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Vladis­lav Eltovskiy has been ap­poin­ted as new Head of Di­git­al Law at SEAM­LESS...
SEAM­LESS Leg­al is pleased to an­nounce the ap­point­ment of Vladis­lav Eltovskiy as Head of Di­git­al Law.Vladis­lav, who has been spe­cial­ising in in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty pro­tec­tion and per­son­al data pro­jects...
SEAM­LESS Leg­al ex­perts re­cog­nised by the Pravo-300 rank­ing 2023
SEAM­LESS Leg­al ex­perts have earned re­cog­ni­tion by the Pravo-300 in­di­vidu­al rank­ing re­leased on 21 Feb­ru­ary 2023. The most reput­able Rus­si­an na­tion­al rank­ing has awar­ded 12 SEAM­LESS Leg­al law­yers across...
SEAM­LESS Leg­al pro­motes Yulia Smour­ova to Coun­sel
31 Janu­ary 2023
SEAM­LESS Leg­al has been re­com­men­ded by For­bes Club Leg­al Rank­ing in Rus­sia
For­bes has presen­ted the res­ults of its study of the best law firms in Rus­sia ad­vising High Net Worth In­di­vidu­als – For­bes Club Leg­al Rank­ing 2022.SEAM­LESS Leg­al has been re­com­men­ded across four cat­egor­ies:In­di­vidu­al...
Ex­perts have dis­cussed changes in ad­vert­ising in­dustry reg­u­la­tion
On 20 Oc­to­ber 2022, SEAM­LESS Leg­al held its second an­nu­al Ad­vert­ising Law con­fer­ence in Mo­scow with par­ti­cip­a­tion of the rep­res­ent­at­ives of the Fed­er­al An­ti­mono­poly Ser­vice, as­so­ci­ations, ma­jor ad­vert­isers...
CRE-100: Artashes Ogan­ov among the best com­mer­cial real es­tate law­yers
5 Au­gust 2022
SEAM­LESS Leg­al lis­ted among the best lit­ig­a­tion firms in Rus­sia in 2022
Lead­ers in dis­putes: SEAM­LESS Leg­al is lis­ted among the lead­ers in Pravo.ru's rat­ing of best lit­ig­a­tion firms.The Pravo.ru portal an­nounces the res­ults of its 6th lit­ig­a­tion mar­ket re­search for 2021.The...
The former Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue work­ing as an in­de­pend­ent law...
On 15 June 2022, the former Mo­scow of­fice of the in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS an­nounces the start of work as an in­de­pend­ent law firm un­der the new brand name SEAM­LESS Leg­al.Over 80 col­leagues of the Mo­scow of­fice con­tin­ue work­ing as one team, led by Man­aging Part­ner Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire and Seni­or Part­ner Le­onid Zubar­ev.We keep ad­vising our cli­ents across all 23 prac­tices and sec­tors: We lean on 30 years of ex­pert­ise and an im­pec­cable repu­ta­tion as part of an in­ter­na­tion­al law firm. We have al­ways abided by strict pro­fes­sion­al stand­ards and will con­tin­ue provid­ing ser­vices of the highest qual­ity. Jean-Fran­cois Mar­quaire, Man­aging Part­ner: “We are proud of hav­ing been able to cre­ate and pre­serve a united team with a friendly cor­por­ate cul­ture and re­spons­ible at­ti­tude to our busi­ness.”Le­onid Zubar­ev, Seni­or Part­ner: “Our new brand SEAM­LESS Leg­al most ac­cur­ately re­flects the ap­proach to work that has de­veloped over the years in our firm – in­teg­rity and co­her­ence, im­pec­cab­il­ity, con­tinu­ity and un­in­ter­rup­ted sup­port to our cli­ents at any time."
Emer­ging Europe M&A 2021 activ­ity re­bounds with deal value soar­ing
Find­ings from the CMS Emer­ging Europe M&A 2021 re­port, pub­lished today in co­oper­a­tion with EMIS, show that 2021 was a year of re­bound and re­cov­ery for deal-makers in emer­ging EuropeEm­er­ging Europe in­cludes Al­bania, Be­larus, Bos­nia and Herzegov­ina, Bul­garia, Croa­tia, Czech Re­pub­lic, Es­to­nia, Hun­gary, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, North Mace­do­nia, Mol­dova, Montenegro, Po­land, Ro­mania, Rus­sia, Ser­bia, Slov­akia, Slov­e­nia, Tur­key, and Ukraine.de­fault.  Not only did the re­gion re­cov­er from its dip in 2020, with 2021 trans­ac­tion levels rising to 2,015 deals (up 18.2%), but emer­ging Europe saw over­all deal value reach its highest level since 2013 – in­creas­ing to EUR 94.27bn (up 55.1%). Horea Popes­cu, Head of CEE Cor­por­ate M&A prac­tice, CMS, com­ments: “M&A activ­ity in emer­ging Europe ex­per­i­enced a re­sur­gence in 2021, with buy­ers and sellers ap­pear­ing to re­cov­er their con­fid­ence at the pro­spect of the pan­dem­ic be­ing brought un­der con­trol. The year got off to a strong start with deal num­bers re­cov­er­ing sharply in the first three months of the year, reach­ing levels sim­il­ar to 2019 – a trend that then con­tin­ued through to the au­tumn.” Stefan Stoy­an­ov, Head of M&A Data­base at EMIS, says: “In 2021, we saw deal-makers ad­apt to the pan­dem­ic’s new nor­mal and push on with M&A. The find­ings in this year’s re­port demon­strate the re­turn of deal-maker con­fid­ence, as quarterly deal val­ues ex­ceeded EUR 20bn for five quar­ters in a row and mega­deals firmly re­turned to the agenda – with each of the year’s top ten deals priced at more than EUR 1bn.”  PE activ­ity con­tin­ued to grow and IPOs took off   Private equity is now firmly em­bed­ded in the deal­mak­ing cul­ture of emer­ging Europe. Build­ing on 2020’s buoy­ant num­bers, private equity activ­ity rose fur­ther with deal num­bers at an all-time high (399) and val­ues up 18% (EUR 23.75bn).  IPOs also en­joyed a bump­er year as the num­ber of list­ings surged to 116 (up from 26) and val­ues jumped to EUR 13.47bn (up from EUR 4.79bn). These fig­ures re­flect the suc­cess of re­gion­al stock ex­changes, such as Warsaw, Bucharest and Istan­bul, in at­tract­ing new list­ings, while those in Lon­don, Am­s­ter­dam and New York con­tin­ued to ap­peal to com­pan­ies seek­ing in­ter­na­tion­al in­vestors.  Lead­ing sec­tors Tele­coms and IT topped the deal tables once again and ac­coun­ted for five of the ten biggest deals of the year. Trans­ac­tion num­bers rose to 450 (up from 333) and the sec­tor saw the over­all highest deal value at EUR 23.4bn. Sig­ni­fic­ant Tele­coms deals in­cluded the sales of Polkomtel In­frastruk­tura and UPC Pol­ska in Po­land, and the sales of České Ra­di­okomunikace and a 30% stake in CET­IN in the Czech Re­pub­lic. Mean­while, not­able soft­ware deals in­cluded the EUR 7.3bn sale of Avast Soft­ware in the Czech Re­pub­lic and the EUR 1.6bn pur­chase of game de­veloper Nex­ters Glob­al by Kismet, both with roots in Rus­sia. Real Es­tate and Con­struc­tion was the second busiest sec­tor, ex­per­i­en­cing 340 deals (up from 310) and a 3.8% rise in deal value (EUR 9.83bn). Des­pite ex­per­i­en­cing a 19% drop in deal num­bers, of­fices re­mained the top real-es­tate sub-sec­tor. Sim­il­arly, Ware­hous­ing and lo­gist­ics also main­tained its sub-sec­tor rank­ing, re­flect­ing the on­go­ing shift to e-com­merce. Man­u­fac­tur­ing was the third busiest sec­tor with 253 trans­ac­tions (up from 236) and second by value at EUR 18.26bn. Mean­while, Min­ing, Oil and Gas was the third largest sec­tor by value at EUR 10.59bn, though it was one of the few sec­tors where deal num­bers de­clined (down to 105 from 124). Grow­ing in­vestor in­terest in cli­mate ac­tion helped drive up the over­all num­ber of en­ergy and util­ity deals to 122 (from 73), and the sec­tor ac­coun­ted for 6% of over­all trans­ac­tions (up from 4.3%). The re­new­ables sub-sec­tor saw par­tic­u­larly im­press­ive growth in both deal activ­ity and value, num­ber­ing 81 deals (up from 44) and a fourfold in­crease in value.  Coun­try hot­spots Three not­able M&A hot­spots in­cluded Croa­tia, Ro­mania and Ukraine, whose deal num­bers each ex­ceeded those achieved pri­or to the pan­dem­ic. Croa­tia saw deal num­bers and val­ues hit re­cord highs of 69 (up 60.5%) and EUR 1.8bn re­spect­ively (387.4%). Mean­while, deal activ­ity in Ro­mania also made the re­cord books (195 trans­ac­tions, up 43.4%), how­ever, deal value was down by 9.6% (EUR 2.37bn). Ukraine’s deal num­bers strongly re­covered (up 57.1% to 143) and the coun­try’s over­all deal value doubled to EUR 1.72bn.   For­eign and re­gion­al in­vest­ment reaches new heights  The United States was the most act­ive for­eign coun­try in­vestor. US deal num­bers rose to a dec­ade high of 154 (up from 94) and val­ues more than doubled to reach a re­cord high of EUR 9.17bn. European in­vestors also demon­strated a keen ap­pet­ite for deals in emer­ging Europe and, by deal activ­ity, the top three European in­vestors were the UK (106 deals), Ger­many (81 deals) and France (54 deals). These same three coun­tries also topped the charts for European in­vestor deal value; Ger­many led the pack (EUR 3.13bn), with the UK (EUR 2.08bn) and France (EUR 1.91bn) fol­low­ing in second and third place re­spect­ively. The UAE moved up the for­eign in­vestor rank­ing to se­cure tenth po­s­i­tion for its deal num­bers, the highest out­side the US and Europe. Cross-bor­der M&A re­mained buoy­ant, with deal num­bers up 28.9% (985 deals) and val­ues up 59.8% (EUR 56bn). Mean­while, do­mest­ic deal val­ues reached EUR 38.3bn (up 48.1%), with deal num­bers up 9.5% (1,030). Rus­sia was the largest single in­vestor coun­try over­all, with 564 deals worth EUR 37.3bn – al­most all (96%) of these be­ing do­mest­ic trans­ac­tions.  Out­look for 2022  Ra­divo­je Pet­rikić, CEE Cor­por­ate Prac­tice, CMS, com­ments: “M&A pro­fes­sion­als have shown they are cap­able of ad­apt­ing to whatever chal­lenges 2022 might throw at them. Al­though un­cer­tainty about the im­pact of new vari­ants and the pro­spect of eco­nom­ic fal­lout from high­er in­fla­tion has led to a more cau­tious end to the year, our find­ings show that deal-maker con­fid­ence has largely been re­stored. In 2021, the main drivers of deals were long-term un­der­ly­ing trends, such as di­git­al­isa­tion, and with the pace of change and shift to di­git­al con­tinu­ing to ac­cel­er­ate, the fun­da­ment­als for an act­ive deal­mak­ing mar­ket re­main firmly in place.” Artashes Ogan­ov, Cor­por­ate prac­tice, CMS Rus­sia, says: “After an ap­prox. 20% drop in tur­bu­lent 2020 the Rus­si­an M&A mar­ket showed an im­press­ive re­cov­ery in 2021.  With Oil & Gas, Chem­ic­als, Re­tail and Real Es­tate & Con­struc­tion be­ing the key drivers of M&A mar­ket growth in Rus­sia, the ag­greg­ate deal value has al­most doubled com­pared to 2020. However, un­like oth­er emer­ging mar­kets, the role of in­bound in­vest­ments in such growth re­mains re­l­at­ively small. Key do­mest­ic play­ers, in­clud­ing state-owned con­glom­er­ates from Nat­ur­al Re­sources, Bank­ing and In­vest­ment sec­tors, con­tin­ue to hold the pre­vail­ing share in the over­all deal volume. Due to the spe­cif­ic pro­file of the Rus­si­an eco­nomy where the state plays a ma­jor role wheth­er as fin­an­cing party or a stake­hold­er, de­creased busi­ness activ­ity after the COV­ID-19 out­break in 2020 and, hence, de­valu­ation of as­sets in many seg­ments of Rus­si­an eco­nomy al­lowed ma­jor loc­al in­vestors who have ac­cess to fin­an­cing from state-owned banks to cap­it­al­ise on the mar­ket situ­ation through ac­quis­i­tion of com­pet­it­ors and con­sol­id­a­tion of the mar­ket share in 2021. Also, the volume of out­bound in­vest­ments and activ­ity of Rus­si­an play­ers on the for­eign mar­kets showed a sur­pris­ing growth in 2021.”Gur­gen Gortsun­yan, Head of M&A, CMS Rus­sia, sums up: “The cur­rent deals pipeline gives us op­tim­ism that the Rus­si­an M&A mar­ket will main­tain at least the same level of deal-mak­ing activ­ity in 2022 des­pite the cur­rent geo­pol­it­ic­al con­text and in­ter­na­tion­al pres­sure put on the coun­try by the con­tin­ued sanc­tions.”The CMS Emer­ging Europe M&A 2021 re­port can be found here.
CMS Rus­sia at the con­fer­ence ded­ic­ated to ESG in Rus­sia and France
On Oc­to­ber 26, 2021 the Franco-Rus­si­an Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry (CCI France Russie), Nor­nick­el and the Na­tion­al Coun­cil on Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance with the sup­port of the French Em­bassy in Rus­sia held an ESG con­fer­ence. French and Rus­si­an reg­u­lat­ors, fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tions and in­dus­tri­al cor­por­a­tions dis­cussed the pro­spects and chal­lenges of the new ESG real­ity. The event brought to­geth­er ex­perts from high-pro­file com­pan­ies and or­gan­isa­tions in­clud­ing France Dip­lo­matie, the Bank of Rus­sia, VEB.RF, Mo­scow Ex­change, Ros­bank, Gazprom­bank, Boiron, Schneider Elec­tric, La­farge­Holcim, Saint-Gobain, etc.Olga Odint­sova, Coun­sel and Head of New Busi­nesses and Product De­vel­op­ment at CMS Rus­sia, mod­er­ated a ses­sion on en­vir­on­ment­al re­spons­ib­il­ity and busi­ness ef­fi­ciency and a ses­sion on ESG rank­ings in Rus­sia and France.The En­vir­on­ment­al, So­cial & Cor­por­ate Gov­ernance agenda has firmly rooted in the glob­al eco­nomy to elim­in­ate in­equal­ity and en­sure ef­fi­cient use of nat­ur­al re­sources. Green com­pan­ies that com­ply with ESG cri­ter­ia get easi­er ac­cess to in­ter­na­tion­al in­vest­ments, while busi­nesses not com­mit­ted to ESG prin­ciples are find­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to get ac­cess to such in­vest­ments. Read the full event re­port on the web­site of the Franco-Rus­si­an Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dustry. 
CMS opens of­fice in Tel Aviv
In­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS is pleased to an­nounce the open­ing of an of­fice in Tel Aviv, Is­rael. Op­er­a­tion­al from 1 Oc­to­ber 2021, the of­fice will be led by part­ner and cur­rent Head of the Is­raeli prac­tice Louis Glass, sup­por­ted by part­ner An­drew Bess­er. Es­tab­lish­ing a dir­ect pres­ence in Is­rael builds on the suc­cess of the firm’s Is­raeli prac­tice and will en­able the firm to sup­port cli­ents with sub­stan­tial op­er­a­tions and in­vest­ments in the coun­try, and to cap­ture new busi­ness op­por­tun­it­ies.  The firm’s re­cent Is­rael-re­lated work has in­volved over 20 CMS of­fices, with a par­tic­u­lar em­phas­is on tech-driv­en M&A, en­ergy, ho­tels, cap­it­al mar­kets, fin­an­cial ser­vices and gambling reg­u­lat­ory mat­ters.This ex­pan­sion also provides a plat­form for fur­ther growth and deep­er in­teg­ra­tion between the firm’s Middle East and Is­raeli prac­tices.Steph­en Mil­lar, Man­aging Part­ner of CMS UK com­ments: “We’re de­lighted to be open­ing an of­fice in Tel Aviv.  Is­rael is a fast-grow­ing ex­port-led eco­nomy with re­mark­able strength and tal­ent in the in­nov­at­ive in­dus­tries.  It’s the home to our many im­port­ant Is­raeli cli­ents and a key loc­a­tion for our non-Is­raeli cli­ents too.  Hav­ing a phys­ic­al pres­ence will help us sup­port our cli­ents more ef­fect­ively.”Louis Glass, Man­aging Part­ner of the Tel Aviv of­fice, says: “Open­ing an of­fice in Tel Aviv is a nat­ur­al next step in the de­vel­op­ment of our Is­raeli prac­tice and demon­strates our con­fid­ence in, and com­mit­ment to, the Is­raeli mar­ket.  The of­fice strengthens our abil­ity to build on our suc­cesses across many prac­tice areas by shar­ing our sec­tor-fo­cussed in­ter­na­tion­al of­fer­ing with new and ex­ist­ing cli­ents.  This is a great mile­stone for CMS, for me per­son­ally and for all my col­leagues who en­thu­si­ast­ic­ally serve our Is­raeli cli­ents daily.  I’m grate­ful to all those cli­ents and col­leagues for their won­der­ful sup­port.”
CMS Rus­sia law­yers in the Man­aging IP Rising Stars 2021
This year's Man­aging IP's Rising Stars 2021 rank­ing of up-and-com­ing IP ex­perts re­cog­nised two CMS Rus­sia law­yers - Seni­or As­so­ci­ate Ir­ina Shur­mina and As­so­ci­ate Vladis­lav Eltovskiy. Ir­ina has been men­tioned by the rank­ing pre­vi­ously, and Vladis­lav has been re­cog­nised this year for the first time.The Man­aging IP Rising Stars 2021/2022 rank­ing is the res­ult of a com­pre­hens­ive ana­lys­is of firms and prac­ti­tion­ers in the in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in­dustry. This spe­cial pub­lic­a­tion re­cog­nises some of the best up-and-com­ing in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty prac­ti­tion­ers in private prac­tice who con­trib­uted to the suc­cess of their firms and cli­ents. This year's pub­lic­a­tion in­cludes more than 1,000 IP prac­ti­tion­ers and over 400 firms across 54 jur­is­dic­tions. Earli­er this year the Man­aging IP's IP STARS dir­ect­ory has re­com­men­ded CMS Rus­sia as one of the lead­ing IP firms for Trade mark pro­sec­u­tion and In­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty trans­ac­tions in Rus­sia.