Dispute resolution

> more than 91% of cases won 
>RUB 30 bn worth of cases won last year

WHAT WE DO/ SPECIFIC AREAS OF FOCUS

Our team

Our team of trial lawyers is one of the strongest on the market: over the past year, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP lawyers have won more than 97% of cases.

Our team is one of the biggest in Russia: more than 40 trial lawyers are based in Moscow, the international team consists of over 600 lawyers specialising in litigation / international arbitration. Unlike many other firms, our multi-functional team provides not only comprehensive commercial litigation support, but also targeted solutions for antimonopoly, customs, tax, labour, IP cases, corporate criminal defence services to businesses and international arbitration.

The Legal 500 2019

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP ‘demonstrates a strong understanding and remains up-to-date with local legal developments’. The practices handles IP litigation, real estate, commercial and tax-related disputes, among others.

Unlike many other international firms in Russia, we have sufficient resources to handle effectively many challenging complex cases concurrently — both in Russia, including virtually all the regions from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin, and in the other countries.

The Dispute Resolution Practice of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP has, for several years, been top-ranked / highly recommended by the leading professional international directories, such as Сhambers & Partners, The Legal 500 EMEA etc.

Chambers Europe 2019

Maintains a strong domestic litigation practice, advising clients on IP, contractual and debt recovery mandates. Frequently handles disputes with state bodies, including the Federal Antimonopoly Service and tax authorities. Further active in white-collar crime-related conflicts, defending business owners and corporate clients in criminal investigations. Also represents high net worth individuals in cross-border disputes. Regularly assists with both international and investment arbitration cases.

Experience

  • Representing clients in all types of dispute in state arbitration courts and courts of law at all levels, including the Supreme Commercial Court, the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation;
  • Handling cases in virtually all high-profile international commercial arbitration centres, including the ICC, LCIA, SCC, AAA, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, ICAC, etc.
  • Representing clients before the regulators and law enforcement authorities, including protecting clients' interests during various audits, participating in administrative proceedings, contesting in court decisions by the administrative authorities (the Federal Antimonopoly Service, Prosecutor's Office, Chamber for Patent Disputes, Rosprirodnadzor, Rospotrebnadzor, etc.).
  • Assisting clients in organising, efficiently and quickly, judgement enforcement, cooperation with the court bailiff service at all the stages of enforcement. If necessary, tracing and seizing debtors’ assets in all regions of Russia and abroad.
  • Representing clients in recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements and international commercial arbitral awards.

The Legal 500 2019

Partner Ivan Veselov ‘is focused and quickly identifies the key solutions and obstacles for any given task’; he recently handled a number of disputes in the pharmaceutical, construction and transport space. Partner Elena Trusova stands out for her ‘exceptional dedication and great power to convince and win any dispute’.

Our domestic and global outreach

  • We are one of the few firms that have the necessary resources and experience to represent clients' interests in courts in all the Russian regions and in the CIS states.
  • Besides using our own staff of lawyers, we have well-established working relations with over 100 preferred law firms, located in all regions of Russia, as well as in over 65 other jurisdictions around the world, which have for many years acted as our reliable partners in jurisdictions where our clients need assistance.

Our approach

We offer our clients various ways to achieve the business result: this is not only representation in court, but also ADR and, if necessary, assistance in organising effective enforcement of judgements or initiating a criminal case against a counterparty.

Precedential cases

Over the last two years only, our specialists successfully handled such precedential cases that had important implications for both separate segments of business and case law shaping in general:

  • Successfully represented Caterpillar NI (formerly FG Wilson) to have its claims included on the register of ADD Group creditors. The claims under an English law guarantee (for the first time in Russian court history) amounted to over USD 6 m.
  • Acted successfully for AKFEN in a case relating to a suit brought against the Moscow Government for recovery of circa USD 6 m in losses resulting from impossibility of implementing an investment project.
  • Successfully represented IFK LKB Invest in a case for recovery of more than RUB 168 million debt under an interest free loan agreement and of interest on use of the loan against Sibacademstroy in the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation, despite an evident violation of the law and the legal positions of the Russian SCC committed by lower courts.
  • One of the most high-profile cases recently in intellectual property protection — acting for the International Federation of Phonographic Industry (IFPI) on claims to defend four major record companies in cases connected with long-term violation of copyrights and neighbouring rights to sound recordings on a big Russian social network.

For more details about our international experience, please click here.

Experience

Dispute resolution

Volga-Sport

Representing the client in a complex, multi-stage dispute arising from failure by the grantor (a Russian constituent entity) to meet its obligations to reimburse the concessionaire (our client) for costs incurred in constructing the region’s biggest sports infrastructure facility under a concession agreement.

ITE Expo International

We represented the client in a complex dispute over its rent rocketing almost 16-fold to RUB 2.5 bn on the basis of a literal interpretation of the contract. Our opponents insisted on raising the rent in view of revenue targets achieved (“turnover charge”).Our team drafted and implemented a court strategy on the basis of several parallel litigations. During the proceedings, we convinced the court that the contract provisions entitling the landlord to raise the rent had to be interpreted broadly rather than literally. As evidence, we submitted a linguistics expert’s opinion and documents reflecting the client’s financial performance.As a result, the parties signed an amicable settlement agreement on terms permitting them to retain their business relations.

Samsung C&T Corporation

Represents Samsung C&T Corporation against REMZ for recovery of USD 1,840,000 in debt and damages.

Great Wall Motors

Handled a complex project for Great Wall Motors to recover over USD 50 m from a group of unscrupulous Russian counterparties. Aspects such as liquidation and insolvency of legal entities, application of international regulations and ICC Rules were involved.

McDonald’s LLC, Media-Markt, OBI

Represented clients in real estate disputes (the sums claimed in the below disputes totalled more than RUB 500 m), including acting for:
McDonald’s LLC in a dispute over recovering the cost of inseparable improvements under a preliminary lease. 
Media-Markt in a number of disputes with various landlords over having the rent reduced for breach of contract.
OBI against a bad faith landlord in three disputes in several Russian regions.

Volkswagen Group Rus

Provided comprehensive support to Volkswagen Group Rus in bankruptcy cases of a number of former dealers. Bankruptcy creditors in one such case sought to invalidate pre-bankruptcy client/former dealer transactions to more than RUB 231 m. We succeeded in having the court uphold the legality of these transactions. As a result of the bankruptcy proceedings, our client’s claims were partially satisfied.

RusHydro

Representing RusHydro in an international arbitration brought against the Kyrgyz Government over reimbursement of RusHydro’s costs of USD 37m incurred in connection with the project for construction of the Upper-Naryn hydroelectric power plant cascade in Kyrgyzstan.

VTB Bank

Represented the client in an LCIA arbitration against a Cyprus company, under a loan agreement governed by English law. The total value of the claim was about USD 135 m. The project was exceptionally complex and we successfully pushed back against the opponents, who had adopted a very active stance. This was a unique case: the other side brought together a tremendous amount of diverse information from other overseas cases (in which we had not participated) in an attempt to prove that the bank suffered from systemic problems.

Sberbank of Russia

Represented Sberbank in arbitrazh (commercial) courts over alleged violation of the laws on procurement of goods, works or services by certain types of legal entity. The laws were allegedly breached by competition-restricting requirements set for participants. We devised a successful representation strategy, convincing the appellate court that the decision given by the FAS of Russia was unlawful.

Double Data: Open Data processing on the Internet

VKontakte filed a claim against our client Double Data to stop it collecting open information posted by users on the VKontakte network since, VKontakte claimed, such collection breached its rights to the database. Our position relied primarily on Double Data software operating like a search engine so no breach of the claimant’s rights was possible. We succeeded in having the IP Court overturn the appeal court’s ruling against our client and remand the case for reconsideration. The case has evolved as one of the most discussed disputes in recent years over use of Big Data and how search engines function.

Prosveshcheniye Publishing House

Represented Prosveshcheniye publishers in a trade mark litigation, the biggest court case in the history of Russia’s publishing industry, with the compensation totalling RUB 4 bn.

NOVATEK

Advised and represented NOVATEK, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, in a dispute with NEFTE PETROLEUM LIMITED in relation to their joint venture YARGEO, the Yarudeyskoye oil field operator in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area. The project involved our legal assistance to the client at the pre-trial dispute resolution stage and representation of NOVATEK before the first instance and appeal courts, which considered the claims for NEFTE PETROLEUM LIMITED to be excluded from YARGEO LLC. Our client's claims were satisfied in full, following which, during the appeal proceedings, the parties reached an amicable agreement.

Independence Group

Acted for one of the main BMW distributors in Russia – Independence Group – in a case over TM infringement when selling cars. The client faced a gigantic claim for USD 2 trillion in damages. This was the first case in Russia when such an immense amount was claimed in compensation. We managed to reduce drastically the ultimate compensation to a sum of only USD 6,000.

Unilever Rus LLC

Acted for our Client in a case initiated by Nestle Russia LLC (owner of the MAGGI trade mark) over use of the ‘Knorr. Pure Flavour. No Magic.’ Slogan in its commercials. Our team managed to defend the Client’s position in courts of three instances.

VimpelCom

Acting for PAO VimpelCom, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP has triumphed in the first instance, appeal and cassation arbitrazh (commercial) courts in a dispute between mobile operators and the FAS of Russia over changes to B2B SMS service tariffs.

Re:Store

Represented Re:Store in a high-profile case brought by the FAS of Russia against Apple over alleged maintenance of distributor prices.

Sanofi

Acting for Sanofi, won a series of customs classification cases heard by the Federal Arbitrazh (Commercial Court) for the Central Circuit, despite negative customs practice and case history on classification of similar goods elsewhere in Russia. The amount in dispute was over RUB 100 m per annum.

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Dispute resolution