Results of 2017

In the passing year SILA International Lawyers appeared in the legal services market as a result of association of Legal Sport (Moscow, Russia) and Gradev Sports (Sofia, Bulgaria), two companies widely known in the international sport law market, joining under a single brand.

The face of the company is sport and employment law practice. SILA became an identifiable name thanks to a large amount of cases in the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and in the jurisdictional bodies of sports federations. The company has also been expanding its activity in other legal business areas – in particular, by involving highly skilled legal professionals in contract law, criminal law, urban planning legislation, administrative law, corporate law, energy legislation, etc.

In 2017 SILA International Lawyers joined the Association of European Businesses that brings together hundreds of leading European and Russian companies; was included in the LF Directory, a project of the LF Academy (that organizes the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum) aimed at uniting in a single catalogue successful legal companies operating in the Russian market: and at the end of the year the company was rated within the Pravo.Ru-300 Rating, the most significant and prestigious national legal rating, in the International Arbitration nomination together with such acknowledged market leaders as Pepeliaev Group, KIAP and PWC.

Over the year our lawyers have several times been invited by prestigious educational institutions to deliver lectures. Georgi Gradev, Partner, delivered lectures for sports law students at ISDE Business School (Madrid). Mikhail Prokopets and Yury Zaytsev, Partners, delivered lectures at RMA Business School (Moscow) for participants of the educational program “Management in Team Sports”; Mikhail Prokopets also spoke at the advanced training courses for sports managers in the MGIMO, and Yury Zaytsev spoke at the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) to students of the HSE/FIFA/CIES course “Executive Programme in Sports Management”.

Sports Disputes

In the passing year our sports law practice was marked by multiple won cases. In January the Company won the high-profile case of Sardar Azmoun, an Iranian national team player, in FIFA, representing the football player and FC Rostov, his new club, in the dispute against FC Rubin, the players’s former employer, and also won the case of coach Vadim Skripchenko, representing FC Ural in the DRC of the Russian Football Union and winning the payout against the coach (compensation for contract termination) in favour of his former employer. Also in January the CAS passed decision in dispute between FC Balikesirspor and Croatian player Ante Kulusic, according to which the player is entitled to get from his ex-club outstanding remuneration and compensation for breach of contract; in this case the player was represented by SILA Partner Georgi Gradev with the assistance of the Turkish Attorney Ersin Hamarat. In February the Company won the case of Atanas Kurdov in the FIFA DRC, representing the interests of PFC Levski Sofia, the player’s new club, in the dispute against FC Astana (Kazakhstan).

In March we won the case of Boris Galchev, a Bulgarian player, against FC Dinamo București in the CAS. Also in March, the CAS dismissed the appeal filed by FC Balikesirspor against Bosnian player Ermin Zec, who was represented by Georgi Gradev with the assistance of the Turkish Attorney Ersin Hamarat. In April the case of Mr Serdyukov, a football player, was won in the CAS in which the court confirmed the player’s right to receive from FC Tyumen a bonus for winning promotion to the first division as a part of the team. Also in April, acting through the FIFA Disciplinary Committee, we managed to cancel the decision to take 6 points off the score for FC Atyrau, our client.

In June we successfully defended the right of FC Dunav Ruse to compete in the Europa League, which replaced FC CSKA Sofia that was excluded from the competition by the UEFA due to the non-compliance with the “three-year” rule – we represented the interests of FC Dunav against FC CSKA Sofia in the UEFA  and in the CAS. Also in June we received from the FIFA DRC decision of favour of our client, Bulgarian player Plamen Dimov won a case against FC Altay from Kazakhstan. On the last day of August the FIFA DRC accepted our claim in the case of Abdul Razak Mendy, a Ghanaian football player, and of Nikolajs Kozacuks and Daniils Turkovs.

In September, with our support, FC Rubin received the approval of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee to register on provisional basis Reza Shekari, a player of Iranian Youth Team, whose transfer to the Kazan club was disputed by the player’s previous club. In October we won the case of Oleksandr Zinchenko, a player of the Ukraine national football team and FC Manchester City – the CAS completely dismissed the complaint of FC Shakhtar Donetsk regarding the decision of the FIFA DRC on the issue of the football player terminating his contract with the Donetsk club.

In December we received from the FIFA DRC three decisions in favour of our clients. Leontiev Konda, Albanian football player, won the case against FC Mqabba, Evaldas Razulis from Lithuania won the case against Polish FC Górnik, and FC Dacia from Moldova won the case against Miloš Krkotić, Montenegrian football player. Also in December, our office in Sofia received a successful decision from the Arbitration Court of the Bulgarian Football Union in favor of the player Plamen Krumov, represented by SILA, by means of which ACBFU set aside and annulled a previous decision passed by the Players’ Agents Committee of the BFU in favor of the agent Aleksandar Kasabov, according to which the player had to pay the agent an agency fee. As a result, the player was exempted from paying any fee to the agent.


In the passing year, the company successfully represented its clients in general courts and arbitration courts of economical disputes. For one of our clients we won a large dispute over recovering damages for failure to meet the time limits of commissioning a construction facility under the shared construction participation agreement.

For another client our company won the case of protecting consumer rights under the service agreement recovering from the contractor the amount paid under the agreement, penalties and forfeit.

Our arbitration specialists won the case against the customer refusing to discharge its obligations under the service agreement and contesting the very fact of any services being rendered by the contractor.

Our labour law specialists won the labour dispute of a journalist against the former employer regarding the salary arrears.

At the end of the year our lawyers defended the rights of Yann M’Vila regarding the claim of the All-Russia Society of Sports and Physical Training “Dynamo” as a shareholder of FC Dynamo Moscow to declare as invalid transaction the dispute settlement agreement entered into by the football player and FC Dynamo Moscow. The Moscow Arbitration Court completely dismissed the claimant’s demand.

Other Projects

In 2017 our company acted as legal consultant in several projects related to the preparation for the 2018 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020. We also provided legal support of the Russian Football Premier League clubs’ activities, participated in developing the contractual basis for a tennis academy and provided legal support of the People’s Football League (an amateur football tournament).

We would like to thank everyone who has been with us in 2017!