In Moscow, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP (formerly Goltsblat BLP in Russia) has one of the oldest, most resourceful, best established and stable teams in Russia, top-ranked in most legal directories.
The highly respected Moscow team of over 120 lawyers has over 20 years’ experience and the breadth of expertise to meet all the legal needs of companies doing business in Russia and the CIS and to provide comprehensive legal support for inbound and outbound investment by Russian and international clients.
We focus on complex transactional, project and dispute support and also utilise our full service capabilities, which are possibly second to none amongst other international law firms in Moscow.
Our clients include over 1700 international and domestic businesses, including 130 FORBES Global clients, leading Russian and international companies and financial institutions, and Russian corporate leaders on the national market.
- Dispute Resolution
- Real Estate & Construction
- Antitrust & Competition
- Banking & Finance
- Customs & International Trade
- Employment, Pensions & Benefits
- Compliance and Sanctions-related Advice
- White Collar Crime Defence
- PPP / Infrastructure
- Insolvency & Bankruptcy
- Private Client
- Energy, Natural Resources, Mining and Infrastructure
Recent awards and accolades:
- Andrey Goltsblat, Country Managing Partner (Russia), has been included for the third year running on the elite Hall of Fame list by The Legal 500, and has been named an Eminent Practitioner by Chambers Europe for the seventh year running.
- Leading positions and profound Russian law expertise, the absolute majority of the practices in Russia being recognised as market leaders / top-ranked by leading national and international rankings (The Legal 500, Chambers&Partners, Best Lawyers, Mergermarket, Pravo.ru-300, etc.).
- One of the most resourceful, diversified and experienced Corporate / M&A teams on the market, shortlisted for Mergermarket Europe M&A Award 2019 as Russia M&A Legal Adviser of the Year; #1 M&A legal advisor in Russia by deal count – Mergermarket league tables Q1 – Q3 2018; highly ranked by The Legal 500, Chambers Global and Chambers Europe, and IFLR 1000.
- Top Real Estate & Construction team on the market – for ten years running ranked Band / Tier 1 by The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for Russia; many times winner of Real Estate Law Firm of the Year, including Best Lawyers Russia 2017, 2019 and 2020; Legal 500 UK Awards 2019.
- The market-leading Dispute Resolution Practice is one of the biggest and most diversified in Russia, with over 40 associates and advocates, including seven partners and two practice heads, specialising in such areas as domestic and cross-border disputes, international arbitration, commercial disputes / title defence, corporate disputes, insolvency and bankruptcy, white collar criminal defence, antitrust, tax and customs, employment, IP / IT disputes, etc. The Dispute Resolution Practice has, for several years, been top-ranked / highly recommended by the leading professional international directories, such as Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, etc.
- One of the most renowned Antitrust & Competition teams on the market: top-ranked for many years now by The Legal 500 (Tier 1), Chambers Europe (Band 1), Pravo.ru-300 (Group 1) and Global Competition Review / GCR 100 (Elite), Competition and Antitrust Law Firm of the Year, Best Lawyers in Russia 2018 and 2020 Editions.
- Our Banking & Finance Practice has been recommended by major international legal directories, such as The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners, IFLR 1000, Best Lawyers and others for several years running.
- One of the strongest and biggest Tax teams among international law firms in Russia – Russia Tax Firm of the Year in both 2017 and 2018, shortlisted in 2019 - European Tax Awards | International Tax Review. Top-ranked by Chambers Europe, The Legal 500, World Tax, World Transfer Pricing, Tax Directors Handbook.
- Our Customs & International Trade Practice is among the strongest in Russia. Our specialists have been “top-ranked”/ “highly recommended” by leading international legal directories: The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners, Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers and others for many years now. In 2019 the Practice was ranked in Group 1 by the leading Russian legal directory Pravo.ru – 300. Head of Practice Vladimir Tchikine has been recognized as Lawyer of the Year (Trade Law) in Best Lawyers 2020 Edition.
- Our Tier 1 (The Legal 500) IP team is a unique combination of lawyers providing a comprehensive offering of IP-related services and lawyers with unrivalled experience in IP litigation, including in precedent-setting and high-profile litigation projects. Practice Head Elena Trusova is ranked in Band 3 by Chambers & Partners 2016-2020.
- Our Employment, Pensions & Benefits practice is one of the strongest in Russia – for many years now, the Practice and its key lawyers have been highly ranked by The Legal 500, Chambers Europe, etc.
- Our Private Client Practice is among top-ranked firms according to Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 for several years.
- Our Energy, Natural Resources, Mining and Infrastructure practice consists of a well-established team with an excellent market reputation. Levon Kocharyan, Head of Natural Resources, Mining and Infrastructure (Russia), and Aydin Jebrailov, Head of Energy and Natural Resources (Russia), have been ranked Band / Tier 1 in Energy and Natural Resources: Mining by all leading Russian and international legal directories, such as Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, Best Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal, etc. for more than ten consecutive years.
CEE and CIS Team
In addition to presence on the ground in Moscow, we have a Russia, CEE and CIS team largely based in London who have first-hand experience of specific business requirements in the region. Our services range from advising major international clients on significant cross-border transactions and multimillion dollar international disputes (including shareholders' and investment agreements and fraud-related issues) to advising private clients on confidential personal matters.
Fundamental to the team's practice is conducting commercial litigation on behalf of CEE and CIS clients in the UK and other related jurisdictions (such as BVI, Jersey and Cyprus), and dealing with international arbitrations in well know institutions including the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC).
Other prominent areas of practice include advising on international trade regulation issues (U.S., EU and UK export controls, sanctions laws and regulations), anti-corruption/bribery issues, competition issues, and on M&A, corporate and commercial transactions.
Alongside our Moscow colleagues we are regularly involved in projects requiring management and coordination of local law firms and in-house counsel. We work closely with carefully selected local lawyers and consultants, with many of whom we have longstanding relationships.
- For over 20 years, continuous comprehensive support to Mars Inc. investment projects in different parts of Russia since the company entered the Russian market, including construction of nine plants in four Russian regions, major acquisitions (e.g., USD 23 bn. Wrigley acquisition, Royal Canin, Korkunov, etc.) and day-to-day legal issues.
- Legal support for over 600 real estate, construction and infrastructure projects in different regions of Russia over the last 10 years, predominately for major multinational investors, including Mars, Coca-Cola, Danone, Kimberly-Clark, Kronospan, Saint-Gobain and Lafarge, as well as a number of Japanese and European car manufacturers (i.e., Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, Nissan/Russia, Volkswagen Group, Komatsu, etc.).
- Legal support to Guardian Industries on construction projects for two float glass plants in the Ryazan and Rostov Regions, which included: an EBRD lending facility for the project, the acquisition of land plots, re-categorisation and change of permitted use of the land, construction, engineering infrastructure, environmental aspects, permission documentation, representation in state arbitration courts and public tenders.
- Advised Mars, Inc. on the USD 23bn acquisition of Wrigley and supported its post-acquisition integration/restructuring.
- Advised Intel on acquisition of Soft Machines Inc, involved in licensing and joint development of products for the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile telecommunications and cloud computing.
- Advising Siberian Generating Company, SUEK Group (Siberian Coal Energy Company, Russia’s biggest coal producer), on acquisition of a 78% stake in Sibeco, one of the biggest heat and electricity generation companies in Siberia.
- Supporting VPE Capital, an international investment company, managing the PE fund Kazakhstan Infrastructure Fund C.V., in a project to develop and let around 25,000 sq m of warehouse premises in the first phase of a bigger plan to construct up to 100,000 sq m of Class A warehouses in Kazakhstan.
- Advised KOPY Goldfields AB (publ), a Swedish NASDAQ-listed gold exploration company operating in the Irkutsk and Amur regions of Russia, on a complex multistage deal related to sale of its subsidiary Taiga LLC, which owns a license for exploration of four gold fields in the Irkutsk Region, including the main Kopylovskoe gold deposit.
- Advised Da Vinci Capital Management on $55m subscription for “Gram” tokens during second round of ICO of the Telegram Group - one of the world’s most popular messenger apps.
- Handled a complex project for Great Wall Motors to recover over USD 50 m from a group of unscrupulous Russian counterparties. Aspects such as liquidation and insolvency of legal entities, application of international regulations and ICC Rules were involved.
- Advising Globus, a German hypermarket chain, on its expansion on the Russian market, specifically on acquiring a land plot and properties in north-east Moscow for a new hypermarket.
- Represented UFG Real Estate Russia and Orientir Development (former Logopark Development) in a sale transaction of the Sever-2 logistics park to Raven Russia.
- Representing RusHydro in an international arbitration brought against the Kyrgyz Government over reimbursement of RusHydro’s costs of USD 37m incurred in connection with the project for construction of the Upper-Naryn hydroelectric power plant cascade in Kyrgyzstan.
- Acting for Skolkovo resident OOO Double in a precedent-setting dispute against VKontakte over use of public web data.
- Represented Sberbank in arbitrazh (commercial) courts over alleged violation of the laws on procurement of goods, works or services by certain types of legal entity. The laws were allegedly breached by competition-restricting requirements set for participants. We devised a successful representation strategy, convincing the appellate court that the decision given by the FAS of Russia was unlawful.
- VimpelCom - Triumphed in the first instance, appeal and cassation arbitrazh (commercial) courts in a dispute between mobile operators and the FAS of Russia over changes to B2B SMS service tariffs.
- Advised Mastercard Member Association on launching an innovative service on the Russian market: simultaneous cash-out with POS payment by bank card at shop tills.
- Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries - Advice on regulatory matters, including transactions with pharmaceuticals, public procurements and adapting business to legislative changes.
- Assisting GTLK Europe DAC with preparing a complex roadmap and advising on the legal and tax structures for establishing a leasing platform in Hong Kong for aircraft and ship leasing.
- Successfully acted for the International Investment Bank (IIB), a multilateral development bank mainly operating in Eastern Europe and Asia, on a RUB 6bn (USD 96.5m) revolving multi-asset secured facility.
- Providing comprehensive legal and tax advisory support to Rusklimat Group, the biggest Russian manufacturer and importer of climate control equipment, in relation to its programme for restructuring the Group’s business units and divisions.
- Won a landmark dispute for Wine Brandy Plant Alliance-1892 LLC by proving to the Supreme Court that import VAT deductions had been adjusted unlawfully.
- We have successfully defended the interests of Fujikura Ltd. in an antidumping investigation into imports into the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) of single- mode optical fibre originating from the USA and Japan. This matter went on for almost 18 months and the client is now able to continue importing into the EAEU unimpeded since no anti- dumping measures have been imposed.
- Advised A1 on the secured financing to, and acquisition of the controlling stake in a major Russian producer of foodstuffs. We prepared a set of financing and security documentation, including a Russian LMA based facility agreement, suretyships and guarantees, share pledges, floating charge over supplies and goods, as well as pledges of movable and immovable property. We further prepared the sale and purchase agreements for acquisition of shares in the target company, as well as call options, put options and shareholders agreement for A1 and the company’s owners.
- Advised Petropavlovsk PLC one of Russia’s major gold mining companies, in terms of both production and Reserves and Resources and amongst the most vertically integrated gold producers in the Far East of Russia - in connection with the refinancing of a USD 210 m credit facility provided to IRC Limited, a company in which Petropavlovsk is the largest, albeit, minority shareholder, by ICBC with a new up to USD 240 m facility provided by Gazprombank to one IRC Limited’s iron ore mining subsidiaries.
- Advised LG Electronics Rus on paying customs duties on certain types of imported domestic refrigerators at specific EEU customs tariff rates.
- Official IP and advertising adviser to NIKE for 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
- Prosveshcheniye Publishing House - Represented Prosveshcheniye publishers in a trade mark litigation, the biggest court case in the history of Russia’s publishing industry, with the compensation totalling RUB 4 bn.
- Advised Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash producers, on its global review of employment arrangements. The comprehensive review covered a number of jurisdictions on most of the continents relevant to operations of the client.
- Acting as sole legal adviser to Russian Agricultural Bank on the international sanction programmes and restrictions.