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Companies with interests in Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia face policy, government, regulatory, and other challenges that can adversely affect their investments. An effective response to these challenges requires a deep understanding of the political, social, and cultural realities of these countries. We take a comprehensive approach to helping clients do business in the region by complementing our legal services with broad policy and strategic advice.
Covington’s team of lawyers and policy advisors includes former U.S. Ambassadors, a former U.S. Cabinet Secretary, former Members of the U.S. Congress and European Parliament, and a former Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who was elected a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
We have acted for clients with investments or other interests in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, and other countries in the region, and have worked across a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, mining, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, financial services, consumer products, and logistics.
Represented Spanish investors in Yukos Oil Company in an SCC arbitration against the Russian Federation arising from Russia’s expropriation of the company. The tribunal issued an award in our clients’ favor that valued Yukos at more than $60 billion at the time the company was expropriated.
Representing SPI Group in a trademark dispute with a designee of the Russian Federation concerning rights to sell Stolichnaya vodka in the United States.
Represented Deere & Co. in an 18-month investigation relating to its operations in Russia and neighboring countries by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that concluded without enforcement action.
Advising clients in the oil and gas, financial services, metals and mining, logistics, and pharmaceutical/medical device sectors concerning the application to their businesses of U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia.
Advised Baltic Petroleum Ltd. in its joint venture with Siberian Energy Group to run the Zauaralneftegaz oil and gas exploration business in the Russian Federation.
Advised Prosper Marketplace, Inc., a peer-to-peer lending company based in the United States, in connection with a preferred stock investment by Phenomen Ventures, a Russian private equity firm founded by Dmitry Falkovich.
On behalf of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, appeared before a hearing of a committee of the Duma on proposals to establish greater protection for innovative pharmaceutical products, including protection of patents and regulatory exclusivity periods.
Represented a major global pharmaceutical company on negotiating arrangements with multiple suppliers for the development and operation of a complex state-of-the-art telehealth IT system.
Represented UBS in the negotiation of a new long-term services agreement with Bloomberg for the calculation and administration of commodities indices.
Represented American Airlines in a software development and outsourced technology services agreement with HP for a next generation reservation, inventory, and availability system.
Represented American Airlines in information technology services agreements with Amadeus, Sabre, HP, and ITA Software.
Assessed proposed communications laws in countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Representation of Metal-Tech, a metals refining company, in an ICSID arbitration against Uzbekistan arising out of the failure of a joint venture with state-owned enterprises.
After five-month bench trial, won verdict of nearly $30 million on behalf of New Media Holdings in multinational corporate control dispute over ownership of Ukrainian television network.
Representation of Sanofi in connection with obtaining clearances from the European Commission and in China, Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine for its collaboration with Google Life Sciences, Inc., now Verily, relating to diabetes management products and services.
Represented Russian businessman Vladimir Gusinski and his family of Russian and U.S. companies in connection with disputes in Russia, the United States, and elsewhere.
Advising a European oil and gas company on an investment-related dispute in Uzbekistan.
Counseling a major U.S. company on the operations of its Russian subsidiary in the wake of U.S. and EU sanctions, including advising it on the application of financial and energy sector sanctions to a range of ongoing and future projects.
Advised a U.S. company on export controls, sanctions, and other issues associated with its acquisition of a U.S. company with space-related business activities in Russia.
Representing an investment company in an LCIA arbitration relating to an oil terminal connected to the CPC Pipeline near the Black Sea. The value in dispute is over $80 million.
Advising companies in the oil and gas sector on U.S. and EU export control regulations as relevant to doing business in Russia.
Working with various EU and U.S. regulators to obtain licenses, interpretive rulings, and guidance concerning business activities restricted under the recent EU and U.S. sanctions.
Represented Newmont Mining in related ICSID and SCC arbitrations against Uzbekistan concerning termination of rights to exploit mineral resources.
Represented an Israeli businessman in a dispute with the Government of Georgia related to an investment arbitration matter and resulting ICSID award.
Represented a U.S. corporation and its principal in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into alleged FCPA violations involving Russian government officials. The investigation was closed without charges being filed against our clients.
Conducted an internal investigation for a client concerning allegations of bribery involving Russian hospitals and public educational institutions.
Conducted an internal investigation for a manufacturing company relating to sales to Georgia’s Ministry of Agriculture.
Assisted client in negotiating a global settlement of an FCPA investigation, the centerpiece of which concerned bribery involving a major Russian agency.
Represented the special committee of Moscow CableCom Corp. in connection with a going-private transaction with Renova Media, a Russian private-equity fund.
Advised U.S. and European investors on protection of their economic rights in connection with politically sensitive investments in Russia and other Eurasian countries.
Conducted an internal investigation for a client concerning allegations of bribery involving Russian customs agencies.
Advising U.S. shareholders in a Russian oil and gas company on securing compensation for the expropriation of their investments.
Supported client in conducting anti-corruption due diligence concerning the acquisition of a Russian company.
Regularly advise multinational clients on Russian data privacy issues.
Advised major international pharmaceutical companies on clinical trial rules in Russia.
Advice to leading U.S. and international energy companies on the scope and application of U.S. and EU sanctions against Russia in the context of new and existing projects and investments.
Representation of a Bermuda company in a pending LCIA arbitration against a Russian investment firm arising out of investment brokerage arrangements.
Represented AOL in the sale of its ICQ instant messaging business to Mail.ru Group Limited.
Advised Baltic Oil Terminals plc, an oil and gas infrastructure business with operations in Russia, on its $10.8 million acquisition of Petroval Bunker International B.V., a fuel oil storage business based in Rotterdam, and on a placing to fund the consideration for the acquisition.
Advised a large manufacturer of electronic equipment on issues relating to radio frequency and electromagnetic requirements and related certification requirements in Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Represented Oregon Steel Mills in its acquisition by Evraz, a steel and mining company with operations in Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan.
Represented Media-Most, a company founded by Russian businessman Vladimir Gusinski, in the sale of its interests in the NTV broadcasting group to Gazprom.
Advised a global chemicals distributor concerning the tax and legal structuring of a Russian marketing office.
Represented Dr. George Jokhtaberidze in connection with various transactions and shareholder arrangements relating to his 51 percent ownership interest in leading Georgian telecommunications company Magticom Ltd.
Advised BP on its compliance with environmental, social, and economic conditions imposed by international public lenders in connection with financing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
Representing the Russian Federation’s former Minister of Atomic Energy in a U.S. criminal action alleging that the minister stole tens of millions of dollars provided to Russia by the U.S. Department of Energy.
March 9, 2017, CBS News
Mark Plotkin is quoted in a CBS News article regarding Rosneft’s potential right to claim an ownership stake in U.S. oil company Citgo Petroleum. Commenting on the CFIUS process and whether committee members with potential conflicts have recused themselves, Plotkin says, “We don’t know because of the nature of the CFIUS process, which is confidential.”
October 17, 2016, Covington Alert
Effective today, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (“CACR”) and the U.S. Commerce department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) has amended the Export Administration Regulations (“EAR”) to expand permissible dealings involving Cuba, further easing the longstanding U.S. ...
June 24, 2016, Covington Alert
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in an advisory referendum. 52% leave - 48% remain.
Were the UK to leave the EU, this would have significant implications for the UK and for international businesses operating in the UK. The longer term impact of the decision on the regulatory framework for the UK will depend, in part, on the relationship that the UK ...
May 31, 2016
NEW YORK—Covington is advising MagtiCom Ltd., the leading mobile operator in the Republic of Georgia, on its definitive agreement to acquire retail and corporate ISP cable assets from Caucasus Online LLC. The deal is expected to close on or around August 1, 2016.
Following the successful conclusion of the transaction, MagtiCom will be the first and only operator ...
April 21, 2016
New York — Law360 has named Covington international arbitration partner David Pinsky a “Rising Star.” This annual recognition honors top attorneys under the age of 40 “whose legal accomplishments belie their age.”
Law360 recognized how Mr. Pinsky, who leads Covington’s arbitration group’s Russia and Eurasia initiative, helped develop the firm’s Russia-focused ...
January 28, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - Law360 has named six Covington practice groups among its “Practice Groups of the Year.”
The practice groups recognized by Law360 are as follows:
November 18, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC, November 18, 2015 - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) has awarded Covington a perfect score of 100 percent for the eighth consecutive year on its Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality. Covington is among 400 major US businesses that ...
October 6, 2015, Al Jazeera
Dan Cooper appeared on the show to discuss the implications of the ECJ Schrems judgment.
July 23, 2015, Global Arbitration Review
A piece on our new arbitration app quoting Marney Cheek, Jeremy Wilson and Stephen Bond and mentioning William Lowery’s and Catherine Karia’s roles in developing the app.
June 23, 2015, Covington Alert
October 9, 2014, Global Policy Watch
On October 8, the Russian Duma approved the first reading of a bill that would permit Russian citizens whose property is “unjustly” seized as a result of foreign court decisions to claim compensation from Russia’s treasury. The bill further authorizes the Russian government to recoup the loss by seizing the property of the foreign state … Continue Reading
September 16, 2014, Global Policy Watch
In a 2005 Kremlin speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin, characterized the collapse of the Soviet Union as the “greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the Twentieth Century.” He elaborated on his focus. “As for the Russian nation, it became a genuine drama. Tens of millions of our co-citizens and co-patriots found themselves outside Russian territory. ...
September 16, 2014, CDR
Covington partners Marney Cheek and Jonathan Gimblett are featured in this article regarding their representation of Yukos minority shareholders:
“The writing is on the wall. Once again, Russia has been held accountable for its actions,” Marney Cheek, a Covington & Burling partner who represented the Spanish investors, tells CDR.
Indeed, Jonathan Gimblett, ...
September 12, 2014, Global Arbitration Review
The articles above reference the Stockholm District Court dismissing the Russian Federation’s jurisdictional challenge to a previous arbitration ruling that ordered Russia to compensate a group of Spanish investors for the losses they suffered when the government expropriated the Yukos Oil Company, one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world. The ...
September 12, 2014, Legal Business
September 8, 2014, Global Policy Watch
President Poroshenko’s appearance at the NATO Summit in Wales over the weekend came at a critical moment for the Ukrainian state. With increasingly overt Russian backing, the separatists in the east of the country have made significant gains over the last two weeks, opening a new front along the Black Sea coast and threatening to … Continue Reading
August 21, 2014, Global Policy Watch
For companies doing business in Russia and following with concern the possibility of further sanctions, next week will be critical. On August 26, senior EU officials will be gathering in Minsk, Belarus. It is likely that Russian President Putin will also be meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart, Poroshenko, for the first time in two months. … Continue Reading
August 15, 2014, Global Policy Watch
The stand-off between Kiev and Moscow over Russia’s offer of humanitarian aid for civilians caught in the besieged cities of Donetsk and Luhansk is the latest episode in a slow-burning crisis that continues to threaten to erupt into a broader conflict. The Ukrainian government is understandably wary of allowing onto its territory a convoy of … Continue Reading
August 5, 2014, Law360
Marney Cheek, Jonathan Gimblett and David Pinsky have authored this article on Russia's threats to retaliate against U.S. and European companies in response to new sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union:
"Russian lawmakers’ recent threats to retaliate against U.S. and European companies in response to new sanctions imposed by the United ...
July 31, 2014, Global Policy Watch
On July 29, the EU and United States took coordinated steps to expand sanctions targeting the Russian financial services, energy, and defense sectors, including restrictions on energy-related exports to Russia. The EU also took steps to limit certain types of trade and investment in Crimea, while both the EU and United States identified additional parties … ...
July 23, 2014, Global Policy Watch
A myriad of investigators have descended upon Ukraine ostensibly to find out what happened to the downed Malaysian plane. But much is already plain: pro-Russian separatists, trained by Russia and utilizing Russian supplied antiaircraft weapons, mistakenly believed they were aiming at a Ukraine military aircraft. Separatists had shot down a Ukrainian military ...
July 18, 2014, Global Policy Watch
On July 16, 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) imposed an additional wave of sanctions against Russian entities in the financial, energy, and defense sectors. OFAC established a new Sectoral Sanctions Identifications List (the “SSI List”), which identifies two Russian financial institutions and two Russian energy ...
June 10, 2014, Global Policy Watch
G7 leaders met last week for the first-time ever in Brussels, and for the first time since 1998 without Russia. They gave Russia a strong warning and then proceeded to make substantive headway without them on international tax, energy, trade and investment, security and development issues in ways that directly affect companies active in international … Continue ...
June 10, 2014, GlobalPolicyWatch Blog
June 6, 2014, Global Policy Watch
The recent surprise announcement that Russia and China had reached agreement on a long term gas supply contract may portend a troubling development for the United States. The parties had been negotiating for 20 years. Then they suddenly reached a 30 year agreement at precisely the same time that Russia and the United States were … Continue Reading
June 4, 2014, Bloomberg TV
Covington's Stuart Eizenstat appeared on Bloomberg TV's Bottom Line to discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin's goals for Ukraine.
April 13, 2014, The Wall Street Journal
Covington partner Mark Plotkin is quoted regarding the proposal from Russia's biggest oil producer, OAO Rosneft, which is state-controlled, to purchase Morgan Stanley's oil-trading unit, which needs U.S. government approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment: "If it's turned down, it could look like they're bending to political will. I think it's a bad case ...
March 13, 2014, Law360
Covington partner Marney Cheek is quoted regarding potential economic sanctions targeting Russians and Ukrainians responsible for the unrest in Ukraine: “My sense is that the administration is waiting to see the outcome of any referendum regarding the status of Crimea...Sanctions are an appropriate response in the short term. But an ultimate goal, at least after ...