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Portrait of Leonid Zubarev

Leonid Zubarev

Senior Partner
Head of Commercial | Head of Insurance

Contact
SEAMLESS Legal
Naberezhnaya Tower, block C
10 Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya
123112 Moscow
Russia
Languages English, Russian
Commercial

Leonid Zubarev has been working at the firm since 1995. He heads Insurance and Commercial Practice Groups and is generally responsible for the firm’s development in Russia. 

Leonid advises international companies from various industries on the legal aspects of their operations in the Russian market, including advice on legal establishment, green-field and brown-field investments, acquisitions and antimonopoly clearance issues, drafting investment documentation, advising on joint ventures arrangements, labour and immigration issues, licensing and permissions, commercial contracts, IP issues.

Leonid has been advising many Russian and international insurers and re-insurers on new products development, market entry and exit strategies. He advises on share acquisitions including structuring the transaction, receiving all necessary licences and permissions, long-term life insurance schemes and credit life insurance. His day-to-day practice includes advising insurers and reinsurers on complex claim handling matters and defending them in courts.

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"Mr Zubarev is familiar not only with Russian law, but also EU and international law, and he brings these different traditions together."

Client Choice

Memberships & Roles

  • AIDA – International Insurance Law Association/Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances
  • Russian Arbitration Center – Certified expert for insurance disputes
  • CCI FR – French-Russian Chamber of Commerce
  • AHK – German-Russian Chamber of Commerce
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Awards & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers 2022, Trade Law, Investment, Product liability, Insurance Law
  • Pravo.ru 300 2022, Insurance
  • Client Choice Awards 2020, Insurance
  • Kommersant 2022, Insurance
  • Legal 500, Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation
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Publications

  • Chambers Insurance & Reinsurance Guide 2022
  • Lexology GTDT: Insurance & Reinsurance Guide 2022
  • The impact of COVID–19 pandemic on the Russian insurance market. Article in AEB Business Quarterly by the Association of European Businesses in Russia
  • Forbes: ЦБ переложит кредитные риски с банков на страховщиков?
  • Forbes: Нормотворчество по жизни: заменят ли инструкции регулятора законодательные акты? >>
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Russian insurance market
  • COVID-19 and the CEE insurance industry. Most frequent questions of the insurance industry regarding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Insurance M&A: Contribution in Russian
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Education

  • 1995, Moscow State University of International relations (MGIMO University)
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Insurance

Leonid Zubarev has been working at the firm since 1995. He heads Insurance and Commercial Practice Groups and is generally responsible for the firm’s development in Russia. 

Leonid advises international companies from various industries on the legal aspects of their operations in the Russian market, including advice on legal establishment, green-field and brown-field investments, acquisitions and antimonopoly clearance issues, drafting investment documentation, advising on joint ventures arrangements, labour and immigration issues, licensing and permissions, commercial contracts, IP issues.

Leonid has been advising many Russian and international insurers and re-insurers on new products development, market entry and exit strategies. He advises on share acquisitions including structuring the transaction, receiving all necessary licences and permissions, long-term life insurance schemes and credit life insurance. His day-to-day practice includes advising insurers and reinsurers on complex claim handling matters and defending them in courts.

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"He is a unique professional in the insurance law sphere in the Russian market."

Client Choice

Relevant experience

  • One of the largest reinsurance companies – elaboration of the contingency plan for the client. Advice on termination of lease agreements. Rep. office operations restructuring.
  • One of the largest global insurance providers – advising on the sale of its Russian business. 
  • AlfaStrakhovanie – represented the client, the largest private insurance company in Russia, in complex international interconnected disputes regarding private jet crush in one of the national airports with total net value of the claims exceeding EUR 40m.
  • AlfaStrakhovanie − representing the client in two precedent–setting disputes on the D&O liability insurance in the total amount of RUB 800m.
  • Munich Re – advising on a life reinsurance project in Russia including obtaining a reinsurance licence.
  • VTB Insurance – representing in courts following an accident at Nizhne–Turinskaya hydropower plant.
  • Russian major insurance company – representing the client in a dispute on recovery of losses by way of subrogation in connection with a fire accident on a Russian thermal power plant in the amount of RUB 26 bn.
  • Russian insurance company – advising on an aircraft insurance contract in connection with the SSJ-100 crash at Sheremetyevo Airport. Preparation of legal opinions on the settlement of an insured event (aircraft loss).
  • Major Russian insurance company – advising a client in connection with a claim by an insured aircraft manufacturer under a liability insurance contract for damage caused by product defects.
  • SOGAZ – representing the client in an aviation hull case involving damage to aircraft engines in Jordan.
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Memberships & Roles

  • AIDA – International Insurance Law Association/Association Internationale de Droit des Assurances
  • Russian Arbitration Center – Certified expert for insurance disputes
  • CCI FR – French-Russian Chamber of Commerce
  • AHK – German-Russian Chamber of Commerce
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Awards & Rankings

  • Best Lawyers 2022, Trade Law, Investment, Product liability, Insurance Law
  • Pravo.ru 300 2022, Insurance
  • Client Choice Awards 2020, Insurance
  • Kommersant 2022, Insurance
  • Legal 500, Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation
more less

Publications

  • Chambers Insurance & Reinsurance Guide 2022
  • Lexology GTDT: Insurance & Reinsurance Guide 2022
  • The impact of COVID–19 pandemic on the Russian insurance market. Article in AEB Business Quarterly by the Association of European Businesses in Russia
  • Forbes: ЦБ переложит кредитные риски с банков на страховщиков?
  • Forbes: Нормотворчество по жизни: заменят ли инструкции регулятора законодательные акты?
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Russian insurance market
  • COVID-19 and the CEE insurance industry. Most frequent questions of the insurance industry regarding the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Insurance M&A: Contribution in Russian
more less

Education

  • 1995, Moscow State University of International relations (MGIMO University)
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15/06/2022
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."
22/03/2022
Bank of Rus­sia lifts ban on cer­tain in­surer trans­ac­tions
On 18 March 2022, the Cent­ral Bank of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion (“CBR”) is­sued a per­mit to in­sur­ance mar­ket par­ti­cipants (“Per­mis­sion”) in ac­cord­ance with para­graph 2 of Art­icle 3 of Law No. 55-FZ*. In ac­cord­ance with the Per­mis­sion, in­sur­ance com­pan­ies and mu­tu­al in­sur­ance as­so­ci­ations may per­form a num­ber of op­er­a­tions, which were pre­vi­ously pro­hib­ited by this Law. The Per­mis­sion was sent to Rus­si­an in­sur­ance mar­ket par­ti­cipants through their per­son­al ac­counts on the CBR’s web­site and is in force un­til 31 Decem­ber 2022 (in­clus­ive).In ac­cord­ance with the Per­mis­sion, Rus­si­an in­surers are now al­lowed to carry out:op­er­a­tions with­in in­ter­na­tion­al mo­tor vehicle third-party li­ab­il­ity in­sur­ance schemes in ac­cord­ance with Art­icle 31 of Fed­er­al Law No. 40-FZ “On man­dat­ory mo­tor third party li­ab­il­ity in­sur­ance” dated 25 April 2002, in­clud­ing re­in­sur­ance, pay­ment of premi­ums and claims un­der re­in­sur­ance con­tracts; an­d­op­er­a­tions in con­nec­tion with re­in­sur­ance and pay­ments of premi­ums and claims (for dir­ect policies for cargo in­sur­ance con­tracts of goods im­por­ted in­to Rus­sia or re­lated fin­an­cial risks). Fur­ther­more, the Per­mis­sion al­lows in­sur­ance com­pan­ies and mu­tu­al in­sur­ance so­ci­et­ies to enter in­to trans­ac­tions with Rus­si­an in­surers and in­sur­ance brokers con­trolled by the res­id­ents of “un­friendly” states, and to make pay­ments in con­nec­tion with such trans­ac­tions.Fi­nally, the Per­mis­sion al­lows com­pan­ies to enter in­to any trans­ac­tions with and to make any pay­ments to any in­surers and in­sur­ance brokers, ex­cept for en­ter­ing in­to con­tracts or mak­ing pay­ments for in­sur­ance and re­in­sur­ance pur­poses.Co-au­thored by Max­im Telushkin, Paralegal in Bank­ing & Fin­ance.* In Rus­si­an
15/03/2022
Rus­si­an counter-sanc­tions: an in­sur­ance per­spect­ive
On 14 March 2022, a new law was pub­lished as a part of the Rus­si­an re­sponse to sanc­tions im­posed by for­eign states. Law No. 55-FZ* af­fects a num­ber of areas in­clud­ing in­sur­ance and re­in­sur­ance.Para­graph 2 of Art­icle 3 of the Law provides that, un­til 31 Decem­ber 2022, Rus­si­an in­surers can­not enter in­to con­tracts with in­surers, re­in­surers and in­sur­ance brokers res­id­ent in un­friendly states, and with in­surers, re­in­surers and in­sur­ance brokers con­trolled by res­id­ents of un­friendly states. Ac­cord­ing to Pres­id­en­tial De­cree No. 95* dated 5 March 2022 and Gov­ern­ment Res­ol­u­tion No. 430-r* dated 5 March 2022, the list of un­friendly states in­cludes the US, EU, UK, Aus­tralia, Canada, Ja­pan and a num­ber of oth­er coun­tries.The Law fur­ther provides that Rus­si­an in­surers can­not trans­fer money to any of the above en­tit­ies un­der con­tracts con­cluded pri­or to the ef­fect­ive date of the Law (14 March 2022). Such trans­fers as well as new con­tracts can only be made in ex­cep­tion­al cases sub­ject to a Cent­ral Bank per­mit. By ac­ci­dent or not, Rus­si­an in­sur­ance com­pan­ies, re­in­sur­ance com­pan­ies and brokers con­trolled by for­eign in­vestors are also sub­ject to this ban.There could be the fol­low­ing im­plic­a­tions for in­surers in­clud­ing Rus­si­an in­surers and re­in­surers con­trolled by for­eign in­vestors:They will not be able to place re­in­sur­ance through brokers based in or con­trolled by res­id­ents of un­friendly states or Rus­si­an sub­si­di­ar­ies of in­ter­na­tion­al brokers even if the risk ends up in a friendly state.Rus­si­an in­surers con­trolled by res­id­ents of un­friendly states will be ad­di­tion­ally hit by the in­ab­il­ity to ac­cept new re­in­sur­ance busi­ness from Rus­si­an in­surers.As it will not be pos­sible to trans­fer any re­in­sur­ance premi­ums to or by these “un­friendly” in­surers, re­in­surers and brokers, ex­ist­ing re­in­sur­ance policies could be ter­min­ated leav­ing the in­sureds without suf­fi­cient in­sur­ance and re­in­sur­ance pro­tec­tion.Also, trans­fers of re­in­sur­ance or ret­ro­ces­sion share of any loss to these en­tit­ies would not be pos­sible.Cus­tom­ers of Rus­si­an in­sur­ance com­pan­ies could also face neg­at­ive con­sequences, such as:An in­surer may re­fuse to enter in­to an in­sur­ance con­tract be­cause its own re­ten­tion lim­its will be ex­ceeded and it will not be able to trans­fer the risk abroad or to a Rus­si­an sub­si­di­ary of a for­eign “un­friendly” in­surer.New risks as­sumed by Rus­si­an in­surers can­not be trans­ferred un­der ex­ist­ing treat­ies to for­eign “un­friendly” in­surers or their Rus­si­an sub­si­di­ar­ies (no re­in­sur­ance premi­ums can be paid), the risks will re­main on their own re­ten­tion or will be trans­ferred to com­pan­ies with low rat­ings. If an in­sured event oc­curs, there is a high risk of bank­ruptcy for Rus­si­an in­surers as they are un­able to trans­fer the risk to highly-rated re­in­surers, there is also a high risk of not re­ceiv­ing the in­sur­ance in­dem­nity.There could be a breach of pro­vi­sions in loan agree­ments re­quir­ing in­sur­ance/re­in­sur­ance policies to be is­sued by reput­able com­pan­ies with high in­ter­na­tion­al rat­ings (tech­nic­al de­fault with all its con­sequences). Some activ­it­ies will be at risk of stop­page (e.g. air trans­port) due to in­ab­il­ity to re­in­sure high risks in for­eign com­pan­ies loc­ated in un­friendly coun­tries.The Law provides for a pos­sib­il­ity to ob­tain a spe­cial per­mit from the Cent­ral Bank “in ex­cep­tion­al cases”.  It re­mains to be seen how will­ing the Cent­ral Bank will be to is­sue them as there is no pro­ced­ure or timeline for the is­su­ance.* In Rus­si­an
14/03/2022
The Mo­scow of­fice of CMS to con­tin­ue as an in­de­pend­ent law firm
Dear FriendsWe have been through a lot dur­ing 30 years in Rus­sia. Now a dif­fi­cult de­cision has been taken by CMS to leave the Rus­si­an mar­ket. We are grate­ful to our in­ter­na­tion­al col­leagues for their...
28/01/2022
Leg­al de­vel­op­ments that may af­fect your busi­ness in 2022
CMS Rus­sia ex­perts have pre­pared their an­nu­al se­lec­tion of the most sig­ni­fic­ant leg­al de­vel­op­ments that may af­fect your busi­ness in Rus­sia in 2022.
01/11/2021
Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia
This is the new edi­tion of the CMS Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia guide. 
11/10/2021
Lex­o­logy GT­DT - In­sur­ance & Re­in­sur­ance 2021 (Rus­sia)
Lex­o­logy Get­ting The Deal Through has pub­lished the four­teenth edi­tion of In­sur­ance & Re­in­sur­ance.This is a quick ref­er­ence guide en­abling side-by-side com­par­is­on of loc­al in­sights in­to in­sur­ance and re­in­sur­ance is­sues world­wide, in­clud­ing reg­u­la­tion of in­sur­ance and com­pan­ies and their activ­it­ies; in­sur­ance claims and cov­er­age; re­in­sur­ance prin­ciples and prac­tices; dis­putes (in­clud­ing ar­bit­ra­tion); and re­cent trends.The chapter on In­sur­ance & Re­in­sur­ance for Rus­sia 2021 was writ­ten by Seni­or Part­ner Le­onid Zubar­ev. Please find be­low the com­plete art­icle to down­load and con­tact Le­onid Zubar­ev if you need any in­sur­ance-re­lated leg­al ad­vice.Ac­cred­it­a­tion: Re­pro­duced with per­mis­sion from Law Busi­ness Re­search Ltd. This art­icle was first pub­lished in Lex­o­logy Get­ting the Deal Through – In­sur­ance & Re­in­sur­ance 2021 (Pub­lished: Au­gust 2021).
10/06/2021
CMS Rus­sia earns a re­cord num­ber of re­cog­ni­tions by Best Law­yers 2022
Strong re­cog­ni­tion by the rank­ing 32 CMS Rus­sia ex­perts have been se­lec­ted for in­clu­sion in­to the 2022 edi­tion of the Best Law­yers rank­ing. In total, we have earned 74 re­cog­ni­tions by the rank­ing :Ant­on...
27/04/2021
Life in­sur­ance in Rus­sia. Chal­lenges and op­por­tun­it­ies
As­so­ci­ation of European Busi­nesses is pleased to in­vite you to the In­sur­ance and Pen­sions Com­mit­tee’s open event "Life in­sur­ance in Rus­sia. Chal­lenges and op­por­tun­it­ies" de­voted to the leg­al and prac­tic­al...
2021
In­tro­duc­tion
In this chapter of Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia, we out­line the Rus­si­an polit­ic­al and ad­min­is­trat­ive struc­ture. The chapter also gives a fla­vour of the leg­al en­vir­on­ment in the coun­try from an in­ter­na­tion­al per­spect­ive (touch­ing on as­pects such as the WTO, for­eign in­vest­ment and sanc­tions).
16/12/2020
In­sur­ance In­sights
The in­sur­ance mar­ket is con­stantly evolving, so you need to stay up to date on the latest de­vel­op­ments to an­ti­cip­ate and handle any po­ten­tial is­sues and be­ne­fit from op­por­tun­it­ies.With “In­sur­ance In­sights”...
04/11/2020
CMS Launches new In­sur­ance Group App
The CMS In­sur­ance Group has an­nounced the launch of a new app for in­surers and re­in­surers, brokers and cli­ents of in­sur­ance com­pan­ies.The app provides ac­cess to in­form­a­tion on the latest leg­al de­vel­op­ments...