Ilya Rybalkin
“Can be relied on to solve complicated issues promptly”. “Dazzles clients with his encyclopedic knowledge of law” “Is an increasingly respected figure in Moscow, noted for his productive, calming influence in heated negotiations.”

clients and the legal press

Ilya Rybalkin is a founding partner of RGD and the Co-Head of our Dispute Resolution practice. His practice focuses on large-scale commercial cross border disputes, fraud litigation, investigations and reputation recovery matters. Ilya also advises major Russian and international clients on corporate activity, especially those having a significant litigation component.

Prior to founding RGD Ilya was a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Hogan & Hartson and Noerr.

He has over 20 years’ professional experience representing clients in complex, corporate disputes and developing legal strategies for international litigation and arbitration; internal investigations relating to allegations of corruption; cross border, white-collar crime matters; and regulatory investigations and enforcement matters, as well as investigations regarding improper dealings with public officials. Ilya’s credibility and depth of knowledge in relation to Russian and international fraud and asset tracing litigation is appreciated by clients and acknowledged by the legal press. He advises clients in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, mining, energy, retail, real estate and media.

In 2019 Ilya was included in the ICC Russia’s roster of arbitrators and his questionnaire was added to the List of Practitioners on VIAC's website.

Valuable experience and deep knowledge obtained through his corporate and tax engagements, as well as recognised skills in negotiation, have ensured that he has earned an outstanding reputation among clients and has become a highly valued strategic counsel by providing clients with excellent service.

In addition, Ilya has extensive experience advising on corporate issues in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate restructurings with a significant contentious component. He has served as lead counsel on many large-scale transactions that have taken place in, or been related to, Russian entities in recent years.


Primary Practice Focus: Dispute Resolution

Industry Sectors: Energy & Natural Resources, Industry & Transportation, Fintech & Financial Institutions, Retail & Real Estate, Telecom & Media, Pharmaceutical Companies and Healthcare Industry

Languages: Russian, English, German, French

Landmark engagement experience

Dispute resolution

  • Representing of the Russia’s largest private heating and electricity generation company in Russian court proceedings to hold the former Russian minister M.A. Abyzov subsidiarily liable for the debts of a major engineering company in parallel with acting in several successful ancillary proceedings in a number of jurisdictions

  • Defending a prominent Russian businessman and a group of related foreign companies in two disputes regarding the imposition of anti-suit injunction orders to cease ongoing litigations in a number of jurisdictions and to restrict new claims globally before the state courts of Caribbean of all levels resulting in a final dismissal of both applications for anti-suit injunctions by the Privy Council

  • Advising a major investment group of companies in relation to potential RICO action in the US against former partners to recover $ multimillion damages, involving counts of conspiracy, fraud and duress

  • Representing PJSC Tatneft in US$380 million English litigation proceedings and a freezing injunction application in the High Court against four Ukrainian oligarchs – Messrs. Igor Kolomoysky, Gennady Bogolyubov, Pavel Ovcharenko and Alexander Yaroslavsky – in relation to huge and complex alleged cross-border fraudulent activities

  • Representing Russia's largest private business group on strategic matters related to a shareholder dispute with BP connected with the announced Arctic deal-and-share swap

  • Representing Russia's largest private business group regarding two sets of disputes and arbitration proceedings connected to the management and operation of TNK–BP

  • Counselling Russia's largest private business group in US legal proceedings initiated against a private individual for unjustified enrichment

  • Representing one of the shareholders in OJSC MegaFon in connection with the planned merger of Altimo and Turkcell assets in a number of regions, which violated shareholder rights and contravened Russian law on investments in business entities of strategic importance.  Russian courts banned the transaction

  • Representing a Russian businessman in arbitration proceedings against a Baltic country in connection with expropriation of assets and discrimination of investments in the financial sector

Asset tracing and recovery

  • Advising a major private generating company in relation to investigations and legal proceedings in Cyprus and Singapore to retrieve evidence relevant to Russia-based proceedings, including the proceedings to issue a Norwich Pharmacal Order in respect of dozens of respondents

  • Representing a large Russian energy company in an asset recovery case worth more than US$1 billion in a complex international fraud and corruption case involving eight jurisdictions

  • Representing one of the world’s largest metal companies in an asset tracing and recovery case against a former executive officer of the company who embezzled in excess of US$50 million

  • Representing a Russian power companies consortium in connection with the investigation and recovery of a multimillion-dollar debt relating to the unlawful activities of the management and shareholders of the Energostream group

  • Representing a sovereign wealth fund of a CIS country in connection with an investigation into the activities of the managers of certain mining and finance companies, as well as additional US, UK and Swiss litigation to identify and recover the misappropriated assets and money

Crisis management

  • Providing strategic advice to the shareholders and senior management of one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Russia, which has been subject to several hostile takeover attempts

  • Providing strategic advice and guidance to the treasury unit of a Russian business group with significant investments in a Russian fertilisation business; separately advising them on potential government and financial regulators’ investigations in several jurisdictions associated with ‎the managed investments portfolio in stock and financial instruments

  • Providing strategic advice and guidance to the senior management of a Russian business group whose principal was the subject of a widely publicised criminal investigation by Russian authorities

  • Advising the senior management of a Russian mining giant facing a massive class action claim ‎in foreign courts for alleged dishonest business practices and financial manipulations

  • Representing a trading arm of a leading Russian metals producer in relation to Swiss criminal, arbitration and civil matters instigated by its partner to avoid payments under a very significant off-take contract

  • Representing a leading financial and industrial group in an investigation into potential civil and criminal claims and providing advice in connection with EU and US sanctions relating to Crimea

Corporate and merger and acquisitions

  • Advising DiDi, an innovative taxi-hailing service expanding on the Russian market, to ensure its compliance with the Russian antitrust legislation

  • Representing Russia's largest private business group, part to the consortium, in relation to the sale of consortium’s stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for an all-cash consideration of US$28 billion (led the cross-border team of lawyers on the transaction that was selected by the American Lawyer magazine as the “Global M&A Deal of the Year: Russia” in its inaugural Global Legal Awards)

  • Representing Russia's largest private business group on the sale of 100% of shares in its logistics and storage business, Multinational Logistics Partnership (MLP), one of Russia and Ukraine’s largest and most successful logistics operators, and on the consolidation of the company’s shareholding in MLP

  • Representing Russia's largest mining and metallurgical company in the US$970 million sale of its shares in Stillwater Mining Company


  • DL, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), 1999


  • Advocate, 2004

  • Russia, 1999

Recognitions & Awards

Ilya Rybalkin and his achievements in various disciplines have been recognised by the leading independent legal publications and directories, including:

  • The Best Lawyers 2021 – ranked among the top Arbitration & Mediation, International Arbitration, Corporate, M&A, Energy and Natural Resources, Litigation, Investment and Tax lawyers in Russia

  • The Best Lawyers 2018-2022 – ranked among the top International Arbitration, Corporate, M&A, Energy and Natural Resources, Customs and Excise and Tax lawyers in Russia

  • The Legal 500 "Arbitration Powerlist: CIS and Caucasus" - recommended among the leading arbitration experts of the region in 2020

  • The Legal 500 EMEA 2018 – recommended for the firm’s Dispute Resolution practice

  • Chambers Global 2009 - 2017 – ranked among top Corporate, M&A lawyers in Russia

  • Chambers Europe 2017 – ranked among the top Corporate, M&A and Tax lawyers in Russia

  • The Best Lawyers 2010-2017 – ranked among top Corporate, M&A and Tax lawyers in Russia

  • IFLR 1000 2018-2021 – ranked as highly regarded M&A, private equity, restructuring and insolvency specialist for Russia

  • Pravo-300 - recommended lawyers in International Arbitration, International Litigation, Sanctions and Domestic Dispute Resolution (Major Commercial Disputes – High Market)

  • "Kommersant" ranking - ranked among leading individuals in International Disputes, Industry and Energy&Natural Recourses

"Kommersant" Ranking
"Pravo-300" Ranking
International Experience
Publications and public speaking
September 16, 2021
Language English
GIR Connect: Moscow 2021. The first Global Investigations Review conference in Russia, supported by Rybalkin, Gortsunyan and Partners. Ilya Rybalkin - co-head and moderator of session 1 - "Russia at the crossroads for internal and external investigations". Nato Tskhakaya - co-moderator of session 2 - "Panel discussion with in-house counsel". Anastasia Konstantinova - co-moderator of session 3 - "Operating in Russia – advice for international businesses going forward".
Ilya Rybalkin | Nato Tskhakaya | Anastasia Konstantinova
May 18, 2021
Language English
Cross-Border Disputes Involving Russian Parties: Recent Practice and Unconventional SolutionsSPILF 2021 Session with participation of Ilya Rybalkin as moderator and Ivan Melesenko as a speaker.
Ilya Rybalkin
Ilya Rybalkin