Rimon
Save as PDF

Russia, the Baltics, and the CIS

For the last two decades, Rimon attorneys have been representing clients based and/or doing business in Russia, the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and other post-Soviet countries.*  Many of our group’s attorneys are Russian natives and are qualified to practice Russian law, and intimately understand the unique set of considerations that banks, investment funds, companies, and individuals must take into account when doing business in the region.

We represent clients in connection with major cross-border mergers and acquisitions, dispute resolutions, private equity and venture capital transactions, joint ventures, real estate transactions, regulatory matters and government negotiations, and other matters. Our clients, which include Russian state-owned and private banks and companies as well as multinationals doing business in Russia, operate across a wide variety of industries, including technology, financial services, real estate, energy, infrastructure, construction, and others.

* Many of these countries are members of a regional intergovernmental organization – the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), currently comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, while Ukraine, Georgia and Turkmenistan are no longer members.  

Doing Business in the Region

A deep understanding of the civil law system, cultural differences, and nuances of business customs in the countries of the former USSR allows our lawyers to help clients to navigate complex legal issues and find creative solutions to their challenges. In addition, decades of practicing in the region has invested our attorneys with strong working relationships with many solo practitioners, and law firms located across Russia and CIS countries. This means that, in addition to our expertise, our clients can rely on a network of knowledgeable and well-networked local firms and practitioners for advice in specialized areas of law or when doing projects in remote areas of Russia or the CIS.

Establishment of a Presence

  • Advising a leading multinational pharmaceutical company on structuring its relations with Russian distributors and on antitrust law issues. 
  • Advising a leading global producer of denim apparel on restructuring its distribution chain in Russia and on antitrust law issues. 
  • Advising an American global aerospace company in connection with the creation of assembly capabilities in Russia and on various regulatory issues. 
  • Advising Zvezda, a worldwide leading manufacturer of plastic kits in scale and board games, through its Chinese counsel, on compliance with Russian competitive bidding law, the establishment of a physical presence of Chinese construction companies in Russia, and certain aspects of general construction agreements under Russian law.   
  • Representation of a large privately held U.S. company in selecting a site for the development and construction of its production facility in Russia. Our work included review of several special economic zones (federal and regional), including due diligence of sites, counseling on acquisition techniques, negotiations with local, regional, and federal authorities on land allocation and reclassification, provision of utilities to the site, and preparation of documentation.
  • Advising a Russian development company in negotiations with a major international fast-food company on the development of a chain of restaurants in one of the largest Russian cities.
  • Advising a U.S.-based corporation on establishment of its wholly-owned subsidiaries in Russia and Kazakhstan and various aspects of launching its operations there.
  • Advising Efes Breweries International in various joint ventures in Serbia, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan as part of their overall operational expansion.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Representation of Industrial Investors Group in the sale of its cargo ships fleet during the divestiture of FESCO (the Far-Eastern Shipping Company), a Russian publicly-traded company, to Summa Group. 
  • Representation of FINCA Impact Finance, a major U.S. impact finance company, in divestiture of its Russian business (the second largest in the Russian microfinance sector) to Mikro Kapital.
  • Representation of a major Russian investment bank in connection with its innovative acquisition of a controlling interest in a large Russian industrial holding company.
  • Advising Capital International Private Equity Fund on its acquisition of a stake in Unimilk, Russia’s second-biggest dairy company. 
  • Representation of FESCO in its acquisition of a 50% stake in the National Container Company for $370 million and the subsequent sale of the same stake for $900 million. 
  • Representation of Coca-Cola HBC in its acquisition of Aquavision, a leading Russian soft drinks production facility.  
  • Representation of FESCO in the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Vladivostok Sea Port. 
  • Representation of the owners of Investsberbank (Russia) in a $400+ million sale of the bank to OTP Bank (Hungary).
  • Representation of Russia’s largest grocery retailer in series of acquisitions of regional chains.
  • Representation of Imperial Sugar Company in its acquisition of two major sugar plants and several agricultural companies in southern regions of Russia. 
  • Representation of private clients in the sale of a chain of privately held medical clinics in Russia to a major EU-based healthcare company.
  • Representation of a Europe-based private investment group in the acquisition of an equity stake in a joint venture for the development of mixed-use commercial property in the City of Sochi, the host of 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Representation of a Russia-based developer in connection with agreements with a U.K.-based real estate investment fund concerning the investment in, and the joint development of, a 100,000-square-meter warehouse complex in the Moscow region.
  • Advising a leading European wood product manufacturer on its acquisition of a Latvian wood-chip mill.

Real Estate

  • Advising a Russian development company on a wide range of matters related to the development of a $1.5 billion sports, entertainment, and commercial complex in Moscow.
  • Advising a major Russia-based bank in its investment of more than $100 million in the construction of its headquarters in one of the landmark development projects in Moscow through an agreement on share participation in construction.
  • Representation of Hines, the largest U.S. office developer and asset manager, 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. 
  • Representation of London & Regional Properties, a U.K. private equity fund, in the sale of its main properties in Russia. 
  • Advising a U.S. private equity fund in a complex cross-border acquisition of a building located in Moscow and rights to the underlying land for the purposes of further development and commercial use. 
  • Representation of a Japanese heavy machinery manufacturer in the development of a manufacturing facility in Russia, including negotiations with the local government, acquisition of the project’s land plot, negotiation of the general contractor agreement, and the financing of the project by an international banking institution.
  • Representation of a U.K.-based company in the proposed development of a racing track capable of hosting Formula 1 Grand Prix events and a large sports and entertainment complex in Moscow.
  • Representation of several Europe-based investment funds on Russian real estate matters in connection with the refinancing of prior acquisitions in Moscow and St. Petersburg. 
  • Advising a large international religious organization on numerous acquisitions, dispositions, developments, and construction projects in Russia, including regarding zoning rules and regulations and relations with governmental agencies.
  • Representation of major international companies doing business in Russia in negotiations over commercial leases of prime office properties.
  • Representation of a major U.S. condominium development company in the structuring and formation of a joint venture with a Russian partner for the purposes of development, financing, construction, and management of commercial property in Moscow.
  • Advising a leading Russian commercial bank in the complex financing of the sale of real property mortgaged to the bank.

Regional Outreach

  • Representation of a major U.S. corporation in its acquisition of development rights, compliance with land use and zoning requirements, construction permits and licenses, and negotiations of the land lease agreement for the purposes of constructing its own manufacturing facility in a Russian province.
  • Representation of a large privately held U.S. company in selecting a site for the development and construction of its production facility in Russia. Our work included review of several special economic zones (federal and regional), including due diligence of sites, counseling on acquisition techniques, negotiations with local, regional, and federal authorities on land allocation and reclassification, provision of utilities to the site, and preparation of documentation. 
  • Advising a major U.S. corporation on a wide range of matters related to the acquisition of development rights for construction of an industrial plant and relevant construction permits.
  • Representation of a transnational corporation on complex Russian real estate matters including operation of seaport territories and so-called “newly built territories” in connection with the proposed construction of a new cargo terminal.
  • Representation of a U.K.-based investment and development company in negotiations regarding its acquisition of a Russian legal entity possessing rights to the land in one of the Russian provinces and rights to develop and build a hotel.
  • Advising one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric home appliances on several greenfield and brownfield development projects in Russia.
  • Advising a major Russian airline in negotiations with regional authorities for the proposed construction of a new airport terminal in Siberia.
  • Advising an international project development and investment corporation in connection with the proposed financing of the construction of a mixed-use commercial property in the City of Sochi, including negotiations and discussions with the developer and the Sochi city government on legal aspects of the project.
  • Representation of a developer of DIY stores in Kazakhstan in negotiations of an exclusive master franchise agreement with a EU-based retail giant and formation of a SPV for the project.
  • Advising a U.S.-based hospitality management company in negotiating and drafting its management contracts with hotel owners in various Russian cities.

Data Protection and Regulatory

  • Representation of a major US-based media and entertainment company in connection with coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi and 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
  • Advising a global fast-food company on various aspects of the establishment and implementation of its pioneer regional franchising program in Russia.
  • Advising Baidu, a China-based multi-billion dollar A.I. and internet company, on Russian and international data privacy issues.
  • Advising SMG, a customer and employee experience management company, on Russian data localization and other privacy issues.
  • Advising Meraki and AppDynamics, Cisco group IT companies, on Russian data privacy issues.
  • Advising World Triathlon Corporation, a U.S.-based a sports event promotion company, on Russian and international data privacy issues in connection with triathlon events in Russia.

Dispute Resolution

We have a distinct understanding of the types of disputes faced by Russian and CIS clients, and have broad experience across a range of disputes involving Russian and CIS parties. We have experience across a host of key industries including shareholder disputes, energy, infrastructure, mining, technology and telecoms, and can advise on all aspects of dispute resolution from drafting suitable clauses, to arbitral procedure, mediation and other forms of ADR, and enforcement of arbitral awards. Our experience includes representing clients in all types of institutional and ad hoc arbitrations, bilateral treaty disputes, post-award enforcement and civil law and common law practice and procedure.

Selected Experience

  • Representation of a major Russian energy company in connection with a dispute with a Central European state concerning discrimination and expropriation of a $2.65 billion inward investment in the energy sector, including advice as to proposed bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration proceedings. 
  • Representation of one of the largest Russian energy companies in a $380 million complex fraud claim in the English court against four Ukrainian high-net-worth individuals, including successfully obtaining a worldwide freezing injunction. 
  • Representation of a Russian oil major in relation to a London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) arbitration in London worth in excess of €30 million concerning EU anti-dumping duties imposed on imports of biodiesel by a leading Eastern European trader of biodiesel and renewable energy; the case involves complex issues of EU and oil law. 
  • Representation of Petrobras in a $500 million English litigation concerning cost claims and recovery of loans relating to the construction of a production platform, P36. 
  • Representation of a large Russian real estate development company in commercial arbitration resolved at LCIA in connection with its dispute with a U.K.-based contractor over the termination of a contract. 
  • Representation of an AIM-listed Russian oil and gas independent in “bet the company” LCIA proceedings in London against a high-profile Russian businessman, former director and shareholder of the company. 
  • Acting for a major Russian telecoms company in successfully defending an English Commercial Court injunction (and related ad hoc arbitration), which would have prevented its $20 billion acquisition of Wind Telecom from proceeding in early 2011; the successful defense allowed for the completion of a transformative acquisition for the client, making it the sixth biggest mobile telecoms company in the world. 
  • Representation of a Russian telecoms company in ad hoc arbitration proceedings against a Middle East software company.
  • Representation of a client in the Constitutional Court of Russia on a highly controversial matter regarding use of his properties, which were not zoned for religious activities, by religious organizations to hold worship services. The Constitutional Court ruled in favor of our client.
  • Representation of Russian and Kazakhstan-based financial institutions in defense of fraudulent transfer claims arising from the pre-bankruptcy sale of natural gas rights.

Advising Globally

Rimon boasts a rapidly expanding global footprint, recently adding partners and offices in Russia, the UAE, Australia, the U.K., and other regions.  We leverage our growing international capabilities to assist our clients in connection with their cross-border investments, intellectual property challenges, global expansions, and other activities.

Venture Capital and Private Equity

  • Representation of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, in two high-profile equity investments in the technology industry. 
  • Representation of Sberbank venture funds in several equity investments in the technology industry, including fintech, in several countries, including the U.S. and Israel. 
  • Representation of a fund of funds in an investment in, and follow-on acquisition and restructuring of, a Luxembourg private equity fund and a chain of nine large luxury hotels in Bulgaria. 
  • Representation of numerous technological startups with Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, and Armenian founders on global expansion, flips to Delaware, raising venture capital in the U.S. and Europe, and other corporate and finance matters.
  • Advising a U.S. private equity fund in a complex cross-border acquisition of a building located in Moscow and rights to underlying land for the purposes of further development and commercial use.
  • Representation of several Europe-based investment funds on Russian real estate matters in connection with the refinancing of prior acquisitions in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Family Offices and Estate Planning

  • Representation of clients in several restructurings of complicated holding groups owned by Russian beneficiaries. These matters included various offshore companies (in BVI, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Liechtenstein), and the matters involved issues of Russian law, including antitrust (anti-monopoly) law. 

Regulatory Advice

  • Representation of a major Russian commercial bank in negotiations with various federal agencies regarding the proposed sale of a land plot located in London, U.K. and owned by the Russian government.
  • Advised a private investment group from Kazakhstan on a proposed acquisition of rights to a plot of land in the Emirate of Dubai for further development of mixed-use commercial and residential properties.

Israel and the Middle East

Rimon is one of the only U.S.-based laws firm that has presence in Israel and UAE, well-positioning us to assist clients wishing to do business in both regions.

Doing Business in Israel

  • Representation of Fort Ross Ventures, Sberbank’s venture capital fund, in its investment venture in Gett Taxi. 
  • Representation of Sberbank venture funds in equity investments into two Israeli tech companies.​ 
  • Representation of Fort Ross Ventures, Sberbank’s venture capital fund, in its Series B investment in Illusive Networks, an Israeli cybersecurity firm.
  • Representation of a Russian fiber-optical broadband provider in relation to a $5 million ad hoc arbitration in London concerning the functionality of certain network services provided by an Israeli internet search company. The case involved highly complex IT issues.

Advising Israeli Businesses

  • Advising a major Israeli not-for-profit organization on establishment of its Russian subsidiary and compliance with applicable regulations governing relevant activities.
  • Advising one of the largest shipping companies in the world on various aspects of operations of its Russian joint venture, including a cartel investigation of its activities by the Russian Antitrust Agency. 

Capturing Opportunities in the Middle East

  • Advising a private investment group from Kazakhstan on a proposed acquisition of rights to a plot of land in the Emirate of Dubai for further development of mixed-use commercial and residential properties. 
  • Representation of a Russian telecoms company in ad hoc arbitration proceedings against a Middle East software company. 
  • Multiple inbound investments from Russia and other CIS countries to the UAE, including joint ventures with sovereign funds, in a wide range of sectors (real estate, financial services, oil & gas, hospitality, and telecoms).

China

Our firm has significant experience advising Chinese clients on their business dealings in Russia, including as relates to data privacy, real estate development and management, and general operations and regulatory considerations.

Selected Experience

  • Advising Baidu, a China-based multi-billion dollar A.I. and internet company, on Russian and international data privacy issues.
  • Advising Haier, a Chinese multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company, and its Chinese counsel on Russian law matters in connection with greenfield development of a production facility in Russia, and on raising capital in China for the development.  
  • Advising Fosun International, a Chinese conglomerate and investment company, and its in-house counsel in Shanghai on Russian law matters in connection with the refinancing of the client’s holdings in various real estate assets.    
  • Advising Zvezda, a worldwide leading manufacturer of plastic kits in scale and board games, through its Chinese counsel on compliance with Russian competitive bidding law, the establishment of a physical presence of Chinese construction companies in Russia, and certain aspects of general construction agreements under Russian law.
  • Representation of VTB Bank in numerous matters relating to lending in China or to Chinese-owned projects in Russia.

Rimon Attorneys With Expertise in Russia, the Baltics, and the CIS Include: