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Portrait of Maxim Boulba

Maxim Boulba

Partner
Head of Competition & Public Procurement | Head of TMT

Contact
SEAMLESS Legal
Naberezhnaya Tower, block C
Naberezhnaya Tower Block C - 10 Presnenskaya Naberezhnaya
123112 Moscow
Russia
Languages English, French, Russian
Competition & EU

Maxim Boulba is a partner and Head of the Antitrust & Competition, Public Procurement and TMT teams.

For over 20 years he has specialised in antitrust and competition law issues, including: antitrust analysis of commercial agreements and transactions; market analysis; advising on issues related to prohibitions and restrictions provided for by the antitrust legislation; antitrust regulation of distribution, antitrust aspects related to the regulation of trading activities and other aspects of competition law. 

Maxim also coordinates merger clearances with antimonopoly authorities. He has also successfully represented corporate clients in administrative proceedings before the competition authorities and worked on projects related to antitrust compliance and inspections by the antitrust authorities. He has also represented the client with their applications and claims against the competition authority. 

Maxim’s TMT expertise covers the following areas: obtaining telecom regulatory and editorial licenses; regulation of frequency spectrum (broadcasting, telephone network, satellites, etc.); regulation of mass-media (including restrictions applicable to foreign investors); regulation of telecom services providers; regulation of activities of MVNOs; interaction with Roskomnadzor and Ministry of Communication; obtaining necessary authorisations and commissioning of communication infrastructure to the state authorities; certification and customs clearance of telecom equipment, SORM and other related regulatory matters. 

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Relevant experience

  • Bell Equipment – secured merger clearance from the FAS to purchase the shares in Bell Equipment from John Deere. 
  • Boehringer Ingeilheim – advising on various competition-related matters linked with distribution and public procurement, updating internal commercial policies in compliance with the Russian competition laws; assisted with preparation of data requested by the FAS in relation to a market analysis conducted by the regulator. 
  • Continental
    • Advising on internal antitrust investigations. 
    • Advising on various competition law issues related to distribution of products in the Russian market and review of internal documents from the competition law perspective. 
  • Hasbro Russia
    • Successfully winning the appeal before the Presidium of the Russian competition authority (FAS) that cancelled a decision of a regional unit of FAS that was rendered against the client 
    • Making a specific competition law related training: mock dawn raid Ion Beam Applications – represented the client before the FAS in relation to a market analysis conducted by the FAS and advised the client on submission of information to the FAS. 
  • Ion Beam Applications – represented the client before the FAS in relation to a market analysis conducted by the FAS and advised the client on submission of information to the FAS. 
  • Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. and NYK – obtaining merger clearance from the Russian competition authority with respect to the JV project between Japanese shipping line lines to merge as ONE (Ocean Network Express). 
  • Maersk – advising on various competition law issues related to the client’s projects in Russia. 
  • NWCC – support during the antimonopoly investigation in connection with tariffs regulation (being within the scope of FAS competence) and successfully represented the company in the FAS: the case was dismissed by the FAS and no infringements of the legislation have been established. 
  • OMV – obtaining strategic investment clearance and foreign investment clearance from the Foreign Investment Committee at the Russian Government under the Strategic Investment Law and the Law on Foreign Investments and also the merger clearance under the Russian Competition Law in relation to OMV’s acquisition of shares from Uniper in OJSC Severneftegazprom and JSC Gazprom YRGM Development. 
  • RWS Holdings plc (RWS) - advising on the recommended all-share combination between RWS and SDL plc (SDL). Transaction volume: USD 1.066bn.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Association of Competition Law Experts in Russia
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Awards & Rankings

  • Chambers Europe 2021, Competition & Antitrust 
  • Legal 500 2021, Competition & Antitrust 
  • Best Lawyers 2022, Intellectual Property Law
  • Best Lawyers 2022, Competition / Antitrust 
  • Best Lawyers 2022, Media Law 
  • Global Competition Review 100 2021 
  • Client Choice Awards 2020, Antitrust 
  • Leaders Leaguer 2021, Antitrust, Highly recommended, TMT 
  • Pravo.ru-300 2022, Antitrust, TMT 
  • “Practice head Maxim Boulba is our key contact. Maxim has been a pleasure to work with and was highly efficient in solving an unexpected issue that emerged in the context of our M&A deal.” Legal 500 2020 
  • “The competition law practice at the firm is excellent overall. We only recently started using the team’s services, but were positively surprised with the outcome and the process. Team members are highly knowledgeable in their field and deliver well-reasoned responses.” Legal 500 2020 
  • Clients value the group's responsiveness, with a client noting that the team provides "comprehensive advice, always meets pre-agreed deadlines and is always available." Chambers Europe 2020 
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Publications

  • Doing business in Russia
  • The Cartels and Leniency Review, Chapter (Russia), Law Business Research Ltd
  • The Dominance and Monopolies Review, Chapter (Russia), Law Business Research Ltd 
  • The Merger Control Review, Chapter (Russia), Law Business Research Ltd 
  • The Intellectual Property and Antitrust Review, Chapter (Russia), Law Business Research Ltd 
  • The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review. Chapter (Russia), Law Business Research Ltd 
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Education

  • 2017, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (LL.M. in EU and International Business Law)
  • 2013, King's College London (Postgraduate diploma in EU Competition Law) 
  • 2001, Moscow State University (Degree in Law) 
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TMT – Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Maxim’s TMT expertise covers the following areas: obtaining telecom regulatory and editorial (for mass-media) licenses; regulation of frequency spectrum (broadcasting, telephone network, satellites, etc.); regulation of mass-media (including restrictions applicable to foreign investors); regulation of telecom services providers (telematic services, data and voice transfer); regulation of activities of MVNOs; interaction with Roskomnadzor and Ministry of Communication; obtaining necessary authorisations and commissioning of communication infrastructure to the State authorities; certification and customs clearance of telecom equipment, LIM (legal intercept monitoring (SORM)) and other related regulatory matters.

In addition he practices the competition law and heads the competition practice.

Maxim is the author of numerous publications, including “The Technology, Media and Telecommunications Review” for Russia by Law Business Research.

Maxim was chosen by his peers as one of the leading practitioners in Competition / Antitrust and TMT spheres according to Best Lawyers International rating and has been ranked by Chambers & Partners legal directory since 2012.

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He does an excellent job of seeing the whole picture, takes a strategic view, and is very good at guiding the whole thing

Chambers Europe

He understands the strategic requirements of an international corporation and how to effectively conduct business

Chambers Europe

Memberships & Roles

  • Association Of Competition Law Experts in Russia
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Education

  • 2017, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest (LL.M. in EU and International Business Law)
  • 2013, King's College London (Postgraduate diploma in EU Competition Law) 
  • 2001, Moscow State University (Degree in Law) 
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12/05/2022
10 key as­pects of the re­vised EU com­pet­i­tion law in the field of dis­tri­bu­tion...
The new Ver­tic­al Block Ex­emp­tion Reg­u­la­tion (VBER) and the new ac­com­pa­ny­ing Ver­tic­al Guidelines (VGL) were pub­lished on 10 May 2022. The new VBER will enter in­to force on 1 June 2022 and ap­ply for the next twelve years. The new VBER/VGL in­tro­duce sev

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19/09/2022
New re­stric­tions on trans­ac­tions in­volving par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests in Rus­si­an...
On 8 Septem­ber 2022, Pres­id­en­tial De­cree No. 618* (the “De­cree”) was pub­lished which im­poses, among oth­er things, re­stric­tions on trans­ac­tions with par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests in Rus­si­an lim­ited li­ab­il­ity com­pan­ies (“LLCs”).The De­cree re­quires per­mis­sion from the Gov­ern­ment Com­mis­sion for Con­trol of For­eign In­vest­ment in the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion (the “Com­mis­sion”) for cer­tain trans­ac­tions and op­er­a­tions in­volving par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests in LLCs.Per­mis­sion from the Com­mis­sion is re­quired to be ob­tained for trans­ac­tions entered in­to by per­sons as­so­ci­ated with states that are en­gaged in “un­friendly acts” against Rus­sia or per­sons un­der their con­trol (“Re­stric­ted Per­sons”):with res­id­ents of the Rus­si­an Fed­er­a­tion;between them­selves; and with for­eign per­sons who are not Re­stric­ted Per­sons.This re­quire­ment ap­plies to the fol­low­ing types of trans­ac­tions or op­er­a­tions:trans­ac­tions en­tail­ing the emer­gence, es­tab­lish­ment, change or ter­min­a­tion of rights to par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests in the charter cap­it­al of an LLC (in­clud­ing trans­ac­tions in­volving the sale or ex­change of par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests, con­trib­ut­ing par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests to the charter cap­it­al of a com­pany, etc.); an­doth­er trans­ac­tions that res­ult in a per­son be­ing able to de­term­ine the man­age­ment con­di­tions of an LLC (e.g. cor­por­ate agree­ments in re­spect of an LLC or share pledge agree­ments).The re­quire­ments of the De­cree do not change the pro­ced­ure for en­ter­ing in­to trans­ac­tions or op­er­a­tions with stakes in the fuel and en­ergy and fin­an­cial sec­tors pre­vi­ously es­tab­lished by Pres­id­en­tial De­cree No. 416* dated 30 June 2022 and Pres­id­en­tial De­cree No. 520* dated 5 Au­gust 2022.At the same time, Re­stric­ted Per­sons do not in­clude Rus­si­an or for­eign en­tit­ies un­der the con­trol of Rus­si­an per­sons (i.e. ul­ti­mate be­ne­fi­ciar­ies) when the rel­ev­ant con­trol in­form­a­tion has been dis­closed to the Rus­si­an tax au­thor­it­ies.The Rus­si­an gov­ern­ment has been in­struc­ted pur­su­ant to the De­cree to ap­prove the Com­mis­sion’s clear­ance pro­ced­ure with­in ten days. Cur­rently, the au­thor­isa­tion pro­ced­ure has not been ap­proved.We be­lieve that the pro­ced­ure for is­su­ing per­mis­sions by the Com­mis­sion will be largely sim­il­ar to the pro­ced­ure es­tab­lished by Rus­si­an Gov­ern­ment De­cree No. 295* dated 6 March 2022 for ob­tain­ing per­mis­sions for trans­ac­tions with se­cur­it­ies (in par­tic­u­lar shares of joint-stock com­pan­ies) and real es­tate ob­jects.It should also be noted that the lim­it­a­tions stip­u­lated by the De­cree are stricter than sim­il­ar lim­it­a­tions for trans­ac­tions in shares of joint-stock com­pan­ies. In par­tic­u­lar, the De­cree ap­plies to a wider list of trans­ac­tions be­cause of dif­fer­ent cri­ter­ia de­pend­ing on who con­cludes them. For ex­ample, un­like trans­ac­tions in­volving LLC par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests, trans­ac­tions in which the sub­ject-mat­ter is shares may be ef­fected between two Re­stric­ted Per­sons without spe­cial per­mis­sion.We will con­tin­ue to mon­it­or de­vel­op­ments and in­form you of any fur­ther de­vel­op­ments.Pre­vi­ously, we pub­lished alerts on top­ics re­lated to trans­ac­tions with Re­stric­ted Per­sons, the per­form­ance of ob­lig­a­tions to cer­tain for­eign coun­ter­parties and the pro­hib­i­tion of trans­ac­tions with shares and par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests in cer­tain Rus­si­an or­gan­isa­tions.* In Rus­si­an
23/08/2022
The Tech­no­logy, Me­dia and Tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions Re­view
In 2021, the on­go­ing cov­id-19 pan­dem­ic has con­tin­ued to loom large over leg­al and policy de­vel­op­ments in the TMT sec­tor. As the threat of in­fec­tion has con­tin­ued to af­fect how we live, work and in­ter­act, the im­port­ance of con­nectiv­ity has nev­er been great­er or more ob­vi­ous. For many busi­nesses, re­mote work­ing has been the rule rather than the ex­cep­tion since March 2020, and may well per­sist in some form well after the pan­dem­ic is over. Many schools switched to dis­tance learn­ing formats dur­ing the pan­dem­ic. Tele-health is on the rise as doc­tors check in on pa­tients via video­con­fer­ence. Even tasks as mundane as gro­cery shop­ping have shif­ted on­line. And broad­band con­nectiv­ity, where avail­able, has made it all pos­sible.Read the Rus­sia chapter in the Dom­in­ance and Mono­pol­ies Re­view, pre­pared by Max­im Boul­ba and Elena An­dri­an­ova. The chapter provides an over­view of the Rus­si­an reg­u­la­tions in the TMT in­dustry.This art­icle was pre­pared for and first pub­lished by The Law Re­views in Decem­ber 2021. 
23/08/2022
The Car­tels and Le­ni­ency Re­view 2022
Car­tels are a sur­pris­ingly per­sist­ent fea­ture of eco­nom­ic life. The tempta­tion to rig the game in one’s fa­vour is con­stant, par­tic­u­larly when de­mand con­di­tions are weak and the product in ques­tion is an un­dif­fer­en­ti­ated com­mod­ity. Cor­por­ate com­pli­ance pro­grammes are use­ful but in­her­ently lim­ited, as man­agers may come to see their per­son­al in­terests as di­ver­gent from those of the cor­por­a­tion. De­tec­tion of car­tel ar­range­ments can present a sub­stan­tial chal­lenge for both in­tern­al leg­al de­part­ments and law en­for­cers. Some not­able car­tels have man­aged to re­main in­tact for as long as a dec­ade be­fore be­ing un­covered. Some may nev­er see the light of day. However, for those that are de­tec­ted, this com­pen­di­um of­fers a re­source for prac­ti­tion­ers around the world.Read the Rus­sia chapter in the Car­tels and Le­ni­ency Re­view 2022, pre­pared by Max­im Boul­ba and Kristina Po­ta­pova. The chapter provides an over­view of the Rus­si­an reg­u­la­tions in the com­pet­i­tion in­dustry.This art­icle was pre­pared for and first pub­lished by The Law Re­views in Janu­ary 2022. 
23/08/2022
The Dom­in­ance and Mono­pol­ies Re­view 2022
Au­thor­it­ies re­main adam­ant that di­git­al reg­u­la­tions will com­ple­ment rather than re­place their ex­ist­ing ab­use tool­boxes, and that they will con­tin­ue to in­vest­ig­ate con­duct that falls out­side the scope of new reg­u­la­tion. Agen­cies, in par­tic­u­lar the UK Com­pet­i­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (CMA), have used their ex­ist­ing en­force­ment powers nimbly to open in­vest­ig­a­tions and se­cure com­mit­ments from de­fend­ant com­pan­ies quickly. And re­cent cases af­firm that the ab­use tool­box is not in­flex­ible, put­ting in­to prac­tice the clas­sic man­tra that the cat­egor­ies of ab­use are not closed. There is space for ab­use of dom­in­ance rules to be ap­plied flex­ibly to con­duct not pre­vi­ously ex­plored, for ex­ample in re­la­tion to sus­tain­ab­il­ity, al­though this raises sep­ar­ate is­sues re­gard­ing cer­tainty for busi­nesses. As these trends and de­vel­op­ments show, the law gov­ern­ing ab­uses of dom­in­ance, and the role it plays in com­pet­i­tion policy, are con­stantly evolving and be­com­ing more com­plex, bring­ing new chal­lenges for busi­nesses and prac­ti­tion­ers to nav­ig­ate.Read the Rus­sia chapter in the Dom­in­ance and Mono­pol­ies Re­view 2022, pre­pared by Max­im Boul­ba, Elena An­dri­an­ova and Kristina Po­ta­pova. The chapter provides an over­view of the Rus­si­an reg­u­la­tions in the an­ti­trust in­dustry.This art­icle was pre­pared for and first pub­lished by The Law Re­views in June 2022. 
12/08/2022
Exit re­stric­tions for for­eign in­vestors in cer­tain Rus­si­an in­vest­ment pro­jects
Dir­ect or in­dir­ect trans­ac­tions with shares, par­ti­cip­at­ory in­terests, rights and ob­lig­a­tions in re­la­tion to cer­tain Rus­si­an en­tit­ies and owned by for­eign per­sons or en­tit­ies re­lated to “un­friendly states”...
08/07/2022
Sim­pli­fied pro­ced­ure for clear­ing trans­ac­tions with the Fed­er­al An­ti­mono­poly...
8 Ju­ly 2022
15/06/2022
Anti-mono­poly re­stric­tions on the ex­pan­sion of large re­tail chains to be...
A law* tem­por­ar­ily lift­ing re­stric­tions on large re­tail chains to ex­pand their busi­ness (the “Amend­ments”) has been ad­op­ted.Rus­si­an law* cur­rently pro­hib­its re­tail chains with a mar­ket share of more than 25% from ac­quir­ing or rent­ing ad­di­tion­al re­tail premises. If this pro­hib­i­tion is vi­ol­ated, the trans­ac­tion may be de­clared in­val­id by a court.Ac­cord­ing to the Amend­ments, this re­stric­tion will not ap­ply from 15 June 2022 to 31 Decem­ber 2022 in­clus­ive to ac­quis­i­tions of re­tail chains and leases of space in re­tail fa­cil­it­ies from for­eign com­pan­ies leav­ing the Rus­si­an mar­ket.The ex­emp­tion from the re­stric­tion is val­id if the fol­low­ing con­di­tions are cu­mu­lat­ively met:the re­tail chain to be ac­quired is con­trolled by a for­eign leg­al en­tity; an­dthe own­er of the ac­quired re­tail chain has ceased to op­er­ate in the Rus­si­an mar­ket or de­clared a ces­sa­tion of activ­it­ies.The Amend­ments are de­signed to keep busi­nesses in Rus­sia that have been threatened with clos­ure by al­low­ing large re­tail chains to ac­quire ad­di­tion­al space and fur­ther strengthen their pres­ence in the mar­ket. The changes come in­to force on 15 June 2022.* In Rus­si­anCo-au­thored by Kristina Po­ta­pova, As­so­ci­ate, and Elena An­dri­an­ova, Seni­or As­so­ci­ate.
16/07/2021
The Dom­in­ance and Mono­pol­ies Re­view 2021
Read the Rus­sia Chapter of The Dom­in­ance and Mono­pol­ies Re­view 2021, pre­pared by Max­im Boul­ba, part­ner and head of  com­pet­i­tion at CMS Rus­sia, and Elena An­dri­an­ova, Seni­or As­so­ci­ate in the com­pet­i­tion prac­tice.
25/06/2021
CMS Rus­sia has ad­vised VTB Group on its ac­quis­i­tion of a stake in iCITY...
The in­ter­na­tion­al law firm CMS Rus­sia has ad­vised VTB Group on its ac­quis­i­tion of a 25.1% stake in the con­struc­tion pro­ject of Rus­si­a's first di­git­al sky­scraper iCITY.The stake has been sold by Rus­si­an...
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...
06/05/2021
Ad­vert­ising is­sues
This chapter of Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia deals with the reg­u­la­tion of ad­vert­ising both in gen­er­al and in spe­cif­ic sec­tors, in­clud­ing li­ab­il­ity for breach of the leg­al re­quire­ments.
2021
Anti-mono­poly is­sues
In ad­di­tion to set­ting the gen­er­al scene on anti-mono­poly is­sues, this chapter of Do­ing busi­ness in Rus­sia defines the scope of ap­plic­a­tion of the Rus­si­an Com­pet­i­tion Law, out­lines what con­sti­tutes anti-com­pet­it­ive prac­tices and re­stric­tion of com­pet­i­tion, and touches upon li­ab­il­ity is­sues.