Stepan is the Head of projects of our International commercial arbitration practice. Stepan represents clients in complex cross-border disputes in litigation and in international arbitration under auspices of LCIA, ICC, VIAC, SCC, ICAC, RAC and other arbitral institutions.
Stepan is engaged in resolution of disputes in construction, commodities (oil and petrochemical products), distribution, and IT sectors, caused by force-majeure circumstances and hardship/frustration of contracts. Stepan has years of experience in resolution of disputes arising out of contracts for the international sale of goods and independent/bank guarantees.
Stepan defends clients’ rights to preserve dispute resolution agreements against exclusive competence of Russian courts and their powers to impose anti-suit/arbitration injunctions under so-called Lugovoy Law (Articles 248.1 and 248.2 of the Russian Arbitrazh (Commercial) Procedure Code).
Before KIAP, Stepan served as a deputy head of international legal practice of the largest distributor on the Russian IT market. Has a broad experience of working with Chinese and Hong Kong counterparties in the commercial field.
Personally recommended by Best Lawyers 2022 (in International Arbitration, Arbitration and Mediation, and Litigation), by the Russian rating Pravo.ru-300 in 2022 and 2023 years (in International Arbitration). Stepan is also mentioned by The Legal 500 as a key figure of the international arbitration practice in KIAP.
Author of academic publications about force majeure, hardship, international arbitration and professional responsibility of lawyers. Co-author of the textbook titled “Arbitration in Asia.” Mastermind and co-author of the RAC Code of Ethics. Member of RAA25, RAA40 and participant of RAA working groups.
LL.M. in U.S. Business Law, graduated as a Class Valedictorian.
- Preparation of legal memoranda analyzing Arts. 248.1 and 248.2 of the APC RF (Lugovoy Law), inter alia, for a leading international law firm in the field of international arbitration. The Client sought a memorandum as a part of international arbitrations with state-owned Russian gas giants.
- Successful representation of the US and Swiss oil trading companies in a dispute with the largest Russian petrochemical companies and foreign terminals. In 2022, the Clients failed to perform the obligations to purchase the goods from the Russian suppliers, as well as the ‘take-or-pay’ obligations before foreign terminals due to sectoral sanctions and their consequences. KIAP lawyers secured settlement of all the disputes to avoid arbitrations under the rules of the ICC, SCC, ICAC at the RF CCI.
- Successful representation of the largest private oil-trading company from Switzerland in a dispute with a Russian petrochemical company. The dispute arose out of the Russian company’s claims to compensate costs for elimination of commercial defects of the car tanks. In course of arbitration under the auspices of the ICAC at the CCI RF, arbitrators were convinced that the claimant had failed to prove the damages it alleged to have incurred since 2017.
- Successful representation of the largest private energy trader in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic in the LCIA arbitration arising out of several oil supply contracts. Not only did the tribunal satisfy the claimant’s claim on merits in full, but also it adjudicated costs incurred while obtaining interim measures in a Polish state court, which is a rare case.
- Successful representation of a foreign construction company in the RAC arbitration. The parties settled the dispute on conditions that favored the client.
- Successful representation of a distributor from Hong Kong in the ICAC arbitration arising out of contracts for sale of goods of luxury segment.
- Enforcement of the ICAC award that includes collection of the penalty in favor of a foreign distributor from a buyer in the amount of more than USD 5 mln calculated as 50% from the amount of not purchased goods (without reduction).
- Enforcement of the ICAC award under the counterclaim of an Italian employer that charges penalties from a contractor despite the fact that the initial claim had been considered in the state court. Before the arbitration, the state court ordered that the arbitration clause was inoperative.
- Successful defense of international construction company’s rights to consider disputes arising out of four construction contracts in international arbitration regardless the claimant’s bankruptcy. Previously, the Russian Supreme Court ordered that the arbitration agreements with this particular bankrupt were inoperative.
- Successful defense of a beneficiary in 4 concurrent disputes with a bank and a bankruptcy applicant arising out of several independent guarantees (URDG) issued in support of fulfillment of obligations by the subcontractor to install natural-stone facades.
- Successful representation of the world’s largest independent energy trader in the dispute with the largest Russian oil producer arising out of three contracts on sale of acetone and alcohol. Because of COVID-19 pandemic the contractual formula-based price became negative and the market price substantially increased. Negotiation leaded to the settlement where the seller agreed to supply the contractual amount of goods to the client under the minimum price.
- Preparation of the legal opinion about service on Russian parties under The Hague Service Convention 1965 through main and alternative routes for a law firm from British overseas territories.
- Preparation of the legal opinion for a Russian construction company about the arbitration agreement between Russian entities that refers the parties to arbitration under auspices of a foreign arbitral institution with a seat of arbitration outside Russia.
- Defense of a general contractor from numerous attempts of several subcontractors to open independent guarantees (URDG).
- Successful defense of interests of the world’s largest food producer from Switzerland in the Russian court in dispute arising out of agreements on product promotion in Russia.
- Successful representation of a foreign construction company in Russian courts on procedural issues. Claims of bankruptcy managers of subcontractors were stayed without trial due to arbitration clauses.
- Successful representation of the major construction company in a dispute with the applicant’s bankruptcy manager who was trying to invalidate several independent guarantees (URDG) and addendums between the client and the applicant entered into within a pre-foreclosure stage.
- Successful representation of a Russian manufacturing company in a dispute with a German manufacturer arising out of a extrusion lines supply contract.
- Protection of a Russian distributor in a case against a leader of world space instrumentation engineering arising out of a distribution of IP rights to a software.
- Advising a former top manager of one of the largest apparel and housewares retail chain on the issues of a liability for violation of fiduciary duties.
- Advising a Russian leading manufacturer of office armchairs, chairs and stationeries in disputes with foreign equipment suppliers.