Pavel has been specialising in tax law for more than 15 years, providing tax advice and resolving tax disputes for his multinational clients. Over the past 10 years Pavel has also developed an additional speciality in the legislation governing oil and gas companies operating in hydrocarbon fields, covering subsoil and continental shelf activities, production sharing agreements (PSAs), etc.
Pavel is an expert on the Energy Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, as well as an expert at the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, working in the Committee on Tax Policy and the Committee on Energy Policy and Energy Efficiency.
Some of Pavel’s successes:
- prepared a Protocol to the international agreement regulating the implementation of a large oil and gas project;
- developed different draft Federal Laws, notably: amending Chapters 21 and 26.4 of the Tax Code of the Russian Federation to eliminate loopholes in the taxation of Oil & Gas companies operating in offshore fields; amending the Tax Code of the Russian Federation regarding the new offshore fields tax regime; and amending the Tax Code of the Russian Federation concerning new types of contractual relations in the Civil Code of the Russian Federation;
- drafted various contractual documents, in particular a recent production sharing agreement (PSA) concluded between the Russian Federation and an Oil & Gas company;
- structured and analysed the tax consequences arising from acquisition by a foreign investor of a stake in a large oil and gas project as part of an M&A transaction, including preparation of a tax model, structuring the client’s entry, financing, ensuring a return on investment, and planning how to exit from the project;
- represented taxpayers in the Supreme Arbitration Court and lower regional arbitration courts, such as the Moscow region Arbitration Court, North-Western region Arbitration Court and Far-Eastern Arbitration Court. Pavel notably recently won a precedent court tax dispute in the Far-Eastern Arbitration Court on the application of beneficial WHT rates to dividends, managing to prove beneficial owner status of the group’s foreign financial and investment company;
- supported field and office tax audits, in particular ensuring a majority of recent tax assessments were dropped at the pre-court stage for a pharmaceutical company;
- prepared tax advice on controversial tax issues to be supplied to tax officials undertaking field tax audits, to exclude the risk of tax claims being made against the client in the final audit act. Recently helped an international construction company get tax charges against it dropped by the tax authorities;
- prepared requests for submission to the Russian Ministry of Finance to prevent tax risks or resolve tax disputes. Recent work has involved preparing requests for investors so that tax provisions in an agreement to be concluded with the Government of the Russian Federation can be properly drafted;
- supported pre-audit analyses and work with tax authority panels on unjustified tax benefit, tax losses, VAT, etc. Recently Pavel and his team prepared objections concerning an unjustified tax benefit and convinced the tax officials that no unjustified tax benefit was received by an international construction company;
- drafted tax expert opinions for Russian and international arbitration courts. In particular, Pavel has drafted two expert opinions for an international Oil & Gas company in a dispute with the Russian Federation at the Stockholm International Court of Arbitration regarding the applicable corporate income tax rate for the “Sakhalin-1” PSA.
Pavel is a sought-after speaker at Oil & Gas conferences held in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Arkhangelsk, Murmansk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, and Vladivostok. In particular, in 2020 and 2021, Pavel gave key speeches at the XII International Ecology Forum (in the session “Hydrocarbons without risk”), at the Fifth International Arctic Summit (Panel session), and at the National Oil & Gas Forum, held online.
In 2013-2016, The Legal 500 and IFLR1000 international rating agencies named Pavel as a leading tax expert in Russian oil and gas industry laws.
In the Media
Comments for Neftegaz.ru on the tax system specifics of the fuel and energy sector.
Comments for Neftegaz.ru on the specifics of the Norwegian model of working on shelves.
An article for Oil & Capital on excess profits tax proposed by the Russian Finance Ministry.
Comments for RBC on continental shelf legislation applicable to the Caspian Region.
Comments for Interfax.ru about the US sanctions.
Comments for Eastrussia.ru on priority development areas investment regulations and free ports on the Far East.