GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Russia

10 January 2017

Russia

Russia’s extremely active competition authority – the largest in the world by number of staff – is accompanied by a thriving antitrust bar.

Elite

ALRUD is one of the largest competition practices in the Russian market. Senior partner Vassily Rudomino spearheads the team, which includes a total of four partners, 10 associates, and one of counsel – German Zakharov, who was promoted to the post this year.

Rudomino, a member of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) Competition Support Association, was recently awarded the Medal of the Order of Russia for his work on the formation of effective antitrust practices and active participation in the development of competition legislation. Alrud is a top choice for referrals from international competition practices, including those at Slaughter and May, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Gleiss Lutz, Hengeler Mueller and Sullivan & Cromwell.

The team currently represents Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Maersk Line in the FAS’s international cartel case against the global shipping companies. On the merger side, Alrud advised financial self-service company Diebold in its US$1.8 billion acquisition of rival Wincor Nixdorf. Despite being a three-to-two merger, it was cleared unconditionally by the FAS. The firm worked on the Dell/EMC and Ball/Rexam tie-ups, as well as for oilfield services company Schlumberger in its merger with Cameron International. The deal was cleared without any conditions, even though Russia’s competition authority had blocked Schlumberger’s previous proposed tie-up with EDC.

CLIFFORD CHANCE’s Russian competition practice boasts an impressive roster of high-profile clients. Torsten Syrbe, a German national who started his career at the firm’s Brussels office, has led the Moscow office for more than a dozen years. It wasn’t until 2007, however, when the Federal Antimonopoly Service began its trans­formation into a modern antitrust enforcer, that the competition practice in the Russian capital also began to pick up steam.

There are five associates supporting Syrbe, who focus almost exclusively on competition matters. Key sectors for the team include healthcare, pharmaceuticals, finance and energy, and active clients include drugmakers Pfizer, Abbott Laboratories and Teva, as well as MasterCard and packaging company Mondi.

Although much of its work in Russia is confidential, Clifford Chance is currently advising General Electric in a state procurement-related cartel case. The FAS first initiated the case through a series of dawn raids in connection to a tender offer of 4 billion rubles for the supply of gas turbine units. The dawn raids were followed by a comprehensive investigation and the opening of formal proceedings. The firm is also advising motor company Isuzu on antitrust matters related to its operations in Russia.

EGOROV PUGINSKY AFANASIEV & PARTNERS – better known as EPAM – has the largest competition team in Russia, with nearly 30 lawyers, including five partners. Partner Natalia Korosteleva leads the team, while firm chairman Dmitry Afanasiev has a hand in some key matters. This year Anna Numerova was promoted to partner after two years at the firm. Both Numerova and Korosteleva were also reelected to the Competition Support Association, the FAS’s partner organisation for the improvement of antitrust legislation.

The team represented Mediterranean Shipping Company, the second-largest maritime container shipping provider in Russia, in the FAS probe into alleged concerted actions in the industry. After almost three years of investigation, EPAM’s client was the only company found not guilty out of more than a dozen major global shipping companies and their Russian agents.

The firm acts for Russian search engine Yandex in a dispute with rival Google over preinstalled apps on the Android operating system, in which the FAS has fined Google and ordered it to change its practices. Additionally, EPAM represents steel producer EVRAZ in regard to the enforcer’s abuse of dominance investigation into the iron wheels market. On the merger front, the firm advised Procter & Gamble in the sale of its beauty brands to the American beauty products manufacturer Coty for US$12.5 billion.

GOLTSBLAT BLP was established in 2009 when a large team from Moscow-based Pepeliaev Goltsblat & Partners joined UK firm Berwin Leighton Paisner. Practice head and partner Nikolay Voznesenskiy works alongside competition litigation specialist Vitaly Dianov and four associates, two of them senior. The group is also supported by partners in the firm’s corporate, intellectual property and white-collar crime defence practices.

The firm successfully defended KIA Motors’ Russian subsidiary in the FAS’s antitrust investigation into the after-sales services market. It also advised Zeppelin Russland, which sells construction equipment, in a national and Eurasian Economic Commission antitrust investigation related to sales of Caterpillar machinery and spare parts. The case closed following amendments to international agreements between Caterpillar and companies that sell its equipment in the Eurasian Economic Union, including Zeppelin Russland.

Goltsblat also works with pharmaceutical companies to ensure they are in compliance with Russian competition laws, as Russian antimonopoly legislation in the pharmaceutical sector develops.

Launched in 2012, ANTI-MONOPOLY LAW OFFICE stakes a claim to being Russia’s first antitrust boutique. Evgeny Voevodin, one of the country’s pioneers of competition law, continues to lead the practice. In December 2015 the firm promoted senior associate Andrey Zakataev to of counsel.

Zakataev currently is the leading attorney for aluminum producer RUSAL and Ingosstrakh, one of Russia’s largest insurance companies, in the antitrust cases brought against them by the Federal Antimonopoly Service. Voevodin and his team have worked on a broad variety of competition cases with both international and domestic clients. This past year, the firm helped garner several merger clearances and remains active in the energy and industrial markets. It is also currently representing the Russian Fish Company, one of the many accused by the FAS of forming a cartel in the market of Vietnam-produced fish, and has successfully challenged the FAS’ decision against the company in courts.

Young boutique ANTITRUST ADVISORY, led by partner Evgeny Khokhlov, boasts a client portfolio that rivals many of Moscow’s established and larger competition practices. Khokhlov, who was an associate at Clifford Chance and Linklaters before going solo, is flanked by partner Alexander Egorushkin, an alumnus of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Dechert and DLA Piper; and partner Igor Panshensky, who was the former head of Dechert’s Russian competition practice. The team also picked up two new associates this year: Lali Charkviani from Freshfields and Kristina Potapova from Hogan Lovells.

The firm is advising information technology company Yandex in relation to its complaint against Google in the EU and Russia over preinstalled apps on the Android operating system. Antitrust Advisory represented Yandex before the FAS and the subsequent court appeal by Google. 

Marat Mouradov, head of the DENTONS Russian competition practice, is again recognised by peers as one of Russia’s best competition lawyers. The firm’s competition practice has a solid reputation, both among Russian companies and internationally, in part due to an experienced Russian contingent in Dentons’ Brussels office, led by managing partner Edward Borovikov. In Moscow, Mouradov works alongside one other partner, three of counsel and six associates. In St Petersburg, there is a fifth partner and two more of counsel who work on competition law matters.

Dentons has a host of major cases under its belt, most of which remain confidential. The team handles the full spectrum of behavioural matters, including DG Comp and FAS cartel investigations, vertical distribution agreements and exclusionary conduct, as well as state procurement tenders issues and merger control filings.

At FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER, counsel Alexander Viktorov heads the Moscow competition group. One associate works with him full-time on competition matters, a majority of which are mergers.

Over the past year, Freshfields advised pension fund company Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec (CDPQ) on its US$1.5 billion investment into Bombardier Transportation UK Limited, as well as Rexam on the Russian antitrust aspects of its tie-up with Ball Corporation. Other deals the firm advised on include ChemChina’s purchase of a stake in tyre manufacturer Pirelli, and the Chinese state-owned enterprise’s acquisition of German machinery maker KraussMaffei Group.

Partner Igor Ostapets leads the Russian competition practice at WHITE & CASE in Moscow. There are four associates on the team, which is currently representing Evergreen Marine in the ongoing FAS investigation of an alleged cartel among marine container shipping companies.

On the merger front, the firm is representing new client Cott, one of the world’s largest private-label beverage makers, in its acquisition of water and coffee company Eden Springs in a deal valued at €470 million. Additionally, it advised Naspers Limited, the South African-based global internet and media company, on its US$1.2 billion investment to become the largest shareholder in Avito, the leading online classifieds platform in Russia.

BAKER & MCKENZIE’s Russian practice consists of 10 qualified attorneys between Moscow and St Petersburg offices, with partner Anton Subbot leading the group. Three fellow partners, one counsel and five associates work mostly on competition matters. Along with representing clients in antitrust investigations, the team constantly advises, coordinates and conducts national and multi-jurisdictional filings. This past year, the firm assisted Hitachi Koki, a Japanese manufacturer of power tools and life-sciences equipment, with its acquisition of German power tools maker Metabo. It is currently advising Walgreens Boots Alliance on its sale of its local pharmaceutical wholesale business, Alliance Healthcare Russia, to 36.6, a leading Russian health and beauty retailer. Additionally, the firm is counselling Smith & Nephew, a global medical technology company, on its purchase of the trauma and orthopaedics distribution business of DeOst LLC and DC LLC, a major Russian manufacturer of medical equipment.

At CMS RUSSIA, partner Maxim Boulba works in Moscow alongside five associates who focus on an equal split of merger control and behavioural work. However, the competition team, like many in Russia, also has a thriving public procurement practice. The team benefits enormously from being part of the CMS global network – both in terms of case referrals and the support and strength that such geographic reach can bring. This year, CMS Russia worked on the Alcatel/Lucent deal, as well as successfully represented aluminum roof seller Kalzip before the St Petersburg unit of the FAS in its complaint against a Russian competitor for breaching the country’s competition laws.

Firm

Head(s) of competition

Size

Who’s Who Legal nominees

Clients

Elite

Alrud

Vassily Rudomino

4 partners

1 of counsel

10 associates

Vassily Rudomino

German Zakharov

Bayer, Goldman Sachs, Nippon Yusen Kaisha, AP Moller-Maersk Group, Shire, Ball Corporation, Dell, Diebold and Schlumberger

Clifford Chance

Torsten Syrbe

1 partner

5 associates

Torsten Syrbe

Ivan Pavlovich

Abbott Laboratories, General Electric, Henkel, Isuzu, MasterCard, Mondi, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, VimpelCom, VTB

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners (EPAM)

Natalia Korosteleva

5 partners

6 counsel

16 associates

Natalia Korosteleva

Anna Numerova

Procter & Gamble, Yandex, EVRAZ Group, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Pfizer, Sakhalin Energy, Murmansk Trawler Fleet, XPO Logistics, RUSAL, Basic Element

Goltsblat BLP

Nikolay Voznesenskiy

1 partner

2 senior associates

2 associates

Nikolay Voznesenskiy

Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen Group, Mars, United Metallurgical Company, Freight One, Russian Platinum Group, HyperGlobus, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Moscow Stock Exchange

Highly recommended

Anti-Monopoly Law Office

Evgeny Voevodin

2 partners

1 of counsel

1 senior attorney

4 associates

Evgeny Voevodin

Spectrum Vision, Samsung Electronics Rus Company, Gazprom-Media Group, Nestle Russia, Skartel, OMK, TH Dneprvagonmash, ITA Severnaya Companyak

Antitrust Advisory

Evgeny Khokhlov

3 partners

6 associates

Evgeny Khokhlov

Sibur, Nestlé, OBI, Orient Overseas Container Line, Procter & Gamble, Yandex

Dentons

Marat V Mouradov

5 partners

5 of counsel

6 associates

Marat V Mouradov

Novolipetsk Steel, Lesaffre, Hyundai Merchant Marine, ETK, Colgate-Palmolive

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Alexander Viktorov

1 counsel

1 associate

Alexander Viktorov

ABB, Solvay, Russian Railways, LafargeHolcim, Rexam, DE Master Blenders

White & Case

Igor Ostapets

1 partner

4 associates

None

Cott Corporation, Naspers Limited, Nestle Rossiya, OBI

Recommended

Baker & McKenzie

Anton Subbot

4 partners

1 counsel

5 associates

None

Ford, Phillips, Eli Lilly, MAN Truck and Bus, AstraZeneca, Walgreens Boots Alliance, National Oilwell Varco, Adidas

CMS Russia

Maxim Boulba

1 partner

5 associates

None

Alcatel-Lucent, Galderma, Kalzip, Delta Light, Lagardere Television, Faurecia, Tempur, Medtronic

Yust

Evgeny Zhilin

N/A

None

N/A

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