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Sergey Milanov

Partner, Head of Asia Practice

Sergey Milanov is a Goltsblat BLP Partner, Head of the Asia Practice. He focuses on Corporate / M&A transactions and joint ventures in the Oil & Gas, car manufacturing, telecommunications, infrastructure and transport sectors. 

Sergey Milanov has huge experience in Asia, and in Japan, in particular. He is currently the only foreign lawyer authorised in Japan to advise on Russian law there. Before joining Goltsblat BLP, Sergey Milanov was a Partner at K&L Gates for over 5 years, splitting his time between the Moscow and Tokyo offices, and also practiced before that with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in Tokyo, White & Case in Moscow, New York and Tokyo.

Sergey also has experience in advising on green-field projects for establishment of Japanese distributors, dealers and manufacturing subsidiaries in the Russian Federation, including advice on trade, foreign currency, banking and other regulatory aspects of Russian law.

In addition to his M&A experience in the Russian Oil & Gas sector, Sergey has advised on implementation of big PSA projects for developing oil and gas deposits in the Russian Far East and Eastern Siberia, including representation of the lenders to such projects, as well as some of their Japanese and US sponsors, focusing on both extraction facilities and the export infrastructure, such as pipelines and sea terminals for such projects.

Sergey also has valuable experience in collecting overdue indebtedness from Russian borrowers through debt restructuring agreements but also (when inevitable) through Russian and foreign courts, as well as international arbitration, including foreclosure on pledged collateral.

Sergey is admitted in Japan as a Gaikokuho jimu bengoshi (Authorised Consultant in Foreign Law) for the laws of New York State and the Russian Federation. Sergey is admitted to the Bar of New York, the Bar of Primorski Region and the Dai-ni Tokyo Bar Association.

Sergey is a graduate of the Law Faculty at the Law and State Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, (LL.M., 2000), Harvard Law School (LL.M., 1992) and University of Sofia School of Law, (LL.B., 1988). He speaks English, Japanese, Russian, French and Bulgarian.

Track record

Some of Sergey’s matters (prior to joining Goltsblat BLP) included: 

  • Advised a Japanese government-controlled entity on its participation in an international consortium of sponsors for development of the Kovykta gas and gas condensate field in the Irkutsk Region; 
  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the US Export-Import Bank, JBIC and ECGD as secured lenders to the Sakhalin II PSA Project on Sakhalin Island, Russia;
  • Advised a Japanese corporation in connection with its contemplated participation in a tender for supplying equipment to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, the operator of the Sakhalin II PSA project; provided advice on the Russian content requirements of Russian PSA law; 
  • Provided advice on Russian foreign currency restrictions and tax matters to a Japanese SPC entity established for developing oil & gas deposits on the Sakhalin continental shelf;
  • Advised a US oil major on the international legal framework for construction of a submarine pipeline for the export of natural gas from Sakhalin Island to Japan; provided advice on Russian customs, tax and public international law;
  • Advised a consortium of Japanese energy companies and conducted a due diligence review of a medium-sized Russian oil & gas company based in Irkutsk; reviewed its licences, project documentation, real estate rights to use the surface area above its oil & gas fields, title to its extraction facilities and private pipelines, environmental and other compliance;
  • Advised a major Japanese oil importing company on its participation in a proposed USD 4.5 bn syndicated loan to ROA Rosneft, a major Russian oil company;
  • Represented The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in a five-year loan of USD 8 m to finance the initial development of an Arctic oil field in the Komi Republic in the north-eastern part of European Russia by a small independent operator committed to environmental improvements and transparency; the borrower, OOO Pechora Energy is a 100-per cent Russian subsidiary of UK-registered Concorde Oil and Gas plc.
  • Advised INPEX, a major Japanese oil & gas company, on its acquisition of a minority equity stake in a Russian oil & gas venture company set up in the Irkutsk Region by JOGMEC, a Japanese government entity, and ZAO INK, a medium-sized Russian oil company; 
  • Advised a major Japanese trading house on a USD 10 m loan to a Russian joint-stock company based in the Primorski Region of the Russian Far East, engaging in production and export of rare chemicals; the loan is secured by the proceeds from exporting such chemicals, payable under off-take contracts into an escrow account opened with an HK bank, acting as the escrow agent;
  • Represented Dentsu Inc., a major Japanese advertisement agency, in its first acquisition of a Russian company from Video International Group, one of the biggest Russian media sales giants, and establishment of an advertising subsidiary of Dentsu Inc. in Russia, Dentsu-Smart LLC;
  • Assisted SBI Holdings Inc., a Japanese investment bank, with the forming of its USD 100 m investment fund with IFC Mertopol, a Russian financial institution, and establishing the investment and management entities of the fund.
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