Firm Profile > Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited > St Petersburg, Russia

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited

Capital markets Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited’s ‘unique’ practice in Moscow contributes to firm’s global reputation in capital markets. The Russian office fields a substantial team with the ability to act on cross-border matters, which is enhanced by its close cooperation with the London-based group, where Roy Pearce is the key contact for CIS-related work. Clients and peers praise the team’s traditional strength in structured capital markets and securitisation work; Moscow-based department head Vladimir Dragunov is highly active in the securitisation space. Other key names include, Dmitry Dembich, who is the key practitioner for transactions involving derivative instruments; UK-qualified Simon Morgan and senior associate Sergey Samokhvalov.

Practice head(s):


The team has a unique and, in my opinion, the most extensive experience in capital markets transactions, particularly in the area of securitisation and structured finance. The department’s strengths include flexibility, an ability to take even the non-standard wishes of the client into account, and wide-ranging expertise across multiple legal areas.

All team members are creative, clear and solution-oriented, but I would like to particularly note the skills of Vladimir Dragunov and senior associate Sergey Samokhvalov in this regard.

Key clients

Commercial Bank “Absolut Bank”


PJSC Asian-Pacific Bank

Home Credit & Finance Bank

Citigroup Global Markets

Vozrozhdenie Bank

Trans-Oil Group

Credit Bank of Moscow



Sberbank of Russia

PJSC Metallinvestbank

Otkritie FC Bank

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

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited’s team attracts praise for ‘its in-depth understanding and perfect knowledge of laws applicable at both Russian and international levels’. The department is also recommended for the efficiency of its cross-practice approach, and works in conjunction with other teams on tax, merger control and employment mandates. The practice also has notable strength in corporate transactions with a real estate and infrastructure angle; department head Maxim Kalinin and counsel Olga Anikina have niche expertise in these arenas.

Practice head(s):


Great support and timely management of issues

Key clients

International Paper

Ford Motor Company

A.S. Watson

Baltic Pearl


Bank Saint Petersburg

Baltika Brewery

Smiths Heimann Rus


Joy Global

Ford Sollers Holding

Man Truck and Bus Rus

Liburdi Turbine Services

Autogrill Group / HMSHost

Renaissance Construction Group

Egger Group

Charity foundation Raoul

Amcor Specialty Cartons Saint Petersburg

Constructor Rus

Russian Guild of Managers and Developers

Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation Tier 1

The dispute resolution department at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited is well versed in handling commercial arbitral proceedings as well as investment treaty arbitration; the group has also attracted praise from clients for its ability to handle litigation arising from arbitration. The team has a particular strength in cross-border matters and significantly benefits from the firm’s well-established foothold internationally. Practice head Vladimir Khvalei stands out for his notable international experience gained across multiple arbitral institutions, and works closely with associate Taisiya Vorotilova, who has particular expertise in bankruptcy-related matters.

Practice head(s):


Top-drawer technical skills and deep legal expertise

The team works very well even under tight deadlines.

Vladimir Khvalei is highly skilled and reliable. He has deep legal expertise, which is coupled with great experience.

Key clients

Manolium Processing LLC

KazTransGaz JSC

Employment Tier 1

Igor Makarov chairs the employment practice at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited, which is spread across the Moscow and St Petersburg offices and has an 'excellent reputation' for assisting local and international clients with post-transaction HR integration and compliance issues, immigration, trade union matters and employment structuring. The team also has a strong track record of conducting internal investigations and defending employers in disputes with employees, the state labour inspectorate and other regulatory authorities. In Moscow, Elena  Kukushkina advises on general employment law, contract termination issues, restructuring, executive compensation and employment benefits, while Evgeny Reyzman specialises in labour litigation. Associates Georgy Mzhavanadze and Elena Pitirimova are also of note for contentious employment matters. Maxim Kalinin leads the practice from St Petersburg alongside associate Alexander Korkin.

Intellectual property Tier 1

Complex patent litigation is the bedrock of the IP practice at Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited. Recent highlights for the team include successfully enforcing the patent rights to one of Gilead Pharmasset's medications for the treatment of HIV, Sovaldi, in a revocation action brought by a local producer. Practice head Denis Khabarov and Eugene Arievich are 'two of the best-known figures in the Russian IP market'. Margarita Divina and Pavel Gorokhov specialise in transactional and contractual IP, trade mark registration and portfolio management. Counsel Darya Ermolina is of note for trade mark, patent and design disputes.

Practice head(s):


‘It has consistently been the number one practice in the area of IP and technology in Russia for many years. Their experience is very broad, extending from IP commodity work, such as trade mark registration and searches, to the most complex contentious and transactional matters. They are the go-to team in most complex cases, be it complicated transactions or serious trade mark and patent litigation.’

‘Denis Khabarov is one of key players in the IP market in Russia. His advice is very clear, practical and helpful, while his litigation skills are superb.’

‘Margarita Divina is an IP transaction guru who is best known for complex technology and IP-heavy transactions and franchising deals.’

‘Eugene Arievich is a top lawyer who is still the best-known name in IP private practice in Russia’

‘Pavel Gorokhov is always very responsive and client-oriented with a practical approach to each issue. He is able to build efficient strategies on trade marks, always bearing in mind the business needs of the client.’

Key clients

Gilead Science Inc.


Association of Corporate Lawyers

Champagne Louis Roederer

Christian Louboutin

Private client Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited advises Russian ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families with international business interests, as well as family offices, private banks and trust companies, on cross-border matters ranging from tax structuring and planning, particularly in Russia, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the UK, to onshore and offshore tax-efficient corporate structures and trust disputes. Sergei Zhestkov, Kirill Vikulov and senior associate Artem Toropov are the key figures in the team.

Real estate and construction Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles the full scope of contentious and non-contentious issues relating to all types of real estate, including office, commercial, industrial and residential real estate. On the construction side, the group provides end-to-end advice for clients active in the mining, oil and gas, and fast-moving consumer goods sectors. Konstantine Kouzine heads up the practice from Moscow and is praised as ‘a very efficient leader’, and Maxim Kuznechenkov is noted for his recent work in the hotels and leisure industry. Beyond Moscow, Maxim Kalinin heads up the real estate group based in St. Petersburg, where counsel Olga Anikina is also a key contact. Senior associates Alexander Chudnovsky and Daria Mokrousova are also noted in Moscow.

Practice head(s):


The team is simply amazing. Lawyers know the market, work fast, and sometimes seem to understand their clients’ needs better than clients themselves could understand them.

This is a very reliable and professional team which has a very strong understanding of real estate and the financial market.

Konstanin Kouzine is an exceptionally polite and smart person. We communicate very openly and friendly. He and his team always try to understand our views.

Maxim Kuznechenkov has his own great experience but he also works with a great team.

Maxim Kuznechenkov is an exceptional partner, who is always available and suggests very practical solutions.

Konstanin Kouzine, Maxim Kuznechenkov, Alexander Chudnovsky are all very seasoned and reliable professionals, who maintain the highest standards of corporate culture.

Senior associate Daria Mokrousova is probably the best expert in leases.

Senior associate Alexander Chudnovsky works tirelessly and is very competent on complex construction issues.

Key clients

Radius Group

Vitaly Smagin

AB Development

GHP Development

Renaissance Construction


Amtel Properties


Alyans Altyn

The Boeing Company

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

At Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited, senior associate Pavel Novikov heads up the insolvency and asset tracing team, which is part of the wider dispute resolution department. The Moscow-based group is fully integrated into the firm’s global network, which bolsters its ability to act for domestic and foreign clients on significant cross-border matters. Working alongside Novikov, Edward Bekeschenko is also a standout practitioner in the bankruptcy litigation space, and Max Gutbrod is a key adviser to clients seeking restructuring advice.

Practice head(s):


The team stands out for its excellent knowledge of both theory and practice, its solution-oriented approach, and its proactivity and creativity in solving problems.

Pavel Novikov is a great expert in insolvency law and civil procedure; he is also good at spotting and solving clients’ problems.

Key clients


Tax Tier 1

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles a wide array of contentious and non-contentious tax issues, and clients single out recently promoted principal Arseny Seidov, who specialises in tax planning work and the restructuring of complex cross-border transactions. Kirill Vikulov is the name to note in the cross-border tax planning space; the team also has strong capabilities in indirect tax matters. Marina Tokunova is a noteworthy practitioner.

Practice head(s):


I see Baker & McKenzie’s tax team as a team of strong professionals which cares about the quality of services it is providing.

Marina Tokunova is an excellent specialist in issues at the intersection of corporate and tax law, and has great skills in building strong relationships with clients.

We appreciate the work which Arseny Seidov has done for us. Arseny is polite and smart, reacts to our requests very quickly, and is always available if we have something urgent going on.

White-collar crime Tier 1

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.

Commercial, corporate and M&a: Moscow Tier 2

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited's practice is a one-stop shop for clients seeking assistance with all elements of corporate deals. The group has a cross-practice approach to transactions, and leverages its strong taxation group on joint ventures and M&A mandates. The team’s expertise is also noted along the firm’s strategic sector lines in the pharmaceuticals, IT, and oil and gas industries. Andrey Afanasiev, Sergey Krokhalev and Dmitry Marchan are key figures in the team.


We choose the team at Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited for the most strategic and important projects for our group of companies. It is hard to imagine a more professional team, which is efficient, available, quick, knowledgeable, and creative in finding workable solutions.

The corporate and M&A department is well placed on the Russian market; it knows the local climate, has valuable insights about legislative initiatives, and is prepared to provide a practical and easy-to-comprehend solution tailored to the needs of the client. I would say that the team’s distinct characteristic is its ability to explain complex legal structures and regulations in a simple and concise manner, which is then easy to share within our company.

Andrey Afanasiev is a force to be reckoned with.

Key clients

Gazprom Neft





Rhône Capital




Competition Tier 2

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles contentious and non-contentious work across a wide range of sectors including the healthcare, automotive, technology, fast-moving consumer goods and natural resources industries. Department leader Anton Subbot has a solid reputation in competition litigation, dawn raids and public procurement proceedings. Recently promoted partner Nadia Goreslavskaya takes the lead on transactional work particularly relating to multi-jurisdictional merger clearances and joint venture filings.

Practice head(s):


The team has wide-ranging experience in enforcement matters. Its advice is always tailored to the situation, as lawyers make sure to deepen their understanding of the background of the issue.

The competition department stands out due to the depth of its expertise, as well as due to the high level of pragmatism with which it approaches its clients’ issues.

Anton Subbot is very experienced and supports us efficiently in our decision-making.

Dispute resolution: Litigation Tier 2

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited acts for its corporate clients in all types of commercial disputes and disputes with public authorities. Team members handle litigation in their key areas of specialism: department head Edward Bekeschenko is an expert in the IT and TMT space; Vladimir Khvalei is a go-to contact for arbitration-related proceedings; and Denis Khabarov is a notable figure in IP-related litigation. Counsel Anton Maltsev is noted for his expertise in corporate litigation.

Practice head(s):


Top-drawer technical skills and deep legal expertise’

The team works very well even under tight deadlines, and excels in high-profile commercial litigation.

Vladimir Khvalei is highly skilled and reliable. He has a deep legal expertise with a great experience.

Anton Maltsev is able to provide pragmatic and commercial advice.

Key clients

Doosan Infracore

Plum Blossom LLC

Gilead Pharmasset


TMT Tier 2

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.

Key clients




Hitachi Vantara

Banking and finance: Lender or arranger side Tier 3

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited handles the Russian and English law aspects of matters from its Moscow office, and can also rely on the firm’s strong presence globally; its capabilities regionally are strengthened by offices in Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Vladimir Dragunov heads up the department, which draws on the expertise of its tax and financial restructuring groups in complex transactions. Simon Morgan focuses on loans and credit facilities and has extensive experience in pre-export financings across the CIS region. Associate Andrey Lebedev is noted for his expertise in mainstream banking and finance matters, bank and corporate lending issues, and project and real estate financing work.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Absolut Bank


Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

Energy and natural resources Tier 3

With a strong focus on transactional side, Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited's energy practice, which is led by Alexey Frolov, specialises in advising Russian and international companies on the acquisition of oil, gas and mining assets, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and production sharing agreements. The team also assists oil and gas companies with all other matters relating to their activities, including subsoil licensing regulation, compliance and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Key clients


Novatek/Yamal LNG

Gazprom Neft, Gazprom


Alliance Mining Group /Russian Platinum

Banking and finance: Borrower side Tier 4

Baker & McKenzie - CIS, Limited excels at assisting clients with secured and unsecured finance transactions; thanks to its close cooperation with the London-based team, the department also advises on transactional issues arising under Russian and English law. The group is a key name for cutting-edge work relating to the launch of innovative e-banking products and online banking services. Vladimir Dragunov leads the department.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Absolut Bank

ING Bank

Credit Suisse

Deutsche Bank

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Mr Maxim Kalinin  photo Mr Maxim Kalinin