Banking and finance: Borrower side in Russia

ALRUD Law Firm

ALRUD Law Firm’s full-service banking and finance team has been increasingly active in financing transactions structured under Russian law, and leverages its connections with and referrals from the global offices of international law firms on cross-border work. The firm has also recently launched a dedicated financial technologies projects practice, which additionally bolsters the group’s expertise in financial services regulation. Anton Dzhuplin heads up the department, which fields Alexander Zharskiy and senior associate Ekaterina Rogacheva as key figures. In early 2020, the group expanded its financial services regulation knowledge with the recruitment of Alexander Rymko from Harneys.

Practice head(s):

Anton Dzhuplin

Testimonials

A well-structured and dynamic team, with strong knowledge of the local laws and a good understanding of the needs of the client

The team’s knowledge of the international banking and finance market makes its advice fine-tuned and effective.

Ekaterina Rogacheva’s response timing is excellent, especially when a client is in trouble.

Key clients

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

Mechel

Elko Grupa

Hungarian Export – Import Bank

Bank of Baroda

Alfa Bank Ukraine

Sanofi

Kreditech

Asia Cement

China International Capital Corporation

Trafigura

Sberbank of Russia

Coeclerici Commodities

Russian Direct Investment Fund

Promsvyazbank

Mastercard Europe

Work highlights

  • Assisted Coeclerici and its coal-producing Russian subsidary Kisk with financing the purchase of mining machinery.
  • Advised Sib Trading and its Russian subsidiaries on the restructuring of its secured facilities from Gazprombank.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills fields a large banking and finance department, which benefits from the firm’s network with offices in London and globally, and advises on transactions structured under Russian and English law. Practice co-head Olga Davydava is dual-qualified and has niche expertise in project finance work in the energy sector, while co-head Artjom Buligin advises on corporate finance issues and the financial aspects of M&A transactions, and co-head Dmitry Gubarev  has experience spanning securitisation transactions and debt restructurings. Of counsel Vadim Panin and senior associate Georgiy Entin are also noted, and senior associate Natalia Kraslyanskaya joined from White & Case LLC in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Artjom Buligin; Olga Davydava; Dmitry Gubarev

Testimonials

A unique banking and finance practice with very experienced and  professional lawyers

Dmitry Gubarev and Georgiy Entin are our go-to lawyers.

Key clients

Nord Stream 2 AG

Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk LLC

Raven Russia

United Capital Partners

Rosatom Group

Onexim Group

Silk Road Fund

Siberian Anthracite

Work highlights

  • Acting for Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk on the €19bn project financing for the Amur Gas Processing Plant in East Siberia, a key part of the programme to export Russian gas to China.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P.'s recent work showcases its strength in project financing transactions, particularly in the aviation and oil and gas sectors. The team works closely with the firm’s office in London; Stuart McIntyre is particularly singled out. Practice head Maxim Levinson focuses on acquisition finance work and has significant experience in managing cross-border projects. Konstantin Garmonin is recommended for project and pre-export finance, acquisition finance, syndicated loan and debt restructuring mandates. Associate Andrey Arzybov is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Levinson

Testimonials

Baker Botts’ banking team provides efficient and effective partner led-advice, with senior team members remaining actively involved at each stage of handling the matter, including during the process of drafting and negotiation of documentation. The team works for both lenders and borrowers and knows precisely how to reach well-balanced solutions workable for all parties to achieve successful completion.

I have been working mainly with Konstantin Garmonin, who has proved to be a great professional.

We have worked with partners Maxim Levinson and Konstantin Garmonin during the review period. Each team member demonstrated a high level of commitment to meet tough deal deadlines. Their team members were very creative in addressing the challenges posed by bespoke financing transactions in the private equity space.

Key clients

Aeroflot

Sovcombank

Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft

EuroChem

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Gazprombank

Gleden Invest

Hines

International Finance Corporation

VTB Bank

VTB Bank (Europe)

Work highlights

  • Acted for leading privately-owned bank Sovcombank on a secured syndicated loan facility extended to Delo Group, for the purpose of its acquisition of a stake in Global Ports.
  • Advised the International Finance Corporation on a currency-linked loan to Ipak Yuli Bank, a leading privately-owned bank in Uzbekistan.

Clifford Chance

Managing partner Victoria Bortkevicha heads up Clifford Chance’s banking and finance department, which assists banks and borrowers with high-value transactions. Recent work includes handling issues in the infrastructure and energy arenas, which are key areas of knowledge for Bortkevicha. Vladimir Barbolin heads up the real estate finance group and has niche expertise in cross-border finance work. The team also has capabilities in Russian and English law, which were additionally bolstered following the move of English-qualified counsel Igor Bichenkov to Moscow from the firm’s Dubai office.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Bortkevicha

Key clients

Baikal Mining Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Baikal Mining Company on the $1.8bn construction of a copper mining plant including the syndicated facility agreement and other related documentation.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

At Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, the ’impressiveDmitriy Glazounov heads up the banking and finance practice, which benefits from its strong relationship with the Russian financial markets regulator, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. The department also has notable strength in complex financing transactions. Clients recommend counsel Roman Malovitsky for project finance and syndicated loan work, and recently promoted counsel Oleg Ushakov is an expert in capital market transactions and project finance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Dmitriy Glazounov

Testimonials

Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners is known as a solid and respectful law firm. It stands out for the breadth of its high-quality legal services, its highly educated specialists, and its efficient project management structure.

The team set up by Dmitriy Glazounov has a lot of advantages — vast experience, a hands-on approach, and a can-do attitude.

Strong experience and work background are key factors for the practice. Dmitriy Glazounov combines both. Dmitriy has unique experience, having previously worked at the Federal Commission for the Securities Market of Russia, which is why he knows the Russian securities market inside and out. Such knowledge is a great advantage and a good supplement for successful project leading, and Dmitry has proved it during our joint projects.

Dmitry Glazounov is an amazing team leader, a much respected lawyer and a bright legal practitioner. His approach is pragmatic and his determination to resolve issues for clients is outstanding.

A very promising lawyer, counsel Oleg Ushakov is diligent, with great analytical skills and creativity. I am sure he is promising lawyer. He has impressed me with his deep knowledge and practical recommendations.’

Key clients

Alfa-Bank

BaikalInvestBank

Work highlights

  • Advised regional investment bank BaikalInvestBank on the refinancing of loans secured by pledge of motor vehicles.
  • Assisted Bank Saint Petersburg with the securitisation of the bank’s mortgage assets and structuring the transaction in accordance with the Basel III requirements.
  • Assisting Alfa-Bank with subordinated loan matters.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Norton Rose Fulbright

The banking and finance practice at Norton Rose Fulbright has a notable reputation for trade finance work, and attracts praise for its prepayment finance transactional expertise. Practice head Alexander Tsakoev has a key strength in structured trade and commodities finance issues, and is also adept at handling financing transactions. Konstantin Konstantinov’s practice focuses on secured financing and project finance mandates, while of counsel Ksenia Zolotova acts for a varied client mix consisting of banks, financial institutions and companies.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Tsakoev

Testimonials

The team resolves all issues efficiently and has wide-ranging experience and knowledge. Team members are particularly unique in their understanding of prepayment deals.

We appreciate the expertise of Alexander Tsakoev and of counsel Ksenia Zolotova – a client can rely on them for assistance with the most complex legal issues. Alexander Tsakoev carefully oversees deals during all stages of the process, and always treats his clients’ requests with care and understanding.

Key clients

Rosneft Oil Company

IRC

Bausch Health

AirBridgeCargo Airlines

Petropavlovsk Plc

Gazprom Neft

Work highlights

  • Advised IRC Limited on the extension of $240m financing to its subsidiary, Kimkano-Sutarsky Mining and Beneficiation Plant, for the purpose of refinancing the existing debt of LLC KS GOK.
  • Advised Bausch Health on all Russian aspects of the refinancing of its existing debt and amending a new credit and guaranty agreement.
  • Advised AirBridgeCargo Airlines on a trade receivables purchase programme.

Allen & Overy Legal Services

The banking team at Allen & Overy Legal Services has notable strength in syndicated loans and structured finance work. Department co-head Igor Gorchakov specialises in project finance, real estate finance, and financial services regulation, while fellow co-head Ilya Dvorkin is an expert in asset finance matters, particularly in the shipping and aviation sectors. Co-head Oleg Khomenko specialises in financing mandates in developing markets, and splits his time between London and Moscow. Counsel Sergey Blinov is also recommended for his well-rounded banking and finance transactional expertise.

Practice head(s):

Igor Gorchakov; Ilya Dvorkin; Oleg Khomenko

Testimonials

I have mainly worked with Sergey Blinov. He is very professional and experienced. It is easy to reach him, and he responds very quickly to queries.

Key clients

Jacobs Douwe Egberts BV

KCA Deutag

Rosneft

GeoProMining

State Transport Leasing Company

Novatek

Sistema

GTLK Europe DAC

Lukoil

Renaissance Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised State Transport Leasing Company on the $69m financing of the first port concession project in Russia.
  • Advised GeoProMining on the waivers and prepayment of its existing facilities concerning its debut Eurobond issuance.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP

Led by Oleg Khokhlov, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP’s team advises on a wide range of banking and finance issues spanning domestic and cross-border mandates. Recent work highlights involved the team collaborating with the firm’s office in London and Singapore on significant cross-border transactions; the group also has particular strength in real estate finance work, which is a key area of expertise for recently promoted partner Tatiana Parshak. Sergey Milanov has a strong track record in providing project finance advice to clients in the oil and gas industry.

Practice head(s):

Oleg Khokhlov

Key clients

Raven Property Group

Petropavlovsk Plc

Gett

Work highlights

  • Advised Raven Property Group on real estate finance matters.
  • Advised Petropavlovsk on the refinancing of a $210m credit facility provided to IRC Limited.

CMS

CMS’ banking and finance team is particularly knowledgeable of project finance and acquisition finance issues, where it is increasingly instructed by corporate borrowers; the group also has expertise in real estate finance work. Konstantin Baranov heads up the practice and has significant experience in handling project, real estate, acquisition and trade finance transactions. The department’s experience in secured and unsecured financing transactions also benefits from the varied expertise of counsel Elena Tchoubykina.

Practice head(s):

Konstantin Baranov

Key clients

Frigoglass Group

NWCC (VINCI Group)

Uralkali

Work highlights

  • Advised Uralkali on a significant pre-export finance structure.
  • Advised Uralkali on a $1m pre-export finance facility arranged by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, ING and UniCredit.

Dentons

Dentons has significant capabilities in cross-border transactions and across a variety of financing mandates. Practice head Timothy Stubbs is qualified in the State of New York, and splits his time between the firm’s offices in London and Moscow. Evgenia Laurson also divides her time between London and Moscow and leads on project finance transactions in the energy and natural resources sectors.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Stubbs

Key clients

EuroChem Group AG

Sibur

Raven Russia

EuroChem Group AG (Switzerland)

Work highlights

  • Advising EuroChem Group on a new $820m syndicated facility with 13 leading international banks.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s finance, projects and restructuring practice is headed up by English-qualified real estate finance specialist Karen Young. Clients also single out senior counsel Anastasia Klimova, whose in-house experience brings additional credibility to the team's transactional capabilities. Legal director Alexei Kolesnikov acts on acquisition and trade finance matters, and is also regularly retained by fintech clients. Other sectors of focus for the team include the retail, energy and mining industries.

Practice head(s):

Karen Young

Testimonials

The team is very professional in focusing on the needs of the client. It is also very effective in analysing possible risks and complex legal issues.

Our main contact is Anastasia Klimova; we value her extensive experience, professionalism and her ability to reach a compromise in protecting the interests of her clients.

Key clients

AO Safmar

Raven Russia Property Group

Hines

AIG

GTLK

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Development Bank of Kazakhstan as borrower on a $800m term loan facility from the China Development Bank.
  • Acting for Megalogix Don on financing from VTB Bank (Europe) relating to a logistics warehouse facility.
  • Acting for Hines on its corporate restructuring and refinancing resulting in a new €110m term loan facility provided by VTB Bank (Europe).

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Leveraging the firm’s strong global market position, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's finance practice in Moscow handles complex cross-border work for its varied client base, which includes domestic and international companies, leading Russian state-owned banks, large international banks, development institutions and international traders. Grigory Marinichev heads up the practice and is regularly retained by international clients. Senior associate Alexey Chertov has a specialism in prepayment financing work and is praised by clients as ‘always professional and available when needed’. Konstantin Kochetkov focuses on project finance, sovereign debt and infrastructure transactions.

Practice head(s):

Grigory Marinichev

Testimonials

Great expertise and extensive experience

Professional, quick and responsive, available 24/7. Team members are open-minded and ready to solve various problems of legal nature.

The main strength of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s team lies in finding and keeping the right balance between the interests of lenders and borrowers. The second most important advantage is lawyers’ prompt attention to all issues of their clients, which facilitates closing a deal in the shortest time possible.

We have worked with highly competent experts who have answered all our questions promptly and comprehensively.

Konstantin Kochetkov is one of the best in this sector.

Alexey Chertov is hardworking, responsive, supportive, and pleasant to work with.

Alexey Chertov is able to efficiently take the lead on complex negotiations on trans-border transactions, thereby enabling lenders and borrowers to align their positions on critical issues.

Key clients

GV Gold

Evraz

Delo Group

Nord Gold

Technoserv

NewCoal Trading AG

Sistema Group

Sierentz Global Merchants SA

Work highlights

  • Advised PJSC GV Gold on the $100m prepayment for supply of refined gold to Société Générale with a tenor for three years.
  • Advising Sierentz Global Merchants on a commodity prepayment facility from ING to finance the purchase of grain.
  • Advising Sodrugestvo Group on a commodity deferred payment facility from an international financial institution.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP acts on cross-border transactions involving emerging and developing markets, and is able to draw on the expertise of the firm's offices in Asia, the US and London for international mandates. For its corporate borrower clients, the practice also cooperates with the firm’s energy, funds and derivatives teams. Dmitry Shiryaev leads the practice and has wide-ranging experience across the oil and gas, metals and mining, energy, manufacturing, infrastructure and transport sectors. London-based Robert Aulsebrook is also a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Dmitry Shiryaev

Key clients

Lukoil

Veon

Lukinter Finance B. V.

Utair

Work highlights

  • Advised Lukoil (Russia) as guarantor and Lukoil Overseas Uzbekistan as borrower on a $660m financing to fund the construction of a gas-processing complex in Uzbekistan.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited excels at assisting clients with secured and unsecured finance transactions; thanks to its close cooperation with the London-based team, the department also advises on transactional issues arising under Russian and English law. The group is a key name for cutting-edge work relating to the launch of innovative e-banking products and online banking services. Vladimir Dragunov leads the department.

Practice head(s):

Vladimir Dragunov

Key clients

Absolut Bank

ING Bank

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP's work for its Russian blue-chip clients highlights its broad expertise encompassing corporate finance, asset finance and structured finance matters. The team regularly acts alongside the firm's London-based team on international issues. Managing partner Alan Kartashkin leads the practice, where counsel Dmitry Karamyslov and associate Daria Serebrova are also noted. Associate Olga Panfilova attracts praise for being 'smart and quick'.

Practice head(s):

Alan Kartashkin

Testimonials

Debevoise’s team is very active and is always able to find practical solutions.

We really appreciate associate Olga Panfilova, who is smart and quick.

Key clients

Nornickel

PJSC Polyus

Novolipetsk Steel

Uralkali

Work highlights

  • Acting for PJSC Polyus on its debut $150m pre-export financing facility agreement with Société Générale.

Ivanyan and Partners

The banking and finance practice at Ivanyan and Partners sits within the firm's wider corporate department and is led by the 'cool-headed, resolute and mindful' Daria Semenikhina. The team is well versed in project financing, export financing, debt refinancing and restructuring mandates. Clients also praise senior associate Dmitry Kuzmin, who has in-house banking experience and handles syndicated lending and restructuring work.

Practice head(s):

Daria Semenikhina

Testimonials

Strong professionalism, proactive approach, quick reactions and good understanding of the client’s needs and commercial interests

Very knowledgeable lawyers, who work hard and keep calm even under great pressure

Daria Semenikhina is a seasoned expert in financial law, with experience suitable for executing both cross-border and purely Russian transactions. Daria is cool-headed, resolute and mindful.

Senior associate Dmitry Kuzmin is a talented lawyer with great knowledge; Dmitry has prior in-house experience working at a large international bank, which makes him unique in negotiations with banks.

Key clients

Gazprombank

Sberbank of Russia

Mechel

VEB.RF

Credit Bank of Moscow

Noerr

The main areas of focus for Noerr's team span project finance work, export and pre-export finance issues, real estate financings, and syndicated and single-bank financing matters. Vladislav Skvortsov and Stefan Weber jointly lead the department.

Practice head(s):

Vladislav Skvortsov; Stefan Weber

Key clients

State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK)

White & Case LLC

White & Case LLC's team works with the practice in London and attracts acquisition financing and refinancing mandates. The department also applies its strong capabilities in US and EU sanctions to financing mandates, and utilises its traditional sector strengths to advise borrowers on debt restructuring matters across the mining and metals, transportation and shipping and ports industries. Department head Natalia Nikitina is praised for being 'proactive, accessible and always in control', while Ekaterina Logvinova handles project finance mandates for lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Natalia Nikitina

Testimonials

Excellent quality of services, coupled with quick speed in providing feedback and reacting to clients’ requests

Nice people who are also easy to work with

Natalia Nikitina is a real expert; she is proactive, accessible and always in control

Key clients

Yandex

EuroChem

Uralkali

Vi Holding

Ilim Timber

Air Lease Corporation

Sibur

Work highlights

  • Advising Yandex on acquisition finance issues relating to its proposed $145m acquisition of rights to a plot of land situated at Kosygina Street in Moscow.