About the practice:
We are proud to have one of the strongest insolvency practices in Russia (according to major clients and key legal ratings).
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 2015–2021, Nikolay Pokryshkin and the team represented clients with claims of app. US$850m in 55 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 abroad.
For example, representing Metrostroy of the Northern Capital (a company founded by St Petersburg city and VTB by order of the Russian Government) in the bankruptcy case of JSC Metrostroy (the former metro construction monopolist whose insolvency led to termination of metro construction) in order to solve a socially significant issue, i.e., completing metro construction in St Petersburg. The case is highlighted in Kommersant’s list of the most important economic disputes in 2021.
In addition to participating in insolvency cases directly, we provide complex collection services, including:
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 for foreign courts and arbitrations.
Here are some examples of the firm’s clients’ feedback on insolvency projects:
“Nikolay Pokryshkin has impeccable knowledge of insolvency law and judicial practice”The Legal 500 2021, Restructuring and insolvency (Russia)
“It is a pleasure to work with the whole team. I would especially like to mention Nikolay Pokryshkin”
The Legal 500 2021, Restructuring and insolvency (Russia)
“The project on which I had a chance to work with KK&P Trial Lawyers’ team was led by partner Nikolay Pokryshkin. Having extensive experience working with outstanding lawyers in many confident companies in the market, I can say that an impeccable knowledge of laws and court practice is what a client reasonably expects when turning to law firms of this level. Undoubtedly, by providing legal support for our project, Nikolay confirmed these expectations, but more importantly, he was able to surpass them, showing those qualities that we often lacked in working with other firms – namely, the level of immersion in the client’s problem. Even before we had questions about further steps and possible arguments of our opponents, Nikolay had already prepared answers to them”
The Legal 500 2021, Restructuring and insolvency (Russia)
“Nikolay Pokryshkin acts on a broad range of commercial litigation matters and bankruptcy cases. Nikolay is ranked in Dispute Resolution: Domestic High-End”
Chambers Europe 2021, Restructuring/Insolvency: Litigation in Russia
“… the highest level of immersion in the case. We had a sense of reliability, trust and support after our first meeting with Nikolay [Pokryshkin] and Dmitry [Ilin]. During the entire period of the work, we were aware of both the high qualification of the lawyers and their outstanding personal qualities: politeness, decency, and friendliness”
Evgeny and Anzhelika Kazazaevy (Teploenergogaz), 2021
“Nikolay Pokryshkin showed himself to be a lawyer with perfect knowledge of the subject. I would particularly like to note his good understanding of international insolvency practice and his operational decision-making”
The Legal 500 2020, Restructuring and insolvency (Russia)
“They find common ground with judges, counterparties and clients”
Chambers Europe, 2020
“Very often, lawyers speak their own legal language rather than the language of business – KK&P Trial Lawyers is a pleasant exception”
The Legal 500 2020, Restructuring and insolvency (Russia)
“The firm is highly visible in bankruptcy and insolvency matters, is distinguished by its thorough planning of strategy and tactics, stands out thanks to meticulous attention to detail of every single document and piece of evidence”
Chambers Europe 2020, Restructuring/Insolvency: Litigation in Russia
“Clients commend the firm for its very responsible and rigorous approach to dispute resolution, praising the team for its very thorough and detailed work on each and every aspect of the case, market insight, in particular, the team’s impressive theoretical knowledge and extensive judicial practice, and very good understanding of international law. The firm also impresses clients with its efficient, collaborative and friendly approach”
Chambers Europe 2019, Restructuring/Insolvency: Litigation in Russia
“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
“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”
Examples of projects:
Successfully defending Shell (Top-5 global oil companies) in insolvency proceedings against Mariysky Oil Refinery regarding a claim to challenge the debtor’s payments to our client of US$74m as unfair preference over other creditors. The case was complicated by payments being made within a month prior the bankruptcy and exceeding the limit of 1% of the debtor’s assets.
Representing the leading transport companies in Russia in the bankruptcy case of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery with the lenders’ claims totalling US$5bn. The successful defence against challenging transactions in favour of clients required the establishment of a precedent for recognising forced payments late after filing for bankruptcy as committed in the ordinary course of business.
Leading participation in the Metrostroy bankruptcy case. The project is critical, both for the continuation of the construction of the metro in St Petersburg and for the satisfaction of lenders’ claims through the return and sale of assets worth more than US$200m and subsidiary liability of the debtor’s shareholders.
Representation of oil traders in the bankruptcy case of Samaratransneft-Terminal with a register of claims of US$662m made it possible to achieve a peaceful settlement at the end of a year of disputes over the subordination of US$307m in bond claims. We also secured the inclusion in the register of a US$12m claim based on a pdf copy of a guarantee under Swiss law, the issuance of which the debtor denied.
Representing the interests O1 Properties Group companies in the bankruptcy case of a large office centre in Moscow. Following the results of a year of confrontation with TRUST Bank in a bankruptcy case and three parallel processes worth US$97m in total, we managed to achieve settlement of the dispute on the most favourable terms for the client.
Successfully represented RBC for three years in seven separate disputes in the bankruptcy case of a former subsidiary (RBC Money payment system), including protection from subsidiary liability, challenging the sale of a business and payments (the total value of the disputes was in excess of US$63m).
Representing Raiffeisenbank in the case of the bankruptcy of a debtor with a debt of over US$53m secured by the pledge of a Russian shopping centre. The project was successfully implemented, despite disputes on subordination, unauthorised construction, invalidity of collateral and a chain of restructuring transactions.
Representing one of the ten largest transport companies in Russia in a dispute initiated by the debtor’s receiver on challenging a debtor’s payments in the client’s favour of US$1m made under lease and transport services agreements, which allegedly caused harm to the debtor. The court was persuaded by our arguments and dismissed the claim in full. The court of appeal upheld the judgment.
Representing a client in a dispute on bringing him to vicarious liability initiated by the debtor’s receiver, who stated that our client had not filed for the bankruptcy of the debtor in a timely manner and that he is therefore obliged to pay off the creditor’s claims. Through the firm’s efforts, the client avoided recovery of US$4m, which is a significant amount for a senior executive.
Successful defence of one of the ten largest transport companies in Russia and its senior executives in courts of all instances, including the Supreme Court of Russia, in three disputes on subsidiary liability for US$7m.
Representing clients (former members and directors of the company) in a major corporate conflict in order to restore lost control over the company and protect against the recovery of corporate losses under 12 parallel cases on challenging corporate decisions, transactions on the disposal of shares and assets, recovery of losses and subsidiary liability.
Preparation of an expert report on Russian law for the High Court of England regarding whether a Russian court would recognise and give effect to a restructuring scheme involving a group of the world’s largest investment banks and groups (including The Big 4). The court sanctioned a restructuring scheme, basing its decision, inter alia, on Maxim Kulkov’s report.
Providing UniCredit Bank with a complex legal and economic expert opinion regarding the debtor’s finance and assets on the date of the payment execution of more than US$4.2m in favour of the client in order to defend against the receiver’s claim challenging the payment which it alleges was executed when the debtor was insolvent.
Preparing an expert report by Maxim Kulkov for an LCIA arbitration under UNCITRAL Rules between the client and a major Cyprus investment company. The dispute arose out of REPO agreements with the client entered into in accordance with the Global Master Repurchase Agreement 2000 (GMRA) under English law.
Defending Campina in insolvency proceedings on the receiver’s claim challenging payments by the debtor to Campina under a settlement agreement. The receiver stated that the transaction was made in unfair preference over other creditors. Thanks to the team’s efforts, the court dismissed the receiver’s claim in full.
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$105m from a number of Russian banks, as well as representing the client in over 23 cases relating to the bankruptcy of legal entities
Representing JSC Arktikgaz 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$12m.
Representing PJSC B&N BANK in a separate dispute on the invalidation of a subordinated loan agreement for US$7.5m 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 the aviation fuel supplier company on Transaero airline’s bankruptcy case with regard to contesting US$1.4bn in claims brought by lenders/lessors on the basis of dozens of English-law-governed lease contracts and related agreements (including coordinating specialists in English and Russian law and arranging for expert reports).
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 Khlynov 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$7.5m. 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$6.3m.
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$17.2m.
Participation by Maxim Kulkov in proceedings in the High Court of Justice of England 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$30m from an insolvent beneficiary.
Participation by Maxim Kulkov as a Russian law expert in proceedings in the LCIA arbitration relating to a dispute between a UAE state investment company and a Russian property developer over an amount of app. US$173m as an expert in Russian law, including Russian insolvency law.
Preparation of Maxim Kulkov’s expert report for the High Court of England, 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$1.5bn which it illegally transferred.
Maxim Kulkov’s participation in the LCIA 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$500m in losses.