Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews


Solicitors governing body:  Федеральной палате адвокатов РФ (FPARF)

Competition authority: Федеральная Антимонопольная Служба (FAS Russia)

Financial regulator: Центральный банк Российской Федерации (CBR)

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets: Debt, Capital markets: Equity, M&A, Project finance, Restructuring and insolvency

Energy and infrastructure (published June) – Energy, Mining, PPP/PFI

Jurisdiction overview

The Russian legal system is in the process of undergoing radical change. For several years now the government has been implementing significant changes to the Civil Code, with a view to modernising Russian law. These are wide-ranging, covering many different practice areas, and are central to the government’s goal of making Moscow a global centre for business and finance. The changes will mean more work can be done using Russian legislation, as opposed to the presently-preferred UK law. Alongside that, it has been involved in an ongoing process of deoffshorisation, bringing Russian money back to the mainland and limiting the outward flow to places such as Cyprus.

That whole process has stalled in recent years as the country faces a perfect storm of political and economic troubles. US and EU sanctions, coupled with persistently low commodity prices, have left the economy imperilled. The legal system has had to adapt to a ‘new normal’ and the nature of the work being done has shifted significantly.

Traditionally, the Russian market was dominated by international firms, with all the most significant financial and corporate matters dealt with by teams connected to the UK, the US or Europe. The changes to the legal system, however, have necessitated more Russian language documentation being included on deals, making it often necessary to have a native Russian speaker on each team. That being the case, the domestic Russian firms that had previously largely focused on arbitration or litigation matters are increasingly being seen on more significant financial and corporate ones. Particularly on large-scale projects, where the federal government has eased restrictions on regional government procurement, these domestic firms are picking up an increasing slice of the pie.

The other ongoing trend in the Russian market is the pivot away from the West towards China and the East. High demand for raw materials and expedient political motives have seen that move happening at a faster rate in recent years and China can only expect its influence in Moscow to grow. At the highest political level trade agreements have been secured by the leaders of the two countries, and commercially there is increasing interest from Chinese companies in investing in Central Asian or Siberian projects and facilities. 

However, while Western teams have shrunk and domestic influence has grown, it has merely closed what was a very wide gap. Major UK, US and European firms remain the biggest players in Moscow and will likely be so for many years to come.

Jon Moore – Journalist EMEA

Financial and corporate
Allen & Overy

The Moscow office of magic circle firm Allen & Overy excels in banking, where it ranks among the best in the Russian market.

The firm’s banking team has carried out a series of mandates in areas including asset finance, syndicated lending and refinancing. Notable deals include representing the lenders on a multi-currency refinancing facility for the Credit Bank of Moscow.

The capital markets team has a strong focus on debt work, one example being its advice to GTLK Europe on its debut euro bond issue.

The M&A team remains active in the market, most notably in the transportation and oil and gas sectors. A clear highlight saw the firm advise Petrocas Energy in relation to the acquisition of a refuelling business in Georgia from Wissol Petroleum.

Project work is a further area of strength for the firm, especially in the financing space. A clear highlight saw the project finance team act for Sberbank in connection with Sovcomflot’s financing of two existing Panamax Arctic shuttle tankers.

In the restructuring and insolvency space, the firm predominantly acted on bankruptcies, and often represented security agents and lessors, including Morgan Stanley and VTB Leasing. 

Further clients of the firm include BNP Paribas, Citibank and Gazprombank.

Client feedback

"I am highly satisfied with the quality of services. As strengths, I can mention the firm's high quality of drafting and very good project management skills." – Banking

"Excellent client service." – Project finance

Alliance Legal Consulting Group

Alliance Legal Consulting Group, a local firm based in Moscow, has recently been active in restructuring and insolvency, with some work in project development, mostly in energy.

In project development the firm advised Energomost on constructing high-voltage power lines, advising on contractual matters. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm represents distressed clients in insolvency proceedings and has worked on restructuring corporate entities. A highlight for the firm during the research period was representing Yuriy Zhukov as a shareholder in a near bankrupt company with land holdings in restructuring to keep the company out of bankruptcy proceedings and settle creditor claims. 

Notable clients of the firm include the financial director of Energomost and the Ural Mining.

Client feedback

"I believe that the firm certainly has the resources to protect the client in highly complex cases, and I like this approach when an optimal strategy is developed to protect the interests of the client, based on the specificity of each particular project being implemented." – Banking

"Lawyers of the firm are capable of diligent work in the interest of their clients, and are focused on the result. They always demonstrate a balanced and competent approach to solving legal problems, based on the fundamental knowledge of law and law enforcement practice." – Project development

"Alliance Legal CG has a clear understanding of the construction of business. Based on their extensive experience in complex legal disputes, they quickly form a strategy for any case, no matter how difficult it is." – Project development

"Alliance Legal CG specialists intuitively feel the client, they understand, which way to solve the problem will be optimal. The company has an individual approach to every client." – Project finance

"The company builds long-term confidential relationships with clients and adheres to the individual approach, taking into account the peculiarities of the business." – Restructuring and insolvency

"The resolution of specific issues in this company is not limited to the standard actions available in the arsenal of most law firms. For each problem, they offer an individual approach. If the situation requires a bold, unconventional solution - the company's lawyers find and successfully apply it in practice." – Restructuring and insolvency

Evgeniy Karnoukhov

"For me, competence is knowing the answer to a specific question or understanding where the answer can be found. In addition, it is important to be able to apply the knowledge correctly, with the maximum benefit, using the information received. I was convinced that he was very competent in his business."

"He has a great ability to quickly adapt to the newly discovered circumstances of the case."

"He has excellent oratorical and interpersonal skills, analytical thinking and significant experience."

"He has such valuable professional qualities. He has a developed sense of justice and responsibility, a readiness for stressful situations, and an informal approach to solving the problems of the client."

"He is not just a professional - he clearly does his job, he is a talented lawyer, and someone who knows how to solve the most difficult problems in the most difficult projects."

"He perfectly possesses effective communication techniques."

Alina Paltseva

"Young, talented lawyer who has developed a clear plan of action in any situation. She constantly remains in touch to inform us about the progress of the case in the court."


Alrud is a local firm active in project development, banking, capital markets, and M&A. The firm is strongest in project development, specifically in the mining sector, and M&A.

In banking, the firm generally represented borrowers on its recent deals, often attaining acquisition finance. For example, it advised Coeclerici Commodities and its Russian subsidiary Kuznetsk Investment Construction Company on a loan from Unicreditbank

The firm advised on a derivatives deal, advising Hunstman CIS on entering into a master agreement with Citibank in Russia. 

The firm often represented acquirers in M&A, representing SIB Trading during the research period on acquiring Sibenergougol. The firm also worked on a number of joint ventures. 

In project development the firm primarily works in the energy and mining sectors. A recent work example in mining was representing the China National Gold Corporation in exploration to develop a mining target in Russia. The firm has also worked in infrastructure development in PPP. 

The firm’s recent experience in restructuring and insolvency was largely representing creditors.

Other clients of the firm include Bank of Baroda, CEFC China Energy Company, and Uber Technologies.

Client feedback

"The firm was committed to the mandate, provided its feedback in a timely fashion and was always available to provide the clarifications when requested." – Banking

"Their strengths include being available, versatile and having a good comprehension of the client's needs." – M&A

"We have had an excellent experience with Alrud in the past seven years. Lawyers from the firm have helped our clients a lot, especially in important bankruptcy litigation matters in Russia. They remain professional, respond very quickly, and make their statements for the court clear and understandable in putting forth the client's best interest." – Restructuring and insolvency

Ekaterina Mayorova

"Committed to the mandate, excellent in meeting deadlines and is always ready to listen the client's need and provide the clarification needed."

Boris Ostroukhov

"He is a hard-working professional and a brilliant lawyer, who is available to his clients virtually at any time of the day and year."


Althaus Legal is a domestic firm recognised in banking and M&A. 

A banking highlight for the firm was representing Nova Capital with respect to converting a loan into equity capital. 

In M&A the firm largely advised acquirers recently, working, for example, with Da Vinci Capital in purchasing a fintech company. 

This research period saw two notable staffing changes, the departure of director Uliana Ogorodova, active in PPP, in November 2017, and the hire of Adam Duthie, a counsel, from Duthie & Co in June 2017. 

Some noteworthy clients of the firm include Bank of Saint-Petersburg, Rusnano, and Sputnik Group.

Client feedback

"Quick and client-oriented." – M&A

Ilya Smirnov

"High quality."

Andrey Gorodissky & Partners

Andrey Gorodissky & Partners is a local firm with a focus on M&A, which has also been active in banking and restructuring and insolvency recently.

In banking, the firm recently worked mostly for lenders, often on mezzanine financing, including representing Sberbank with regard to a mezzanine loan for Mcapital.

In M&A the firm largely represented purchasers and advised on joint ventures. An example of its work in joint ventures is advising Sberbank on a joint venture with Rostelcom in real estate through creating a sub-fund. 

Sberbank is a key client to the firm.

Client feedback

"It provides state of the art and business-oriented legal support." – Banking, M&A

"My colleagues and I have dealt with Andrey Gorodissky & Partners for many years, and they have consistently provided excellent advice and assistance. They are accessible and constructive, respond quickly to calls and emails, keep us informed of progress and deliver on their commitments. They are very reliable and trustworthy, and they give us and our mutual clients practical, business-like solutions." – Banking, M&A

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has a strong projects practice in Russia, where it is among the market leaders in the mining sector. The US firm also impresses within the jurisdiction on debt capital markets and restructuring work.

Energy, financial services and retail are some of the sectors the firm’s banking practice was active in, with acquisition finance, regular lending and amendments to existing agreements, making up the bulk of the work. A highlight saw the firm represent ING Bank in connection with a loan agreement extended to a Russian paper manufacturer.

In the debt capital markets area, the firm’s work was dominated by assignments for banking groups. One example of its recent work saw it acting for the arranger UBS, in relation to an offering under Alfa-Bank's EMTN programme.

One notable deal on the equity side saw the team advise haulage company Globaltruck in connection with its IPO on the Moscow Exchange.

The M&A completed notable work in the mining, technology and transport sectors during the research period. A clear highlight saw the firm advise Freight Village Kaluga in connection with establishing a joint venture with Transcontainer. The new joint venture, Freight Village Kaluga Sever, will operate multimodal transport and logistics hubs in the Kaluga region.

Mining features heavily in the team’s projects work, alongside oil and gas matters for clients such as Repsol and Severgroup.

The firm’s work in the restructuring and insolvency space has focused on bankruptcies, where it has been working for a number of clients in the retail and construction sectors.

A notable departure from the firm saw M&A specialist, Alexander Gomonov, move on to join Latham & Watkins.

Key clients include corporate entities AB Aterra Resources, Alutech and steel company, Severstal.

Client feedback

"Baker McKenzie have a very well established team dealing with pharmaceutical matters in the country, as well as solid anti-trust, tax and corporate practices. Key strengths of the firm include its international reach, solution-oriented approach and its prompt reactions to clients' needs and requests." – Banking

"Client-oriented, and good value for money." – Banking

"We have excellent communications with the firm, who are very professional." – Banking

"Provide a good quality of work in M&A." – M&A

BGP Litigation

BGP Litigation, a local Russian firm, works on M&A and restructuring and insolvency.

Within M&A the firm worked on a joint ventures, including one between its client CMA CGM and Logisiticheskiy Operator in the railway cargo transportation area. 

The firm was more active in insolvency and restructuring, representing clients on insolvency proceedings. A highlight for the firm was advising Lukoil on the invalidation of transactions worth roughly with a bankrupt construction company.

Notable clients of the firm include Zemsky Bank and UniCredit Bank.

Client feedback

"BGP Litigation's team was willing to work on complicated cases within extremely demanding deadlines. The sound understanding of the various relevant matters by the lawyers of our industry's business particularities was also crucial." – Restructuring and insolvency

"They are a highly professional team with high qualifications and the ability to solve complex problems to achieve success in courts, within short time periods." – Restructuring and insolvency

Dmitry Bazarov

"He is a highly professional litigation lawyer with large experience in bankruptcy proceedings in Russia. He was personally involved and did his best to reach results in the process."

"In particular, I would like to note his ability to catch the essence of the issue immediately and to make precise and verified decisions when developing the strategy of the case. He has unconventional thinking, perfectly organised operational processes. His experience allows predicting possible actions of the opponent and foreseeing his further steps. I like his business acumen, proactive approach to solving our tasks and deep expertise in the field of insolvency & bankruptcy cases. His appearances in court are always convincing. I also appreciate his high level of personal involvement in the project."

Ilya Sorokin

"Deep knowledge of legislation and jurisprudence. Willingness to do more work than originally planned."

Alexander Vaneev

"Successful experience of representing clients in courts even in the most difficult cases."


Borenius’ Russian team is active primarily in M&A with some work in banking and restructuring and insolvency. 

In M&A the firm acted on both the buy and sell side recently. A highlight was working for CVC Capital Partners on a cross-jurisdictional sale of Paroc Group. 

Within restructuring and insolvency the firm largely worked in litigation matters. 

Counsel Sergey Fedorov left the firm to join Dentons in 2017. 

Notable clients of the firm include Idavang Group, Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, and EKE Finance. 

Client feedback

"The team is very responsive, hard-working and solution-orientated. I would not hesitate referring a delicate matter to them." M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"Strong judicial practice with professional lawyers." – Restructuring and insolvency

Lyubov Erigo

"Very professional and experienced lawyer."

Andrei Gusev

"Younger team, quick response time and is completely trusted."

Alexey Nikitin

"He has a high level of empathy (more than business approach), enabling him to promptly understand the goals and the substance of the matter. Further, he is almost perfect in managing any professional legal challenge that he may face. Finally, besides the professional skills, he is great at being responsive to any queries and managing the processes to deliver the best quality service in due time."

Irina Selezneva

"Very professional and experienced."

Borodin & Partners

Borodin & Partners is a local firm operating in the restructuring and insolvency area.

Within restructuring and insolvency the firm represented Sberbank as a creditor in multiple bankruptcy proceedings. For example, the firm represented its client in the insolvency proceedings of Aviton. 

Sberbank is an integral client of the firm.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

The Russian office of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner is best known in Russia for its work in the M&A and projects. 

One of the more significant matters that the banking team worked on during the research period saw it advising the International Investment Bank (IIB) on a deal with the State Transport Leasing Company (STLC), on the financing the acquisition of a number of passenger and special purposes aviation assets, as well as coal mining trucks.

The M&A team was particularly active in the technology, transportation and real estate sectors, one example of which saw it advise taxi aggregator company Fasten’s merger with Rutaxi.

Perhaps the most notable ongoing work of the projects team sees it acting for Nord Stream 2, with the new pipelines helping increase the capacity along the Baltic Sea route from Russia to Germany. Other notable mandates include advising the developers on the reconstruction of the Sheremetyevo International Airport, and on the construction of a research centre for Mars in the Volga Region.

Among highlights in the restructuring and insolvency space, the firm notably assisted Genser Group and its restructuring agent Sberbank Investment on the complex restructuring of all of the client’s external debt to banking groups.

Key clients of the firm include Alfa-Bank, Great Wall Motors and Samsung C&T Corporation.

The firm was renamed from Goltsblat BLP following the global merger of Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Client feedback

"Competent legal advice and excellent client service." – Banking

"The firm is super efficient while working with tight deadlines. It also is very client-oriented, works at a high quality level." – Banking

"Great team with excellent experience and knowledge." – Banking, M&A

"The firm has been our primary legal advisor in respect of lending and investment transaction in Russia for more than three years. They have a good value-to-money ratio, amazing overall client relationship management, wide experience, and great industry sector knowledge. They are very responsive, creative and transaction driven." – Banking, project finance

"Deep research and strong knowledge of subjects." – Capital markets

"Clear, high-quality work at a high professional level." – M&A

"Extremely good communication. They do fast turnarounds, have a good understanding of my needs, and are led by competent and experienced personnel. Good value for money." – M&A

"Solid and comprehensive advise, delivered on time." – M&A

"They are very professional and they work well at full pressure." – M&A

Castrén & Snellman

Castrén & Snellman’s Russian team is recognised in M&A. Recently the firm worked primarily on the sell side of acquisitions and on private equity transactions. An example of its work was representing EPI Russia on the sale of its Russian real estate portfolio.

Notable clients of the firm include Mitsubishi Materials Corporation and International Hotel Licensing.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

US firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton excels in the Russian market in capital markets and M&A, where it can be considered one of the best performers.

In the banking and finance space, the firm has acted as the borrower’s counsel in many of the largest syndicated loans and project financings extended to Russian companies. Notably, the banking team recently advised on the Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO) in obtaining multi-currency secured financing as part of its debt restructuring process.

In the capital markets space, one of the more notable matters that the team acted on saw it advise Citigroup and Morgan Stanley in two SEC-registered offerings by Telenor in concern of shares in telecommunications group, Veon.

The M&A team works on some of the more high-value matters in the Russian market, exemplified by its recent work for the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) on its acquisition of a stake in Rosneft, with the deal marking the largest single privatisation sale in Russian history. Moreover, the firm notably advised Sibur on the sale of a shareholding in the company to Silk Road Fund, the Chinese state-owned investment fund, in one of the largest Chinese investments ever made in a Russian business.

The project team advises a wide range of clients, both Russian and international, on a range of matters relating to ongoing projects, usually working on issues related to financing. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the team remains active in the market, and notably advised the Eurasian Resources Group (ERG) on its parallel track restructuring.

Notable other clients of the firm include MegaFon, Rusal and the Republic of Tatarstan.

Clifford Chance

The Moscow office of magic circle firm Clifford Chance is recognised for its strength in financing mandates –banking, capital markets and project finance – where it comfortably sits as one of the best in the market

The firm’s banking and finance team has advised on various loan facilities, including in the fast-developing area of Russian law syndicated lending. One recent example saw it advise the Agricultural Bank of China, Commerzbank, ICBC, Raiffeisenbank, Rosbank and UniCredit in connection with a facility for the Chelyabinsk Pipe-Rolling Plant, in a rare matter governed by Russian law.

Banking clients dominate the firm’s recent debt capital markets work, including on separate matters where it acted for the joint lead managers on the Republic of Belarus and Polyus Gold’s euro bond issues. In other instances, such as the euro bond issues of Domodedovo International Airport and PhosAgro, the firm worked for the issuers.

The equity space was much quieter for the firm during the research period than the debt, with metals, mining and transport matters featuring significantly.

In the M&A space, the firm worked on disposals, mergers, joint ventures and sales during the research period. A notable matter saw the firm act on the Russian elements as part of the lead global counsel advising China Investment Corporation on its acquisition of Logicor, private equity group Blackstone’s European logistics company.

One of the more important matters the projects team worked on saw it acting for Yamal LNG, a joint-venture between Novatek, Total, CNPC and the Silk Road Fund, in connection with the financing of a project to transport LNG from a plant in northwest Siberia to Asia and Europe.

In the restructuring and insolvency space, the firm has particular expertise in the mining, metals and real estate sectors. While most deals were confidential, one mandate saw the firm represent Sberbank on issues relating to airline company Utair’s debt restructuring.

A notable staffing change during the research period, saw the departure of energy specialist Louis Skyner to Dentons.

International banking groups Deutsche Bank, ING Bank and Natixis, are among other clients of the firm.

Client feedback

"Sound thorough advice backed by a broad expertise." – Banking, project finance

"When the firm supported us, everything was very well done, with all the work completed in an extremely tight schedule, without the loss of any quality." – Capital markets

"Very diligent and hard-working, always there for us when we need them." – M&A

Danilov & Partners

Danilov & Partners is a local firm active in M&A. A recent transactional highlight was representing Baker Hughes in its Russian merger with GE. Otherwise, the firm worked on joint ventures and acquisitions, representing acquirers for the most part, with some private equity deals. 

High profile clients of the firm are Schlumberger, Marsfield Capital, and Irkutsk Oil Company.

Client feedback

"The firm provides high quality professional advice." – M&A

Debevoise & Plimpton

The Moscow office of US firm Debevoise & Plimpton is recognised for its work in the M&A and project development areas, especially for its mining offering.

The work of the banking team largely concerns loans for clients from the metals and mining sectors. One example of its recent work saw it acting for Novolipetsk Steel in connection with securing a revolving credit facility extended by Citibank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan.

Metals and mining also feature heavily in the work of the capital markets team, with mandates evenly distributed between debt and equity matters. The firm advised the likes of nickel miner, Nornickel, and gold miner, Polyus Gold, on euro bond offerings

The firm’s widest practice is M&A where it has worked on transactions regarding matters related to energy, mining and transport. In a notable aviation deal, the firm acted on representing Sukhoi Civil Aircraft on the buy-out of Leonardo's stake in Superjet International.

Other clients that the firm worked with during the research period include the Russian airline Aeroflot, and the potash fertilizer producer Uralkali.


Dechert is recognised for its M&A practice but is also active in restructuring and insolvency and banking.

In banking, the firm primarily advised lenders recently, and the firm has also been active in M&A.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm worked on multiple notable restructuring transactions. An example is advising a group of bondholders in FESCO in a restructuring to facilitate to its clients. 

Notable clients of the firm include Eurobank Ergasias and Hyatt International.


The Russian arm of international firm Dentons has a well-balanced practice in Moscow. The firm operates across a variety of different sectors, although M&A and energy are areas of particular focus.

Often working alongside its global network of offices, the firm’s Russian banking and finance team has advised on various loan facilities, including syndicated and secured convertible loans, together with general credit agreements. Notably, the firm advised the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the restructuring of a senior secured loan to Alina Holding, a Kazakhstani company engaged in the production of construction materials.

In M&A, the firm has mostly worked on buy-side public and private acquisition work, including deals in sectors such as financial services, real estate and retail. Clear highlights include working for Rosgosstrakh’s merger with Otkritie, and representing Gazprom on its joint venture agreement with Shell for the construction and operation of a LNG terminal in Leningrad.

Much of its project development work has consisted of PPP agreements, the details of which are largely confidential. In other projects mandates, the firm worked with real estate developers in connection with large-scale, residential projects in St Petersburg.

The firm’s restructuring work included mandates settling unsuccessful cross-border commercial property loans and export trade debt, with an amicable outcome.

The firm welcomed several experienced staff to its team during the research period. The corporate team was strengthened by the arrivals of former Pepeliaev Group partners Vladimir Sokov and Nigina Rabieva, and former Squire Patton Boggs partner Christopher Rose. Energy specialist Louis Skyner and capital markets specialist Tamer Amara also both arrived from Clifford Chance. Former Maxima Legal partner Vlaidmir Kilinkarov joined the firm’s PPP offering, effectively replacing Ilya Skripnikov, who joined EY Law.

The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), BNP Paribas and VTB Bank are among the firm’s key clients.

Client feedback

"They are a highly professional and efficient team, which processes requests promptly." – M&A, project development

DS Law

DS Law is a domestic firm active in M&A. It is active in various technology sectors, such as fintech and e-commerce.

Within M&A, the firm worked on joint ventures, venture capital deals, and acquisitions. For example, the firm advised Velvica on being acquired by Merlion in July 2017, largely working on transactional documents, within the cloud services sector. 

Notable clients of the firm include Target Global, Pravoved, and Admitad Invest.

Duvernoix Legal

Duvernoix Legal is a local firm that operates in restructuring and insolvency and M&A transactions. 

In M&A, the firm works on acquisitions for both buyers and sellers. 

The firm worked on one restructuring deal during the research period, transferring derivatives and loan obligations for the International Bank of Saint-Petersburg, in a cross border deal with Cyprus and the British Virgin Islands. 

Duvernoix Legal hired Regina Dugaeva from Prime Advice in April of 2017.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Egorov Puginksy Afanasiev & Partners is has operations in Belarus, in addition to Russia. Within the Russian market, the firm is active across the board, with particular strength in restructuring and insolvency. 

In debt capital markets the firm acted on several high profile bond issuances, notably representing Gazprombank Switzerland as lender on a bond issuance by GPB Aerofinance in a refinancing of an infrastructure project. 

In equity capital markets, the firm advised Bestway Global Holding on its IPO in Hong Kong, working on Russian law issues. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm largely advised clients on insolvency proceedings, with some work in restructuring. 

Mikhail Markov, partner working in investments, joined the firm in November 2017 from Russian Direct Investment Fund. Michael Copeland, also a partner, left the firm in September of 2017. 

Other noteworthy clients include VEB Leasing and Russian Direct Investment Fund.

Client feedback

"It is a reliable law firm which constantly provides outstanding quality of legal support." – M&A

"I think the firm's strengths are fast reactions, good quality and a clear understanding of our business." – M&A, banking

Eterna Law

Eterna Law has offices in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. In Russia, the firm is recognised in M&A. 

In M&A the firm worked primarily in acquisitions on both the sale and purchasing side of transactions

A client of the firm is CTL Logistics.

Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland is a global firm active in the Russian M&A market. The firm is still new to the Russian market, entering it in September 2017. 

A highlight for the firm in M&A was advising Chicago Bridges and Iron on a merger with McDermott International. The firm otherwise predominantly advised on joint ventures. 

The firm has also worked in a general advisory capacity for various corporate entities such Vertu. Other notable clients of the firm include Cherkizovo Group and YIT Moskovia.

Client feedback

"Very experienced lawyers, who are well organised." – M&A


Exiora is a local Russian active in restructuring and insolvency. The firm primarily works in insolvency proceedings, but also worked on the restructuring of Norvik Bank’s debt restructuring.

Clients of the firm include Eriell Group, EnergoGas Engineering, and Prioritet.

Client feedback

"Very strong team of qualified lawyers with excellent knowledge of the law. It was easy for me to communicate with them because they were always in touch. Their strengths include: a clear understanding of the situation, a clear plan of action and strict adherence to deadlines." – Banking

EY Law

EY’s Russian legal arm is an active M&A and project development.

In M&A, the firm worked on acquisitions and joint ventures. An example of such work was advising its client Transcontainer on the acquisitions of Freight Village Kaluga and of Logistika Terminal. 

In project development the firm worked mostly on PPPs, advising both public and private entities, with some work in the energy sector. 

The firm saw two notable departures in the autumn of 2017: Dmitry Tetiouchev, a real estate partner, and Tobias Luepke, an M&A partner.

Client feedback

"High competence in actual legal practices in legal and tax requirements." – Banking, M&A

"I was satisfied with EY Law since they made good value-for-money offerings and demonstrated solid experience in M&A." – M&A

FBK Legal

FBK Legal is a local firm which during the research period was active in M&A, restructuring and insolvency and project development. 

The firm’s strongest practice area is M&A, where it acted for both buyers and sellers recently. A practice area highlight was advising Rossiysky Capital on acquiring a company with a contract on a state museum construction, Polytech Museum Moscow. 

In project development, the firm saw work across the mining, energy, and in PPP. A notable transaction in that work was representing Gazprom on a midstream project in Siberia.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm largely worked on insolvency proceedings, with some work in restructuring. 

The firm hired two new senior lawyers, Dmitry Andreev from Gazpromtrans, and Alexey Nefedov from the legal department of Gazprom. Both joined in May 2017 and work in M&A and project development, specifically in oil and gas. 

High profile clients of the firm include Sberbank, Gazprom, and China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation.

Client feedback

"Strong team." – Banking

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Moscow is mainly recognised for its strong project development and finance practices, and ranks among the best on the market for M&A.

The firm’s banking team focuses on high-end deals in the market and maintains close relationships with international banking groups such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. The firm excels within the project finance space, and notably works on advising banks in relation to the financing of the prominent national ventures including the Amur Gas Processing Plant and the Central Ring Motorway in Moscow.

The work of the capital markets team was dominated by equity work recently, with financial services and transportation companies featuring prominently. Key highlights for 2017 included the successful SPO for Credit Bank of Moscow, and advising one of the selling shareholders in the Detsky Mir IPO, the first Russian float in three years to involve international investment banks.

In the M&A space, the firm remains active on a number of high-value deals, including acting for Safmar group on the acquisition of M.Video, marking the largest M&A transaction in the retail sector of 2017. The firm had earlier advised Safmar on the takeover of another retailer, Eldorado, and later worked on the internal merger of Eldorado and M.Video.

Finance work has taken up most of the time of the projects team recently, with airport and road matters dominating its work during the research period. Notable project development mandates include work for the sponsors on the Elga railway concession project, and for the developers on the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow and the new football stadium for Zenit St Petersburg.

Other clients of the firm include the Eurasian Development Bank, Gazprombank and Sberbank.

Gide Loyrette Nouel (closed 2019)

Gide Loyrette Nouel is a France headquartered international law firm with operations in Russia. During the research period, the firm was largely active in M&A and banking in the Russian market, but has historically also worked in restructuring and insolvency and project finance.

In banking, the firm worked for lenders and arrangers, for example advising ING Bank as arranger on a large facility.

The firm worked on both sides of M&A transactions. For example, it advised Legrand on the 100% acquisition of Ostek Kabelnye TrassyOstec Group. 

The often works with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Client feedback

"We have an excellent relation, and they provided us with strong advice on a complex project." – Banking

"We have been engaging with Gide for quite a few years now and could recommend them as very proficient lawyers, who are focused on the business needs of their clients. Be it a partner or an associate, we have always felt full commitment to the project." – Banking

Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills’ Russian arm is known for its banking, projects, and restructuring and insolvency practices, ranking among the best in all three areas.

The firm’s banking team has strength across the board, notably appearing on real estate financings (acting for Sberbank on secured financing of Fort Group’s acquisition of a number of shopping malls in Moscow and St. Petersburg) and technology financings (acting for VTB Bank on the secured facility to HeadHunter).

In the capital markets space, the firm is a strong performer on both debt and equity mandates. In recent times, the firm has extensively worked with investment fund, Onexim Group, on a number of matters.

The M&A team has acted on a range of matters including on investments, joint ventures and privatisations, during the research period. A clear highlight saw the firm advise Uber on the combination of its ridesharing business with Yandex across Russia and the Central Asian region. In this area, the firm has also been a key contact for Chinese and Japanese companies investing in Russia, with recent clients including Beijing Gas and Mitsubishi Corporation.

In the projects space, the firm is one of the strongest in the market and works on the jurisdiction’s most prominent mandates for energy, infrastructure and PPP matters. During the research period, the firm notably worked for the developers on ventures including the Moscow Central Ring Road, the Nord Stream 2 project and on the Western High Speed Diameter project.

Restructuring and insolvency is another area where the firm excels, working for the creditors on several mandates. One matter it worked on saw the team acting for VTB Bank on the restructuring of a facility to RussNeft, a large Russian oil company.

Notable changes to the banking team during the research period, saw the arrival of Dmitry Gubarev from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, and the departure of Vladimir Melnikov to Linklaters. The former EMEA managing partner, Allen Hanen, left to join a legal consultancy firm.

Other notable clients of the firm include Alfa-Bank, Raiffeisenbank and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Client feedback

"This firm is offering a great combination of high class partners and strong associates. The firm is generally regarded as one of the best, in terms of value for money. We use them for most of our cross-border transactions, regulatory and tax advice, as well as general corporate advice." – Banking, capital markets, M&A

"The corporate team has been providing excellent legal support to our firm for a number of years." – M&A

"They have an excellent team focusing on complex M&A transactions, who are always ready to offer alternative solutions in deadlocks." – M&A, project finance

Hogan Lovells

International firm Hogan Lovells is perhaps best recognised for its banking and finance practice in Moscow, though it has also recently built its reputation in other transactional areas.

The firm has a strong track record in the banking and finance area, where it regularly works on matters including asset, trade and export finance. Recent mandates have involved a significant amount of work in sectors including aviation, banking and hospitality. Highlights include working on the financing of SCAT Airlines’ acquisition of six Boeing flights from the Boeing Company.

The firm’s restructuring practice has completed work on distressed debt matters, insolvencies and restructurings. That has included advice provided to Madison Pacific Trust, as a security agent to the lenders in a restructuring of the existing credit portfolio of the Frigoglass group. A further mandate saw the firm represent Greenwich Avenue Finance on matters regarding the bankruptcy of Finance Leasing Company.

A notable departure during the research period saw projects specialist Alexander Dolgov join Squire Patton Boggs.

Beyond those mentioned, other banking group clients of the firm include the likes of Citibank, ING Bank and Sberbank.


Holdsway is a local firm active in project development where firm has worked in multiple sectors, including energy. 

The firm hired restructuring and insolvency partner Denis Khubetcov from a government position in November 2017.

A notable client of the firm is Dow Europe.

Ilyashev & Partners

Ilyashev & Partners has operations in Estonia, Ukraine, and Russia. Within the Russian market, the firm is active in restructuring and insolvency. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm largely works in registering creditor’s claims in insolvency proceedings, but also worked on a restructuring deal.

Notable clients of the firm include White Sea Oil Depot, Investholingstroy, and Central Development Company. 


Infralex is a domestic Russian firm active in M&A, restructuring and insolvency, and on PPPs.

In PPP work the firm largely represented public entities, such as the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, in partnerships with the private sector. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm largely acted in bankruptcy cases, representing the interests of clients in recovering losses. 

The firm hired a new head of commercial law, Marina Bilyk, from Yust. 

Other notable clients of the firm include United Aircraft Corporation of Russia, Monster Beverage Corporation, and Sberbank.

Client feedback

"The team consists of very professional people. All members a really client-oriented and are available at all times. The firm is effective and produces high quality results." – Banking


Inmarine is a domestic law firm based in St Petersburg active in maritime project development. The firm recently advised on shipbuilding and shipping financing and insurance, and cargo management. A highlight for the firm was representing Moscow River Steam Line on the construction of a new vessel. 

Other clients of the firm include Severstal Management, Polar Shipping, and Ugoria Insurance Company.


Integrites operates in Kazakhstan and Ukraine in addition to Russia. Within Russia the firm operates in M&A. 

The firm acted for acquirers and on joint ventures during the research period. A highlight was working for COFCO International in an acquisition in the real estate sector. 

The firm hired a new partner in M&A, Ekaterina Rudova, from Capital Legal Services, in March 2018.

Other clients of the firm are Watsons, OTIS, and Hexagon.

Client feedback

"Co-operation with high-class professionals." – M&A

Iusland Law Offices

Iusland Law Offices is a local Russian firm active in restructuring and insolvency work. The firm works in bankruptcy proceedings, often acting for private individuals.

The firm hired a new bankruptcy partner Balkovaya Valentina in April 2018.

Kachkin & Partners

Kachkin & Partners is a local firm in Russia with expertise in PPP, but is also active in M&A.

In M&A the firm largely acted for purchasers in acquisition transactions. For example advising Seven Suns Development on an acquisition in the real estate sector. 

In PPP, the firm worked for private sector clients engaging in contracts. A highlight was advising a consortium of Gazprombank, RISE Capital, and VIS Group, on a road construction concession agreement. 

Seven Suns Development is a key client of the firm, with other notable clients including Baltic Commerce, Baltic Ferry Company, and AGROEKO-YUG.

Kazakov & Partners

Kazakov & Partners is a domestic firm active in restructuring and insolvency. The firm exclusively worked on the insolvency matters, defending clients in bankruptcy court. 

Gazprom and its subsidiaries are clients of the firm.


KIAP (Korelskiy Ischuk Astafiev and Partners, Attorneys at Law) is an independent domestic Russian firm that operates in banking, restructuring and insolvency, and M&A.

In banking, the firm advised lenders on various aspects of debt transactions, such as due diligence. 

M&A is the firm’s strongest practice area, where it was also active in due diligence. It also helped clients structure various transactions and purchase assets, with some work in joint ventures. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm was active in insolvency proceedings for clients.

Clients of the firm include Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex, Lavkalavka, and Cambridge University Press.

King & Spalding

During the research period, King & Spalding was active in M&A. The firm advised Gazprom Neft on the acquisition of and joint venture with Repsol, a Spanish oil and gas company. It otherwise was primarily active in joint venture work for its clients

Maya Melnikas left the firm in March 2017 to become head of legal for a former client

High profile clients of the firm include Gazprom, GV Gold, and Turner Broadcasting System Europe. 

Kovalev Tugushi & Partners

Kovalev Tugushi & Partners is a local firm in Russia active on restructuring and insolvency matters. The entirety of the firm’s recent work in restructuring and insolvency was focused in bankruptcy litigation. 

During the research period, the firm hired two new partners, Sergey Patrakeev, who joined from Lidings in June and operates in commercial law, and Sergey Kislov, who joined in May from Lidings, and is active in bankruptcy.

Client feedback

"The company has very good specialists, and services are performed on time." – M&A, project finance


KPMG Law is recognised in banking and M&A.  

In banking the firm worked on multiple notable refinancing deals. One example was its advice to Petrochemical Holding on the refinancing of its loan from VTB Capital. 

In M&A the firm has worked for clients on both the buy and sell side of transactions. The firm worked on a restructuring transaction for Atlas Copco that involved the spin–off of multiple divisions. 

Key clients of the firm include Koround-CN and Volgo-Donselkhozinvest.

Latham & Watkins

The Moscow office of US firm Latham & Watkins is experienced across all areas of financial and corporate transactional work and projects.

In the banking space, among other mandates the firm acted on matters including acquisition, project and real estate financings. One of the more notable recent matters that the team advised on saw it acting for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in respect of a term loan facility provided to Nornickel, a metals and mining company. 

The strength of the capital markets team lies on the debt side of things, where it has been very active during the research period. Two examples of that saw it acting for Russian hydroelectricity company, Rushydro, on its euro bond issue, and for Eurotorg on the first euro bond issue by a Belarussian private entity.

Perhaps the most significant matter that the M&A team worked on recently saw it advising Uniper as it divested its Russian gas operations to Austrian company, OMV, including its stake in the Yuzhno-Russkoye oil and gas field, the largest of its kind located in western Siberia.

A notable staffing change included the arrival of M&A specialist Alexander Gomonov, who joined from Baker McKenzie.

Alfa-Bank, Gazprombank, Goldman Sachs and Sberbank are other notable clients of the firm.

Client feedback

"Client-oriented and commercial approach to solving problems." – Banking, capital markets

"Key strengths of the team include: excellent expertise in the Eurobond market in Russia and CIS, full capacity to execute international transactions from Moscow, and the ability to deal with political or sensitive topics with our interests in mind - and fight to defend our position against other counterparties." – Capital markets

"My opinion of the firm that it is one of the strongest law firms in Russia. We strongly appreciate their team and expertise, and hire them on the most difficult transactions." – M&A


Lecap is a domestic firm that works in restructuring and insolvency, M&A, and capital markets. 

In debt capital markets the firm has advised on bond issuances and restructurings. A highlight was representing National Company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy on a bond issuance on both MoEx and Kazakh KASE. In the equity markets, the firm worked for issuers on IPOs and secondary issues.

The firm was active in restructuring, working on several notable deals including advising Geotech Seismic Services on its restructuring. 

Notable clients of the firm include Sistema Venture Capital and Mikron.

Lemchik Krupskiy and Partners

Lemchik Krupinskiy and Partners is a domestic firm active in M&A. Recently the firm largely worked for clients in a consulting role, providing due diligence work and analysis. 

The firm hired multiple new lawyers from KSK Group in 2017, including Lyudmila Kruglova who is now Head of legal support for projects and is active in M&A. 

Some clients of the firm are Cotton Club, Anderssen, and Mosstroymehanizatsia.

Client feedback

"Good." – Restructuring and insolvency


Lidings is a domestic firm active in M&A and restructuring and insolvency. 

In M&A the firm worked on acquisitions on the sell side and on joint ventures, such as advising Clinic Management Group on a joint venture between both Russian and foreign investors.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised clients with regard to bankruptcy proceedings, working for both creditors and debtors. 

Clients of the firm include EcoTyresUnion, Aviation Service, and Joint Stock Insurance Company.

Liniya Prava

Liniya Prava is a local firm active in capital markets, banking, project development and finance, and restructuring and insolvency.  

In banking, the firm was particularly active in the aircraft sector recently, advising China Development bank on multiple airbus financings. 

In capital markets the firm was active on both the equity and debt side. In terms of equity deals, the firm advised on the IPO of Obuv Russii. Also, the firm acted on a myriad of bond placements, such as for SoftLine.

In PPP work the firm advised on financing and development work recently for private clients and public entities. It advised Concessionary Transport Company on a tram network development in St Petersburg and on a project financing.

In restructuring and insolvency all of the firm’s work was in bankruptcy proceedings, representing a mix of debtors and creditors. 

This research period saw substantial turnover in the firm’s staff. In departures, Irina Minskaya, counsel and projects head, and Oleg Bychkov, partner in capital markets and banking, left in April 2018. In recruitment, the firm hired Ilya Nesterov from Mospravo Law Firm to take over from Minskaya.

Key clients of the firm include China Development Bank, Concessionary Transport Company, and Rusnano.

Client feedback

"The firm has a creative approach to answer complicated legal matters and this is why we have chosen to continue our cooperation with the firm. In the beginning, we had chosen it due to its good reputation and experience in the areas of law we were interested in." – Restructuring and insolvency

Vladislav Ganzhala

"Has the ability to analyze the case in detail, to find innovative legal solutions and convincingly present legal position to the court or to the other party of the dispute can be mentioned as his more advanced features."


Magic circle firm Linklaters ranks as one of the leading firms in the Russian market, and is recognised as a top tier firm across the board for financial and corporate work.

Highlights for the firm’s banking team during the research period, included advising Sberbank on the financing of Antipinsky Refinery, and representing Roseximbank on a loan extended to Belarusbank. Among other transactions, the firm worked for the likes of Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan and Unicredit on mandates.

In the capital markets space, energy, infrastructure and mining mandates made up most of the firm’s work. One example saw it assisting VTB Capital as a lead manager on bonds issued by Russia’s Ministry of Finance.

Energy and utilities work formed the bulk of the activity of the M&A team, with the firm advising the Rosneft Oil Company on a number of high value transactions. Notably, the firm acted for Rosneft on its purchase of stake in Essar Oil, marking the largest outbound investment of company and the largest Russian equity investment in India to date. Other mandates for Rosneft included working on the sale of its stake in Verkhnechonskneftegaz to Beijing Gas, and on various projects in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Although the firm primarily worked on finance mandates in the projects space, it carried on advising the lenders in relation to the Western High Speed Diameter project, one of the largest PPP mandates in the toll-road sector.

In the restructuring and insolvency area, a highlight deal saw the firm represent Sberbank on the multi-jurisdictional debt restructuring of Agrokor Group as the bank sought to protects its rights as a creditor and recover debts.

A notable staffing change saw the arrival of former Herbert Smith Freehills partner Vladimir Melnikov into the restructuring and insolvency team.

The European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Gazprombank are among the firm’s key clients.

Maxima Legal

Maxima Legal is a local firm based in St. Petersburg. The firm is strongest in M&A and PPP, but is also active in restructuring and insolvency.

In M&A recently the firm advised clients on selling, purchasing, and joint ventures. 

In PPP work, the firm worked on several infrastructure contracts during the research period. 

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice was focused on bankruptcy proceedings and dispute resolution, often representing private individuals

Natalia Diatlova, partner in M&A and PPP, joined the firm from KPMG in November 2017. Valdimir Kilinkarov, partner in PPP, left the firm for Dentons in December 2017.

Some clients of the firm are Interfill and SeverStroy.

MGP Lawyers

MGP Lawyers is a domestic Russian firm active in M&A and restructuring and insolvency.

Within M&A the firm acted on both sides of acquisition transactions, but was more active on the buy side. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm exclusively worked in insolvency proceedings.

Rubezh Bezopasnosti and FinServiceConsult are key clients of the firm.

Client feedback

"High quality provision of services, and a creative approach to the solution of non-standard issues." – Banking, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"Highly skilled personnel." – M&A

"Highly qualified lawyers, who provide a comprehensive response to the client's question and offer clear explanations of solutions." – M&A, project development, restructuring and insolvency

"They are very creative and always do their work in time." – M&A, project development, restructuring and insolvency

"The staff of MGP Lawyers are very responsible, and attentively listened to needs of our company and subsequently, they were able to accomplish the task in the most convenient way for us. We are pleased with the quality of services provided and we think that the firm provides the optimal value for money factor." – Project development, restructuring and insolvency

"This is a firm of highly qualified specialists." – Restructuring and insolvency

Mitra Law Offices

Mitra Law Offices is a domestic firm active in project development in the energy sector. The firm worked largely on midstream energy transactions, such as advising Arnest on a project to rehabilitate its power supply system.

Clients include Interregional Distribution Grid Company North Caucasus, Kabbalkenergo, and Kubanskye Magistralnyeseti. 

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

The Russian office of Morgan Lewis & Bockius is best known for its work in the M&A and projects spaces, where it often works with international clients making an entry into the market.

The firm’s banking team has acted on a wide range of mandates, including acquisition financing, structured products, derivatives and syndicated loans. One of the more significant matters it advised on, saw it acting for ING Bank in connection with a pre-export financing facility extended to Siberian Anthracite.

Clear highlights within the M&A space saw the team work alongside global colleagues in representing technology company Yandex in a transaction with Uber to combine their ridesharing businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia. The firm also advised telecommunications company Veon on the termination of the retail joint venture between its Russian subsidiary, VimpelCom, and MegaFon.

The firm’s projects team is best known for its cross-border work within the mining, power and oil and gas sectors, where it often works with international clients. For example, the firm assisted Gazprom Neft in all aspects of its entry into a joint venture with Emirati company Mubadala Petroleum to develop several oil producing licenses in the Tomsk and Omsk regions of Russia. Other mandates included representing Dragon Oil on investment into Turkmenistan, and Eni on constructing the first wind project in Kazakhstan.

In the restructuring space, the firm has notably worked with Sberbank on the restructuring of a financing related to the transfer of the loan and assets from the Dutch to the Russian entities of IT company, Technoserv. The move follows a recent trend which has seen assets held in Europe return to Russia. 

Other clients of the firm include Chevron, Lukoil and VTB Bank.

Client feedback

"Morgan Lewis provides excellent legal services. They demonstrate thorough legal knowledge and understanding of the market. They are one of the best firms in the Russian prepayment finance market, and are very solution-oriented. They have outstanding experience on restructuring and insolvency matters." – Banking  

"Morgan Lewis's Moscow office provides fast turnarounds and thoughtful analysis consistently." – Banking

"The firm's team operates in a time-efficient, client-oriented and pro-active manner." – Banking

"They are highly professional, responsive and efficient." – Banking

"Professional and knowledgeable. Very reliable and attentive." – M&A, project development

"The firm provides a very high quality service. They have subject matter experts with deep legal, commercial and political awareness and understanding, that make them extremely valuable advisers in the Caspian region. They are responsive and adept at finding solutions to seemingly intractable situations. They have an understanding of how Middle Eastern clients work culturally, and how to work well between such clients and Caspian counterparts." – Project development

"The firm displayed deep knowledge of legal framework, commitment, dedication, and found solutions for complex legal cases." – Restructuring and insolvency

Muranov Chernyakov & Partners

Muranov Chernyakov & Partners is a domestic firm active in M&A and restructuring and insolvency. 

Within restructuring and insolvency the firm was active on the insolvency side recently, representing both debtors and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. A highlight for the firm was representing Belinvestbank as creditor on a bankruptcy case. 

Other clients of the firm include Hotel Company, International Holding Food, and EnergoAlliance.

NB Legal Agency (merged with FBK Legal in May 2019)

NB Legal Agency is a domestic firm that active in restructuring and insolvency. The bulk of the firm’s work was in insolvency proceedings of late, but it did work on one notable restructuring deal, representing Logistika 1520 on a multi-jurisdictional restructuring with Cyprus. 

Other clients of the firm include Areal S.

Client feedback

"They are highly competent and care a lot for their clients, giving a personal touch alongside formal advice." – Restructuring and insolvency


Noerr’s Russian practice has been active in restructuring and insolvency, banking, and M&A, with M&A its strongest practice area. 

In banking, the firm worked on debt restructuring and on loans from the lender side predominantly recently.

In the M&A practice area, the firm has largely been active on the buy side of acquisitions. 

The firm was active in restructuring and insolvency on the insolvency side, working in bankruptcy proceedings and litigation, representing claimants for the most part. 

The firm represents a myriad of notable banks, including VTB Bank.

Client feedback

"Very good." – Banking

Vladislav Skvortsov

"Solid knowledge of the law and the local market, clearly sees the client's perspective, and is very responsive."

Nortia GKS

Nortia GKS is a local firm active in project development, primarily in the oil and gas sector. A recent work highlight was advising MRTS on a midstream oil project.

Other clients of the firm include Spetsfundamentstroy, Streicher RUS, and GT Sever.

In July 2018, the firm rebranded itself from Gudkov Korelskiy Smolyarzh to Nortia GKS, after merging with Nortia Law Offices.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Moscow office has a strong M&A practice, and often assists clients on work on energy-related mandates. 

In M&A the firm has worked on mandates in energy-related sectors including mining, nuclear power, and oil and gas. The firm also completed work in the pharmaceuticals, technology and transport sectors for clients including Russian Helicopters and Zurich Insurance Company. In a standout deal, the firm advised BP on the acquisition of a stake in Kharampurneftegas from Rosneft, to create a new joint venture to develop the Kharampurskoye oil field and the Festivalnoye oil field in northwest Siberia.

During the research period, the firm’s Russian presence expanded because of its global merger with US firm, Chadbourne & Parke. As a part of the global merger, the firm welcomed partner Konstantin Konstantinov to the M&A team. On the other side, experienced projects specialists Aydin Jebrailov and Levon Kocharyan left the firm.

The firm’s key recent clients include Chinese global investor, Fosun Group, and the Russian nuclear energy corporation, Rosatom.

O2 Consulting

O2 Consulting is a local firm active in M&A. The firm acted on acquisitions for buyers and on joint ventures with an emphasis on the latter. It also has a strong track record working on legal due diligence for its clients. The firm additionally has some experience in venture capital. 

Some clients of the firm include TFG Capital, iTech Fund, and PromSvyazCapital.

Client feedback

"I have been working with O2 Consulting on a number of corporate matters, such as corporate and financial restructuring, refinancing, joint ventures and private equity M&A. At all times, the law firm has impressed me with their ability to find the best workable solution and implement it in transaction documents by working within tight deadlines under pressure. I feel comfortable to recommend them to anyone who is looking for the highest quality full-service law firm." – Banking, M&A

"They provide a high level of efficiency and quality of services regarding M&A, Russian and foreign law, taxes and corporate finance." – Banking, M&A

"O2 Consulting is very client-oriented and strives to provide an optimal and simple solutions for its clients." – M&A

Olevinsky Buyukyan and Partners

Olevinsky Buyukyan and Partners is a domestic firm that works in the restructuring and insolvency area. The firm worked in bankruptcy cases for both debtors and creditors recently. 

This research period has seen notable staffing changes at the firm, with the hire and shortly thereafter departure of Vladislav Kimakovskij, a leading lawyer in restructuring and insolvency who was with the firm from February to June 2018.


Paradigma is a domestic firm active in restructuring and insolvency, and historically in M&A. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm was active on bankruptcy cases. It acted for clients in litigation on both the debtor and creditor side of transactions. 

Clients of the firm are VMHY Holdings and Signet Bank.

Client feedback

"Paradigma is one of the best law firms we have ever worked with. It is a true international law firm. All of the members are extremely professional, prompt in their advice, very well knowledgeable, with outstanding commercial awareness and who always get the job done. We would strongly recommend any of our clients to Paradigma for Russian law advice." – Banking, M&A, project development

"A high-calibre team recommended to us for its experience in large power, mining and infrastructure projects." – Project development

"Paradigma takes a proactive approach, answering all queries in the shortest time and fully meeting all requirements. Paradigma is a reliable partner and the team consists of excellent lawyers with a broad range of expertise." – Project development

"Paradigma's lawyers have a professional and individualistic approach to complex tasks." – Project development

"They are very helpful to us and I enjoy their efficiency. Often law firms are great at what they do but not at doing it in good time. These guys do a really good job and do it very quickly." – Project development

"The hands-on, responsive and professional team at Paradigma Law Firm has a thorough, in-depth knowledge of procedural rules and financial and corporate law, and offers a cost-effective approach to billing." – Restructuring and insolvency

"They truly have a customer oriented approach, and find non-standard solutions." – Restructuring and insolvency

Marat Khasanov

"Efficient and well-prepared. He is extremely focused on some very important details. Provided accurate and flexible support."

"Has extensive legal experience in various areas of law, because of his non-standard thinking, he always has several approaches to solving the same problem."

"He provides useful, timely advice and always sticks to agreed deadlines. Knowledge, expertise and deep level of litigation experience are to be praised."

"Very detailed, thorough and careful."

Nataliya Kolodezhnaya

"Been impressed by her commercial awareness, and ability to provide prompt assistance and leadership."

"Has business acumen and deep knowledge in the project development field."

"What's most helpful to me is her very deep understanding of the peculiarities of the circulation of precious metals projects, including technical and commercial issues and not just the legal aspects."

Ruslan Petruchak

"A brilliant lawyer, an expert in corporate conflicts, bankruptcy and debt restructuring."

"Competent, responsive, very good and professional understanding of matters."

Kliment Rusakomskiy

"Constant analysis of the problem from different angles to find the most efficient solution under the given context."

"Has a real eye for the commercial and strategic aspects of financial and corporate work."

"Outstanding lawyer in his field and has no particular weakness."

"Very professional."

Pepeliaev Group

Pepeliaev Group is a domestic firm that works in banking, M&A, and project development, with particular strength in restructuring and insolvency. The firm has historically been active in both energy and mining project work.  

In banking, the firm did some work on trade financing operations for clients and on regulatory compliance. 

In M&A, the firm extensively advised buyers on due diligence for acquisition transactions, and on joint ventures.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm often represents clients in bankruptcy proceedings in court, representing both distressed institutions and creditors.  

Notable clients of the firm include Kellogg, some notable banks, and Gazprom.

Client feedback

"I can highlight the qualifications and professionalism of Pepeliaev Group consultants." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Pepeliaev Group's main strengths are its client-orientated and cost-efficient service, within a highly professional team." – Restructuring and insolvency

Peterka & Partners

Peterka & Partners has offices across Central and Eastern Europe. In Russia, the firm is active in banking and M&A, and is stronger in M&A.

In banking, the firm has acted across a range of lending transactions, including advising Acer Sales International on security transaction documentation and enforceability agreements. 

In M&A the firm represented Veolia in the acquisition of a target group of companies in water delivery and disposal. The firm was also active on the sell side and on joint ventures. 

Partner Marina Tarnovskaya left the firm in March 2018 to pursue an LLM at in London. 

Notable clients of the firm include Skoda Transportation, and Insight Technology Solutions.

Client feedback

"Good knowledge of local legislation, which helps to solve difficult cases." – Banking

"Services are provided quickly, and with good quality." – Banking

"Company employees are willing, helpful, and experienced. Their work is very good and the information is clear. I also appreciate their communication in the English language, which the staff handle very well." – Banking, project finance

Prime Advice Consulting Group

Prime Advice Consulting Group is a domestic firm recognised in restructuring and insolvency. The firm has been active on the insolvency side lately, representing clients in bankruptcy proceedings and litigation. The firm has represented both creditors and distressed institutions. 

Clients of the firm include Nordic Investment, Regiongazification, and Karelkamen.

Client feedback

"I do appreciate our long-lasting and productive cooperation with the Prime Advice team. They are very client-orientated and exceptionally knowledgeable." – Project development, restructuring and insolvency

"The company has established itself as highly professional, in the market of defaulted assets." – Restructuring and insolvency

Russin & Vecchi

Russin & Vecchi has offices in Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Dominican Republic, in addition to Russia. In Russia the firm is active in M&A, and has previously also seen work in project development in the energy sector. 

In corporate work the firm has had a broad advisory role for a series of clients, but has also had specific mandates to help clients such as Samsung C&T Deutschland incorporate new offices across Russia. The firm has seen some work in joint ventures too. 

The firm hired Victor Pomelov from FESCO in December 2017 to head its Vladivostok legal practice. 

Other clients of the firm include Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency Consulate of the Republic of Korea, Linklaters, and the Rostropovich-Vishnevskaya Foundation.

Client feedback

"The company fully accommodates their clients' needs and expectations with great attention to detail. I would highly recommend Russin & Vecchi, who will always act in the best interests of their clients." – Banking

Rykov Group

Rykov Group is a domestic firm active in restructuring and insolvency. The firm worked in insolvency proceedings and litigation for clients recently, primarily representing compromised financial institutions.

S&K Vertical

S&K Vertical is a local firm that works in restructuring and insolvency. The firm advised clients in bankruptcy proceedings in court, primarily creditors. 

Notable clients of the firm are Unicredit Bank, Agrarcredit, and State Bank of Azerbaijan.

Shapovalov Petrov

Shapovalov Petrov is a domestic firm active in project development, particularly in the mining sector. Within mining, the firm has worked extensively on gold mines recently. For example, the firm worked on the construction of two distinct gold recovery tank leaching plants for clients Tardan Gold and Prognoz (Silver Bear Resources Group). 

Other clients of the firm include Mangazeya Mining, Polyus Gold, and Invest-Technologies.

Client feedback

"We have known this firm for many years. We highly value them as professionals in the field of legal advice, especially within the fields of M&A transactions, project financing and corporate restructuring." – Banking, M&A

"We have been working with this firm for a long time. They are distinguished in the legal services market by their professional team. Their lawyers are obligatory, operative and creative." – Banking, M&A, project finance

"This law firm is very creative. It always tries to offer several solutions of solving our legal problems in project and asset finance, mining, subsoil use and taxation spheres. I appreciate its high level professional view and experience in such a specific sphere of business, such as precious metals mining." – Banking, project finance

"The company stands out in the Russian legal market with its professionalism and client-orientated approach. Their team is flexible, creative and always deeply engrossed in our projects." – M&A, project development, restructuring and insolvency

"In this area of gold mining, Shapovalov Petrov are the most advanced consultant. They have unique expertise in tax and legal questions connected with mining companies. So their key strengths include being very well versed in matters of subsoil use." – Project development

"The mining and subsoil use practice of the firm is at high level." – Project development

"Shapovalov Petrov has a unique expertise regarding tax law issues in mining industry, especially within the area of mineral extraction tax regulation. I can surely recommend this firm to clients." – Project development

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

US firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom excels within the equity capital markets and M&A areas in the Russian market, ranking among the best in the jurisdiction in both categories.

In a notable highlight in the equity capital markets space, the firm acted for Renault as the key shareholder of Alliance Rostec Auto, the owner of a 75% stake in AvtoVAZ, on the open subscription for new shares by AvtoVAZ. In a further capital markets mandate, the firm represented Roust Corporation on a high-yield offering of senior secured notes.

During the research period the M&A team completed transactions in sectors including entertainment, financial services and food and beverages. Deal highlights included advising VTB Infrastructure Investments on its acquisition of a stake in food retailer Magnit, and advising National CinemaChain on the sale of the chain, Cinema Park, to A&NN Investments.

Other notable clients of the firm include Brunswick Rail, food retailer Dixy and payment service provider Qiwi.


Stream is a domestic firm in Russia and is active in the project development practice area, specifically in the energy sector. It is a young firm, being founded in 2017.

Within the energy sector of project development, the firm was active on midstream and downstream projects, particularly in natural gas. 

Clients of the firm include Maddox, Klessh, and M-Petrol.

Client feedback

"Provides a high-level, timely and professional performance." – M&A

"The firm sets their priorities right and ensures proper communication of issues." – M&A, project development

TA Legal Consulting

TA Legal Consulting is a domestic firm that advises clients on corporate and M&A work. In terms of M&A, the firm worked on acquisitions for purchasers, advising on due diligence, and on joint ventures. It also saw an increase in work in the healthcare sector, for example advising IBE Kft on acquiring a medical centre.

Other high-profile clients of the firm include AXA Group.

Client feedback

"I am happy with the services provided - fast, clear, and good value for money." – M&A

Marat Agabalyan

"Very client-oriented, attentive to details, and provides clear delivery."

Tomashevskaya & Partners

Tomashevskaya & Partners is a domestic firm that operates in M&A and capital markets. 

The firm advised clients on joint ventures recently. For example, it advised EFKO Group on a 50/50 joint venture in the energy sector with SolPro. 

The firm hired a new senior lawyer in January 2018, Dmitry Lafitsky, from MMC Norilsk Nickel. 

Some other notable clients of the firm are Sistema Rusnano SICAR, Rodina Group, and the Bank of Saint Petersburg.

Vegas Lex

Vegas Lex is an domestic firm that is active in banking, M&A, project development, project finance, PPP, and restructuring and insolvency. The firm is strongest in PPP and restructuring and insolvency. 

In banking, the firm primarily represented lenders on transactions. In project finance, a recent highlight was advising Russian Railways on a model to create a fund for railway project development. 

In M&A, the firm worked on acquisitions and investment partnerships. In acquisitions, the firm has represented the purchasers in general.

The firm worked extensively in PPP, representing private sector clients on infrastructure projects. A highlight for the firm was advising High-Speed Rail Lines on a concession agreement for the Moscow-Vladimir high-speed network. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm has worked on both bankruptcy proceedings and corporate reorganisations for financially distressed clients. An example was advising Credit Bank of Moscow in the bankruptcy proceeding of an oil refiner.

A few high profile clients of the firm include State Transport Leasing Company, Development Corporation of Kamchatka, and Dorogi Rossii.

Client feedback

"They provide useful, concise advice - and subsequently save the time of internal lawyers." – M&A

"I believe that Vegas Lex is one of the more recognisable law firms on PPP, infrastructure and project development matters in Russia. At its core, I see a very talented and professional team of lawyers and experts, as well as solid company reputation based on many years of experience." – M&A, project development

Vinson & Elkins (ceased trading early 2019)

Vinson & Elkins was active in M&A in the energy sector during the research period. In the M&A area, the firm worked on acquisitions for both buyers and sellers, for example working on a sale in the oil and gas sector for the seller. 

Westside Advisors

Westside Advisors is a local firm operating in M&A and restructuring and insolvency, with M&A being the stronger of the two practice areas for the firm.

In M&A the firm primarily advised buyers recently, performing due diligence on the acquisitions and structuring transactions. An example was advising the Comita Group on purchasing an IT company.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm represented clients in bankruptcy proceedings. The firm represents both insolvent entities and claimants

Some other noteworthy clients of the firm are Capital Trust, Geely Motors, and Hilong Group.

White & Case

White & Case has one of the strongest Russian offerings of any firm, across the financial and corporate space. Capital markets, M&A and project finance work are areas where it features among the best in the market.

In the banking space, one of the more notable matters that the team advised on saw it acting for investment banking company ESN Group in connection with financing its acquisition of media group, RBC.

The capital markets team secured impressive mandates across both debt and equity mandates. Clear equity highlights include representing the issuer as En+ Group launched its IPO on the LSE and Moscow Exchange and acting for the global coordinators Globaltruck’s IPO. A debt highlight involved working advising on Belarus’s first euro bond issue in six years.

The firm’s M&A team has been active across a number of sectors including banking, energy, retail and telecommunications. One significant matter saw it advise telecoms operator, Telia Company, on the sale of its holding in MegaFon to Gazprombank, in the largest Russian deal of 2017 outside the energy sector.

In the projects space, the team remain active, particularly on the transactional side of things. One example of this saw it acting for Eurochem, as it assisted the agrochemical company on acquiring the shares of Hispalense de Líquidos, a Spanish liquid producer.

In the restructuring and insolvency space the firm worked for both lenders and borrowers in non-contentious matters. Among other notable mandates, the firm are representing UniCredit in Probusinessbank’s insolvency.

Other clients of the firm include Allianz, Belaruskali and Google.


Yust is a domestic Russian firm active across the board and strongest in PPP. Yust has a relationship with Jipyong, a South Korean law firm. 

In banking, the firm has worked in a broad advisory role for many clients, such as the Amsterdam Trade Bank, for which it worked on due diligence, facility documentation, and rendered legal opinions. 

A highlight for the firm in project finance was representing Lakhta Center Company on the construction of the Lakhta Center in Saint Petersburg. 

In M&A the firm worked on acquisitions, largely for buyers. One example was its work for MTS on two acquisitions, one for the purchase of Strela Telecom Group. It notably also worked on a joint venture between RusGazDobycha and Gazprom to form a gas processing plant. 

In restructuring and insolvency the firm extensively represented compromised institutions in bankruptcy proceedings and also saw work advising creditors and claimants. 

A particular strength of the firm is PPP. A notable deal the firm worked on recently was advising Orion Confectionary on its partnership with the government of the Tver Region on a food manufacturing plant. 

Key clients of the firm include the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, Rusnano, and the Russian Gas Society.

Client feedback

"Good professional work, with good knowledge of matters." – Banking, M&A

"A very solid practice with good lawyers having 3D vision ability. They are very knowledgeable and pro-active, who are always good value for money." – M&A, project finance