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.
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.