Our clients demand nothing less than flexible, creative and timely results. This is why the lawyers of Marks & Sokolov function as an integrated team. Matters are managed by a hands-on senior attorney who coordinates work, assigning attorneys and support staff best suited to a particular matter, determining the most cost-effective location and ensuring that the client is kept informed of our progress. As a result, clients receive maximum benefit from the experience of the senior members of our firm.
While our clients range from individuals to large global corporations, our practice is built case by case. We don’t seek “cookie cutter” solutions. We believe each case is unique, and we regard each matter of equal and vital importance to our firm.
We are multilingual, multi-disciplined and have a singular dedication to our clients.
1835 Market Street, 17th Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103
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The Philadelphia office of Marks & Sokolov specializes in handling transactional matters for Western clients doing business in Russia and Ukraine and Russian/Ukrainian clients doing business internationally. In addition, the office also has a broad U.S. based commercial practice advising a wide range of individuals, industries and businesses on litigation and corporate matters.
Philadelphia attorneys are qualified to practice in the U.S. and Russia and have gained a profound expertise in the matters of Ukrainian law. The firm’s clients, no matter where they are based, can easily access the expertise of our lawyers. Many of the firm’s attorneys and support staff are fluent in English, Russian, Ukrainian, and other languages. The lawyers of Marks & Sokolov function as an integrated team. They are linked by an electronic infrastructure that allows them to bring the firm’s experience and global resources to bear on clients’ most demanding business and legal issues promptly and efficiently. The firm also has an established network of attorneys in many foreign jurisdictions to serve as local counsel.
Our Philadelphia lawyers litigate and arbitrate claims on behalf of clients throughout the United States and around the world. Firm lawyers have particular experience in prosecuting civil claims under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”), which provides for the recovery of treble damages and attorney fees. The firm has litigated some of the largest RICO cases in the United States based on fraud and other misconduct arising from commercial matters in Russia, including disputes in the aluminum, diamond, oil, and titanium sectors. In addition, firm lawyers have also handled numerous complex international commercial arbitration matters in London, New York, Philadelphia, Stockholm and Zurich. These cases required the preparation and translation of witness statements, expert legal opinions, and expert damage reports in English and Russian.
Recent representative cases include:
- Avisma v. Dart. Representation of a Russian industrial company against foreign investors for recovery of $150 million that was was improperly diverted in a trade fraud scheme. The case was resolved with a favorable settlement for the plaintiff.
- Base Metal Trading S.A. v. Russian Aluminum. Represention of foreign trading partners of a Russian aluminum factory in a $2.7 billion suit, where the plaintiffs trading contracts were abrogated by the defendants in sham bankruptcy proceedings.
- Archangel Diamond Corp. v. Lukoil. Representation of the plaintiff (an indirect affiliate of De Beers) in a suit against Russia’s largest oil company for $3.6 billion for wrongdoing related to the denial of rights to develop one of the world’s richest diamond fields. While still at the procedural stages, the firm has had a substantial victory in the case already, A landmark decision of the Colorado Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s decision dismissing a claim against Russia’s largest oil company for lack of personal jurisdiction. The case is now pending in Colorado state court.
- Representation of a Canadian oil company in a $1.5 billion suit in New York against U.S.-based entities engaged in a massive racketeering scheme to take over a substantial portion of the Russian oil industry.
- Representation of shareholders in a suit against a group of conspirators involved in a racketeering scheme with a claim in excess of $1 billion related to the illegal seizure of a Russian vanadium plant.
- Representation of a Russian translation company in a lawsuit against the International Accounting Standards Committee Foundation relating to the licensing of translations in the U.K., Russia and Ukraine. The lawsuit was resolved in a favorable settlement for the Russian translation company.
- Successful representation of plaintiff shareholders in a dispute over the management of the world’s largest ferro-alloy plant. The action was filed to vindicate the rights of good-faith investors who suffered damages exceeding hundreds of millions of dollars. The case setteled.
- Obtaining a preliminary injunction freezing over $6 million of the defendants’ assets under West Virginia law in a dispute involving metals plants in the United States and Poland.
- Representation of individuals in an action for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against Corestates Bank (n/k/a Wachovia Bank). The court held the bank liable for $1,150,000 plus over $680,000 in pre-judgment interest.
Marks & Sokolov lawyers provide a full range of corporate and transactional services to businesses and individuals representing a wide range of industries around the world.
The firm’s lawyers’ transactional experience includes:
- Structuring of a transaction and procurement of a letter of interest from the U.S. Ex-Im Bank to finance $50 million worth of U.S. made mining equipment for export to Russia.
- Drafting and negotiation of over $60 million worth of international sales and purchase agreements, drafting of numerous counter-trade agreements, railroad transportation contracts, port contracts and charter party agreements for an international commodity company engaged in international trading in Russia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, UK and South Africa.
- Preparation of documents for the Defense Conversion Fund’s financing of a project in Ukraine involving converting a military plant to manufacture electric transformers from locally produced copper wire.
- Commentaries on the preparation of a Non-Commercial Risk Guarantee Facility for the Russian coal sector that was developed by the World Bank in Washington and the Federal Center for Project Finance in Moscow.
- Drafting and negotiation of the sale of shares of a Russian metal company in excess of $60 million.
- Drafting and negotiation of contracts on behalf of purchasers for the acquisition of metallurgical plants in Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia.
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Marks and Sokolov’s Moscow office, open since 1998, is the base for the firm’s operation in Russia and the CIS. Our Moscow lawyers have substantial experience representing clients in the following areas:
- Real estate sales, development and acquisitions
- Consumer rights law
- General corporate matters
- Employment and Immigration law
- International Sale of Goods
The firm’s Moscow office has an active practice representing clients in the Russian commercial real estate market. Our attorneys have substantial experience in all aspects of the purchase and sale of commercial, residential and historic real estate including the drafting and negotiation of sale and purchase agreements, leases, loan facilities, pledges, mortgages and other collateral agreements. In addition to closing numerous transactions, our lawyers regularly assist clients with matters arising from the management and operation of the newly-acquired properties.
In the last two years, the firm has assisted clients, ranging from large Western funds to private companies, in buying, selling and developing over $800 million of real estate in Russia. Recent representations include:
- $80 million Class A office space acquisition in Moscow.
- $50 million shopping mall acquisition in Naberezhnye Chelny.
- $40 million Moscow land acquisition.
- $30 million acquisition of two office buildings in Moscow.
- $30 million development of warehouses and an office center in Moscow.
- $17 million hotel acquisition in Moscow.
- Acquisition of a 5-star hotel in Novosibirsk.
- Land acquisition for warehouse development in St Petersburg.
- Land acquisition for a shopping mall development in Novosibirsk.
We are currently representing large FMCG (“frequently marketable consumer goods”) and other companies in consumer litigations. Within the last year, we have successfully settled 15 disputes for our clients in the air carriage , electronic equipment and food industries.
Our Moscow lawyers have substantial experience in managing corporate governance for our clients. We have developed a profound expertise helping our clients establish, acquire and sell new businesses and ventures. Our lawyers regularly assist companies of all sizes in drafting by-laws and other corporate documents, incorporation, registration, reorganization and liquidation of legal entities, amendment of charter documents and all other corporate governance issues.
Recently, we have advised clients in the negotiation of shareholder agreements for several joint-ventures (over 60 mln USD JV of a development project in the center of Moscow, over 15 mln USD for a joint venture in publishing business) and provided complete support in the drafting of all the necessary documentation.
Our Moscow lawyers regularly advise corporate clients on numerous areas of employment law including: the hiring and termination of both low and high ranking employees and managers, drafting employment contracts and related documents, job descriptions, and obtaining work permits for foreign employees.
Our lawyers are called upon on a regular basis to assist in the drafting and negotiating of contracts involving the international sale of goods.
In the last few years alone, Moscow lawyers have drafted and negotiated over 50 contracts involving the sale of chemicals, industrial equipment, and more.