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Rustam Kurmaev

Partner, White Collar Crime Defence, Compliance, Dispute Resolution

Rustam Kurmaev specialises in Commercial Disputes; Construction and Real Estate Disputes; Corporate Disputes and Criminal Defence for Business, regularly providing comprehensive defence for executives and top managers at all stages of criminal proceedings.

He has a great deal of experience in acting for both Russian and foreign clients in arbitration and general jurisdiction courts, including the Russian Supreme Commercial Court and the Russian Supreme Court, and is a widely recognised expert on execution of court rulings, both in conformity with legislative proceedings (enforcement and bankruptcy) and by alternative methods (mediation).

Rustam Kurmaev is among the strongest trial lawyers in the marketplace. He is well known for his professionalism in providing criminal defence for business and legal assistance in liaisons with government authorities, including law enforcement bodies, and is a recognised expert on anti-corruption law compliance.

Rustam Kurmaev was recognised the winner of 2015 - 2016 Client Choice awards for Litigation in Russia and the winner of 2015 Global Corporate Livewire Awards for Compliance. Rustam was also recommended for government-led & internal investigations by the Global Investigation Review 100, 2015.

For several years running, The Legal 500 and Chambers have recommended Rustam as one of the best lawyers for dispute resolution.

Chambers & Partners 2017 has recommended Rustam as one of the best lawyers: "Rustam Kurmaev acts for significant regional corporate clientele on domestic contractual and commercial disputes. Also represents international clients in financial disputes with Russian counterparties. His other active area of practice is white-collar crime investigations."

The Legal 500 EMEA 2016"Excellent Russian law litigator Rustam Kurmaev is a key figure on the market."

IKEA: "We think you're absolutely the most professional lawyer in this area." 

According to Best Lawyers in Russia 2012-2018 Editions, Rustam is listed as one of the best lawyers in the following areas: dispute resolution, arbitration and mediation.

Track Record

Some recent projects conducted under the guidance of Rustam Kurmaev:

  • Successfully represented IFK LKB Invest in a case for recovery of more than RUB 168 million debt under an interest free loan agreement and of interest on use of the loan against Sibacademstroy in the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation, despite an evident violation of the law and the legal positions of the Russian SCC committed by lower courts.
  • Successfully defended IKEA in court against unjustified claims by Khimki Collective Agricultural Enterprise challenging IKEA’s title to a land plot.
  • Represented one of the top-tier oilfield service companies in a dispute over recovery of damages in favour of Lukoil under a contractor agreement for constructing an oil-well. The litigation ensured justification of an extremely troublesome issue regarding absence of guilt and a causal link between the client’s actions and delay in contractor work (delay in its obligation).
  • Represented a big Turkish developer in a dispute with the Moscow Government over recovery of losses caused to the developer owing to termination of an investment contract. As a result, the court resolved to recover approximately RUB 200 million in losses in favour of the client.
  • Successfully represented Caterpillar NI (formerly FG Wilson) to have its claims included on the register of ADD Group creditors. The claims under an English law guarantee amounted to approximately USD 6 million.
  • Advised a major geo-exploration company on a potential dispute over recovery of damages to be resolved by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
  • Advised and successfully represented an oil producer in a number of disputes with contractors over substandard services.
  • Successfully recovered losses from a constituent of the Russian Federation - the Omsk Region in favour of an insurance company for damage resulting from combustion of an electric cable owned by the Omsk Region.
  • Successfully represented one of the leading Russia-based natural resources industrial groups in a comprehensive dispute over recovery of losses from the company management for failure to take measures to recover damages.
  • Successfully settled a comprehensive corporate conflict at the biggest seller of agricultural fertilisers. Under this project, not only did we defend the company’s management against unjustified criminal prosecution (a resolution on instigating criminal cases were cancelled), but also ensured that the English law contract provisions were implemented in the Russian environment.     
  • Represented Akfen Holding in a number of construction disputes with its former contractor. The legal position and counter claims we developed not only resulted in our opponents withdrawing from the proceedings, but also permitted us to recover a substantial penalty from them in favour of the principal.
  • Represented Brunswick Rail Leasing in its dispute with Mechel over the termination of a wagon lease agreement and recovery of USD 21 m debt. The numerous court and arbitration cases around this dispute were settled on terms favourable to our client.
  • Advised ING Bank in a USD 36 million international commercial arbitration claim against the RTM Group. The complexity of the case involved combining into a single set of proceedings claims against the borrower and against a dozen of its guarantors in the absence of their consent to be involved as parties to one case.
  • Acted for Volkswagen Group Rus in a series of disputes relating to termination of dealership agreements, debt recovery and seizure of over 120 luxury vehicles.
  • Successfully represented Panasonic Russia in its dispute against its former landlord that had illegally detained the client’s property after termination of the lease agreement. 
  • Successfully acted for a major global furniture and household goods retailer during an audit by the Moscow Region Prosecutor’s Office seeking evidence of intellectual property law violations and protected the interests of senior management during the investigation into the alleged offence. Our actions ensured that no criminal case was initiated against the company or its management.
  • Acted for clients in a number of criminal cases relating to fraud committed against them by dealership managers.
  • Defended TV channel 2x2 against accusations brought by the Prosecutor’s Office of promoting extremism by broadcasting the cartoon film "South Park".
  • Provided comprehensive support to Covidien and the management of their Russian unit in liaising with law enforcement authorities, including protection in law enforcement investigations.
  • Acted for an independent oil and gas exploration and production company in a series of corporate disputes over the rights to stakes in a Russian oil-extraction company.
  • Represented Vimpelcom in a corporate dispute with respect to a transaction to acquire non-residential premises in Novosibirsk.
  • Acted for Gillette in a series of disputes for recovery of the cost of freight lost during general cargo shipment from China to the UK.
  • Acted for a major industrial group in litigations over a contractor’s inappropriate performance under a contractor agreement to build a plant and collection of monies under the bank guarantee issued to secure return of a prepayment.
  • Advised Citibank in a dispute with Schindler arising out of fund claims against a bank guarantee, issued to secure the return of an advance payment remitted for construction and installation works.
  • Successfully resolved over a hundred disputes for the world's leading manufacturers of construction and mining equipment and trucks associated with seizure of leasing equipment provided on the basis of domestic and international leasing agreements.
  • Owner of a retail and office centre in the Moscow Region - Acted for participants in the company in a number of disputes relating to unlawful actions on the part of the General Director in selling the only valuable asset to affiliated structures. As a result of our actions to have a criminal case initiated against the former General Director and to have operational search actions conducted to prove the affiliation between the former General Director and the buyers, we were able to prove in the arbitration court that the transaction withdrawing the asset was invalid on the basis of articles 10 (abuse of rights) and 168 of the RF Criminal Code and articles 44 and 45 of the Federal Law “On Limited Liability Companies".
  • Major Russian manufacturer of software for the Russian oil extraction industry - Settled a complex corporate dispute between several participants holding participatory interests in different legal entities on the most favourable terms for the client. Used the mechanism of arbitrary transactions for risk securitisation.
  • Major Russian publisher and distributor of multimedia software, computer games, teaching programs and video output in Russia and the CIS - A combination of a multitude of pre-investigation checks in Russia and Cyprus proved an effective tool for obliging the other side to conclude an agreement with the client on buying up the block of shares belonging thereto.
  • A major Russian film company, TV distributor and independent film distributor - Acted for the owners of the business in a corporate conflict with the former management. Represented their interests in disputes for recovering losses from the company’s management and acted for them in a criminal case against the former management in connection with multiple abuses of power thereby.

Rustam has been a member of the Moscow City Bar since 2003. He is fluent in Russian, English and French.    


© 2009-2017 Law Firm Goltsblat BLP LLP, part of the Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) Group, is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales (registered number OC340589). Registered office: Adelaide House, London Bridge, London EC4R 9HA, United Kingdom. Winner - International Law Firm of the Year legal500 top ranked
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