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Maria Blagovolina

Maria Blagovolina, Managing Partner and Head of White-Collar practice.

Maria represents clients in Russian white-collar cases, including those relating to fraud, misappropriation, embezzlement and money-laundering.


Background


Maria has over 20 years of practice; Maria has acted as a defence attorney in a number of major white-collar criminal cases. In addition, she has extensive experience in managing and co-ordinating major international multi-jurisdictional projects, including those involving criminal matters.


At the start of her career, Maria worked in the Moscow offices of leading international law firms, including Allen & Overy. Furthermore, she was one of the founders and a managing partner at a Russian law firm with a most outstanding criminal practice.


Maria also has extensive experience of advising clients on family and succession law as well as corporate and employment law.


Expertise


Primary Practice Focus: Dispute Resolution, White Collar Practice


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


Languages: English, Russian, French, German

Landmark engagement experience


White collar


  • Defending co-owner of a major Russian insurance company accused of embezzlement and fraud on an especially large-scale and of money-laundering

  • Defending a top manager of a major Russian aircraft corporation accused of misappropriation on an especially large-scale during performance of a contract

  • Defending a prominent Russian businessman against whom criminal charges were brought in connection with tax evasion on an especially large scale


Family and Succession


  • Advising on commencement of succession with respect to the estate of a major Russian businessman and co-founder of a leading IT company and his family members coming into an estate (including taking over of rights to shares in the company)

  • Advising president of a major bank on succession issues

  • Advising Russian citizens on divorce in the US

  • Advising a Russian businessman in the US on a variety of migration issues.

  • Representing a foreign individual in a case to reinstitute the period for taking over an estate in Russia and recognise his title to the estate

  • Advising family of a businessman (founder of a major IT company with offices in Germany and the US) on succession matters


Corporate


  • Representing World Class in a number of transactions to sell shares in the fitness centres to a private equity fund and other investors

  • Representing Evraz Group in connection with the acquisition of OJSC Inprom, one of the leading metal services companies in Russia

  • Representing a major investment fund in connection with a tender to acquire an airport in Russia and entering into an investment agreement

  • Representing a major international oil company in connection with a proposed acquisition of a strategic Russian oil field

  • Representing TRUST, a Russian bank holding which comprises Trust Investment Bank and Trust National Bank, in connection with the sale of a 10% shareholding to Merill Lynch

  • Representing Smiths Group in connection with the arrangement of engineering safety systems import and distribution

  • Representing Smith & Nephew in connection with various matters of Russian law relating to the company's operations in the Russian market

  • Representing WPP Group in connection with setting up a joint business in Russia and numerous M&A transactions to acquire Russian and CIS-based advertising and telecom companies

  • Representing Volkswagen Finance in connection with various corporate matters

  • Representing a pool of investors in connection with a proposed acquisition of the largest shopping centre in Europe

  • Representing an international oil trader in connection with the splitting up of business with its partners

  • Representing shareholders of one of the largest Russian tech companies in connection with a proposed sale of some of its shares


Employment


  • Advising Accenture on various aspects of employment law and employment disputes

  • Advising a major European bank on the matters of employment law in connection with its winding-up in Russia

  • Advising a major Russian energy company on transfer of staff in connection with consolidation of business

  • Advising leading European banks on various aspects of employment law (including compliance of a company’s policy with the Russian laws, development of a new employment policy to meet the Russian legal requirements)

  • Advising a major international insurance company on dismissal of its CEO and the resulting court disputes

  • Advising a major pharmaceuticals company on a wide range of employment law matters

  • Advising a major Russian oil services company on remuneration and bonuses

  • Advising a major international hospitality group on employment of hotel managers

  • Advising WPP Group on employment law, including redundancy, entering into and termination of employment agreements with managers, etc.

  • Advising Visa International on employment law and compliance issues



Education


  • LLM (with honours), Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), 2001

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


Qualification


  • Advocate, 2018

  • Russia, 1999


Recognitions & Awards


  • The Best Lawyers 2020-2022 – ranked among the top Criminal and M&A lawyers in Russia

  • "Kommersant" ranking - ranked among leading individuals specializing in Criminal Law


International Experience
Maria Blagovolina
Partner
VCard