Employment in Russia

ALRUD Law Firm

ALRUD Law Firm fields a team of 'highly qualified specialists' expertly led by Irina Anyukhina, who has 'an immense amount of expertise and excellent knowledge of local employment practices'. The practice handles the labour aspects of M&A-related restructurings and transfers, outsourcing and mobility issues, and trade union matters, and has been notably active recently in relation to workplace compliance issues. Other key figures include Maria Gnutova and Margarita Egiazarova for employment litigation and out-of-court conflict settlement. Olga Pimanova and Anastasia Petrova are recommended for general non-contentious labour matters.

Practice head(s):

Irina Anyukhina


‘The team are very experienced and have a substantial knowledge of the practice. They are passionate, hands-on and keen. Their most significant strength is their experience in employment matters.’

‘The Alrud team consists of highly qualified specialists. The employment practice has provided effective advice to our company on labour law in difficult circumstances. They acted quickly and very confidently. The team’s advice was very clearly structured and easy implemented. The fees are reasonable and absolutely transparent.’

‘Irina Anyukhina has an immense amount of expertise and excellent knowledge of local employment practices. She also has a wide network of contacts, and clients value her willingness to help in the most unusual situations.’

‘Maria Gnutova has deep expertise in local labour regulations and excellent knowledge of local practices. Great availability and fast response times, even for the most complicated cases.’

‘Margarita Egiazarova has deep expertise in statutory regulations. She gives valuable advice, factoring in both business needs and statutory compliance.’

Key clients

Shire Plc.

Uber B.V.


Goldman Sachs


Work highlights

  • Advised a multinational insurance and business management firm on various employment law issues and employee integration following the client’s acquisition of a leading insurance, reinsurance and brokerage company.
  • Advising a multinational client in respect of the planned worldwide personnel restructuring and carve-out of one of its lines of business and its sale.
  • Assisted Arthur D Little with the development and structuring of its employment contracts, employee benefit schemes and all relevant local labour compliance policies following its entrance into the Russian market via its newly established subsidiary.

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Igor Makarov chairs the employment practice at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited, which is spread across the Moscow and St Petersburg offices and has an 'excellent reputation' for assisting local and international clients with post-transaction HR integration and compliance issues, immigration, trade union matters and employment structuring. The team also has a strong track record of conducting internal investigations and defending employers in disputes with employees, the state labour inspectorate and other regulatory authorities. In Moscow, Elena  Kukushkina advises on general employment law, contract termination issues, restructuring, executive compensation and employment benefits, while Evgeny Reyzman specialises in labour litigation. Associates Georgy Mzhavanadze and Elena Pitirimova are also of note for contentious employment matters. Maxim Kalinin leads the practice from St Petersburg alongside associate Alexander Korkin.

Practice head(s):

Igor Makarov

Key clients

MSD Pharmaceutical


Johnson & Johnson

Novo Nordisk





Work highlights

  • Advising a leading multinational client on the possible options for the termination of the employment relationship with a senior manager.
  • Advising on a client on internal restructuring, changes in employees’ scope of work and the subsequent termination of employment, as well as various issues related to the bonus payments of a terminated employee and the dismissal of an employee for violation of local policies.
  • Represented charity foundation Raoul on a pro bono basis in the course of a labour inspection, successfully challenging numerous prescriptive orders and penalties imposed by the state labour inspectorate.

Andrey Gorodissky & Partners

Andrey Gorodissky & Partners' full-service employment practice covers assisting employers with the drafting of employment contracts, staff restructuring and dismissals, employment compliance and dispute resolution. Practice head Marina Abramova  has extensive experience representing employers in government audit investigations and labour disputes and advising on employee termination matters. Kristina Timoshenko is recommended for the drafting and review of employment agreements and for her advice on compliance with local regulation.

Practice head(s):

Marina Abramova


A highly professional, customer-oriented firm with deep knowledge of the Russian legal system and solid experience of solving complex problems. The team’s representation of major clients and involvement in successful projects confirms its good reputation in the market.’

‘Marina Abramova has deep knowledge and expertise, is very attentive to detail and is a great litigation lawyer.’

Key clients

Levi Strauss

Roust Inc.

Mistral Trading

Vardanyan, Broitman and Partners



AO CB Citibank


Work highlights

  • Represented Mistral Trading in a dispute with a former employee who challenged a disciplinary sanction.
  • Assisted Samsung Electronics Rus Company in the localisation of its global policy relating to child labour.
  • Successfully defended Excalibur in a dispute brought by a former employee claiming the recovery payment of a substantial amount of salary.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP is best known for its excellent credentials in resolving complex labour disputes between employers and employees, the state labour inspectorate and other regulatory authorities. The team led by Nadezhda Ilyushina also advises on non-contentious employment law matters such as employee and senior management benefits, internal restructuring, data protection, immigration issues, and staff hires and dismissals. Also of note is counsel Yuri Ivanov, who specialises in dispute resolution, both in and out of court, particularly in cases involving appeals against the legality of dismissals and claims for payment of compensation.  

Practice head(s):

Nadezhda Ilyushina


‘BCLP’s employment practice is one of the best in the market: they provide support in the full scope of employment matters, including advisory and contentious work. Their advice is always very practical and helpful. The team is very responsive and client oriented.’

‘The team is highly qualified and result oriented. In my opinion it is the best team specialising in employment matters on the market. They have strong knowledge of labour and related legislation, including procedural legislation. Other strengths include their creativity in complicated cases, independence, quick responses, and many years of practical experience.’

‘Yuri Ivanov is a bright personality, and has brilliant presentation and communication skills. He is persuasive in court and before the state authorities. Yuri is proactive, gives practical advice, has extensive expertise in employment law, and demonstrates outstanding motivation and interest in advising the client’ 

‘Yuri Ivanov is a real star, providing thoughtful and practical advice. He is also very good at handling contentious matters.’

Key clients


Dr. Reddys’s Laboratories

Guardian Industries

Johnson & Johnson

Mareven Food


Work highlights

  • Represented a global pharmaceutical company in six separate court proceedings with former employees challenging unfair dismissals and payment of bonuses.
  • Assisted Trubnaya Metallurgicheskaya Kompaniya (TMK), a global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, with the development and drafting the company’s code of conduct.


Marina Ryzhkova heads the employment practice at Dentons, where she has extensive experience handling the full gamut of non-contentious and contentious employment law matters. Core areas of activity include drafting employment contracts, advising on employee benefits, assisting with issues arising in the course of an employer’s restructuring, and dismissals, among other matters. Ryzhkova is also frequently instructed to represent employers in the out-of-court resolution of individual and collective disputes.

Practice head(s):

Marina Ryzhkova


‘Very diverse, very strong and with good connections on an international level; high level of availability; very good understanding of international corporate clients’

‘Highly qualified, very practical and flexible, strong in litigation’

DLA Piper

DLA Piper's experience spans domestic and cross-border employment-related restructurings, the employment aspects of acquisitions, outsourcing and business transfer projects, and internal compliance investigations, and it has also been active in employment litigation. Key figure Vladislav Mazur is 'a bright lawyer who provides quality legal advice'.

Practice head(s):

Vladislav Mazur


‘Very reputable and knowledgeable team assisting with complicated cross-border employment issues, taking into account the specifics of the Russian legal landscape.’

‘Vladislav Mazur is a very bright and knowledgeable lawyer. He is also very responsive and able to anticipate forthcoming issues and provide quality legal advice that is specifically tailored to the client’s current and possible future requirements.’

Key clients


UCB Pharma

Sova Capital

LivaNova International

Coty Beauty


Work highlights

  • Advised ZeniMax Media on a range of employment issues, such as the drafting of its employee handbook, internal labour regulations, and anti-bribery, personal data, fitness, referral, online communication and other related policies and rules.
  • Advised LivaNova International, a global medical technology company, on the dismissal of several senior managers of its Russian subsidiary.
  • Advised Coty on the termination of foreign senior management staff  and other related issues covering employment, migration, tax and corporate matters.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners' practice head Anna Ivanova has a 'terrific reputation in the market' and 'extensive experience' providing legal assistance on general employment law and HR issues, employee benefits and incentive plans, and immigration law. She also has a successful track record of representing employers in individual and collective labour disputes, including litigation and out-of-court settlements.

Practice head(s):

Anna Ivanova


‘Anna Ivanova has terrific reputation in the market coupled with extensive experience in a variety of labour matters in Russia. A highly accomplished litigation lawyer.’

Key clients

Cisco Systems

Mission Foods

Spectracom SAS

Retail Insight Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of Cisco Systems in a dispute with a former employee who demanded to be reinstated at work after his dismissal for absenteeism.
  • Assisted Mission Foods with the establishment of an automated system of working hours accounting, pro rata salary system and other relevant HR issues.
  • Advised Spectracom on structuring and supporting the transfer of employees during the sale of its Russian subsidiary.

Pepeliaev Group

Pepeliaev Group's expertise in employment law includes advising employers on internal restructuring, hires and dismissals, immigration issues and general HR assistance. The team is led by Julia Borozdna, who advises on non-contentious matters and is also experienced in pre-trial settlement of labour disputes and litigation. Senior associates Dmitry Zykov and Anna Berlina are of note for internal audits, data protection and representation before the labour regulatory authorities.

Practice head(s):

Julia Borozdna

Key clients


Barilla Group (Harry’s)

Becton Dickinson

DHL Logistics


Gazprom Personal

PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal)

PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal) is able to leverage the complementary expertise in taxation and human resources management of its global network to offer clients comprehensive advice on a range of employment matters, including immigration, employee stock option plans and long-term incentive programmes. Yana Zoloeva, Gennady Odarich and Alexei Dingin are the key figures.

Practice head(s):

Yana Zoloeva; Gennady Odarich; Alexei Dingin

Key clients



Coty Inc. (Russwell)


Gazprom EP International

Nord Stream 2 AG

Work highlights

  • Assisting Airbus Russia with a range of employment issues, such as the preparation and adjustment of mutual agreements on the termination of employment relations with employees, and immigration law issues in respect of expatriates working in its Moscow office.
  • Advising Sberbank of Russia on matters related to its long-term incentive plan, the dismissal of employees and changes to terms of employment.
  • Advising Procter & Gamble on its restructuring and the relocation of foreign employees from various CIS and EU countries to Moscow and other Russian regions, including St Petersburg and the Tula region.


CMS advises on all aspects of Russian employment and migration laws, including assisting with contracts, handbooks and benefits, as well as providing advice on the termination and transfer of employees, redundancies, labour disputes and negotiating with trade unions. Valeriy Fedoreev is the lead partner. 

Practice head(s):

Valeriy Fedoreev

Key clients

Qatar Airways

Oliver Wyman




Korn Ferry

Dress& Sommer

Gilead Sciences

Work highlights

  • Advising Qatar Airways on a range of employment and migration issues, including employees’ compliance, company policies, termination of employment and other labour issues in Russia.
  • Advising Vestas on various employment matters, including immigration, labour agreements, internal policies and personal data.
  • Advising Mitsubishi Corporation on Russian labour law issues, compensation and benefits.

FBK Legal

FBK Legal's employment law capabilities range from general HR support, such as advising on the hiring and dismissal of Russian and foreign employees, incentive schemes, and immigration and data protection issues, to representation in contentious cases before the regulatory authorities. The firm also expanded its offering in St Petersburg with the acquisition of boutique firm NB Legal Agency. Alexandra Gerasimova and Sergey Ermolenko are the key figures.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Gerasimov

Key clients

Teva (Actavis)

Can-Pack S.A.



Yamaha Motor CIS

Work highlights

  • Assisting Sesderma with a range of employment issues, including regulations on confidentiality and protection of trade secrets, personal data protection, employee liability agreements, leave provisions and bonus programmes.
  • Advising H20 Software on various employment issues.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer


Alexander Titov leads the team at Noerr and advises international clients on the full range of Russian employment and immigration matters. Other areas of expertise include recruitment, incentives and the dismissal of senior executives; compliance with local regulations; outsourcing; internal restructuring; and the settlement of employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Titov


‘Noerr provided excellent legal advice and managed to explain Russian legal concepts very well.’

Key clients



Rolls-Royce Power System

Work highlights

  • Represented a retail client in a dispute brought by an employee over the potential non-compliance with the law of the company’s working time system.


BEITEN BURKHARDT primarily advises international clients on general HR management issues, labour disputes and pre-trial settlements, trade union negotiations and Russian collective labour law matters, among other issues. Practice head Andrey Slepov is also experienced in data protection.

Practice head(s):

Andrey Slepov

Work highlights

  • Representing a global corporation in a dispute with an employee.
  • Representing an employer in court proceedings and numerous labour inspectorate investigations into the dismissal of an employee (a trade union member) due to the closure of a separate subdivision of the company in one region.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP specialises in handling employment matters in the technology and financial services sectors, with a focus on the termination of employees and remuneration schemes and policies. Regulatory lawyer Anna Maximenko is the key contact in the Moscow office; her practice spans contentious and non-contentious employment matters and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Anna Maximenko

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland advises Russian and international companies on the employment-related aspects of corporate transactions, including conducting due diligence reviews of labour issues. The team also advises on the implementation of strategic employment policies relating to trade secrets and data protection, as well as handling litigation. Key figures include corporate partner Mikhail Timonov and disputes specialist Yury Pugach; associate Ekaterina Mironova is also noted for her 'experience and outstanding work in employment law'.

Practice head(s):

Mikhail Timonov


‘The Eversheds Russia team is knowledgeable and thorough. They do great work.’

‘Ekaterina Mironova is always well prepared, in addition to her expertise in employment law matters. Outstanding work.’

Key clients

Cherkizovo Group



Stora Enso



Work highlights

  • Assisted Valspar with the change of general director.

Five Stones Consulting

Five Stones Consulting advises on HR matters, personal data protection and trade union relations, such as collective negotiations and industrial actions. The firm is skilled at advising senior executives and employers alike, particularly in relation to the negotiation of compensation and contract terms. Alexander Karpukhin has 'excellent knowledge and practical understanding' of non-contentious and contentious employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Karpukhin


‘The team has unique knowledge of Russian labour law and an understanding of foreign clients’ needs. Very supportive on different types of audits by the authorities (which is a tough exercise in Russia). The most professional team in labour law in Russia with a very transparent and reliable billing system.’

‘This practice is unique as they understand how to work both for companies and individuals and understand how the parties to an employment dispute really think in practice. They understand the judge’s views and the drivers for the decision-making process, and their view is practical and useful for the client.’

‘Alexander Karpukhin has excellent knowledge, practical understanding and is always positive.’

‘Alexander Karpukhin is the best adviser on employment matters and has very deep and longstanding experience in employment matters across different areas. He is well known in this area of law and we feel safe when dealing with him.’

Key clients

British American Tobacco


Jones Lang LaSalle

Association of Russian Young Dentists

Taste of Russia

Work highlights

  • Advising Jones Lang LaSalle on the development of a system of HR documents.
  • Providing ongoing employment advice to British American Tobacco on employment matters in Russia, including ad hoc questions and litigation in the field of employment.

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Hogan Lovells (CIS) focuses on providing assistance to international clients on Russian employment law matters such as executive level terminations, mass redundancy procedures and workplace harassment issues, as well as on the labour aspects of cross-border corporate transactions, business transfers and outsourcing. It also handles employment litigation. Serafima Pankratova is the main figure in the team alongside corporate managing partner Oxana Balayan.

Practice head(s):

Oxana Balayan

Key clients


Chr. Hansen


Work highlights

  • Advising Medela on various employment issues related to its presence in Russia, including advising on pension reforms and restrictions on the termination of employees of pre-retirement age, and on mandatory wage indexation in Russia.
  • Advising HBS, the exclusive broadcaster of Fifa, on various employment and migration matters related to the 2018 Fifa World Cup, including the preparation of template employment agreements, migration issues and employment regulations in Russia, among other matters.

Squire Patton Boggs

Irina Golovanova leads the employment practice at Squire Patton Boggs and has extensive experience handling cross-border employment matters, with a notable focus on contentious work involving the dismissal of senior executives. She also advises international companies on corporate restructuring, personal data protection and regulatory compliance.

Practice head(s):

Irina Golovanova