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Sergey Naumkin is a Russian Business Lawyer located in the Northwest of the UK. His practice specialises in supporting small and medium-sized British companies interested in trade or investment in Russia and the Baltic Sea Countries.

Although a great deal of support already exists for larger British firms wanting to do business in Russia, to date there has been little in the way of provision for smaller companies. That’s why my practice focuses on those small and medium British firms looking for opportunities in Russia.

While I have acted for a large cross-section of industries, the majority of my clients hail from the "Creative Industry" areas. I have worked with small and medium-sized British companies in Software, Web Design, Home Décor, Art, Architecture, Porcelain Design, Photography, Corporate Identity Creation, Branding, Retail Design, Ice Hockey & Figure Skating Advertising, Remote Gaming and Gambling, Language Services, Publishing, and Pharmaceutical Research and Production.

My training in Law in Russia and my subsequent practice in Kaliningrad, Russia, and the Baltic Countries has provided me with 15 years of legal experience. Just as importantly, it has given me a unique understanding of Russian, Estonian and Lithuanian business culture and customs. Not only do I advise my clients on important everyday legal and strategy issues to maximise their success, but I also act as ‘on the spot’ support – negotiating and conducting business meetings, in Russian, on behalf of my British clients.

When contemplating working in Russia, it’s not always easy for a small or medium-sized company to find the right legal adviser. I am one of just four Russian lawyers in England registered with the Law Society, and the only one to be found in the Northwest, all the others being situated in London.

It is even more difficult for the smaller British firm to find such representation in Russia itself. The best lawyers are located in either Saint Petersburg or Moscow. Unfortunately, the finest legal minds in specific areas, such as Litigation or Intellectual Property, do not generally speak English. You can of course hire an interpreter, but translating Russian legal terminology is an extra layer of complexity (and costs) that most small and medium British firms don’t need. And if you’re trying to do business in one of the more remote areas of Russia – and there are many – you won’t be able to find an experienced, business-school trained legal interpreter. You are much better off being represented by a UK-based lawyer with a wide network of contacts and a great depth of experience in Russia.

All those considering trade or investment in a foreign land are aware of the language difficulty, but they are often surprised to learn that this is unlikely to present the greatest challenge. This lies in the gulf of differences in culture and business practice between the English client and their Russian lawyer. While a Russian lawyer will do all they can to protect your interests, employing Russian methods that work in their area, it can be very difficult for the English client to understand their working practices. Furthermore, the relationship between client and lawyer in Russia is different from that here in the UK. It can take quite some time for you and your foreign lawyer to understand one another.

It is crucial not to underestimate the differences in the process of hiring Russian lawyers, because the success of your venture is directly dependent on it. When you work with me, I am in a better position to find a local specialist if one is needed. I can also help with introductions to useful partners, as I have excellent contacts in Kaliningrad, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Sevastopol (Crimea), Russia; in Tallinn, Estonia; and in Vilnius, Lithuania – all areas where I have first-hand knowledge and experience, having practised there prior to moving to the UK. 

Here is how I can help in your Baltic or Russian endeavour.

I make it simple for you to do business there. On your behalf:

• I research possible markets and business partners in your target countries.

• I advise you on current Russian legislation.

• I keep you informed on the relevant export and import requirements for Russia.

• I keep track of on-going state tenders where there may be opportunities for you.

• I prepare and amend contracts regulating your activities there.

• I help create your export documentation, obtain the necessary licences and certificates and ensure translation of the same.

• I talk to your Russian partners and secure the best arrangements for your firm.

• I can set up your business in Russia, assisting with customs clearance, personnel hiring, and the optimization of your tax situation there.

• I can also manage your business projects, large or small. I use PRINCE2 methodology, and I have been a PRINCE2 Qualified Practitioner since 2009.

• Go to  Practice Areas section for a more detailed list of my legal services.

If you are an English lawyer working on a case that involves Russian Law or Russian clients, I strongly recommend my services. My own considerable experience and on-going work in this field means that I am well placed to offer you excellent support.

While I myself cannot testify in court on matters regarding the laws of the Former Soviet Union Republics, I can locate and translate any and all relevant legislation for you, as most of it is in Russian. I can also assist in finding and selecting a Russian lawyer in London if you wish; do get in touch.

Please call or email with details of your project(s), and I will be happy to discuss how I can be of service to you.

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