'Each specialist has their own set of competencies' at Dentons, ensuring that experts are always available to advise on the most cutting-edge issues relating to technology, including big data, smart cities, AI and cryptocurrency. The firm is also noted for its involvement with the creation of regulatory frameworks, and its ability to 'offer new solutions and proposals for changing legislation'; Denis Saveliev recently joined the group as head of the legal innovations laboratory. Another new addition is senior associate Philipp Dubovik, formerly of KPMG in Russia and the CIS. Vladislav Arkhipov, Georgy Pchelintsev and practice head Victor Naumov are the other core names to note.
TMT in Russia
Other key lawyers:
Vladislav Arkhipov; Georgy Pchelintsev; Philipp Dubovik; Denis Saveliev
‘The richest practical experience in various areas of IP and IT law.’
‘The highest authority of the head of the practice, Viktor Naumov, as well as the other team members, is a positive. They focus on practical results, flexibility in finding solutions.’
‘Each specialist has their own set of competencies, in which they are very good. They deeply understand the question, delve into the details and all the little things. They are guided by Russian and foreign regulation. They are able to offer new solutions and proposals for changing legislation, taking into account foreign experience.’
‘Victor Naumov has deep knowledge of regulation and the practice of its application both in Russia and abroad. He has the ability to assess an issue from all sides, including taking into account the nuances of a specific situation, a specific counterparty. He has the ability to see regulatory issues and propose changes to legislation. Excellent communication skills.’
‘I find the practical judgment I get from the Dentons team to be extraordinarily helpful. I know I can count on them to keep things moving forward and to help me understand what I need to know – without unnecessary complication or detail – to achieve the best possible outcome.’
‘Victor Naumov is responsive and succinct. Available at all hours – a necessity for a global company – and turns great work around on short notice.’
National System of Payment Cards
Avito (Keh Ecommerce LLC)
Apps & Games AS (Bemobi International AS)
- Advised the National System of Payment Cards, the operator of the MIR national payment system, on its international expansion.
- Advised Avito, a large Russian classified advertisements website, on matters relating to the acquisition of IP rights to the well-known FOSS software.
- Advising Zyfra on the creation of a joint venture with a major Russian natural resource corporation to create a digital factory platform.
Data privacy and cybersecurity are key aspects of strength and growth for the practice at Hogan Lovells (CIS); the team regularly advises on compliance and risk management challenges arising in these areas. The firm also has established expertise in regulatory, antitrust, commercial and intellectual property matters arising in the TMT sectors. Practice head Natalia Gulyaeva's diverse workload encompasses both contentious and advisory mandates. Counsel Maria Baeva is well placed to assist with transactional issues. Senior associate Serafima Pankratova handles the full range of mandates concerning contracts.
Other key lawyers:
Serafima Pankratova; Maria Baeva
Honeywell Inc and JSC Honeywell
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp)
Kismet Holdings Limited
Discovery Communications Europe Limited
- Advised Travelport on Russian personal data and localisation regulations.
- Advising eBay on various e-commerce and personal data compliance issues.
- Advised Kismet Holdings on its investment into ManoMano, a leading European online marketplace for DIY, home improvement and gardening products, as part of a €125m fundraising round.
White & Case LLC's offering is known particularly for its transactional expertise, but the team also leverages its 'unique international expertise' to advise TMT clients on the full gamut of cross-border issues relating to intellectual property, competition, finance, regulation and employment law matters. The practice is jointly headed by 'outstanding' practitioner Nikolay Feoktistov and Eric Michailov; the latter is frequently instructed by market-leading telecoms companies and their shareholders, and 'knows everything about doing business in Russia'. Andrei Dontsov and Jonathan Langley are also recommended.
Eric Michailov; Nikolay Feoktistov
Other key lawyers:
Andrei Dontsov; Jonathan Langley
‘The team is very efficient, result oriented and proactive. Compared to other firms the reply time to clients’ queries is extremely short and the quality of the communications and the overall service is on the highest level.’
‘Nikolay Feoktistov is one outstanding partner. His professionalism, proactiveness and extremely fast replies exceed all expectations.’
‘Detailed study of all legal aspects of the transaction; high quality of documents; timeliness of preparation of documents.’
‘Nikolay Feoktistov has speed and high quality of reaction within the framework of the negotiation process; deep study of the case and preparation of legal documents. Andrei Dontsov has broad erudition, rich experience in similar transactions.’
‘I would point out their unique international expertise and ability to provide immediate support with any question at any time round the clock. They have a stable team which has remained unchanged for many years.’
‘Without a doubt, Eric Michailov is a unique personality and there is no other lawyer in Moscow with the expertise of his level. He is highly qualified in international law and knows everything about doing business in Russia.’
‘High commitment and quality of consultants and partners.’
‘Professionalism and commitment.’
Canon Medical Systems
- Advised VTB Bank on the $2bn sale of a 55% stake in Tele2 to Rostelecom, and its further acquisition of up to 30% of the shares of Rostelecom.
- Advised Canon Medical Systems on its agreement to establish a joint venture with leading Russian healthcare provider, R-Pharm Holding.
- Advised Rostelecom on its acquisition of a 100% stake in DataLine, one of the leading Russian providers of cloud resources and services.
A notable roster of local and global clients instructs the team of 'highly respectable professionals with unmatched expertise in the telecoms and IT sectors' at ALRUD Law Firm. Recently, the firm has been paying particular attention to work focusing on cybersecurity matters, fintech issues and data protection, and the group is singled out by one client for its 'very good understanding of technical details and background'. Maria Ostashenko's 'in-depth insight into enforcement practice' makes her a common choice for regulatory mandates, while Anton Dzhuplin and Alexander Zharskiy are noted for their transactional experience. Irina Anyukhina's broad practice encompasses advertising, outsourcing and licensing matters.
Anton Dzhuplin; Maria Ostashenko
Other key lawyers:
Alexander Zharskiy; Irina Anyukhina
‘The team led by Maria Ostashenko are highly respectable professionals with unmatched expertise in the telecoms and IT sectors. The telecoms practice is complemented by the hands on experience of the team in obtaining licences which gives a pragmatic edge to the advice provided. The team also has a very good understanding of technical details and background which is important for providing helpful and practical advice.’
‘Maria Ostashenko is an outstanding professional with wide expertise in the IT and telecoms sectors. Maria has an in-depth insight into enforcement practice which assists in providing practical legal advice.’
‘Strong professional lawyers – each is a unique specialist in their field. Excellent knowledge of both Russian and international law and law enforcement practice. Extensive IT experience with international customers. An individual approach to solving client problems.’
‘High speed of work and mobilisation of all necessary resources, including lawyers from other practices. An integrated approach to solving problems, using modern tools and practices. Individual approach to the client: consulting with a “human face”. Practical participation of partners in client projects. The ability to resolve any issue directly with a partner.’
- Providing VimpelCom with comprehensive advice on the acquisition of a stake and the establishment of a limited scope joint venture between four federal operators concerned with the use of 5G in Russia.
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited
The team's 'great knowledge of the local regulations' ensures that Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited remains the domestic counsel of choice for many of the key global technology and media corporations. Alongside its well-regarded advisory practice, the firm also enjoys significant litigious successes. The team is led by Alexander Monin, and also includes Edward Bekeschenko. For tax matters, Arseny Seidov and Vladimir Efremov, who can always 'find a way to implement ambitious projects', are the names to note.
Alexander Monin; Edward Bekeschenko
Other key lawyers:
Arseny Seidov; Vladimir Efremov
‘Vladimir Efremov is a highly experienced lawyer with extensive knowledge of Russian law. A pragmatic approach to solving complex problems. With full compliance with applicable law, it is possible to find a way to implement ambitious projects in such a difficult and relatively new area as IT.’
‘Vladimir Efremov has extensive knowledge in this and related branches of law, punctual, remarkable skills in the field of drafting both analytical and contractual documentation.’
‘They have a local team in Russia which is very helpful. They also have great knowledge of the local regulations.’
‘They have good knowledge and are easily available.’
- Advised the Rambler Group on its acquisition of the rights to transmit English Premier League football matches via various distribution channels in Russia.
- Advised Spotify on its launch in 13 new markets.
The team at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is equally proficient in both contentious and advisory TMT work, and is noted for its 'good grasp of not just the letter of the law but also how it is applied in practice'. On the litigious side, the group frequently represents clients in libel suits and advertising law disputes, working closely with public patent authorities and antitrust agencies. Practice head Pavel Sadovsky is singled out for 'his attention to detail in complex TMT projects', and senior associate Maxim Burda is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice has proven itself in the management of TMT Projects. With its expertise in the field of both extrajudicial and (especially) judicial work, the practice successfully carries out large complex projects.’
‘Pavel Sadovsky is a recognized and respected lawyer in the field of IP and TMT with tremendous experience in managing complex and significant projects. His qualities: a balanced approach to the needs of the clients, and his attention to detail in complex TMT projects.’
‘Highly experienced in telecoms law matters, excellent market overview, thorough understanding of telecoms regulation in the field of M2M communication/connected car services.’
‘Pavel Sadovsky, great to work with, high expertise in telecoms law issues, always sound and thorough work.’
‘A strong, responsive team, with a good grasp of not just the letter of the law but also how it is applied in practice.’
Herbert Smith Freehills
Russian and English-qualified specialists in corporate, finance, PPP and regulatory matters comprise the dedicated offering at Herbert Smith Freehills. The team is therefore well placed to offer the full gamut of contentious and advisory services to key global TMT players, with transactional and regulatory expertise in particular marking the firm stand out. Managing partner Alexei Roudiak, capital markets expert Evgeny Zelensky and Evgeny Yuriev are the core group members; Yuriev made partner in May 2020, and is regularly instructed by major TMT companies to assist with joint ventures and corporate restructurings.
Alexei Roudiak; Evgeny Yuriev
Other key lawyers:
Federal State Institution “Roads of Russia” of the Federal Road Agency
Federal Road Agency (Rosavtodor)
Sberbank of Russia
- Advised the Federal State Institution Roads of Russia on a PPP project concerning the creation of an automatic number plate recognition system and weigh-in-motion system on the Russian federal public roads.
- Advised the Federal Road Agency on the operation and modernisation phase of the Platon concession project, the Russian federal electronic toll collection system for vehicles exceeding 12 tons of gross vehicle weight, on all legal aspects of the project.
- Assisted VTB with amendments to a secured facility to Headhunter, a large Russian online recruitment company.
Practitioners at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP are 'very deeply immersed in the issues they advise on', which include licensing, outsourcing, regulatory matters, and M&A deals. As well as maintaining its longstanding reputation in the media and entertainment sectors, the firm continues to expand into software, telecoms, e-commerce and online gaming. Vasilisa Strizh and Brian Zimbler bring their corporate expertise to the team, while Ksenia Andreeva oversees IP-related work. Anastasia Dergacheva, who is also a core member of the global technology industry group, 'has great knowledge of the industry and the media landscape in Russia'.
Anastasia Dergacheva; Brian Zimbler
Other key lawyers:
Vasilisa Strizh; Ksenia Andreeva
‘The lawyers at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP are very deeply immersed in the issues they advise on.’
‘Anastasia Dergacheva is excellent and there is good strength in depth across the firm. I feel confident in the advice I get from the Russian office, without having to check anything with other offices.’
‘Anastasia Dergacheva has great knowledge of the industry and the media landscape in Russia.’
Arts & Entertainment Television Network (AETN)
Comtech Telecommunications Corp.
Infor Global Solutions
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Walt Disney Company CIS
- Advising Yandex’s ride-sharing and food-delivery joint venture with Uber on the acquisition of the intellectual property and call centres of the Vezet group.
- Advising Comtech Telecommunications Corporation on its acquisition of UHP Networks and Eastar.
- Assisting VEB.RF with the restructuring of its IP and IT functions to ensure compliance with privacy laws in Russia and the European countries.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP
Ekaterina Dedova heads the practice at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP, which stands out for its corporate focus, assisting with M&A matters, restructurings, joint ventures and complex international transactions in the TMT space. Contentious and advisory IP work with a nexus to technology is another area of strength for the firm; Elena Trusova takes the lead on such mandates.
Other key lawyers:
‘Experienced. Fast response times. Dedicated to clients.’
‘Ekatetina Dedova is a clear leader with strong client skills, expertise and management.’
‘Highly qualified practicing lawyers. There are specialists in narrow industries. All answers can be received in one place.’
‘We were lucky, we immediately chose BCLP. The team led by Ekaterina Dedova joined in solving our problem. The team is distinguished by the exact solution to the task, several solutions are offered with a description of the pros and cons of each option. The team is in touch almost around the clock.’
‘A very strong and large team of professionals who are ready to help with a complex and voluminous problem at any time. Extensive knowledge in all areas of law and excellent understanding of business aspects.’
‘Ekaterina Dedova is our key contact. Knowledgeable and very professional lawyer, very business oriented and able to focus on really important aspects of the work.’
Da Vinci Capital Management
Mastercard Members Association
X5 Retail Group
PJSC Mobile TeleSystems / MTS
ITI Capital, the FCA
- Advising Sovcombank on its acquisition of the Sovest consumer lending business from Qiwi.
- Advised ITI Capital, the FCA-regulated, UK-based global financial services provider, for institutional investors and private clients, on its acquisition of the client book from SVS Securities, which was placed in special administration.
- Advising Sovcombank on entering into a financial services strategic partnership agreement with Idram and Mobile Payments.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
The team at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is noted for its knowledge of the IT and telecoms sectors and is 'always ready to adapt to any tough situations during negotiations'. Practice head Yulia Solomakhina advises leading multinational corporations and high-growth companies on the commercial and regulatory aspects of M&A deals, joint ventures and other significant corporate transactions in the TMT space.
‘The team is a long-term expert in the IT and telecoms sectors. Capable of providing advice concerning the most recent practices.’
‘Yulia Solomakhina is our first choice for telecoms related issues. She has deep knowledge of the legal issues combined with an understanding of business needs.’
‘This is a strong team of professional lawyers of high-capability. The team is responsive, and very attentive. What is common for big firm is that such firms often do not value their clients in the same manner as small- and mid- size firms do, but CGSH (Moscow office especially) really pays as much attention to your matter as possible.’
‘We work mostly with Yulia Solomakhina. She is a very strong lawyer, reliable and business-oriented. We appreciate Yulia.’
‘The Cleary team is very flexible and always ready to adapt to any tough situations during negotiations and stays effective under pressure. They are ready to quickly address any of our demands while keeping a favourable quality-cost balance.’
‘Yulia Solomakhina always very well understands our expectations about the final product which really helps us to timely complete any challenging task.’
Mobile TeleSystems PJSC (MTS)
The Walt Disney Company and 21st Century Fox
- Advising integrated telecoms operator MegaFon on its joint venture with AliExpress Russia.
- Assisted Kazakhtelecom with its $446m acquisition of a 75% stake in Kcell, a business owned by Telia Company and Turkcell İletişim Hizmetleri, from Telia Company and Fintur Holdings.
- Advised Mobile TeleSystems on the launch of the company’s share repurchase plan in March 2020.
Technology-related M&A deals and venture capital transactions form the bulk of the workload at DLA Piper. Another key area of focus for the team is commercialisation of intellectual property in the TMT space, including licensing, franchising and brand development. The firm acts for a notable roster of domestic and global clients. Counsel Michael Malloy leads the group, supported by experienced corporate specialist Leo Batalov.
Other key lawyers:
‘Highest professionalism, speed of work, speed of responses.’
‘Always available, immediately understand the problem and quickly solve it.’
Ildar Bakeev Entertainment
Russian Direct Investment Fund
- Advising OneWeb, a US multinational telecoms company, on issues related to the establishment of a Ka/Ku band satellite network for providing internet access to remote areas.
- Advising ZeniMax Media, a US multinational video game company, on intellectual property, data and e-commerce issues relating to the introduction of its online games into Russia.
- Advising Sberbank, Russia’s largest multinational bank, on the development of its ecosystem to merge its financial offering with various consumer business lines.
A wide practice covering the full gamut of TMT work, from licensing, regulatory and contractual matters to litigation, is offered by the team at King & Spalding LLP. The firm collaborates closely with its US-based offices, and regularly handles cross-border matters for international clients. The group, under the leadership of Alla Naglis, is frequently instructed to assist with production and distribution mandates in the film and TV industries.
‘Long term practice in the media sector with strong knowledge in the field. Quick and to the point responses to the questions posed.’
‘Alla Naglis always provides valuable advice. She has a high level of expertise and insight into the market. Alla is also professional and very nice to work with.’
Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited
- Advising BestSign, a Chinese provider of e-documents, on regulatory issues concerning the implementation of e-signature solutions in Russia.
- Advising Stearns Brook Productions on various issues related to clearance of copyrighted objects, images, music and performance for the production of a documentary of educational and cultural value.
- Advising the Bela Foundation on software development and data processing issues in connection with research and clinical trials to develop a cure for a rare genetic disease.
The recently formed digital business and data privacy practice groups at Noerr provide specialised advice on a range of IT-related issues, including outsourcing and compliance. Much of the firm's current work relates to the amendments introduced to the data localisation and mass media laws. Vyacheslav Khayryuzov, who heads both teams, has particular expertise in data privacy and software matters, as well as in commercial and media law issues.
‘I have always found Noerr to be at the cutting edge in terms of providing clear, practical and accurate advice, in a timely manner.’
‘Pragmatic, accurate and highly commercial advice.’
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A.
Trend Micro Inc.
Urban Science OOO
Morrison Foerster LLP
- Advising Teradata on various aspects of Russian IT legislation, including encryption notifications and software licensing.
- Advice Urban Science on various software licensing issues in accordance with Russian law, as well as on potential steps to ensure that the client’s business is in compliance with the Data Localisation Act.
- Advising Trend Micro on various aspects of Russian IT legislation and Russian data protection law, including new data localisation requirements.
At Pepeliaev Group, the cross-departmental team focuses on advising clients from the telecoms and media sectors. Tax issues and dispute resolution are areas of particular expertise for the firm. The group is also regularly involved with working groups created by legislative and executive authorities to respond to initiatives in the legal regulation concerning the TMT sector. Rustem Ahmetshin and Natalia Kovalenko are the names to note.
Rustem Ahmetshin; Natalia Kovalenko
Multiregional Transit Telecom (МТТ)
Nokia Solutions and Networks
Sony Mobile Communications
- Prepared a draft federal law on making amendments to Part IV of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, designed to improve the legal regulation of computer programs and databases.
Working closely with the London office, the Moscow-based team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP assists clients with cross-border M&A transactions, joint ventures and other corporate investments, as well as advising on equity and debt capital markets work, financing issues and dispute resolution. Svetlana Volevich and counsel Anna Semashko are key names. Former practice head Vladimir Kouznetsov left the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Svetlana Volevich; Anna Semashko
UFG Private Equity
Russian Towers Group
- Advised Mail.ru on the formation of a joint venture with Alibaba Group, a global digital commerce company; MegaFon, a leading telecoms operator; and the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund.
- Advised Mail.ru on its joint venture with Sberbank, to pursue a major online-to-offline consumer platform focused on food delivery services, taxi ride hailing services, car sharing and related businesses.
- Advising on the sale by Cable Technologies’ founders of their entire stake in the company.
The cross-departmental team at Clifford Chance comprises experienced practitioners from the corporate, tax, litigation, banking and competition practices. Compliance and investigatory matters are an area of particular strength for the group, which is under the leadership of antitrust specialist Torsten Syrbe, and also includes Alexander Anichkin. The firm co-operates particularly closely with its US, German and London offices, which is of particular benefit for its international mandates.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised ER-Telecom on the acquisition of a majority interest in Telekom Romania.
- Assisted Blackstone with obtaining the Russian regulatory clearance for its acquisition of MagicLab,
- Advised NBC Universal on the introduction of new compliance policies for its Russian operations.
The team at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP regularly handles the most complex legal matters in the content production and information transmission and distribution industries, including broadcast and cable television, online media, telecoms, radio and print media. Transactional experts Alan Kartashkin and Natalia Drebezgina are the core team members.
Alan Kartashkin; Natalia Drebezgina
‘Deep knowledge of up-to-date materials and IT developments. Special knowledge of licensing and software, data protection issues.’
‘Natalia Drebezgina is great in managing deals involving IT and media.’
Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Yandex
- Advised Sberbank on its acquisition of a 75% stake in 2GIS, an international digital maps and city guides company that provides geoinformation and hyperlocal services.
- Advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Yandex on aspects of US and Russian law, with regard to a complex and novel restructuring of its corporate governance.
- Advised Alibaba on the joint venture of its AliExpress business in Russia with the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Mail.ru group.
Litigious matters with a nexus to TMT form a large part of the workload at INTELLECT; the firm acts in intellectual property and criminal cases, as well as representing clients before the Federal Antimonopoly Service. Anastasia Makhneva in Ekaterinberg oversees the practice, supported by Moscow-based IP team lead and disputes specialist Maxim Labzin. Svetlana Lebedeva was recently appointed as the head of the Novosibirsk office.
Other key lawyers:
Maxim Labzin; Svetlana Lebedeva
Rulacom Consult GmbH
Smart Engines Service
The Centre of Information Technologies (CIT)
Beavers Brothers Digital Agency
- Advised teleshopping channel Shopping Live on various intellectual property issues.
- Advised the publisher of the in-flight magazines for Ural Airlines on advertising, mass media and copyright issues.
- Assisted The Centre of Information Technologies with some software transactions.
KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law's offering brings together specialists from the commercial practice, under the headship of Julia Kirpikova, and the IP group, led by newly promoted partner Elena Buranova. The firm has recently expanded its expertise in the e-commerce, personal data and AI spheres, and continues to handle largely advisory work.
Julia Kirpikova; Elena Buranova
‘Deep knowledge of the market and detailed understanding of aspects of legal support for e-commerce in the Russian Federation.’
- Advised Huawei on the terms and conditions of its agreement for the delivery of large-capacity routers.
- Reviewed and amended Atol’s service agreement template.
- Assisted Game Insight with shutting down a website in the .ru zone.
Telecoms operators, internet providers and broadcasting companies tend to instruct the team at LP Law Firm, which focuses on regulation, antitrust issues and complex transactions. The key contacts are commercial expert Ruslan Nagaybekov; founding partner Andrey Novakovskiy, who has extensive experience of privatisation and corporate consolidation; and Valeriya Kachura, who often advises on the structuring of companies and holdings.
Ruslan Nagaybekov; Andrey Novakovskiy; Valeriya Kachura
JSC Ruselectronics (Rostec Group)
LLC “NPO Techanalitika”
- Advised MTS on its acquisition of a group of companies, which provide internet and telecoms services in the Russian regions.
- Advising a private client, who is a shareholder of 50% of the shares of a major company acting in the electronic sphere, on negotiations.