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Europe Guide

Tax — Russia


Baker McKenzie - Tax

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Alexander Chmelev
- 5 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A leading team at this well-established and large international firm covering the full scope of non-contentious taxation issues. Leverages its broad global links to advise clients with presence in Russia on complex cross-border deals. Maintains a client roster of major international companies, including media and technology clients as well as pharmaceuticals companies. Also instructed on contentious matters.

Strengths Sources praise the size of the team and its broad coverage. "They have a big team," a source confirms, adding: "They can offer the full scope of tax services."

Interviewees note the team's strength in advisory tax matters.

Significant clients Abbott Laboratories, Weatherford.

Notable practitioners

CIS practice head Alexander Chmelev oversees the practice and lends his particular expertise to complex international tax planning and structuring matters, assisting global and Russian companies. He is qualified to practise in New York and Massachusetts.

Arseny Seidov focuses on non-contentious tax structuring and advisory mandates. Sources describe him as a "specialist in international taxation" and he is also involved in Russian tax matters. He has practical experience of advising clients in the TMT sector.

Sergei Zhestkov is a well-regarded tax lawyer with a particular focus on private persons taxation, including high net worth individuals as well as high-level employees. He also assists with tax structuring in relation to transactions. Sources note his "very strong reputation on the market" as well as "good technical skills."

Alexander Bychkov focuses on customs taxation and also advises on Russian direct and indirect tax. He has also recently advised multinational companies on tax structures in relation to their Russian operations and has a number of pharmaceutical companies among his clients. He is Russian- and US-qualified.

Department profile by Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie Tax Team in Russia has a very broad-based practice, which includes:

(1) tax planning and structuring (cross-border tax structuring);

(2) tax advice for M&A (tax due diligence, which most law firms do not normally handle);

(3) tax controversy work (preparing clients for tax audits, handling tax audits, administration tax protests, tax litigation in the courts and competent authority – which latter item we believe is a very unique experience in Russia that only we have among any of the tax advisory firms in Russia);

(4) VAT (indirect tax advice under the 2017 regime on taxation of electronically supplied services applicable mainly in the area of e-commerce and “digital economy” in a broader sense);

(5) taxation of employee benefits and share incentives;

(6) private wealth management;

(7) transfer pricing (full-scope functional, economic / benchmarking analysis, preparation of transfer pricing documentation and development of defense file and strategy in advance of potential litigation, advice on mutual agreement procedure;

(8) capital markets and financial products taxation;

(9) customs (customs valuation);

(10) trade sanctions; and

(11) export control.

While we closely cooperate with our colleagues in our other practice groups, we also frequently attract top-notch deals for other practice groups, e.g., where a complex tax and legal due diligence and/or structuring is necessary, solely as a result of the unique position and leverage of our tax practice.

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Dentons - Tax

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Dzhangar Dzhalchinov
- 1 partner
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Top-tier team particularly highly regarded for its standout litigation practice. Also advises on tax compliance and structuring matters. VAT issues are a particular area of expertise, as well as complex cross-border and domestic tax structuring for major multinational clients. Additionally, assists clients with tax audits and investigations by state authorities.

Strengths Clients appreciate the team's experience of handling contentious matters. "Dentons’ impressive tax litigation track record is a guarantee that your tax dispute will be handled in the most efficient and successful way."

Another satisfied source praises the team's client-oriented approach. "I like that they provide solutions," a client says, adding that the team is helpful when a client wants "to know how to do something."

Clients consistently praise the group's well-organised communication and commitment to delivering efficiently and on time. "In case I need urgent advice, I can get it. They're always contactable," a client says, while another source praises the team's commitment, saying even with "very tight deadlines they always meet them."

Work highlights Acted for Immofinanz on a VAT reimbursement case relating to the construction of a shopping centre.

Represented Cargill in a number of VAT refund disputes with the state tax authority relating to acquisition of agricultural products via intermediaries.

Significant clients Auchan, Colgate-Palmolive, HeidelbergCement, Philips, ExxonMobil.

Notable practitioners

Boris Bruk is a well-respected tax lawyer with broad experience of advising on international tax law, including de-offshorisation, and general tax advice, often in relation to company restructurings. "He's very strong in international taxation," sources confirm, with one client saying: "His advice is amazing."

Practice head Dzhangar Dzhalchinov receives exceptional market recognition for his handling of contentious tax matters. "He pays attention to detail, has excellent oratorical skills and, in preparing cases, he gives detailed recommendations," a source reports. Other interviewees praise his broad knowledge of court practice, quick response and a high success rate. In the words of one client, "he almost always wins. In Russia it is very difficult to argue with tax bodies and win, but he wins."

Igor Schikow joined the team in February 2017. He is is an established name in the market, well known for his advice on international and domestic tax issues. "He provides clear and proactive advice and is very responsive," a source says. Another interviewee adds: "He understands the continental European and the local Russian way of doing things." He often advises German-speaking multinational clients.

Department profile by Dentons

Department profile not yet provided by Dentons. Please see their firm profile.

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Pepeliaev Group - Tax

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Band 1

第一等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Rustem Ahmetshin, Andrey Nikonov and Valentina Akimova
- 10 partners
- 50 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Formidable tax litigation practice with an exceptional track record of acting on high-profile tax disputes. Offers strong coverage of regulatory and advisory matters, advising on a particularly broad selection of issues. Highly popular with both major domestic and multinational clients.

Strengths Highlighting the key strength of the team, one source says: "Everyone goes to them to be represented in disputes," adding that this is equally true of Russians as of international companies. Another source confirms: "They excel in tax controversy. They have a very good reputation and depth in their bench."

Clients also praise the speed of responses, smooth communication and in-depth advice. "We brain-storm together and that's really good. We can talk things through," a client says. "What is most beneficial is that they give practical advice," another client reports, adding: "They understand us very well."

Work highlights Successfully represented Gazprom Neft before the Constitutional Court in relation to a demand from the tax authorities to pay additional mineral extraction tax.

Represented several companies belonging to Tele2, Tele2 Voronezh, Saint Petersburg Telecom and Siberian Cellular Communication, in disputes with tax authorities relating to demands of significant additional tax payments.

Significant clients ALROSA, FIFA, BAT, Nestlé, Transneft.

Notable practitioners

Founding partner and eminent practitioner Sergey Pepeliaev is among Russia's most respected tax lawyers. He assists clients with strategic and high-profile matters and is described by sources as "smart and creative."

Rustem Ahmetshin is a very well-established and notable name in the Russian tax space. His key area of focus is tax disputes, where he represents clients in courts including the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. "He's been representing companies for ages, so he knows how it works," a client says, adding: "The way he communicates, it's very persuasive." Another client reports that "he's willing to stay late, to work hard. I know he can sort things out."

Andrey Nikonov assists with general tax issues and also acts on contentious cases. He has particular expertise in representing oil and gas companies. He also assists with challenging tax audit reports.

Valentina Akimova is known for her contentious tax practice, particularly in relation to VAT disputes. "She is client and result-oriented," a source reports.

Head of the St Petersburg tax practice Sergey Sosnovsky assists clients based in the North-West region and is well respected for his track record in tax disputes. He also advises on general taxation matters, including tax structuring.

Department profile by Pepeliaev Group

The tax practice is one of the key practice areas at Pepeliaev Group. More than 80 lawyers including 12 partners at our firm deal with the issues of analysing tax risks and minimising them.
Pepeliaev Group’s tax expertise is considered to be among the very front rank in Russia. Independent ratings and international publications have acknowledged this on numerous occasions, recommending our lawyers as ‘outstanding specialists’.
We are members of the international association Taxand . Our knowledge of the intricacies of international taxation that the network’s experts have allows us to safeguard business interests taking account of international experience.
Over the last several years, we have helped our clients to save more than USD 8 billion by settling disputes both in and out of court, including in the Russian Supreme and Constitutional Courts.
We offer our clients a wide range of services and ensure an integrated approach to handling issues that arise in a company’s day-to-day operations and strategic decision-making.

Advising in the following areas

    • Legislation on controlled foreign companies (CFCs) and deoffshorisation
    • Transfer pricing
    • Tax support in a company’s and in a group’s day-to-day operations 
    • Taxation of mineral resource use 
    • Administrative and judicial practice with respect to profit tax, VAT, corporate property tax, tax on securities transactions, etc.
    • International taxation
    • Taxation in the context of investment activity
    • Tax audit

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DLA Piper Rus Ltd - Tax

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Igor Venediktov
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong advisory team assisting clients with tax aspects of cross-border company restructurings and M&A. Advises on transfer pricing matters. Increasingly visible in tax disputes.

Strengths Clients appreciate the practical experience of the team, saying: "They really know the subject in practice, not just in theory. They have really good experience dealing with the Russian tax authorities." Another client adds: "They know what the state authorities are looking for and they know how to structure and provide it."

Work highlights Represented a subsidiary of Bashneft in a tax audit, including challenging the tax authorities in court.

Assisted Sanofi with Russian transfer pricing compliance issues.

Significant clients Accenture, Bayer, Groupon, Novo Nordisk, Sulzer Pumps.

Notable practitioners

Based in the St Petersburg office, Ruslan Vasutin is widely respected for his tax advisory assistance, often in relation to transactions and tax planning mandates. "He has a lot of practical experience with multinational clients," a source says, saying his advice is "tailored to particular clients."

Moscow-based Igor Venediktov advises on tax issues related to real estate and general M&A transactions as well as assisting with tax in relation to company restructurings. "He makes complex things sound simple," a client says, adding that he has "a charming personality. He's very comfortable to deal with, very client-oriented; everybody likes dealing with him."

Elena Zaitseva primarily advises international clientele on a broad scope of non-contentious tax issues, including tax structuring and transfer pricing matters.

Department profile by DLA Piper Rus Ltd

Department profile not yet provided by DLA Piper Rus Ltd. Please see their firm profile.

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FBK Legal - Tax

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Galina Akchurina, Tatyana Matveicheva and Nadeshda Orlova
- 3 partners
- 32 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notable domestic team with a strong track record in tax disputes, particularly in relation to VAT disputes. Offers a range of tax consultancy services, including tax structuring and support for M&A transactions.

Strengths Several sources highlight the firm's track record in tax disputes and also praise its "in-depth knowledge of court practice."

Sources are particularly satisfied with the business-minded approach of the team, with clients saying "we always receive complete and prompt answers." They highlight that "options they put forward to solve a problem are always backed up."

Work highlights Assisted Sistema with the tax aspects of its acquisition of Kronshtadt Group.

Significant clients Gazprom, McDonald's, Sovcomflot, Wintershall, Yamaha Motors.

Notable practitioners

Galina Akchurina is a tax litigator who gets plenty of feedback from satisfied clients. "She always patiently and without emotion listens to positions of all parties in negotiations, meticulously looks into a matter and offers the best and the fastest way to settle a conflict," a client says. Another source describes her as "an excellent speaker, and besides this, she is a very nice and pleasant person."

Tatyana Matveicheva specialises in tax advisory projects. Clients note her "analytical mind and strategic thinking" as well as her availability and readiness to help at any time.

Department profile by FBK Legal

Department profile not yet provided by FBK Legal. Please see their firm profile.

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Goltsblat BLP - Tax

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Band 2

第二等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Evgeny Timofeev
- 2 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advances in the rankings as a result of very positive feedback and a strengthening position in the market. Particularly recognised for its tax disputes work. Customs advice and related disputes is another key area of strength. Offers tax advisory services for predominantly international clients from a wide range of industries.

Strengths Sources appreciate the detail and quality of the advice received. "There was very good support with each step," a client says, adding that the lawyers offer "very detailed responses" and are easy to communicate with and responsive.

Another source praises the depth of the firm's resources, saying: "They have a full service tax team."

Work highlights Represented a Russian subsidiary of Guardian Industries in a RUB250 million VAT reimbursement court dispute with the Russian tax authorities.

Acted for Ruscan on a dispute with Russian tax authorities regarding a reduced VAT rate on pet food.

Significant clients adidas, Danone, IKEA, Mars, Johnson & Johnson.

Notable practitioners

Evgeny Timofeev is a stellar tax litigator in Russia. "He's one of the best in the market. He doesn't need to read everything to figure things out; he understands the needs of a client, then he finds a way to do it. He's very logical and very creative," a source enthuses. His particular area of strength is VAT disputes.

Vladimir Tchikine is a notable customs expert, described as "one of the most prominent" lawyers in customs-related matters. He advises clients on regulatory as well as contentious issues.

Department profile by Goltsblat BLP

Goltsblat BLP focuses on identifying unrecognised issues and designing solutions to difficult strategic corporate tax, VAT, customs and personal wealth challenges:

   Maximising business income by helping clients increase their profit and improve their cashflow through optimal tax planning;

   Maximising value in a transaction by helping clients minimise the negative impact of taxes on the transfer of cash and assets in a transaction;

   Defending taxpayers against Tax and Customs authorities, starting from development of a defence strategy to representation during the appeal procedure and in Russian courts;

   Designing and revising corporate structures to manage transfer pricing issues and minimise the negative impact of taxes on business growth;

   Preserving and enhancing personal and family wealth by helping clients protect their assets, assisting with succession planning or selling their business.

As any Russian tax practitioner knows, tax litigation is an inevitable element of the Russian tax landscape.  Russian tax authorities are notorious for having a fiscal focus during tax audits, with more than 90% of field audits resulting in an assessment. By extensively validating the conclusions through the relevant court practice, as well as addressing antimonopoly and civil law issues when necessary, we stand by our recommendations. If necessary, we will passionately defend the position in Russian courts. Our practice attorneys have won well over 1,000 case.


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On the international side we are supported by about 100 tax lawyers working from our London (which has the largest tax practice among City law firms), Paris, Brussels, Singapore and Abu Dhabi offices, as well as by our own Zurich-based trust services firm (Paicolex). This provides a unique proposal for supporting Russian clients in designing and implementing efficient corporate and personal ownership structures and funds aimed at attracting foreign investment into Russian assets.

In addition to our own team of legal professionals, we also work closely with more than 60 law firms from 40 different countries, including all the key tax jurisdictions relevant for Russia-related transactions, such as the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Cyprus and many others.


Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners - Tax

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Sergey Kalinin

What the team is known for Offers a full-service tax practice, encompassing both transactional and contentious work. Tax structuring and compliance, including cross-border projects, has been an active area of late. Also instructed by private clients.

Strengths Sources highlight the team's pragmatic approach, citing their "know-how and solution-oriented thinking." Another client highlights their "very practicable, well-structured advice."

Work highlights Advised RUSAL on the implementation of new controlled foreign companies rules in relation to taxation.

Significant clients IMMOFINANZ, URALSIB.

Notable practitioners

Sergey Kalinin advises on transactional tax and taxation of financial products as well as tax compliance issues. "We like his outside-the-box thinking when it comes to problem solving and his personal approach to the client," a source reports.

Department profile by Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

Department profile not yet provided by Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners. Please see their firm profile.

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Herbert Smith Freehills - Tax

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Oleg Konnov
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notable team best known for transactional and advisory tax support. Active in cross-border restructuring of company groups, including de-offshorisation projects. Predominantly represents global clients from a broad range of sectors.

Strengths Clients note the team's dedication, saying: "They do everything they can to help."

Significant clients Beijing Gas Group, INPEX, Kraft Heinz, Schneider Electric, Silk Road Fund.

Notable practitioners

Oleg Konnov focuses on non-contentious matters and specialises in international tax matters. "He is very responsible, he really pays attention to detail and is very accessible," a client reports.

Department profile by Herbert Smith Freehills

Department profile not yet provided by Herbert Smith Freehills. Please see their firm profile.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia - Tax

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Maxim Kandyba and Maria Mikhaylova
- 1 partner
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-respected tax litigation team that also benefits from its large associated tax consultancy practice. Recent instructions cover tax structuring, transfer pricing and VAT-related disputes.

Strengths Clients note its depth of resources and the availability of its international network.

Work highlights Assisted the Russian subsidiary of Groupe PSA with a number of disputes relating to profit and VAT taxation with tax authorities.

Significant clients AstraZeneca, Benetton, Heineken, Nissan, Samsung Electronics.

Notable practitioners

Maxim Kandyba and Maria Mikhaylova are key contacts for clients.

Department profile by PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia

Department profile not yet provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia. Please see their firm profile.

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TAXOLOGY - Tax

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Ilya Mokryshev
- 4 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Increasingly active Russian boutique focused on tax disputes that climbs a tier in the rankings. Enjoys an impressive track record in cases against the tax authorities in matters concerning income tax, VAT and tax overpayment. Also has an increasingly prominent advisory practice assisting major Russian and foreign clients.

Strengths Clients highlight the team's client-oriented approach, noting the speed of delivery as well as dedication. "Always to the point and on time," a client sums up.

Work highlights Represented Aeroflot in a VAT dispute relating to international air traffic services.

Acted for RUSAL's refinery in Achinsk on a RUB7.2 million tax dispute related to mineral extraction tariffs.

Significant clients Alcoa, EuroChem, Polyus Gold, Renault, Uralkali.

Notable practitioners

Sergei Semenov enters the rankings this year as a result of the growing recognition of his tax litigation practice, particularly in relation to VAT disputes. Clients highlight his "creative approach and ability to provide solutions."

Department profile by TAXOLOGY

Department profile not yet provided by TAXOLOGY. Please see their firm profile.

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White & Case LLC - Tax

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Band 3

第三等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Irina Dmitrieva
- 1 partner

What the team is known for Known for advising on the tax aspects of cross-border and domestic M&A and joint ventures. Also active in multi-jurisdictional intra-group restructuring and refinancing arrangements.

Notable practitioners

Irina Dmitrieva is a well-established tax lawyer with a focus on advisory mandates. "She has a very good knowledge of both international and Russian tax law and usually delivers advice from a practical standpoint," a source reports.

Department profile by White & Case LLC

To learn more about our practice, please visit: whitecase.com/law

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ALRUD Law Firm - Tax

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Maxim Alekseyev
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assists clients with the tax aspects of transactional and compliance matters. Acts on business restructurings in the context of changes to Russian tax legislation. Predominantly represents international clients, including a number of Asian clients, from a variety of industries. Also instructed by high net worth individuals. Tax structuring in joint venture and M&A instructions are areas of recent activity.

Strengths Clients appreciate their practical, solution-oriented approach, noting their "ability to anticipate possible developments and to proactively offer possible strategies and solutions." Another source adds: "They want to provide a real working solution."

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Fun Generation in two tax audits, including disputes with tax authorities.

Significant clients Hitachi, Kenwood, Messe Frankfurt, Tesmec RUS.

Notable practitioners

Maxim Alekseyev is the key client contact.

Department profile by ALRUD Law Firm

Department profile not yet provided by ALRUD Law Firm. Please see their firm profile.

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Clifford Chance - Tax

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Alexander Anichkin
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Known for its non-contentious tax practice, the team focuses on regulatory compliance and advisory services. Regularly supports the firm's strong banking and corporate teams. Often instructed by major international finance names.

Significant clients ING Bank Eurasia, VTB Capital, Mondi Group.

Notable practitioners

Alexander Anichkin is a well-known tax lawyer specialising in issues of international tax structuring, and is often instructed by financial institutions. "He's very solution-driven. He thinks outside the box and proposes non-standard solutions," a client reports.

Department profile by Clifford Chance

We provide strategic, practical and timely advice on a full range of tax and regulatory issues, backed by our understanding of domestic rules, how different tax systems operate in practice and how they interlink,​ensuring that we add real value

Corporate Transactions

  • M&A, joint ventures and demergers
  • Corporate restructuring, debt and equity corporate restructuring
  • Partnership structures
  • Management buy-outs and buy-ins and management packages

Customs

  • Customs regime and exemptions
  • Foreign and preferential customs treatment
  • Customs issues related to repossession

Banking & Finance

  • Insolvency and restructuring
  • Lending
  • Acquisition finance
  • Securitisation
  • Asset or project finance

General Tax Advisory

  • Project finance and PFI/PPP
  • Share and debt issues
  • VAT and indirect taxes
  • E-commerce and online services
  • Complex remuneration arrangements

Real Estate

  • Establishment of real estate funds
  • Structuring real estate investments
  • Tax returns on real estate investments

Tax Dispute Resolution

  • Risk assessments and management
  • Tax audits and tax raids
  • Tax compliance related advice
  • Investigations (both civil and criminal)
  • Negotiation with tax authorities
  • Tax litigation before national courts / enforcement proceedings.

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CMS - Tax

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Dominique Tissot
- 2 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assists international clients with Russian tax compliance issues. Transfer pricing, VAT and tax structuring in conjunction with corporate structuring are further areas of focus. Benefits from the firm's extensive European network, advising multinational clients on complex multi-jurisdictional tax projects.

Significant clients Allianz, Hermès, Legrand.

Notable practitioners

Dominique Tissot and Hayk Safaryan are key client contacts.

Department profile by CMS

Department profile not yet provided by CMS. Please see their firm profile.

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KIAP - Tax

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Mikhail Uspenskiy
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Active in both tax advisory and litigation. Tax structuring, VAT-related disputes and transfer pricing have been active areas of late. Assists with tax disputes related to criminal proceedings. Principally acts for a domestic clientele.

Strengths Clients note the pragmatism of the team's advice, saying: "In their legal opinions they focus on the most important aspects and explain points clearly. It is easy to take management decisions based on their advice."

Work highlights Advises TCC Retail on a range of day-to-day tax issues related to its commercial activities.

Notable practitioners

Mikhail Uspenskiy assists clients with a variety of tax issues in support of their business activities. "He's very to the point and doesn't waste my time," a client says.

Department profile by KIAP

Tax practice of KIAP, attorneys at law, provides a full range of tax-law related legal services to both foreign and Russian clients.

From the world's largest international electronic chains and clothing manufacturers to non-for-profit organisations, our clients put entrust us with a resolution of their complex tax law concerns, mainly regarding:

  • Tax structuring for transactions involving M&A, private equity, venture capital;
  • Tax risks of business processes;
  • Transfer pricing matters; and
  • Tax refund / tax credit.

Also, from support during tax audits to representation in courts, the practice represents clients in both tax disputes and in criminal proceedings regarding tax crime. 

Quite often we are also asked to provide a "second opinion" on specific legal issues. Instances vary from expert evaluation of tax legal opinions to reassessment of tax risks in matters that are vital to the client.


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Linklaters CIS - Tax

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Victor Matchekhin
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Predominantly focused on corporate tax planning and structuring. Works closely with the firm's corporate and banking departments to support major clients.

Notable practitioners

Victor Matchekhin is a highly respected international taxation specialist. "He's the godfather of international taxation. He's one of the best in this sphere," a source says, adding that within this specific area "he knows everything." He principally assists international clients with tax structuring and non-contentious issues.

Department profile by Linklaters CIS

Department profile not yet provided by Linklaters CIS. Please see their firm profile.

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TaxAdvisor - Tax

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Band 4

第四等

Commentary from the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Dmitry Kostalgin and Alexey Yakovlev
- 3 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A new addition to the rankings, this domestic boutique has developed a reputation for its insight into the local market. Active in both disputes and advisory matters, the firm regularly handles issues related to tax inspections, VAT disputes and also offers regulatory and tax structuring advice. Instructed by significant international and domestic corporates.

Strengths Sources appreciate the team's pragmatic approach, saying: "They offer practical advice."

Significant clients VEB-Leasing.

Notable practitioners

Dmitry Kostalgin assists clients with both tax compliance and contentious matters. Sources note his tenacity and dedication to tasks. A client praises his "focus on finding solutions in situations where others would say no."

Department profile by TaxAdvisor

Department profile not yet provided by TaxAdvisor. Please see their firm profile.

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Eminent Practitioner

Alexander Chmelev

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Europe guide

CIS practice head Alexander Chmelev oversees the practice and lends his particular expertise to complex international tax planning and structuring matters, assisting global and Russian companies. He is qualified to practise in New York and Massachusetts.

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Eminent Practitioner

Sergey G Pepeliaev

Pepeliaev Group

From the Chambers Europe guide

Founding partner and eminent practitioner Sergey Pepeliaev is among Russia's most respected tax lawyers. He assists clients with strategic and high-profile matters and is described by sources as "smart and creative."

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Band 1

White & Case LLC

From the Chambers Europe guide

Irina Dmitrieva is a well-established tax lawyer with a focus on advisory mandates. "She has a very good knowledge of both international and Russian tax law and usually delivers advice from a practical standpoint," a source reports.

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Band 1

Herbert Smith Freehills

From the Chambers Europe guide

Oleg Konnov focuses on non-contentious matters and specialises in international tax matters. "He is very responsible, he really pays attention to detail and is very accessible," a client reports. 

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Band 1

Victor Matchekhin

Linklaters CIS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Victor Matchekhin is a highly respected international taxation specialist. "He's the godfather of international taxation. He's one of the best in this sphere," a source says, adding that within this specific area "he knows everything." He principally assists international clients with tax structuring and non-contentious issues.

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Band 1

Evgeny V Timofeev

Goltsblat BLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Evgeny Timofeev is a stellar tax litigator in Russia. "He's one of the best in the market. He doesn't need to read everything to figure things out; he understands the needs of a client, then he finds a way to do it. He's very logical and very creative," a source enthuses. His particular area of strength is VAT disputes.

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Band 2

Pepeliaev Group

From the Chambers Europe guide

Rustem Ahmetshin is a very well-established and notable name in the Russian tax space. His key area of focus is tax disputes, where he represents clients in courts including the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court. "He's been representing companies for ages, so he knows how it works," a client says, adding: "The way he communicates, it's very persuasive." Another client reports that "he's willing to stay late, to work hard. I know he can sort things out."

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Band 2

Alexander Anichkin

Clifford Chance

From the Chambers Europe guide

Alexander Anichkin is a well-known tax lawyer specialising in issues of international tax structuring, and is often instructed by financial institutions. "He's very solution-driven. He thinks outside the box and proposes non-standard solutions," a client reports.

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Band 2

Dentons

From the Chambers Europe guide

Boris Bruk is a well-respected tax lawyer with broad experience of advising on international tax law, including de-offshorisation, and general tax advice, often in relation to company restructurings. "He's very strong in international taxation," sources confirm, with one client saying: "His advice is amazing."

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Band 2

Dzhangar Dzhalchinov

Dentons

From the Chambers Europe guide

Practice head Dzhangar Dzhalchinov receives exceptional market recognition for his handling of contentious tax matters. "He pays attention to detail, has excellent oratorical skills and, in preparing cases, he gives detailed recommendations," a source reports. Other interviewees praise his broad knowledge of court practice, quick response and a high success rate. In the words of one client, "he almost always wins. In Russia it is very difficult to argue with tax bodies and win, but he wins." 

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Band 2

Pepeliaev Group

From the Chambers Europe guide

Andrey Nikonov assists with general tax issues and also acts on contentious cases. He has particular expertise in representing oil and gas companies. He also assists with challenging tax audit reports.

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Band 2

Schekin & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Denis Schekin of Schekin & Partners is a well-established and highly sought-after tax litigator and also advises on transfer pricing issues. "I believe he's one of the most prominent people in tax consulting," a source says.

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Band 2

Dentons

From the Chambers Europe guide

Igor Schikow joined the team in February 2017. He is is an established name in the market, well known for his advice on international and domestic tax issues. "He provides clear and proactive advice and is very responsive," a source says. Another interviewee adds: "He understands the continental European and the local Russian way of doing things." He often advises German-speaking multinational clients.

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Band 2

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Europe guide

Arseny Seidov focuses on non-contentious tax structuring and advisory mandates. Sources describe him as a "specialist in international taxation" and he is also involved in Russian tax matters. He has practical experience of advising clients in the TMT sector.

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Band 3

FBK Legal

From the Chambers Europe guide

Galina Akchurina is a tax litigator who gets plenty of feedback from satisfied clients. "She always patiently and without emotion listens to positions of all parties in negotiations, meticulously looks into a matter and offers the best and the fastest way to settle a conflict," a client says. Another source describes her as "an excellent speaker, and besides this, she is a very nice and pleasant person."

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Band 3

Valentina Akimova

Pepeliaev Group

From the Chambers Europe guide

Valentina Akimova is known for her contentious tax practice, particularly in relation to VAT disputes. "She is client and result-oriented," a source reports.

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Band 3

Tatiana Kirgetova

Gide Loyrette Nouel

From the Chambers Europe guide

Associate Tatiana Kirgetova of Gide Loyrette Nouel focuses on domestic tax advisory services for international clients. She is described as a “proactive and down-to-earth” lawyer.

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Band 3

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Ilya Rybalkin of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP advises international clients on a range of international and domestic tax structuring matters. He often supports clients involved in large-scale M&A transactions.

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Band 3

Pepeliaev Group

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of the St Petersburg tax practice Sergey Sosnovsky assists clients based in the North-West region and is well respected for his track record in tax disputes. He also advises on general taxation matters, including tax structuring.

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Band 3

DLA Piper Rus Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Based in the St Petersburg office, Ruslan Vasutin is widely respected for his tax advisory assistance, often in relation to transactions and tax planning mandates. "He has a lot of practical experience with multinational clients," a source says, saying his advice is "tailored to particular clients."

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Band 3

DLA Piper Rus Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Moscow-based Igor Venediktov advises on tax issues related to real estate and general M&A transactions as well as assisting with tax in relation to company restructurings. "He makes complex things sound simple," a client says, adding that he has "a charming personality. He's very comfortable to deal with, very client-oriented; everybody likes dealing with him."

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Band 3

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sergei Zhestkov is a well-regarded tax lawyer with a particular focus on private persons taxation, including high net worth individuals as well as high-level employees. He also assists with tax structuring in relation to transactions. Sources note his "very strong reputation on the market" as well as "good technical skills."

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Band 4

Alexander Bychkov

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers Europe guide

Alexander Bychkov focuses on customs taxation and also advises on Russian direct and indirect tax. He has also recently advised multinational companies on tax structures in relation to their Russian operations and has a number of pharmaceutical companies among his clients. He is Russian- and US-qualified.

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Band 4

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sergey Kalinin advises on transactional tax and taxation of financial products as well as tax compliance issues. "We like his outside-the-box thinking when it comes to problem solving and his personal approach to the client," a source reports.

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Band 4

Tatiana Matveicheva

FBK Legal

From the Chambers Europe guide

Tatyana Matveicheva specialises in tax advisory projects. Clients note her "analytical mind and strategic thinking" as well as her availability and readiness to help at any time.

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Band 4

Elena Mikhailkovskaia

DLA Piper Rus Ltd

From the Chambers Europe guide

Elena Zaitseva primarily advises international clientele on a broad scope of non-contentious tax issues, including tax structuring and transfer pricing matters.

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Band 4

Sergey Shapovalov

Shapovalov Petrov

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sergey Shapovalov of Shapovalov Petrov is an undisputed market leader when it comes to subsoil and mining tax matters. Sources state: “He is a leading expert in the sphere of mineral extraction tax and has a vast experience in this respect.” He assists clients with tax compliance and structuring and also represents major domestic natural resources and mining companies in tax disputes. “His arguments are strong and his court performance is smart,” a client reports.

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Band 4

Vladimir Tchikine

Goltsblat BLP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Vladimir Tchikine is a notable customs expert, described as "one of the most prominent" lawyers in customs-related matters. He advises clients on regulatory as well as contentious issues.

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Band 4

Mikhail Uspenskiy

KIAP

From the Chambers Europe guide

Mikhail Uspenskiy assists clients with a variety of tax issues in support of their business activities. "He's very to the point and doesn't waste my time," a client says.

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Up and Coming

Saveliev, Batanov & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Egor Batanov of Saveliev, Batanov & Partners enters the rankings this year. “He delivers quick and very good responses and thoroughly checks every aspect.” Sources also highlight his client-oriented style of communication: “He has the ability to discuss difficult and comprehensive legal matters using plain and simple language,” according to sources.

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Up and Coming

Liniya Prava Law Firm

From the Chambers Europe guide

Lidiya Charikova of Liniya Prava heads the tax practice and joins the rankings this year. She assists domestic clients with advisory matters, including tax structuring. “She has an extremely client-oriented approach and pays a lot of attention to detail.”

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Up and Coming

TaxAdvisor

From the Chambers Europe guide

Dmitry Kostalgin assists clients with both tax compliance and contentious matters. Sources note his tenacity and dedication to tasks. A client praises his "focus on finding solutions in situations where others would say no."

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Up and Coming

YUST Law Firm

From the Chambers Europe guide

Maxim Rovinskiy of YUST Law Firm enters the rankings for the first time this year. He assists with general tax advice and is also active in tax litigation. Clients like his attention to detail and hands-on approach and add that "he's always coming up with new and fresh ideas; he's very creative."

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Up and Coming

TAXOLOGY

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sergei Semenov enters the rankings this year as a result of the growing recognition of his tax litigation practice, particularly in relation to VAT disputes. Clients highlight his "creative approach and ability to provide solutions." 

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Up and Coming

Noerr

From the Chambers Europe guide

Maxim Vladimirov of Noerr heads the practice and handles tax as well as customs-related matters. Sources describe him as “accurate, efficient and client-oriented.”

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