I’ve been working with big holdings, supporting businesses and protecting companies from legal and managerial problems as a lawyer and a top manager for 18 years.
Director General KARIMOV LAW FIRM
In 2000, at the start of my career as a lawyer, I was lucky to get into a team of young ambitious tax and litigators of the legal department of ОАО Kolskaya Mining & Metallurgical Company (ОАО Norilsk Nikel). In the noughties, our team was ‘famous’ throughout the country for headline-making lawsuits: Resolution of the Constitutional Court No. 7-P of April 27, 2001, Decision of the Supreme Court No. GKPI 2002-178 of March 28, 2002 and the follow-up Verdict of Constitutional Court No. 284-О of 12/10/2002.
Over the period of 5 years we gained a vast experience in handling tax, customs, administrative, contract disputes, claim-related work, and took part in implementation of intergovernmental agreements between Russia and the Kingdom of Norway on import, tax and customs relief for ecological equipment.
I had a chance to take part in a dozen of full-scale field tax audits, to dispute several field and in-house audits, Customs’ decisions, adjustment of customs value, ban on import/export. Protection of the company from state authorities, including MIA, FSB, Accounts Chamber, Commission for Precious Metals, Environmental Supervision, and State Funds was a massive part of my job. I owe finding solutions for some challenging tasks to my engineering degree in non-ferrous industry. You can read about most interesting projects here.
We continue working with the key members of that team at present. In 2005, I got in charge of a project and then a company part of Rotermann OU, a big developer in the Baltic region.
In 2005-2008 Rotermann was implementing simultaneously such development projects as public-and-business quarters in Moscow District of Saint Petersburg and Rotermann quarters in downtown of Tallinn. The project was implemented in 3 years and eventually repurchased by one of the investors. At project’s start, we prepared all necessary documentation including investment and framework agreements, partnership agreement, and co-financing agreement. Loan-based financing was provided by Sverdbank under a loan agreement and security agreements. Construction was carried out on the basis of general contractor agreement with BaltSpetsStroy; engineering supervision was ensured by our own resources plus Irbis.
Overall, it was a good legal support and project management experience.
In 2008, I had a chance to acquire experience in consulting at international law firm Castren&Snellman and to work with a number of tasks in due diligence; that’s where I also got a proposal to ensure legal backup to development process of the concern KESKO in Russia.
Working with с KESKO as a lawyer, I was in charge of legal backup of the development of K-rauta, K-ruoka, Intersport, Onninen, and Konekesko chains. Firstly, it was a profound M&A experience — both direct investments, and takeovers. Intensive growth and consolidation triggered further adjustments, holding’s restructuring and straightening of financial inter-holding relationships with consideration of tax requirements for CFC, transfer pricing, thin capitalization, participation in field tax audits and disputing of their findings.
Another vast sphere was interaction with state authorities, i.e. Saint Petersburg City and Leningrad Oblast Public Prosecution Office, Military Prosecuting Authority, State Architecture and Construction Inspectorate, CRO, Committee on State Control Use and Protection of Historical and Cultural Landmarks, and handling of conflicts with the city government. Also, some adjustments were carried out within the company: a number of positions were abolished, and part of routine processes was computerized. You can find the description of several interesting deals here.
Handling of major (and extremely interesting) in holding’s history deals in Russia on alienation of K-Rauta, K-Ruoka, Intersport chains gave me a chance to focus on my own projects.
Current KARIMOV LAW FIRM’s clients include small and mid-sized companies in the sphere of development, construction and installation, and equipment supplies; members of the Wide World Alliance; owners of rolling stock and heavy equipment, i.e. freight, multimodal and railroad transportation market players; major fishing holding Norebo; and Rosnano.
I keep partnering with trustworthy experts who have confirmed their skills and their level of expertise in team work. These are lawyers, accountants, managers and IT-specialists.
Personalities of team members are very important when it comes to challenging projects. Our clients get to work with only those whose personal traits have been tested by team work. Therefore, we don’t hire new people and don’t work with outsourced experts. We are a club of well-knit experienced lawyers, accountants and managers.
20-year experience, major challenging projects and expertise in a variety of spheres set the level of requirements and a reputation we have to maintain. Therefore, we cannot afford having inexperienced, unmotivated and laid-back partners and employees.
We try to do as much as possible on our own without disturbing the client. We take the responsibility for analyzing the risks or consequences, outlining the problem, negotiating the solution and the budget, collecting all the required documents, tracking the milestones and keeping the client informed at each stage.