ALRUD Law Firm is ‘the go-to Russian firm for competition law’. The ‘exceptionally strong’ team adopts ‘a pragmatic approach in supporting clients’ and ‘responds extremely quickly, after having performed its own in-depth research’. Practice co-heads Vassily Rudomino, ‘a very capable and serious professional’, and German Zakharov, ‘highly skilled and great at bringing results’, jointly led the team in representing multinational company Bayer in precedent-setting proceedings against the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). The case concerned the highly publicised $66bn acquisition of Monsanto, which closed in June 2018. Senior associates Ksenia Tarkhova and Ruslana Karimova are also noted.
Competition in Russia
The lawyers at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP stand out due to ‘their impressive professionalism and deep passion for competition law’. The department is headed by Nikolay Voznesenskiy, who is ‘a true leader in competition matters’. Vitaly Dianov is recommended for providing ‘great defence services’ and for his ‘excellent understanding of the internal functioning of the FAS’. The team successfully represented Russian mobile operator VimpelCom in complex proceedings against the FAS concerning changes to B2B SMS service tariffs. Other clients include Sberbank of Russia and Mastercard Members’ Association.
Headed by the ‘very experienced’ Torsten Syrbe, the competition department at Clifford Chance advises on significant antitrust, merger control and regulatory matters. The team is advising MediaMarktSaturn on the antitrust aspects, including regulatory clearance, of its €258m acquisition of a 15% stake in Russia's leading consumer electronics retailer M.video, sold by the majority shareholder Safmar Group. Other clients include Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Pfizer. Senior associate Sardaana Nogovitsyna specialises in all aspects of Russian antitrust and strategic investments regulation.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners' team ‘provides precise strategic guidance and follows through with excellent tactical execution’ and is ‘simply a pleasure to work with’. ‘Tremendously knowledgeable’ practice head Natalia Korosteleva led in acting for Yandex on seeking approval of its joint venture with Uber from the FAS. Anna Numerova ‘brings an expert level of professionalism and thoughtful leadership to the team’. Arkady Krasnikhin ‘provides solid legal and commercial solutions to clients’.
The competition practice at Antitrust Advisory is headed by Evgeny Khokhlov, Alexander Egorushkin and Igor Panshensky. The team partnered up with Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners in advising Yandex on a high-profile joint venture combining the ridesharing businesses of Yandex and Uber. Another highlight was the team's assistance to petrochemical company Sibur with obtaining clearance from the FAS of its joint venture with Gazprom. Other clients include Procter & Gamble and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited
The team at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited is praised for its ‘very strong expertise, deep knowledge of the industry and highly pragmatic approach’. ‘A reliable partner with a great skill set and experience’, practice head Anton Subbot led the team in advising Monsanto on its high-profile acquisition by Bayer. Senior associate Nadia Goreslavskaya is ‘highly competent and efficient’.
Dentons’ team is headed by the ‘remarkably experienced’ Marat Mouradov and assists clients with complex issues regarding compliance, anti-monopoly investigations and merger filings. In June 2018, Radmila Nikitina, Vladimir Sokov, Sergey Klimenko and associate Ksenia Kozhina joined the firm from Pepeliaev Group.
White & Case LLC deals with issues regarding merger control, abuse of a dominant market position and cartel investigations. Highlights included advising Shanghai Aero Auto Electromechanical on anti-monopoly matters and assisting charter airline Travel Service with acquiring a controlling interest in České Aerolinie. Practice head Igor Ostapets and associate Ksenia Tyunik are key contacts.
The competition team at CMS, led by practice head Maxim Boulba, acted for clients Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Nippon Yusen and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines in successfully obtaining unconditional merger clearance regarding a joint venture integrating their container shipping businesses. Other notable clients include oil and gas company OMV and commercial banking company Landesbank Baden-Württemberg.
Headed by Sergey Ermolenko, the competition team at FBK Legal successfully represented major electronic retailer M.video in proceedings brought by the FAS concerning alleged unfair advertising. The group also handles contentious and non-contentious matters for notable clients such as Russian Fishery Company, Gazprom and Yamaha Motor CIS.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The ‘highly professional and experienced’ competition lawyers at KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) are ‘reliable partners for business due to their deep knowledge of the industry’. ‘Excellent and pragmatic’ practice head Ilya Ischuk has ‘outstanding experience in protecting the interests of businesses in court’. Senior associate Julia Kirpikova is ‘great at finding alternative legal solutions’. Clients include retailer Globus and wholesale company Metro Cash & Carry.
At Pepeliaev Group, the competition department is headed by Elena Sokolovskaya, who led the team in successfully acting for Rehau in an FAS investigation concerning an alleged abuse of dominance. Other clients include Pochta Bank and Procter & Gamble. Radmila Nikitina, Vladimir Sokov, Sergey Klimenko and Ksenia Kozhina departed to join Dentons.
ART DE LEX Law Firm
ART DE LEX Law Firm’s ‘talented, experienced and knowledgeable’ team represents clients in complex investigations and cases regarding alleged abuse of dominant position, unfair pricing and cartels. The department is headed by Yaroslav Kulik, who ‘provides simple, yet effective solutions for the implementation of the most ambitious projects’. Kirill Dozmarov and associates Dmitry Gavrilenko and Anna Bolshakova are also highly recommended.
The team at DLA Piper Rus Limited utilises its ‘solid knowledge of competition law and deep understanding of how businesses work’. The practice is headed by the ‘strong and experienced competition lawyer’ Azamat Abdulmenov, who assists companies with anti-monopoly investigations. Notable clients include Gett, TapTaxi and OneWeb.
Infralex handles non-contentious competition work and disputes before the FAS. The practice is headed by the ‘highly respected and competent practitioner’ Elena Kuznetsova, who joined from the Eurasian Economic Commission in October 2017. Valued for his ‘commercial approach and exceptional creativity in finding solutions’, Artur Rokhlin led the team in successfully representing the Federal Institute of Academic Assessments in anti-monopoly proceedings brought by a publishing house.
Kamenskaya & Partners Law Firm
Praised for its ‘extraordinary effectiveness in dealing with very complex cases’, Kamenskaya & Partners Law Firm’s competition practice is headed by Tatiana Kamenskaya, who is ‘always deeply committed to obtaining the best outcome for clients’. The team is representing key client Elox-Prom in unfair competition proceedings concerning know-how rights before the FAS.
Headed jointly by Evgeniya Rakhmanina and Denis Uvarov, the competition department at Linklaters handles matters regarding multi-jurisdictional merger control, unfair competition and antitrust regulation. The team advised PJSC Sberbank on its e-commerce joint venture with Yandex. Other key clients include commodity multinational Glencore and Nestlé.
Noerr has considerable expertise in merger control and strategic investment filings and has built a ‘solid’ reputation for ‘always offering diligently prepared solutions’. Head of the department Stefan Weber has ‘an attentive, client-focused attitude’. Associates Tatiana Dovgan and Artem Kara are also recommended.