For over 15 years, we have operated as a boutique law firm providing bespoke Russian law legal advice to our clients in the international legal services market.
When MGAP was founded, back in 2001, it had only one aim regarding its strategy description: to work with international clients and law firms in order to achieve the highest possible level of expertise to bridge the different legal worlds.
We have since been recognised as succeeding in this task thanks to prestigious international rankings such as the Legal 500 (EMEA) and Chambers and Partners (Europe). Back at the start of its business, MGAP became the first Russian member of the Law Society of England and Wales International Division.
A key element of our work is legal support for international projects. For foreign companies, MGAP helps ensure their operations in Russia are secure, safe and transparent and the same for Russian companies trading in foreign markets; taking into account the different legal regulations for business in other countries.
We have a solid team of highly qualified lawyers with significant experience in providing legal advice on various dispute resolution, litigation and arbitration matters as well as corporate, commercial and TMT matters.
We are currently represented in Moscow and in London with associate offices in Warsaw and Berlin.
Working in Russia is, and always has been, a unique experience
“I strongly advise my clients not to bring their country’s views, cultural stereotypes and even business logic, however ‘solid and proven with time’ it may look. Leave it behind! Especially when you are moving East! There is a very old saying in Russia: ‘What is good for the German, is already and definitely bad for the Russian!’. And you cannot ask ‘why’ – it is an old saying, the people’s wisdom if you wish.
However, what you can bring with you is a high standard of professional work. Many small things which are extremely usual, simple and even dull at times for a Western businessman, are still to be discovered and learned for the Russian one. Here is a small but very illustrative example from my own field of business: Russian law does not require a lawyer, nor a law firm to have professional insurance. However, from experience of working abroad, we will always have one voluntarily. Why? Because we know that this is about high standards of professional work and, in the end, this is an important part of our client care policy.
I personally, and many of my clients, prefer smaller local firms like us to the so-called ‘magic networks’. And again, the unbeatable advantage of a small local firm with experience of international work is the level of its client care. I personally know every client we are working with. As for the people working in my team I know them so well that I can easily anticipate the difficulties well in advance and avoid them.
The other huge advantage of working with a firm like us is that you will almost never get the advice which was prepared for someone else, quickly ‘microwaved’ by a trainee, and sold to you at the price of a bespoke work. The very simple reason for that is the chance for this to happen in a small firm is incredibly low due to no ‘conveyor belt’ work principals and high ‘uniqueness’ of every case. My very controversial and paradox motto is: ‘The size does matter, but the other way around – the smaller, the better!’ “
Sergei Grachev, founder and Managing Partner, MGAP
Despite economical and political downs of today, MGAP is looking into the future with enthusiasm, particularly in development of the following areas:
Media Content Compliance
Following the huge demand for media content compliance services from Western TV broadcasters in Russia in the last few years, we are now seeing a new development in the area: A growing amount of web-based platforms, somewhere between being ‘just a website’ and ‘a mass media’ in the eyes of Russian law, are requesting content compliance monitoring and legal advice regarding their relationships with customers, partners, advertisers and especially licensing authorities and regulators such as RosComNadzor and others.
Asset search and bad debts recovery
Following the decrease in Russian financial and banking sector development, the demand from Russian banks and other financial institutions for asset search and bad debt recovery services is on the rise. The key factors are cost efficiency and adequate speed of search and applying ‘freezing injunctions’ on the assets for avoidance of their further dissipation.
Cooperation with other emerging markets
Russia’s inadvertent response to sanctions from the West became not only famous for ‘import substitution policies’ but also boosted development of trade with territories and countries other than the EU and the United States. The Islamic Republic of Iran, alongside with BRICS and other associations, is the next cooperation opportunity for Russian businesses. This, in turn, is developing demand for businesses to understand the Russian legal system and process of incorporation of businesses and setting up their operations there.