Meet Victor Prokofiev

I am a professional London based interpreter and qualified lawyer with a business and finance background. I am also a writer, speaker, and expert witness on matters of legal and business translation (English<>Russian).

I am a former personal interpreter to Presidents Gorbachev and Yeltsin. I have translated for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Margaret Thatcher. I spent almost ten years as a lawyer and interpreter in Russian business in the 90s. This, I believe, was the best on-the-job education ever, since it gave me a deep understanding of business and banking.

I am a full member of the International Association of Conference Interpreters and a qualified member of the British Institute of Translation and Interpreting.

I have an impeccable track record for professionalism, preparation, loyalty and confidentiality, and a specialised knowledge of both Russian and English law.

Services

Legal interpreting

We have a particular specialty in translating for law firms, chambers and business clients in litigation, arbitration and witness proofing, and with depositions, witness familiarisation sessions and client meetings.

Business interpreting

We provide interpreting services mainly in the legal field but also in finance, banking, investment, audit, insurance, shipping, mining, power and energy.

Consulting interpreter

We advise on general interpreting needs and requirements and can put a team together to support your unique circumstances.

Expert witness

We can act as an expert witness on matters of translation in the legal, business and finance fields.

Translation services

Drawing on our unique linguistic, business, legal and financial experience, we provide high quality translation for legal and financial documents between English and Russian.

Legal interpreting teaching & coaching

We provide coaching and masterclasses for anyone in the legal profession who wishes to learn legal or business interpretation and translation, or for anyone wishing to improve their legal or business interpretation and translation skills.

Remote interpreting

Any of our services can be delivered remotely via Zoom or any other platform. This includes interpreting for courts, arbitration, client meetings, as well as business meetings and conferences.

Areas of specialisation

  • Law (public and private international, corporate, contracts, tax, insolvency, litigation & dispute resolution, corporate fraud, white collar crime)
  • Economics
  • Banking and finance
  • IPOs
  • Insurance
  • M & A
  • Real estate
  • Audit & accounting
  • Power & energy
  • Mining
  • Shipping
  • Maritime
  • IB / asset management
  • IT / telecommunications
  • International trade
  • Politics, arts, music, literature

Clients and Cases

Over the years I have worked on a number of high profile interpreting cases in the legal, business and banking fields.

International Clients:

UN, European Parliament, OSCE, NATO, European Union, OECD, FAO, IMO, EBRD, Council of Europe, IMF, World Bank / ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, SCC, Swiss Chamber of Commerce, Netherlands Arbitration Institute, Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Abu Dhabi Arbitration Centre, the European Court of Human Rights, the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man and the courts of Switzerland.

Private Clients:

London Court of International Arbitration, the Royal Courts of Justice (the High Court, most recently in Tatneft v Bogolyubov, Kolomoisky & Ors; Petr Aven, Mikhail Fridman and German Khan v Orbis Business Intelligence; Republic of Kazakhstan v The Bank of New York Mellon & Stati Parties; Savchenko v Davletyarov; Rusal v Crispian and Whiteleave; Berezovsky v Abramovich; Maximov v NLMK; BTA Bank v Ablyazov; Otkritie v Urumov; Danilina v Chernukhin and Deripaska; DIA & IIB v Pugachev; Bank of Moscow v Kekhman; Avonwick v Shlosberg; Bank St Petersburg v Arkhangelsky; Baturina v Chistyakov; Avonwick v Dargamo, Taruta & Mkrtchan; Slutsker v Haron; Tajik Aluminium; Berezovsky v VGTRK; instructed for Cherney v Deripaska; Berezovsky v Gudavadze; Renova & Vekselberg v Abyzov); EBRD v Abramovich (in Fribourg, Switzerland); Skobelev v Sophiatown (in the BVI).

Legal and Business Clients:

The Law Society and the Bar Council of England and Wales, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Skadden Arps, Akin Gump, Cleary Gottlieb, Quinn Emanuel, Herbert Smith, White & Case, Hogan Lovells, Farrer & Co, Eversheds, Ashurst, Norton Rose, Withers, Dentons, Debevoise & Plimpton, Covington & Burling, Davis Polk & Wardwell, Carter-Ruck, Addleshaw Goddard, Simmons & Simmons, Goldman Sachs, UBS, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, UEFA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

From the Blog

This blog is a compilation of articles I have written about life as an interpreter. My Word Bank is an interactive collection of dictionary items highlighting and defining complex Russian and English legal and business jargon and terminology.

Добро пожаловать в мой блог.

Эти материалы предназначены прежде всего для коллег – переводчиков русского и английского языков, а также всех тех, кого интересуют профессия и работа...

Эти материалы предназначены прежде всего для коллег – переводчиков русского и английского языков, а также всех тех, кого интересуют профессия и работа переводчика.

Welcome to my blog

Russian is spoken by 260 million people worldwide and is the sixth most natively spoken language. It is the official language of...

Russian is spoken by 260 million people worldwide and is the sixth most natively spoken language. It is the official language of space (along with English) and is often thought to be the richest and most eloquent in the world.

My November 2020 Interview with Meduza.io (in Russian)

Видели фото встречи Байдена с Громыко? Третий человек на снимке — переводчик Виктор Прокофьев. Мы с ним поговорили — об этой встрече и том, как переводить Черномырдина и папу римского Переводчик Виктор...

Видели фото встречи Байдена с Громыко? Третий человек на снимке — переводчик Виктор Прокофьев. Мы с ним поговорили — об этой встрече и том, как переводить Черномырдина и папу римского Переводчик Виктор Прокофьев 10 лет проработал в советском министерстве иностранных дел. Он переводил встречи руководства СССР с Бушем-старшим, Биллом Клинтоном и Джо Байденом — победитель недавних президентских выборов в США был тогда сенатором и членом комиссии по иностранным...

Remote Hearings: A Professional Legal Interpreter’s Perspective

For legal interpreters, the requirement to hear every single word, expression and utterance from a client or witness is paramount: otherwise how...

For legal interpreters, the requirement to hear every single word, expression and utterance from a client or witness is paramount: otherwise how can we accurately translate for the benefit of all parties? It’s challenging work even in ideal circumstances. But when we’re forced to translate from a remote location...

“There is no better translator! I worked with Victor extensively for more than two years in Moscow. During this time I observed Victor translate English to Russian, Russian to English and French to Russian. His command of the intricacies of English – formal, legal and colloquial – is unmatched. His English is better than many junior attorneys whose native language is English.”

Bruce W. Bean Director of Michigan State University LL.M. Program 1998-2002 Partner Clifford Chance Moscow

“If I need a Russian-English interpreter in the course of my arbitration and litigation hearings, I am always keen to work with Victor Prokofiev. Not only is Victor a delight to work with, his legal background and vast experience mean he stands out from other interpreters in the market. Victor is one of the few interpreters who translate the meaning rather than just the words.”

Roman Khodykin Partner in the International Arbitration and Construction Group of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, visiting professor at Queen Mary University

“In the last decade, in the Ablyazov, Pugachev and Avonwick litigation, I have worked with a number of Russian interpreters. There are many good ones, there a few bad ones, and there is Victor Prokofiev. In my experience nobody comes close to Victor: I have never heard anybody say that Victor’s interpretation is other than highly accurate, and it is always delivered swiftly, in a measured tone and excellent English. Many is the time I have turned to my team upon hearing an inferior interpretation and simply said, go and get Victor; on occasion, they have done so before I have even said it.”

Stephen Smith QC, Erskine Chambers

“I’m very pleased to recommend Victor. He is a business interpreter who is also a lawyer by training. He is supremely professional and highly reliable. The unique set of skills and expertise – both as a translator and a lawyer, with an excellent grasp of both civil law and common law concepts and terminology. Each time I look for an interpreter for my cases, I hope that he is not booked in another one. He is very pleasant and easy to work with!”

Roman Zykov Partner at Mansors, Secretary General of the Russian Arbitration Association

“Over the years I have dealt with a large number of cases involving Russian speaking witnesses, and I have never come across a better Russian/English interpreter than Dr. Prokofiev. Perhaps because he himself is a lawyer, he is extraordinarily good at conveying the precise nuances of what a witness is seeking to convey; and I do not remember ever seeing either the side asking the questions, or the side calling the witness, question the accuracy of his translations.”

Ian Glick QC, Barrister and Arbitrator
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