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Europe Guide

Corporate/Commercial: Intellectual Property — Belarus

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Solid practice renowned for its strong track record in advising local and international clients from the technology, construction and renewable energy sectors. Has expertise in all aspects of M&A transactions. Also advises on company restructurings covering tax, employment and corporate matters. Strong IP offering includes the transfer and registration of IP rights.

Strengths "I liked the quality and efficiency. We got prompt responses to our queries." 

"I know how much energy and effort they put into accomplishing this transaction in a very short period of time. I like their creative and thorough approach to the matter."

Work highlights Advised Melesta Games on the strategic partnership agreement with Wargaming that included assistance with corporate and IP issues.

Represented Dana Holdings in its agreement with a foreign contractor in relation to the construction of a major development project in Belarus.

Significant clients Falcon, China Merchants Logistics Holding, Haribo, ICOR, Sports.ru. 

Notable practitioners  

Versatile practitioner Denis Aleinikov stands out for his track record in supporting foreign investors, with sources appreciating his "exceptional communication skills." He is also a noted litigator. "He is a strong expert with a wide range of knowledge in various legal sections. His recommendations are effective and reliable," a client says.

Dmitry Matveyev receives praise for his negotiation skills and experience of helping start-ups and software developers. Clients say he has a "great understanding of IT and IP specifics." Another client describes him as "fast and effective."

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Capable team that handles a broad range of corporate and commercial matters, including corporate restructuring, M&A and market entries and divestments. Experienced in privatisation mandates and also active on construction projects. Often instructed by German-speaking corporates and clients from the IT, construction and alcoholic beverages industry sectors. IP assistance includes trade mark licence agreements and franchising.

Strengths 

"I like the speed of resolving the issues, availability of the lawyer and the ability to meet the customer's needs."

"They have very good knowledge of Belarusian law and all matters related to foreign investment in Belarus."  

New developments Adani Technologies, Alivaria and Lynx Information Technologies are among new client wins.

Work highlights Regularly assists Efes Breweries International with corporate matters in Belarus, including issues related to local production. 

Advised One Smart Star Bel on its entry to the Belarusian market, including strategic contracts as well as day-to-day support. 

Significant clients DB Schenker, Inditex, Prochem, Izovac, Nokian Tyres.

Notable practitioners  

Head of the IP practice, Alexander Korsak specialises in licence agreements, trade mark protection and IP-related transactions. He also provides day-to-day corporate advice. "His good negotiation skills should be noted," a source says. 

Senior partner Sergey Mashonsky is recognised for his experience in leading on a variety of corporate and commercial matters and M&A instructions. Most recently he advised a pharmaceutical company on its entrance into an investment project in Belarus.

Dmitry Viltovsky heads the corporate department, leading the team on transactions and often involved in deals relating to the privatisation of state property. Clients appreciate his "deep analysis of any issues" and experience in real estate and construction matters.

Senior associate Maksim Slepitch assists clients with corporate registration, restructuring and liquidation matters. Clients praise him for "keeping to strict deadlines and, at the same time, giving clear recommendations."

Senior associate Klim Stashevsky is increasingly visible on the firm's instructions. His practice covers a broad range of commercial and IP matters.

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Prominent local office of a reputable Russian firm. Boasts strong expertise in providing full-scope assistance with M&A, market entry, joint ventures and other investment projects. Also handles corporate governance and restructuring. Covers tax, competition, regulatory and employment as well as contentious and non-contentious IP advice. Counts prominent international and local corporates among its clients.

Strengths 

"They are very good: they were commercially minded, quick to reply and advised us in a good, practical way."  

"Responsiveness and solution-oriented approach."  

Work highlights Advised IAC Applications on its entry into the Belarusian market.

Assisted Technip Benelux with an establishment of a subsidiary in Belarus.

Significant clients Stadler Rail, Shopatron, Vista Equity Partners, Culligan Italiana, Exide Technologies.

Notable practitioners  

Dennis Turovets leads the team on complex projects, attracting outstanding praise from clients. "When parties get excited, he helps to calm things down. He has very deep knowledge of local practice and comes up with creative solutions," a client reports.

Anna Rusetskaya has a broad practice covering a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. Clients say she is an "extremely practical, commercial and client-focused" lawyer with another source adding she "understands the client's needs and is very strict with deadlines."

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong practice with solid corporate restructuring expertise. Also offers corporate, M&A and competition advice. Experienced in advising on matters related to market entry, including immigration. Notable IP practice covers a broad range of mandates, with a special focus on trade marks and software contracts. Serves clients from a range of industry sectors, including IT, retail, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths 

"I really like that they are very familiar with the local market practice and legislation. They don't only read us the law but also explain it. They really know how specific laws are applied in real life." 

"They are accurate, commercial and keep to deadlines."

Work highlights Assisted SDevs with the relocation of employees and their family members from Sevastopol to Minsk and also advised on the establishment of the company in Minsk's hi-tech business park. 

Advised Prodmir on the restructuring of its business. 

Significant clients TK Laferm, Remcomp, Bauer Technics, Korado-Engineering, Farmin.

Notable practitioners  

Dmitry Arkhipenko leads the team on some of the firm's most significant projects and stands out for his know-how in real estate and construction matters. Clients and peers alike praise him for his leadership skills, with one source adding: "He is able to find solutions to almost any situation."

Helen Mourashko co-heads the corporate department and receives high praise from her clients. "She was energetic, she had an understanding of the commercial aspects and good understanding of the legal aspects as well," a client says. Another client commends her "creative thinking and high efficiency." She advises on the full spectrum of corporate matters.

Uliana Karpekina heads the IP department, handling a variety of IP and IT matters. Sources say: "She is always very accurate and clear and explains all unclear points," adding: "She is available 24 hours a day."

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-regarded firm recommended for complex corporate restructuring mandates and noted for its experience in M&A. Instructed on market-leading investment projects. Also handles a broad range of IP issues, including registration, licensing, franchising and related litigation. Solid track record of advising clients from the IT, automotive and retail sectors.

Strengths 

"They have strong knowledge and wide experience in different fields of law and provide full-service expertise, taking into account the business reality."

"We appreciate their permanent availability and their business-oriented approach."

Work highlights Advised GCM Global Energy and its subsidiary Slavkaliy on signing a USD1.6 billion investment project with Belarus for the building of a new potash mining and processing facility.

Acted for Burger King on a franchise agreement with a Russian franchisee for the development of the fast food chain in the Belarusian market.

Significant clients Novo Nordisk, Pixel Investments, Coca-Cola, Zepter, Sinomach.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Alexander Bondar is a versatile specialist with solid knowledge of investment projects, M&A, corporate and competition law issues. Sources praise his "deep understanding of business processes, that allows him to make the right decision, even in deadlocks, very quickly," adding that he is a "great negotiator." Another client says: "If I have an idea and I want to know how to put it into practise, he finds the best way."

Clients appreciate Timour Sysouev's strategic advice: "He keeps calm and always knows what to do, especially in problematic situations. He always energises others with his calm and positive attitude." He is also a stellar litigator and a well-recognised academic.

New to the rankings and recently made partner, Anastasiya Malakhova divides her time among several areas of law and has recently been active on large real estate and restructuring matters. "Her advice is always to the point, business-minded and realistic," a client says, adding: "She is very responsive and can explain complicated legal issues in a simple and understandable way."

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Excellent practice which stands out for its strong network in the Baltics and is particularly noted for solid cross-border M&A experience. Advises an impressive roster of international clients on cross-border joint ventures and greenfield investments. Full-service advice covers employment, tax and the full range of contentious and non-contentious IP issues, with particular expertise in international franchising.

Strengths 

"I appreciated their proactive approach – they were able to identify the common problems and explained the best ways to navigate through those pitfalls."

"They are a great firm and did a very good job on my transaction. I appreciate their willingness to accommodate my needs and be very flexible when needed."

New developments TE Connectivity, Adform and 3M are among the new client wins.

Work highlights Advised China Merchants Group on its acquisition of a share in China-Belarus joint venture Industrial Park Development Company.

Assisted Glassworks Neman with all aspects relating to the implementation of its EUR20 million project relating to glass wool production.

Significant clients Roto Frank, TransContainer, Algol Chemicals, China CAMC Engineering, WorldQuant.

Notable practitioners

Alexey Anischenko has "tremendous experience in business law" and is often instructed on complex cross-border transactions. Clients praise his "deep analytical thinking" together with the ability to "identify core problems and offer a spectrum of solutions." He is also a top-tier disputes lawyer.

Managing partner Kiryl Apanasevich is praised for his client service. "He is very proactive," an interviewee says, adding: "He often gets back to us to see how we are doing and what our current needs are."

Maksim Salahub is an active M&A lawyer often involved in cross-border corporate and M&A projects. Sources compliment him for his "strategic approach" and also say he is "resourceful, diligent, effective, level-headed and able to communicate in ways the client understood." He also has notable experience in dealing with IP-related matters, including in relation to trade marks, copyright, franchising and confidential information issues.

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Well-established practice with significant experience of big-ticket investment projects and strong expertise in competition law matters. Noted for general corporate and commercial, tax, employment and real estate advice and its solid track record in legal due diligence. Also provides support on a range of IP issues, including registration and protection of trade marks as well as franchising. Impressive client portfolio includes big players from a number of industry sectors, notably telecommunications, leisure and pharmaceuticals.

Strengths 

"The most important thing is that every question is answered by a specialist. They have people who have the expertise in separate subjects."

"They are a front runner in having expertise in other things, particularly in competition law. They are very hands-on and speedy."

"They are quite proactive, fast in responding, have good commercial skills and understand what we ask. Their advice is straightforward." 

Work highlights Advised Regula on developing the franchising structure and strategy.

Significant clients Microsoft Corporation, Oasis Group, Electrolux, Beiersdorf, ICOND.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Alexander Stepanovski has extensive experience in the market, attracting praise for his strong leadership and organisational skills. Interviewees appreciate his "hands-on approach" with another source adding: "We rely on him when we have complicated issues. He is very commercially oriented and very responsive." 

Valery Papakul is described as a "very good negotiator" who "tries to find the answer to every question" and is "very supportive, friendly and easy to work with." Another client adds: "He is the guy I can turn to, he is a devoted partner I can trust." He is one of the most respected practitioners in the market, handling M&A, capital markets and corporate law issues.

Tatiana Ignatovskaya comes strongly recommended for her expertise in competition law and experience of the energy sector. She also deals with IP-related matters. Sources describe her as "very straightforward, technical and commercially aware." Another client appreciates her quick replies: "You send a question and she gets back to you."

Elena Sapego is recognised by sources for her strong expertise in tax law and customs matters. She also advises on commercial and employment matters.

Sviatlana Valuyeva heads the IP practice, attracting very positive feedback. "Very good practical advice, aligned with our goals, she has a focus to get the deal done," a client reports. Her recent instructions include advising Skechers on entering a trade mark licence agreement. 

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
-2 partners
-3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Reputable team advising large domestic names on the full range of day-to-day corporate matters, including corporate reorganisations, tax and employment. Solid experience of M&A and due diligence. Notable IP practice that includes advice on trade marks and franchising. Popular with clients from the IT, food production and consumer goods sectors. Has strong experience of working with clients from the Baltic countries.

Strengths 

"They are very thorough in investigating the problem and search for original solutions." 

"They have efficiency, precision and responsibility. We can rely on them."

Work highlights Assisted Capsilon Corporation with the establishment of a Belarusian subsidiary.

Advised Sushi Vesla on day-to-day issues, including trade mark protection. 

Significant clients Food Union, Balticums bank, ASBIS Group, Danone, BigBoard.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Ilya Latyshev assists clients with strategic issues, drawing on his expertise in commercial and IP matters. Clients appreciate his "always straight to the point" advice.

New to the rankings, Valentin Galich focuses on corporate issues and is present on the firm's key transactions, particularly relating to the financial institutions. A source states: "He is smart, creative, reliable and friendly."

Senior associate Vadim Pashkevich assists clients with a variety of commercial issues. Clients highlight his "customer-focused" approach, praising his availability and strong work management skills.

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive practice which stands out for its work on significant construction mandates. Solid experience of advising on large investments, in particular in relation to the energy sector. Has a growing IP practice, offering support on such IP aspects as transfer of rights, registration and licensing. Popular with foreign investors and domestic corporates from various sectors, including energy and IT. 

Strengths 

"Precise and timely. They don't differentiate between small and big projects. They are always polite and I never had a conflict with them about anything. They are very reliable." 

"Whenever we raise a problem they are very proactive, open and ready to understand."

They are goal-driven people. Whatever they start they bring it to the very end." 

New developments Mota-Engil, Tadbik and Beijing Uni-Construction Group are among new client wins.

Work highlights Advised Gazprom Transgaz Belarus on the construction of a multifunctional development in Minsk.

Represented PKF Sontz in registering its new trade marks in Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. 

Significant clients Slavkaliy, Zeppelin International, Bayer Crop Science, Pfizer, Telekom Austria.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Dmitry Bokhan attracts strong praise from clients who appreciate his "brilliant counsel" and praise his "broad expertise, business-oriented and open-minded" approach. Another client states: "He is an excellent and experienced negotiator, the one we trust." He handles complex investment projects and corporate matters, and also assists with tax and customs issues.

Igor Verkhovodko has solid experience across a wide array of corporate and commercial matters and is a well-respected figure in the market. Clients describe him as a "tremendously experienced lawyer with superb negotiation skills, who is always personally involved in the project."

Nina Knyazeva acts on both domestic and cross-border transactions and also assists with general corporate and commercial advice. Sources state: "She knows how to adjust foreign principles and concepts to the Belarusian legal environment."

Senior associate Elena Hmeleva is praised as a "hard-working and clever" lawyer. She supports the team with IT and IP-related outsourcing, franchising, licensing and protection of confidential information.

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From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly regarded firm with a strong reputation for advising foreign clients on large investment and market entry projects. Additional strength in supporting construction mandates and solid experience of M&A deals. IP practice regularly advises on the registration and protection of trade marks and domain names. Strong client roster includes big names from the telecommunications, construction and retail sectors.

Strengths "The team is a very strong one and can definitely handle our heavy workload."

"The legal opinions and recommendations were prepared in a quality manner. We have been provided with comprehensive reports which highlighted all our points of interest."

New developments Timeless, Leroy Merlin and China Telecom are new client wins.

Work highlights Advised Falcon on its USD200 million investment project for the construction of a multifunctional development, which includes a Marriott hotel and leisure facilities, that recently needed a revision of the investment agreement. 

Assisted LC Waikiki with the establishment of its Belarusian subsidiary. 

Significant clients Kronospan, Procter & Gamble, Samsung, Wargaming, Herbalife.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Konstantin Mikhel has an amazing reputation among market commentators, who describe him as a "brilliant lawyer" with "very big experience" and "good negotiation skills." His diverse practice covers a number of areas, including general commercial, investment and M&A matters. He is also a recognised dispute resolution lawyer and is particularly known for his track record in arbitration.

Tatiana Emelianova is very well respected in the market for her expertise in transactions and banking and finance matters, and experience of working with clients from the IT sector. Sources state: "She is really good."

Ekaterina Zabello has particular expertise in investment agreements, leading on some of the firm's biggest projects. "She is a well-experienced legal consultant. She really gives valuable advice on disputable issues," a client says.

Interviewees highlight Svetlana Dashuk for her "very strong experience and knowledge of corporate law." She advises on transactions as well as general commercial matters.

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Band 1

Vlasova, Mikhel & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Tatiana Emelianova is very well respected in the market for her expertise in transactions and banking and finance matters, and experience of working with clients from the IT sector. Sources state: "She is really good."

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Band 2

Sorainen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Maksim Salahub is an active M&A lawyer often involved in cross-border corporate and M&A projects. Sources compliment him for his "strategic approach" and also say he is "resourceful, diligent, effective, level-headed and able to communicate in ways the client understood." He also has notable experience in dealing with IP-related matters, including in relation to trade marks, copyright, franchising and confidential information issues.

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Band 2

Stepanovski, Papakul and Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sviatlana Valuyeva heads the IP practice, attracting very positive feedback. "Very good practical advice, aligned with our goals, she has a focus to get the deal done," a client reports. Her recent instructions include advising Skechers on entering a trade mark licence agreement. 

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Band 3

Verkhovodko & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Managing partner Dmitry Bokhan attracts strong praise from clients who appreciate his "brilliant counsel" and praise his "broad expertise, business-oriented and open-minded" approach. Another client states: "He is an excellent and experienced negotiator, the one we trust." He handles complex investment projects and corporate matters, and also assists with tax and customs issues.

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Band 3

Stepanovski, Papakul and Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Tatiana Ignatovskaya comes strongly recommended for her expertise in competition law and experience of the energy sector. She also deals with IP-related matters. Sources describe her as "very straightforward, technical and commercially aware." Another client appreciates her quick replies: "You send a question and she gets back to you."

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Band 3

Arzinger & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Head of the IP practice, Alexander Korsak specialises in licence agreements, trade mark protection and IP-related transactions. He also provides day-to-day corporate advice. "His good negotiation skills should be noted," a source says. 

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Band 3

VERDICT

From the Chambers Europe guide

Managing partner Ilya Latyshev assists clients with strategic issues, drawing on his expertise in commercial and IP matters. Clients appreciate his "always straight to the point" advice.

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Band 3

Aleinikov & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Dmitry Matveyev receives praise for his negotiation skills and experience of helping start-ups and software developers. Clients say he has a "great understanding of IT and IP specifics." Another client describes him as "fast and effective."

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Band 3

REVERA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Helen Mourashko co-heads the corporate department and receives high praise from her clients. "She was energetic, she had an understanding of the commercial aspects and good understanding of the legal aspects as well," a client says. Another client commends her "creative thinking and high efficiency." She advises on the full spectrum of corporate matters.

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Up and Coming

REVERA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Uliana Karpekina heads the IP department, handling a variety of IP and IT matters. Sources say: "She is always very accurate and clear and explains all unclear points," adding: "She is available 24 hours a day."

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Associates to watch

Verkhovodko & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Senior associate Elena Hmeleva is praised as a "hard-working and clever" lawyer. She supports the team with IT and IP-related outsourcing, franchising, licensing and protection of confidential information.

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