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HNW Guide

Private Wealth Law — Russia

Band 1

From the HNW guide

One source says the private client team at ALRUD is "ahead of the pack in understanding the private wealth advisory space - they have been involved in this area for quite some time now." The firm is noted by interviewees for national and international tax planning, real estate and estate planning and administration. The team regularly works with wealthy individuals, family offices and trustees in structuring and asset protection.

The firm has a reputation for providing "an excellent service" to its HNW clients. An observer remarks: "They understand the whole picture. They are good at conveying the practical consequences of a law being put into effect," while another comments: "They don't just recite what the law says. They understand the needs of the client, and provide very pragmatic advice." One commentator reports: "They have built up a strong practice for their clients." Another market insider concurs: "They have a particular talent for clients."

Notable practitioners

Maxim Alekseyev enjoys a fine reputation for his work as head of ALRUD's private client practice, and is well respected among his peers. "He is very nice, a kind person, and very personable," states one interviewee, while another says: "He has a very clear view and is good strategically. He is good at dealing with client facing problems - soft skills are his bread and butter." Alekseyev assists affluent clients with succession planning and wealth structuring. He also has expertise in advising on private banking matters. Sources commend him for this knowledge on taxes, trusts and fiduciary matters. One says: "The way he understands the question, the way he understands the issues, tells me he is a good tax lawyer." Another adds that "he is very much a businessman, and understands the client's needs."

Kira Egorova has expertise in cross-border succession planning and wealth structures for affluent domestic clients. "She is very proactive, client-focused, and very commercial," reports one observer; "she looks after her clients very well. With clients she is extremely respectful, very formal, and good at conveying to them the purpose of what they are doing in not-overwhelming terms. She has their complete trust." A fellow wealth adviser says: "She has a very good relationship with her clients. Clients appreciate how responsive she is and how she takes their matters to heart."

Senior associate Ekaterina Vasina has experience in advising on cross-border asset management for high net worth clients. She can also provide assistance for wealthy individuals in estate planning and establishing trusts and foundations. Vasina is noted by sources for her expertise in family matters. "She is really good on family law. She is the main expert on this. When we need pre-nups we go to her. She is very practical," says one interviewee.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

From the HNW guide

Baker McKenzie offers HNW individuals a full service, which includes trusts, immigration and cross-border tax planning. "They have a global network that they can utilise, and that was very helpful," says a source. The firm's private wealth management department also advises family offices and individuals on wealth planning and family governance. One interviewee comments: "They are very good at the private banking side of private client work. They have good relationships with the private banks, and have a certain quality of work with them."

"I think they are one of the first-tier advisers for Russian structuring," remarks one source, adding: "They do not only give legal advice, they also understand the commercial focus of the question being asked." One impressed interviewee says that "the quality of their work is high - they can give very direct and clear answers, and they are very solution-minded and creative," while another adds: "I really value their technical skills, deepness of understanding, and quality of advice. They adapt to any client situation."

Notable practitioners

Sergei Zhestkov advises on a broad range of local and multi-jurisdictional tax matters. "He is very smart, and he provides his clients with solid advice. I hold him in high regard," reports a market observer. Zhestkov has particular expertise in wealth management for HNW clients, which includes assisting with private trusts, tax structuring and holding companies. A market insider says that "he is a great tax expert, and has a great approach," while another peer enthuses: "He is one of the most knowledgeable in wealth management and tax advising in Russia."

Artem Toropov is regarded as having "excellent soft skills," noted for being "a very good communicator, who is quite open and happy to share his opinion, and is very friendly." Toropov is a senior associate at Baker McKenzie’s Moscow office, and is seen as an expert in the recent changes in Russian tax legislation. A market commentator says that "he knows all the hot topics of the tax industry, and is very sophisticated in tax issues." Toropov regularly assists affluent clients with de-offshorisation matters, Russian currency controls and wealth management. "He is focused on a range of complex private client matters. He looks quite deep into various international tax matters," reports another source. One observer praises: "He brings Baker McKenzie's private practice to a new level. He is very positive with clients and proactive. Clients like the fact that they understand what he says. He is very good at relaying very complex areas of law to whoever he talks to."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

From the HNW guide

PwC's dedicated team offers HNW individuals a comprehensive service. "They are very strong on structuring, controlled foreign corporation (CFC) regulation, and currency controls," reports an interviewee. As well as tax matters, the lawyers there also assist with trusts, foundations, and charitable activities. The firm has expertise in the administration and founding of private family offices. "It is a one-stop shop at PwC, you get everything in one firm," says an observer. Another market insider explains: "They provide a very high-quality service. They can see the situation better than the client, because they can see ahead to the next step, or the next several steps. This is the best legal team in Russia now. They use very specific and very concrete language that isn't difficult to understand. It is a great pleasure to work with them."

Sources noted the firm's international pedigree. "The understanding of foreign inheritance procedures distinguishes the team from others. The team has global experience," remarks one commentator, while another says: "They are very international, and not many firms can give that international advice, that is where this firm's strength is. It's a great team to work with and I really enjoy it."

Notable practitioners

Diana Kalyaeva leads the private client team at PwC Legal in Russia. She advises affluent clients in domestic and international cases on fiduciaries, banking, financial law, and philanthropy. An observer comments: "She is a very highly qualified professional, and because she has a rich experience she can advice on lots of different areas." Another interviewee adds: "Ms Kalyaeva has excellent knowledge in inheritance legislation, including international aspects." Kalyaeva regularly advices on family matters and family governance. "She has excellent judgement," says a wealth manager; "she has that view of being in the client's shoes, and comes up with practical solutions that have commercial sense." Another wealth professional enthuses: "We go to her when we really need detailed and specialised advice. She is careful, so she is always precise."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Alimirzoev & Trofimov Law Firm

From the HNW guide

Alimirzoev & Trofimov works with family offices, high net worth individuals and private banks on a variety of issues, including real estate and trusts, but has a particular focus on domestic and international taxation. The firm can provide advice on relocations, tax residency and foundations. According to one source, the lawyers at the firm have a "deep expertise in family matters, inheritance matters, and structuring." The team also has experience in international matrimonial issues, Russian CFC rules and currency controls.

An observer notes the firm's strengths as having an "individual approach to clients, an ability to make tailor-made solutions, and a high professional negotiating strategy." "I find them very reliable and very precise," remarks another commentator; "they are a great satisfaction to work with. I highly recommend this firm."

Notable practitioners

One interviewee says Ilya Aleschev is "very responsive, precise, accurate and organised. He is very detailed in his answers - nothing he says is ever an approximate." Aleschev advises on cross-border taxation, family matters and probate for domestic and international individuals and family offices.

Sergei Alimirzoev oversees the private client practice at the firm and is well regarded for his work in succession planning, real estate and wealth management for affluent clients. "He is a great guy. He is a strong professional and has a good understanding of the industry," commends an interviewee. Alimirzoev assists family offices with Russian CFC regulation and investments. He can also provide advice on currency controls and tax matters. One observer says: "He sees quickly where to go. He is soft-mannered and tactful, but at the same time very clear in his position and advice. Clients feel at ease with him because they feel they are being taken care of, and not on a roller-coaster. He also has a good sense of humour."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the HNW guide

The legal team at professional services firm ALTHAUS provides a full service in domestic and international tax matters for HNW clients. "They have a good reputation," says a source. The firm is also known for its work in holding structures and trusts.

"They have been very good," says an interviewee, explaining that "they are a large firm with more professionals working on matters, which helps. They demonstrate good technical knowledge, and because of their accounting background they can advise from a different perspective. Their advice is very structured."

Notable practitioners

Sergei Gerasimov has expertise in taxation, private investments and holding companies in Russia and other jurisdictions. A market insider says: "He has the technical knowledge, and is good at keeping to timelines. He manages client relationships well. He doesn't baulk under pressure, and can look at client matters from different perspectives. He is also an expert in Russian exchange controls, which helps enormously."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP

From the HNW guide

This firm offers a broad range of services for HNW individuals, which includes advising on estate planning, philanthropy, immigration and family matters. The lawyers there also have experience in advising in the acquisition, sale and management of private aircraft and high-value real estate. "My experience was very, very good. It was very comfortable. They understood what they were doing," notes a peer.

A fellow professional remarks: "It is a firm that is very well known in tax advice and tax litigation. They have a very good reputation when it comes to tax advice. They have very good relationships with their clients."

Notable practitioners

Evgeny Timofeev is head of the tax practice, and is noted for his skills as a tax litigator. "I like him because he is quite aggressive - he sticks to his corner and never stops," says a commentator, adding: "He is a good negotiator and never stops arguing his point. He is a quick thinker." Another source reports: "He is a very well-known tax specialist in Russia and very reputable and proven in the largest courts in Russia. He has a degree from a London business school, so he really understands business when it comes to it."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the HNW guide

The Ivanyan & Partners team advises high net worth individuals and their families on a range of private wealth matters, including succession planning, estate management and real estate. The lawyers regularly advise on international matters, and the firm is a market leader in advising affluent clients on cultural property and philanthropy. "If we are doing work on either art or charity, we meet with people from this law firm," says a source.

Clients were quick to comment on the firm's excellent service: "The service was really perfect," says one; "they have a really wide range of knowledge. They co-ordinated all of the work in a brilliant way." Another client remarks: "They do not just give advice, but act more like business partners striving to find a working solution and to save us money."

Notable practitioners

Khristofor Ivanyan has a reputation for being "an excellent negotiator and litigator." One source praises: "He is easy to deal with, bright, and has the ability to focus on what's important. He is head and shoulders above the crowd in Russia." Ivanyan advises private clients on asset management, real estate, philanthropy, and inheritance matters. A fellow wealth professional comments: "He is a very hands-on person, and strives for solutions. He knows the client's needs, and is very versatile in providing for them. Even in quite tricky situations, he is very good at getting results." Another observer says: "His ability to do a big number of projects at the same time impresses me, and he still has enough time for the clients."

Mark Rovinskiy focuses on advising in taxation and asset management for affluent individuals. He has particular expertise in de-offshorisation. Sources praise Rovinskiy's practical and pragmatic approach to this work. A fellow lawyer says: "He is very straight-to-the-point, and is very organised with step plans and day-to-day actions so you know exactly what's going on." One source reports that "he is the gentleman who always remains calm in very stressful situations," while another adds that "Rovinskiy is a good adviser to have on your side if you need thorough tax planning. He thinks big, is attentive to the details and pitfalls, and always finds a minute for a friendly chat."

Yulia Chekmareva heads the firm's private client practice, and is noted by interviewees for her work in developing and managing non-profit ventures. Chekmareva is described as "very service-oriented, and strong in the non-profit practice," and is also regarded as "top-notch in family law cases and real estate matters." One source says: "She is very bright, and an excellent lawyer. She looks for solutions, not for problems and is a hard worker. She proved focused and capable at handling people as well as legal issues. She can guide people, and she understands foreign jurisdictions."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

From the HNW guide

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners offers a wide range of services to Russian private clients, including succession planning and asset structuring. One client says the firm is "one of the best for private client work - they do the job perfectly." "Regardless of the issue, the firm has many lawyers specialising in different fields, so it’s a one-stop shop for all your legal solutions," notes a client.

Sources are quick to highlight the firm's strength in their service to high net worth individuals. One commentator says: "They were very diligent in their approach. The people there have their clients' concerns and interests in the upmost of their minds and want to get the job done as soon as possible. It is an excellent firm," Another interviewee adds that "they are ultra client-focused, and really understand what the client wants."

Notable practitioners

Sources say Sergey Kalinin is a "well-known professional in Moscow," adding that "he is friendly and responsive. I trust his advice the most, especially on tax issues." Kalinin specialises in advising private clients on de-offshorisation, international taxation and tax structuring. A fellow lawyer says: "He takes a commercial approach to what are very technical issues."

Evgeniya Fedoreeva assists wealthy clients in establishing holding structures, prenuptial agreements and succession planning. She also provides advice in establishing and managing family offices. "She is an expert - she is very responsive, and tries as much as she can to understand the client's needs and the commercial importance of an issue," says a source. A client adds: "She has a thorough knowledge in her field of work. I particularly appreciated her determination when sorting out some of our issues. I have to say that if not for Evgeniya and her determination, we most probably would not have made it."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Mikhailov & Partners

From the HNW guide

The private wealth team at Mikhailov & Partners has a particular focus in advising in tax planning for HNW individuals. The team also advises on currency control matters, succession planning, matrimonial issues and immigration. Clients also benefit from the firm's in-house accountants.

One interviewee remarks: "Mikhailov & Partners is always bringing new ideas to us and informing us about any changes in a very proper way." Another source says: "Mikhailov & Partners is a significant participant in the Russian market. The lawyers of this firm have extensive experience in the field of Russian law. The staff of this firm solve the task quickly. Our clients feel the solidity, professionalism, and the confidence that their interests will be protected."

Notable practitioners

Oleg Mikhailov is a key contact at the firm.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Tertychny Agabalyan

From the HNW guide

Tertychny Agabalyan's private client team advises wealthy clients on taxation, family law issues and immigration matters. The firm also handles disputes matters.

The firm is well respected by its clients, with one source saying: "Their technical skills are excellent, and they are consistently good." Another interviewee adds: "The service is on a very high level. They stick to their positions in conflicts, and are strong in getting what we need. I feel very protected and satisfied with what they do. I feel very confident with them."

Notable practitioners

Ivan Tertychny and Marat Agabalyan are the key contacts.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

ALRUD Law Firm

From the Chambers HNW guide

Maxim Alekseyev enjoys a fine reputation for his work as head of ALRUD's private client practice, and is well respected among his peers. "He is very nice, a kind person, and very personable," states one interviewee, while another says: "He has a very clear view and is good strategically. He is good at dealing with client facing problems - soft skills are his bread and butter." Alekseyev assists affluent clients with succession planning and wealth structuring. He also has expertise in advising on private banking matters. Sources commend him for this knowledge on taxes, trusts and fiduciary matters. One says: "The way he understands the question, the way he understands the issues, tells me he is a good tax lawyer." Another adds that "he is very much a businessman, and understands the client's needs."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

PwC Russia

From the Chambers HNW guide

Diana Kalyaeva leads the private client team at PwC Legal in Russia. She advises affluent clients in domestic and international cases on fiduciaries, banking, financial law, and philanthropy. An observer comments: "She is a very highly qualified professional, and because she has a rich experience she can advice on lots of different areas." Another interviewee adds: "Ms Kalyaeva has excellent knowledge in inheritance legislation, including international aspects." Kalyaeva regularly advices on family matters and family governance. "She has excellent judgement," says a wealth manager; "she has that view of being in the client's shoes, and comes up with practical solutions that have commercial sense." Another wealth professional enthuses: "We go to her when we really need detailed and specialised advice. She is careful, so she is always precise."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sergei Zhestkov advises on a broad range of local and multi-jurisdictional tax matters. "He is very smart, and he provides his clients with solid advice. I hold him in high regard," reports a market observer. Zhestkov has particular expertise in wealth management for HNW clients, which includes assisting with private trusts, tax structuring and holding companies. A market insider says that "he is a great tax expert, and has a great approach," while another peer enthuses: "He is one of the most knowledgeable in wealth management and tax advising in Russia."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Alimirzoev & Trofimov Law Firm

From the Chambers HNW guide

One interviewee says Ilya Aleschev is "very responsive, precise, accurate and organised. He is very detailed in his answers - nothing he says is ever an approximate." Aleschev advises on cross-border taxation, family matters and probate for domestic and international individuals and family offices.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Sergei Alimirzoev

Alimirzoev & Trofimov Law Firm

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sergei Alimirzoev oversees the private client practice at the firm and is well regarded for his work in succession planning, real estate and wealth management for affluent clients. "He is a great guy. He is a strong professional and has a good understanding of the industry," commends an interviewee. Alimirzoev assists family offices with Russian CFC regulation and investments. He can also provide advice on currency controls and tax matters. One observer says: "He sees quickly where to go. He is soft-mannered and tactful, but at the same time very clear in his position and advice. Clients feel at ease with him because they feel they are being taken care of, and not on a roller-coaster. He also has a good sense of humour."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

ALRUD Law Firm

From the Chambers HNW guide

Kira Egorova has expertise in cross-border succession planning and wealth structures for affluent domestic clients. "She is very proactive, client-focused, and very commercial," reports one observer; "she looks after her clients very well. With clients she is extremely respectful, very formal, and good at conveying to them the purpose of what they are doing in not-overwhelming terms. She has their complete trust." A fellow wealth adviser says: "She has a very good relationship with her clients. Clients appreciate how responsive she is and how she takes their matters to heart."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

ALTHAUS Legal

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sergei Gerasimov has expertise in taxation, private investments and holding companies in Russia and other jurisdictions. A market insider says: "He has the technical knowledge, and is good at keeping to timelines. He manages client relationships well. He doesn't baulk under pressure, and can look at client matters from different perspectives. He is also an expert in Russian exchange controls, which helps enormously."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Khristofor Ivanyan

Ivanyan & Partners

From the Chambers HNW guide

Khristofor Ivanyan has a reputation for being "an excellent negotiator and litigator." One source praises: "He is easy to deal with, bright, and has the ability to focus on what's important. He is head and shoulders above the crowd in Russia." Ivanyan advises private clients on asset management, real estate, philanthropy, and inheritance matters. A fellow wealth professional comments: "He is a very hands-on person, and strives for solutions. He knows the client's needs, and is very versatile in providing for them. Even in quite tricky situations, he is very good at getting results." Another observer says: "His ability to do a big number of projects at the same time impresses me, and he still has enough time for the clients."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Ivanyan & Partners

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Rovinskiy focuses on advising in taxation and asset management for affluent individuals. He has particular expertise in de-offshorisation. Sources praise Rovinskiy's practical and pragmatic approach to this work. A fellow lawyer says: "He is very straight-to-the-point, and is very organised with step plans and day-to-day actions so you know exactly what's going on." One source reports that "he is the gentleman who always remains calm in very stressful situations," while another adds that "Rovinskiy is a good adviser to have on your side if you need thorough tax planning. He thinks big, is attentive to the details and pitfalls, and always finds a minute for a friendly chat."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources say Sergey Kalinin is a "well-known professional in Moscow," adding that "he is friendly and responsive. I trust his advice the most, especially on tax issues." Kalinin specialises in advising private clients on de-offshorisation, international taxation and tax structuring. A fellow lawyer says: "He takes a commercial approach to what are very technical issues."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Evgeny V Timofeev

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Evgeny Timofeev is head of the tax practice, and is noted for his skills as a tax litigator. "I like him because he is quite aggressive - he sticks to his corner and never stops," says a commentator, adding: "He is a good negotiator and never stops arguing his point. He is a quick thinker." Another source reports: "He is a very well-known tax specialist in Russia and very reputable and proven in the largest courts in Russia. He has a degree from a London business school, so he really understands business when it comes to it."

^ See whole ranking table

Star Associate

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

Artem Toropov is regarded as having "excellent soft skills," noted for being "a very good communicator, who is quite open and happy to share his opinion, and is very friendly." Toropov is a senior associate at Baker McKenzie’s Moscow office, and is seen as an expert in the recent changes in Russian tax legislation. A market commentator says that "he knows all the hot topics of the tax industry, and is very sophisticated in tax issues." Toropov regularly assists affluent clients with de-offshorisation matters, Russian currency controls and wealth management. "He is focused on a range of complex private client matters. He looks quite deep into various international tax matters," reports another source. One observer praises: "He brings Baker McKenzie's private practice to a new level. He is very positive with clients and proactive. Clients like the fact that they understand what he says. He is very good at relaying very complex areas of law to whoever he talks to."

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

Ivanyan & Partners

From the Chambers HNW guide

Yulia Chekmareva heads the firm's private client practice, and is noted by interviewees for her work in developing and managing non-profit ventures. Chekmareva is described as "very service-oriented, and strong in the non-profit practice," and is also regarded as "top-notch in family law cases and real estate matters." One source says: "She is very bright, and an excellent lawyer. She looks for solutions, not for problems and is a hard worker. She proved focused and capable at handling people as well as legal issues. She can guide people, and she understands foreign jurisdictions."

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

Evgeniya Fedoreeva

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

From the Chambers HNW guide

Evgeniya Fedoreeva assists wealthy clients in establishing holding structures, prenuptial agreements and succession planning. She also provides advice in establishing and managing family offices. "She is an expert - she is very responsive, and tries as much as she can to understand the client's needs and the commercial importance of an issue," says a source. A client adds: "She has a thorough knowledge in her field of work. I particularly appreciated her determination when sorting out some of our issues. I have to say that if not for Evgeniya and her determination, we most probably would not have made it."

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

ALRUD Law Firm

From the Chambers HNW guide

Senior associate Ekaterina Vasina has experience in advising on cross-border asset management for high net worth clients. She can also provide assistance for wealthy individuals in estate planning and establishing trusts and foundations. Vasina is noted by sources for her expertise in family matters. "She is really good on family law. She is the main expert on this. When we need pre-nups we go to her. She is very practical," says one interviewee.

^ See whole ranking table