Oleg Khokhlov to further strengthen Goltsblat BLP’s finance team.


International law firm Goltsblat BLP (GBLP) has appointed Oleg Khokhlov as a partner in its growing Banking & Finance team. Oleg, a highly regarded Russian-qualified lawyer whose experience covers a broad range of finance and banking work, will join the Moscow office later this month.  This appointment is in line with our strategy to develop the office’s international capabilities further. It is also in response to the increased demand by Russian clients and those investing in Russia for high-quality banking and financial advice.

In the two years since renowned corporate lawyer Andrey Goltsblat and over 70 of his colleagues joined BLP to launch the first international Russian law firm, the firm has grown rapidly. It recently announced a 25% growth in fee income for 2010/2011, demonstrating that clients are increasingly attracted to its unique combination international capacity and local expertise.

This latest appointment reflects the strong growth of the Finance team and the firm’s commitment to delivering a strong integrated legal service for international clients investing into Russia and for major Russian companies investing abroad. In addition, Oleg’s appointment echoes the fact that leading Russian qualified lawyers are increasingly overseeing major transactions, integrating English legal advice as necessary, which is a trend that Goltsblat BLP is more able to respond to than most competitors.

Oleg began his career at Linklaters in 2001 and has spent the last decade working within the banking practice in Moscow.  His specialism is secured and unsecured lending transactions, where he has advised across a number of sectors including banking, telecommunications and energy. In addition, Oleg also has proven experience in restructuring and aviation asset finance. Most recently he has advised Barclays Capital and other mandated lead arrangers on a  US$2bn syndicated loan to Sberbank of Russia as well as working with PepsiCo in connection with the acquisition of Wimm-Bill-Dann on a RUR 39bn bank guarantee for the mandatory offer and the settlement mechanics. Oleg also regularly advises Société Générale, Vnesheconombank, Citibank, and other large international and Russian banks.

At Goltsblat BLP, Oleg will be project managing complex deals advising on Russian legal matters. He will be working closely with Simon Allan, the former head of finance at BLP in London who relocated to the Moscow office in 2011. Together with Andrey Goltsblat and the other partners they will seek to build the firm’s finance and banking capabilities for both Russian based and international clients. Oleg’s appointment follows that of tax specialist Andrey Shpak who joined from PWC in 2010 and Chambers ranked corporate finance specialist Ian Ivory who moved from BLP in London when GBLP launched in 2009. The talents of GBLP’s lawyers were also recognised on 1 May 2011 when the firm promoted three senior associates to the partnership.

Commenting on the appointment, Andrey Goltsblat, managing partner of GBLP, said: “I am delighted we are able to attract someone of Oleg’s calibre. The appointment is in line with our strategy to broaden the international capabilities we offer to the Russian market and to develop further the scope of these services.  We have a unique proposition with the international capacity of BLP and its international offices, its strong relationships with the leading independent firms around the world, and our local expertise on the ground in Russia. Oleg’s appointment will improve our offer further.“

Oleg Khokhlov said: “The launch of GBLP in 2009 really shook the legal market here and many watched with interest as the team built a blue chip client list and hired leading individuals. It’s great to be part of something with so much potential and be surrounded by people who have an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Recent projects that Oleg Khokhlov has been involved in:

Secured / unsecured lending transactions

  • advising the mandated lead arrangers of a US$2 billion syndicated loan facility for Sberbank of Russia;
  • working with  the mandated lead arrangers of a US$470 million syndicated loan facility for VimpelCom Ltd;
  • advising the mandated lead arrangers of a US$1.33 billion syndicated loan facility for Mobile TeleSystems;
  • advising major Western bank on a double tranche RUR/USD facility to Russian Railways;
  • advising major Western banks on a series of facilities to Gazprombank;
  • working with a major Western investment bank on a loan to an offshore subsidiary of a major Russian oil company guaranteed by the parent;
  • advising Goldman Sachs on a series of margin loans;
  • advising ABN AMRO Bank N.V. on a series of margin loans;

Restructuring / insolvency / bail-outs

  • advising PwC as administrator of Lehman Brothers International Europe (in administration) on the Russian law bankruptcy issues;
  • working with Vnesheconombank on a series of emergency refinancings of international debts for major Russian corporates;
  • advising major US and Swiss investment banks on restructuring of secured facility involving debt to notes swap;
  • advising major French bank on restructuring of its secured financing to a major Russian agricultural company.

Aviation Asset Finance

  • working with a  major aircraft engines company on leasing of the aircraft engines into Russia;
  • advising major US investment bank on a series of aircraft asset finance deals.

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