According to the newly released Chambers Europe 2014 Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has been top ranked for all key practice areas in all jurisdictions of its presence. Apart from outstanding recommendations in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus the Firm has become the only law firm from the CIS listed in the new category - Central & Eastern Europe.
In Russia Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners confirms its leadership being recommended for all key practice areas including Competition/Antitrust, Dispute Resolution including Domestic International, and Corporate Crime, Restructuring and Insolvency, Tax, M&A/Corporate, Banking & Finance/Capital Markets, Construction and Real Estate, Intellectual Property, TMT, Energy & Natural Resources, Employment, and General Business Law for St. Petersburg.
This year the Firm’s Russian team tops Competition/Antitrust ranking. The Guide highly recommends this Band 1 practice for “assisting with contentious matters and being able to call on a market-leading litigation team to handle anti-monopoly disputes”. The practice is well known on the market for its wide experience in transactional merger control issues, covering acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. “Renowned practice team endorsed for its deep bench strength”. Clients say the Firm’s lawyers “get the work done quickly” and guarantee “great results".
The practice team represented TD TMK in a cartel investigation initiated by the FAS Russia concerning pipe supplies to Gazprom, the pipe manufacturers were cleared of cartel allegations. It also acted for Evraz on a FAS investigation concerning suspected abuse of dominance and assisted with securing approval for an acquisition with the FAS Russia.
Chambers recommends Head of Competition Law Practice Natalia Korosteleva who is a "very active participant at the Antitrust Bar," she advises on merger control approvals and investigations relating to cartels, concerted actions and abuse of dominance. A recent addition to the team, Anna Numerova is highly recommended for her expertise in merger control matters and is described as a "practical problem solver and very hands-on". Senior Associate Evgeny Bolshakov continues to win praise from clients for his work in competition. Associate Elena Kazak is praised for "her quality and turnaround time are excellent".
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is also listed in Band 1 for Domestic Dispute Resolution. It also retains its top positions in International Dispute Resolution and is highly commended among the legal advisors skilled in handling Corporate Crime mandates. According to sources, the Firm “stands out as one of the most substantial and experienced dispute resolution teams in the market” offering “an impressive depth and breadth of advisers, who are skilled in handling arbitration, litigation and corporate crime mandates”.
Practice team which "demonstrates a very high level of analysis and creativity" represented TogliattiAzot before the Supreme Arbitration Court in a shareholder dispute, during which Eurotoaz tried to claim a block of shares worth more than USD 20 million, and acted for Moscow's Luzhniki Olympic Arena in a corporate dispute concerning the additional emission of shares.
Among significant clients Chambers lists Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, Riverta, Dalmorgeologiya, Nemiroff.
The Guide recommends Chairman Dimitry Afanasiev who is known as “a prominent name with a strong marketplace reputation”. Partner Evgeniy Raschevsky advises on international litigation and arbitration, co-ordinates matters in a wide range of jurisdictions and represents clients before the ICJ. Partner Valery Eremenko is "extremely efficient at handling complex cases" and "very creative in the structuring of deals". Dmitry Dyakin is recommended by a variety of sources as a Partner who routinely handles real estate and corporate disputes and leads a lot of the Firm's substantial mandates. Up-and-comer Senior Associate Alexander Vaneev leads teams advising on a number of cross-border arbitration matters.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is number one law firm listed for Dispute Resolution work in St. Petersburg. “A first-rate litigation offering in both Moscow and St. Petersburg, with a deep bench and a wide range of disputes experience” the Firm’s team act on bankruptcy, insurance, contractual and white-collar crime matters, as well as on a number of international arbitrations.
The practice team represented German construction firm Frener & Reifer in a construction arbitration with ENKA to recover losses of over RUB 400 million for non-performance and advised Dalmorgeologiya on a dispute with an insurance company over the client's claim of RUB 23.5 million insurance indemnity.
Top ranked Ilya Nikiforov, the Firm’s Managing Partner, is known as “one of the best-known litigation and arbitration specialists in the market” whose “stellar reputation extends to both international and domestic matters”. “He is particularly skilled at handling IP/IT matters, and has extensive Russian law expertise”. Ilya Nikiforov was recently appointed an officer of the Arbitration Committee of the International Bar Association and the Eurasia Committee of the American Bar Association.
In St.Petersburg the Firm is also highly recommended in General Business Law category. Clients say “this is the team that is able to guide you through” when it comes to quite "unpredictable Russia” where “you don't have that long-term vision that you might have in other countries”.
The team often advises newcomers to the market on their establishment and any related issues, such as employment, real estate and IP. For examples it advised Bertschi on a wide range of matters, including corporate, shipping and employment issues and supported Velle Oats on various matters in Russia, which requires advice in a range of areas such as employment, commercial and real estate.
Elena Agaeva who heads the corporate team in St. Petersburg, is recommended for her awareness of "the challenges facing a foreign-owned entity in Russia."
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is recommended for Corporate/M&A work and is well known due to its "client-oriented approach, efficiency and the ability to solve the most complicated problems". "Providing comprehensive coverage of the CIS" the Firm "brings a wealth of local knowledge and deal experience to matters for clients in sectors such as natural resources, retail and infrastructure".
Practice team advised Metro Group on the sale of the Eastern Europe business of Real to Auchan, represented the owners of Beringov in the sale of its business to Eldorado.
Ranked among Eminent Practitioners the Firm’s Chairman Dimitry Afanasiev continues to be a highly visible figure in the market. Sources see him on "very high-profile deals", where his "wide practice covering international corporate transactions, dispute resolution and public policy is valued". Chambers reminds that the practice has been strengthened by Robin Wittering and Andrey Vorobyev who recently joined the team.
The Firm’s strong litigation department ensures the Firm’s Restructuring and Insolvency team has robust expertise when it comes to disputes in this area. The team acts for trustees, creditors and debtors. Partners Sergey Kovalev and Valery Eremenko are the key contacts for this practice.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has strong positions when it comes to Tax advice. “Strong in tax disputes, where it can draw upon the expertise of its leading litigation practice”, the practice team advises corporations and private clients on a varied range of tax matters including compliance, tax planning and transfer pricing are all key areas. "Proactive lawyers” “look at things in detail and do some really in-depth analysis". The team advised Draper Fisher Jurvetson on creating venture funds with VTB Capital and Rusnano.
The "brilliant" Igor Schikow heads the practice and is commended for his "creative and innovative" advice. His international background and knowledge of German are appreciated by clients. “Client-oriented” Mark Rovinskiy, Deputy Head of Tax Practice, "is great in negotiations”, he is praised as "responsive, and a personable lawyer who can find common ground with anyone."
The Firm is also highly recommended for Banking & Finance and Capital Markets. Chambers ranks Dmitriy Glazounov who recently joined Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners as head of the Moscow office's Banking & Finance and Capital Markets team. Sources highlight him for "his local knowledge, noting his experience with government agencies, with which he has been doing a lot of work in proposing legal reforms".
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners’ “strong domestic” Construction and Real Estate Practice is also well known on the market. The team "provides real added-value advice and creative solutions" advising “prestigious Russian and international clients on land, zoning and regulatory issues, and has highly acclaimed real estate and construction litigation capabilities”.
Among the clients - retail chains River Island and Lenta. The Firm also represented Metro Baltic Horizons before the Russian court in a EUR 2.5 million cross-border foreclosure proceeding.
Partner Andrey Vorobyev heads the practice and is named as the key contact.
The Firm’s expertise in the area of Intellectual Property is also commended. The team represents its clients in trade mark and patents disputes with authorities and infringing parties. It also acts on non-contentious transactional matters and draws on its leading dispute resolution abilities to represent clients in IP litigation before Russian courts.
Among the recent work highlights - advising Metro Group on the IP aspects of its sale of Real Eastern Europe to Auchan, including due diligence of its IP portfolio and drafting contracts.
Chambers recommends practice head Pavel Sadovsky who is “an experienced litigator with a strong focus on IP enforcement”.
The Firm’s TMT practice is highlighted for its regulatory knowledge. The practice team often assists with data protection and criminal liability issues arising in the TMT arena. ”It is used to working with international companies and knows what they look for". Pavel Sadovsky is recognised for his TMT expertise and active involvement in industry events. Sources say he "brings great ideas to a project". Among significant clients - CTC Media, Orange, Beijing Xinwei Telecom Technology.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is best known for contentious Employment mandates, with a strong track record in court proceedings. The Firm performs “at a very high level" providing support to clients with non-contentious employment and compliance issues. Its migration practice focuses on the structuring of immigration for foreign companies working in Russia.
The practice team represented the Bolshoi Theatre in the heavily publicised litigation brought against it by former lead dancer Nikolay Tsiskaridze, who was fired for the violation of the theatre's internal rules and regulations. The Bolshoi was successful in all instances.
Among notable practitioners Chambers ranks practice head Anna Ivanova - a well-recognised litigator in the area of employment. According to peers she is "very oriented to achieving the client's targets”.
The Firm’s Energy & Natural Resources practice is also recognised.
In Belarus, Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has “a leading presence in the market, with team members often appearing in high-end transactions”. The Firm is recommended for Banking & Finance, Corporate/Commercial and Dispute Resolution work.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners in Minsk is listed in Band 1 for Banking & Finance. It is particularly noted for its work on loan deals and infrastructure projects, and for its capacity to advise international investors and financial institutions. Clients and peers say the team's “main strength is its ability to give objective consultations about local law without bias."
The Minsk team advised VTB on an agreement with the Belarusian government concerning credit facilities; it also assisted Eurasian Development Bank with the financing of several construction mandates.
Managing Partner of the Minsk Office of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Dennis Turovets is highly regarded by sources. He assists several banks with matters in this area, and recently advised BNP Paribas, RBS, Deutsche Bank and Sberbank on the issuance of sovereign bonds by the Republic of Belarus. Partner Anna Rusetskaya maintains a wide practice, which includes capital markets and privatisation cases. She was part of the team that assisted RUE Vitebskenergo with the USD189 million financing of the construction of a hydropower plant.
The Firm’s Minsk team is acknowledged for its Corporate/Commercial expertise. It is known due to its significant experience in handling infrastructure projects, regulatory matters in energy, media and telecoms. The Firm is also notable for its work on cross-border projects, particularly mandates with links to Russia.
The Firm’s team in Minsk advised Stadler Rail on the establishment of a joint venture with the Republic of Belarus within the framework of an investment project, assisted Embraer with the regulations governing Belarusian procurement, and with its contractual relations with a state airline company.
Dennis Turovets is lauded by peers for his ability to handle mandates in an efficient manner, whilst clients praise his flexible approach to projects. He led the team that assisted Embraer with public procurement regulations. Anna Rusetskaya is a common choice for investment projects, particularly those involving foreign entities. She is also adept at handling projects with elements of banking and finance law.
Chambers recommends the Firm for Dispute Resolution work in Belarus. It has vast experience in advising on disputes in multiple jurisdictions, including Russia and Ukraine, as well as for handling cross-border mandates. The team represents national and international companies, banks and other financial institutions.
Dennis Turovets is praised by clients for his ability to "provide accurate and punctual services". He recently represented Blue Water Shipping in a dispute related to the transportation of goods. Among significant clients Chambers lists Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Codan Forsikring, ECCO, GM, SOEX Textil-Vermarktungs.
In Ukraine, Chambers Europe 2014 recommends Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners for eight practice areas including Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Competition/Antitrust, Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution (Arbitration and Litigation), Intellectual Property, Restructuring/Insolvency, and Tax with seven lawyers listed among the leaders in their field.
The Guide recommends the Firm which has “close relations with many international players” and is “well placed to advise on sovereign bond issues” for its Banking & Finance and Capital Markets capacities. The respondents say "the quality of the written advice was excellent, and the lawyers were just incredibly easy to work with." A “rising star” Practice Head Roman Stepanenko is referred to as a "commercial and responsive" lawyer. Among the clients of the practice team - Alfa Bank, Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Sberbank, UniCredit, VTB Capital.
The Firm’s Competition/Antitrust practice is “well known for merger clearance, antitrust investigations and unfair competition.” “Well-regarded” Partner Oksana Ilchenko is recommended for her “growing presence in the competition sector.”
Corporate/M&A team led by Partner Oksana Ilchenko is recognized for representing DCH Group in the company's disposal of FC Metallist. Other notable clients include Fager, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, KWS SAAT, Printec.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Ukraine has become the only law firm top ranked in Band 1 for International Arbitration. The Firm’s Dispute Resolution team in Kyiv is highly recognised by Chambers Europe 2014 as “one of the strongest disputes practices in the CIS, possessing huge experience in investment treaty and commercial arbitrations.” According to the clients’ feedback the team is “extremely effective, great at analysing and great at rooting out facts and evidence.” Managing Partner Serhii Sviriba is “very well plugged into the local market, and knows the nuances extremely well". Partner Oleksii Reznikov is recognised as “a top litigator” and “a highly visible individual in Ukraine” and praised “both for his rainmaking and his legal expertise.” Partner Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi is recognised as “one of the top sports arbitration experts in the market” and “a very reliable lawyer," while Counsel Dmytro Marchukov is praised for his “significant experience of cross-border disputes” and singled out as "phenomenally dedicated, hard-working and organized.”
The Firm is praised for its “broad Intellectual Property expertise covering copyright, trademarks, software and IT” as well as for its capability to advice on “transactions involving IP assets.” “Reactive” team led by "impressive lawyer, one of the best in Ukraine" Taras Kyslyy is acknowledged by clients for its “in-depth knowledge of the industry and great attention to detail.”
Chambers highly recommends the Firm for its Restructuring/Insolvency capacities. According to the Guide “huge network across the CIS brings added value, and the team frequently works with regional banks and corporate clients.” Over the last year Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners worked for Alfa-Bank, DCH Group, Naftogaz Ukraine, The State Railroads Administration of Ukraine.
Tax team is also well recognised for its expertise in “tax structuring, transfer pricing and indirect taxation”. Practice Head Oleksii Reznikov is acknowledged as “the main point of contact for tax matters.
To cement its overall recognition Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners wins Chambers’ recommendation in the new category - Central & Eastern Europe – to have become the only law CIS firm ranked here. In this category the Guide praises the Firm for Corporate/M&A for impressive presence on CIS deals, with a well-established presence in the region led by its Moscow, St. Petersburg and Minsk operations. Provides solid English law abilities and a good network of connections with other local firms, and can offer local law advice in a range of jurisdictions.
The Firm represented Metro Group in its sale of Real Eastern Europe to Auchan, a transaction that involved several CEE countries, including Poland and Ukraine. It also advised Alvora UAB on a EUR15 million corporate dispute regarding a Belarusian joint venture.
Among notable practitioners - Robin Wittering, head of international M&A projects, Mikhail Kazantsev, head of M&A, as well as Oksana Ilchenko and Anna Rusetskaya are partners in Kyiv and Minsk respectively.