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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Russia > Tax > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Leading individuals

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Tax clients in Russia using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited is ‘effective in identifying tax-saving opportunities’ and is ‘able to explain Russian tax rules concisely, always following up with a more detailed response as required’. Headed by Alexander Chmelev, the team advises on domestic and cross-border tax structuring, VAT issues and M&A-related tax matters. Highlights included advising Repsol on tax matters connected with the financing of an upstream joint venture with Gazpromneft.

DLA Piper is ‘a strong international firm’ that provides ‘excellent advice and good value for money’. The team acts for a range of domestic and multinational companies, advising on the tax aspects of business operations, transactional activity and transfer pricing issues. Igor Venediktov and Ruslan Vasutin jointly head the group, which recently assisted Avestra Group with tax matters related to a restructuring project.

FBK Legal provides ‘thoroughly comprehensive advice accompanied by very practical recommendations’, and the team is ‘able to quickly achieve successful results without ancillary litigation costs’. Nadezhda Orlova is recommended along with Galina Akchurina, ‘an amazingly erudite and gifted lawyer’ who is ‘quick to understand the client’s requirements and offer prompt solutions’. Key areas of expertise include tax planning, structuring, due diligence and tax-related litigation.

Pepeliaev Group’s team ‘always tries to get a deep understanding of the client’s business and the case at hand’, and offers ‘comprehensive and detailed responses within the agreed timeframe’. Practice head Rustem Ahmetshin has extensive tax dispute experience, and Sergey Pepeliaev advises on corporate and personal taxation issues. Highlights included advising Gazprom on cross-border tax structuring.

At ALRUD Law Firm, highlights included advising a private individual on an exit strategy from a Moscow-based retail business, and acting for a range of other clients including Hitachi and Messe Frankfurt on a range of administrative issues. Maxim Alekseyev heads the department, where counsel Elena Novikova is the other key figure.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP’s ‘efficient, business-oriented’ team advises on the full range of tax and customs issues including international tax structuring, crime defence and indirect tax issues. Alexander Erasov leads the tax crime defence group, and Evgeny Timofeev heads the Russia-wide tax practice.

Dentons provides ‘impressive client service’; ‘its advice is always practical, and the lawyers have in-depth knowledge of Russian tax issues’. Practice head Dzhangar Dzhalchinov focuses primarily on tax litigation, and recently represented Samsung in a dispute concerning a refund of overpaid customs and VAT. Counsel Boris Bruk advises on tax structuring concerning financial joint ventures.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ Sergey Kalinin is ‘a very competent and knowledgeable lawyer who balances a deep knowledge of the technicalities and intricacies of Russian tax law with a practical approach and a realistic assessment of risks’. The team is representing the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation in a dispute with ExxonMobil, which claims it overpaid taxes on the Sakhalin-1 project.

Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP provides ‘high-quality service’; its team ‘demonstrates excellent knowledge of tax issues’. Oleg Konnov heads the practice, which recently acted for mining company Shakhta Polosukhinskaya in a matter pertaining to a tax assessment. Other key clients include Silk Road Fund, Beijing Gas Group and Praxair Euroholding.

KPMG’s service ‘exceeds expectations’; the firm ‘always allows the client to maintain a strong position and evaluate the risks’. Mikhail Orlov heads the practice and regularly advises on legislation, and Nikolai Baranov handles corporate tax and compliance matters. Highlights included representing Oil Company Soyuz in a dispute before a tax authority regarding a loan agreement.

PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal CIS B.V.) primarily handles tax audits and disputes and administrative issues involving VAT, transfer pricing and cross-border transactions. Raisa Alexakhina is the key figure and heads the tax litigation practice. Maria Mikhaylova specialises in non-contentious and pre-litigation issues.

Sameta’s team ‘achieves excellent results’, and ‘has established itself as a significant player in the Russian market’, advising private and state-owned companies on de-offshorisation matters, tax audits and disputes. Practice head Andrei Vladimirov ‘demonstrates a high level of professionalism’ and is ‘an excellent team leader’.

TaxAdvisor wins praise for its ‘results-oriented approach, fast response times and a good understanding of the client’s business sectors’, and regularly advises on policy development, tax audits and contentious matters. Key names include managing partner Dmitri Kostalgin, Alexandra Alexeeva and the ‘experienced, reliable’ Alexei Yakovlev.

At Andrey Gorodissky & Partners, highlights included advising Otkritie Holding on a series of tax audits, and on several investigations by tax authorities into alleged illegal tax planning. Valentin Moiseev is the name to note.

CMS provides ‘outstanding service in terms of response times, legal understanding and speed of turnaround’. Led by Dominique Tissot, the team recently advised TD Stoloto on the tax-related aspects of its restructuring, and also assisted Cantata with tax structuring concerning its acquisition of French company Coffea.

The ‘responsive’ team at Clifford Chance has notable expertise in customs and currency control regulation, and regularly advises on cash pooling, cross-border tax structuring and domestic regulations. Alexander Anichkin is ‘great at combining his technical knowledge with a good sense of what is practically feasible’.

Gide Loyrette Nouel Vostok is currently advising Thales Communications & Security on a range of Russian and international tax issues involving VAT, profit tax and personal income. Tatiana Kirgetova heads the practice, which also handles a wide range of tax disputes.

KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) has notable expertise in the gold and oilfield sectors, and regularly advises on tax compliance, VAT, and tax disputes with state authorities. Anton Samokhvalov is the key name to note. Mikhail Uspenskiy joined Taxology.

Liniya Prava Law Firm demonstrates ‘deep practical knowledge of various tax issues and has an impressive theoretical background’; the team provides ‘a deep and detailed review of all aspects of each situation’. Lidiya Charikova advises on the tax aspects of major transactions, international tax structuring, pre-trial matters and tax disputes.

The ‘responsiveMaxim Vladimirov heads the practice at Noerr, which recently advised HSE/DT on a tax customs compliance review. The team also assisted Jungheinrich Lift Trucks with a tax audit, and handled a further dispute with the Russian tax authorities.

Schekin & Partners fields ‘a trustworthy group of highly qualified lawyers’ that provides ‘expert consultation at every step’ and ‘successfully protects the interests of its clients in tax disputes’. Denis Schekin is ‘an experienced professional who can find a solution to any complex situation’.

Taxology’s ‘team of reliable professionals’ combines ‘perfect industry knowledge with tax litigation experience’, and provides ‘professional advice on controversial issues’. The firm specialises in tax controversy work, and also maintains a strong pipeline of non-contentious mandates. Ilya Mokryshev heads the practice which was recently strengthened by the arrival of Mikhail Uspenskiy from KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law).

Vegas Lex advises on tax and customs reviews, corporate restructurings, audits and international budgeting and monitoring. Managing partner Alexander Sitnikov is currently representing Mosenergo in a dispute regarding the taxation status of communal residential complexes.

White & Case LLC advises primarily on the tax aspects of major transactions in the financial services space. Recent highlights include advising Garanti Bank on the tax aspects of its $40m sale of share capital to Sovcombank. Irina Dmitrieva heads the department.

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