Experts

Pavel Ivlev
Pavel Ivlev was a long-time legal counsel to YUKOS and its former CEO, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who fled to New York from Russia under fear of unjust prosecution. A district court in Moscow issued an arrest warrant for Ivlev in 2005 on charges of embezzlement and money laundering, identical to those of Khodorkovsky and Lebedev. Ivlev believed that the arrest warrant was a result of his refusal to provide false incriminating evidence against Khodorkovsky and other key YUKOS managers. Ivlev has vowed not to return to Russia.
A graduate of Moscow State University Law School in 1993, Ivlev also studied law at Columbia University (New York) and Queen Mary College (London) law schools, and is a member of the International Bar Association and the U.S.-Russia Business Council. In 1997 Ivlev became a partner of a leading Moscow-based international law firm, ALM Feldmans, which was effectively destroyed by the broader attack on YUKOS and its advisors.

Jamison R. Firestone
Jamison R. Firestone heads Moscow-based Firestone Duncan, which is both a law firm and an audit firm. It was established by American attorneys in 1993 to service the specialized legal, tax, accounting, and audit needs of foreign ventures doing business in Russia or with Russian parties. The firm now includes both Western and Russian partners and has expanded its client base to includes a growing number of dynamic Russian firms. Firestone counsels Hermitage Capital, the investment firm driven out by the Russian regime.
Many of Firestone Duncan’s clients are well known western firms including many western law firms that do not have a Russian presence. As a result of its experience, the firm is often retained by Russian clients who are interested in negotiating with western parties. Additionally, the firm has seen a marked increase in Russian clients who wish to undertake projects such as due diligence reviews and restructuring to make their operations more transparent and financeable in the western markets.

Sanford Saunders
Sanford Saunders, a litigator with more than 20 years of experience, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation and white collar criminal defense management with an emphasis on energy-related matters. As a shareholder of Greenberg Traurig LLP, he represents clients in both domestic and international matters.
Saunders is a member of the Litigation and Criminal Justice Sections of the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, and contributed to the American Bar Association’s Non-Grand Jury Criminal Subpoenas Report. Saunders has played a leading role in the defense of Russian businessman, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

Bruce Misamore
Bruce Misamore, the former CFO of Russian oil company Yukos, works from his Houston home to regain lost assets for Yukos’ more than 55,000 shareholders. Now retired, Misamore spends several hours a day working on Yukos-related issues. Five years ago, Russian authorities seized Yukos’ assets to satisfy fictitious tax claims against the company, after having arrested the now jailed oligarch and company CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky on fraudulent politically motivated charges unrelated to the company.
Misamore maintains that the tax charges were trumped up and that the seizure was unjust, a move by the Kremlin to re-nationalize its oil industry and punish political enemies of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Yukos’ assets were eventually sold to two state-owned companies, Rosneft and Gazprom, and the proceeds from the sales paid primarily to the Russian government to satisfy the fictitious tax claims. Russian prosecutors have argued that Misamore and his counterparts stripped valuable assets from the company and sold them for personal gain. Misamore dismisses the allegations as absurd. He and other former executives are pressing their own claims on behalf of the company against the Russian government before the European Court of Human Rights. It’s the largest case of its kind to be brought in the court’s 60-year history with damage claims exceeding $100 billion.

Ethan S. Burger
Ethan S. Burger is an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and Senior Counsel to the law firm Maxwell & Barke LLC. Mr. Burger has practiced law for more than 18 years, and has written more than 50 articles. He specializes in Russian-related legal matters, as well as country conditions in both Belarus and Russia, and international economic crime and is a regular “Expert Panel” contributor to the online journal, Russia Profile.
Burger has taught Business Organizations, Comparative Corporate Governance, International Economic Crime & Corruption, International Practice & Ethical Dilemmas, and Conflict and Resolution of Problems in Post-Soviet Russia at Georgetown, Washington College of Law (American University), Universidad Sergeo Arboleda (Bogota, Colombia), and the University of Baltimore. He gives related presentations at numerous events both in the United States and throughout the world, including those of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Burger has been an expert witness in administrative proceedings, arbitrations, and judicial matters and has been an arbitrator for the Washington, D.C. Bar’s Attorney/Client Arbitration Board for 12 years.

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