White-collar crime in Russia
ALRUD Law Firm’s growing white-collar crime, compliance and investigations department adopts a multidisciplinary approach to advising individual and corporate clients across a wide range of sectors including the oil and gas, consumer goods, retail, transport and chemicals industries. The team focuses on matters relating to regulatory enforcement issues, investigations, corruption work and corporate crime. Recently promoted partner Magomed Gasanov heads up the practice, which counts dispute resolution practice head Sergey Petrachkov as a key figure. Associate Alexander Mikhailov is a notable new arrival, whose expertise significantly bolsters the firm’s expertise in criminal investigations.
‘Client-oriented professionals and strategic thinkers.‘
‘The team is highly professional, responsive, knowledgeable, and sensitive to business realities in the market. It also delivers a high-quality end product.‘
‘The team was accountable, responsible, available, and knowledgeable. It was able to understand our issues quickly, and to provide reliable and realistic advice. The staffing was appropriate, and the team was able to function well in English.‘
At Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited, Edward Bekeschenko, Paul Melling and Vladimir Khvalei jointly lead the department, which also includes associate Oleg Tkachenko. The team is retained by multinational companies and their Russian subsidiaries as well as foreign individuals. The practice handles the full scope of criminal law mandates with particular expertise in criminal defence, criminal proceedings arising out of criminal acts committed against employees, and internal investigations into allegations of white-collar crime. For allegations involving a cross-border element, the department leverages the expertise of the firm's global offices.
‘Amazing leader’ Viсtoria Burkovskaya heads up Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ dedicated white-collar crime department, which is praised by clients for ‘its practical approach and successful strategy’ during investigations. The team focuses on all aspects of criminal litigation and regulatory enforcement, and has significant cross-border experience, which includes matters involving Interpol. Counsel Andrey Bastrakov and senior associate Svetlana Chirkova are also noted. In 2020, the team considerably strengthened its capabilities through the appointment of Dentons' former practice head Konstantin Tretyakov, who has experience acting as prosecution and defence counsel in fraud, money laundering, bribery and tax cases; and senior associate Konstantin Elfimov. Tatyana Nozhkin left the firm in 2020.
‘Top professionals in white-collar crime. It is one of the best law firms we have ever cooperated with, particularly in terms of bringing results.‘
‘Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is definitely unique due to its client-focused and highly experienced team. I can trust the white-collar crime team with the most complex cases and sensitive issues. The team always displays excellent service and pragmatic approach in terms of timing and meeting our the most exigent demands.‘
‘The team is at the forefront of criminal defence of business, having worked on some of the most high-profile criminal cases in Russia. The highest skill and professionalism of lawyers in the team is confirmed by the success which they achieve in very complex and complicated criminal litigation disputes involving a number of jurisdictions.‘
‘The core benefit in comparison to other firms is the firm’s superb team of lawyers, who easily handle the toughest cases, availability and engagement.‘
‘The practice successfully combines perfect theoretical knowledge, wealth of experience, and innovative approaches, which makes it the best choice for solving seemingly unsolvable situations. Team members specialise in criminal defence in all kinds of economic offences and provide comprehensive pre-criminal compliance. I recommend the team to in-house peers demanding a turn-key touch, in-depth immersion into the problem, and a catch-all strategy minimising possible risks.‘
‘Tenacious, hard-working and tactically very astute, senior associate Svetlana Chirkova is always willing to explore creative solutions with the client. Svetlana is clearly passionate about what she does, and is highly capable and approachable.‘
‘Konstantin Tretyakov and Konstantin Elfimov are excellent specialists with extensive experience in handling major criminal proceedings. Their knowledge of criminal law and procedure and their unrivalled experience allow them to build a competent client defence. As a result of the highly professional approach of Konstantin Elfimov, excellent results were achieved in my case.‘
‘Konstantin Tretyakov is a very experienced and respected advocate. I consider him invaluable as a defence attorney.‘
- Assisted billionaire businessman Konstantin Grigorishin with a criminal investigation relating to his property.
- Successfully defended Evgeny Dod, former chairman of RusHydro’s management board, against fraud allegations.
ZKS Law Attorneys’ practice attracts praise for its ‘in-depth expertise in relation to criminal cases of an economic nature’. The team handles a wide range of fraud, corruption, bribery and tax misconduct mandates, and is increasingly focusing on due diligence and criminal risk analysis issues. The department’s client base spans public officials, business owners and senior executives. Managing partner Denis Saushkin has substantial white-collar crime experience, while Andrey Grivtsov and Maria Korchagina contribute to the firm’s expertise in investigations; Korchagina joined the team in 2019 from a position in the public sector. Alexey Kasatkin and Sergey Malyukin are also noted. Tatyana Nozhkina was a new arrival in 2020.
‘In-depth expertise in criminal cases of economic nature.‘
‘I would like to note the high professional level of ZKS Law Attorneys’ team, its well-coordinated competent work, and extensive experience in white-collar criminal cases.‘
‘Attorneys of ZKS Law Attorneys are distinguished by their thorough knowledge of both the law and the principles driving the law enforcement authorities and the judicial system.‘
‘Team members have significant experience, which allows them to give a realistic assessment of the problem and act as efficiently as possible under pressure from the police.‘
‘Andrey Grivtsov is extremely attentive to details, meticulous in calculating risks and preparing for speaking in court, and always achieves great results.‘
‘A tenacious leader, Denis Saushkin always understands our issues and solves them quickly and in a creative manner.‘
‘Denis Saushkin fully lives up to his reputation as a strong criminal law attorney who has impressive experience in projects at the intersection of criminal and tax law. He can rightfully be considered one of the best attorneys for businesses – he is equally aware of the specifics of the work of law enforcement authorities as well as the complexity of a company’s business management.‘
‘Sergey Malyukin provides understandable analysis of issues and provides practical recommendations.‘
We R. Signs
- Defending the senior managers of Gema against allegations of attempted fraud amounting to $150m.
- Advising OOO Yastro on the risks associated with an alleged tax evasion case.
- Defending Olga Evstafieva, former CEO TechInvestStroy, against embezzlement charges.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP’s white-collar criminal defence team is headed up by counsel Anton Gusev, who focuses exclusively on corporate crime and has extensive experience in representing high-profile businessmen and public figures. Multiple team members have held positions in government bodies, which enhances the practice’s strength in enforcement matters. The department’s expertise in tax crime is enhanced by the expertise of counsel Alexander Erasov. Senior associate Angela Glamazdina is also singled out.
‘The team always provides high-quality support and reacts very quickly, if needed. Lawyers are very business-oriented and understand our needs and our specific issues.‘
‘Angela Glamazdina and Anton Gusev always provide prompt and tailored advice.‘
- Defending the family members of an honoured cultural worker of Russia as victims of crimes threatening their life and health.
Koblev & Partners
Koblev & Partners has notable expertise in cross-border criminal matters, and regularly receives work referred by law firms internationally. Led by Ruslan Koblev, the team acts for a client base of high-profile public officials and large business corporations. In late 2018, the group expanded its capabilities in the criminal representation of corporate clients with the arrival of Timur Khutov from BMS Law Firm. Kirill Belskiy is also a standout figure.
Aryman Murat Levent
- Defending Dmitry Mazurov, founder of the New Stream Group, against embezzlement accusations.
- Representing Vladimir Potapkin in an investigation concerning illegal subsidies.
- Defending a former senator from Karachay-Cherkess Republic against theft charges.
Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners utilises its traditional litigation strength to handle criminal proceedings arising out of tax evasion, embezzlement and other corporate crimes. The team is also adept at acting on cross-border issues. Alexander Zyuba, Dmitry Lovyrev and Anton Aleksandrov jointly head up the white-collar crime practice, which acts for corporate clients and senior executives.
At A-Pro Law, Valery Volokh leads the practice, which specialises in economic and corporate crime, and is adept at handling preliminary criminal investigations and litigation proceedings. The team also has significant experience assisting clients with reclaiming property from illegal possession, a space in which Aleksey Grebenskoy is a seasoned practitioner. The criminal law department also saw recent growth, with Aleksander Pavlov joining the firm in late 2018.
‘Team members provide very high-quality legal services and have excellent expertise in criminal law. All my issues have been solved efficiently.‘
‘The firm is able to handle even the most complex situations, where others give up. Lawyers in the team demonstrate fantastic problem-solving skills even under circumstances which may seem hopeless.‘
‘Valery Volokh is knowledgeable, experienced and professional.‘
‘Valery Volokh is an outstanding criminal lawyer, who sees the bigger picture and is able to plan several steps forward and to suggest the best solutions in advance.‘
‘Valery Volokh, Aleksander Pavlov and Aleksey Grebenskoy are all wonderful experts in criminal law, who have previous law enforcement experience and know how to handle investigations.‘
- Assisting Aleksey Vekshin, a mayoral candidate and investor, with addressing procedural violations relating to a criminal case brought against him.
Falk Tischendorf and Alexander Bezborodov jointly lead the litigation and arbitration group at BEITEN BURKHARDT, which is a key name in the market for German clients doing business in Russia. The department is particularly experienced in the criminal investigations space; it assists clients with internal investigations and advises companies and their management on criminal investigations. Clients also recommend associate Nikita Rodionov.
‘We like the team’s “German approach”, the high quality of the products, and team members’ strong expertise.‘
‘This is a team of experienced, well-known and highly professional lawyers. It fully deserved our trust through its approach to our issues – it clearly understands our needs, elaborates clearly on the roadmap for action, and provides timely support. On the other hand, the team possesses good experience and it is always ready for some unpredictable developments and ready to handle them on short notice.‘
‘Alexander Bezborodov and associate Nikita Rodionov are our key contacts in the Moscow office of Beiten Burkhardt for the white-collar crime issues. Alexander possesses all professional skills necessary to settle sensitive matters. Nikita is a very skilful and experienced lawyer who clearly understands our needs and the environment. Both Alexander and Nikita are ready to provide clients with appropriate and timely legal advice.‘
Criminal law boutique Bolshakov, Chelysheva & Partners specialises in criminal defence work and acts for representatives of companies, public authorities and financial institutions in white-collar crime charges. The team's recent work demonstrates a strength at the preliminary investigative stage and court proceedings. Managing partner Arthur Bolshakov leads the practice, which fields name partner Elena Chelysheva as a key figure.
‘In the Russian criminal justice system, acquittals are close to impossible to achieve. But these lawyers are able to clearly build a case and use evidence that leads to dropping the charges, even in some of the most complex cases. The team is attentive to detail and well aware of the nuances of law enforcement practice. The lawyers know the fundamental foundations of criminal law as well as the most recent trends in law practice.‘
‘Arthur Bolshakov is a recognized expert in criminal law in Russia, who is known for defending the rights of businessmen. Arthur is knowledgeable, effective and proactive. He is always thinking outside the box and several steps ahead.‘
‘If Elena Chelysheva promises something, she will do it, which is important for us. She is a kind and tactful person.‘
Zubovskie Vorota LLC
General Director of OJSC NIImedpolymer
General Director of Trade Company Aleksinskoye Steklo LLC
- Defending the general director of Zubovskie Vorota LLC against charges arising out of the alleged falsification of documents concerning a high-value land plot.
- Defending the general director of JSC National Fishing Fleet against extortion charges amounting to ₽5bn.
- Defending the general director of OJSC NIImedpolymer against charges of alleged abuse of authority and unlawful entry into contractual arrangements.
EMPP Law Firm’s white-collar crime defence team stands out for its specialism in industrial accidents and violations of industrial safety and occupational safety rules. Valentin Petrov and Sergey Egorov jointly lead the department, which assists its clients with assessing criminal defence strategies and advises on the potential risks of incurring criminal liability.
‘EMPP Law’s team inspires confidence that our interests will be in the hands of real professionals.‘
‘Sergey Egorov is a true leader who is able to overcome difficulties in order to protect the interests of his clients.‘
JSC BCS Bank
LLC Saint-Gobain Construction Products RUS
JSC Gazprom Neft
- Defended Summa Group’s top manager against criminal association and fraud claims.
- Assisting BCS Ultima with issues regarding a pre-investigation check and the initiation of a criminal case brought pursuant to Article 193.1 of the Russian Criminal Code.
- Acting for the medical staff of rehabilitation centre “Three Sisters” in claims alleging medical negligence.
The practice at KIAP (Korelskiy, Ischuk, Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) focuses on tax, financial and corporate crimes, and is particularly adept at handling investigations and compliance matters. Konstantin Astafiev leads the department, which also fields senior associate Dmitry Kalinichenko as a noteworthy figure.
- Representing Huawei in a criminal investigation alleging fraud committed by its employees.
- Advising Stroymonolitservice on issues regarding the commencement of potential criminal proceedings against its management.
- Advising Hilti on issues relating to the disclosure of trade secrets.
Kniazev & Partners
Criminal defence specialist Vladimir Kitsing leads Kniazev & Partners’ business protection department. The team focuses on representing company executives and managers in investigations and criminal proceedings. Alexey Serduyk and Artem Chekotkov are also key names to note.
‘Highly qualified and professional, the team adopts a non-trivial approach to business management. It also engages very efficiently in productive discussions with clients.‘
Noerr advises clients on compliance issues, audits and internal investigations. The team also specialises in anti-bribery and corruption matters, which is an area of expertise for practice head Hannes Lubitzsch. Clients also instruct the team on matters relating to tax fraud, money laundering and antitrust violations.
Puchkov & Partners primarily defends domestic companies, but has recently been active in acting for foreign executives accused of criminal offences. The team handles investigations and proceedings arising from economic crimes including bribery, corruption and tax evasion allegations. The group also recently bolstered its expertise in investigations with the hire of Kaliningrad-based Vadim Egulemov, who joined as part of the firm’s merger with Egulemov and Partners. Aleksey Zakharov heads up the practice, which fields managing partner Denis Puchkov and Konstantin Farberov as key figures.
- Acting for Alapaevskiy Forestry in a case concerning the smuggling of timber abroad.
The criminal law practice at Regionservice is jointly led by Denis Rybakov in Moscow, and Sergey Uchitel and Dmitry Grechko in the Kemerovo office. The group has particular strength in criminal investigations, and is also adept at representing individuals and companies in complex criminal proceedings.
- Defending Khachim Eristov, manager of GlobalElectroService, against embezzlement charges totalling ₽752m.
- Representing Russian investor Vadim Varshavsky in a fraud case.
- Representing Alexander Danilchenko and Alexey Ivanov in a case arising from the allegedly coercive sale of shares in a local coal mining company.
Rustam Kurmaev & Partners provides boutique dispute resolution advice, and has also seen a steady increase in instructions from clients involved in white-collar crime investigations and cases. Managing partner and 'reputable litigator' Rustam Kurmaev leads the wider dispute resolution group and has significant experience in defending financial institutions and large corporations. The 'highly competent' Dmitry Gorbunov heads up the white-collar crime practice and specialises in defending clients in criminal proceedings, particularly arising from fraud allegations; and Dmitry Kletochkin has niche expertise in white-collar crime work relating to restructuring and insolvency mandates.
‘This is the best team to have on your side in any criminal dispute in Russia.‘
‘The team has great experience in dealing with the Russian state authorities. If a client hires them, they know that things are under control at all times, as the team is on top of the situation. Another strong advantage of the practice is timing – team members know the rules of this game so well, which allows them to anticipate certain scenarios ahead of time and to make sure necessary that proactive steps are being taken.‘
‘Rustam Kurmaev is a very strong and efficient negotiator and a great team leader. His client portfolio speaks for itself.‘
‘Dmitry Gorbunov and Dmitry Kletochkin are very impressive, both are exceptionally committed, professional and motivated lawyers.‘
Baring Vostok Capital Partners
- Defending the founder and senior managers of Baring Vostok Capital Partners Investment fund in criminal proceedings brought against them on suspicion of fraud.
- Successfully defended leading mining and metallurgical company Mechel in criminal proceedings alleging abuse of authority, which allegedly caused ₽12bn in damages.
Zabeyda & Partners
Criminal defence law firm Zabeyda & Partners stands out for its varied client base of senior managers, business owners, civil servants and lawyers. The practice primarily acts for clients against allegations of fraud, embezzlement, corruption, abuse of office and tax evasion. The team is jointly led by managing partner Alexandr Zabeyda and Daria Konstantinova.
‘Zabeyda & Partners has a unique feature— its lawyers have work background in law enforcement authorities, speak English fluently, and use modern technology to assist clients.‘
‘Alexandr Zabeyda and Daria Konstantinova provide well-structured advice, and are easy to contact and pleasant communicate with.‘
‘I highly appreciate the professionalism of Alexandr Zabeyda, whose knowledge and experience have helped me on multiple occasions.‘
- Defending Moldavian politician and media tycoon Vladimir Plahotniuc against money laundering charges and other allegations.
- Defending Albert Khudoyan against embezzlement charges amounting to $30m.
- Successfully defended Vladimir Korolkov, former chief executive officer of Zaporozhsky Titanium and Magnesium Works, against embezzlement claims amounting to $22m.