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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Russia > Banking and finance > Borrower side > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Borrower side
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Victoria Bortkevicha - Clifford Chance
    • Olga Davydava - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Igor Gorchakov - Allen & Overy Legal Services
    • Mikhail Loktionov - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Vladimir Barbolin - Clifford Chance
    • Sergey Blinov - Allen & Overy Legal Services
    • Vadim Panin - Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
    • Yuri Shumilov - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Who Represents Who

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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.

The ‘top-notch’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLPunderstands the commercial side of each transaction’, and its ‘experience in project financing is proven by its ability to structure the most complex transactions in the market’. Key practitioners include Artjom Buligin, who is noted for his cross-border restructuring and insolvency expertise; Olga Davydava, who has ‘a deep knowledge of debt schemes and mechanics’ and ‘superb negotiation and mitigation skills’; and recent arrival Dmitry Gubarev, who handles real estate and infrastructure transactions. Vadim Panin is ‘an open and professional lawyer who ensures the smooth documentation and execution of each transaction’. The team is currently acting for project company Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk on the financing and construction of a gas processing plant in the Amur region.

ALRUD Law Firm’s ‘dedicated and responsive’ team provides ‘a very high level of service’, utilising ‘the full expertise of a Russian law firm while also being able to handle a range of international matters’. The firm has increasingly advised on a range of transactions governed by Russian law with foreign law instruments, and has recently handled a number of financing projects for Chinese investors. ‘Proactive partnerAnton Dzhuplindirectly participates in each project, providing professional and client-oriented advice’, and recently assisted Coeclerici Commodities with a loan provided by Unicredit Bank. Alexander Zharskiy and senior associate Ekaterina Mayorova, who ‘quickly focuses on the main legal arguments in banking negotiations’, are the other names to note.

Baker Botts L.L.P.’s ‘service-oriented’ group ‘always tries to find a common solution that satisfies both borrower and lender’, and ‘addresses each question properly, so all involved parties are able to grasp and assess the issue’. Konstantin Garmonin handles a range of cross-border financing transactions, advising on project and pre-export finance, acquisition finance, debt restructuring and syndicated loans; practice head Maxim Levinson has notable expertise in the energy and aviation sectors. The team recently advised Siberian Coal Energy on a $1bn pre-export financing provided by a syndicate of Western banks, and is also acting for Aeroflot on a range of high-value financing mandates.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, key highlights included advising Safmar Group on its $1.3bn financing for the acquisition of the M.Video home appliances retail chain, and acting for Uranium One on a range of cross-border agreements with international banks. Mikhail Loktionov heads the practice, where structured finance and derivatives expert Anna Nersesian is also a key figure along with senior associate Yuri Shumilov. Other active clients include Russian Railways and Polymetal.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s range of expertise includes syndicated lending, real estate finance, restructuring and asset finance. The team acts for a variety of Russian and international corporates across a mix of sectors. Practice head Alexander Tsakoev recently advised Immofinanz Group on restructuring its $930m Russian credit portfolio, and counsel Ksenia Zolotova specialises in domestic and cross-border transactions.

Allen & Overy Legal Services’ ‘co-operative and efficient team’ is ‘always effective in finding the right solution’. Igor Gorchakov and senior associate Sergey Blinov recently advised GeoProMining on a $300m syndicated facility from Sberbank. Practice head Stephen Matthews has notable expertise in real estate, aircraft and shipping finance.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited covers all English and Russian law aspects of banking transactions, and regularly handles cross-border matters spanning Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) jurisdictions including Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Vladimir Dragunov heads the practice, and is involved in a number of securitisation transactions.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP provides ‘very high-quality advice’, and has recently handled a number of cross-border projects spanning London and Hong Kong. Highlights included advising Gett, formerly GetTaxi, on its $100m financing from Sberbank, and acting for AFG National on its debt financing from Russian Direct Investment Fund. Oleg Khokhlov has notable aviation sector expertise, and Tatiana Parshak is ‘a professional and knowledgeable adviser who is highly recommended for sophisticated deals’.

At CMS, highlights included advising Uralkali on a $1.2bn pre-export finance facility arranged by a syndicate of banks including Sberbank, Unicredit and Société Générale. Key practitioner Konstantin Baranov has notable expertise in real estate, acquisition and trade finance matters, and counsel Elena Tchoubykina is recommended for cross-border matters.

Dmitry Shiryaev heads the practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, which recently advised Lukoil on the $1bn project financing of Phase II of the Shah Deniz project, an offshore gas exploration and production project on the South Caspian Sea. Managing partner Natalia Baratiants also advised UTair on two syndicated loans with an aggregate value of RUB43bn.

At Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Alan Kartashkin has ‘a deep understanding of the business environment and clients’ needs’; Nik Kutnaks is praised for ‘always responding promptly and organising documentation efficiently’. Highlights included advising Norilsk Nickel on a $500m revolving credit facility provided by a syndicate of international banks including HSBC, Commerzbank and Sumitomo Mitsui.

Dechert Russia LLC has notable expertise in cross-border project and acquisition financings, and regularly advises on the financing aspects of M&A transactions. Managing partner Laura Brank is the name to note, and recently cooperated with the firm’s London-based practice to advise an ad hoc group of bondholders in Far Eastern Shipping Company on a high-value financial restructuring. Dual-qualified counsel Olga Watson advises on a range of Russian and English law issues.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ wide-ranging practice handles domestic and international financing matters, and advises a mix of state companies, organisations and municipal authorities. Dmitriy Glazounov is the key figure; Arkady Krasnikhin is also recommended.

Gide Loyrette Nouel Vostok advises government and multilateral institutions on cross-border financing transactions, and has been particularly active in the natural resources, infrastructure and energy sectors. Tim Theroux heads the team, which has advised Evraz on a number of financing arrangements. Sistema is also a key client.

Sergey Komolov is the key practitioner at King & Spalding LLP, which has notable banking, insolvency and restructuring expertise. The team also advises on credit facility provision, corporate finance and banking sector M&A.

Liniya Prava Law Firm has a strong track record in credit financing matters and interbank syndicated and subordinated loans. Key figures include Oleg Bychkov, who recently advised Tom Tailor Group on a syndicated credit transaction provided by a pool of foreign credit institutions, and Andrey Novakovskiy, who has notable securities expertise.

Noerr’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘timely responses, great attention to detail and to-the-point advice’. ‘Experienced lawyerVladislav Skvortsov is recommended along with Stefan Wolfgang Weber, who is noted for his ‘business-oriented approach and absolute commitment to agreed deadlines’.

Pepeliaev Group specialises in the tax-related aspects of financial transactions, and also advises on transaction structuring and support. Igor Marmalidi handles international financial and investment transactions, and Ivan Khamenushko advises on the full spectrum of banking-related tax issues.

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