On March 8, 2018, Chambers Europe 2018, one of the most reputable legal guides, published the results of its legal market research in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS carried out in 2017. EPAM retains high standing on the key areas of law.
The Firm has been top-ranked in the following practice areas: in Criminal Defense of Businesses (second year in a row), in Competition Law (third year in a row), in Dispute Resolution (6 years in a row), and is now leading among bankruptcy advisors. In Ukraine, the Firm has been praised in Band 1 for International Arbitration and in Belarus for Banking and Finance Law.
All in all, in Russia, the Firm is recommended for 11 out of 16 researched areas of law, and in 8 of them it has been ranked in Band 1 and Band 2.
Member of the Partners' Committee Dimitry Afanasiev and Managing Partner Ilya Nikiforov are among Eminent Practitioners: Dimitry Afanasiev’s experience and achievements have been praised in Corporate Law and Dispute Resolution, and Ilya Nikiforov’s accomplishments have been noted in International Disputes and Arbitration. The Firm’s another seventeen experts have been ranked individually: Partners Victoria Burkovskaya, Dmitriy Glazounov, Dmitry Dyakin, Valery Eremenko, Arkady Krasnikhin, Anna Numerova, Evgeny Rashchevsky, Ivan Smirnov, as well as Natalia Korosteleva and Robin Wittering, Counsels Elena Agaeva, Evgeny Bolshakov, Sergey Kalinin, Pavel Sadovsky and Vyacheslav Yugai, Senior Associates Anna Ivanova and Oleg Ushakov.
For the third year in a row, EPAM is the only national law firm ranked in Band 1 for the Competition Law. According to the guide, “largest on the market”, the competition team is highly regarded for representing both international businesses and domestic clients operating in various industries at the forefront of major complex cases. Clients highlight the team’s particular understanding of the FAS Russia investigations as a result of extensive experience dealing with such cases: “very good knowledge of legal issues and very good understanding of what the state regulator wants”.
Natalia Korosteleva, Head of the Firm’s Competition Practice, is recommended in Band 1. As in previous years, the guide praises Natalia and recognised her ability to “develop brilliant strategies for dealing with state authorities”. Partner Anna Numerova has taken a better foothold in the rankings and is now listed in Band 2. The Guide names Anna “a well-known lawyer in the antitrust market”. Clients are keen to highlight her logical thinking and accuracy, adding that she “can explain things and lead negotiations”. The guide has also ranked a counsel of the Firm, a client called Evgeny Bolshakov “bright and creative”, he is noted for his focus on the contentious side of competition law.
The practice’s largest recent work highlight is representing Mondi Syktyvkar, a subsidiary of Mondi Uncoated Fine Paper, before the FAS against allegations of abusing a dominant position. The Firm has also represented Tele2 in the landmark proceeding against the Moscow Metro regarding unfair tariffs for placing telecommunications equipment in the underground.
The Firm maintains its leading positions in Dispute Resolution: the Firm is ranked in Band 1 for its work in Moscow and St. Petersburg (Band 1). In addition, for the second year in a row, the Firm has been on Band 1 for Criminal Defense of Businesses and has been strongly recommended for International Arbitration. The guide also recognises the team’s prominence in Bankruptcy matters, and ranks the team in Band 1 as “one of the strongest teams in bankruptcy litigation”. According to the guide, the team offers the benefits of a very large disputes team combined with excellent expertise in bankruptcy-related litigation.
Member of the Partners' Committee Dimitry Afanasiev, who has been ranked as an Eminent Practitioner in Dispute Resolution, is also named among the best of the best in M&A and Corporate law: he lends his vast experience to major domestic clients involved in complex restructurings and transactions. “He’s very bright, he’s very creative and he’s very good at organizing difficult and complex legal projects”, client reports.
Managing Partner Ilya Nikiforov is also ranked among Eminent Practitioners as a “very well-known arbitration specialist” thanks to his impeccable long-standing professional reputation, international arbitration efforts and a profound knowledge of the Russian laws.
The guide praises St. Petersburg Managing Partner Ivan Smirnov, who acts on a broad range of commercial disputes: “He’s very active, has an impressive track record and does high-profile cases”.
In Band 1, the guide also recommends Partner heading the Firm’s White-Collar Crime Practice Victoria Burkovskaya. “It is always very practical; she knows exactly what to do and how to do it”, clients praise her for her pragmatic advice.
Partner and Co-Head of Litigation Practice Valery Eremenko is noted for acting on a broad range of commercial disputes. The guide also highlights Valery’s achievements in bankruptcy and restructuring: “He can handle very difficult cases and make them look simple to his clients”.
Partner and Head of International Arbitration Practice Evgeny Raschevsky “has good knowledge and good intuition, he’s one of the best lawyers and a skilled opponent”. Evgeny has been highly praised for representing private companies, as well as the Russian Federation.
Partner and Co-head of Litigation Practice Dmitry Dyakin is a “respected name” in international arbitration, visible on “a lot of big, interesting cases”.
Attorneys of the Firm have recently acted for EWS on a dispute with Ruspetro relating to a service contract to increase the production rate at oilfields in Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug, represented former shareholders and top managers of National Bank TRUST in a criminal case relating to a grand fraud, and acted as the Russian law advisers for the Federal Agency for State Property Management in ad hoc arbitration in India worth USD 200 million.
The Firm is highly recommended for M&A and Corporate Law. The guide emphasizes that it is a sizeable team regularly involved in high-profile domestic mandates. Sources note the client-oriented approach. “They don’t just consult, but they work out the best solution”, “they handle tough schedules very well and provide very good advice from different perspectives and their legal research is very good; they're good at explaining the information they discover”.
Arkady Krasnikhin, Partner and Head of M&A and Corporate law at the Firm, is praised for "fast-thinking and practical legal solutions”, as well as for being “creative when required”.
The guide recommends Robin Wittering, who advises on the English law aspects of corporate mandates and is particularly focused on structuring mandates including joint ventures, corporate restructurings and advisory projects for large multinational corporates.
The guide also highlights Counsel Vyacheslav Yugai, who assists with corporate structuring and advisory support, acting for the Firm’s major clients.
The Firm is among the leaders on the St. Petersburg legal market. The guide emphasizes that they “are focused on achieving the result”. Based on what clients say, the guide recommends Elena Agaeva, Head of St. Petersburg M&A, as a lawyer who “can easily cope with tricky issues”.
The guide highly praises the Firm’s employment lawyers. The well-regarded Employment Disputes team represents both domestic and international clients and has a strong reputation in the legal community. Employment Practice Head Anna Ivanova “can find a solution to very hard questions where law is very ambiguous and there is no clear precedent to follow”, as clients say.
The Firm’s IP Practice, which has a brilliant reputation in trademark-related disputes and is experienced in anti-counterfeiting cases and criminal proceedings related to the infringement of IP rights, maintains its high ranking. Clients note the team's goal-oriented approach. “The team is always trying to come up with the best solution”. The guide also highlights the Firm’s ТМТ work. Clients praise the “efficiency as well as strong managerial skills” of Pavel Sadovsky, Head of IP / TMT.
The Banking & Finance and Capital Markets Practice is highly specialized in domestic securitization issues and mostly represents Russian banks. The guide emphasizes that the team is increasingly active in the domestic bonds market, where they represent Russian issuers. “Lawyers keep calm under pressure and come up with useful and creative solutions”, clients say. Its significant clients are Bank St. Petersburg, Bank ZhilFinance and BCS Global Markets. Dmitriy Glazounov, Partner and Head of the Practice, is praised for his knowledge of the market and “truly understands clients’ needs”. The guide notes Senior Associate Oleg Ushakov for advising both banks and companies on a broad range of securitization matters. Acting for Absolut Bank on the securitization and sale of a mortgage portfolio is the practice’s recent highlight.
The Firm’s Tax Practice is recommended by the guide for its proficient advice on a full range of tax services, including deoffshorization, acting for clients in disputes with tax authorities and providing tax support to private clients. According to a client, Practice Head Sergey Kalinin “can balance his deep knowledge of technicalities and intricacies of Russian tax law with a practical approach and realistic assessment of risks”. The guide mentions such matters as assisting Russalt with a major corporate holding restructuring and advising Bank Uralsib on the tax implications of a securitization project.
The Maritime Shipping and Transport Law Practice has improved its position in the ranking. Clients are happy with the team’s in-depth approach to matters and comment that lawyers “are responsive and very comprehensive in their advice” and “they will not say anything unless they have researched it thoroughly”. The notable practitioners are Senior Associate Alexey Karchiomov and Partner Evgeny Raschevsky. Nordic Yards and Mediterranean Shipping Company are the key clients.
EPAM Ukraine receives leading positions in the newly released Chambers Europe 2018, being highly recognised across twelve practice areas with nine individual rankings and recommendations.
“Solid team” of Banking & Finance and Capital Markets Practice is traditionally highly ranked for its “transparent, fast and target-oriented” approach with clients highlighting: “They have the knowledge, skills, experience and capabilities”.
Partner Roman Stepanenko is referred to be a well-regarded finance lawyer with experience across a broad range of matters. Sources appreciate his “constructive approach to negotiations”.
“Notable team” of Competition/Antitrust Practice is recommended as a strong choice for merger clearance matters, investigations, including abuse of dominance issues, regulatory matters and antitrust compliance. The guide highlights expertise across a range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, banking and finance, TMT and manufacturing.
Partner Oksana Ilchenko is acknowledged as “a versatile practitioner”.
Clients appreciate Corporate / M&A Practice noting: “They’re responsive in terms of identifying risks, options and recommending a course of action”, also highlighting team’s “knowledge of the local authorities and proactive, innovative approach”. Partner Oksana Ilchenko, being “an active figure in the domestic market”, is recommended for expertise in corporate structuring, joint ventures and cross-border mergers.
Dispute Resolution Practice wins recognition as a “market-leading team with comprehensive disputes expertise spanning litigation, arbitration and white-collar crime”. Sources state: “They were very responsive, quickly grasped the issues at stake and what was necessary, and also anticipated difficulties”. The department is described as “very strong in litigation” and “the top” in cross-border matters.
On the individual side, the guide acknowledges Managing Partner Serhii Sviriba as Eminent Practitioner who has “a very good reputation in the arbitration world”, with commentators lauding him as “one of the leading individuals” and recognising his extensive experience in this field. Partner Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi is listed as a well-regarded figure in the arbitration community with a significant track record in international arbitration, with particular experience of advising on sports and energy disputes. A source refers to him as a “stellar performer”. Partner Gleb Bialyi is recommended with market commentators distinguishing him as a “very good litigator” who is especially active in the domestic litigation arena covering commercial and administrative proceedings, with particular experience of anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations. Partner Sergiy Grebenyuk is ranked as a “very strong lawyer” in the white-collar crime arena, covering cases involving allegations of tax evasion, corruption and fraud, as well as corporate investigations and compliance issues.
Employment Practice receives recognition as “the adept in handling matters for clients within the pharmaceutical, finance, transportation and sports sectors”. Sources note that the lawyers are “very prompt and proactive”.
Practice Head Aleksandra Yevstafyeva is acknowledged as a “very good and trustworthy” lawyer covering a broad scope of employment mandates.
Intellectual Property Practice earned acclaim for “its strength in pharmaceutical and media mandates”.
“A sound and experienced lawyer” Taras Kyslyy, Practice Head, is noted for contentious mandates and providing market insight and regulatory advice.
Tax Practice is also well estimated as a well-regarded tax litigation team, also assisting with tax advisory and regulatory matters. The lawyers are described as “very well prepared” who “know the matter and all the new legislation”.
Counsel Oleksandr Maydanyk is mentioned among notable practitioners.
The Firm’s Real Estate and Restructuring/Insolvency teams are ranked in “Other noted firms” category.
The Firm has been ranked in Banking & Finance, Corporate and Business Law and Dispute Resolution. The guide ranks Minsk Managing Partner Dennis Turovets and Partner Anna Rusetskaya individually.
The market-leading Banking & Finance and Capital Markets team is ranked in Band 1 and advises domestic and multinational financial institutions, handles international loans and project finance. Clients are particularly impressed with the team’s ability “to seek innovative solutions”.
Minsk Managing Partner Dennis Turovets is a highly sought-after lawyer described as a highly recognised and reliable practitioner with extensive market experience. Clients report: “His deep knowledge of local practice and wide-ranging experience helped to move the matter forward within a short period of time”. His recent work includes advising the Belarusian government on the issuance of USD1.4 bn in Eurobonds. Dennis is also a highly regarded corporate lawyer. “He is able to distil and explain to us complex and specific issues to enable us to take these into account in our work”, a client says.
According to the guide, the M&A and Corporate lawyers “are very responsive and are incredibly diligent, with good attention to detail”. Partner Anna Rusetskaya is recognised by commentators for her “very collaborative” work with clients. She has recently advised Playtika on antitrust, corporate and employment issues.
The Belarus Dispute Resolution team is noteworthy for acting for large regional and international clients on commercial litigation mandates. Clients appreciate the client-oriented approach. The guide distinguishes Dennis Turovets, who acts for large domestic and international corporates on a range of matters including contractual disputes, debt recovery cases and construction disputes. He recently advised DGM Pharma-Apparate Handel on debt recovery proceedings against a Belarusian manufacturer of household appliances.
Chambers Europe covers 53 jurisdictions across Europe. Chambers ranks best law firms and lawyers all over the world based on recommendations by peers and clients, as well as on expert assessment of the legal market.