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MKostenko

Maria Kostenko

Partner
Moscow Branch of Baker & McKenzie CIS, Limited

Biography

Maria Kostenko is recommended by Legal 500 and International Tax Review. She participated in the legislative work of the Budget and Tax Committee of the State Duma of the Russian Federation. 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.

Maria is included in the list of Women in Tax Leaders 2017 in Russia by International Tax Review.

Practice Focus

Ms. Kostenko 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

  • Acted as tax counsel to Abbott Laboratories, the leading American pharmaceuticals and healthcare products company, on its acquisition of Veropharm, a leading Russian pharmaceutical manufacturer, and its various subsidiaries including in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
  • 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.
  • Advised a major international provider of financial services on the development of a transfer pricing policy for its Russian operations, performed functional and economic analysis, and prepared Russian transfer pricing documentation under the new Russian transfer pricing rules.
  • Advised one of the largest Russia-based international transportation groups on the development of a transfer pricing policy for its five subsidiaries engaged in various types of transportation, terminal and freight forwarding services; conducted functional analysis of the activities of the Russian subsidiaries of the group; conducted benchmarking analysis; prepared transfer pricing documentation under the new Russian transfer pricing rules.
  • Advised a major international producer of skin care products on the development of a transfer pricing policy for its Russian operations, including intercompany supply of goods, local manufacturing and distribution of goods, IP licensing, and provision of intercompany marketing services; performed functional and benchmarking analysis; and prepared Russian transfer pricing documentation under the new Russian transfer pricing rules.
  • Advised a multinational pharmaceuticals producer on restructuring its Russian operations (transition from a sales support to a buy/sell Russian entity); conducted functional analysis of the Russian entity’s proposed operations; prepared Russian transfer pricing documentation supporting intercompany prices referring to sales of goods and provision of marketing and advertising services; advised on Russian customs valuation issues under the new transfer pricing model.
  • Successfully handled a complex USD24 million tax case dealing with both permanent establishment issues in Russia and the basis for the allocation of profits under the China–Russia Tax Treaty, which included performing functional and economic analysis of the company’s operations performed in Russia and in China. Represented the company in its administrative appeals and court filing as well as in its reference to the mutual agreement procedure (competent authority) under the China–Russia Tax Treaty.

Professional Honors

  • Named as one of Women in Tax Leaders in Russia, International Tax Review, 2016-2017

Admissions

  • Russia (1997)

Education

  • Institute of State & Law (Ph.D.) (2002)
  • Institute of State & Law (Post Graduate Diploma Law) (2002)
  • Moscow State Institute of International Relations (International Trade Law) (1997)

Languages

  • English
  • German
  • Russian