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Ekaterina Tyagay, Ph.D. in Law

Advocate. Partner, Head of the Sensitive Matters Practice  |  vCard

Acts for Russian and foreign clients in family and inheritance disputes, and provides comprehensive legal advice to representatives of the entertainment industry (show business, sports, art) on matters related to professional activities and private life, including concluding deals with works of art, philanthropy and reputation management.

An acknowledged specialist in civil, business, family and international private law, as well as comparative and common law. In 2019, Ekaterina Tyagai was awarded an honorary diploma by the Association of Lawyers of Russia for many years of hard work, high achievements in the profession in the field of jurisprudence, and a significant contribution to the development of the Association.

She began her legal career at Alfa-Bank, where she specialized in legal support of international operations, including due diligence of non-residents.

In 2008, Ekaterina joined Legist, one of the oldest law firms in Russia, where she was a partner before joining Pen & Paper. During this period, she gained extensive experience in providing comprehensive legal advice for large businesses and private clients. In her practice, Ekaterina focused on issues of civil and family law, advised clients in the course of divorce proceedings and property disputes, as well as child disputes, and prepared more than 10 expert opinions on various aspects of family law, most of which were presented to Russian and European courts and tribunals (including the Swiss courts, the LCIA and the High Court of London), as well as regularly forming the basis of the reasoning behind court decisions made in favor of her clients. Ekaterina advised on several major transactions in the market of contemporary art, and acted for clients in the attribution, provenance and evaluation of antiques they had acquired. Ekaterina’s legal assistancewas also sought by athletes in the process of negotiating and formalizing relations with clubs, as well as art and show business figures who instructed Ekaterina on the protection of intellectual rights and reputation.

Ekaterina successfully combines the practice of law with academic activities and teaching at Tel Aviv University, Israel, and at Kutafin Law University, where she heads the department of family law.

She defended her PhD thesis on title issues in common law in 2011.

From 2011 to 2014, she was Deputy Head of the Department of Civil and Family Law at Moscow State Law University, and during the same period she headed the Institute for Foreign and Comparative Law.

In 2014, she created and became head of the Institute of Business Law, Moscow State Law Academy, which became one of the most successful educational projects of the university. In 2015, she was awarded the certificate of gratitude by the Association of Lawyers of Russia for her social contribution and active work in the field of higher legal education aimed at studying the legal regulation of business.

She was Vice-Rector for Academic and Methodical Work at the Moscow State Law University between 2018 and 2019.

She created and became head of the Department of Family Law at the Moscow State Law University in 2019.

Ekaterina is a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University, The Buchmann Faculty of Law, teaching courses on property law and comparative family law.

She is the author of Real Estate Title in the US: Complex Structural Models (Prospekt, 2018) and Corporate Relations: Complex Problems of Theoretical Study and Regulatory Framework (Norma, 2014), as well as textbooks on civil law and numerous academic articles.

Ekaterina organizes, speaks at and moderates key Russian and international legal conferences.

She is fluent in English.

Ekaterina Tyagay, Ph.D. in Law


Kutafin Moscow State Law University. PhD in law.

Areas of Practice

  • Sensitive Matters Practice
  • Membership of Professional Bodies

    International Society of Family Law

    Russia-China Law Society

    Moscow Club of Lawyers


    • Advising and preparation of a legal opinion in divorce and financial proceedings between former spouses in Switzerland The legal regime of the marital property was determined, including property registered in the name of one of the spouses that was in their actual possession, as well as property registered in the name of a foreign entity. Limits and ways of implementation of title were established for each of the spouses, as well as the conditions of, and procedure for, the separation of marital shares. The marriage contract and the marital settlement agreement were reviewed, and the specifics of the rights of adult children to the property of living parents during their marriage and after its dissolution were explained. A legal opinion was prepared on Russian law for submission the Swiss court. The dispute was resolved in favor of the client, with the arguments set forth in the legal opinion taken as the basis of the reasoning part.
    • Acting for an American multinational company, one of the leaders of the global consumer goods market, in a dispute with an actor who participated in the production of an advertising video for the company. The dispute was related to claims for the protection of related rights and rights to images. The dispute was resolved in favor of the client.
    • Development of a legal position in the financial proceedings between former spouses, taking into account the specifics of a property portfolio, some of which was located outside Russia and some of which was hidden. The court found for the client, with due regard to the value of hidden property when dividing marital property.
    • Advising individuals who are owners of financial investment companies on the declaration of assets and bank accounts outside the Russian Federation and taxation of income of foreign companies under their control and income of foreign organizations. The legal advice included identification of legal forms of business optimization. 
    • Advising and preparation of a legal opinion on the legal meaning of the “presumption of consent” of one spouse to disposal of marital property by the other spouse. The client and the English lawyers were advised regarding the legal purpose of this presumption in Russian law and assisted in the development of a confident position in the proceedings. The legal opinion was prepared for submission to the High Court of London in the course of financial proceedings between the former spouses.

    Specialist areas

    Family and hereditary law:

    • Pre-trial settlement of family disputes, participation in divorce proceedings in Russia and abroad
    • Improvement of the legal status of marital property, drafting of marriage contracts and marital settlement agreements, challenging transactions involving jointly owned property
    • Drafting of wills and inheritance contracts, establishment of estates, participation in disputes relating to inheritance
    • Advising on child custody and visitation schedules
    • Legal advice on adoption and custody
    • Challenging paternity (maternity), legal advice on the use of reproductive technology. 


    Legal advice to athletes:

    • Acting for clients in sports courts, arbitration courts, specialized chambers, commissions, committees and other institutions in Russia and abroad
    • Advice on formalization of athletes' relations with clubs, including the drafting of employment and agency contracts, sponsorship and advertising contracts
    • Advice on transfers of athletes, acting for clients when changing “sports citizenship”.


    Protection of intellectual property, legal advice on investments in the art business:

    • Structuring and formalization of, and legal advice on, transactions involving pieces of art and luxury items
    • Acting for clients in the attribution, provenance and evaluation of pieces of art
    • Protection of copyright and related rights
    • Building a legal model for charitable and philanthropic activities, and ongoing legal support.


    Protection of honor, dignity and business reputation:

    • Acting for clients in various types of disputes, including defamation claims and actions
    • Legal review of information and publications for violations of Russian and foreign law


    Legal advice on blackmail, insults, cyberbullying, and harassment in real life and on social media.