Real estate and construction in Russia
Providing ‘highly reliable and well-targeted strategic advice, which is up-to-date with all recent market trends’, Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles all legal aspects of real estate and construction. The ‘exceptionally strong’ team is led by Konstantine Kouzine, who is ‘a brilliant real estate expert and problem solver’. Maxim Kuznechenkov has ‘remarkable market knowledge and negotiation skills’ and ‘understands real estate matters from the perspective of corporate occupiers’. Highlights included assisting the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending with the $400m acquisition of a 42-storey office tower.
Standing out for its ‘unique combination of professionalism, hard work and client-oriented, practical approach’, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP’s practice is headed by Vitaly Mozharowski, who has ‘vast experience and cutting-edge knowledge of real estate’. Also highly recommended are Rustam Aliev, ‘a fantastic lawyer and a strong, results-driven expert’, and Yuri Chernobrivtsev who ‘provides insightful advice and strategic directions’. The team advised an industrial park developer on the sale of part of the Sever-2 logistics park and assisted eBay with the lease of its national headquarters in the White Square Business Centre in Moscow. Other notable clients include X5 Retail Group and Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Headed by the ‘extremely experienced’ Marc Bartholomy, Clifford Chance’s ‘impressive’ real estate and construction practice focuses on property-related transactions. The team assists Vi Holding with a $1.5bn development project involving the construction of office spaces, residential buildings and social infrastructure. Other clients include Norilsk Nickel and the Far East Development Fund. Nick Diakoumis, who is ‘a pleasure to work with’, and senior associate Anna Krutik are also highly regarded.
The real estate lawyers at Dentons ‘always manage to find the best solutions to clients’ problems and assist them in a timely manner’. The team advised Raven Russia on the $120m acquisition of Logopark Sever-2. Practice head Sergey Trakhtenberg has ‘an outstanding client-oriented approach and uses his extraordinary legal skills efficiently’. Based in St Petersburg, Karina Chichkanova has ‘extensive knowledge on infrastructure issues’. Vladimir Sokov joined from Pepeliaev Group in July 2018.
The ‘highly motivated, accessible and competent’ team at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners ‘quickly sorts out the possible course of action for clients, without wasting their time and money’. The practice is headed by Elena Gavrilina, who is ‘an exceptional partner for real estate matters’. Ivan Smirnov is the key contact for St Petersburg.
Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP 'advises clients equally efficiently on both smaller and bigger real estate projects'. The firm recently assisted telecom company Veon with the split of all existing retail stores between its Russian subsidiary VimpelCom and MegaFon, which resulted from the termination of their joint venture. Practice head Dmitry Kunitsa is highly praised for ‘understanding his clients' goals and needs’. Associates Rodion Vizavitsky and Ekaterina Tsvetkova are also noted.
The real estate lawyers at White & Case LLC handle a wide range of transactions for all types of real estate asset classes. Headed jointly by Eric Michailov and recently promoted counsel Daria Plotnikova, the team assisted major retail company X5 Retail Group with the acquisition of 32 supermarkets sold by food retailer O’Key.
ALRUD Law Firm’s team advises on complex construction projects and consists of ‘great professionals and reliable advisers, who are always available and fast in their responses’. Head of the department Andrey Zharskiy, who is ‘extremely competent’, leads on assisting Vi Holding with the redevelopment of the territory of the former Tushino Airport. Associates Stanislav Veselov and Ksenia Bondarenko are other names to note.
Led by Artashes Oganov, CMS’ practice handles a wide range of real estate and construction projects, with particular focus on joint ventures in the area of real estate investment. The team assisted Etam with multiple retail lease agreements for new boutiques. It also advised Honeywell on all aspects regarding land acquisition and the construction of the company's first plant in Russia.
Dechert Russia LLC handles transactional work regarding investment structuring, real estate project development and financing, and rights arising from the sale, acquisition and lease of real estate objects. The team advised Kinross Gold Corporation on issues regarding subsoil rights and mining deposits. Practice head Laura Brank and Evgenia Korotkova are the key contacts.
Kachkin & Partners
Kachkin & Partners’ practice stands out for its ability to assist clients with the resolution of complex disputes, which occasionally involve the Russian authorities. Practice head Dmitry Nekrestyanov, ‘an acknowledged expert’ who ‘possesses vast real estate experience’, successfully represented Morgal Investments in proceedings before the Supreme Court challenging a €1.6bn proposed land development under the residential project Planetograd.
Assisting clients with both contentious and non-contentious matters, KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) fields a team of ‘highly qualified lawyers with an in-depth understanding of the Russian real estate market’, which ‘solves all issues very quickly and professionally’. Practice head Sergey Popov is ‘great at negotiating with contractors, thereby successfully defending his clients' interests’. Also recommended are associates Tatyana Elmakova and Julia Usacheva. The team assisted Fosun with the acquisition of high-value real estate assets, among other matters. Other notable clients include retail company Decathlon, real estate company Hines, and hypermarket chain O'Key.
King & Spalding LLP provides advice on regulatory matters, joint ventures and construction projects in retail, office, commercial, residential and industrial real estate. Led by practice head Olga Kozyr, the team assists Extrusion Technologies with a greenfield project concerning an industrial plant.
Pepeliaev Group advises clients on complex matters concerning land and real estate transactions and construction projects. The department is headed by Natalia Stenina and Alexey Konevsky. The group advised pharmaceutical company Bionorica on multiple legal aspects, including various contractual obligations and construction bidding by contractors, regarding the construction of a plant in Voronezh. Nigina Rabieva, Vladimir Sokov and Ivan Laskov are now at Dentons.
Headed by the ‘diligent and responsible’ Igor Chumachenko, the real estate department at VEGAS LEX provides ‘high-quality and cost-effective legal services’ and is recommended for its ‘deep familiarity with the Russian regulatory framework and the local implementation of EPC projects’. The team supported the Development Corporation of Kamchatka with the implementation of the modernisation project concerning the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Yelizovo) airport.
Jointly headed by Elena Stepanova and Vladislav Zabrodin, Capital Legal Services’ ‘highly qualified and trustworthy specialists’ provide ‘great advice in a timely manner’ and ‘offer the most effective, up-to-date solutions to clients’ problems’. The firm supported retail company Leroy Merlin during the $200m acquisition of multiple shopping locations from Kesko. Associate Alexander Rumyantsev is also highly recommended.
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s real estate practice is headed by the ‘very knowledgeable’ Alyona Kucher. Highlights included advising Sberbank of Russia on the acquisition of multiple office buildings, as well as assisting Transneft with the $1bn acquisition of the Evolution Tower office building in Moscow City.
At Hogan Lovells (CIS), notable clients include Turkish real estate contractor Ant Yapi and Alibaba. The team advised Host Broadcast Services, the official broadcaster of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, on various contractor agreements as well as on the construction of the International Broadcast Centre for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The group also assisted another client with matters regarding the construction and operation of a large logistics complex in central Russia. Oxana Balayan is the key contact. Svetlana Sorkina left the firm in January 2019.
The key strengths of Ivanyan & Partners’ real estate team is its ‘ability to deliver remarkable results under time pressure’ and its ‘good expertise in managing large projects’. The department is headed by Alexey Kozyakov and recently promoted counsel Aleksandr Milosavlevich, while Maria Miroshnikova and senior associate Vasily Papkin are also recommended.
Sirota & Partners ‘reacts quickly to clients’ queries’ and ‘suggests effective and practical solutions to complex real estate issues’. The firm is recommended for its high-quality advice on construction projects, land use rights and lease agreements, among others. Practice head Artem Sirota has ‘a hands-on approach in providing competent legal advice in a time-efficient manner’. Key clients include Deilmann-Haniel and Zorlu Holding.
YUST Law Firm
At YUST Law Firm, the ‘friendly, helpful and competent’ Anna Kotova-Smolenskaya utilises her ‘highly professional approach in assisting clients’ and heads ‘a brilliant team of lawyers’. The team advised RusGaz Alliance LLC on the $20bn construction of a gas-processing plant, and assisted New Lazuli LLC with financing a $80m development project for the construction of a large residential complex. Other notable clients include Russia Housing and Urban Development Corporation, CFC Management and Lotte Group. Roman Cherlenyak and Alexander Rudyakov are recommended.