Maxim Alekseyev

Maxim Alekseyev

Senior Partner
Maxim Alekseyev

Chambers Europe

Maxim Alekseyev is an extremely good lawyer, who we have no hesitation in recommending. He is tenacious and strong at fighting the client’s corner.

Biography
Recent work
Publications and Insights
Rankings and awards

Maxim Alekseyev is a co-founder and Senior Partner of ALRUD, head of ALRUD Private Clients and Tax practices.

Maxim specialises in advising corporate and private clients on international trading matters, regulatory and economic developments, domestic and international tax planning, strategic M&A, onshore and offshore business structures, risk management, good governance, contentious investigations and dispute resolution. He leads projects in Russia and overseas involving both domestic and international clients.

In his corporate practice, Maxim has extensive experience in advising on major cross-border and domestic transactions across a wide range of sectors including the oil and gas, manufacturing, food, retail, wholesale, media and communications industries.

In his private client practice, Maxim specialises in helping high net-worth individuals and family offices to manage their business interests, asset collections and family relations. He is acknowledged for his expertise in estate planning and administration, personal taxation, onshore and offshore structures, private banking and wealth management, family business governance, succession planning and risk mitigation.

I like the knowledge that he has of the law and the internal knowledge he has about Russia and Russian clients. He understands the law and how it will impact clients. He’s very good at interpreting the law, not only the law now, but what it might become later. Chambers HNW

Maxim has a particular focus on advising clients in Asia as head of ALRUD’s practice in that region.

Maxim is a member of the International Bar Association (IBA), the American Bar Association (ABA), the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). He is an author of numerous publications including the Russian chapters for Thomson Reuters’ Private Client Tax and Art Collecting legal handbooks, and STEP’s Family Office and Private Client guides.

Maxim is a graduate of Moscow’s State University of International Relations. In common with ALRUD’s multi-lingual approach, he provides legal advice in English and Russian.

Includes advising and representing:

Thomas Cook

on its acquisition of Russian touristic company Intourist and launching client’s business activity in Russia. JVC on tax issues related to its activity in Russia. The services covered a wide range of general tax issues as well as stand-alone tax consultancy regarding specific transactions.

Joint venture of the leading European satellite operator

regarding potential tax risks and implications for the Russian part of the business due to recent changes to the Russian tax law.

Leading European real estate management firm

regarding Russian taxation of prospective M&A transaction.

Comprehensive project on development of optimal structure of offsetting the debt within the group of Russian and foreign oil companies, taking into consideration the tax consequences and risks. The total amount of transactions in the course of the restructuring is about USD 74 mln.

A number of clients from Asia-Pacific region

in connection with regulations of the Eurasian Economic Union and antidumping investigations held by Russian state authorities and subsequently by Eurasian Economic Commission in relation to the products originated from the region.

Major European vehicle manufacturer

in the antidumping investigation initiated by Eurasian Economic Commission.

A Russian citizen and UK resident (planning to marry a Russian citizen)

on the conclusion of a pre-nuptial agreement under Russian law, but complying with the requirements of the English law.

Russian citizen

in the divorce case with foreign citizen. The client got aware that she was divorced after one year after the court decision. The goal of ALRUD involvement was to restore the term of appeal of the court decision and cancelation of divorce judgment. As per result the term for appeal was restored however finally the decision of the court of the first instance was confirmed by the court of appeal instance.

Changes in products = changes in compliance documentation
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! Most of the products imported to Russia are subject to strict regulations under Russian and EAEU1 laws. They are regulated by: The general legislation of Federal Law No. 184-FZ dated 27 December 2002 “On Technical Regulation”, which is applied in the absence of special regulation; Special technical regulations for certain types of goods, e.g., on the safety of machinery and equipment, wheeled vehicles, light industry goods, goods intended for children and teenagers, food products, etc.; Special legislation for medicines, medical devices, dietary supplements, etc. The compliance of goods is confirmed in the following ways, depending on the type of products: Certification/declaration; or State registration. The circulation (including import and sale) in the Russian Federation of goods that do not meet regulatory requirements is prohibited. All imported goods must comply with the regulatory requirements and documentation that was provided to obtain documents confirming compliance. If the manufacturer makes any ****modifications to the characteristics/documentation of the goods****, they must be reflected in Russian documents confirming compliance (if not available, such documents must be prepared again) ****before**** importing the modified goods into the Russian Federation. Otherwise, the circulation (including import and sale) of such modified goods in the Russian Federation runs counter to the law and entails ****administrative or criminal liability****, such as: A fine of up to 300,000 RUB (approximately 3,300 US$) for a violation of the requirements of technical regulations; A fine of up to 30,000 RUB (approximately 330 US$) for failure to take measures to prevent harm during the circulation of goods that do not comply with the requirements of technical regulations; A fine of up to 5 million RUB (approximately 55,000 USD), administrative suspension of activities for up to 90 days or criminal liability for the circulation of misbranded, counterfeit, or substandard unregistered medicines or medical devices, or the circulation of counterfeit dietary supplements. In our practice, we see ****an increasing number of cases**** where products are imported into Russia with modifications that were not reflected in documents confirming compliance, as well as cases where the documentation that is the basis for obtaining documents confirming compliance has become invalid. In such cases, manufacturers and distributors often have to make ****product recalls and incur significant costs and reputational risks****. ****If you intend to make any changes in your products, we recommend considering the implications and making arrangements to confirm the compliance of products in advance. If you already have imported goods into Russia without making the appropriate modifications to the documents confirming compliance, please obtain expert advice on the actions required to mitigate any associated risks.**** ALRUD experts, ****with their extensive experience in advising on regulatory requirements and interaction with regulatory authorities****, can provide the necessary legal support on all issues related to your goods imported to Russia. The Eurasian Economic Union includes the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.
15 May 2024
Cosmetics and household chemicals labelling experiment
We would like to inform you about the latest news in the field of Business Regulation. In accordance with the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 29 December 2023 No. 2405 an experiment on labelling of certain types of cosmetics and household chemicals is introduced1. The experiment will last from 15 January 2024 to 28 February 2025. Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated 29 December 2023 No. 2405 “On conducting on the territory of the Russian Federation an experiment on labelling by means of identification of certain types of perfume and cosmetic products and household chemicals”
18 January 2024
Environmental ban on packaging
On November 15, 2023 the Ministry of Industry and Trade has submitted to the authorized departments for approval a draft governmental decree (“Decree”) banning the use of polymer goods and packaging waste from which is not recyclable or inefficiently extracted. In case the draft Decree receives positive feedback, it will undergo further consideration in the Russian government and subsequently adopted. What will be banned? The list is not publicly available as of the current moment, and it is not clear when it will be finally adopted, but, according to press publications, the document includes a list of 23 types of packaging, 6 of which are proposed to be limited as of 2024, and the remaining 17 items — as of 2030. Contemplated to be banned as of 2024: translucent PET bottles of all colours, except blue, green, brown, and black (these colours preserve the consumer properties of products and increase the shelf life), opaque PET bottles, with the exception of white containers for dairy products (where the colour has a functional purpose), as well as PET packaging made using PVC labels that interfere with recycling, multilayer PET bottles, coffee capsules made of multicomponent materials, and plastic containers for canned food with a rolled metal lid. Contemplated to be banned as of 2030: multicomponent Bag-in-Box packaging, flexible vacuum packaging doypacks, flowpacks, multilayer toothpaste tubes, multicomponent bags in the form of a jug, polymer sachet bags up to 80 mm, nets for vegetables and fruits, food packaging made of expanded polystyrene, etc. Consequences of the reform The mentioned amendments may have** material influence** on both: Russian manufactures of goods; Foreign manufacturers and importers of their products to Russia both from the member and non-member states of the EAEU. Amendments may require substantial changes in manufacturing processes and re-equipment of production lines, as well as development of new production methods. In this regard, we would recommend keeping an eye on the further development of this Decree and other requirements related to the EMR. Aim of restrictions Thus, the contemplated measures should stimulate the transition from opaque PET containers to transparent ones, from multilayer materials to single-layer ones, and from multicomponent to monomaterial ones, which will facilitate the processing of these materials. According to the public discussions, further reforms in this regard are underway. The planned reform is conducted in line with the developing of the extended manufacturer's responsibility (“EMR”) system, which was adopted on August 4, 2023 by the amendments (“Amendments”) to Federal Law No. 89-FZ dated June 24, 1998 “On Production and Consumption Waste”. The EMR system was introduced in Russia in 2015 in order to create an incentive for manufacturers and importers to recycle waste from the use of goods and packaging that they market in the territory of the Russian Federation. We will keep you updated on the development of the EMR system in Russia, and our team is ready to provide you with full legal support in this regard (from advising on the applicable requirements to communicating with Russian state authorities and filing necessary documents).
04 December 2023
Update. Partial suspension of the Double Tax Treaties with “Unfriendly States”
On August 8, 2023 the President of the Russian Federation signed and published new Decree 'On suspension by the Russian Federation of certain provisions of the Double Tax Treaties' No. 585 (the “Decree No. 585”). The list of partially suspended Double Tax Treaties (the “DTTs”) includes 38 “Unfriendly States”: Albania; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; the Czech Republic; Canada; Croatia; Cyprus; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia; Malta; Montenegro; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; the UK and Northern Ireland; and the US. Decree No. 585 comes into force immediately and suspends the key provisions of the DTTs regulating taxation of income, while certain provisions such as tax credits, exchange of tax information, etc. remain in force. Decree No. 585 does not have a retrospective effect, and the tax rates that have already been applied before August 8, 2023 would not be recalculated. At the same time, Decree No. 585 does not specify any date for restoring full effect of the DTTs. Partial suspension of the DTTs is a second Russian countermeasure against including Russia into the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for the tax purposes (the so-called “EU blacklist”). Previously, the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation has included all “Unfriendly States” into the blacklist of “offshore jurisdictions” (the Order No. 86н dated June 15, 2023). As a result, starting from July 1, 2023 any transactions between a Russian company and a company from one of the “Unfriendly States” (irrespective whether it is a related or a third party) exceeding RUB 120 mln per year (approx. EUR 1,145 mln) are subject to the Russian transfer pricing rules and special disclosure in Russia. What is the tax effect of partial suspension? Decree No. 585 impacts potential and scheduled payments of dividends, interest, royalties, and other similar “passive” types of income from Russia under the DTTs with “Unfriendly States”, i.e. the beneficial tax rates provided by the DTTs are no longer available. The standard withholding tax (WHT) rates apply starting August 8, 2023: {{1)}} 15% WHT rate for dividends (instead of 5% or 10%); {{2)}} 20% WHT rate for interest payments (instead of a tax exemption or 10%); {{3)}} 20% WHT rate for royalties (instead of tax exemption or other lower WHT rates); and {{4)}} 20% WHT rate for distribution of profit (other than dividends) (instead of a tax exemption). The latter change may have a potentially substantial effect as the tax authorities obtain more opportunities and fiscal reasons to requalify any suspicious payments and/or payments with low economic justification (even “active” types of income such as payments for the intragroup services) to distribution of profit that is subject to 20% WHT rate at the source of income in Russia. These standard tax rates apply irrespective of the amounts of payments and existence / absence of the special approvals of the Governmental Commission (i.e., even payments below RUB 10 mln per month, which do not require the special approval, are subject to the WHT). The tax must be withheld by the Russian company acting as a tax agent, i.e. the amount of income will be decreased by the amount of tax if no “gross-up” provision applies in the agreements between the parties (this does not apply to dividends). The standard WHT rates apply at the time of payment, e.g., if the foreign shareholder has already issued the Resolution on distribution of dividends by its Russian subsidiary before August 8, 2023, but the actual payment is made after that date, the beneficial DTTs’ rates cannot be applied. This list of negative tax effects of the DTTs’ suspension is not exhaustive, as other mechanisms are also affected (e.g., international transportation services, and rules for permanent establishments). Our key recommendations Considering the abovementioned changes, it might be reasonable for an international group of companies with Russian subsidiaries to check: {{1)}} anticipated payments of dividends, interest, royalties, and other similar types of income and assess possible increase of tax burden; {{2)}} the contractual structures (in particular, loan agreements and license agreements), whether they provide for a “gross-up” provision (if applicable); {{3)}} possible risks of requalification of payments in cases with the intercompany agreements, disproportional distribution of dividends, etc. This analysis shall contribute to better understanding of the further tax position of Russian subsidiaries, new tax implications, and possible tax risks.
08 August 2023
Maxim Alekseyev, Anton Dzhuplin and Sergey Milanov held a seminar for ROTOBO in Tokyo
On 12 July, Maxim Alekseyev, Senior Partner, Anton Dzhuplin, Partner, and Sergey Milanov, Of Counsel and Co-Head of the firm’s Asia-Pacific Desk, held a seminar for members of the Japan Association for Trade with Russia and the Newly Independent States (ROTOBO) in Tokyo. Our lawyers told the Japanese audience about the business operations of companies from “unfriendly” countries on the Russian market, as well as explained the regulations covering exit transactions involving the sale of shares or stakes in the Russian companies by foreign shareholders. They also shared practical advice on the legal aspects of implementing such transactions. In the seminar, the following topics were covered: {{1.}} "Current trends and strategies of actions of companies from “unfriendly” countries in the Russian market. What foreign companies that continue to operate in the Russian Federation should keep in mind" (speaker - Maxim Alekseyev). {{2.}} "Developments in the regulation of transactions involving the sale by foreign shareholders from 'unfriendly' countries of shares or stakes in their Russian companies" (speaker - Anton Dzhuplin). {{3.}} "A summary of the procedures for the liquidation of a Russian subsidiary and the closing of a Russian branch by a foreign company from an 'unfriendly' jurisdiction'" (speaker - Sergey Milanov). The above topics were followed with a high interest by the audience.
13 July 2023
Maxim Alekseyev and Magomed Gasanov prepare an article for IPBA
The Inter-Pacific Bar Association Journal ('IPBA') published an issue of «Cross-Border Fraud, Law and Investigations» focusing on cross-border cybercrime with examples from various countries. Maxim Alekseyev, Senior Partner of Tax Practice, and Magomed Gasanov, Partner of Dispute Resolution Practice, prepared the article «International Fraud in Current Russian Realities» on cyber-fraud in current realities with reference to Russia. The experts gave examples of cybercrime cases encountered by Russian companies, told about protective measures, as well as shared some rules and advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of a cybercrime.
01 June 2023
Temporary suspension of the Double Tax Treaties with “Unfriendly States” and implementation of the “windfall tax”
As a matter of important update that may impact potential and scheduled payments of dividends, interest, royalties and other similar “passive types” of income from Russia, please be informed that on 18th of May 2023 Russian Media has announced that Double Tax Treaties (the “DTTs”) with “Unfriendly States” will be temporarily suspended by the Presidential Decree in June 2023 . This initiative was prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Ministry of Finance of Russia in the middle of March 2023 as a countermeasure for including Russia into the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for the tax purposes (the so-called “EU blacklist”). Since the joint initiative was prepared, no additional information on the form, terms and other details of suspension was announced. Now it seems that DTTs will be suspended based on the Presidential Decree that most likely will have an immediate effect, with no transition period and exact date of restoring effect of the DTTs. Although the DTTs do not provide for such mechanisms of suspension, the DTT with Latvia was already suspended by the Presidential Decree No. 668 dated 26 September 2022 with simple notification of the Latvian Government on suspension of the DTT until Latvia will exclude its violations under the DTT or until the DTT will be fully terminated (similar to the DTT with the Netherlands that was terminated in 2021). What is the tax effect? No beneficial tax rates provided by the DTTs will be available for payments of so-called “passive types” of income from Russia to the US, UK, Japan, Canada, EU and other “Unfriendly States” implemented sanctions against Russia. As a result, only standard tax rates will apply: {{1)}} 15% WHT rate for dividends (instead of 5% or 10%); and {{2)}} 20% WHT rate for interest payments (instead of tax exemption or 10%); and {{3)}} 20% WHT rate for royalties (instead of tax exemption or other lower WHT rates); and {{4)}} 20% WHT rate for distribution of profit (other than dividends) (instead of tax exemption). The latter change may have an underestimated effect as the tax authorities will have more opportunities and fiscal reasons to requalify any suspicious payments and/or payments with low economic justification (even “active types” of income such as payments for the intragroup services) into distribution of profit subject to 20% WHT rate at the source of income in Russia. These standard tax rates will apply irrespective of the amounts of payments and existence / absence of the special approvals of the Governmental Commission (i.e., even payments with the amounts below RUB 10 mln per month, which does not require the special approval, will be subject to the WHT). This list of negative tax effects of the DTTs’ suspension is not exhaustive as other mechanisms will also be affected (e.g., international transportation services, opportunities for the tax credits, rules for the permanent establishments, exchange of tax information, etc.). In line with the temporary suspension of the DTTs the Ministry of Finance of Russia considers increase of the tax liabilities of Russian companies for non-submission or late submission of the special reports on payments of income to the foreign companies (the cash penalties will be from 5% to 30% of the amount of WHT mentioned in the report, depending on the term of delay). What is a “windfall tax”? On 10th of May 2023 the Ministry of Finance of Russia has published information about strong increase of the deficit of the State budget. Temporary suspension of the DTTs and application of the standard WHT rates shall have a positive effect for increase of the budget, however, as announced this will not be the main tool for the budget replenishment. In this regard the Ministry of Finance of Russia has prepared the Draft Law introducing a new tax obligation for the larger Russian companies (with minor exemptions) and foreign companies having permanent establishments in Russia for the tax purposes (the so-called “windfall tax”). The object of taxation will be the “excess profit”, defined as the difference between the average profit for 2021–2022 and the average profit for 2018–2019 (the pandemic year 2020 will not be considered). The amount of excess profit shall be determined according to tax accounting data (the sum of tax bases for the corporate income tax). The “windfall tax” shall apply, if such difference will be equal to or greater than RUB 1 bln. The tax rate will be 10% and the tax will be due in January 2024. At the same time, the tax rate can be discounted by 5%, if the funds are voluntary transferred to the budget by the taxpayers in October-November 2023. The Government expects that “windfall tax” will increase the budget by approx. RUB 300 bln. The Draft Law is now on consideration with the business representatives and trade associations and the final version is not published yet. It is expected that the Draft Law will be inserted to the legislative bodies for their consideration until the end of May 2023. The “windfall tax” is announced as one-time payment. However, the Russian Tax Code will be shortly amended by the general term “taxes of an extraordinary nature', which may indicate the opportunity to introduce and collect similar taxes in the future. Our recommendations Considering expected changes, it might be reasonable for the international group of companies with Russian subsidiaries to check: {{1)}} anticipated payments of dividends, interest, royalties and other similar types of income and review possible increase of tax burden; {{2)}} the contractual structures (in particular, loan agreements and license agreements), whether they provide for the “gross-up” provision (if applicable); {{3)}} amounts of profit before taxes for 2021-2022 and 2018-2019 for their compare and assessment of potential application and figures of the “windfall tax”. This analysis shall help with better understanding of the further tax position of Russian subsidiaries, new tax implications and possible tax risks.
19 May 2023
Further development of Russian legislation on alternative smoking products
On 28 April 2023, a new law was adopted on additional restrictions on devices for the consumption of nicotine-containing products (the “Law” and “Devices”, respectively). The Law introduces special new aspects on the retail, advertising and manufacturing of Devices as well as further restrictions on turnover of nicotine-containing products. The Law envisages the following key amendments: Ban on the retail sale of Devices and their components at fairs and exhibitions, remotely and through vending machines or delivery Ban on the release and circulation of nicotine-containing products with flavourings and additives enhancing nicotine addiction in order to reduce the attractiveness of these products for minors. The Russian government should determine the list of such flavourings/additives to be in force starting from 1 September 2023 Ban on the open display and demonstration of Devices in stores and any kind of discount on them, including coupons Non-nicotine liquids are subject to the vast majority of restrictions and requirements applicable to nicotine-containing products The Law sets forth minimum prices for nicotine-containing products, which should be applied starting from 1 September 2023 The Law also restricts advertising with images, descriptions or occasional references to the Devices and prohibits showing them to children under 12 years old Several years ago, the Russian government banned the advertising and sale of nicotine-containing products via the Internet and introduced requirements for the maximum nicotine content in vaporizer liquids and a number of other restrictions and requirements. However, these regulatory changes did not extend to such Devices. Now similar restrictions have been imposed on such Devices, thus the Law continues the trend of restricting the consumption of tobacco and alternative products. Stronger enforcement of the Law should be expected as well. Considering all this, we believe it would be advisable for all manufacturers, importers, distributers and advertisers to ensure compliance with the new requirements and closely monitor the further development of nicotine-related regulations and practice.
10 May 2023
Localization rules: Restricting foreign investments in seed farming areas
On 1 September 2023, the legal framework for seed farming in Russia will take effect. At present, lawmakers are preparing highly controversial regulations, which essentially aim to limit foreign investments in the Russian seed farming sector. The central idea is to implement a set of rules that require Russian companies involved in the production of agricultural plant seed varieties and hybrids to localize their activities (“Localization Rules”). Although the final version of the Localization Rules has not yet been approved, it is already possible to identify some key provisions that are likely to be adopted: {{1.}} Russian companies owned by foreign investors are seen as the initial target of the Localization Rules. They will be obliged to set up JVs with Russian investors that control at least 51% of the company’s shares to be able to continue seed farming in Russia. NB! However, the wording is still unclear, and we cannot rule out the possibility that all Russian investors will have to stick to the Localization Rules as well. {{2.}} The development and production of agricultural plant seed varieties and hybrids in Russia will be subject to additional localization requirements, including the availability of land plots, local production and research facilities, among other things. {{3.}} Each company involved in these activities will have to prepare its own localization plan that must be agreed with the Russian Ministry of Agriculture. Carve-outs A transition period for foreign investors to comply with the new rules is being discussed. It might be possible to hire Russian contractors for localization work. Producers might also be able to buy foreign raw materials (germplasm) to create seed varieties and hybrids in Russia. Conclusion Even though there are still many unanswered questions in the existing draft of the Localization Rules, it is highly likely that access of foreign investors to the seed market in Russia will be limited in the near future.
28 March 2023
According to The Private Client Global Elite Directory 2023, Maxim Alekseyev listed in the top 250 global lawyers
According to The Private Client Global Elite Directory 2023, Maxim Alekseyev, ALRUD Senior Partner, ranked in the top 250 global lawyers in the areas of family business, wealth management, and tax consulting. ALRUD is the only Russian law firm mentioned in the global directory. Launched in 2017, the Private Client Global Elite serves as a highly respected annual directory focusing on the private client sector and recommending best advisors in this practice area. Each year The Private Client Global Elite Directory receives more than 6 000 entries from advisors. Global lawyers enter the top upon recommendations of their peers, not of a third party.
29 December 2022
Best Lawyers, 2022 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Corporate/M&A, Tax Law, Regulatory Practice.
Chambers HNW, 2021 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Private Clients (Chambers High Net Worth and Family/Matrimonial: High Net Worth Guide).
The Legal 500, 2021recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Private Clients.
Best Lawyers, 2021 recognizes Maxim Alekseev as The Lawyer of the Year 2021 in Business Administration.
Who’s Who Legal,Thought Leaders Global Elite - Private Client - 2021 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Private Clients.
Best Lawyers, 2021 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Corporate/M&A, Tax Law, Regulatory Practice.
Global Elite Directory, 2023 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Private Clients.
Chambers HNW, 2020 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Private Clients (Chambers High Net Worth Guide).
The Legal 500, 2020 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Tax and Private Clients.
Who’s Who Legal, 2020 recommends Maxim Alekseyev for Private Clients.
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