Baker & McKenzie Strengthen Firm’s Global Real Estate and Corporate Practices in Russa

22 Lawyers, including Three Partners, Join in Russia
Strengthening the Firm’s Global Real Estate and Corporate Practices

Moscow/St. Petersburg, 7 July, 2008 (LAWFUEL) – Leading real estate practitioners Konstantine Kouzine and Maxim Kuznechenkov and corporate lawyer Igor Makarov have joined Baker & McKenzie in Moscow as partners, bringing a team of 19 lawyers from a major consultancy with them.

Eric Lasry, the Firm’s Chairman of Europe and the Middle East, said: “these appointments evidence that our strategic focus, international client base and global network is enabling us to attract the best possible talent”. Rafael Jimenez-Gusi, Executive Committee Liaison for the CIS, added: “all three new partners will assume leading practice development roles that will contribute significantly to the reputation and competitiveness of both our real estate and transactional capabilities in this very important market”.

Konstantine Kouzine’s international practice focuses on advising developers and landlords of commercial buildings, lease negotiations for major tenant transactions, corporate acquisition and financing of real estate projects. Mr. Kouzine has advised Gazpromexport as tenant on the lease of a whole Class A building of about 13,000 sq.m. in Moscow from Capital Group; and acted for Centurion Hypermarkets on the pre-lease of two Class A buildings of about 37,000 sq.m. in Moscow to TNK-BP, the biggest office lease deal ever done in Moscow. His expertise and legal ability are well known in the market and recognized by international legal directories.

Maxim Kuznechenkov primarily advises on Russian real estate law. His areas of expertise are commercial property, including office and industrial leases, acquisition of real estate assets, M&A deals and joint ventures in real estate, mortgages, sale and lease back transactions and development projects. In real estate he has acted for such clients as Fleming Family & Partners, Immoeast, The Boeing Company. Mr. Kuznechenkov also advises on shipping and transport and insurance law.

“Adding Konstantine Kouzine, Maxim Kuznechenkov and other real estate lawyers is a great win for Baker & McKenzie. It makes our already top-rated real estate practice one of the largest in Russia at a time when real estate expertise is in urgent demand,” said Carol Patterson, Managing Partner of the Moscow office. Their arrival further strengthens the Firm’s European and Global real estate offering, comprising some 500 lawyers, following recent arrivals in Amsterdam, where partners Bob Bekker and Jan Willem Schenk joined from CMS Derks Star Busman along with two senior associates, and in London, where partner Justin Salkeld joined from K&L Gates.

Igor Makarov rejoins Baker & McKenzie having worked from 1995 to 2003 in the St. Petersburg and Moscow offices respectively. His corporate practice is primarily comprised of sell-side M&A work for Russian companies, private equity transactions, joint ventures and foreign direct investment work.

Mr. Makarov has worked on several major deals, including the potential acquisition of a major regional restaurant chain by a leading Russian private equity house; the pre-IPO restructuring of a major Russian media group; the joint-venture between a major Russian seed-crushing and oil producer, and the world leader in palm oil production; and the full scope legal support of a Russian major regional construction and development company in its sale of 100 per cent shares to another Russian national leading construction and development company.

“Of particular value to the Firm is Igor and his team’s experience with Japanese clients, which will enable us to develop a stronger focus on Japanese companies working and investing in Russia,” said Maxim Kalinin, Managing Partner of the St. Petersburg office.

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