Dmitri Nikiforov is a retired partner. He was a corporate partner in the firm’s Moscow office and served as its head for 16 years. For 28 years, he practised law in Russia and CIS. In addition to his work at the firm, Dr. Nikiforov occasionally worked for the Russian Government focusing on complex international transactions.

Dr. Nikiforov was principally involved in such areas as oil, gas, natural resources, telecommunications, venture capital transactions, M&A, corporate financing and general corporate practice. He participated in a number of major transactions in the Russian oil and gas industry in addition to many significant telecommunications projects. Dr. Nikiforov was recommended for M&A as well as for Banking, Energy & Infrastructure, Project Development and Project Finance by IFLR1000 (2020). The Legal 500 EMEA guide has recommended him for his M&A, employment and energy & natural resources practices. He was also ranked as a leading lawyer in PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook and Best Lawyers and was named by International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers as recommended counsel in Russia for telecommunications projects and by European Legal Experts as recommended counsel in Russia for project finance and energy work. Chambers Global and Chambers Europe ranked Dr. Nikiforov as an Eminent Practitioner for corporate and energy matters.

Dr. Nikiforov actively participated in the development of modern Russian and CIS legislation, including acting as intermediary between the Western oil and gas industry, the Russian Government and the Russian Parliament. In addition, he represented the Petroleum Advisory Forum in developing Russian production-sharing legislation and drafting the Kyrgyz Republic Law on Communications. Dr. Nikiforov is the co-author of various articles in the areas of investment, natural resources and currency laws in Russia.

Dr. Nikiforov’s publications include: “Key Changes And Trends Of 2018 In Regulation Of Russian Subsoil Use,” Oil, Gas and Law (December, 2018); “Top 10 Legal Developments of 2017 in Regulation of Russian Subsoil Use,” LawTek (No. 6, 2018); “Electronic Documents In Employment Relations,” CEE Legal Matters (September, 2017); “New Types Of Banking Licenses In Russia,” CEE Legal Matters (June, 2017); “Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Market in Russia: Trends and Developments,” CEE Legal Matters (January, 2017); “OFAC Updates Russia And Ukraine Sanctions Lists, Issues Advisory On Evasion Of Crimea Embargo,” CEE Legal Matters (August, 2015); “EU Extends Ukraine-Related Sanctions,” CEE Legal Matters (June, 2015); “Providing Incentives for Hydrocarbon Production at Offshore Fields: Legislative Amendments,” LawTek (No.2, 2014); “Russian Anti-Corruption Compliance Concepts Are Familiar,” Law360 (January, 2014); “Russia’s Answer to the DOJ/SEC FCPA Guidance: The Russian Supreme Court’s Resolution on Court Practice in Bribery Cases and Other Corruption Crimes,” Law360 (October, 2013); and “Oil & Gas: The Russian Federation,” The European Lawyer Reference (December, 2012).

Dr. Nikiforov joined the firm in 1990 and became a partner in 2004. Prior to joining Debevoise, he was a senior legal counsel in the Russian Ministry of Local Industries. He received his J.D. with honours from the Moscow State University Law School and Certificate for Foreign Practicing Lawyers from Columbia University in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Economics (oil and gas industry investments) in June 1999. In 1988–1989, he served as a research intern with the Institute of State and Law of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1985 to 1988, Dr. Nikiforov was a counsel to the USSR Chamber of Commerce and Industry Consultation Center.


  • Institute of State and Law of USSR Academy of Sciences, 1999, Ph.D.
  • Columbia Law School, 1991, Ph.D.
  • Moscow State University, Faculty of Law, 1989, Law Degree

Bar Admissions

  • Russia