The Moscow firm counts the Russian and Ukrainian governments as clients
|People in Who’s Who Legal||3|
|Pending cases as counsel||11|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$2.1 billion|
|Current arbitrator appointments||16* (of which 0 is as sole or chair)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||2|
*Excludes sports cases
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, or EPAP, was founded in Moscow in 1993 and has emerged as one of the leading corporate law brands in Russia. Its chairman, Dimitry Afanasiev, is on the board of aluminium producer Rusal and has strong connections with the Russian state and various home-grown corporations and foreign entities.
The firm expanded into the CIS in 2011 by taking over Ukraine’s Magisters, itself a GAR 100 firm with several offices in the region. With more than 30 arbitration attorneys, the firm now says it has the largest arbitration practice in the CIS region.
The practice is headed by Moscow partner Evgeny Raschevsky. Names to know include Ilya Nikiforov, the first arbitrator from Russia selected for a SIAC panel and the vice chair of the Russian Arbitration Association. Nikiforov is also the first Russian or CIS practitioner to secure a place on the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR (as vice chair).
Serhii Sviriba, head of Ukraine’s arbitration commission and of Ukraine’s national committee for the ICC International Court of Arbitration, led the team that translated the 2012 ICC rules into Ukrainian. There’s also a cohort of English law practitioners recruited to reflect the dominance of English and US law in Russian commercial contracts.
EPAP has offices in Moscow, St Petersburg, London, Kiev, Minsk and Washington, DC. A best-friend arrangement with Almaty-based firm Aequitas gives it a presence in Kazakhstan.
Who uses it?
The firm has worked for the governments of Russia and Ukraine, Russian Railways, Nestlé, A1 Group, Irish Bank Resolution, Neocorp, Hochtief, Pacific Inter-Link, BP, Rusal, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Sibirskiy Cement and Moldova’s Agroindbank.
Together with Sidley Austin, the firm helped a Rusal subsidiary win US$70 million in an ICC case against an affiliate of Tajikistan’s state aluminium company and defeat a parallel claim brought at the SCC.
In 2012, a team led by Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi in Kiev helped Ukraine defeat an ICSID claim brought against it by a US construction company over a contract to develop a university site in Kiev. The firm acted as co-counsel with White & Case. While at Magisters, Kliuchkovskyi also helped Ukraine defeat a US$35 million claim by US poultry exporters in 2010 – the first successful use of ICSID’s summary dismissal procedure.
The St Petersburg office helped European shareholders in Agroindbank, Moldova’s largest bank, successfully challenge an ad hoc award in favour of a Seychelles entity that would have served as a legal basis to write off shares in the bank held by the firm’s clients. A Russian appeal court confirmed the set-aside in late December 2011.
EPAP continues to act for the Russian government in a US$500 million tax dispute with ExxonMobil playing out in arbitration proceedings.