About the practice:

We are proud to have one of the strongest insolvency practices in Russia (according to major clients and key legal ratings). We:

  • represent major lenders (including major banks recognised by the Central Bank of Russia as a core part of the Russian economy, i.e., Raiffeisen Bank and B&N Bank) in insolvency cases in Russian commercial courts;
  • represent clients in parallel proceedings in Russia and abroad, including foreclosure on foreign assets of debtors;
  • protect the interests of beneficiaries in the framework of subsidiary and tort liability for the obligations of debtors;
  • act as experts on Russian insolvency law in landmark litigation cases of foreign state courts and international arbitrations.

All the firm’s lawyers are involved in handling insolvency cases under the guidance of KK&P Managing Partner Maxim Kulkov and partner Nikolay Pokryshkin (the partner leading the firm’s insolvency practice).

In 2015-2018, Nikolay Pokryshkin and the team represented clients with claims of app. US$600 million in 46 insolvency cases of Russian oil and gas, distribution, transport, logistics and construction companies, light and heavy industry plants, banks and their beneficiaries (individuals), as well as in dozens of related parallel disputes in Russia and the EU. For example, the firm’s representation of a major bank recognised by the Central Bank of Russia as a core part of the Russian economy and an international oil trader with total claims worth more than US$74.6 million in the bankruptcy of two oil companies was listed among the Top-10 most interesting bankruptcy proceedings in Russia in 2017.

In addition to participating in insolvency cases directly, we provide complex collection services, including:

  • coordination of search, seizure and return of debtors’ assets;
  • handling PR-campaigns;
  • coordination of related criminal proceedings.

 

Maxim Kulkov regularly acts as a recognised expert on Russian insolvency law and cross-border bankruptcy issues. Within the last two years alone, he prepared more than a dozen expert reports:

  • in a High Court of Justice (UK) case on recovery of more than US$144.6 million from Mr Vladimir Kekhman in favour of Bank of Moscow, taking into account the parallel case of Mr Kekhman’s bankruptcy in Russia;
  • in an LCIA case concerning a dispute between a UAE state investment company and a Russian developer totalling app. US$173 million on Russian law issues (the likelihood and the level of influence of the parties to the dispute on the insolvency of a joint venture in Russia, potential claims by the bankruptcy trustee relating to restructuring transactions and potential subsidiary liability of the joint venture’s management and shareholders for accepting each of the parties’ proposals to rescue the project);
  • in a New York (USA) court case on the recognition of the decision to recover more than app. US$29.8 million from a Russian citizen in favour of a Russian state bank, taking into account the cross-border consequences of declaring the citizen insolvent in Russia;
  • in an LCIA case on a corporate dispute between shareholders of a large Russian distribution company on the recovery of losses and the redemption of shares in connection with its insolvency (the claims amount to app. US$500 million);
  • in a High Court of Justice of England and Wales case on a claim filed against an insolvent Russian bank’s founders and its management in the amount of app. US$1.7 billion as damage caused to the bank and its creditors by means of withdrawal of the bank’s assets in favour of its founders and the management.

 

Here are some examples of the firm’s clients’ feedback on insolvency projects:

They do an excellent job of managing a large number of proceedings, and are always responsive and cognisant of the client’s concerns. Chambers Europe 2018, Restructuring/Insolvency: Litigation – Russia

In trial proceedings, Nikolay literally ‘forced’ the judges to create a new practice using his persuasive skills and was always one step ahead of our opponents (a very well-known law firm), who acknowledged his professionalism in backstage talks and in the corridors of the courts. He is very precise when it comes to the nuances of his specialist field which can clearly be seen in what he is doing. It is intrinsic for Nikolay to apply an extraordinarily effective approach, pinpoint the problem and detect opponents’ legal traps early on. GALA-FORM and SMANN SA oil and gas traders, 2018

A distinctive feature of Nikolay, in addition to his awesome professional qualities, is a high degree of customer focus. Nikolay is always prompt, quickly delves into the essence of the client’s needs and gives the required result in a short time. B&N BANK, 2018

Examples of projects:

Representing the interests of Raiffeisen Bank and GALA-FORM in relation to app. US$73 million-worth of claims in the insolvency proceedings of oil and gas companies Enisey and NGK Razvitie Regionov. The case was listed among the Top-10 most interesting bankruptcy proceedings in Russia in 2017 (according to Pravo.ru).


Representing B&N Group (including B&N BANK, RostBank and MDM Bank) in the recovery of over US$105 million from Otkritie, Globex and Transcapitalbank, as well as representing the client in over 23 cases relating to the bankruptcy of legal entities

Representing JSC Arktikgaz (a joint venture between Novatek and Gazprom Neft) in the case of insolvency of a contractor in the course of contesting transactions allegedly designed to benefit the client to the tune of app. US$12 million.

Representing Raiffeisenbank at every stage of the insolvency of a debtor company with a debt exceeding US$45.5 million secured by the pledge of one of the largest shopping malls in Russia.


Representing PJSC B&N BANK in a separate dispute on the invalidation of a subordinated loan agreement for US$7.5 million within the context of the insolvency proceedings of lender LLC GROT-1.


Representing the temporary managers (KPMG) appointed by an English court and the companies under their control in more than 25 sets of court proceedings in relation to illegally transferred Russian assets controlled by Mukhtar Ablyazov, the former chairman of the Kazakh BTA Bank.


Advising JSC Gazpromneft-Aero on Transaero airline’s bankruptcy case with regard to contesting 1.5 billion dollars in claims brought by lenders/lessors on the basis of dozens of English-law-governed lease contracts and related agreements.


Representing B&N Bank Group (including PJSC MDM Bank, JSC Rost Bank, LLC Politex and LLC FK Rost) in the insolvency cases of 4 individuals who were the beneficiaries of certain debtor companies and the sureties for the debts of such companies owed to our clients.


Representing Hlynov Bank in the bankruptcy of an individual beneficiary, including the sale of foreign assets and contesting a debtor’s transactions.

Defending German senior executives of a Russian company (and a major German holding) from subsidiary liability amounting to US$7.5 million. The case is complicated by numerous incidents and negative testimony given by former employees of the debtor, the participant, and the general director of the debtor.


Representing LLC Brunswick Rail as lender in the insolvency case of OJSC Armavir Heavy Engineering Plant with claims totalling US$6.3 million.

Representing Cypriot company Genemedix Enterprises Limited in the case of the insolvency of its subsidiary (a refined oil production plant in Stavropol Krai) under a dispute over the client’s subsidiary liability.

Representing Caterpillar Financial as lender in the case of the bankruptcy of lessee CJSC Holding Centre. The firm’s lawyers participated in separate disputes regarding the debtor’s transactions and the declaration of the bankruptcy trustee’s actions as unlawful.

Representing a major Kazakh oil and gas company with public ownership in a dispute arising in connection with the client’s contractor’s failure to perform its obligations properly. The case was complicated by the insolvency of the contractor and its filing of several counterclaims.

Representing a foreign beneficiary (an equipment manufacturer) in the insolvency case of a Russian subsidiary in a corporate conflict with a Russian partner.

Representing a Czech bank as collateral lender in the insolvency of an oil company in the Republic of Dagestan with total claims amounting to US$17.2 million.


Participation by Maxim Kulkov in proceedings in the High Court of Justice of England and Wales as an expert on Russian law (insolvency and corporate law, tort liability, and damages) in Bank of Moscow versus former head of JFC, Vladimir Kekhman.

Participation by Maxim Kulkov as an expert in cross-border insolvency in a State Court of New York case relating to a claim by a Russian state bank for the recovery of a debt of app. US$30 million from an insolvent beneficiary.


Participation by Maxim Kulkov as a Russian law expert in proceedings in the London Court of International Arbitration relating to a dispute between a UAE state investment company and a Russian property developer over an amount of app. US$173 million as an expert in Russian law, including Russian insolvency law.

Preparation of Maxim Kulkov’s expert opinion for the High Court of Justice (UK), in connection with the bankruptcy of a major private bank. The opinion concerns the lawfulness of the recovery from a former shareholder of the bank’s assets worth over app. US$1.5 billion which it illegally transferred.

Maxim Kulkov’s participation in the London Court of International Arbitration as a Russian law expert (on signs of an artificial insolvency and bankruptcy misconduct) in a dispute between shareholders in a major e-commerce platform on the recovery of app. US$500 million in losses.