rights, and their mutual economic needs. Judicial practice, when considering disputes between these kinds of parties, takes into consideration not only the formal requirements of legislation, but also the real economic and legal goals and interests of the participants.
  • What businessmen should know about legislative changes with major and interested transactions?

    It is well known that before making significant managerial decisions, the general director must obtain approval from the shareholders or the board of directors. Apart from that, if a director is personally interested in entering into a transaction, approval is also required to proceed with the transaction. In the absence of such an approval, the transaction can be challenged and, in certain circumstances, invalidated. In order to minimize such risks and to eliminate legal uncertainty for the parties to the transaction, the rules governing major transactions and interested transactions must be sufficiently clear. Previously, however, the application of these rules was associated with a large number of controversial legal issues, which were finally solved as a result of the legislative amendments, which will enter into force on January 1, 2017. According to the new amendments, the distinction between major and non-major transactions has been delineated more clearly, parties have been allowed more flexibility in relation to approving transactions, the burdensome obligation to obtain prior approval of interested transactions has been abrogated, and finally the procedure for challenging transactions in question has been made much more complex. Overall, the changes should have a positive influence on business, as they contribute to the establishment of firm legal certainty in this area of the law. 
  • A Lessee’s Dream: the Drastic Devaluation of the Russian Currency Has Triggered New Discussions of

    The rent for leases, especially those in downtown Moscow and other large cities, is often based on the foreign currency exchange rate, which has recently increased almost threefold. Many businesses have been taken aback by this consequence of the economic crisis. Some of them have been put on verge of bankruptcy because of the increased rent and were forced to seek remedies in courts.
  • Amendments to Part IV of the Russian Civil Code in 2015

    Author: Valentina Orlova, Head of Intellectual Property and Trademarks Practice, Pepeliaev Group
  • Parallel Import of Medicines: High Time or the Wrong Time?

    Authors: Sergey Klimenko, Head of Life Sciences Group; Yuri Yahin, Head of IP Group, Pepeliaev Group
  • A Look at Russia's Antimonopoly Legislation

    Elena Sokolovskaya, Head of Antimonopoly Regulation Group, Pepeliaev Group The main areas covered by Russian antimonopoly legislation are prohibition of the abuse of a dominant position, regulation of prohibited agreements, antimonopoly requirements for bidding, merger control, and prohibition of unfair competition. In recent years more attention has been paid to the development of Russian antimonopoly legislation. For this purpose, the State Duma of the Russian Federation (the lower chamber of Russia's parliament) is considering draft measures billed as the 'Fourth Antimonopoly Package'. This comprises amendments to Law No. 135-FZ 'On Protecting Competition' (the "Law on Competition") as well as to the Russian Administrative Code. The measures have already been passed in the first reading and are expected to make it onto the statute book before the end of 2015.

    Pepeliaev Group Advises of Amendments to Article 178 of the Russian Criminal Code to Decriminalise Certain Offences and Introduce a New Condition for being Released from Criminal Liability for Restricting Competition