TMT in Russia
Dentons has a wealth of experience across the TMT space, particularly in the IT aspects of PPP projects, robotics and AI, smart contracts, fintech and innovative M&A deals. Core sectors of focus for the team include fast-moving consumer goods, luxury goods, automotive, hospitality and leisure, and retail. Victor Naumov is a seasoned expert in e-commerce, IT and data security, and in the regulation of video games, mass media and telecoms. He leads a 'team of specialists' which includes Georgy Pchelintsev on the transactional side and Vladislav Arkhipov, who is particularly recommended for data privacy.
‘Dentons’ professionals have exceptional expertise in the field of IT/IP and TMT law. They not only have sufficient knowledge to seek out innovative legal approaches, but are also skilled in the technical side of the issues. That means they can choose the best approach for their client’s business.’
‘Victor Naumov’s team is highly qualified in the fields of digital economy and TMT. We have no doubt that Dentons can solve any problem at the highest possible level using its worldwide branches and international network. Dentons has the most prominent IP/IT practice. It is led by a lawyer who truly loves his work and who inspires his team to reach great heights. Every team member is a distinguished professional ready to work non-stop to deliver the best results.’
‘Vladislav Arkhipov is the best data privacy law partner in Moscow. Vladislav demonstrates very detailed knowledge of the regulatory issues and shows real interest in our business.’
Skolkovo Foundation for Development of the Center for Elaboration and Commercialization of New Technologies
Ronavi Robotics, LLC
- Advising the Skolkovo Foundation for the Development of the Centre for the Elaboration and Commercialisation of New Technologies on various regulatory and innovative issues in the context of robotics, data transfer, big data and the digital economy.
- Advised Ronavi Robotics on patent issues in the field of intelligent robotics.
- Advising Geoscan, a leading Russian manufacturer of UAVs and photogrammetric software, on structuring a project for the creation of an innovative digital geospatial platform in the Novgorod region.
Natalia Gulyaeva chairs the TMT practice at Hogan Lovells (CIS) and primarily advises on regulatory and competition matters, commercial transactions, intellectual property issues and dispute resolution. Oxana Balayan is particularly noted for TMT transactional work, as are counsel Maria Baeva and senior associate Serafima Pankratova.
Subsidiaries of Sberbank (Digital Assets LLC and Sberbank Asset Management)
A&NN Investments Ltd (Rambler Group)
- Advised VimpelCom, one of the major mobile network operators in Russia, on its acquisition from Alfa Bank of a 47.95% stake in Nouse, a holding company for National Service Company, a Russian remote payment and e-wallet service provider operating under the Ruru brand.
- Advised Digital Assets on the acquisition of 100% of the shares in Interkomp, a leading business process outsourcing provider, from Elbrus Capital Funds.
- Advised Akamai Technologies, the leading content delivery network service provider, on Russian telecoms and privacy regulations.
White & Case LLC provides end-to-end support to major international and Russian clients in the TMT sector, with 'vast experience' in commercial M&A transactions, competition, finance, tax, procurement, litigation, regulation and employment law matters. The practice is jointly led by Eric Michailov and Nikolay Feoktistov, who both focus on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions and joint ventures.
‘The team has vast experience and understands the details of telecoms operations. They also understand the commercial essence of the deals and pay attention to important factors.’
‘Eric Michailov is a brilliant lawyer with strong commercial skills, and is equally as strong in terms of local issues as in foreign law matters. He can solve any problem and is easy to work with and very responsive.’
Industrial Investors Group
- Advised Naspers, the leading South Africa-based global internet and entertainment group, on its $1.16bn acquisition of an additional 29.1% shareholding in Avito, the leading Russian online classifieds site.
- Advised Industrial Investors Group, a Russia-based private equity investment firm, on the $258m sale of its entire stake in Transas, a leading provider of digital solutions in marine navigation, to Wärtsilä, a Finland-based publicly listed company.
- Advised the founders of Mera, a Switzerland-based global provider of software development and maintenance services, on the sale of Mera International, its holding company, to Orion Business Innovation, a portfolio company of One Equity Partners.
ALRUD Law Firm 'has an impressive understanding in the complex and fast-moving TMT area', combining expertise in corporate issues, M&A and joint ventures, IP, data protection and cybersecurity, fintech and regulatory matters. Intellectual property partner Maria Ostashenko has extensive experience advising clients on licence and franchise agreements, software development and the resale of digital products. Other key partners Anton Dzhuplin and Alexander Zharskiy focus on cross-border transactions in the TMT space.
‘Alrud has an impressive understanding of the complex and fast-moving TMT area and its regulation in Russia, and a great understanding of the technical aspects of the businesses which operate in the respective industries. The team is very responsive, pragmatic and has wide-ranging expertise.’
‘Maria Ostashenko is highly recommended. Maria has broad expertise in TMT and is calm, collected and responsive. Maria has handled complex projects which required excellent technical understanding of the technology, network and products in order to provide well-balanced legal and commercial advice. We value her pragmatic approach.’
- Advised the Russian branch of Thomson Reuters’ Swiss entity in relation to setting up a legal literature e-book store online, including assisting with the contractual, IP and regulatory aspects of its operation and managing the relationship between authors, publishing houses and customers.
- Advising the majority shareholder of a Russian TMT company in the Kemerovo region on the sale of the company to one the largest mobile operators in Russia.
- Advised the venture capital firm Accel on its $25m investment in online collaboration and whiteboarding platform RealtimeBoard.
Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited is regularly instructed by major household names such as Google and Dell, as well as Russian technology and e-commerce companies, on the full gamut of commercial transactional work, taxation, competition and regulatory issues, and litigation across the CIS region. Its team also has niche expertise in the areas of import/export encryption clearance, online media platforms and online gambling. Tax partner Arseny Seidov's practice focuses on major transactions in the software, cloud computing, gaming, IT and telecoms industries.
- Advising a global online betting operator on setting up a joint venture with a Russian betting company.
- Assisted a major multinational entertainment holding with compliance with the Russian legal requirement to report VAT on supplies of electronic services to Russian business-to-business customers.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP's practice is led by Ekaterina Dedova, a 'hands-on and responsive lawyer', supported by IP practice head Elena Trusova. Core areas of expertise for the 'outstanding team' include fintech and cryptocurrency, IT and data privacy, and media and digital broadcasting. Dedova focuses on corporate matters, including major cross-border transactions and joint ventures, in the TMT space.
‘The TMT team led by Ekaterina Dedova is fully results oriented, with a complete understanding of the needs of the client. The unique combination of this and the team’s profound knowledge and vast experience is something that differentiates it from the competition.’
‘Ekaterina Dedova is a very hands-on and responsive lawyer who leads an outstanding team of specialists in the field, constantly ensuring the high-quality performance of her team. ‘
Da Vinci Capital Management
PJSC Mobile TeleSystems
Finstar Financial Group
- Advised Da Vinci Capital on investing in DataArt, a leading global technology consultancy that designs and develops unique software solutions.
- Advising Vezet group of companies on the sale of its IP and call centres to MLU, Yandex’s ride-sharing and food delivery joint venture with Uber.
- Advised Orion, part of the ESN Group, on the sale of 100% of the shares in the fiscal data operator 1 OFD to VTB Group, a global provider of financial services, comprised of over 20 credit institutions and financial companies, majority-owned by the Russian Federation.
CMS specialises in the areas of e-commerce, data protection, software and technology licensing, big data, encryption issues, outsourcing and media law. The firm is also known for its strong portfolio of clients in the video gaming industry, including names such as Playrix, as well as its experience in the cryptocurrency and blockchain area. Maxim Boulba specialises in M&A projects and regulatory and licensing issues.
‘CMS has various specialties that allow it to provide complete advice on local law.’
‘Maxim Boulba is a very skilled lawyer. His advice is on point and delivered swiftly.’
‘Maxim Boulba is excellent at providing the precise information and advice requested in a timely manner.’
- Advised Orange on the Russian aspects of its takeover of consulting and systems integration group Business & Decision.
- Advised S8 Capital on the acquisition of a 100% interest in Price.ru, a leading online shopping service, from Rambler Group, a Russian media holding company.
- Advised Airbnb on IT and regulatory issues related to the launch of the new Airbnb Trips service platform in Russia.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has a strong focus on advising TMT clients in relation to personal data protection and cryptographic operations, and also on assisting with any corporate, tax and regulatory compliance issues. On the contentious side, the team represents clients in commercial litigation. Department head Pavel Sadovsky is also a seasoned professional in IP, where he advises on transactional matters and the enforcement of IP rights.
- Assisted CTC Media, a Russian TV broadcasting company, with the registration of commercially sensitive trade marks.
- Advised Spectracom, a manufacturer of time and frequency instruments, on personal data processing requirements in Russia.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills fields a team of lawyers with 'solid technical expertise' who handle both the contentious and transactional aspects of TMT, namely corporate transactions, financings, licensing issues, competition and regulatory matters, IP, and IT concession projects. Recent mandates include advising on the sale of TheQuestion.ru service to Yandex group, and assisting RT-Invest Transport Systems with the establishment of a federal automated weight and dimensional control system. Corporate partners Alexei Roudiak and Evgeny Zelensky are the key figures.
‘The team is really unique on the market as they are fully capable, very industrious and extremely diligent. They are all acknowledged experts with solid technical expertise in this sector, matched with a strong commitment to getting the client the best results.’
RT-Invest Transport Systems
Digital Assets LLC (Sberbank of Russia IT subsidiary)
Head of Yandex Znatoki (TheQuestion.ru service))
- Advising RT-Invest Transport System on the first IT/PPP concession project for the implementation of automatic number plate recognition systems to identify vehicles and weigh-in-motion systems.
- Advised VTB Bank on the upsizing of a secured facility of up to $155m to HeadHunter, Russia’s largest online recruitment company.
- Advised the buyer, Digital Assets (a subsidiary of Sberbank), on the acquisition of an approximately 51% stake in Speech Technology Center from Digital Horizon Ventures.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is best known for its strong client base in the media and entertainment industry, counting CBS Television Studios and Home Box Office (HBO) among its clients. The firm also regularly acts for software and IT companies, advising on M&A transactions, licensing and outsourcing. E-commerce, gaming, data privacy and media regulatory work are the team's other areas of specialisation. Anastasia Dergacheva, Ksenia Andreeva and office managing partner Vasilisa Strizh are the key partners.
‘Morgan Lewis’ team has deep knowledge of the regulatory environment in Russia. Their advice is usually based on practice and understanding of business needs – when they structure the deal or advise on corporate governance they usually suggest the most workable options and avoid scenarios that are too complex or theoretical.’
Arts & Entertainment Television Network (AETN)
CBS Television Studios
Home Box Office (HBO)
Infor Global Solutions
- Advised HBO on the production of ‘Chernobyl’, a five-part television miniseries co-produced by HBO and Sky.
- Advised Jenzabar, a software solutions and services provider for higher education institutions, on its contract with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.
- Assisted Media-1 with its acquisition of Gallery Group, one of the largest outdoor advertising operators in Russia, from an international private equity fund.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is frequently instructed by telecoms and IT sector clients on transactional and regulatory matters and disputes, with a significant focus on cross-border M&A, joint ventures and corporate investments. Other areas of activity include equity and debt capital markets work, financings and dispute resolution. Vladimir Kouznetsov leads on all cross-border transactions, assisted by counsel Anna Semashko, who is another recommended lawyer.
UFG Private Equity
Setcar Holdings Limited
Trivon Communications Ltd
- Advising Mail.ru Group on its strategic partnership and joint venture with Alibaba Group, MegaFon and the Russian Direct Investment Fund to integrate Alibaba’s and Mail.ru’s Russian e-commerce platforms, and launch an e-commerce joint venture in Russia and the CIS region.
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton's team is led by Murat Akuyev and Yulia Solomakhina, who specialise in corporate and commercial transactions in the TMT space. Akuyev is also noted for his experience in advising foreign clients on foreign strategic investments throughout Russia and the CIS region, while Solomakhina is recommended for M&A transactions in the telecoms sector, having previously advised MegaFon, Mobile TeleSystems and Rostelecom.
- Advised leading telecoms operator MegaFon on its joint venture to form AliExpress Russia.
- Advised Kazakhtelecom on its $446m acquisition of a 75% stake in Kcell from Telia Company and Fintur Holdings.
- Assisted private investment company Vardanyan, Broitman and Partners with the sale of a 60% stake in Telecom Express, the largest contact centre in Russia, to Tachyon Comm.
Focusing on M&A transactions in the TMT space, Clifford Chance's team is led by Torsten Syrbe, who primarily advises on joint ventures, corporate transactions and competition matters. Alexander Anichkin focuses on regulatory issues, personal data processing and payment systems infrastructure.
‘Clifford Chance seem to have a special level of responsiveness. Their comments are detailed and focused on our inquiries, but they also elaborate on the general legal environment and possible consequences of different approaches. They maintain a clear logic in their responses and are always available to provide further clarifications or to discuss the technical details.’
- Advising ER-Telecom, a Russian telecoms company, on the acquisition of a majority interest in Telekom Romania, a Romanian provider of internet, mobile services and cable TV, from OTE, the Greek telecoms operator controlled by Deutsche Telekom.
Leo Batalov leads the team at DLA Piper and focuses on cross-border corporate transactions in the TMT sector. Counsel Michael Malloy's practice spans IP and IT projects, franchising, data protection and media law, and technology transfers.
YandexTaxi (Yandex- Uber joint venture)
- Advised Yandex, as the buyer, on the acquisition of TheQuestion, an online question and answer platform.
- Advised Yandex.Taxi on the acquisition of Food Party, a Russian food delivery service.
- Advised HeadHunter.ru, a leading Russian online recruitment platform, on its investment in Skillaz, an online platform for automated recruiting, screening and selection of job candidates.
LP Law Firm focuses on corporate and M&A transactions in the TMT sector, as well as on related issues such as intellectual property, competition and data protection. Ruslan Nagaybekov is the key partner, diving his time between the Moscow and St Petersburg offices.
Vyacheslav Khayryuzov co-heads the practice at Noerr, specialising in digital business, data privacy law, media and software issues, and commercial transactions. The firm is also known for its expertise in developing novel legal structures for expanding markets such as computer games, e-commerce and new media content.
‘An excellent, market-leading team. They are professional, knowledgeable and pragmatic.’
‘Vyacheslav Khayryuzov has built a great team that has quality written all over it. You know you are in safe hands.’
Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A.
Trend Micro Inc.
- Advising Teradata on various aspects of Russian IT legislation, such as encryption notifications and software licensing.
- Advised LexisNexis on localisation and adaptation to the Russian requirements for agreements to subscribe to LexisNexis’ electronic services.
- Advised Urban Science on software licensing issues in accordance with Russian law, as well as on potential steps to ensure Urban Science’s business compliance with the Data Localisation Act.
Pepeliaev Group primarily advises on taxation and corporate transactions in the TMT space, with additional experience providing regulatory advice in relation to antitrust, licensing and media law. The practice also has a strong track record of defending telecoms operators in commercial and tax disputes. Natalia Kovalenko is the key figure.
Multiregional TransitTelecom (МТТ)
Nokia Solutions and Networks
Specialising in intellectual property, INTELLECT focuses on transactions in the TMT sector, data protection, regulatory compliance and e-commerce matters. On the contentious front, the firm also represents TMT clients in contractual disputes. In addition, key figure Anastasia Makhneva has complementary expertise in advertising and unfair competition law.
1C Bitrix 1c-bitrix.ru
- Advised Hola, an Israeli VPN service, on matters related to data processing, personal data and advertising regulations.
KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) primarily handles data protection and general commercial issues, particularly those involving cloud-based platforms. Julia Kirpikova's expertise also covers transactions connected with e-commerce, cryptocurrencies and software.
‘In my opinion KIAP is one of the most reputable Russian law firms on the market. When you engage KIAP for any matter, you can be sure that the legal opinion, agreement or court documents will be on a par with the standards of a top international law firm for a fair price. They are not afraid of unknown issues and keep up with progress in the industry.’
‘Julia Kirpikova is a highly qualified professional with considerable experience in general commercial and telecoms issues. She provides us with clear and business-oriented advice which significantly simplifies our decision making.’
- Advising Huawei on general commercial activities, including data protection regulations, antitrust, employment and customs laws.
Alla Naglis heads King & Spalding LLP's corporate practice and has particular expertise in cross-border transactions in the telecoms, media, technology and entertainment industries. She also advises on matters related to e-commerce, data privacy and security issues.
‘The compact – yet very capable – team is up to the most complicated tasks in the technology, media and content areas.’
‘Alla Naglis is a very experienced, knowledgeable, versatile and considerate partner.’
Turner Broadcasting System Europe Limited
- Advised one of the largest international media groups on privacy issues in connection with the activities related to media coverage of the Fifa World Cup 2018.
- Advised BetSign Inc on regulatory issues in connection with the offering of the leading Chinese e-documents platform in the Russian market.
- Advising an independent film director on Russian regulatory and contractual matters in connection with the production of a documentary on Leo Tolstoy’s museum and heritage.