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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 > Commercial, corporate and M&A > St Petersburg and elsewhere > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A: St Petersburg and elsewhere
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which St Petersburg and elsewhere clients in Russia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited’s ‘service-oriented’ team is ‘efficient at settling complex matters’ and provides ‘valuable support to its clients’. The firm has advised on a number of domestic and cross-border projects across the real estate, oil and gas, food and retail sectors, and has also picked up a number of mandates from clients in the automotive industry. Managing partner and ‘competent professionalMaxim Kalinin advises on M&A, joint ventures and corporate issues, and counsel Olga Anikina is praised for her ‘readiness to discuss all potential results’ and her ‘enthusiasm in solving set problems’. Recent highlights include advising Kesko on the sale of its K-Ruoka food retail business, and acting for Power Machines on its joint venture with The Linde Group, a gas supplier and engineering company.

DLA Piper’s ‘excellent’ team ‘brings all the necessary expertise to each matter’ and ‘approaches projects with a wide level of coverage and deep research’. The team recently advised Zara on the due diligence aspects of an IT centralisation project launched by Indtex Group. Other work included advising Bank Saint-Petersburg on the structuring of its venture capital fund and innovation lab, which focuses on early-stage projects. Other clients include the St Petersburg City Administration and Deutsche Bank. Key partner Natalia Vygovskaya ‘finds the right balance between a legal and a business-oriented approach’, has ‘solid intuition’ and is ‘quick to understand technical and factual details of projects’; legal director Wilhelmina Shavshina is noted for her regulatory expertise. Denis Sosedkin heads the practice.

Dentons provides ‘professional, timely and accurate advice’ and ‘manages each project with clarity and efficiency’. The team is notably active in the IT, TMT and e-commerce sectors, and has a strong track record of advising on domestic and cross-border deal structuring, sanctions issues and the antitrust aspects of transactions. Key figures include IP specialist Victor Naumov and Evgenia Teterevkova, whose ‘outstanding leadership ensures that everything runs like clockwork’. In a recent highlight, the team advised Grishin Robotics on the concept for the drafting of the first robotics law in Russia, focusing on the regulatory aspects of the use of artificial intelligence. Artem Zhavoronkov is now with Borenius.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners shows ‘great professionalism and commitment to clients’ projects’. The firm is known for its law-making activities and its cross-border work across Europe, Asia and Latin America, where it advises on M&A, joint ventures and investment projects. Recent work includes advising National Media Group on its share sale deal, and handling a range of corporate and commercial issues for various clients including Tenneco, Johnson Controls and Energyst. Elena Agaeva heads the practice and specialises in cross-border M&A, and senior associate Evgenia Evdokimova handles media and banking sector deals.

The ‘responsive, practical and flexible’ group at Borenius provides ‘quick turnarounds’ and is ‘very cost-conscious’. The firm maintains strong ties with its Finnish office, advising a range of Nordic clients on Russian law pertaining to M&A, commercial contracts and transaction-related employment and antitrust issues. Notable work included advising Dantherm Holding on its acquisition of a climate solutions business in Russia, and acting for Kesko on its sale of a Russian sports retail subsidiary, a matter involving employment and bank guarantee issues. Counsel Alexey Nikitin advises on joint ventures, group structuring and corporate and contract law, and ‘promptly understands the substance of the matter and clients’ goals’. Managing partner Andrei Gusev has extensive expertise in investments and acquisitions made by foreign entities. Artem Zhavoronkov was a new arrival from Dentons in February 2019.

The ‘responsive’ team at Capital Legal Services provides ‘accurate, concise advice’, and is ‘always able to assist, no matter what’. The firm primarily advises international entities on acquisitions of and investments in Russian businesses, and also offers day-to-day commercial support to Russian subsidiaries and daughter companies of foreign corporates. Notable work included advising Henkel on an intergroup merger and reorganisation; acting for Cupquelan, a Chilean frozen products exporter, on its establishment of a subsidiary in the Russian market; and advising Toyota on its investments in Russia-based dealers. Founding partner Vladislav Zabrodin is recommended along with practice head Pavel Karpunin, who has a strong track record in corporate restructuring and M&A in the transport, infrastructure and construction sectors.

Castrén & Snellman St Petersburg’s range of expertise includes M&A, private equity and venture capital, and the firm retains a strong base of Nordic clients including Viking Line, Stockmann and Lantmännen. The department is headed by Heidi Paalanen-Koev, who has solid experience in cross-border transactions involving multiple jurisdictions. Sergei Lee is the other key figure along with counsel Anton Nakou, who advises foreign investors on various corporate and regulatory matters related to the acquisition of land, buildings and other real estate in Russia. Notable highlights included advising CapMan on its high-value investment in Kokoc Group, and assisting EPI Russia with its sale of a Russian real estate portfolio to Raven Russia.

Maxima Legal is significantly active in north-west Russia, advising a mix of domestic and multinational corporations on corporate law, M&A and real estate matters. The group recently assisted Avestra Group with its sale of controlling shares in an India-based subsidiary, working with New Delhi-based lawyers to advise on deal structuring and corporate and contractual documentation. Other highlights included assisting English architectural company Bryden Wood with its entry into the Russian real estate market, and acting for Fareva Holdings on a range of corporate and commercial matters. Managing partner Maxim Avrashkov is the key figure. Vladimir Kilinkarov left for Dentons.

PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal CIS B.V.) provides ‘high-quality services that focus on the client’s needs’; the team ‘aims to resolve each issue individually and achieve the best possible results’. The firm has significant expertise in the pharmaceutical sector; recent highlights include advising Ipsen Pharma on regulations surrounding medical devices and biologically active additives, and acting for Chiesi Farmaceutici on the launch of its drug production operations in Russia. The group is headed by senior associate Evgeniy Gouk, who specialises in contractual and corporate law. Other key figures include Andrey Odabashian, who heads the pharmaceuticals and life sciences practice, and Maria Nevzorova, who advises on property deals and development projects.

Pepeliaev Group advises on corporate reorganisations, M&A, antitrust and compliance matters, and also has a strong track record in commercial contract drafting and corporate disputes. Key individuals include Sergey Spasennov, who specialises in foreign direct investments, restructuring and real estate transactions, and Sergey Sosnovsky, who advises on the tax aspects of transactions in the banking, real estate and oil and gas sectors. In a recent highlight, the team represented Daesung Industrial in a dispute regarding sale and purchase agreements for products manufactured in South Korea. Other active clients include Lenta, Maersk and Calsonic Kansei.

The ‘client-oriented, exceptionally knowledgeable team’ at Prime Advice provides ‘comprehensive advice’, and is praised for its ‘deep specialism across a wide range of fields’. The firm advises on due diligence for large-scale M&A, and handles reorganisations, securities registration and merger control issues. Key practitioners include Inna Vavilova, who ‘stands out for her professionalism and extensive experience’ and ‘always strives to understand the core of the client’s business’. Managing partners Denis Khimilyayne and Alexey Sobolev are also recommended.

RBL Law Firm is noted for its strength in real estate and commercial transactions, advising a mix of domestic and foreign clients in the oil and gas, agriculture, transport and food sectors, among others. Notable work included acting for Ukrainian company TAS Group on its purchase of 500 railway cars from a Russian leasing company, in the context of Russian and Ukrainian sanctions. The team also advised oil service company Otradnoe on various operating activities regarding its oil and gas wells. Managing partner Dmitriy Samigullin is recommended along with Denis Gerasimov.

S&K Vertical’s team is headed by Mikhail Ilin, who specialises in M&A, corporate law and company disputes. Other key practitioners include Alena Bachinskaya, who represents clients in corporate litigation, and Tatyana Mikoni, who has notable expertise in investments and asset management projects. Recent work includes assisting the All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation with its various corporate activities, and advising a number of charitable foundations on day-to-day issues, some key names including Musica Aeterna, cystic fibrosis charity Ostrova, and the Foundation for Support of Social and Cultural Projects "Alma Mater".

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