Russia and CIS

Orrick has acted for clients in Russia, the CIS and other former republics of the USSR for over two decades. Members of our International Russia and CIS practice group are Chambers-recognized in their practice areas.

We have a team of 20+ lawyers worldwide who advise our clients in the region on complex cross-border deals, including M&A and strategic joint ventures, corporate finance, energy, oil & gas and infrastructure, real estate, technology, private equity, capital markets and derivatives. We are actively involved in work on Russian bankruptcies and restructurings, and act for clients in Russia-related litigation and arbitration in the U.S., London and other jurisdictions.

Our Russian clients operate across the energy & infrastructure, finance and tech sectors, and include Russian state-owned and private banks and companies, as well as international financial institutions and corporations doing business in Russia.

Our capabilities are enhanced by our strong relationships with independent local firms in Russia and the CIS. Many of our own team members are also native Russian speakers and are qualified to practice Russian law.

We have acted for:

  • Zarubezhneft, a major Russian oil and gas company, in connection with the acquisition of a stake in the Kharyaga Production Sharing Agreement (one of only three of a kind in Russia) and the transfer of operatorship from Total.
  • Sberbank and VTB, the two largest Russian banks, in relation to the financing of RUR 70 billion (US$1.1 billion) acquisition by En+ Group of a 40.3% stake in Irkutskenergo from Inter RAO.
  • Russian Direct Investment Fund, a sovereign Russian fund, in relation to two equity investment projects in hi-tech industry.
  • Sberbank Venture Capital Fund in relation to two equity investment projects in hi-tech industry.
  • Russian Copper Company in connection with its acquisition of Enisseiskaya Industrial Company, the holder of an exploration license for Elegest coal deposit in Republic of Tuva, Russia, one of the largest deposits of thermal coal in the world with the estimated reserves in excess of 1 billion tons of coal.
  • Telenor ASA (OSL: TEL), a Norwegian mobile telecom company, in:
    • its sale of part of its stake in VimpelCom Ltd., the eighth largest mobile telecom company in the world, with operations in the former Soviet Union, Europe, Africa and Asia;
    • its sales of 160 million shares in VEON Ltd. (formerly VimpelCom Ltd.) (NASDAQ: VEON; Euronext Amsterdam: VEON) in the form of American Depositary Shares (ADS) and common shares on NASDAQ and Euronext in underwritten, registered public offerings in the United States, for approximately $650 million;
    • the formation of VimpelCom Ltd., a $23.8 billion NYSE-listed emerging market mobile operator, the contribution of Telenor ASA's mobile assets in Russia and Ukraine to VimpelCom Ltd., and VimpelCom Ltd.'s registered U.S. exchange offer and Russian voluntary tender offer for the shares and ADRs of OJSC "Vimpel-Communications";
    • its investment in OJSC "Vimpel-Communications," a NYSE-listed Russian mobile operator, including advising on the first proxy fight involving a publicly traded Russian company.
  • Industrial Investors Group in a sale of the Far-Eastern Shipping Company (FESCO), a Russian publicly-traded company, and its 180 subsidiaries in a variety of countries across the globe, to Summa Group, for an undisclosed price of over $1 billion.
  • FESCO in its investments in the United States, including the acquisition of an aircraft manufacturing plant out of bankruptcy proceedings, which involved obtaining the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approval.
  • High-profile projects in the airspace industry, including Sukhoi Civil Aircraft in the first sale and lease of a fleet of Superjet Aircraft to Western Europe and a private equity fund in the sale by the Russian private commercial satellite group Dauria Aerospace of two Perseus-brand micro satellites to California-based earth imaging firm Aquila Space, in what is reported as the first Russia-US private satellite sale contract.
  • Transactions involving almost all ports in Russia and a port in Ukraine.
  • FINCA, a major U.S. impact finance company, in a number of projects in Russia and CIS including: restructuring of its operations in Armenia; obtaining financing in Tajikistan, involving the Ministry of Economic Development of Tajikistan and a major impact finance lender; divestiture of FINCA’s loan portfolio in one of the regions in Russia; restructuring of FINCA’s financing from EBRD, MEF and divestiture of its Russian business (second largest in Russian microfinance sector) to Mikro Kapital.
  • Russian defendants in U.S. courts, including achieving dismissal of a $10 million (later increased to $185 million) claim against JSC RUSNANO, the Russian high-tech sovereign wealth fund, and other defendants in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in a case challenging RUSNANO’s acquisition of the Nitol plant in the Irkutsk Region of Russia.
  • Hines, the largest U.S. office developer and manager of appr. $20 billion in assets worldwide, in the sale of the Ducat III office complex (one of the most prestigious office complexes in Russia), through the sale of a Cyprus holding company, to O1 Group for $370 million. The deal was announced as the No. 1 real estate deal in Russia for the first half of 2012.
  • Many high profile real estate transactions in Russia, for billions of dollars, including London & Regional Properties, a UK private equity fund, in its sale of its main properties in Russia for approximately $500 million just before the 2008 financial crisis.