Firm Profile > Capital Legal Services > Moscow, Russia

Capital Legal Services
MOSCOW, 123056

Commercial, corporate and M&a: St Petersburg and elsewhere Tier 1

The St. Petersburg-based corporate practice at Capital Legal Services works closely with its office in Moscow; the group is spearheaded by Vladislav Zabrodin in Moscow and Pavel Karpunin and Dmitry Churin in St. Petersburg. Clients also single out the expertise of associate Vadim Kovalyov. The group advises on a wide range of issues including M&A deals, company reorganisations, audits and corporate governance mandates. The team is also increasingly handling instructions relating to corporate law and issues concerning the applicable sanctions regime.

Practice head(s):

Vladislav Zabrodin; Pavel Karpunin; Dmitry Churin


A diversified practice with deep knowledge of GDPR and foreign laws

This is team of real professionals, to whose expertise we are easily return.

I admire Capital Legal Services’ client-oriented approach and responsiveness. They are always keen and ready to support us and our clients with tailor-made legal solutions. What is equally important is that the team inspires confidence.

Dmitry Churin stands out for his profound knowledge of the business as well as Russian law, flexibility and responsiveness, and the high quality of his services.

Dmitry Churin and Vadim Kovalyov stand out for their swift reaction, great communication skills, and professional and candid approach.

Vladislav Zabrodin has a great sense of strategic thinking and cultivates initiatives and independence within the firm.

Associate Vadim Kovalyov adopts a highly pragmatic approach to issues.

Key clients

Aspen Healthcare


Hoffmann Group

Ingka Centres

Kiilto Oy

Leroy Merlin

Next Plc


Profireal Group

PPP and infrastructure projects Tier 2

St Petersburg-based Pavel Karpunin heads the project finance and PPP practice at Capital Legal Services and is experienced in advising both private investors and public sector clients on complex M&A and project financing transactions in the transport infrastructure, healthcare, utilities, leisure and public services sectors. Senior associate Dmitry Raev is the head figure at the Moscow office, specialising in project finance, real estate and corporate matters related to major infrastructure development projects. Senior associate Julia Antipova is likewise recommended for project finance advice.

Practice head(s):

Pavel Karpunin


‘Professionalism, immediacy of responses, availability, ability to resolve complicated situations’

Key clients

Seventh Concession Company, LLC (PF VIS)

Arkhangelsk Transport Hub

Siberian Concession Company

Perm Concession Company

EKS Group of Companies

Northern Capital Tramways, LLC (Company Group VTB)

Pizzarotti I.E., LLC

Ecology-Novosibirsk, LLC

Private client Tier 3

Capital Legal Services focuses heavily on taxation, particularly representing clients before the federal tax authorities and advising on personal taxation. The team is led from the St Petersburg office by senior associate Anastasya Kuzmina, who is also experienced in capital amnesty issues and the declaration of real estate, securities and other assets.

Practice head(s):

Anastasya Kuzmina

Real estate and construction Tier 4

Elena Stepanova and Vladislav Zabrodin head up the real estate and construction team at Capital Legal Services, which acts for a mix of Russian and international clients. The team excels in assisting clients with developing real estate investment strategies in the local market, and is increasingly active in issues in the Russian regions. The team has sector-specific expertise across multiple industries, and has been recently active in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Elena Stepanova; Vladislav Zabrodin


I would like to highlight the unique approach of the real estate practice to solving issues, as the team is able to find unusual and effective solutions. We choose the services of CLS due to the team’s knowledge of the market and our positive prior experience with the firm.

The team’s advice is always on point, while its solutions are also very elaborate at the same time. The team members respond to any request very quickly and provide services without delays.

I admire Capital Legal Services’ client-oriented approach and responsiveness. The team is always keen and ready to support us and our clients with tailor-made legal solutions. Importantly, CLS provides us with confidence due to the high quality of its services.

Elena Stepanova is always involved in our issues. She is very experienced and remembers the details of cases that she has worked on years ago. Although she obviously delegates some of her work to her colleagues, she still follows every step of the work; if you have questions, you can turn to her directly.

Elena Stepanova seems to know the answers to all our questions.  Elena brings a wonderful combination of professionalism and a friendly, helpful attitude.

Vladislav Zabrodin is good at keeping us informed and demonstrates a high level of professionalism.

Key clients

TVK Aviapark

Leroy Merlin

Next Plc

Imagim Real Estate Development

ADG Group


Regus PLC

Dispute resolution: Litigation Tier 5

Capital Legal Services’ dispute resolution department is led by St. Petersburg-based Irina Onikienko, who specialises in tax and bankruptcy-related contentious matters. The team is adept at handling property-related disputes, and principal associate Igor Gorokhov specialises in administrative disputes against public authorities.

Practice head(s):

Irina Onikienko


CLS’ team consists of highly professional team members who aim at achieving the best possible result for the client. At the same time, the team gives opportunities for growth and development to young professionals, thereby involving them in the process and giving them real responsibilities.

A very strong and capable litigation team consisting of lawyers who are really passionate about what they are doing.

Igor Gorokhov is very convincing and has a great ability to think and act logically even under stressful circumstances.

Irina Onikienko knows how to assemble a wonderful team for the purposes of handling a dispute efficiently. She also has a unique ability to stay calm under pressure.

Key clients


Ingka Centers

Intratool Group

Metsa Group

Organizing Committee Sochi 2014

Pulkovo Airport St. Petersburg

Airline Services Components, Ltd.

AR Carton

CvetKom, LLC

Elematic Oyj

FGBU “Rosgranstroy”

Pemamek Oy

Uni.Com LLC.

Vladimir Panin

Tax Tier 5

Following its launch in 2018, the tax practice at Capital Legal Services has been notably active in the non-contentious space. The team particularly excels in compliance issues, matters concerning the recent amendments to Russian tax legislation, and transfer pricing mandates. Anastasya Kuzmina heads up the department in St. Petersburg.

Practice head(s):

Anastasya Kuzmina


The team provides practical and highly professional tax advisory services. The team members remain flexible and understand the needs of the clients.

Good knowledge of tax legislation and court practice, coupled with a good understanding of the client’s business — this is what makes the support of Capital Legal Service efficient. The firm also has the ability to introduce other specialists along the way who have previously been briefed internally. This is refreshing; most firms are able to pass on referrals to other departments, but we rarely see everyone come to the table prepared, up-to-speed and with understanding of our business and the issues at hand.

Anastasya Kuzmina is easy to communicate with and strives to simplify all complex tax matters for benefit of the client.

Key clients

OJSC Foodline

Malkov and Partners Consulting AG

Associated Press Television News

The firm: Capital Legal Services was established in Russia in 1999. Since then, the firm – managed by Vladislav Zabrodin, the founder and managing partner – has become one of the leading national law firms, providing support for major international companies operating in Russia and large and medium Russian companies in Russia and CIS. The firm has offices in Moscow, St Petersburg and Helsinki.

Areas of practice: Corporate/M&A: services include due diligence, support for merger and acquisition transactions, developing effective corporate structure alternatives and supporting company restructuring, corporate management services and support for foreign investments.

Commercial: performing pre-contract and contract work, drafting primary pre-contract instruments (letters of intent, preliminary agreements, etc), drafting commercial agreements (including multilateral foreign trade agreements and foreign law contracts), advising on arrangement and development of a distribution network, advising on currency regulation and foreign trade transactions, data protection and e-commerce.

Real estate and construction: due diligence and support in real estate transactions, legal assessment of land plot suitability for construction, support in real estate construction (including infrastructure), drafting and approving construction contracts (including FIDIC contracts), developing a lease policy for facilities under construction, negotiating and signing lease agreements with tenants,representing and protecting investors’ interests before state authorities.

Project financing/public-private partnership: the firm has solid experience in advising state and private clients on project financing and project implementation. The firm is an official consultant for the World Bank in legal issues in infrastructure project implementation.

Anti Corruption/Compliance: the firm offers a full range of services on practical application of Russian and international anticorruption laws, including trainings on application of the FCPA and the Bribery Act.

Antitrust: developing business models and effective competition strategies, support in the course of antitrust inspections, representing interests in disputes with antitrust authorities, antitrust approvals for economic concentration transactions and investments in companies, support in tender procedures related to state procurement, and advising on current antitrust issues.

Commercial arbitration and out-of-court dispute resolution: representing clients in courts (including in arbitration courts and commercial arbitration) on the following issues: protection of ownership title, legalisation of unlawful facilities, privatisation issues, protection of private property, construction and construction contracts (FIDIC), tax law and labour disputes, among others. The firm also defends clients in administrative cases and handles out-of-court dispute resolution.

Employment: the scope of the firm’s activities includes comprehensive legal support in projects concerning labour law and migration legislation.

Intellectual property: the firm renders a full range of services in the field of intellectual property and ensures a comprehensive and case-by-case approach to any issue pertaining to protection of rights to clients’ intangible assets.

Sanctions Compliance:  the firm has deep experience advising on complex issues of application of international sanctions and Russian counter-sanctions, with the aim of providing maximum market access while ensuring responsible compliance and risk management.

Bankruptcy: the firm provides the full scope of services within insolvency and restructuring practice protecting interests of debtors, creditors and other interested persons at all the stages of bankruptcy proceedings, as well as before and after the bankruptcy took place.

IT & TMT: the firm provides legal support for hi-tech companies and companies implementing hi-tech into existing business models on issued related to their business, transaction support, regulatory requirements, etc.

Private Wealth: the firm provides a broad array of services on asset management at any stage: issues tied to investments, saving and accumulation of capital.

Tax law: the scope of the firm’s activities includesa full range of services on the issues of applying tax law, including pre-trial settlement and litigation matters.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate/M&A Vladislav Zabrodin
Commercial Pavel Karpunin
Real estate and construction Elena Stepanova
Antitrust Pavel Karpunin
Project financing and public-private partnership Pavel Karpunin
Commercial arbitration and out-of-court dispute resolution Irina Onikienko
Employment Irina Onikienko
Sanctions Compliance Vladislav Zabrodin
Bankruptcy Irina Onikienko
IT & TMT Pavel Karpunin
TAX Irina Onikienko
Intellectual property Irina Onikienko
Healthcare and pharmaceuticals Pavel Karpunin
Natural resources/energy Pavel Karpunin
Transport/infrastructure Pavel Karpunin
Private Wealth Irina Onikienko
Food Irina Onikienko
Retail Vladislav Zabrodin
Data protection Pavel Karpunin
Automotive Pavel Karpunin
Banking and finance Dmitriy Raev
Foreign investments Vladislav Zabrodin
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Elena Stepanova  photo Ms Elena Stepanova Elena Stepanova is a Partner in Capital Legal Services and a Head…
Number of lawyers : 55+
at this office : 28
Law Society of England and Wales
Non-commercial partnership 'Support in Developing Corporate Law'
St Pete Partner's Club
International Council of Shopping Centers European Advisory Board
Islamic Finance Lawyers (IsFin)
Other offices : Helsinki
Other offices : St Petersburg