Banking and finance: Lender or arranger side in Russia

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance garners praise for its ‘brilliant teamwork and in-depth knowledge of international and local practices’. The team is equally well versed in acting for lenders and borrowers, with managing partner and practice head Victoria Bortkevicha ‘highly recommended for all types of finance work’. Clients draw particular attention to the firm’s expertise in syndicated lending; in this space, the team is also assisting VEB.RF with multiple projects involving the newly introduced Project Finance Factory mechanism. Real estate, acquisition, asset and commodity structured financing are also mainstays of the practice. The real estate sector in particular is an area of expertise for the 'highly dedicatedVladimir Barbolin; the team is also active in a variety of other sectors, including energy, metals and mining, transport and infrastructure. Counsel Igor Bichenkov is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Bortkevicha

Other key lawyers:

Vladimir Barbolin; Jan Galin; Igor Bichenkov

Testimonials

‘Victoria Bortkevicha is highly recommended for all types of finance work.’

‘Brilliant teamwork and in-depth knowledge of international and local practices, including Russian law standard documentation for syndicated loans.’

‘Vladimir Barbolin is a highly dedicated lawyer seeking balanced solutions and curious for challenges to master. ’

‘The team is well aware of the requirements of major banks for lending / refinancing projects in real estate and other areas. They communicate very quickly with representatives of credit institutions and organize the process of conducting the transaction.’

‘This team has an excellent cycle from the moment of the first meeting of the parties to the actual signing of the deal with notaries and lawyers in other jurisdictions, which makes working with these specialists very effective and pleasant.’

‘An excellent team focused on finding compromises between the parties, with an excellent prepared base of standard documentation prepared at a high professional level.’

‘Vladimir Barbolin stands out for his personal involvement and personal responsibility for the result. One of the reasons why we trust the team is the commitment from this team.’

‘Proactive approach, always solution-orientated, and aiming to achieve results that benefit all involved parties.’

‘Vladimir Barbolin is always client-orientated and aims at achieving a result benefiting all parties. He carefully considers all possible solutions to any problem.’

Key clients

Commerzbank

Deutsche Bank

ING Bank

Natixis

Raiffeisen

Sberbank

Societe Generale (Rosbank)

UniCredit

VTB

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of Russian and international banks, including ING Bank, on a dual-currency facility agreement for large Russian potash producer Uralkali.
  • Advised a syndicate of Russian banks on a $487m loan facility for the construction of a coal transhipment terminal in Vanino.
  • Advised Société Générale on a pre-export facility made available to Polymetal.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Bringing together ‘excellent specialists, ready to get involved in a project of any complexity’, Herbert Smith Freehills handles a full range of financial transactions for some of the biggest lenders in the market, including the three largest banks in Russia, as well as large international banks such as Raiffeisenbank and Société Générale. The team regularly assumes a leading role in matters involving both Russian and English law issues. It continues to build upon its traditional strength in project finance by attracting new clients in the infrastructure, oil and gas, and real estate sectors. The practice is also a top performer in bilateral and syndicated lending, acquisition finance and restructuring issues. The department is led by Artjom Buligin, Olga Davydava, Dmitry Gubarev and recently promoted partner Vadim Panin.

Practice head(s):

Artjom Buligin; Olga Davydava; Dmitry Gubarev; Vadim Panin

Other key lawyers:

Georgy Entin; Maria Illarionova; Vadim Nikitin; Natalia Kraslyanskaya

Testimonials

‘Knowledge of the market. Prompt response to customer requests.’

‘International experience of the team; efficiency; knowledge of Russian law and the needs of both borrowers and lenders.’

‘Dmitry Gubarev, Maria Illarionova and Georgy Entin stand out for their high professionalism and experience in transactions in the Russian market and the CIS.’

‘Excellent specialists, ready to get involved in a project of any complexity. They are not afraid of tight deadlines and complex projects. They have good experience in various fields, which allows them to assemble a team of the necessary specialists based on the client’s requests. All lawyers are always available and ready to help.’

Key clients

Sberbank of Russia

VEB.RF

VTB Bank

Raiffeisenbank

Roseximbank

Sovcombank

Alfa-Bank

Credit Agricole

Rosbank / Societe Generale

AO UniCredit Bank

UniCredit S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised multiple lenders on a project financing for the construction of the $2.8bn Nakhodka fertiliser plant.
  • Advised Sberbank of Russia on a ₽100bn financing provided to a major telecom company, Veon Holdings B.V.
  • Advised Alfa-Bank on the provision of a credit facility to IVI.Ru, the largest online cinema in Russia, to support the further development of the business.

Allen & Overy Legal Services

Allen & Overy Legal Services combines Russian and English law expertise, which, coupled with its access to the firm’s global networks, makes it a key destination for large domestic and international banks. The team regularly takes lead roles on mandates involving the energy, mining and natural resources sectors, and has seen recent activity in the acquisition finance space. In a standout highlight, the practice acted for VTB Bank on backing up Fortiana Holdings as a buyer of a 40.06% stake in Highland Gold Mining from Roman Abramovich. Igor Gorchakov and Ilya Dvorkin head up the department with Oleg Khomenko, who splits time between Moscow and London. Counsel Sergey Blinov is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Igor Gorchakov; Ilya Dvorkin; Oleg Khomenko

Other key lawyers:

Sergey Blinov

Key clients

VTB Group

Sberbank of Russia / Sberbank Europe AG

Gazprombank / GPB International S.A.

AO Raiffeisenbank / Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Morgan Stanley

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

ING Bank N.V.

Credit Suisse AG

Goldman Sachs International

Work highlights

  • Advised VTB Bank on a loan facility to Fortiana Holdings for the purposes of financing the acquisition of a 40.06% stake in Highland Gold Mining from Roman Abramovich and certain other shareholders.
  • Advised Credit Suisse AG on a €27m loan to Amber Beverage Group and the refinancing of its existing facilities with other lenders.
  • Advised a syndicate of lenders, including ING Bank on a $200m term-loan facility to PJSC Sovcombank.

ALRUD Law Firm

ALRUD Law Firm acts for a growing number of large domestic banks, but also has a strong position internationally – it maintains strong relationships with international firms across Europe, Asia and the US, which results in significant volumes of referral cross-border work. The practice is known for its strength in financial regulation, enhanced by its cooperation with the Russian regulator, the Central Bank of Russia; Anton Dzhuplin is a go-to adviser for issues in this space. Additional areas of expertise include financial restructuring, as well as real estate, mezzanine and trade finance. The team also bolstered its syndicated lending offering with the arrival of practice head Alexander Rymko from Harneys at the beginning of 2020.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Rymko

Other key lawyers:

Anton Dzhuplin; Ekaterina Rogacheva; Ekaterina Boeva

Key clients

Russian Direct Investment Fund

Sberbank of Russia

International Investment Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited

J.P. Morgan

VTB

SWIFT

China International Capital Corporation Limited

Mechel

Kreditech

Mastercard Europe

Hungarian Export – Import Bank Plc. Ltd.

Bank of Baroda

Alfa-Bank Ukraine

Promsvyazbank

Work highlights

  • Assisted a large Russian bank as lender with a ₽4bn mezzanine financing provided to a Moscow developer for the purposes of construction of business class apartment buildings in Moscow.
  • Advising a leading international fintech company on recent changes to the Russian national payment system law.
  • Advised Russian Direct Investment Fund on a public-private partnership project for the construction of a road of federal importance in Moscow region – Central Ring Road, Startup Facility No. 4.

Baker Botts L.L.P.

Led by Konstantin Garmonin and Maxim LevinsonBaker Botts L.L.P.'s team  benefits from the firm’s longstanding relationships with some of the largest commercial banks in the market. Its client portfolio continues to grow, adding some new names such as Unicredit Bank Russia and Sberbank of Russia. In addition, the department draws on the firm’s resources in London, and the Russian team often works alongside London-based Stuart McIntyre on cross-border transactions. Driven by market demand, the practice is increasingly advising clients on financing transactions governed by Russian law, particular in the areas of project and mezzanine financing. Other core areas of expertise include real estate financing, restructuring and refinancing transactions. Associate Andrey Arzybov is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Maxim Levinson; Konstantin Garmonin

Other key lawyers:

Stuart McIntyre; Andrey Arzybov

Key clients

Aeroflot

Sovcombank

Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft

EBRD

Gazprombank

Gleden Invest

IFC

Suek

Unicredit Bank Russia

Sberbank of Russia

VEB.RF

VTB Bank

VTB Bank (Europe)

Work highlights

  • Acted for VEB.RF and Gazprombank on a project financing loan provided to VolgaTekhnoOl, a subsidiary of KuibyshevAzot.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP distinguishes itself through its experience in both lender- and borrower-side work, as well as its expertise in acquisition, project and asset finance. Practice head Oleg Khokhlov has a specialism in secured and unsecured lending, and is regularly instructed by key clients of the calibre of Sberbank Investments. In addition, the team’s recent work demonstrates a strength in regulatory issues, a core area of expertise for ‘highly motivated and client-oriented partnerTatiana Parshak. Sergey Milanov is a key contact for Asia-related project finance mandates. Other key team members include counsel Igor Zhivotov and associate Artemiy Bondarev.

Practice head(s):

Oleg Khokhlov

Other key lawyers:

Tatiana Parshak; Sergey Milanov; Igor Zhivotov; Artemiy Bondarev;

Testimonials

‘Focus on results, as well as systematized and accurate work in conditions of tough deadlines.’

‘Tatiana Parshak is a highly motivated and client-oriented partner, who understands the details of the project and the work performed.’

‘I would like to mention Tatiana Parshak and Artemiy Bondarev. Loyalty, the willingness to resolve any issues that arise, the high quality of the deal, protection of the interests of the client – all are striking.’

‘The team of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is distinguished by its high professionalism, creative approach in solving non-standard tasks, depth of analysis of emerging legal issues and responsibility in decision-making.’

‘One of our long-term and reliable partners. Excellent service, fast response times, flexible approach, full support and excellent relationships.’

‘Tatiana Parshak and Artemiy Bondarev are excellent lawyers, with a creative approach, very reliable and dedicated to their work.’

Key clients

International Investment Bank

Sberbank Investments

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Japan Bank for International Cooperation

Russian Agricultural Bank

Far East and Arctic Region Development Fund

A1

Sovcombank

Work highlights

  • Advised Sovsombank on the ₽5.8bn acquisition of Sovest’s consumer lending business from Qiwi Plc.
  • Advised Sberbank Investments on a facility financing for the construction of an industrial and logistics centre in the Leningrad Region.
  • Advised Sberbank Investments on acquiring a 50% participatory interest in a high-value building of LLC Mayak and LLC Prima.

Dentons

Dentons offers a wide range of banking and finance services, including bilateral and syndicated lending, project, trade and asset financing transactions. Clients praise the group’s ability to draw on the firm’s global resources; recent work includes regular close cooperation with the London-based team, where Logan Wright takes the lead. Timothy Stubbs heads the department and has longstanding experience in the financial regulation realm. Andrei Strijak has a specialism in acquisition finance, among other areas. Other noteworthy figures in the team include capital markets expert Tamer Amara, and counsels Filipp Petyukov and Dennis Montgomery.

Practice head(s):

Timothy Stubbs

Other key lawyers:

Andrei Strijak; Tamer Amara; Logan Wright; Evgenia Laurson; Filipp Petyukov; Dennis Montgomery; Konstantin Nazarov

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are qualified in different jurisdictions and can provide legal advice in different countries. Very good focus on the commercial aspects of the transaction.’

‘Tim Stubbs is a very experienced lawyer and very well-versed in Russian law’.

‘Tim Stubbs is very quick yet detailed, very responsive, and has great knowledge of business issues and restructuring. Tim is more than just a very good lawyer.’

‘Very fast response to queries. Willingness to deviate from the standard approach if necessary.’

‘Filipp Petyukov worked very well on our deal. Very quick answers, with everything getting to the point. Ready to work with him on future deals. He worked with Anna Booth from London on several transactions, who is also a very reliable and gracious lawyer.’

Key clients

ING Bank

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Citibank

Work highlights

  • Advised ING Bank on an up to $1bn syndicated pre-export finance facility for the Uralkali Group.
  • Advised Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank as documentation agent on a $750m syndicated term loan facility agreement for Ilim Group.
  • Advised Black Sea Trade and Development Bank on an up to $23m loan provided to STLC for the purposes of financing STLC’s payments under a supply contract with a German supplier.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Clients turn to Latham & Watkins LLP’s team for its ability to ‘bring to life the most daring non-standard solutions’ and its ‘exceptional English law depth’. The group maintains a strong position internationally, often taking the lead on a wide range of cross-border transactions, including structured and limited recourse finance, commodity finance and real estate finance. Its work gains additional credibility through the experience of UK-qualified practice head Ragnar Johannesen, a stalwart in the country’s transactional market, who also splits time between Moscow and London. Managing partner Mikhail Turetsky is a well-known capital markets specialist, but also has expertise in project finance and restructuring matters. Counsel Elizaveta Bacheyeva and associate Ksenia Koroleva are also recommended by clients.

Practice head(s):

Ragnar Johannesen

Other key lawyers:

Mikhail Turetsky; Elizaveta Bacheyeva; Ksenia Koroleva; Vladimir Mikhailovsky

Testimonials

‘A very creative and proactive team that always finds non-standard solutions in difficult situations. Our bank always seeks Latham & Watkins for the most complex and non-standard transactions. We normally turn to Mikhail Turetsky and Igor Sotnikov. They coordinate the work of the team on the most difficult deals.’

‘A leading international US firm with close understanding of Russian law. They are really hard workers with great soft skills.’

‘Ksenia Koroleva is a unique dynamic lawyer.

‘If you need tailor-made solutions, then this is LW. They do not just copy-paste the Loan Market Association’s documentation; instead, they bring to life the most daring non-standard solutions.’

‘We have been working with Elizaveta Bacheyeva for several years. Elizaveta is already a brand of non-standard solutions and their reflection in loan-security documentation. The most daring proposals of the bank found a response and were written in the documentation. I especially want to note the ability to reflect formulas. Working with other law firms, it is often necessary to write “digital” provisions of the documentation yourself. LW makes documentation “turnkey” – we only correct what has already been written.’

‘Exceptional English law depth amongst the team who deliver market leading performance.’

‘Ragnar Johannesen has a deep market knowledge and is a standout lawyer who thrives on complex situations. In our view, Ragnar is one of the most accomplished banking and finance lawyers in the region. Ragnar is commercial and knows how to get deals done in a pragmatic and fast-moving manner whilst safe guarding his client’s interests. Vladimir Mikhailovsky is a consummate practitioner who knows his stuff inside and out. Ksenia Koroleva is an up-and-coming star of the future and very likeable too; she has an extraordinary work and client service ethic.’

Key clients

Banca Intesa Sanpaolo

Bank of America

Gazprombank

HSBC

ING

Mizuho

Sberbank

Societe General

UniCredit

VTB

Work highlights

  • Advising ING, as documentation bank, in relation to a $750m credit facility for Evraz, a global metals and mining company and a leading producer of infrastructure steel products, provided by a club of ten international banks.

Linklaters

Praised for its ‘vast experience in supporting financial transactions’, Linklaters counts large lenders such as Sberbank among its clients. The team has an unsurpassed strength in project finance, including loans under the country’s Project Finance Factory mechanism. Syndicated lending in the energy and mining sectors is a forte of the practice, with multiple high-value transactions governed by Russian law under its belt. Recent work includes the largest syndicated financing transaction to date; the practice acted for Sberbank on the $3.9bn financing provided to Uralchem Group. Key contacts include Ilia Ditiatev and structured finance expert Andrei Murygin. In the autumn of 2020, former practice head Michael Bott departed to set up his own finance boutique; counsel Nikolai Kurmashev took over leadership of the department.

Practice head(s):

Nikolai Kurmashev

Other key lawyers:

Andrei Murygin; Ilia Ditiatev; Julia Voskoboinikova

Testimonials

‘Vast experience in supporting financial transactions with elements of both Russian and foreign law.’

Key clients

Sberbank

Gazprombank

VEB.RF

Far East Development Fund

JBIC

Nexi

CDB

Sace

BPIfrance

Euler Hermes

Work highlights

  • Advised Sberbank, as lender, on the $3.9bn syndicated loan provided to Uralchem Group, the largest-ever syndicated financing transaction governed by Russian law to date.
  • Advising Sberbank on the restructuring of the $148m financing to Aktau Marine North Terminal LLP.
  • Advised Far East Development Fund on a loan provided to the Russian Copper Company for the purposes of developing the Malmyzhskoye copper field.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is regularly instructed by both lenders and borrowers on a wide range of financing transactions in Russia and across the CIS region. The group often acts seamlessly with its UK office, with recent standout examples in the syndicated lending, prepayment finance and project finance space; London-based duo Bruce Johnston and Ayesha Waheed are key names here. The department’s strength in prepayment finance is significant, often involving mandates in the oil and gas sector; practice head Grigory Marinichev and senior associate Alexey Chertov are both highly regarded in this space. Konstantin Kochetkov is a key contact for sovereign debt and infrastructure-related transactions. Associates Alexander Geda and Yaroslav Smorodin also have significant cross-border experience.

Practice head(s):

Grigory Marinichev

Other key lawyers:

Konstantin Kochetkov; Alexey Chertov; Yaroslav Smorodin; Alexander Geda; Ayesha Waheed; Bruce Johnston

Testimonials

‘The team has unique and extensive experience in the Russian project finance and prepayment finance markets and are involved in the most prominent and complex trade finance deals. The team has significantly extended their project finance practice in London with the arrival of Ayesha Waheed.

‘Alexey Chertov is an expert in project finance and prepayment finance; Alexey is creative, professional and solution-oriented.’

‘Grigory Marinichev leads the practice and is a standout figure on the Russian market with great commercial understanding and extensive client base.’

‘Ayesha Waheed from their London office is one of the best project finance experts on the market who works on the most complex project deals in Russia.’

‘Konstantin Kochetkov is an expert in trade finance. Yaroslav Smorodin is experienced in acquisition finance.

‘Highly professional team with a vast area of expertise and developed international network with a problem-solving hands-on approach, always thorough and available 24/7.’

‘I am most impressed with Alexey Chertov. We have been working on many deals over the last five years, and his quality of work has always been nothing but exceptional. Alexey is highly professional, extremely hardworking, supportive and reliable, and clearly stands out among of the lawyers I have been working with. ’

‘The promptness, expertise, and precision differentiate them from the competition.’

Key clients

VTB Bank / VTB Bank (Europe) SA

VTB Capital

Sberbank CIB / Sberbank (Switzerland) AG

Vitol

Gazprombank

Société Générale

Natixis

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Sistema Group

Russian Copper Company

Russian Regional Development Bank

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Traxys

SB Commodity Trading

HSBC

ING Bank N.V.

Euro-Asian Oil SA

Bank GPB International S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising ING Bank N.V., as documentation agent and a syndicate of international banks including BAML, Natixis and UniCredit, on an up to $1bn club facility agreement for EuroChem Group AG.
  • Advising Euro-Asian Oil SA and Bank of China, London Branch on a new $100m tranche within the framework of the existing $150m pre-export finance facility for JSC Karazhanbasmunai.
  • Advising Natixis SA on English, French, Kazakh and Russian law issues relating to a $300m loan provided to TOO AMK, arranged by Natixis and Societe Generale.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Led by Alexander Tsakoev, Norton Rose Fulbright has a strong track record in structured trade and commodity financing, including prepayment mandates in the energy sector. The practice is also gaining ground in the financial regulation space, where it acts for a number of international financial institutions. The firm’s global network provides a reliable foundation for the team’s notable multi-jurisdictional work; its close recent collaboration with the teams in London and Amsterdam particularly stands out. Similarly, the firm’s innovation initiatives also contribute to the group’s cross-border strength; a standout example is NRF Transform, a global programme coordinating the deployment of people, technology and processes based on the needs of each particular project.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Tsakoev

Other key lawyers:

Konstantin Konstantinov; Ksenia Zolotova; Alexandra Semykina

Key clients

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

Citibank Europe Plc

Citibank Russia

Commerzbank AG

Deutsche Bank AG

Société Générale / Rosbank

VTB Capital

VTB Bank Europe SE

Mizuho Bank, Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of six international banks, led by Deutsche Bank AG, on a new pre-export finance facility of up to $800m for Suek Ltd, the Cypriot holding company of Suek Group, the largest Russian coal producer.
  • Advised Citibank Europe plc on a $100m uncommitted receivables purchase agreement with a large international agricultural group.
  • Advised Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft on amending a German law-governed facility agreement with Buhlmann Rohr-Fittings-Stahlhandel GmbH + Co. KG, and Dylan Beheer B.V.

White & Case LLC

White & Case LLC handles the gamut of transactions in areas such as project, asset and acquisition finance. In addition to her experience in these fields, department head Natalia Nikitina is also noted for her strong reputation in the energy and utilities sectors. Further, the team stands out for its in-depth understanding of financial regulation, which recently manifested itself in its work on the standard loan documentation for leading housing development institution Dom.RF. The group is well-equipped to handle syndicated lending matters under the country’s newly introduced legislation; senior associate Rimma Izmaylova specialises in this space. Sanctions-related financial advice is also an area of focus, with Ekaterina Logvinova being the go-to expert.

Practice head(s):

Natalia Nikitina

Other key lawyers:

Ekaterina Logvinova; Rimma Izmaylova

Key clients

Dom.RF

Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A.

VTB

Work highlights

  • Advised VTB Bank on the $1.7bn restructuring of Mechel PAO, one of the leading Russian mining and metals companies.
  • Advised Intesa Sanpaolo S.p.A. as a lender on a high-value loan provided to a Russian mining company.
  • Advised Dom.RF on the preparation of standard loan documentation for various agreement forms with potential borrowers.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited assists a mix of lenders and arrangers with secured and unsecured financing transactions. For restructuring matters, the group also regularly relies on the expertise of the local tax and bankruptcy teams, as well as the London-based counterparts. Department head Vladimir Dragunov, Simon Morgan and Dmitry Dembich are the key partners in the team; associate Andrey Lebedev is also singled out.

Practice head(s):

Vladimir Dragunov

Other key lawyers:

Simon Morgan; Dmitry Dembich; Andrey Lebedev

Testimonials

‘Excellent client relationship management and quick and to the point feedback and inputs are greatly appreciated. We have asked queries on various issues including financing, sanctions, TMT, railways etc and have been able to get expert advice from Baker McKenzie’s various partners which makes us appreciate their bench strength.’

‘Simon Morgan has been standout for maintaining our relationship and we rely on him thoroughly for expert advice relating to the Russian financing transactions. He has also been able to coordinate with us a team of other Russian law experts on various other issues that we have faced.’

‘Andrey Lebedev’s input and involvement are also highly appreciated especially for his can-do attitude to work on tight deadlines.

Key clients

Absolut Bank

ING Bank

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

CMS

CMS counts acquisition and real estate financing among its core areas of expertise. Its client portfolio includes large Russian and international banks. Key contacts include practice head Konstantin Baranov and counsel Elena Tchoubykina.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper has carved out a strong reputation for its real estate financing work; in this space, it benefits from the wealth of experience of practice head Karen Young and its close ties to large international banks, such as Aareal Bank and UniCredit, to name a few. Syndicated lending, loan restructuring and asset finance are additional areas of activity. Philip Lamzin is a go-to adviser for asset finance mandates and has niche expertise in the aviation and shipping sectors. Legal director Alexei Kolesnikov; senior counsel Anastasia Klimova and legal director Ivan Sezin are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Karen Young

Other key lawyers:

Philip Lamzin; Alexei Kolesnikov; Anastasia Klimova; Ivan Sezin

Testimonials

‘We have been working with this team for more than four years; a high level of mutual trust has been formed, which affects the overall efficiency.’

‘Focus on clients’ requests, respect for the client, work efficiency, speed of project implementation, quick feedback, intelligence, high level of culture of interaction with the client, a global approach to problem solving, analysis of related risks and project tasks.’

Key clients

Aareal Bank AG

Alfa Bank

China Development Bank Corporation

Credit Europe Bank (Russia) Ltd.

Development Bank of Kazakhstan

Eximbank of Russia

Gazprombank

Magyar Export-Import Bank Zártkörűen Működő Részvénytársaság

PJSC “Bank Otkritie Financial Corporation”

Promsvyazbank

RDIF

JSC UniCredit / UniCredit SpA

PJSC VTB Bank / VTB (Europe) SA

VEB.Ru

Work highlights

  • Acted for PJSC VTB Bank on a €150m loan facility provided to finance the borrower’s voluntary takeover offer for all shares and global depositary receipts of AFI Development Company Plc, a Cypriot company listed on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Acting for the Hungarian Export-Import Bank and Eximbank of Russia on an over €1bn credit facility to Egyptian National Railways, guaranteed by the government of Egypt to finance the supply and purchase of 1,300 new railway coaches.
  • Acting for Credit Bank of Moscow on a ₽35bn loan facility to JSC “National Company “Kazakhstan Temir Zholy”.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has a notable strength in financial regulation, where it maintains a close relationship with the regulator, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation. The group has additional expertise in project financing and acquisition matters, which are areas of specialism for Arkady Krasnikhin. Clients laud practice head Dmitriy Glazounov as ‘a brilliant manager’. Counsels Oleg Ushakov and Roman Malovitsky are also key team members.

Practice head(s):

Dmitriy Glazounov

Other key lawyers:

Arkady Krasnikhin; Oleg Ushakov; Roman Malovitsky; Maxim Baryshev; Vladimir Goglachev

Testimonials

‘EPAM supports prominent banks in numerous deals. EPAM often assists banks in improving their capital ratio, through attracting capital and thus enabling banks to increase lending. EPAM easily copes with various transactions related to securitization. The Banking and Finance team was the first who implemented nearly all projects based on newly adopted legislation. It seems that EPAM can resolve any issue.’

‘Dmitriy Glazounov is a brilliant manager. He has a systematic approach and provides only high-quality results. He clearly understands the tasks and properly delegates them, but keeps control over the whole project. Oleg Ushakov is another great team member – he is attentive to clients.’

Stability, confidence and knowledge – these three words best characterize EPAM’s practice. The team provides high-quality service; their approach is well-structured and organized. EPAM always offers options that really work. It is especially well-versed in banking regulation, which is essential for any bank.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Hogan Lovells (CIS) has extensive experience across a wide spectrum of financing transactions, but is particularly active in trade and export finance, as well as regulatory matters. Clients draw attention to the group’s ability to act efficiently on cross-border mandates; indeed, the team benefits from its close ties with the London office, where David Leggott is the key contact for CIS work. Splitting time between London and Moscow, Georgy Kalashnikov heads up the wider corporate and finance group. Counsel Alexander Gasparyan leads the banking and finance practice, which is equally adept at assisting both lenders and borrowers.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Gasparyan

Other key lawyers:

David Leggott; Alexander Kitaev; Georgy Kalashnikov; Alexander Kitaev

Testimonials

‘Hogan Lovells International LLP’s banking and finance practice consists of experienced consultants, who consistently represent the best interests of clients.’

‘The entire banking and finance team at Hogan Lovells International LLP are true professionals in their field. They are client-oriented and have extensive experience in various types of financial transactions.’

‘The team is very professional, friendly and approachable. They generate confidence in the advice they provide. They are easy to approach and response times are in line with leading Magic Circle firms. In fact, their hours are aligned on the GMT time zone. We work for a few years with David Leggott in London and the team in Moscow, which has impressed us.’

‘Alexander Gasparyan is handling the finance matters efficiently, he has extensive legal knowledge, is pragmatic and focused and very easy to communicate with. Junior associate Alexander Kitaev is also very good. ’

‘David Legott and Alexander Gasparyan are very helpful; they are always prepared to assist and provide advice.’

Key clients

Morgan Stanley & Co. International Plc

VR Capital

ING Bank N.V.

UniCredit S.p.A.

ING Bank

JSC Alfa-Bank

Paysafe Financial Services Limited

J.P. Morgan

HPS Investment Partners

PJSC VTB Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Morgan Stanley & Co. International and other initial purchasers on Russian law issues relating to the issuance of €260m senior secured notes by Frigoglass Finance.
  • Advising ING Bank as co-ordinating mandated lead arranger on a €600m revolving credit facility granted to PJSC Novolipetsk Steel.
  • Advising UniCredit on a €305m uncommitted term loan facility granted to NLMK Trading, guaranteed by PJSC Novolipetsk Steel.

Dechert Russia LLC

Dechert Russia LLC has extensive experience of cross-border acquisition financing, as well as financial restructuring and debt refinancing. Practice head Laura Brank splits time between London and Moscow. Senior associate Kirill Skopchevskiy, who is dual qualified in Russia and New York, is also a key figure in the team.

Practice head(s):

Laura Brank

Other key lawyers:

Kirill Skopchevskiy

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

Yakutugol HC OAO

Vermeer

Trust Bank

Ivanyan and Partners

Ivanyan and Partners is increasingly building a reputation in the project finance space; in particular, its recent work stands out in relation to syndicated lending mandates. A team led by Daria Semenikhina assisted key clients VEB.RF and Gazprombank with the provision of a $220m syndicated loan to Shchekinoazot, which was only the second transaction completed under the country’s Project Finance Factory mechanism. Semenikhina jointly leads the practice with Dmitry Kuzmin.

Practice head(s):

Daria Semenikhina; Dmitry Kuzmin

Key clients

Gazprombank

Sberbank

VEB.RF

Credit Bank of Moscow

Otkritie Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised two large lenders, Gazprombank and VEB.RF, on project finance in the form of a $384m syndicated loan for launching the Chestny ZNAK track & trace system, the first national digital marking and tracking system for goods in Russia.
  • Advised VEB.RF and Gazprombank, as lenders, on a syndicated loan provided to Shchekinoazot for the construction of a new methanol plant.
  • Advised Credit Bank of Moscow and Gazprombank on syndicated loan financing to Eurotorg, the biggest food retailer in Belarus.

LP Law Firm

LP Law Firm has significant project finance and regulatory expertise, areas where practice head Andrey Novakovskiy and senior associate Aleksandr Kuznetsov have experience. Novakovskiy took over sole leadership of the practice, following the departure of former practice co-head Alexandra Fasakhova to an in-house position.

Practice head(s):

Andrey Novakovskiy

Other key lawyers:

Aleksandr Kuznetsov

Key clients

State Company “Russian Highways”

Gazprombank

VTB Capital

Work highlights

  • Advising Gazprombank on five sovereign bonds issuances by the Republic of Belarus.
  • Advising State Company “Russian Highways” on a bond programme aiming at financing one of the largest infrastructural projects in Russia – the construction of Central Ring Road by the client.
  • Provided full legal support to VTB Capital during its mandatory offer for purchase of shares in Novorossiysk Grain Plant.

Noerr

Noerr is adept at handling cross-border transactions governed by German, English or Russian law, which is reflective of its client base which consists of European and US financial institutions. The group’s primary strength lies in project and infrastructure finance, export and pre-export finance, real estate transactions and syndicated lending, among others. The department is headed by Vladislav Skvortsov and Stefan Weber.

Practice head(s):

Vladislav Skvortsov; Stefan Weber

Testimonials

‘The team is distinguished by its particular flexibility and understanding of business processes. Stefan Weber is a top specialist who has the ability to properly manage the work process inside the firm.’

‘Very quick answers and prompt responses, going into the depth of the issue. A partner-led approach.’

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 on amendments to English, German and Russian security law and project documentation related to the Russian law facility agreements for OOO Terawatt and OOO Solar-Generation.
  • Advised VTB Bank PJSC on amendments to the German and Russian law security and project documentation under Russian law facility agreement for Energoeffect DB LLC.
  • Advised VTB Bank PJSC on amendments to the English, German and Russian law project and security documentation related to the Russian law facility agreement for Eco Energy RUS LLC.