Ilya Rybalkin and Suren Gortsunyan, long standing partners in Akin Gump’s Moscow office, have launched Rybalkin, Gortsunyan & Partners (RGP), based in Moscow, with a team of lawyers from Akin Gump.
With geopolitical tensions on both sides of the Atlantic hindering western firms serving Russian clients, RGP will put clients at the centre of its thinking while offering the high quality of international legal advice that is required. RGP will operate at the highest international ethical and professional standard, employing only those lawyers with experience in major international firms and with full fluency and familiarity of Russian and English law. While most RGP lawyers are Russian qualified from top Russian law schools, each has broad experience of cross-border transactions, disputes and projects with foreign law elements and requiring language skills.
Ilya Rybalkin headed and largely built up the dispute resolution and investigations group at Akin Gump’s Moscow office; specializing in cross-border dispute resolution in English and other courts. His current work includes PJSC Tatneft’s $380m fraud claim against Messrs Bogolyubov, Kolomoysky and Yaroslavsky and a significant shareholder dispute over sizeable energy assets in Russia. He has also represented several prominent Russian clients in well-publicised US court proceedings and investigations across the world.
Suren Gortsunyan was a leading partner in the Akin Gump Moscow office. He specializes in advising major domestic Russian and international companies on mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, joint ventures, shareholder disputes and corporate restructurings in the fintech, retail, consumer, transportation and real estate sectors. Suren is admitted to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales. Clients include Finstar Group, Aeon Corporation and major Russian industrial groups, private equity houses and family offices.
Oleg Isaev, also a counsel from Akin Gump, will be a partner of RGP. His practice focuses on M&A, private equity and corporate finance transactions.
Former Akin Gump senior counsel, Kirill Ratnikov, will be joining RGP as Of Counsel. He is an infrastructure specialist having worked on infrastructure, project finance, EPC and PPP projects worth over US$50 billion in Russia, the CIS, Middle East and Africa.
RGP is expected to have at least 15 fee earners by the end of 2018. The new firm is based in the Legend of Tsvetnoy building in central Moscow. RGP is already advising major Russian clients in cross-border disputes and corporate deals, as well as foreign investors on Russia-related matters, with several major mandates having transferred across from Akin Gump. RGP expects to expand into finance and domestic litigation soon.
RGP will work with Akin Gump on a non-exclusive basis, including on current matters.
Ilya Rybalkin commented:
“A team spin-off of this calibre and scale from a leading international firm is unprecedented in the Russian legal market. RGP is a cohort of well-respected professionals, ranging from associates to partners from top name firms, fully resourced from day one to advise Russian and international businesses. At a time when sanctions and other geopolitical measures are distracting law firms from their main goal of serving clients we expect to attract further senior lawyers from international law firms.”
“Our time at Akin Gump has been immensely rewarding for us and the firm. We part on excellent terms and will continue to work together on certain existing matters.”
Suren Gortsunyan added:
Prior to founding RGP, Ilya Rybalkin was the partner in Akin Gump’s Moscow office heading Russia-related dispute resolution work. Before Akin Gump, Mr. Rybalkin was a partner at US firm Hogan & Hartson LLP (now Hogan Lovells) and prior to that, a partner at Germany’s Noerr.
Prior to founding RGP Suren Gortsunyan was a partner with Akin Gump, and before that a partner with Hogan Lovells in Moscow. He also worked in the Moscow offices of White & Case and Herbert Smith.
Chandos Communications Kings Cross, London N1C 4AG
Ilya Rybalkin, Founder, RGP + 7 985 970 6629
Suren Gortsunyan, Founder, RGP + 7 985 967 2640