24 Nevsky Av.,
St. Petersburg, 191186, Russia
Tel.: +7 (812) 322 9681
Fax: +7 (812) 322 9682
Solely focused on winning
Managing Partner of the St. Petersburg office of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, Ivan Smirnov, is one of the most prominent Russian litigation lawyers and regulatory experts. He heads the Firm’s Litigation Practice in St. Petersburg and oversees the development of the St. Petersburg Real Estate, White Collar Crime, Customs and Family Law Practices.
Ivan represents multinational and Russian companies operating in pulp & paper, tobacco, food, and oil & gas industries, as well as clients involved in telecommunications, retail, machinery, and real estate & construction. He also advises clients on dispute resolution and bankruptcy, complex tax matters, commercial, civil and environmental laws, as well as on international trade and antitrust laws.
Ivan has extensive experience in protecting creditors in bankruptcy proceedings, successfully challenging debtor’s transactions, bringing debtor’s controlling persons to subsidiary liability, and advising and overall counselling on debtors’ bankruptcy. His related highlights include:
- Representing the founders of Transaero Airlines in a major insolvency case (the total amount of the creditors’ claims exceeded RUB 280bn), including representing the founders in the largest Russian subsidiary liability proceedings (the total amount of claims exceeded RUB 249bn), as well as standalone disputes challenging transactions and recovering documents, and personal bankruptcy proceedings against a founder of the company.
- Defending FSUE Morsvyazsputnik, the only provider of INMARSAT satellite communications services in Russia, in bankruptcy proceedings of its counterparty, GLONASS North-West.
- Protecting the interests of bankruptcy creditors of Energocapital, formerly one of the largest brokerage companies in North-West Russia, in a dispute over bringing the opponent's beneficiaries to subsidiary liability for RUB 3bn.
- Representing Unicosmetic, one of the largest cosmetics companies in the Russian Federation, in bankruptcy proceedings against its counterparty, a large regional purchaser of the company’s products.
- Representing one of the largest Russian construction groups in the bankruptcy proceedings of a major infrastructure facility in North-West Russia, whose actions resulted in the theft of RUB 1bn. The project included challenging transactions entered into with a group of dummy corporations controlled by the debtor’s managers in order to remove the fictitious claims of the nominal creditors from the bankruptcy estate and take control over the bankruptcy proceedings.
Ivan successfully advises clients on real estate and construction issues and defends their interests in disputes over governmental contracts, construction contracts, as well as in disputes related to investments in construction and leases relations. His relevant highlights are:
- Comprehensive representation of a leading Russian diversified holding operating in infrastructure construction and defending the client in dozens of legal proceedings arising from the construction of Russia’s second largest sports facility worth approximately USD 1bn.
- Advising a city-owned company in charge of constructing a motorway tunnel in a dispute worth USD 790mbefore the ICAC at the Russian Chamber of Industry and Commerce arising from the termination of a concession agreement.
- Protecting the interests of Zdorovia I Sporta LLC, an investor and developer of sports facilities, in a litigation seeking to recover losses in the billions of rubles in connection with the cancellation of the preliminary lease agreement. The lawyers of the Firm under the leadership of Ivan, achieved a refusal to satisfy the claim, as well as recovering losses from the opponent in the amount of RUB 100m.
- Protecting the interests of PJSC Central Telegraph in a legal dispute with Rosimuschestvo on the recognition of the Russian Federation’s ownership of a large real estate property in the centre of Moscow and on the recovery of unjust enrichment.
- Representing the leading US-based pulp and paper company in a complicated dispute with public authorities over several large land plots in North-West Russia worth approximately RUB 500m. Thanks to the victory of the Firm’s lawyers headed by Ivan, in the three-instance court , the client was force to enter into sale and purchase agreements for the land plots on privileged terms
Ivan has also been engaged in multi-billion dollar proceedings in international commercial arbitration and in international courts. His projects include:
- Representing Bank Saint Petersburg in litigation worth over USD 500m in the London High Court, as well as coordinating numerous litigations in France, Bulgaria, Cyprus and BVI as related to the enforcement of Russian judgments to recover debts under a loan agreement (asset tracing, interim relief, judgment recognition and enforcement).
- Representing TOTAL in international commercial arbitration to recover over USD 30bnin losses as related to an alleged breach of an agreement to develop subsoils in the Saratov and the Volgograd regions.
- Representing the beneficiaries of a major tourist firm in a corporate conflict. The engagement included coordinating proceedings in Cyprus, negotiations and litigation, securing injunction relief in Russian courts and the enforcement of the Cypriot court decisions.
Ivan advises major Russian manufacturers on environmental compliance and defends their interests in court. His relevant experience includes the following:
- Protecting the interests of the Pulkovo airport operator "Air Gateway of the Northern Capital" in a resonant environmental dispute.
- Representing a major oil company in court as related to challenging the results of Rosprirodnadzor’s investigation into an environmental beach and claims to accrue environmental fees in the amount of RUB 1.4bn.
- Protecting the largest paper manufacturer in a number of cases challenging Rosprirodnadzor improvement notices on environmental breaches.
Ivan has also been successful in dispute resolution and advising on customs and trade laws.
Prior to joining Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners in 2011, Ivan headed the Tax and Litigation Practices at Baker & McKenzie, St. Petersburg, where he focused on dispute resolution, tax, antitrust and commercial issues, and represented clients before various administrative authorities. Ivan’s track record also includes acting as Head of Litigation and Tax Practice at DLA Piper’s St. Petersburg office, legal and tax consulting at Ernst & Young, as well as positions at a number of Russian and international companies.
Ivan graduated from the Law School of St. Petersburg State University with honours in 2000 and from the Department of Financial, Lending and International Economic Relations of St. Petersburg State University of Finance and Economics with honours in 1997.
The latest edition of Chambers Europe 2021 recommends Ivan in Band 1 for dispute resolution and emphasises his “honest approach to doing business”. The Legal 500 2021 recommends him as a Leading Individual in dispute resolution and notes him for bankruptcy, private clients, energy and natural resources. He is praised for his “thoughtfulness, commercial approach and the ability to get things done when others can’t”. Best Lawyers 2021 recommends Ivan for litigation, corporate law, competition and trade law, bankruptcy and reorganization, construction, real estate and investments. The leading Russian legal ranking Pravo.ru-300 2021 recommends Ivan Smirnov for arbitration and bankruptcy, foreign trade / customs law and foreign exchange regulation. In 2021, he has also been ranked by Kommersant newspaper as a leader on the legal market for transport and logistics.
The St. Petersburg Bar Association awarded him a diploma for Achievements in Arbitration.
Ivan is a member of the Advisory Board at the Leningrad Directorate of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia and the Competition Experts Association.