Maxim Kulkov specialises in commercial, insolvency, shareholder, investment, and construction disputes, disputes related to international trade, and conflict of laws and jurisdictional disputes.
For over 27 years, Maxim has represented clients in international arbitration centres, such as the SCC, the ICC, the ICAC and the LCIA, in Russian state courts of all levels (including the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court), and in foreign courts (England, USA, Jersey, BVI, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Switzerland).
He has extensive experience leading teams of international and local advisers in multi-jurisdictional disputes. Maxim also acts as a legal expert in foreign proceedings and as an arbitrator and a mediator.
The GAR 100 (Global Arbitration Review), The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners, Who’s Who Legal and recommend Maxim as one of the best Russian dispute resolution specialists.

“… Maxim Kulkov is a formidable trial lawyer who has very persuasive advocacy skills”
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2021

“Maxim Kulkov is our go-to Russian law expert. He is uniquely placed as a Russian law practitioner who has worked for many years on complex disputes with a fantastic global perspective. Maxim is well regarded and respected in the English High Court as an expert who gives independent, clear, reasoned, and coherent opinions …”
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2021

“Maxim Kulkov – clear writing and calm oral testimony skills that tribunals and courts find convincing. Quickly gets to the root of an issue and is creative in finding solutions”
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2021

“Maxim Kulkov and Oleg Kolotilov are two of the most technically gifted disputes lawyers operating in the Russian market. They are backed up by a superb team of diligent and hardworking juniors”
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2021

“Maxim Kulkov is one of the strongest Russian litigators acknowledged for his marked skill in complex Russian commercial disputes”
Chambers Europe, 2021

“He [Maxim Kulkov] is very persuasive in court”
Chambers Europe, 2021

“Maxim Kulkov is a leading individual in the Russian dispute resolution market in general and for arbitration in particular“ and “Maxim Kulkov is excellent as an expert witness”
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2020

“… one of the top litigators in Russia” [Maxim Kulkov]
Chambers Europe, 2020

“Maxim is very knowledgeable and practical” and he “is also very good at understanding the commercial issues of a dispute”
Chambers Europe, 2020

Managing partner Maxim Kulkov is “a big name in the industry”
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2019

Kulkov is a “man of great abilities” with an “encyclopaedic knowledge in the fields of Russian civil law and private international law” – a “brilliant legal scholar with the delivery of a prize heavyweight boxer”
The GAR 100, 2019

Kulkov is “brilliant” at anticipating opponents’ arguments and interrogating the facts of a case “three times deeper than I could have imagined”
The GAR 100, 2019

… a “force of nature” and a “market leader” [Maxim Kulkov]
Chambers Europe, 2019

… a “very creative, innovative litigator, really determined to fight for you in the court” [Maxim Kulkov]
Chambers Europe, 2019

Headed by the “approachable and pragmatic” Maxim Kulkov, KK&P represents clients across a wide range of international arbitration forums
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2018

“Kulkov and Pokryshkin are like ‘raging bulls’ during hearings”
The GAR 100, 2018

“The KK&P partners are distinguished by their ‘bravery’, proving more willing to take on cases against major Russian state-owned companies than some of their local competitors”
The GAR 100, 2018

“Managing partner Maxim Kulkov is a popular choice among international corporates for complex Russian litigation cases”
Chambers Global 2018

“He [Maxim Kulkov] has experience in cross-border litigation, where he often acts as a Russian law expert”
Chambers Global 2018

“He [Maxim Kulkov] knows his stuff and he’s easy to deal with, he’s a terrific contact to have in Russia”
Chambers Global 2018

“He [Maxim Kulkov] possesses a lot of experience of hearings in arbitration courts, the gift of persuasion and the ability to communicate his position in an accessible way”
Chambers Global 2018

“He’s [Maxim Kulkov] culturally bilingual as well as actually bilingual; he can give you international law firm advice but from a Russian lawyer with that insight into the domestic market”
Chambers Global 2017

[Maxim Kulkov] “weighs up the pros and cons of everything but is able to give you clear recommendations”
Chambers Global 2017

“He [Maxim Kulkov] is very responsive and takes a lot of care to deal with complicated matters. It’s very pleasant and satisfying to work with him. Sources also note his extensive track record in domestic litigation”
Chambers Europe, 2015

“Strategic and persuasive” [Maxim Kulkov]
The Legal 500 EMEA, 2015

“Maxim Kulkov has represented Brunswick Group in various commercial disputes for more than 7 years. His involvement in a case makes us confident of its successful resolution”
Brunswick Rail, 2015

“We have found their [Maxim Kulkov, Oleg Kolotilov, Nikolay Pokryshkin] advice to be measured, considered and business-oriented, the merits and risks of every course of action having been carefully calculated. The team’s work is both results-driven and as efficient as possible for the client”
KPMG, 2015

“We are grateful to [Maxim] for cooperation that allows our company to receive necessary legal services and high quality advice”
Mospromstroy, 2015

“Over many years, Maxim Kulkov has proved his ability to resolve the most complicated issues. He has successfully represented me and my architecture bureau three times in international arbitrations in Moscow and Stockholm. The fourth dispute was settled even before its filing with the court”
Erick van Egeraat, 2015

“We have worked with Maxim Kulkov and his team for a number of years already, and together we successfully tackled unique and complex situations. Maxim’s arsenal includes an approach that is tailor-made to the client’s needs and to the requirements of each of his cases”
Interstate Bank, 2015

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Examples of some of Maxim’s projects are given below.


Preparing an expert opinion and giving evidence before the High Court of England and Wales in PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Ors on over a hundred issues of Russian law. After a 12-week trial, the High Court agreed with the testimony of Maxim Kulkov. As a result, the firm’s efforts helped the defendants defeat a US$300m claim.

Representing a claimant in a dispute involving two oilfield services companies – NewTech Services vs Halliburton – in arbitration under ICAC Rules on compensation for restoring the hermetic seal of an ultradeep oil well after defective cementing works by the defendant. The firm won over 90% of the claim.

Preparing an expert opinion and giving evidence before the High Court of England and Wales on a number of Russian law issues, including recovering damages in connection with the alleged rigging of an auction in the Yukos bankruptcy case. Maxim Kulkov’s expert evidence helped to defeat a US$40m claim against the defendants.

Defending Metallimpress (a general contractor) in the ICAC against a claim worth over US$65 million filed by Zhoukovsky (a customer) in connection with complaints regarding the quality of work on the construction of a shopping centre. The firm successfully defended the client from 75% of the claim.

Maxim Kulkov was Tribunal Chair in an SCC arbitration between a major Russian EPCI contractor in oil and gas industry and a European largest energy and engineering company, concerning the recovery of US$12 million under a services agreement in connection with gas turbine generators supplied for the development of an oil field in the Caspian Sea.

Representing Ukraine in the case of Tatneft’s application for recognition and enforcement of an investment arbitral award worth approximately US$150 million (the first case to be heard in Russia on the recognition and enforcement of decisions of an international investment arbitration against a foreign state).

Successfully defending T Plus, a major Russian company operating in the field of electricity and heat generation, in connection with Volga Paper Company’s claim for damages of US$11.5m arising out of the sale and purchase contract for a thermal power plant.

Representing Orion – a defendant in a corporate dispute (worth over US$13m) relating to the invalidation of an issue of shares in a Russian IT company and the challenging of the SPA . The claimant alleged that she was a beneficiary of the company and that the shares were disposed of without her consent. The claim was dropped.

Representing a co-owner of a supermarket chain in the process of applying for interim measures in support of an LCIA arbitration initiated in England and a dispute in Cyprus in connection with the violation of a shareholders’ agreement (SHA) regarding management of large shopping centres in Moscow and the Moscow Region.

Preparing an expert report in an SCC case with regard to the statute of limitations for a contractor agreement. The client was a contractor for a leading Russian producer of nickel under an agreement governed by Russian law.