Forensic. Legal Inquiries

Headed by Partner Konstantin Astafiev, KIAP “Forensic. Legal Inquiries” practice provides full range of legal services in legal forensics and inquiries such as examination of legal and financial discipline of managers in favor of shareholders, examination of third parties’ legal discipline in transactions, examination of staff in company business units including legal and financial discipline, as well as collection, analysis and legalization of body of evidence for Russian and international civil and commercial litigation, investigation into corporate frauds and other abuses by the company's staff and business partners. The practice also advises other lawyers on complex legal cases (including criminal matters). Practice leader Konstantin Astafiev is personally recommended by international legal rankings The Legal 500 EMEA 2020 (Leading Individual in White-collar crime), Best Lawyers 2021, and Chambers Europe 2013.

Legal Forensics:

  • Confidential examination and analysis of the actions of the management and employees of a company in respect of potential abuses, including in respect of their actions having any formal elements of crimes in favor of the shareholders (the owners of the company)
  • Verification of the counterparties' legal discipline in transactions, collecting information on counterparty companies required to make business decisions
  • Examination of staff in company business units including legal and financial discipline (compliance) 
  • Collection, analysis and legalization of body of evidence for Russian and international civil and commercial litigation 
  • Internal investigation into corporate frauds and other abuses by the company's staff and business partners 

Legal inquiries:

  • Advising other lawyers on complex legal cases (including criminal matters)
Konstantin Astafiev
  • Conducting an internal investigation in the Russian business unit of a major international company operating in the advertising market in response to alleged financial misconduct by a number of the Russian office employees. As a result of the examination conducted, there were revealed the elements of the crimes provided for in articles 159 of the Russian Criminal Code (fraud) and Article 165 of the Russian Criminal Code (causing property damage through under false pretenses and abuse of trust). The necessary body of evidence was reviewed and collected, the materials were handed over to law enforcement officers for preprosecutorial examination, and a decision was made to initiate several criminal cases (with numerous episodes established).
  • In cooperation with financial audit specialists, the employees of one of the Big Four companies conducted a large-scale legal investigation in response to a number of alleged company funds embezzlement attempts to the amount of more than 20 million U.S. dollars. Based on the investigation results, there were identified the persons involved in the commission of the crime, including persons from among the former and current employees of the target company. There were facts revealed indicating the presence of the elements of corruption in their actions. Taking into account the evidence collected and on the basis of the materials also received by the officers of the central office of the Russian Federal Security Service, there were instituted several criminal cases, with the guilty persons eventually brought to criminal liability.    
  • Representing an international company producing alcoholic beverages as part of an internal corporate investigation into possible corruption-related abusive practices on the part of the company’s counterparty’s employees. As a result of the investigation a number of company employees were found out to be participating in a series of illegal actions; the respective statements were filed with the law enforcement agencies, and employment relations with the above-mentioned employees became terminated.
  • Conducting an internal corporate investigation of a Russian company into possible participation of a director of the branches of the company in fraudulent schemes. As a result of an investigation the complete structure of the fraudulent group became revealed, as well as the details of the fraudulent schemes the group was engaged in. The employment relations with the members of the group were terminated.   
  • Conducting a series of forensic investigations into the goodwill of a number of Russian and foreign companies required for addressing fraud and premeditated bankruptcy statements to the law enforcement agencies.
  • Carrying out of legal and financial due diligence on a major Russian food manufacturer. The due diligence report was prepared for consideration by the board of directors of our client — one of Europe’s largest food manufacturers — when they were considering whether to enter the Russian market through a cross border merger with a Russian company. The estimated cost of the transaction is approximately one billion US dollars.
  • Carrying out of due diligence and examining the financial results and procedures of potential counterparties for our client, the largest European manufacturer of construction materials. Our report assisted our client in taking a strategic decision to develop a distribution network in one of Russia’s regions.
  • Gathering of information about the company, its ultimate beneficiaries and affiliates as part of Due Diligence for the purposes of in-depth assessment of legal and financial exposure, bona fides and intentions of the asset seller. The project was meant to enable the client to make an informed decision on the acquisition of a regional petroleum company with a network of filling stations. The probe established that the company's ultimate beneficiaries include local civil servants, with the public sector accounting for the bulk of contracts. This intelligence gave a strong hand in negotiations and made it possible to close the deal on terms favourable to the client.
  • Investigation into corporate fraud involving a number of top corporate managers. The investigation identified a number of companies doing business with our client. The ultimate beneficiaries of said companies were on the client's staff. Their insider dealings served the interests of the entities they controlled, which usually was detrimental to the interests of the client, and made losses on more than one occasion. The probe identified all parties to the dealings and the entities under their control, which enabled the client to make adequate HR and legal arrangements.
  • Gathering and evaluation of evidence of malpractice by members of a trade union active within a corporate client. The findings gave the client a strong hand in collective bargaining and enabled it to prevent the trade union from freezing the company's current operations. 
  • Gathering and vetting of evidence suggesting graft in an acquisition of a package of assets in the Russian market with the involvement of a Western bank. The findings were notified to the head office of the bank, and appropriate HR arrangements were made. 
  • Gathering, analysis and legalization of evidentiary information for commercial litigation. Such engagements are normally accepted as part of coordination with foreign legal firms representing their client in arbitration proceedings outside the Russian Federation.