Restructuring and insolvency in Russia
ALRUD Law Firm’s 'result-oriented team' is sought after by international and Russian corporations due to its 'good understanding of business and recent developments' in the space and strong track record in restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings. Practice head Sergey Petrachkov represents creditors and debtors in corporate restructuring and bankruptcy–related litigation, as well as coordinating and supporting criminal investigations. His recent highlights include advising Otkritie Capital International on bankruptcy-related matters relating to its acquisition by a third-party Russian investor. Anton Dzhuplin, Alexander Zharskiy, Vassily Rudomino and Magomed Gasanov are 'very knowledgeable with a proactive and solution-oriented approach'.
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited’s practice continues to attract international and Russian clients, for which it handles restructuring matters and bankruptcy proceedings and disputes. Litigation partner Edward Bekeschenko is representing European subsidiaries of a Russian bank and a number of international corporations in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. Maxim Kuznechenkov is advising real estate and construction sector clients on the recovery of debt from an insolvent contractor and liquidation procedures. Pavel Novikov frequently acts alongside Bekeschenko in bankruptcy litigation.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is 'one of the most prominent bankruptcy practices' in the market, according to one client, and the 'top-level team' represents well-known Russian corporations, international financial institutions and their Russian subsidiaries in insolvency proceedings in local arbitration courts and the Supreme Court. Valery Eremenko and Dmitry Dyakin are active in the team's most significant insolvency proceedings. Denis Arkhipov successfully defended the shareholders of an insurance company against claims of subsidiary liability during the course of its bankruptcy proceedings. St Petersburg managing partner Ivan Smirnov is also active in bankruptcy-related disputes.
Linklaters significantly strengthened its practice with the recruitment of head of disputes Vladimir Melnikov from Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP. The team's strong capabilities in debt restructuring were in evidence in Melnikov's advice, alongside London-based dispute partners Matthew Weiniger and Bruce Bell, to Sberbank on the multi-jurisdictional €6bn debt restructuring of Agrokor Group, the largest privately-owned company in Croatia. Elsewhere, banking specialist Michael Bott is assisting Sberbank with amendments to $1.75bn of financing provided to JSC Antipinsky Refinery.
Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners’ team of 'talented, client-oriented and responsible lawyers' has a strong track record in bankruptcy proceedings. In recent work, lead insolvency partner Anton Aleksandrov, who is lauded for 'his profound knowledge of Russian procedure and thoughtful legal tactics in the courtroom' is representing Prodimex, the largest Russian sugar producer, in insolvency proceedings of Ivolga-Center and Sakhar Zolotukhino. He is also acting for Yugra Bank in challenging banking license revocation orders by the Russian Central Bank and the public announcement of its bankruptcy. In other key matters, Kirill Udovichenko is defending the O1 Group in a claim filed by Bank Otkritie regarding invalidation of transactions valued at RUR35bn, as part of the bank’s insolvency and restructuring procedures.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP’s team handles complex restructuring mandates, often in multiple jurisdictions, as well as bankruptcy proceedings for domestic and international clients. In recent highlights, a cross-disciplinary team consisting of Oleg Khokhlov, Elena Trusova and Ivan Veselov are advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on restructuring a $30m convertible facility to Prognoz Group through a debt-to-equity swap arrangement, in the process changing the EBRD’s role from a lender to a minority equity investor. Khokhlov acted for Sberbank Investment on a complex restructuring of all external financing provided to the Genser Group.
At Ivanyan & Partners, experienced insolvency litigator Alexey Kozyakov is acting for Stroygazconsulting and its subsidiaries in complex bankruptcy proceedings and is advising on the terms of debt restructuring with its biggest creditor, a leading Russian bank, totalling $415m. In other significant matters, he is assisting Baledge, as the creditor, with the recovery of $166m of debt and assets from CentrO and CentrObuv retail chain. Sergey Chuprygin represents leading Russian banks as the main creditors in debt recovery and bankruptcy proceedings.
KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) is particularly noted for assisting creditors with debt recovery and advising shareholders and company directors on subsidiary liability for the insolvency of the company and outstanding debt. Managing partner Andrey Korelskiy heads the bankruptcy practice; he is acting for National Clearing Centre in challenging a $50m payment to a large investment company prior to its bankruptcy. In another significant matter, Ilya Ischuk achieved the dismissal of all subsidiary liability claims filed against a former CEO of an online retailer concerning the company’s debt amounting to approximately $175m. Konstantin Astafiev represents private clients in initiating bankruptcy proceedings.
LP Law Firm has a strong focus on representing the interests of creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, particularly in challenging debtor’s transactions involving asset dissipation and settlement agreements. In the restructuring space, practice head Dmitriy Chepurenko advised on the establishment of a financial rehabilitation plan for the creditors and debtors of Petrostal metallurgical plant. He is also involved in several highly publicised disputes relating to the bankruptcies of the Moscow Bread plant and Nastyusha Grain Company. Vladislav Ganzhala is another key name to note; associate Alexander Dondokov supports Chepurenko and Ganzhala on insolvency mandates.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP’s restructuring practice is supported by a cross-border team of finance and dispute resolution experts, and is regularly instructed by leading Russian banks as well as international institutions and their Russian subsidiaries. Practice head Grigory Marinichev specialises in advising international lenders and borrowers on debt restructuring transactions and insolvency matters. He and London-based litigation partner Peter Sharp are representing VTB Bank, as part of a syndicate of international banks, in the bankruptcy proceedings of various entities within the Red October metallurgical group.
Allen & Overy Legal Services
Allen & Overy Legal Services’ restructuring and insolvency practice advises Russian corporations and investors on restructuring and acts for creditors in the recovery of assets and bankruptcy proceedings. Key contact Igor Gorchakov is acting for Morgan Stanley Bank, as the security agent and the facility agent, in the bankruptcy proceedings of South Oil Company, as well as Astrakhan–Neft as the guarantors under the syndicated loan agreement. Aviation finance specialist Ilya Dvorkin’s expertise covers aircraft repossession, restructurings and bankruptcy; he is acting for several subsidiaries of VTB Leasing, the lessors under the aircraft lease agreements, in the bankruptcy proceedings of Transaero, the second largest airline in Russia. Recently promoted counsel Sergey Blinov is also noted.
Bartolius ’ sizeable team, which is headed by Dmitry Provodin, handles advocacy in bankruptcy litigation for Russian corporations and individuals. The team is involved in a number of significant mandates, frequently acting on the side of the creditor. In a recent standout matter, Provodin achieved a favourable outcome for client Moscow United Energy Company as the creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings of Moscow State Unitary Enterprise. He also successfully represented Raiffaisenbank, as the secure creditor, in the course of the insolvency proceedings of Shadrinskiy steel production plant. Natalia Vasilieva, Aleksey Tolmachev and Vera Segal are other names to note.
Dmitry Bazarov at BGP Litigation is involved in a number of significant bankruptcy disputes; he is representing Lukoil in six disputes concerning the invalidation of several payments with a combined value of RUR700m to a bankrupt construction company. He is also acting for Zemsky Bank as the secured creditor in a bankruptcy case concerning a petroleum base. Recently promoted counsel Ilya Sorokin and Anton Pomazan are also active in bankruptcy proceedings, frequently acting alongside Bazarov.
At Clifford Chance, managing partner Victoria Bortkevicha is a specialist in banking transactions and also heads the insolvency practice. She and Vladimir Barbolin are advising long-standing client Sberbank on Utair’s debt restructuring. Dispute resolution partner Timur Aitkulov represents international clients in bankruptcy proceedings.
At Dechert Russia LLC, Moscow managing partner Laura Brank is representing Hochtief Projektentwicklung in bankruptcy proceedings against its Russian subsidiary, as well defending against several claims initiated by the subsidiaries’ creditors. She is also representing Metrolit, as one of the creditors of a Russian ceramics plant, in a dispute arising out of the insolvency initiation proceedings initiated by another creditor. Yuri Makhonin focuses on disputes and regularly supports Brank in insolvency proceedings.
Dentons' team acts for international lenders on restructuring secured cross-border commercial property loans and export trade debt, as well as handling Russian insolvency proceedings. Roman Zaitsev specialises in commercial disputes; he is currently representing Sita International as the service provider and grantor of a license relating to to the bankruptcy proceedings of Russian airline Transaero. He is also acting for Commerzbank Eurasia in recovering debt under a credit agreement. In other work, he and Timothy Stubbs are advising The Polish Export Credit Insurance Corporation on recourse claims against a Russian borrower. St Petersburg-based Mikhail Ivanov is also active in disputes in the space.
FBK Legal is able to draw on its expertise from the dispute resolution and corporate teams in handling complex insolvency matters on the side of the borrower and also acting for creditors in the recovery of debt. Alexander Ermolenko and Natalya Lezhennikova are assisting long-standing client Sberbank with conducting a thorough due diligence and assessment of associated risks relating to indebted companies as well as for the debtor’s subsidiaries. Sergey Ermolenko assisted Central Geological Company with setting up a debt-repayment plan for TNI, an insolvent company acquired by the client.
Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
The team at Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP is able to draw on the firm's expertise in finance, corporate and dispute resolution matters to assist Russian and international financial institutions. Evgeny Zelensky advised EurExpo on the financial restructuring and indebtedness of two debtors of AO Raiffeisenbank (Russia). Dmitry Gubarev is noted for debt restructuring; Artjom Buligin is a key figure for cross-border restructuring and debt enforcement and recovery; and Alexei Panich focuses on bankruptcy-related disputes.
Pepeliaev Group assists domestic and international creditors with the recovery of debt from their Russian subsidiaries and contractors, representation in bankruptcy proceedings and the management of insolvency risks. The practice, which is led by former judge Yulia Litovtseva, also has strong expertise in the area of subsidiary liability for debtors. Alrosa, Bank Kuznetskiy, Creditbank, Rietumu Banka and Universal Leasing Company are among its clients.
Yury Pugach at Eversheds Sutherland represented Czech Export Bank, as the creditor, in a dispute concerning the bankruptcy of GEP Vologdaoblcommunenergo. Pugach also acts for the same client in debt recovery matters concerning various other bankruptcy proceedings. In other matters, Pugach represents Mattel in relation to the bankruptcies of its Russian counterparties. Mikhail Timonov also acts for creditors in a number of bankruptcy proceedings.
At Ilyashev & Partners , Vladimir Zakharov is involved in several significant insolvency mandates, both on the side of the creditor and debtor. He assisted Logopark Pyshma, as the creditor, with securing the registration of a debt valued at $150m against one of its debtors; he also successfully advised Vitino Port on avoiding a liquidation procedure. The practice is a popular choice for real estate developers including PK Yurovo, Business-Elite and Central Development Company, which instruct the team on securing the registration of creditors' claims and debt recovery matters.
Khrenov & Partners
Khrenov & Partners' team represents the interests of private individuals in bankruptcy proceedings, in addition to acting for debtors and creditors in the construction, energy and banking sectors. Name partner Alexander Khrenov is acting for the creditors, IDGC of North-West, in recovering debt recovery actions in regional arbitration courts. Elsewhere, corporate insolvency specialist Igor Nikolaenko is representing Gazpromneft-Omsk Oil Refinery as one of the creditors in the bankruptcy of debtor, JSC Penza chemical engineering plant.
Nikolay Pokryshkin, Maxim Kulkov and Oleg Kolotilov jointly head the team at boutique litigation firm KK&P TRIAL LAWYERS, which has a strong track record in representing banking institutions and other creditors in cross-border insolvency proceedings. Pokryshkin and Kulkov are representing Raiffeisen Bank in attempts to recover over $53m of debt (secured by the mortgage of one of Russia’s largest shopping centres) and in protecting the client's interest against various claims made by the debtor and its affiliates. Kolotilov acts for oil and gas sector clients in bankruptcy proceedings. Other clients include Czech Export Bank, B&N Bank and Arcticgas.
Rustam Kurmaev & Partners acts for debtors and creditors in insolvency disputes. Name partner Rustam Kurmaev and 'top-notch bankruptcy expert' Dmitry Kletochkin are representing the interests of Mechel, and its beneficiary, in ongoing proceedings brought by the general director of Rostov Electrometallurgical Plant concerning subsidiary liability in the amount of $179m; the claims were dismissed at first instance. Other clients include Volkswagen Group, Yamaha Motors and Toyota Bank.
Trubor Law Firm
At Trubor Law Firm, Vadim Kodol and associate Elena Patrina secured the dismissal of all claims made by BFG-Credit of subsidiary liability in the amount of RUR50bn filed in the course of bankruptcy proceedings of an individual client. In other work, founding partner Alexander Trushkov successfully defended senior management officials against claims brought by the creditor and the bankruptcy trustee of YamalStroyGasDobycha concerning the recovery of RUR449m. Kirill Trukhanov and Yuri Bortnikov are the other key figures.
YUST Law Firm
YUST Law Firm has a strong offering acting for creditors in the recovery of debt from insolvent borrowers and subsidiary guarantors, as well as representing the interests of debtors. Alexander Bolomatov is defending First Transportation Company against several claims filed by one of its largest creditors, VEB Bank. He also counts East-West United Bank, Kookmin Bank and PoscoRus as clients.