Maria Kostenko

Baker & McKenzie LLP


Maria Kostenko is a counsel with Baker McKenzie’s New York office. She focuses on tax law. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie in 2001, she worked as an auditor and tax consultant at a major consulting firm and then as a deputy director of the law department in one of the main Moscow Tax Inspectorates.

Practice Focus

Maria focuses on tax advice for M&A and corporate restructuring deals, tax controversy and litigation, as well as general tax planning and transfer pricing.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Represented an international freight forwarding company in litigation against its service provider to claim VAT assessment imposed by the Russian tax authorities on the client.
  • Acted as a tax advisor in a high-profile pre-audit review with Russian tax authorities regarding deductibility of intra-group services re-charged by the group into Russia.
  • Advised the Russian subsidiary of major international group operating on the Russian market on a complex high profile transaction of conversion of intra-group debt into equity.
  • Supported the client in a tax audit, develop defence strategy, assisting client's management in witness interrogations by the tax authorities, and represent the client in challenging the results of the tax audit with the Russian tax authorities.
  • Represented a Russian subsidiary of one of the leading international pharmaceutical company in administrative stage of challenging the results of a tax audit with the Russian tax authorities, representing the client in tax conduct procedures and respective negotiations of tax indemnity application. Acted as a tax counsel in tax controversies and challenging the results of tax audit with the Russian tax authorities, work on the arguments and defense strategy. Advised on tax conduct under the SPA and in course of tax indemnity claim.
  • Successfully represented of a Russian subsidiary of the global leader in the field of industrial engineering, procurement, and construction in the pre-trial tax dispute regarding the deductibility of expenses and VAT offset for the works performed in a complex industrial construction project.
  • Represented a Russian subsidiary of a leading international FMCG group in a landmark and high-profile tax controversy with the Russian tax authorities regarding a significant excise tax liability assessed as a result of tax audit. Development of the defense strategy, prepare a tax protest, representing the client before the tax authorities.
  • Advised major international producer of electronics and provider of innovative high-technology services on a tax and transfer pricing structuring of the new line of technology and entertainment services in Russia.
  • Advised on restructuring of holding function in a cross-border furniture supply business operating in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Romania, management buy-out and liquidation of foreign holding companies in Cyprus and BVI.
  • Advised a large international oil and gas company on Russian transfer pricing issues related to oil and gas exploration and development joint venture projects in Russia, including determination and justification of the appropriate level of mark-up on various types of intercompany services performed for the Russian projects, based on a functional and economic analysis of the relevant activities.

Professional Honors

  • Recommended by International Tax Review
  • Included in Women in Tax Leaders 2016-2021 in Russia, International Tax Review


  • New York (2015)
  • Russia (1997)


  • New York University (LL.M. in International Tax) (2009)
  • Institute of State & Law (Ph.D.) (2002)
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations (1997)


  • English
  • Russian
Co-author, "Transfer Pricing: Rules and Practice in Russia," Tax Management Portfolios, July 2020