Banking and finance: Lender or arranger side in Russia

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills’ large banking and finance department is jointly led by Artjom Buligin, Olga Davydava and Dmitry Gubarev, and acts for lenders and borrowers in the energy, oil and gas, and real estate and construction sectors. A key differentiator for the Moscow-based practice is its link with the firm’s London office; the Russian department also leads on significant cross-border transactions and has experienced an increase in general finance instructions. Of counsel Vadim Panin is a key name to note for project finance work, which is an area of traditional strength for the group. Senior associate Natalia Kraslyanskaya joined from White & Case LLC in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Artjom Buligin; Olga Davydava; Dmitry Gubarev

Key clients

Sberbank of Russia

VTB Capital

VEB.RF

Alfa-Bank

Credit Agricole

Raiffeisenbank

Rosbank / Societe Generale

Roseximbank

Sovcombank

Work highlights

  • Advised Raiffeisenbank on a €100m syndicated facility agreement with JSC Sredneuralskiy Medeplavilnyi Zavod.
  • Advised Sovcombank on the provision of a $150m facility to Gazprom Armenia involving debt accordion provisions.
  • Acted as lender counsel to Sberbank on a ₽5bn syndicated facility to JSC LC Europlan.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s team is praised for being ‘a reliable partner’ to a significant lender client base consisting of leading international banking groups and their Russian subsidiaries, development banks and other financial institutions, as well as high-profile corporations acting as funding providers. The department has an established reputation in trade finance work, where it also leverages the expertise of the firm's London group; the practice is also experienced in financial services regulation and has expertise in the energy, mining, transport and real estate sectors. The ‘flexible, quick and professionalAlexander Tsakoev heads up the department and has extensive experience in high-value cross-border transactions. Of counsel Ksenia Zolotova is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Tsakoev

Testimonials

Very pleasant cooperation, short reaction times, and high quality of the provided legal services

A team of experts who have great expertise and strong case management skills

Alexander Tsakoev and Ksenia Zolotova are highly qualified professionals, who handle our requests very quickly and efficiently.

Alexander Tsakoev is a good team leader with great communication skills.

Key clients

Amsterdam Trade Bank

Alfa-Bank

Bank GPB International S.A.

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

BNP Paribas

Bayerische Landesbank

Credit Agricole

Commerzbank AG

Deutsche Bank AG

Euler Hermes Deutschland

HSBC

IG Markets

Intesa Sanpaolo

ING

Pepperstone Group

Landesbank Baden-Württemberg

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Sberbank of Russia

Société Générale

Rosbank

UniCredit

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of 15 international banks, led by Deutsche Bank, on a new pre-export finance facility of up to $1.2bn for Suek Ltd.
  • Advised Sberbank of Russia on the restructuring of a security package related to financing provided to Gallery LLC.
  • Advising Black Sea Trade and Development Bank on the provision of a $25m trade finance facility to Sovcombank.

ALRUD Law Firm

Anton Dzhuplin heads up ALRUD Law Firm’s banking and finance department, which advises clients on complex transactions structured under or governed by Russian law. Beyond its capabilities in mainstream banking work, the practice also acts on trade and acquisition finance, financial restructuring and financial services regulation mandates. The team stands out for its international expertise, which leverages its 'best friends' network. Alexander Zharskiy and senior associate Ekaterina Rogacheva are also noted. Alexander Rymko joined the team from Harneys in 2020, and has niche expertise in financial services regulation.

Practice head(s):

Anton Dzhuplin

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

  • Advising Kreditech Holding on various microfinance regulatory issues.
  • Advised Sberbank of Russia on amending its facility and security agreements with companies of the Rosneft Oil Company Group.
  • Advised the Russian Direct Investment Fund on transaction documents regarding the construction of an important road in the Moscow region.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Baker Botts L.L.P. advises on the applicability of Russian and English law to complex financing structures. Maxim Levinson heads up the department and works with a significant client roster consisting of private equity clients. Konstantin Garmonin’s practice spans a wide range of matters relating to project and pre-export finance work, acquisition financings, syndicated lending mandates and debt restructuring issues. The group's sector expertise encompasses the oil and gas, energy, aviation, real estate and infrastructure industries.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Levinson

Key clients

Aeroflot

Sovcombank

Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft

EuroChem

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Gazprombank

Gleden Invest

Hines

International Finance Corporation

VTB Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Sovcombank on a secured syndicated loan facility extended to Delo Group.
  • Advised the International Finance Corporation on  a complex currency-linked loan extended to Ipak Yuli Bank.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP acts on a variety of matters involving general and syndicated lending work, secured lending issues, asset finance mandates, financial services regulations and project finance highlights. Oleg Khokhlov leads the department and has specialist expertise in secured and unsecured lending, while Sergey Milanov is an expert in project finance issues in the oil and gas sector and stands out for his knowledge of the Japanese market. Recently promoted partner Tatiana Parshak focuses on a broad range of finance, structured debt and derivative issues.

Practice head(s):

Oleg Khokhlov

Key clients

International Investment Bank

DOM.RF

VEB.RF

Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund

Russian Agricultural Bank

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

GTLK Europe DAC

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

VTB Bank

Sberbank

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising the Far East and Baikal Region Development Fund on financing the construction of a new terminal at Khabarovsk Airport.
  • Assisted Sberbank Investments with a $70m transaction for the recapitalisation of two of Baring Vostok’s investments.
  • Advising the International Investment Bank on a ₽6bn revolving secured facility for financing the acquisition of a number of passenger, aviation and coal mining assets from State Transport Leasing Company.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is noted for its strength in advising on Russian law syndicated lending; the team also handles asset finance, structured finance, real estate finance, project finance and debt restructuring mandates. The department focuses on the real estate, mining and metals, oil and gas, and aviation sectors. Victoria Bortkevicha heads up the department, and clients single out Vladimir Barbolin.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Bortkevicha

Testimonials

The friendliest and most responsible team on the market

The team has excellent expertise and experience, particularly in the real estate sector.

A client can call Vladimir Barbolin at any time for his comments and help.

Key clients

Commerzbank

Deutsche Bank

ING

Natixis

Raiffeisen Bank

Sberbank

Société Générale

UniCredit

VTB Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised VTB Capital on Yandex’s acquisition of real estate assets located in Moscow.

Dentons

The banking and finance practice at Dentons has notable strength handling financing transactions in Russia and across the CIS. The ‘proactive and very reliableTimothy Stubbs heads up the department and has substantial experience in the regulatory space. Dividing her time between London and Russia, Evgenia Laurson focuses on transactions in the energy and natural resources sectors, and Andrei Strijak is a standout figure in the acquisition finance space. The practice also recently bolstered its capabilities with the arrival of capital markets specialist Tamer Amara and senior associate Filipp Petyukov from Clifford Chance.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Stubbs

Testimonials

The team is very commercially oriented and provides high-quality advice.

Timothy Stubbs is one of the best banking partners, who knows the specific characteristics of the Russian market very well.

Timothy Stubbs has a great commercial understanding, and is always available for clients.

Key clients

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

Eximbank of Russia

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

BNP Paribas

Natixis

VTB Bank

Rosgosstrakh

VEB

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation

UniCredit

Société Générale

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Sovcombank

Raiffeisen Bank International

Work highlights

  • Advising the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China on the $540m financing of the Kazakhstan-China Pipeline LLP.
  • Advising BNP Paribas and a syndicate of six other international banks on the amendment and the extension of a $500m pre-export secured revolving facility to Ferrexpo.
  • Acting for a group of lenders on the restructuring of cross-border debt and recapitalisation of Access Bank.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s finance, projects and restructuring department is spread across the Moscow and St. Petersburg offices, and is led by the English-qualified Karen Young, who has 'a strong reputation in the local market'. The team handles lending transactions, particularly real estate and asset finance work, and also has expertise in the fintech, retail, energy and mining sectors. Philip Lamzin is a name to note in the asset finance space and acts for leading international and domestic leasing companies. The firm's expertise in project finance was strengthened following the arrivals of legal director Ivan Sezin from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and senior counsel Anastasia Klimova from a leading Russian bank. Legal director Alexei Kolesnikov is also noted. Dmitry Perekrestov departed to an in-house position.

Practice head(s):

Karen Young

Testimonials

The team is focused on achieving results. It assisted us with optimizing the structure of a transaction, provided analysis of alternative options and schemes available for the lenders, and always replied promptly.

Alexei Kolesnikov is competent, easy to collaborate with, and always available for urgently needed advice.

Key clients

Aareal Bank AG

Eximbank of Russia

Development Bank of Kazakhstan

Promsvyazbank

Raiffeisenbank

Rosbank

Sberbank of Russia and Sberbank Europe AG

Societe Generale

Joint Stock Company UniCredit and UniCredit SpA

RCB Bank Ltd

VTB Bank

Credit Europe Bank Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Eximbank of Russia as arranger and lender of two syndicated loan facilities to the Minister of Finance of The Republic of Zambia.
  • Acting for Sberbank of Russia on a €263m secured loan facility offered to a Russian borrower.
  • Acting for AO UniCredit Bank as agent on a secured syndicated loan facility provided to a leading Russian warehouse-owning group.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners assists with transactions, particularly relating to project finance and securitisation issues; clients also praise the team's regular interactions with the regulator, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. Department head Dmitriy Glazounov is a recognised name for financial regulation advice, while corporate law specialist Arkady Krasnikhin is licenced to practice in the State of New York and is a key contact for acquisition and project finance instructions. Counsels Roman Malovitsky and Oleg Ushakov are also noteworthy names.

Practice head(s):

Dmitriy Glazounov

Testimonials

The team cooperates with the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, which is why it is able to provide insight into any regulatory changes and to get clarifications from this regulatory body faster than anybody else.

A team of professionals whose advice is always valuable and appropriate.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is able to provide us with legal services across a great variety of practice areas, which is really fantastic, as a client gets everything from one firm, for both national and international work.

Dmitry Glazounov is a respected lawyer and a bright practitioner, who demonstrates professionalism, responsiveness and reliability.

My main contact person was counsel Oleg Ushakov, who is particularly great at structuring complex transactions.

Counsels Roman Molovitsky and Oleg Ushakov are both striking professionals, who are well known in the financial circles.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP fields a team of Russian and English-qualified lawyers, who have significant experience in handling transactions in the commodity and real estate finance space. Ragnar Johannesen heads up the practice, which acts for high-profile Russian and international banks and financial institutions. Counsel Elizaveta Bacheyeva contributes to the team’s capabilities in cross-border financing transactions and financial services regulatory expertise. Managing partner Mikhail Turetsky is also a key contact for project finance, structured finance and financial restructuring advice.

Practice head(s):

Ragnar Johannesen

Work highlights

  • Advising the London branch of Banca IMI as arranger on a €1.5bn facility for PJSC Gazprom.
  • Advised Credit Suisse and Société Générale as mandated lead arrangers on a $500m prepayment facility for Kazakhmys Group.
  • Advised UBS as documentation agent on a €255m secured syndicated loan facility for Ilim Timber.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Clients praise Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s expertise in prepayment finance and trade finance work. Grigory Marinichev heads up the practice, which assists a growing roster of lender clients encompassing leading Russian state-owned banks, large international banks, development institutions and international traders. The department fields US and UK-qualified lawyers, and cooperates extensively with the firm’s office in London, where Bruce Johnston is a key contact for CIS-related transactions. Also singled out is Konstantin Kochetkov, who has expertise in project finance, sovereign debt and infrastructure transactions. Senior associate Alexey Chertov is highly recommended in the prepayment financing space.

Practice head(s):

Grigory Marinichev

Testimonials

The team has good knowledge of the financial products which we work on, and is able to deliver high-quality documentation. The finance team seeks advice from other department at the firm, which allows us to get the fuller picture of all legal issues.

A client-oriented and professional team, which is quick, responsive, and available 24/7.

The team has a good track record in prepayment finance. There is no need to have long discussions explaining our position, as the team is very experienced and efficient, which saves us time.

The finance department has expertise in various matters of international law, prepayments, participations, transfers, and other non-trivial transactions. Lawyers remain open-minded and motivated to solve various legal problems.

Excellent level of expertise in the field of banking and finance, one of the best teams in trade finance and commodities in Russia, which benefits from the strong expertise of the firm’s corporate practice as well.

Grigory Marinichev and Alexey Chertov are always available to answer any questions and deliver documents on time.

Konstantin Kochetkov is available even when he is on a different continent and time zone. This is very helpful when your client is difficult and suddenly decides to make last-minute change of plans. There are many good lawyers but not all of them are ready to work with you 24/7.

Alexey Chertov is very experienced, always ready to help, responsive and diligent.

Alexey Chertov has deep expertise in various types of financing, including project finance, trade finance, restructurings, corporate finance and commodities. This diversity of knowledge and experience allows him to lead complex transactions involving various types of instruments, thereby providing the client with professional feedback in the shortest time possible.

Key clients

Sberbank CIB

Vitol

VTB Bank / VTB Bank (Europe)

Sberbank (Switzerland) AG

Société Générale

Gazprombank

Natixis

ING

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Russian Regional Development Bank

BB Energy Trading

UniCredit Bank

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

NewCoal Trading AG

Cetracore Energy GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis on a $250m pre-export finance facility for Russian Copper Company Group.
  • Acted for a syndicate of international banks, including ING and Société Générale, on a two-tranche prepayment facility for Traxys Europe.
  • Advised Sberbank CIB on the $100m long-term prepayment for Russian Copper Company Group.

White & Case LLC

White & Case LLC is singled out for the expertise of its banking and finance group worldwide. The team counts large domestic financial institutions and leading overseas lenders as clients, and has notable focus on project finance, real estate finance and acquisition finance matters. The group also has strong capabilities in US and EU sanction issues, which the team utilises when advising clients on a variety of banking and finance documents. ‘Creative’ department head Natalia Nikitina specialises in asset-based finance, acquisition finance and trade and pre-export finance work; Ekaterina Logvinova is also recommended. Natalia Kraslyanskaya departed to Herbert Smith Freehills  in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Natalia Nikitina

Testimonials

White & Case is a reliable partner to our business; when we go with the firm’s finance team, we always meet proactive lawyers with experience relevant to our issues.

The team demonstrates a great understanding of the law and the context in which it operates, good attention to detail, and professionalism in delivering high-quality legal services.

White & Case’s lawyers are very efficient and very quick to react to the client’s needs. You can call them on a Thursday with an urgent and non-standard query, and have a document ready for review over the weekend. The firm pulls international resources together and genuinely works as a well-functioning organism, each office and team contributing to the project. I feel that I can rely on the team to get the work done on schedule and without detriment to quality.

Natalya Nikitina is a great partner to work with — she is leading a team of great professionals, but always finds time to be involved herself as well to find lawyers with the most suitable expertise to cover the topic.

Ekaterina Logvinova is a very professional and reliable partner in all senses of the word: she understands our priorities and requirements, makes sure that our transactions are prioritised and we get the work product delivered on time, and quickly draws on the expertise of the wider network of the firm to get us the result we need.

Key clients

Czech Export Bank

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Exiar

Dom.RF

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Raiffeisen Bank

Savings Bank of the Russian Federation

Société Generale

UniCredit

Vnesheconombank

VTB Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised UniCredit Bank as facility agent for the syndicate of lenders on the pre-export finance facilities of JSHC Yakutogol and Southern Kuzbass Coal Company PJSC.
  • Advised 13 banks on a new $820m unsecured finance facility provided to EuroChem Group.
  • Advised VTB Bank on a wide range of structured finance and derivatives transactions.

Allen & Overy Legal Services

At Allen & Overy Legal Services, Igor Gorchakov, Ilya Dvorkin and recently promoted partner Oleg Khomenko jointly head up the practice, which regularly leads on cross-border transactions, working closely with the firm's London office. Particular areas of strength for the group include syndicated lending work and structured finance matters. Dvorkin has expertise in asset finance issues, and counsel Sergey Blinov is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Igor Gorchakov; Ilya Dvorkin; Oleg Khomenko

Testimonials

Great skills in negotiation and legal analysis

The team is noted for its high responsiveness and its ability to seek the solution for the client.

Key clients

VTB Group

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Sberbank of Russia / Sberbank Europe AG

Gazprombank / GPB International SA

ING

AO Raiffeisenbank / Raiffeisen Bank International AG

VEB-Leasing

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of lenders on the provision of a $500m term loan facility to Credit Bank of Moscow.
  • Advising VTB Bank PJSC and VTB Bank (Europe) on a Russian law-governed loan facility to Chelyabinsk Metallurgical Plant.
  • Advised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation on an export credit line with Suek Ltd.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles the Russian and English law aspects of matters from its Moscow office, and can also rely on the firm’s strong presence globally; its capabilities regionally are strengthened by offices in Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Vladimir Dragunov heads up the department, which draws on the expertise of its tax and financial restructuring groups in complex transactions. Simon Morgan focuses on loans and credit facilities and has extensive experience in pre-export financings across the CIS region. Associate Andrey Lebedev is noted for his expertise in mainstream banking and finance matters, bank and corporate lending issues, and project and real estate financing work.

Practice head(s):

Vladimir Dragunov

Key clients

Absolut Bank

ING

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising ING Bank on high-value loan facility agreements.

CMS

CMS assists a client base of Russian financial institutions, state-owned investment funds and micro-finance providers. The team is notably strong in real estate financing transactions and acquisition finance issues; department head Konstantin Baranov also has extensive experience in trade finance work and financial services regulation. Counsel Elena Tchoubykina is dual-qualified in Russia and England.

Practice head(s):

Konstantin Baranov

Key clients

Aareal Bank

BSPB

Commerzbank Group

Gazprombank Group

Raiffeisenbank Group

Russian Direct Investment Fund

ING

Sberbank of Russia

UniCredit Group

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Hogan Lovells (CIS)’ banking team has notable strength in trade and export finance mandates, and acts on significant cross-border transactions. The practice has also seen a growing stream of instructions from clients seeking advice on financial services regulation. Counsel Alexander Gasparyan heads up the practice, while London-based David Leggott is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Gasparyan

Key clients

Natixis

PJSC VTB Bank

PJSC Gazprombank

ING Bank N.V.

Deutsche Bank AG

Western Union

Alibaba/Alipay

Citibank

Bank Otkritie

JSC SCAT Airlines

PJSC Rosselkhozbank

Work highlights

  • Advised Natixis as co-ordinating mandated lead arranger on the provision of a $250m syndicated pre-export finance facility to TOO Aktyubinskaya Mednaya Kompaniya.
  • Advised PJSC Gazprombank as lender on the complex restructuring of existing facility agreements relating to a loan granted to PJSC Tulachermet.
  • Advising ING Bank as coordinating mandated lead arranger and bookrunner on two related borrowing base facilities for companies in the European group of Novolipetsk Steel.

Linklaters

Lawyers in Linklaters’ banking and finance department have broad-ranging experience in acquisition finance, real estate finance, project finance and asset finance mandates, and cross-border syndicated lending work. Michael Bott leads the practice, and counsel Nikolai Kurmashev is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Michael Bott

Dechert Russia LLC

Led by Laura Brank, Dechert Russia LLC fields a multidisciplinary team, which has substantial experience assisting banks, multilateral financial institutions, export credit agencies and a variety of funds and corporations. The department utilises the expertise of the firm’s team in London, particularly on issues relating to complex multi-jurisdictional debt matters, equity deals and project financings.

Practice head(s):

Laura Brank

Key clients

Alfa-Bank

Deutsche Bank AG

Eurobank Ergasias S.A.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Mechel

Moneygram International

Potentia Capital

Southern Kuzbass OAO

VTB Capital

Yakutugol HC OAO

Work highlights

  • Acting for Eurobank Ergasias as security creditor in several bankruptcy proceedings relating to high-value land plots in Moscow Region.

LP Law Firm

LP Law Firm advises a range of financial organisations on issues regarding financial services regulation. The team also has a strong track record in handling credit financing transactions and complex interbank syndicated and subordinated loans. Project finance practitioner Andrey Novakovskiy leads the department with corporate finance specialist Alexandra Fasakhova, who joined the team from Danilov & Partners in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Andrey Novakovskiy; Alexandra Fasakhova

Key clients

Sberbank of Russia

Sberbank Investments

China Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised China Development Bank on a $650m aircraft finance deal.
  • Advised China Development Bank on the lease of aircraft to Aeroflot Russian Airlines.

Noerr

Noerr’s banking and finance team stands out for its experience in cross-border transactions governed by Russian, English and German law. The department handles a wide array of issues relating to project finance, export and pre-export finance, real estate finance and syndicated lending mandates. Vladislav Skvortsov and managing partner Stefan Wolfgang Weber jointly lead the department.

Practice head(s):

Vladislav Skvortsov; Stefan Wolfgang Weber

Testimonials

The team is business-orientated, very reliable, fast, hard-working, and creative in avoiding legal risks and finding the right solutions.

We always received excellent service and direct access to a partner. Managing partner Stefan Weber is always accessible.

Key clients

Alfa-Bank

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China

Moscow Exchange

Sberbank

State Transport Leasing Company

VTB Bank

UniCredit Bank Austria

Work highlights

  • Advised VTB Bank as lender on infrastructure finance projects related to the construction of five solar power stations in Siberia.
  • Advised VTB Bank on an infrastructure finance project involving the construction of the Elista Severnaya and Mikhailovskaya solar power stations in Russia.
  • Advised VTB Bank on amendments to the project and security documents relating to the infrastructure finance project for the construction of the Volodarovka and Enotaevka solar power plants in Russia.