Managing Partner of the St. Petersburg office of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Ivan Smirnov specialises in litigation, international arbitration, competition law, international trade, real estate, and regulatory work. He co-heads the Real Estate and Construction Practice of the Firm in Russia.
Ivan joined Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners in 2011 from Baker & McKenzie where he was Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution Practice in St. Petersburg. His previous experience includes acting as Head of Litigation and Tax Practice at DLA Piper’s St. Petersburg office, a legal and tax expert at Ernst & Young, as well as roles in a number of Russian and foreign companies.
Throughout his career, he has represented multinational and Russian companies on numerous tax, commercial, antimonopoly and dispute resolution issues. He has extensive experience in representing clients across a broad range of industries — pulp/paper, telecommunications, brewing, tobacco, retail, food, manufacturing, real estate development and construction, among others — in courts and before various administrative authorities. He has been involved in hundreds of significant cases, more than 95% of them resolved in favour of our clients.
His recent experience in real estate includes:
- Advising a St. Petersburg based retail chain on acquisition of multiple real estate assets, including land plots and premises.
- Advising an international DIY retail chain on certain real estate and regulatory matters related to operations of the company’s hypermarkets in Russia.
- Advising a leading Russian property developer on the acquisition of a land plot and the buildings on it.
- Representing the world’s leading pulp and paper company in a complicated dispute with public authorities over several large land plots.
- Advising a leading industrial company on the new regulations for agricultural land sale in Russia.
- Advising on receiving ownership titles to a building constructed by the client, as well as assisting in relations with Moscow authorities.
Ivan is an experienced environmental, health and safety (EHS) lawyer. He advised a major European confectionery group on drafting and implementing its product recall policy in Russia; advised Russia’s largest brewery group on product liability issues; represented a Russian water park in criminal and administrative investigations resulting from mass poisoning of over 100 venue visitors. He also advised one of the world’s largest confectionery companies on attempts of public bodies to close the Client’s plant in the Novgorod Region of Russia due to pollution generated by the plant, represented a major global FMCG company in attempts to suspend operations at one of the Client’s plants in Russia due to EHS issues; assisted in the resolution of a complex dispute with the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service in the amount more than USD 40m; and advised an international packaging producer on technical and sanitary regulations for the use of lead in plastic packaging in Russia and the Customs Union.
His experience in the area of international trade regulations includes representing the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation and the Foundation for Tube Industry Development, a foundation of Russian pipe manufacturers, in the precedent-setting case regarding the results of the anti-dumping investigation and respective challenge of the Russian Government Regulation in regard to protection of the Russian market from dumping imports from Ukraine.
Ivan graduated from the St. Petersburg State University (Law Degree High Honours) in 2000 and St. Petersburg State University of Finance and Economics (Degree Economics High Honours) in 1997. He was admitted to practice in 2000 and is a member of the Baltic Bar Association and a Certified Accountant in New Hampshire, USA.
Chambers Europe 2021 recommends Mr. Smirnov in dispute resolution as a well-established practitioner with extensive experience in handling a range of litigation mandates and emphasizes his “honest approach to doing business”. The Legal 500 2021 recommends him as a “Leading Individual” in dispute resolution for his “thoughtfulness, commercial approach and the ability to get things done when others can’t”. The Legal 500 also notes him in bankruptcy, private client and energy and natural resources categories. International ranking Best Lawyers 2021 recommends Ivan in litigation, corporate law, bankruptcy and reorganization, competition law, construction, commercial law, real estate and investments. The leading Russian legal ranking Pravo.ru-300 2021 recommends Ivan Smirnov in arbitration and bankruptcy, foreign economic activity / custom law and foreign exchange regulation. He is also included in the legal services leaders ranking in field of transport and logistics of Russian federal newspaper "Kommersant” 2021.
He has been awarded a diploma by the St. Petersburg Bar Association for «Achievements in Arbitration».
Ivan is a member of the Russian Federation's Ministry of Justice Law Enforcement Advisory Board, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service’s Advisory Board for the Promotion of Competition in Car Sales and Servicing, and Competition Experts Association.