A wide range of clients including banks, financers, lessors, export credit agencies and manufacturers instruct the well-known international asset finance practice at Allen & Overy Legal Services, which stands out for its 'extremely broad expertise in aviation and shipping'. In Moscow, the lead is taken by Ilya Dvorkin, whom one client describes as 'one of the best aviation lawyers in the Russian market'. The group is also able to call on the firm's London team for additional support on cross-border matters.
Transport in Russia
‘They have extremely broad expertise in aviation and shipping. They are good in the transactional work, especially in complex large scale transactions, know well regulatory framework such as tax, customs, sanctions issues related to the transport area and have very good capabilities when it comes to restructuring and dispute resolutions (which has now become extremely important in the current environment).’
‘They have one the biggest teams in Russia. Always deliver quality advice on time and on budget.’
‘Our main point of contact is Ilya Dvorkin. He is an excellent negotiator and has very deep knowledge of the market and the legal framework. I consider him to be one of the best aviation lawyers in the Russian market.’
Ilya heads a team of several lawyers and so far our experience was always good.’
GE Capital Aviation Services
State Transport Leasing Company (GTLK)
Red Wings Airlines
Nordavia – regional airlines
- Advising VTB Leasing on restructuring and payment deferral under aircraft lease agreements concerning 67 aircraft with the Aeroflot group.
- Advising GTLK on the purchase of two Boeing B737-900ERs on lease to Lion Air, a leading Indonesian airline, and on the purchase of two Airbus A330s on lease to Qatar Airways, a national Qatar carrier, from Aergo Capital, a leading aircraft leasing and trading company.
- Advising AerCap on various Russian law issues related to its aircraft leasing, novation and sale arrangements with different Russian airlines, including Rossiya Airlines, Azur Air, Globus, S7 Airlines and Nordwind.
As a global firm with extensive international capabilities, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP is well placed to advise on complex cross-border mandates in all the relevant sub-sectors, including freight and rail logistics issues and matters involving major airports. The cross-departmental team comprises specialist practitioners including Vitaly Mozharowski, head of the construction and real estate practice; Oleg Khokhlov, who leads the banking and finance team and also oversees the aircraft finance group; and Tatiana Parshak, who advises on all types of secured and unsecured financings.
Other key lawyers:
Tatiana Parshak; Oleg Khokhlov
Far East and Arctic Region Development Fund
Sheremetyevo International Airport / Moscow
South Stream Transport B.V.
New Concession Company
Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF)
- Advised South Stream Transport, a subsidiary of Gazprom, on the construction of the Russian sector of the South/TurkStream Offshore Pipeline project from Russia to Turkey.
- Advising the Far East and Arctic Region Development Fund on the financing of the construction of a new domestic terminal of Khabarovsk Airport.
- Assisting Sheremetyevo International Airport with a large-scale reconstruction.
The team at Clifford Chance is proficient at advising on all antitrust, banking, dispute resolution, tax, and regulatory matters in the transport sphere. Victoria Bortkevicha co-heads the asset finance group with senior associate Vadim Turtsev; the former is particularly noted for her expertise in the aviation sector, and is frequently instructed by both international and Russian lessors and financial institutions to assist with the most complex transactions. The firm has recently been involved in a number of aircraft repossession cases following the bankruptcies of major Russian airlines.
Victoria Bortkevicha; Vadim Turtsev
CDB Aviation Lease Finance DAC
China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (CALC)
GE Capital Aviation Services Limited (GECAS)
GTLK Europe DAC
DVB BANK SE
Goshawk Aviation Limited
SMBC Aviation Capital Limited
Standard Chartered Bank plc
JSC VTB Bank
ICBC International Leasing Company Ltd.
Wings Capital Partners LLC
GTLK Europe Limited
Avolon Aerospace Leasing Limited
BOC Aviation (Ireland) Limited
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE) Ltd.
- Advised SMBC Aviation Capital on the lease of five brand new Airbus A320neo family aircraft to Aeroflot.
- Assisted Sberbank with the debt restructuring of Utair, a major Russian airline.
- Advising Avolon Aerospace Leasing on the leasing of five brand new A320neo family aircraft to S7 Airlines.
Dentons' team includes a number of experts, each of whom is well regarded in a specialised area. Transactional specialist Alexei Zakharko leads the shipping practice, which advises shipowners and charterers, shipyards and cruise-lines, traders in commodities and service companies, operators of pipe-lines and other off-shore facilities, and freight-forwarders and logistics operators. Alexander Skoblo heads up the automotive group, and assists with corporate and commercial mandates, financing issues and joint ventures. Andrei Strijak takes the lead on aviation work, focusing particularly on aircraft financing and leasing matters. The firm is well placed to handle both domestic and cross-border work.
Alexei Zakharko; Alexander Skoblo; Andrei Strijak
CFC Management / Maxim Vorobyev
- Advised a consortium of investors on the acquisition of Almaty International Airport in Kazakhstan.
- Represented Lada Izhevsk, a Russian automotive manufacturer, in a challenge to the tax authority’s decision.
- Advised CFC Management on the structuring and acquisition of a 40% stake in Ultramar, a seaport terminal in Ust-Luga, and a joint venture with the seller.
DLA Piper's offering provides the full gamut of legal services to notable clients from both the aviation and shipping communities in all areas which may be of relevance to players from these industries. Financing and leasing of aircraft and ships continues to be a key area of strength for the team, and the firm also has significant expertise in assisting clients with the acquisition, financing and operation of private jets, helicopters and yachts. Core practitioners Anna Otkina and Philip Lamzin were recently joined by associate Ilyana Scherbakova, formerly of White & Case LLC.
Anna Otkina; Philip Lamzin
Other key lawyers:
‘Customer focused, no stress.’
‘Philip Lamzin is always available to help clients.’
Ilyushin Finance Co
Seraph Aviation Management Limited
SB Leasing Ireland Limited / Sberbank
GTLK Europe DAC / GTLK Asia Limited and GTLK Russia
Aviation Capital Group
- Advised state corporation VEB.RF on the financing of the construction and leasing of 15 arctic Arc7 class LNG-tankers to be operated by Sovcomflot and chartered to the Arctic LNG project.
- Advising GTLK Asia and the State Transport Leasing Company on a shipbuilding contract with Korean shipyard DSME, relating to the construction of two LNG barges and the bareboat charter of these barges to Arctic Transhipment, Novatek’s new project in the arctic.
- Providing ongoing advice as the Russian legal counsel for the majority of leading international leasing companies.
Recently promoted counsel Alexey Karchiomov, who heads up the maritime and transport practice at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, is noted for his wide-ranging knowledge of shipping law. As well as advising on the full gamut of maritime issues, including ship construction, purchase and sale, bill of lading and charter party disputes, and ship arrest and release, Karchiomov has recently been involved with Covid-related work, such as co-ordinating with state authorities of the Russian Federation and the EAEU member countries to ensure the free movement of drivers and freight vehicles across the borders of states.
‘The team at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners are always on hand to answer any of my questions, no matter how large or small. I have an excellent rapport with the team.’
‘Although they address the main issues, they also make sure to give additional details.’
‘Fast response to inquiries, clear and understandable comments and recommendations. Offers several solutions.’
‘Willingness to provide assistance at any time, quick coordination of necessary actions.’
Northern Capital Gateway Consortium
State Transport Leasing Company
- Representing BlaBlaCar in two high-profile court cases.
- Representing the State Transport Leasing Company in a dispute contesting leasing agreements.
- Representing ex-stakeholders of Transaero, the former second largest airline in Russia, in a high-profile bankruptcy case.
Cross-border coverage of all transport sub-sectors, including aviation, shipping and infrastructure, is provided by the team at Norton Rose Fulbright. The firm stands out particularly for its transactional expertise, and its proficiency in all related financial, corporate and regulatory matters. Practice head Alexander Tsakoev is known as an asset finance specialist, and is noted particularly for assisting with aircraft financing mandates, including advising on financial leasing and operational leasing transactions. Commercial expert Konstantin Konstantinov handles secured financing, project finance issues, securities legislation and M&A work in the transport field.
Other key lawyers:
Siberia Airlines, PJSC
Comuto SA (BlaBlaCar)
- Advised BlaBlaCar, a leading long-distance carpooling platform with headquarters in Paris, on its recently announced acquisition of Busfor, Russia and Ukraine’s largest online bus ticketing platform.
- Advised the S7 Group, Russia’s largest privately owned airline consortium, on the Russian law aspects of the transfer of a fleet of, among other aircraft, 18 leased Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Globus to Siberia Airlines, involving multiple lessor counterparties.
- Advised Russian air express cargo airline Atran, a subsidiary of the Volga-Dnepr Group, on the leasing of a used Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft.
Tax and dispute resolution specialists join the experienced transactional experts at White & Case LLC to form a cross-departmental offering which excels at assisting with all aspects of global transportation deals. Notable clients across Europe, Asia and the US instruct the firm, which played a key role in the ratification and implementation of the Cape Town Convention in Russia. The group is under the leadership of Natalia Nikitina, who is noted for her able advice on asset finance matters and M&A deals in the transport sector.
- Advising VEB Leasing on the auction sale of aviation equipment, including engines, aircraft bodies and other parts.
Baker Botts L.L.P.
With Elena Stepanenko at the helm, Baker Botts L.L.P. continues to be differentiated by its strong aviation focus, and its longstanding relationship with flagship client Aeroflot. The team advises on some of the most complex transactions in the aviation market, and is noted for implementing innovative lease structures, as well as restructuring and deferral agreements. Recently, the group has also been handling an increasing number of shipping mandates.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Aircraft financing mandates continue to form the cornerstone of the asset finance practice at Hogan Lovells (CIS); under the leadership of counsel Alexander Gasparyan, the team splits its workload between foreign lessors and financiers, and domestic airlines. The firm has also noted an increased in instructions from global clients relating to local regulatory and customs issues in the aviation field.
JSC “Aircompany “SCAT”
Jet Aviation Business Jets AG
- Assisting Veling and Nedbank with a complicated repossession of three Boeing B777-200ER aircraft.
- Advising lessee Aircompany SCAT, a major Kazakh airline, on the complex restructuring of two operating lease agreements concerning two Boeing 737 MAX-8 aircraft from Air Lease Corporation, a major US and world aircraft operating lessor.
- Assisting Aircompany SCAT with the restructuring of purchase agreements in relation to Boeing 737-MAX aircraft entered into with The Boeing Company, including advising on damages and the compensation of other losses resulting from the failure to deliver four Boeing 737-MAX aircraft.
For the team at LP Law Firm, projects and infrastructure work in the transport space is the key focus. Corporate specialists Ruslan Nagaybekov and Andrey Novakovskiy advise on project finance issues, including foreign and national investments. Valeriya Kachura's broad practice encompasses the structuring of companies and holdings, implementation of investment contracts, and resolution of corporate conflicts. The firm also handles regulatory matters and lease financing deals.
Ruslan Nagaybekov; Andrey Novakovskiy; Valeriya Kachura
JSC “Sinara – Transport Machines”
Management Company “Leader”
Northern Capital Gateway, LLC
Lipetsk commercial and industrial association
Concern Tractor Plants
- Advising Avtodor on a bond programme for the financing of a large transport infrastructure project.
- Representing the Automobile Plant Ural in a dispute with Ryazan MAZ-Service, regarding the payment for some additional work performed during the agreed period.
- Representing the Lipetsk Commercial and Industrial Association in a dispute concerning the government’s proposed construction of a power line.
Boutique firm NYZ Partners was founded in 2019, specifically to advise on the full gamut of issues affecting players from the aviation and shipping industries. The founding partners are Alexey Yanbukhtin, who was previously with AerCap, and Alexander Novak, formerly of White & Case LLC, and Alla Zverkova, who joined from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP.
Alexey Yanbukhtin; Alexander Novak
Other key lawyers:
‘I know Alexander Novak for his great experience in finance transactions, especially in aviation. We worked together on several aviation and shipping projects and Alexander has proven to be very efficient, always meeting deadlines and understanding each matter he handles in detail.’
‘The specialist expertise of Alexey Yanbukhtin stands out. He has a wealth of experience working for all the key players of the industry: banks, lessor and airlines.’
‘The practice is a small practice that comprises of people with exceptional experience in the industry. This makes it very approachable. I especially appreciated the attention that was given to our project and the availability of the partner working on the project.’
‘The partners have worked at large international law firms as well as in-house at major international aircraft lessors so they have a unique perspective on the challenges and needs of in-house legal departments of major companies doing business in Russia & the CIS.’
‘Alexey Yanbuhktin is a leading practitioner with several years of specialist experience in the aircraft finance and leasing sector. He also has the benefit of a strong commercial perspective having worked in house at the world’s largest aircraft lessor. Very strong English skills as well.’
‘Alexey Yanbuhktin is an extremely sharp, experienced lawyer, who can advise on all matters related to aviation finance in the Russian market.’
‘Alexey Yanbukhtin is one of the leading aviation lawyers in Russia – his experience in the industry is always helpful.’
‘NYZ provides legal services, however, they do also spend time to understand the client’s business along with given market conditions in the industry. This makes their services unique and unbeatable.’
AerCap Ireland Limited
Aviator Ireland Limited
Blue Connect Limited
Fire Bird Tours
JSC “Royal Flight”
Merx Aviation Finance, LLC
- Advising Aviator Ireland on the purchase and leasing of an Airbus A321-200 aircraft.
- Advising Blue Connect on all matters pertaining to the restructuring of its aviation business.
- Advising AerCap Ireland on the leasing of three Airbus A321-200 aircraft and one Boeing B737-800 aircraft to affiliated Russian airlines.
Sokolov, Maslov and Partners
Large international transport companies, shipowners, charterers, cargo owners, air carriers, airports and insurance companies frequently instruct the team at Sokolov, Maslov and Partners, and feel able to 'entrust the firm's lawyers with solving the most difficult problems'; aviation and shipping mandates are the firm's key areas of expertise. Maritime and fishing law expert Iftikhar Pirov oversees the majority of the work, supported by Kamran Pirov and senior associate Anna Merkulova.
Other key lawyers:
Kamran Pirov; Anna Merkulova
‘The firm’s lawyers are well versed in matters of air law, demonstrate consistency and a systematic approach to solving the assigned tasks. The quality and terms of work fully met our expectations. I would like to note the responsive attitude towards the client and the readiness to respond promptly to all requests.’
‘The lawyers are professionals in their field. When working with this law firm, we highly appreciated the focus of specialists on a positive result and their work efficiency. We know that we can entrust the firm’s lawyers with solving the most difficult problems. We would also like to note the high quality of the service and the efficiency of the services provided: no question remains without a timely answer.’
‘Among the lawyers of Sokolov, Maslov & Partners, we would like to especially mention Kamran Pirov and Anna Merkulova, with whom we had the pleasure to work. We recommend Kamran and Anna as lawyers with high qualifications, responsible and delicate specialists who can skilfully find optimal solutions to problems of any complexity.’
Aston Management Holding Limited
Dubai Aviation Corporation (flydubai)
United Shipping Company LLC
- Advised Metship following the arrest of its ships, which included preparing legal opinions, notice of opposition, explanations, cessation complaints and other documents, resulting in the successful release of the client’s ships.
- Prepared legal advice on behalf of Aston Management Holding Limited following its charter of four tugboats and five dumb lighters to transport grain, and the failure of the shipowner to fulfil obligations for the carriage of cargo.
- Representing the Dubai Aviation Corporation in court proceedings and advising on the legal aspects of the settlement of passengers’ claims, as well as drafting an agreement for working with a local Russian distributor.
Denis Shtirbu and Alexandra Vasukhnova take the lead on PPP projects with a nexus to seaport, railway and road construction at VEGAS LEX. Senior associates Irina Dolgikh and Varvara Suchkova are also instrumental in preparing concession agreements, assisting clients with contract negotiations and liaising with federal governments and investors. The firm counts major local players, including Russian Railways and the State Transport Leasing Company, among its key clients.
Denis Shtirbu; Alexandra Vasukhnova
Other key lawyers:
Irina Dolgikh; Varvara Suchkova
State Transport Leasing Company
Lavna Commercial seaport, SPE for PPP projects in Murmansk sea port
- Advised the State Transport Leasing Company on the financial closing of the Lavna investment project.
- Advised Russian Railways on an EPC contract for the construction of the Elegest – Kyzyl – Kuragino railway line.
- Assisted Russian Railways with the organisational and legal structuring of a construction project concerning the Severomuysky tunnel-2.