“Can be relied on to solve complicated issues promptly”. “Dazzles clients with his encyclopedic knowledge of law” “Is an increasingly respected figure in Moscow, noted for his productive, calming influence in heated negotiations.” clients and the legal press
Ilya Rybalkin is a founding partner of RGP and the head of our Dispute Resolution practice. His practice focuses on large-scale commercial cross border disputes, fraud litigation, investigations and reputation recovery matters. Ilya also advises major Russian and international clients on corporate activity, especially those having a significant litigation component.
Prior to founding RGP Ilya was a partner with Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, Hogan & Hartson and Noerr.
He has over 20 years’ professional experience representing clients in complex, corporate disputes and developing legal strategies for international litigation and arbitration; internal investigations relating to allegations of corruption; cross border, white-collar crime matters; and regulatory investigations and enforcement matters, as well as investigations regarding improper dealings with public officials. Ilya’s credibility and depth of knowledge in relation to Russian and international fraud and asset tracing litigation is appreciated by clients and acknowledged by the legal press. He advises clients in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, mining, energy, retail, real estate and media.
In 2020 Ilya became a member of the Scientific Advisory Board on International Law under the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation and a member of ICC FraudNet. In 2019 Ilya was included in the ICC Russia’s roster of arbitrators and his questionnaire was added to the List of Practitioners on VIAC's website.
Valuable experience and deep knowledge obtained through his corporate and tax engagements, as well as recognised skills in negotiation, have ensured that he has earned an outstanding reputation among clients and has become a highly valued strategic counsel by providing clients with excellent service.
In addition, Ilya has extensive experience advising on corporate issues in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, as well as corporate restructurings with a significant contentious component. He has served as lead counsel on many large-scale transactions that have taken place in, or been related to, Russian entities in recent years.
Landmark engagement experience
- Representing PJSC Tatneft, Russia’s fifth biggest oil company, in US$380 million English litigation proceedings and a freezing injunction application in the High Court against four Ukrainian oligarchs – Messrs. Igor Kolomoysky, Gennady Bogolyubov, Pavel Ovcharenko and Alexander Yaroslavsky – in relation to huge and complex alleged cross-border fraudulent activities
- Representing Renova Industries, one of the Alfa-Access-Renova consortium members, on strategic matters related to a shareholder dispute with BP connected with the announced Arctic deal-and-share swap
- Representing Renova Industries regarding two sets of disputes and arbitration proceedings connected to the management and operation of TNK–BP
- Counselling Renova Industries in US legal proceedings initiated against a private individual for unjustified enrichment
- Representing a OJSC MegaFon shareholder to develop and implement a litigation strategy in relation to an imposed business combination affecting its shareholder rights and potentially violating Russian regulations
- Representing a prominent Russian businessman in BIT arbitration proceedings against a Baltic country, to protect his investments in the financial sector
- Representing a Russian industrial group in relation to an unfair prejudice and competition claim involving a Western mining giant
- Representing a Russian mining company in a landmark victory through the annulment by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court of a multimillion-dollar arbitration award against the company
- Representing a prominent Russian entrepreneur in significant white-collar litigation in which the client faced serious allegations of dishonest business practice and money laundering by the finance intelligence unit of an Eastern African country. All charges were withdrawn and the dispute settled because the client accepted our strategy to initiate bilateral investment treaty arbitration against this country
Asset tracing and recovery
- Representing a large Russian energy company in an asset recovery case worth more than US$1 billion in a complex international fraud and corruption case involving eight jurisdictions
- Representing one of the world’s largest metal companies in an asset tracing and recovery case against a former executive officer of the company who embezzled in excess of US$50 million
- Representing a Russian power companies consortium in connection with the investigation and recovery of a multimillion-dollar debt relating to the unlawful activities of the management and shareholders of the Energostream group
- Advising a leading Russian mining company in relation to the embezzlement and laundering of tens of millions of US dollar company funds by former top managers; the investigation involved multiple jurisdictions (Belize, Cyprus, Switzerland, Panama and the United States) and a number of civil and criminal actions against the wrongdoers, and resulted in almost a complete recovery of misappropriated funds
- Representing a sovereign wealth fund of a CIS country in connection with an investigation into the activities of the managers of certain mining and finance companies, as well as additional US, UK and Swiss litigation to identify and recover the misappropriated assets and money
- Advising the shareholders of a leading Russian real estate developer in connection with the investigation into fraud committed by the controlling shareholder; and representing UK, Cyprus and US shareholders in litigation, arbitration and immigration proceedings
- Representing a well-known Ukrainian businessman in a number of proceedings in the US and UK courts in connection with the alleged fraudulent obtaining of, and failing to repay, loans from one of the largest international banks
- Providing strategic advice to the shareholders and senior management of one of the largest consumer electronics retailers in Russia, which has been subject to several hostile takeover attempts
- Providing strategic advice and guidance to the treasury unit of a Russian business group with significant investments in a Russian fertilisation business; separately advising them on potential government and financial regulators’ investigations in several jurisdictions associated with the managed investments portfolio in stock and financial instruments
- Representing a prominent Russian businessman who was the subject of a financial regulation authority investigation by a Baltic country associated with the collapse and nationalisation of a major local bank
- Providing strategic advice and guidance to the senior management of a Russian business group whose principal was the subject of a widely publicised criminal investigation by Russian authorities
- Advising the senior management of a Russian mining giant facing a massive class action claim in foreign courts for alleged dishonest business practices and financial manipulations
- Representing a trading arm of a leading Russian metals producer in relation to Swiss criminal, arbitration and civil matters instigated by its partner to avoid payments under a very significant off-take contract
- Representing a leading financial and industrial group in an investigation into potential civil and criminal claims and providing advice in connection with EU and US sanctions relating to Crimea
Corporate and merger and acquisitions
- Representing Renova as a member of the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) consortium in relation to the sale of AAR’s stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for an all-cash consideration of US$28 billion (led the cross-border team of lawyers on the transaction that was selected by the American Lawyer magazine as the “Global M&A Deal of the Year: Russia” in its inaugural Global Legal Awards)
- Representing Renova on the sale of 100% of shares in its logistics and storage business, Multinational Logistics Partnership (MLP), one of Russia and Ukraine’s largest and most successful logistics operators, and on the consolidation of Renova’s shareholding in MLP
- Representing MMC Norilsk Nickel in the US$970 million sale of its shares in Stillwater Mining Company
- DL, Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), 1999
- Russia (1999)
Recognitions & Awards
Ilya Rybalkin and his achievements in various disciplines have been recognised by the leading independent legal publications and directories, including:
- The Best Lawyers 2018-2020 – ranked among the top International Arbitration, Corporate, M&A, Energy and Natural Resources, Customs and Excise and Tax lawyers in Russia.
- The Legal 500 EMEA 2018 – recommended for the firm’s Dispute Resolution practice.
- Chambers Global 2009 - 2017 – ranked among top Corporate, M&A lawyers in Russia.
- Chambers Europe 2017 – ranked among the top Corporate, M&A and Tax lawyers in Russia.
- The Best Lawyers 2010-2017 – ranked among top Corporate, M&A and Tax lawyers in Russia.
- IFLR 1000 2018-2020 – ranked as highly regarded M&A, private equity, restructuring and insolvency specialist for Russia.