TMT in Russia
The ‘strong team of excellent specialists’ at Dentons utilises ‘its unparalleled technical understanding of Russian data privacy law’ and ‘client-oriented focus in finding solutions’. Practice head Victor Naumov, ‘a true expert in technology’ with ‘out-of-the-box ideas’, and counsel Tatiana Nikiforova supported Prosveshcheniye Publishers with the creation and implementation of a unique IP management system. Naumov led the team in advising the Russian eSports Federation on issues regarding computer sports in Russia. Other notable clients include the Skolkovo Foundation, First HD TV and Otello AS. Vladislav Arkhipov focuses on the videogame industry and ‘moves through complex legal analysis with an uncommon degree of precision’. Counsel Yana Chirko is recommended for her ‘solid technical background and business intuition’.
Well known on the Russian TMT market, the team at Hogan Lovells (CIS) handles a wide variety of contentious and non-contentious matters. Natalia Gulyaeva heads the practice and leads in representing Comuto SA in court proceedings regarding the distribution of information within the unregulated ridesharing market. The firm also advises clients, including pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson and BBC Worldwide, on matters concerning data protection and privacy. Senior associate Serafima Pankratova assists TMT companies with corporate issues.
White & Case LLC's TMT practice focuses on transactional work and is led by Eric Michailov. Highlights included acting for telecoms operator Telia Company on the $1bn sale of its holding in MegaFon to Gazprombank, as well as assisting Sonera Holding, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telia Company, with the $390m offering of a stake in MegaFon to institutional investors. Andrei Dontsov led the team in advising Russia’s largest digital services provider Rostelecom on the acquisition of stakes in Votron and Open Mobile Platform.
At ALRUD Law Firm, the TMT practice is headed by Anton Dzhuplin, whose focus is on transactional and commercial issues, and Maria Ostashenko, who advises on data protection and cybersecurity matters. The group assisted leading event organiser Mesago Messe Frankfurt with boosting its technology trade fair portfolio through the acquisition of RosMould, an innovative trade fair for mould making, prototyping and technologies. Other notable clients include Microsoft and business software development company Vaan.
Led by Edward Bekeschenko and Alexander Monin, the 'stable' team at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited is 'well positioned on the Russian market due to its deep knowledge and close familiarity with the IT industry'. Highlights included contentious and non-contentious matters, including complex technology litigation, advice on regulatory matters, and M&A work. Clients include multinational conglomerate Sony Corporation and computer technology company Dell. Associate Vadim Perevalov is noted. Counsel Alevtina Kamelkova departed to join Ivanyan & Partners.
With its 'in-depth understanding of the specifics of the TMT sector', the team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP advises on matters involving cryptocurrencies, innovative payment systems, technology transfer and development. Led by Dr Ekaterina Dedova , the team advised key client Da Vinci Capital during the second round of the initial coin offering of the Telegram Group. Other notable clients include Double Data, Mobile TeleSystems and MasterCard Members’ Association.
CMS has expanded its client base recently and gained telecoms equipment company Alcatel-Lucent, sports fashion retailer JD.com, and leading full-service blockchain technology company Bitfury as clients. Maxim Boulba focuses on regulatory and licensing issues and jointly heads the department with Konstantin Bochkarev, who joined from PwC Legal (PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal CIS B.V.) in March 2018 and advises on data protection, software, media, technology and general corporate matters.
Herbert Smith Freehills CIS LLP
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advised Yandex on its joint ventures with Uber and commercial bank Sberbank. The team is led by heads of department Anastasia Dergacheva and Brian L Zimbler, who splits his time between Washington and Moscow. Ksenia Andreeva is also noted. Clients include Veon, Abbyy Software and NBCUniversal.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP provides transactional legal advice to TMT companies. Vladimir Kouznetsov heads the department, where key clients include Stalendor Overseas Limited and USM Holdings. Anna Semashko and Sebastian Rice, who splits his time between London and Moscow, are other key contacts.
Clifford Chance provides comprehensive legal support to TMT companies with regard to M&A transactions and regulatory issues. Utilising its 'unrivalled experience in working on large, technologically complex projects', the team acted for ER-Telecom on the acquisitions of Strela and Columbia Telecom. Torsten Syrbe and Alexander Anichkin are key figures.
DLA Piper Rus Limited's TMT practice, which is led by Michael Malloy, is praised for its ‘extensive experience’ and ‘sophisticated approach towards solving the problems of its clients’. The firm acted for Yandex.Taxi on its ₽650m acquisition of FoodFox. Other notable clients include mobile-based transportation platform Gett, Service Telecom and BlaBlaCar.
With its recently established digital law practice, LP Law Firm assists TMT clients with corporate, M&A and financial issues. Andrey Novakovskiy, Ruslan Nagaybekov and Vadim Konyushkevich jointly head the department, where key clients include Mobile TeleSystems PJSC and Wangsu Science & Technology. The group provides day-to-day legal advice to global CDN service provider CDNvideo. It also advised Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology, a leading producer of video surveillance products, on matters concerning corporate restructuring in Russia.
At Pepeliaev Group, Natalia Kovalenko heads the practice, which provides corporate and tax advice to large TMT firms, including Vimpelcom and Steccom, among others. Alexander Kosov led the team in successfully representing local subsidiary Samsung Electronics Rus Kaluga LLC in a dispute with customs authorities concerning the classification of power units imported into the country. Rustem Ahmetshin is noted for his expertise in handling contentious matters.
Dechert Russia LLC acts for both Russian and international clients in the TMT sector. The firm focuses its work on general corporate matters, M&A transactions, financing, and licensing and regulatory assistance. The team also advises foreign companies on establishing their presence in special economic zones, such as the Skolkovo Innovation Centre.
With multiple offices across Russia, INTELLECT-S advises TMT clients on matters concerning their IP rights. Practice head Anastasia Makhneva leads the team in representing telecom equipment manufacturer Multiobrabotka in a defamation action. Also noted are Maxim Labzin and senior associate Mikhail Khokholkov, who specialises in media law and e-commerce.
KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law)'s team successfully represented LavkaLavka in proceedings concerning its initial coin offering and its BioCoin token sale. Practice head Julia Kirpikova handles a broad range of commercial law issues.
With ‘a well-deserved reputation based on its innovative solutions, high level of expertise and extreme efficiency’, O2 Consulting handles the various commercial and strategic aspects of TMT projects. The practice assisted the founders of bitcoin debit card service Cryptopay.me with a transaction in which a strategic investor subscribed to shares in various companies of the group. Other clients include iTech Fund, TFG Capital and Prisma Labs. Olga Sorokina and Karen Shakhnazarov are the names to note.