Tax in Russia
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited
Clients praise the ability of the team at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited's to draw upon the international firm’s vast global reach, handling cross-border matters ‘without restrictions in terms of the number of tax jurisdictions involved’. Inbound and outbound tax planning as well as structuring advice relating to M&A transactions are mainstays of the practice; department head Sergei Zhestkov, Arseny Seidov and Marina Tokunova all have notable expertise in this space. The team is well-equipped to represent clients in administrative and judicial tax proceedings, with Maria Kostenko being the go-to contact for tax controversies. Alexander Bychkov leads the CIS customs group and advises on direct and indirect tax matters. Senior associate Roman Bilyk is another well-regarded member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
Arseny Seidov; Alexander Bychkov; Marina Tokunova; Maria Kostenko; Roman Bilyk; Vladimir Efremov; Artem Toropov
‘The Bakers team promptly and efficiently responds to client requests, providing the necessary recommendations for action. The firm’s specialists are able to effectively participate in the design of complex transactions, taking into account full compliance with tax laws and the tax regimes of different jurisdictions.’
‘A distinctive feature of the tax team is its attentive attitude to the problems of the client, the willingness to immediately start working out the issues of interest to the client, the creativity of thinking combined with strict adherence to the norms of tax legislation. The cooperation with Sergey Zhestkov and associate Roman Bilyk is the most effective.’
‘The team is unique in that it provides a wide range of tax services of almost any complexity and without restrictions in terms of the number of tax jurisdictions involved. It is directly involved in the development of draft laws on tax issues, has unique skills in the interpretation and systematic application of tax regulations. The team interacts regularly with fellow lawyers from other specialist teams.’
‘This is a team of experienced tax lawyers who actively participate in the formation of law enforcement practice and the development of changes in tax legislation. Sergei Zhestkov, Kirill Vikulov, Arseny Seyidov and Maria Kostenko are outstanding tax lawyers who deeply understand business problems and are focused on solving tax issues of any complexity, whether it be direct or indirect taxation, transfer pricing or international taxes.’
‘Innovative, proactive, client-oriented, strong theoretically and in terms of practice knowledge.’
‘We worked mostly with Maria Kostenko, who stands out for her strong knowledge, valuable practical advice, proactivity, and friendly and supportive attitude.’
‘Sergei Zhestkov is a star.’
‘It is with pleasure that we have been working with tax partner Arseny Seyidov for a fourth year already. He is distinguished by his prompt communication, willingness to respond at any time, and the high quality of the provided advice.’
Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company
- Assisted Bristol-Meyers Squibb with tax issues following its sale of pharmaceutical company Upsa to Taisho Pharmaceutical.
- Assisted Bristol Myers Squibb with the tax aspects of its global merger with Celgene.
- Advised Evraz Group in connection with taxation of the public holding company.
The sizeable full-service tax and customs practice at Dentons brings together the expertise of legal, financial and accounting specialists to deliver a full range of tax services. The team handles both contentious and non-contentious matters, with clients praising it for being ‘familiar with any situation a company doing business in Russia may face’. It stands out for its strong track record in tax litigation, including multiple recent victories in challenging tax authorities’ decisions; practice head Dzhangar Dzhalchinov is a prominent tax litigator and ‘a unique specialist who offers a wealth of tax knowledge’. On the non-contentious side, the group is adept at handling international tax planning matters, often involving structuring and restructuring transactions; in this space, it bolstered its offering through the appointment of counsel Lidia Charikova, who formerly headed up the tax department at LP Law Firm. Counsel Anna Zvereva has niche tax consulting expertise in the IP realm.
Other key lawyers:
Lidia Charikova; Anna Zvereva; Galina Dontsova; Boris Bruk; Valentin Larin
‘The team has the most amazing breadth of experience and appears to be familiar with any situation a company doing business in Russia may face. It’s easy to communicate with the team and the advice is always provided in clear and concise way, easy to understand and follow for a non-specialist in the field.‘
‘Dentons’ team is unique. In the context of the constant changes in Russian legislation and all new requirements from government agencies, the company’s employees keep their finger on the pulse of these matters and provide professional assistance.‘
‘Great to see a team which includes members of various backgrounds, including former civil servants who can provide insights into the workings of the respective authorities.‘
‘It is often necessary to seek advice on tax and customs issues from Dentons lawyers. All our questions were resolved by Dzhangar Dzhalchinov. He is a unique specialist who offers a wealth of tax knowledge.‘
‘I am a big fan of counsel Galina Dontsova, I don’t think there is anything she does not know about customs. Despite her decades of experience, she does not follow a standard path but remains creative, thinks out of the box, and generates interesting ideas that work!‘
‘Anna Zvereva is an extremely strong Russian tax lawyer. With her, you always know that you will receive pragmatic and extremely professional advice which is relevant to the surrounding reality .‘
Jaguar Land Rover
Orco Property Group
- Assisted Tver Vodokanal with challenging the tax authority’s decision regarding the deductibility of expenses on intra-group services purchased by the client.
- Assisted Russian automotive manufacturer Lada Izhevsk with challenging the tax authority’s decision regarding the deductibility of expenses and VAT offsets, among other issues.
FBK Legal handles the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious tax issues, with clients recommending its services on matters concerning tax consulting and planning, due diligence assignments and tax litigation. The team has demonstrable strengths in all of these areas and regularly assists clients in the oil and gas, energy, IT, transport, retail and pharmaceutical sectors, to name a few. The department has also recently expanded its tax compliance offering for foreign participants in Russian enterprises. Further, the wider tax practice is jointly led by a highly regarded trio – managing partner Nadezhda Orlova , prominent tax litigator Galina Akchurina and tax planning specialist Tatiana Matveicheva. Mikhail Golovanev and senior associate Artem Lomize head up the tax litigation group; Natalia Gerasimova leads the corporate taxation team; Alexander Grigoriev sits at the helm of the tax monitoring practice.
Nadezhda Orlova; Galina Akchurina; Tatiana Matveicheva
Other key lawyers:
Mikhail Golovanev; Artem Lomize; Natalia Gerasimova; Alexander Grigoriev
‘In matters of supporting tax audits and conducting tax disputes, FBK Legal work as tax ‘special forces’. They do everything very quickly, they are one step ahead, they know everything that tax inspectors will do. At the same time, we really like their peace of mind and a very intelligent form of communication with both our employees and the tax authorities. In matters of tax consulting, all their recommendations are very clear, understandable, always with references to judicial practice. We like the fact that they make a concise resume for management and a very detailed legal background for lawyers and accounting. Everyone is satisfied and get what they need to work.‘
‘They really specialise in taxes, have extensive experience in a wide range of tax issues, and are familiar with all the trends in the application of tax legislation and court practice in tax disputes. Therefore, even on any verbal request, the team understands the problem very quickly, they understand the essence of the problem and very quickly give well-motivated and practical recommendations. We like that they understand the specifics of our business and do not limit themselves to answering questions, as many other lawyers do. We also like that we can contact the lawyers who work with us, almost at any time of the day, and we will always receive legal support.‘
‘Galina Akchurina is a real leader; charismatic and well-read; she is fluent in all tax and legal matters. Her recommendations are never purely theoretical; on the contrary, they are always practical and feasible. We also highly appreciate Galina for the fact that she easily breaks down even the most complex and confusing problem into several simple components, as a result of which the question does not seem complicated, and the solutions seem almost obvious. Further, we would like to note that Galina has outstanding negotiating skills. It is important for us that Galina resolves all arising disputes without going to court and with minimal costs on our part. She also possesses a rare gift of persuasion and outstanding oratory skills.‘
‘Galina Akchurina is a very famous specialist, tax authorities respect her. She can find the best decision for the case, collects the necessary evidence base and methodically brings the tax authorities to this decision. Artem Lomize is always very responsive to our requests, does everything very quickly, finds a common language with everyone. He and Galina work very smoothly.‘
‘Nadezhda Orlova is a Professional with a capital P; she always assists us at the right time.‘
Home Credit Bank
Russian Fishery Company
Russian Fish Company
DKV Euro Service
- Assisted State Transport Leasing Company with the tax law issues relating to its $1.1bn Eurobonds issue.
- Assisted Evraz with a tax audit concerning the company’s VAT, income tax, minerals extraction tax and social security contributions.
- Achieved a pre-trial settlement for ASR-Uglesbyt in $64m tax dispute.
Historically known for its unsurpassed tax law capabilities, Pepeliaev Group houses a large, full-service team, offering a mix of diversified tax services concerning both personal and corporate taxation issues. The group is an excellent proposition for clients seeking defence in tax litigation proceedings; managing partner Sergey Pepeliaev and senior partner Rustem Ahmetshin are stalwarts in Moscow’s taxation market, with multiple high-profile court appearances including Russian Supreme Court cases. The team is equally adept at handling the pre-trial stage of tax disputes, where Natalia Kovalenko’s recent work particularly stands out. On the non-contentious side, the department handles all types of regulatory and tax accounting issues, international taxation mandates, and tax risks and overpayments. Its broad industry-specific expertise spans telecoms, media, consumer goods, transport and pharmaceuticals, among other sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Sergey Pepeliaev; Natalia Kovalenko; Rustem Ahmetshin; Andrey Tereschenko
Brunswick Rail Group
- Successfully acted for Onexim Group in a VAT dispute with the tax authorities.
- Advised Sodruzhestvo Group of Companies on tax and other issues regarding the transfer of the holding company of a large Russian agricultural group from the Netherlands to the special economic zone on Oktyabrsky island in Kaliningrad Region.
ALRUD Law Firm deservedly garners praise from clients for its international taxation expertise; the team advises a range of international clients, including large Asian investment companies, on the tax aspects of cross-border transactions. Another primary area of focus for the team is private wealth tax planning work for high-net-worth individuals and their families. In addition, senior partner and practice head Maxim Alekseyev has experience in taxation of e-services. Other recommended team members include of counsels Elena Novikova and Kira Egorova, as well as senior associate Sergey Artemiev.
Other key lawyers:
Sergey Artemiev; Elena Novikova; Kira Egorova
‘A practical approach to the implementation of the task, as well as the experience and knowledge of the team in the implementation of projects related to international taxation. The advantages are also its flexibility and availability of specialists to resolve questions and provide prompt answers.’
‘The tax specialists are very competent and well versed in their subjects; they can quickly and efficiently answer questions that arise. My projects were led by partner Maxim Alekseev, among whose merits I would like to note the great experience in the field of international transactions and structuring, and the ability to comprehensively approach the client’s question, as well as the availability for communication. He also worked with Elena Novikova, who proved to be a competent specialist, who promptly responds to requests and gives clear and high-quality recommendations.’
‘Sergey Artemiev stands out for his tax expertise. He not only knows the legal theory, but also the actual practice very well.’
‘The long-standing relationship we have with ALRUD is precisely because of the practical experience they have always demonstrated when we engage with them. Exchange Controls in Russia can intimidate anyone who is not highly qualified on the matter, but above all, if there is no practical experience to deal with situations. ALRUD team has always provided with high-quality advice and practicality. We offer regulatory and tax compliance services to international clients, and having a local expert such as ALRUD give us the confidence to continue serving our clients to our best.’
‘Elena Novikova, Sergey Artemiev, Kira Egorova all provide fast and high-quality advice, providing customized solutions for specific issues.’
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP handles tax disputes for a mix of domestic and global companies from a wide range of industries, including energy, financial services and technology. Praised for his ‘deep tax knowledge’, practice head Evgeny Timofeev has tax consulting and litigation expertise. Also recommended is counsel Alexander Erasov, who is noted for his tax crime defence work. Counsel Anna Zelenskaya heads up the tax advisory practice. In addition, the firm recently expanded its associate-level capabilities with five appointments, particularly bolstering its offering in international tax and tax dispute resolution.
Other key lawyers:
Alexander Erasov; Anna Zelenskaya
‘Vere competent professionals and charismatic individuals.’
‘Good combination of professionalism, involvement into the client’s business, and a sense of humor. Evgeny Timofeev and Alexander Erasov are excellent examples of that.’
‘Highly qualified specialists, quick response and quality of proposed solutions, deep understanding of the market and business risks, as well as high reliability of the proposed solutions.’
‘Evgeny Timofeev has deep tax knowledge and shows understanding in developing effective solutions. Alexander Erasov stands out for his client focus, speed of reaction, and depth of knowledge of the intersection of tax and criminal law.’
‘The BCLP Tax team are capable of understanding a case not only as advisers but also from the perspective of tax officials, since certain members of the team have experience of working for the Russian fiscal authorities. Members of the team constantly improve their professional level and even add new areas of the Russian tax law to the scope of their focus.’
‘Professionalism, quality and terms of performance of work, client focus. I would especially like to note the professionalism of Evgeny Timofeev and Anna Zelenskaya, who have excellent knowledge of Russian and international legislation.’
Da Vinci Capital Management
Russian Gas Turbines
Siberian Generating Company
- Successfully acted for Holcim (Rus) LLC at the Moscow Region Commercial Court, assisting the client with contesting additional severance tax charges.
- Advised Yenisei TGK on the tax aspects of its acquisition of Krasnoyarskaya Gres-2 power plant from OGK-2.
- Acting for Russian Gas Turbines in a tax dispute involving additional VAT charges by the tax authorities.
At DLA Piper, the tax practice is split between St. Petersburg and Moscow, respectively headed up by Ruslan Vasutin and Igor Venediktov. The department is well-equipped to handle tax issues relating to M&A transactions; it is also increasingly focusing on restructuring mandates. Transfer pricing, tax audits and tax controversies are also areas of focus. The team has wide-ranging expertise in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare, retail, consumer goods and technology, among others. Clients also recommend Moscow-based senior associate Igor Arakelov.
Ruslan Vasutin; Igor Venediktov
Other key lawyers:
Elena Mikhailovskaia; Igor Arakelov
‘Very good knowledge of the Russian tax system and the mechanics around strategy for approaching the authorities on tax matters. Ruslan Vasutin has a very deep knowledge of Russian tax law. General tax advice and strategy advice have been very well prepared and of a very high standard, also taking into account senior management stakeholders.‘
‘Very stable, competent, dependable and reliable team.‘
‘The team stands out for its efficiency, its strict adherence to the deadlines for providing information, and its comprehensive approach to handling particular issues.‘
‘Rich experience in tax litigation. A creative approach to problem solving.‘
‘Igor Arakelov was involved in protecting our company’s interests in court. He is a brilliant lawyer with an understanding of the business processes, strategy and vision of the company, combined with an excellent knowledge of Russian legislation. Igor perfectly knows how to formulate and correctly convey a position, which leads to positive results for the clients.‘
‘Elena Mikhailovskaya is the tax litigation partner. Elena showed great strategy skills, and successfully managed our internal non-lawyers team, which helped us achieve the desired result. We praise her responsiveness and knowledge of the latest trends in the tax litigation field.’
- Acted as lead tax advisor to several shareholders of Familia on the $225m sale of a 25% minority ownership stake to a US multinational off-price retailer of apparel and home fashion, The TJX Companies.
- Advising Ariston Thermo, an Italian multinational heating system producer, on multiple issues, including tax deduction matters in Russia.
- Advising Burberry on various options for balancing its tax positions in the UK and Russia in connection with the supply and distribution of its products in Russia.
The tax specialists at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners garner praise for their ‘excellent client care, knowledge and attention to detail’. The practice has particular expertise regarding international taxation issues arising in the context of cross-border transactions. Of late, the team is also increasingly being instructed by high-net-worth individuals on private wealth tax issues. Recently promoted partner Sergey Kalinin heads up the department and has additional experience handling tax disputes. Senior associate Ekaterina Roletr and associate Anastasia Berman are also key figures in the team.
Other key lawyers:
Ekaterina Roletr; Anastasia Berman
‘The attorneys are not only highly skilled and specialised in their areas of expertise, but they also show excellent client care, knowledge and attention to detail in respect of the business needs of their clients.’
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate tax group has extensive experience of handling international taxation and tax structuring issues for both individuals and companies; department head Oleg Konnov stands out for his credentials in this space. The group is also active in the contentious tax arena, handling disputes with the tax authorities and related appeals; recent standout work has included a close collaboration with firm's London team on complex tax claims raised during arbitral proceedings. Dispute resolution practice head Alexei Panich and senior associate Sergei Eremin are also key figures.
Other key lawyers:
Alexei Panich; Sergei Eremin
Daselina Investments Ltd.
Tigers Realm Coal
Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk LLC
China Chengtong International Investment Corporation
Beijing Gas Group
China National Petroleum Corporation
- Advised a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation on the tax aspects of its acquisition of a 10% stake in LLC Arctic LNG 2 from Novatek’s subsidiary.
- Advised Enel Russia on the tax and other considerations regarding the sale of Reftinskaya Gres to JSC “Kuzbassenergo”.
- Advised Daselina Investments on the tax aspects of its sale of a 9.5% stake in Intergeo Management to a consortium of sovereign wealth funds.
PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal)
The primary focus of PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal)'s practice is on contentious tax matters. The group is adept at representing large domestic companies, as well as the subsidiaries of multinational companies, during all stages of tax disputes, including appearances before the Russian Supreme Court; its recent work on VAT disputes and tax audits particularly stands out. Clients also draw attention to the team’s efficiency in collaborating with the firm’s global network, resulting in ‘high-quality, comprehensive services’. The department is jointly led by Raisa Alexakhina, Ekaterina Lazorina and Natalia Kozlova.
Raisa Alexakhina; Ekaterina Lazorina; Natalia Kozlova
Other key lawyers:
Maria Mikhaylova; Andrey Tamrazov; Pavel Kovalev; Anna Gaisenova
‘Excellent specialists in tax law. Excellent support during inspections.’
‘The uniqueness of the practice lies in the well-coordinated interaction of various PwC practices. In my case, specialists in international taxation, taxation of individuals, corporate taxation of Russian companies, auditors, and lawyers were all involved in solving problems. Also, to find solutions, specialists from PwC divisions in other countries were involved. Thus, I was provided with high-quality, comprehensive services.’
‘High competence in tax planning for trusts, foundations and other structures of ownership. Competent specialists who solve complex problems. A focus on results and a flexible approach to issues.’
- Acted for Almazy Anabar in a VAT tax dispute relating its exports.
- Provided Smith & Nephew LLC with litigation support during a VAT dispute with the Russian customs authorities.
- Acting for RusHydro in an extensive tax audit and a related tax dispute with the Russian tax authorities.
The lawyers at Moscow tax boutique Taxology display impressive experience in tax litigation and stand out for their successful track record in high-profile cases at the Russian Supreme Court. Of particular note, in a recent Supreme Court case, Sergey Semenov and Alexey Artyukh led a team which successfully represented Sladkaya Zhizn in a case concerning the client’s right to regard the purchase of advertising catalogues as an activity eligible for VAT deductions. Clients recommend the team for its ‘strong professional knowledge in the retail industry’; managing partner Ilya Mokryshev is the go-to adviser in this realm. Counsel Svetlana Samokhvalova joined from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal) at the end of 2019.
Other key lawyers:
Ilya Mokryshev; Sergey Semenov; Alexey Artyukh; Leonid Somov; Mikhail Uspenskiy; Lyubov Starzhenetskaya; Svetlana Samokhvalova
‘Taxology’s team has strong professional knowledge in the retail business. This has been achieved through many years of practice, and thanks to cooperation with all major industry players. We have been working together for many years, the high quality of services is guaranteed.’
‘One outstanding partner is Ilya Mokryshev. He possesses industry awareness, professionalism and practical experience. He also stands out due to his accuracy of advice, an ability to meet challenging deadlines, competent explanations and diplomatic communication.’
‘ The team understands that in-house teams are competent as well, so they make sure to come up with really interesting solutions. We recommend the team due to its understanding of the entire project by all team members, its strong decision making at every level, and its partner-led approach.’
Metro Cash & Carry
AB InBev Efes
X5 Retail Group
- Represented Gazpromneft Razvitie LLC before the Constitutional Court in an important dispute regarding the refund of overpaid insurance premiums.
- Represented Sladkaya Zhizn N.N. LLC before the Supreme Court in a high-profile dispute over the refund of VAT imposed on advertising costs.
- Represented LP Yanino. LLC, a subsidiary of Global Ports Group, before the Supreme Court in a dispute involving the application of thin capitalisation rules and the concept of beneficial owner of income in cross-border debt financing.
At Eversheds Sutherland, counsel Andrey Grachev heads up the practice. Senior associate Anton Borisichev is also noted; clients recommend the duo for tax consulting services. Contentious tax work is also a mainstay for the team members, whose tax litigation experience 'makes their advice very practical'. Of late, the team has also been very active in cross-border tax structuring, regulatory and customs matters. Transport, retail and IT are among the group’s sector-specific strengths.
Other key lawyers:
‘Tax court experience of key lawyers in the team makes their advice very practical.’
‘Counsel Andrey Grachev is very outspoken and very attentive to detail.’
‘We have known Andrei Grachev for many years, so for us, the main advantage is understanding the specifics of the industry in which our company operates. This greatly minimizes the need for additional explanations to lawyers about business processes. Moreover, in our opinion, this knowledge of our activities allowed us to apply tax rules in situations where there were no official explanations and court practice.’
‘Andrey Grachev proved himself to be a professional who knows how to draw clear and understandable conclusions on our issues and give useful recommendations suitable for our company. In addition, one of the important points for us is simplicity and ease of communication, which we can always count on.’
‘Responsiveness is their number one quality – they are on top of business and provide feedback instantly. ’
‘Andrey Grachev and Anton Borisichev directly provide us with tax consulting services. We are pleased with the progress of the project and the progress that our company has been able to achieve globally.’
XPO Logistics LLC
Fashion Retail Group
Cherkizovo Group PJSC
JSC Freight One
- Assisted a Russian agricultural company with issues relating to the country’s newly introduced anti-tax avoidance rules.
- Advised a Russian leading electronic retailer on the tax aspects of its restructuring options.
- Advised a large international shopping centres developer on managing tax risks and on the application of a beneficial tax rate for а dividend payment from Russian company to a European jurisdiction.
KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law distinguishes itself through its wide-ranging tax advisory work, spanning tax risk management, compliance, and tax planning and structuring. The team has industry-specific specialisms in the gold, minerals and aviation sectors, where it handles general tax and VAT issues. It also handles international taxation issues in the financial services sector, working in tandem with the firm’s banking and finance group led by senior associate Roman Suslov. Practice head Andrey Zuykov is regarded as ‘a professional of the highest level’.
Other key lawyers:
‘Andrey Zuykov is skilled; he provides detailed feedback, finds workable commercial solutions quickly and defends our interests.’
‘Good quality advice on tax law; excellent knowledge of tax law and its application; familiar with the agenda of tax authorities’
‘The tax practice of KIAP is distinguished by the high quality and the variety of services provided, ranging from simple advice on taxation and ending with complex tax disputes in courts. I was particularly impressed by the quick reaction of the lawyers to the request for legal assistance. The work on the projects was carried out by the lawyers within the agreed timeframe. At the same time, it was possible to contact the partner to ask additional questions and get advice.’
‘Andrey Zuykov’s main advantages are his accessibility to the client, as well as his ability to approach complex tax disputes in a non-standard way. It is worth noting Andrey’s ability to foresee specific tax risks while working on a project.’
‘The tax practice at KIAP is synonymous with high quality and innovative approach. Andrew Zuykov is a professional of the highest level, hardworking and proactive. He knows how to use his command of the theory, and perfectly applies the subtleties of the tax framework in practice. I appreciate his knowledge and communication skills.’
Cambridge University Press
- Advised DSV Panalpina on tax structuring issues.
- Assisted Rockwool with the formation of a legal position in its dealings with the Russian tax commissions.
- Advised Rockwool on tax issues relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Praised for its ‘comprehensive approach to tax work’, the team at KPMG in Russia and the CIS has long-established strength in tax audits and is building up its tax dispute resolution expertise. The practice stands out for its recent successful track record in the customs law arena, where it represents large domestic companies, such as Iveco Russia, in disputes with the customs authorities. Mikhail Orlov heads the wider tax group; Andrey Ermolaev sits at the helm of the tax dispute resolution practice; and Victoria Turgeneva leads the tax oil and gas group.
Mikhail Orlov; Andrey Ermolaev; Victoria Turgeneva
Other key lawyers:
Vitaliya Muryleva-Kazak; Anton Stepanov
‘The team stands out for its comprehensive approach to tax work (including tax litigation.) and its fast response times.‘
KCA Deutag Drilling LLC
Iveco Russia LLC
Sadovoe Koltso JSK
Volkswagen – LLC “Volkswagen Group Rus”
Radius Group Subsidiary
- Represented KCA Deutag Drilling LLC during the pre-trial and trial stages of a dispute regarding tax rates in light of beneficial ownership issues.
- Represented Iveco Russia LLC in five court disputes with the customs authorities regarding the client’s obligation to pay an utilisation fee.
- Represented LLC “Volkswagen Group Rus” in a dispute concerning its right to apply a regional tax incentive relating to its capital investments.
Noerr is adept at handling non-contentious tax matters, including international taxation, customs issues and transfer pricing. The team focuses on the life sciences, retail and luxury products, and automotive sectors. Department head Maxim Vladimirov is ‘a great professional, backed by a wonderful team’. Other key figures include associates Sergey Sergeev and Dana Tashlykova, who has niche expertise in transfer pricing.
Other key lawyers:
Sergey Sergeev; Dana Tashlykova
‘The advantages of Noerr are: the availability of qualified specialists in various areas (tax, customs, labour law), its client-oriented approach, and its knowledge of the specifics of the client’s business.’
‘I would like to note that Maxim Vladimirov is a great professional, backed by a wonderful team.’
‘A very competent team which understands what the client needs. Always provides expert opinions on changes in legislation.’
‘Tact, professionalism and many years of experience.’
‘Maxim Vladimirov has the ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practice.’
Fresenius Medical Care
Home Shopping Europe
MCM Klosterfrau Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH
Marel Holding B.V.
LLC “East-West Logistics”
Jungheinrich Lift Trucks
- Adviced Marel Holding B.V. on tax issues relating to a construction project in Kursk region.
- Assisted Nutreco with the tax aspects of the corporate restructuring options of its Russian subsidiaries.
- Assisted LLC “East-West Logistics” with a VAT audit.
Tax due diligence and compliance form the bedrock of O2 Consulting’s work; the team is particularly adept at advising on the tax considerations regarding potential investment targets. The department is particularly active in the financial services sector, where it advises various funds and financial companies on the taxation of transactions. Group head Tatyana Safonova has significant tax consulting experience. Clients recommend managing partner Olga Sorokina as well as associates Vladislav Burilov and Georgy Tolmachev.
Other key lawyers:
Olga Sorokina; Georgy Tolmachev; Vladislav Burilov
‘The firm has a fantastic team of tax lawyers, corporate lawyers, IP and fintech experts. They all work together as one project group; the combination of different skills allows them to offer very creative legal solutions. They speak many different languages and have a very deep understanding of how international tax systems work.’
‘I work with Olga Sorokina, Vlad Burilov and Tatiana Safonova. Olga Sorokina is a real role model as a team leader. She has a very strong reputation in the fintech industry for handling tax and corporate structuring matters. Olga is extremely efficient and very knowledgeable. She is really good at problem solving in a business manner and she is available 24/7. Vlad is highly professional, dedicated, knowledgeable and always very optimistic.’
‘Attention to detail and friendliness, combined with high competence and professionalism.’
‘O2 Consulting’s lawyers are always focused on proposing a solution, not just explaining the risks. They familiarise themselves with changes in legislation that can affect our company’s activities and they explain them clearly to us. I would like to highlight the expertise of Olga Sorokina, Vladislav Burilov and Georgy Tolmachev.’
‘The team is distinguished by is customer focus, its willingness to perform extra work on a tight deadlines, its professionalism and practical advice.’
Brusnika. Construction and development LLC
Sberbank CIB JSC
VTB Capital JSC
JSC Russian Venture Company
Orbita Capital Partners Ltd.
Efko Management Company
- Assisted JSC RVC with a complex tax, legal and financial due diligence assignment relating to 15 legal entities, the client’s potential general partners for new venture funds.
- Advised JSC Sberbank CIB with tax issues arising out of a framework contract.
- Assisted VTB Capital JSC with a due diligence of five target companies.
VEGAS LEX is rated for its ability to build ‘a strong line of defence during tax inspections and appealing the results of inspections’. The team has extensive experience of handling tax audits and is increasingly being retained for contentious issues at pre-litigation stage. Other areas of focus include tax structuring, wealth management and customs law issues. Yuriy Ivanov leads the department; managing partner Alexander Sitnikov is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘In my opinion, the uniqueness of Vegas Lex’s practice lies in their readiness to meet the client’s requirements, promptly solve and find the best and most effective solutions for complex issues.’
‘Yuriy Ivanov is very professional and does a lot to successfully solve the client’s problem. I would also like to highlight Alexander Sitnikov is the driver of the work process in the firm.’
‘Their experts have prior work experience in the tax authorities and in-house, which gives them an advantage during complex tax projects.’
‘I would like to single out Yuriy Ivanov and Alexander Sitnikov as specialists who have made a great contribution to the implementation of very important projects for us in a number of Russian regions. They are always in touch and ready to help in the most difficult situations.’
‘The main advantages of the practice are: clarity of responses and explanations, professionalism and deep knowledge, attention to detail.’
‘We work with Yuriy Ivanov on tax issues. Very broad and deep expertise in tax accounting, building a strong line of defence during tax inspections and appealing the results of inspections. Yuriy is always in touch and understands us perfectly.’
- Successfully acted for Mosenergo in a tax dispute regarding income and property tax.
- Acting for Mosenergo in a corporate property tax dispute.
- Assisted Sia Api with preparing its objections to the results of a tax audit by the Russian tax authorities.
The tax department at ALTHAUS Legal specialises in the full range of domestic and cross-border corporate taxation issues. It also has significant experience of handling matters relating to private tax, tax audits, transfer pricing, and due diligence assignments in the context of M&A transactions. Igor Smirnov and managing partner Rostislav Shatenok jointly lead the practice.
Rostislav Shatenok; Igor Smirnov
Other key lawyers:
Ekaterina Repnikova; Maxim Strazh
‘We appreciate the ALTHAUS tax team for their strict adherence to project deadlines and deep immersion in the essence of our requests. They always do a little more than the scope suggests, drawing our attention to all possible risks. Documents prepared by ALTHAUS tax specialists always meet the highest quality standards.’
‘Ekaterina Repnikova is always ready to advise us on any issues that arise during the project. A very knowledgeable expert with an exceptionally business-oriented approach.’
‘The team consists of real professionals with relevant industry experience. It always applies a client-oriented approach, coping with complex tasks in a short timeframe.’
‘Igor Smirnov and Ekaterina Repnikova are recommended. Igor always knows how to find an answer to the most difficult questions of the client. Igor’s team is highly organized and competent.’
Man Truck & Bus Production Rus
PJSC Rosneft Oil Company
- Assisted the largest Russian air tickets aggregator with a tax analysis of its services.
- Advised Man Truck & Bus Production Rus LLC and Scania-Peter LLC on regulatory issues and a tax audit.
- Assisted a leading Russian telecom company with a tax analysis of various tax risks associated with a planned transaction.
The ‘reliable, well connected and very responsive’ Moscow tax group at Clifford Chance is well equipped to handle tax issues relating to financial and M&A transactions. Notably, the team has extensive experience of advising on the tax aspects of capital markets transactions, an area in which it draws on the knowledge of the wider firm’s experts in this area. Alexander Anichkin sits at the helm of the department.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is small, but reliable, well connected and very responsive. We are relying on its advice for many years now o and have never been disappointed.’
‘We primarily work with Alexander Anichkin. Alexander and his team are among the few who can translate Russia’s tax complexities into practical advice. This is extremely valuable.’
Baikal Mining Company
- Advised Baikal Mining Company on tax issues relating to the construction of a copper mining plant.
- Advised VTB Capital on the tax aspects of the acquisition of First OFD from ESN Group.
Clients prize Infralex’s expertise in digital sector taxation, as well as its ‘outstanding ability to structure a real estate transaction in the most tax-efficient manner’. Other core fields of focus for the practice include disputes involving tax authorities, international taxation and tax monitoring. The department is led by Ivan Shienok and also includes key team members Alexey Popov and Maxim Rovinskiy.
Other key lawyers:
Alexey Popov; Maxim Rovinskiy; Nadezhda Danilenko; Anton Kotov
‘The Infralex tax team is able to offer a high-quality solution to the taxation of real estate transactions in a short time.’
‘Maxim Rovinskiy and Ivan Shienok have demonstrated an outstanding ability to structure a real estate transaction in the most tax-efficient manner.’
‘Infralex’s lawyers have demonstrated a high level of competence in the field of personal data and taxation. The position developed by them allowed us to plan the operations of our company, taking into account the cross-border aspects of working with personal data, including those provided for in the country’s new legislation.’
‘Maksim Rovinskiy and Ivan Shienok know exactly how to handle tax audits best and provide practical advice. Both have the necessary status to fully represent the interests of the taxpayer during audits.’
‘Cooperating with Infralex on the taxation of real estate transactions allows the client to receive high-quality and timely results.’
‘Ivan Shienok is a highly qualified tax lawyer who provides a comprehensive view of taxation issues and a detailed study of the legal position.’
‘Advice on the taxation of international investments in Russia is indeed the strength of Infralex’s tax practice.’
‘Alexey Popov and Maxim Rovinskiy have a strategic vision for solving problems. Ivan Shienok makes sure that the interaction remains efficient and delves deeply into the issues.’
Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee
Koudais MKorma JSK / De Heus JSK
- Representing Sberbank PJSC, the biggest Russian commercial bank, in a number of disputes with the tax authorities arising of the client’s alleged failure to transfer finances from clients’ bank accounts to the budget.
- Acting as general tax counsel to MTS PJSC and its affiliates.
- Assisting the World Football Cup 2018 Organization Committee with a wide range tax matters, including both general taxation rules and rules designed specifically for the World Cup.
Ivanyan and Partners is well-versed in tax dispute resolution, handling all stages of tax disputes. Of late, the team is experiencing an uptick in instructions from foreign investors in relation to tax incentives and customs preferences. Another area of recent growth is tax structuring in the construction and infrastructure sectors. Practice head Dmitry Mikhailov splits time between Moscow and St. Petersburg; he is a go-to adviser for tax planning work. Clients also recommend Mark Rovinskiy.
Other key lawyers:
‘In our work, we need advisers who have a high level of technical knowledge and a deep understanding of regular changes in Russian and foreign tax legislation. We also need clear strategic advice that will work in practice. Ivanyan & Partners provide us with both, which makes them one of the best firms for complex project work.’
‘Mark Rovinskiy is a strong partner, who knows how to find non-standard legal solutions that work. Mark responds promptly to requests and comes back with useful feedback.’
- Represented Aquanika, a Russian bottled water and beverages producer, in appealing tax audit results in an administrative dispute with the Federal Tax Service of Russia.
Schekin & Partners
Schekin & Partners’ experience spans tax consulting, tax audits and tax dispute resolution. The team handles all stages of disputes, but its particular strength lies in the contentious transfer pricing realm. Its client portfolio is growing, with multiple new mandates in the banking, chemicals and automobile sectors, among others. Founding partner Denis Schekin and Elena Bogdanova share leadership of the practice.
Denis Schekin; Elena Bogdanova
Other key lawyers:
Dmitry Krasnolobov; Leonid Mashkov
Ford Motor Company
Tcentr Tcementirovaniya Skvazhin
- Assisted Ford Motor Company with issues relating to its VAT tax deduction application.
- Representing Acons Pro (Alfa Construction) in appealing a decision of the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation.
- Successfully assisted Praxair Rus with its pre-trial settlement of a dispute with the tax authorities arising out of double taxation issues.
The primary strength of the team at White & Case LLC lies in handling multi-jurisdictional structuring mandates from a mix of international companies and financial sector clients. The team’s ability to handle the tax aspects of high-value transactions is enhanced by its close collaboration with the wider firm’s corporate, banking and finance, real estate and construction groups. Irina Dmitrieva leads the department.
‘High professionalism, efficiency, creativity, participation, customer focus.’
‘White & Case is a law firm which we always rely on, no matter the case, subject or jurisdiction. The Russian team provides high-quality tax advice, with detailed reports in a very clear manner for those not familiar with Russian law. The partners are available around the clock and speak perfect English. ’
‘Irina Dmitrieva is definitely our best support, and has proven to be a valuable asset in the firm, always going the extra mile to provide us with insight into a diversity of different matters.’
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited
MERA Switzerland AG
- Advised Takeda on the tax aspects of its agreement to divest a portfolio of select over-the-counter and prescription pharmaceutical assets exclusively in Russia, Georgia and a number of CIS countries.
- Advised Rostelecom on tax matters relating to its acquisition of a 100% stake in DataLine, one of the leading Russian providers of cloud resources and services.
- Advised the founders of Mera on the tax aspects of the recent disposal of MERA International.
Andrey Gorodissky & Partners benefits from its close relationship with international firms; its recent work demonstrates its ability to handle referrals concerning the tax aspects of M&A transactions and corporate restructuring. Valentin Moiseev leads the practice; senior associate Evgeny Kalinin is also a key figure.
Other key lawyers:
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Vardanyan, Broitman and Partners
- Assisted Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’s client Vitol with the tax aspects of its acquisition of an oil processing plant in Russia.
- Assisted BMW Rusland with regulatory tax issues relating to its plans to open a new plant in Russia.
- Assisted Luxe Hotel with corporate property tax matters.
BGP Litigation is well-versed in tax litigation, including advising on potential tax claims. International tax planning work is also a mainstay of the practice. Alexander Golikov heads up the department; senior associates Anastasiya Baskova and Denis Savin are also key figures.
Other key lawyers:
Anastasiya Baskova; Denis Savin
‘Deep expertise, a client-oriented approach, and a proactive attitude are among the key qualities of BGP Litigation’s team.’
‘We worked with partner Alexander Golikov. I want to note Alexander’s readiness to quickly get involved in the project, offering the best solutions to optimize costs and minimize tax risks.’
‘I appreciate the opportunity to work with BGP Litigation and I am impressed by the team’s high level of expertise. I would also like to note the speed and quality of services, and most importantly, the firm’s close-knit team.’
‘We worked with partner Alexander Golikov and Denis Savin. Their experience and expertise allow the firm to work at the intersection of several areas of law, to take on complex cases in terms of time frames and volumes. The solutions offered by the company are well thought out, well-grounded, and often creative.’
Alfa Capital Management Company
Banque Cramer & Cie SA
PIK Group OJSC
“Natsionalnaya Transportnaya Kompaniya” LLC
Trade firm “Caramel Trading” LLC
- Provided consulting taxation advice to Alfa Capital Management Company.
- Advising Banque Cramer & Cie SA on corporate income tax issues.
- Assisted PIK Group OJSC with the tax aspects of the client’s restructuring.
Capital Legal Services is adept at handling complex regulatory tax matters. The team has a strength in private wealth, but is also increasingly focused on private inheritance issues. Practice head Anastasia Kuzmina is based in St. Petersburg, as is dispute resolution specialist Irina Onikienko. In Moscow, managing partner Vladislav Zabrodin is a key contact for tax compliance mandates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good knowledge of Russian taxation law, as well as court practice. Quick and comprehensive support.‘
‘Anastasia Kuzmina is real expert in Russian taxation law. This is our main contact in any tax issues.‘
Malkov and Partners Consulting AG
OOO Termo Severny Potok
Associated Press Television News
- Advising OOO Petrokholod on a share deal tax structuring.
- Advising Evimmo AG on tax issues relating to a redevelopment project.
- Advising Spektr Group on possible restructuring options from tax perspective due to the Covid-19 pandemic and work restrictions.
CMS is regularly instructed on a range of tax issues, including transfer pricing, tax planning, indirect tax and customs law. Contentious tax advice, particularly at the pre-trial stage of disputes, is another core area of expertise. Dominique Tissot leads the wider tax group, while Hayk Safaryan heads up the customs practice.
Other key lawyers:
The NPD Group
TK Tsentr JSC
- Assisted NPD Group, one of the largest market research companies worldwide, with VAT compliance and digital services reporting issues.
- Rendered complex tax and legal assistance to Euralis Group for the establishment of new manufacturing unit in Russia.
- Providing ongoing tax pricing compliance support to Boiron Group.
Led by Anton Zykov, Deloitte Legal is ‘well respected by both taxpayers and the tax authorities’. The practice is a suitable proposition for clients seeking representation in contentious tax matters, particularly appealing the results of tax audits. Of late, the team’s client portfolio is growing in the automotive, telecoms, and financial sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Irina Bakaeva; Evgenia Baranova; Irina Barchuk; Anastasiya Puchenkina
‘The practice is best known for administrative dispute resolution. The team is well respected by both the taxpayers and the tax authorities.’
‘The people are very friendly within the team and with the clients. Partner Anton Zykov takes client matters very personally and always makes an extra step to help a client. Anastasiya Puchenkina is the name to note.’
‘Good communication skills with tax authorities, negotiating strategy.’
‘Willingness to support our company even under tight deadlines, professional approach, detailed analysis of documentation when accompanying requests from the Federal Tax Service. I can especially recommend Anton Zykov and Evgenia Baranova.’
‘High professionalism! Responsible attitude to business. Our company was assisted by Irina Barchuk and Anton Zykov. Attentiveness to the client’s requests and readiness to provide assistance. In the course of our tax dispute, we encountered an unforeseen situation. We were pleased to receive prompt support and advice, which allowed us to independently resolve the issue. The lawyers are always one step ahead. Everything is done clearly, efficiently and competently.’
Kinross Gold Corporation
- Successfully represented Lasselsberger in a dispute with the tax authorities brought before the Supreme Court.
- Successfully acted for Ontex in a dispute with the Russian customs authority.
- Assisted KinRoss Gold Corporation with challenging the results of a tax audit.
Forte Tax & Law
St. Petersburg-based Forte Tax & Law places a special emphasis on handling transfer pricing and international taxation work. Of recent note, the team is increasingly advising on transfer pricing issues for clients in the IT and finance services sectors. Department head Anton Kabakov has extensive experience in cross-border matters. Associate Natalia Vorobieva is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
‘Professionalism. Openness. Ability to find a more innovative approach to issues.‘
‘Anton Kabakov has a deep knowledge of tax law. His advice is very business-oriented.‘
Waukesha Bearings Russia
- Advised a group of companies in the automotive industry on its transfer pricing strategy.
- Advised Velle on the tax aspects of its sale to a Cypriot investment fund.
- We advised an IT company on structuring intragroup flows of electronic services between European and Russian entities.
Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners
The main focus of Nektorov, Saveliev & Partners's work lies in the tax controversy space, although the team has additional expertise in tax consulting and due diligence assignments. At the end of 2019, the firm significantly expanded its tax dispute resolution offering with the appointments of practice head Irina Orlova-Panina and senior associate Maria Churikova from KPMG in Russia and the CIS.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good knowledge of the most relevant tax law enforcement practices. Excellent interpretation of information from the tax authorities. Anticipation of possible actions by the inspectors.’
‘Irina Orlova-Panina simplified out options during the decision-making process as much as possible.’
‘Full immersion in the essence of the issue at hand.’
Shapovalov Petrov Law Firm
Shapovalov Petrov Law Firm’s tax experience encompasses a wide range of matters, including tax consulting, due diligence assignments, transfer pricing, and contentious tax matters. The team’s recent work particularly stands out in the mining and natural resources, oil and gas, IT and logistics sectors. The department is jointly led by name partners Kirill Petrov and Sergey Shapovalov. Clients also single out associate Olga Podvalnaya for praise.
Kirill Petrov; Sergey Shapovalov
Other key lawyers:
Olga Podvalnaya; Irina Lebedenko
‘This firm is good because it has many years of experience working with subsoil users. Several partners, as we know, used to work at mining companies, which is very valuable.’
‘Shapovalov & Petrov are one of the few teams able to achieve a positive result in tax disputes. They can efficiently defend our interests. Therefore, we keep returning to them.’
‘What I value most is: their ability to explain and their speed of response. I have been working in gold mining for many years, but I still do not understand a lot. Therefore, I really need advice from those who know more than me -Shapovalov & Petrov.’
‘We work with partner Sergey Shapovalov. He has long specialized in taxes. We believe that his advice is the advice of a highly qualified specialist. We also consulted with partner Kirill Petrov on transfer pricing issues. Satisfied with the quality of advice and speed.’
‘Sergey Shapovalov and Olga Podvalnaya perfectly understand the specifics of the mining business, personally study the specifics of the technologies used in the field, accompanying accounting and permits; perfectly communicate with the management, legal, financial, geological and mine surveying services of the company; ensure the formation of a transparent and understandable position of the company and its representation in state bodies and courts.’
Stoilenskiy Mining and Enrichment Combine
RT-Invest Transport Systems
- Advised RT-Invest Transport Systems on profit tax and VAT issues relating to a concession agreement concluded with the Russian government.
- Advised LLC Sargo on the tax aspects of an M&A deal with a third-party investor.
- Acted for NLMK Group in a dispute with the tax authorities.
YUST Law Firm
YUST Law Firm has carved out a strong reputation for its representation of clients in administrative disputes and tax litigation against the Russian tax authorities. On the non-contentious side, the team is adept at handling regulatory matters and the tax aspects of M&A transactions. The department is spearheaded by senior partner Yuriy Pilipenko and counsel Igor Pastukhov. Clients praise senior associate Oxana Parshina as a 'brilliant tax attorney'.
Yuriy Pilipenko; Igor Pastukhov
Other key lawyers:
‘Pragmatism, deep professional knowledge, ability to find and offer the best solutions.’
‘First-class specialists who are always happy to be helpful. The highest quality of client service, highly qualified staff.’
‘On tax matters, we deal with Oxana Parshina. She has many years of experience in tax. She is a strong professional, efficient and timely. I can recommend Oxana as a brilliant tax attorney to any other client. She is professional, operative and perfectly proficient in Russian tax legislation. Her work saved us from financial losses.’
Porsche Russland / Porsche Center Moscow
Russian Football Union
Great Distribution LLC
Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts
- Advising ATP LLC on double tax collection matters.
- Representing Artek LLC in a dispute with the tax authorities.
- Advising the Russian Football Union on compliance matters and contentious tax issues.