One of the key players in the Russian legal market, LECAP presents its results for the past three years and shares some of its plans. “In these three years, we have secured a leading position in the Russian legal services market. We have completed several dozens of large-scale projects, set up new practice areas. We have also expanded our partnership,” said Michael Malinovskiy, partner at LECAP.
Ever since the company was founded in 2012, LECAP has been gradually increasing its headcount by engaging remarkably talented and experienced experts. A year and a half ago, when Georgy Osipov (partner) joined the team, we started our dispute resolution practice. In May 2015, LECAP welcomed Elizaveta Turbina (partner) who will further boost our practices in Russian and international capital markets, securitisation and M&A. The newest addition to our team is Sergey Volkov, an experienced capital markets lawyer.
“During the past year and a half, the company has successfully mastered the M&A segment, including English law governed deals, and began to do business internationally — we normally have five to seven projects of this type in the pipeline these days,” says Mr. Malinovskiy. “And we intend to further enhance this practice area in the coming years”.
In addition, LECAP started to provide services other than legal support of transactions. After a concept similar to the English law note/security trustee was introduced into Russian law in 2014, it has launched a bondholders representative practice. This service is offered by LECAP's sister company, LCP Investor Services, which was one of the first to be accredited by the Bank of Russia as a representative of bondholders in February 2015. The division is led by Dmitriy Rumyantsev who has vast experience in investment banking and held the position of a director at the investment banking department of Raiffeisenbank for many years.
“One of our competitive advantages is that we start working with new issuers who, for example, consider placing securities on the stock exchange before they engage an investment bank,” Michael explains. “If the company is in a better shape by the time it starts talking to investment banks, it is likely to be offered better cooperation terms when it appoints lead managers for its placement”.
LECAP was formed three years ago by former employees of a major Russian law firm. Initially, the company focused on capital markets projects (including transactions on Russian and international stock exchanges, including IPOs, Russian bonds, Eurobonds, etc.), as well as M&A and public-private partnerships (PPP). “Economic growth is impossible without the development of capital markets. Therefore, from the very beginning we have focused on cooperation with the financial sector. In this segment, we managed to achieve remarkable results. Just in the past two years, our company has advised on more than 80 issuances of bonds, 20 M&A transactions, 45 shares issuances, took part in 25 PPP projects and 4 issuances of subordinated debt instruments. 15 of our legal opinions were used for assignment of credit ratings of various kinds of bonds, including by Moody’s, S&P and Fitch,” Michael comments on the results of the first three years of operations. LECAP’s customers and partners include Russian Railways, Sistema JSC, VTB Capital, Citi and other Russian majors.
The company’s success is acknowledged by the market. For three consecutive years, Cbonds recognised LECAP as the best law firm in the bond market, and in 2014 LECAP was for the first time awarded the best Russian law firm in the private equity area by PREQVECA and Cbonds. LECAP’s partners are well-acclaimed by leading international legal ratings (such as Chambers Europe, The Legal 500, Best Lawyers, IFLR1000, etc.) as professionals with exceptional experience in capital markets and other areas.
The company’s notable contribution to the development of the Russian capital markets is not limited to executing deals. LECAP has repeatedly acted as a consultant, managed and participated in working groups to improve the legislative framework. The Bank of Russia, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Agency for Housing Mortgage Lending, the Association of Regional Banks of Russia and others have expressed gratitude for its active involvement in this sphere.
Significant business growth also brought rebranding to the company's agenda. “Our name has become a brand in the market. We would like to get even closer to our customers, be more technologically advanced and also easier to comprehend, while at the same time distancing ourselves from smaller law firms,” says LECAP’s partner Michael Malinovskiy to introduce the new logo.
Reflecting on the achievements of the first three years of the firm, the LECAP team sets bold and ambitious goals for the future. “The years of active development of the company coincided with a period of high turbulence in the financial markets and challenging economic conditions. These unstable conditions have strengthened us and allowed to accumulate valuable experience. We plan to further strengthen our leading position in the market and to grow together with our customers, developing new products for the Russian market and augment the existing ones,” Michael Malinovskiy concludes.