Nikolai Lazarev

Nikolai Lazarev

Year of Call: 2010
Email Address:
Telephone: 020 7583 8055

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Clerk Details


Nikolai Lazarev specialises in international commercial litigation, arbitration, corporate finance, capital markets and sovereign wealth, and provides a broad range of specialist legal and commercial transactional advice. He advises some of the world's largest enterprises and leading financial institutions, as well as ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices in complex, often high-value, multi-jurisdictional and culturally sensitive disputes, projects and transactions. Throughout his professional career, Nikolai has advised on, and in many cases coordinated and been instrumental in arranging, capital raises in excess of $10bn of debt/equity financing across a wide range of sectors in multiple jurisdictions.

His diverse commercial litigation practice includes contractual, tortious, joint-venture, partnership and shareholder disputes, trusts and offshore structures, supply of goods and services, jurisdiction and conflict of laws, international crime and civil fraud (including conspiracy, deceit, bribery, constructive trust and restitution issues), worldwide asset tracing and recovery in multi-jurisdictional commercial and high-value matrimonial cases, urgent procedural applications (including stay of proceedings, anti-suit injunctions, worldwide freezing, search and disclosure orders), enforcement of foreign judgments and arbitral awards.

Nikolai is an experienced corporate finance and capital markets lawyer (solicitor) who, before being called to the Commercial Bar, worked with a leading global London City-based law firm. Driven by his clients’ needs, Nikolai’s unique legal practice combines traditional contentious and advisory work (including commercial negotiations and dispute prevention) across a wide range of sectors, encompassing industry-shifting and first-to-market emerging technologies, blockchain, AI, renewable energy, corporate finance and capital markets (including M&A, pre-IPO restructurings, IPOs, rights issues, private placements and follow-on offerings of all sizes), media, banking, real estate, infrastructure, natural resources, commodities and taxation.

Nikolai is passionate about seeking innovative solutions to his clients’ most challenging legal and business needs. He has experience of coordinating and leading multiple legal and consulting teams worldwide, requiring creative strategic vision and an in-depth understanding of jurisdictions where cases may be won or lost. In complex cross-border matters, solicitors and clients value Nikolai’s astute commercial pragmatism, practical judgement, his appreciation of strategic (and cultural) nuances, combining his legal knowledge with the ability to think laterally to achieve his clients’ business objectives. Clients also appreciate his personable nature, responsiveness, versatility, attentiveness to their needs and ability to articulate highly complex legal concepts in simple and understandable terms.

International Arbitration

Nikolai is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb). He has advised and acted for clients across multiple industries and jurisdictions in matters requiring a high degree of commercial awareness in culturally sensitive environments. Nikolai accepts instructions to sit as arbitrator in commercial arbitrations or to act as arbitration counsel in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations (e.g. ICC, LCIA, SCC, SIAC, ICAC). He acts in arbitrations under the principal arbitral rules, including ICC, LCIA, SCC, SIAC and UNCITRAL.

Selected Experience

  • Advising Kazakh and Chinese state oil firms on the acquisition of one of the largest Kazakh upstream enterprises as part of a $10bn ‘loan for oil’ deal.
  • Acting for a co-defendant in a $6bn dispute involving a state-owned Central Asian Bank.
  • Advising a multinational renewable energy enterprise on a $1bn IPO with a private placement and subsequent rights issue.
  • Advising the government of Turkey on its sovereign note issuance programme.
  • Advising a prominent billionaire investor on the takeover of a leading European football club.
  • Advising a leading international bank on a €400m Sukuk issuance.
  • Advising an art dealer on the acquisition of several Old Masters, raising complex issues around Nazi-looted art, provenance and title.
  • Advising the ex-wife of a prominent billionaire in connection with obtaining (an additional) financial remedy by ‘re-opening’ her foreign divorce under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984.
  • Advising numerous ultra-high-net-worth individuals worldwide on various ‘private client’ matters, including wealth management, trusts, taxation, investments and philanthropy.

Public Engagements

A regular public speaker and media commentator, Nikolai often addresses audiences at leading international forums. He is available for interview via his chambers.


Nikolai has written articles on international corporate governance, international commercial arbitration, human rights, legal philosophy and bioethics which have been published in leading legal journals, including International Company and Commercial Law Review (Sweet & Maxwell) and the Journal of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Regarded as an authority on a variety of subjects, he is often cited in law books and renowned legal journals, including Harvard International Law Journal, Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, Society of Legal Scholars (Cambridge University Press).


Nikolai’s leisure interests include running (he is known as ‘the fastest barrister’ and was the winner of the 100m Chariots of Fire Sprint hosted by the Inner Temple to celebrate Harold Abrahams’ iconic win at the 1924 Paris Olympics), travelling, hiking, mountain climbing, speed skating, as well as the English countryside, oriental ceramics, music and art.

Direct Access

Nikolai Lazarev is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public, corporations, financial institutions and professional clients under the Direct Access scheme.

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Academic qualifications

  • 2001-2004: LLB (Hons) (UCL, London) with First Class in final dissertation
  • 2004-2005: LLM (UCL, London) with Distinctions in two final dissertations
  • 2006-2007: LPC (BPP Law School, London) with Commendation

Professional qualifications & appointments

  • Called to the Bar in 2010 (England & Wales)
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
  • Solicitor (England & Wales)

Professional bodies

  • Inner Temple
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb); Fellow (FCIArb)
  • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
  • Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
  • Bar European Group (BEG)
  • Law Society of England & Wales
  • Law Society (International Division)