Sergei Smirnov

Sergei Smirnov is an associate with RGD’s Dispute Resolution practice. Sergei focuses on dispute resolution, including cross-border litigation and international arbitration, and advises clients on regulatory compliance, corporate, restructuring and insolvency matters.


Prior to joining RGD, Sergei worked at major domestic law firms and at the Moscow office of Hérès where he advised French investors on corporate, commercial and regulatory issues.


Primary Practice Focus: Dispute Resolution

Secondary Practice Focus: Sanctions, Compliance, Corporate

Industry Sectors: Pharmaceutical Companies and Healthcare Industry, Energy & Natural Resources, Retail and Real Estate, Industry & Transportation

Languages: Russian, English, French

Landmark engagement experience

Dispute Resolution

  • Representing a private client in a high-profile criminal investigations in an EU member state, in the course of which unprecedented in scale and media coverage investigative actions were successfully challenged and declared unlawful

  • Representing a private client in administrative proceedings in an EU member state against the claims of the agency responsible for the enforcement of sanctions, which included challenging a series of large-scale and high-profile searches aimed at seizure of assets blocked subject to sanctions

  • Representing a former senior governmental official in a number of disputes with the municipal administration of the Kirov Region over the joint ownership of public infrastructure units

  • Representing one of the largest Russian investment companies in a dispute over the transfer of rights to administrating a domain name

  • Representing a major Russian oil company in connection with challenging a shareholders’ resolution to decrease the authorised capital

Reputation recovery

  • Providing comprehensive advice and legal representation to a private client in matters related to the protection of honor, dignity, and business reputation and general PR matters in a number of jurisdictions. Providing strategic guidance, coordinating foreign advocates/consultants outside of Russia (including the UK, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France, Croatia, and etc.), and completing legal preparation for disputes concerning the protection of the client’s honor, dignity, and business reputation in foreign jurisdictions (with positive outcomes, including injunctions against foreign media in the client’s favor; signed cease-and-desist declarations, etc.). Developing comprehensive PR strategy, which included legal advice to the client and the client’s PR department, handling media relations, and preparing requests to publish responses and rebuttals

  • Providing legal support to the PR department of a major Russian investment holding company, handling relations with the media, filing requests to publish responses and rebuttals, managing claims, and representing the company in legal proceedings, including those in foreign jurisdictions

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advising French investors on suspension and termination of business activities in Russia, inter alia, on the applicability of Russian “special economic measures” (transactions, currency control regulations, cross-border payments, etc.)

  • Representing one of the biggest liquor companies in the course of obtaining clearance from Russian regulators for the distribution of dividends and sale of equity interest in its Russian subsidiary


  • Advising a French company specialising in the production of infrastructure facilities for ski resorts in connection with the performance of a public contract for the supply of an artificial snow generation system for the Veduchi resort (Chechen Republic)

  • Advising a major Russian oil company in connection with termination of construction contracts with a Dubai-based international luxury hotel chain

  • Advising a leading Turkish clothing manufacturer on commercial, employment, and data protection issues

  • Advising a Swiss energy trader on the EFET General Agreement’s applicability in Russia

Restructuring and Insolvency

  • Advising a French investor on corporate restructuring and redomiciliation of the group’s headquarters from Cyprus to a Russian special administrative region (“Russian offshore zone”)

  • Representing a Russian beverage company in the course of bankruptcy proceedings (inter alia, an unprecedented removal of a trustee due to conflict of interests)

  • Representing the ex-wife of a Russian billionaire in the course of bankruptcy proceedings against a well-known Russian interior designer (inter alia, holding the fence against fabricated claims of the debtor’s affiliated creditors, which resulted in the client remaining the sole creditor in the register)


  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), 2016

Admitted to practice

  • Russia, 2016

International Experience
Sergei Smirnov