We are glad to present you the ninth issue of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum Digest.
In this Digest we are glad to present you the interviews with moderators of the Forum’s sessions in our column “Invitation from Session Chairs”.
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“We will discuss what businesses expect from corporate counsels and what the latter should do to meet these expectations and even shape them in the future”
President of the Russian Corporate Counsel Association
1. Why did you decide to hold a panel «In-house Counsels: Where We are and What is Coming» at the IV SPILF?
The idea to discuss the role of corporate counsels in business was initiated by heads of legal departments themselves. They wanted to define their place in the company, society, system of values and state institutions. This wish is the result of the professional growth of skills and competence, new experiences, sense of responsibility for their work, their company, their country.
That is how the RCCA did appear: firstly, heads of legal departments of major companies shared their experiences, then, they founded a platform to gather best practices, and eventually, began to spread their knowledge in business and society.
I can compare this process to how solar batteries function: they accumulate heat and light and then give it away. I love this metaphor as light of knowledge and heat of a heart are to be shared by all the people, and especially by lawyers whose role is so important.
2. What determines the urgent character of the issues discussed at your roundtable?
6 years ago the RCCA was the first to develop the idea of a lawyer’s role in business in the framework of the project entitled “Lawyers and Business.” In the course of these years our members discussed the main aspects of the corporate counsels’ impact into the growth of the company.
In October 2009 we organized the conference “Lawyers and Businesses on the Role of the Legal Function in a Company.” It was opened by the presentation of Yulia Bondarenko, who was at that time the Head of Legal Department in “Philip Morris Sales and Marketing”. She mentioned that the main goal of legal service in a company is “to protect corporate interests, provide first-rate legal services while also staying impartial.”
The idea of the importance of lawyers’ role was further developed by Ruslan Ibragimov, Board Member - Vice President for Corporate & Legal Affairs, OJSC MTS. He gave a paper on “Principles of Building a Legal Department in a Large Russian Company” and highlighted the large-scale reorganization of legal function in MTS what allowed increasing the role of lawyers’ work in the corporation. He also emphasized the evolution of legal service during which lawyers started taking part in making crucial strategic decisions.
All the participants of the conference agreed that lawyers and businesses should have common goals; it is important to understand each other and to move in the same direction. Businesses are very different. Obviously, with the growth of the legal department’s role the requirements for quality of services increase as well. Today it is not sufficient to be just a good lawyer; you should also become a skillful manager to be able to make decisions on behalf of the company.
We have also held conferences dedicated to “Key Indexes of Legal Function’s Effectiveness and their Impact on the Company’s Strategy”, “Legal Function Manager: Leadership or Expertise. Reconciling the Contraries”, “People Management in a Legal Department: Success Criteria”, “Intellectual vs Administrative Leadership”. To get a feedback from businesses we invited CEOs of large corporations to attend the conferences and explain lawyers what they expect from them.
At the end of the discussions practical recommendations were also given. It is curious that since that time many heads of legal departments have already changed the companies they were working in but they still take part in the development of this area and share their skills and experiences with their colleagues.
3. What are the main issues to be brought up for consideration?
At our panel at the IV St. Petersburg International Legal Forum we would like to demonstrate the level of development of corporate counsel’s profession in Russia and abroad, present its significance in a corporation and the role of the RCCA in shaping friendly attitude to in-houses. We do also plan to define the main directions to develop the in-house’s function in corporation considering him as one of the key business partners and determine the best practices.
We will discuss what businesses expect from corporate counsels and what the latter should do to meet these expectations and even shape them in the future. The round table will feature a few “anchor” papers, each of which will be followed by a short discussion.
We will sum up the key takeaways of the recent 5 years and highlight the evolution of a lawyer’s role due to the RCCA’s activity. We will also point out how modern systems of management, leadership, effectiveness, human resources management function in the Russian in-house community, then, we will compare the roles of lawyers in different countries, discuss the peculiarities of working in a few jurisdictions.
As different businesses require different structures of legal departments we will explain how to build such department in a company, define its functions and its place in the corporate management. Examples of highly developed departments will be provided along with experiences of building legal departments in large banks.
Eventually, we will try to forecast the future of the profession when the in-house attorney is more likely to become a business strategic partner.
4. Who are the main experts at your panel?
It is all my pleasure to introduce you our distinguished speakers.
Yulia Bondarenko, Director of Legal Department in “Rothmans, Benson & Hedges”, will open the session.
David Leitch, Vice-President and General Counsel, Ford Motor Company, USA, will tell about the work of lawyers in different offices of “Ford Motor” all around the globe.
Elena Borisenko, Deputy Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, will share her viewpoint on the development of legal profession, in-house attorney’s role, importance of interaction for purposes of enhancement of legal regulation and law enforcement practice.
Igor Maydannik, Vice President, Business Legal Support, Property and Corporate Governance, OJSC Oil Company Rosneft, will explain what structures in a legal department can ensure the company’s success.
Igor Kondrashov, Director of the Legal Department, Sberbank Russia, will dwell on modernization of a legal department.
Ruslan Ibragimov, Vice President for Corporate & Legal Affairs, OJSC MTS, in turn, will consider in-house attorneys as crucial business partners and stress the role of the RCCA in assisting in the development of the profession.
5. What is the international importance of your round table?
As Russian corporate counsels are gradually joining the international legal community, the importance of the issue of the in-house position’s future takes on new significance.
Corporate counsel is going to become an active participant of international processes including the economic ones. This is the opinion the RCCA favours, and our members are very enthusiastic at performing their roles in business development and expanding international horizons.
6. Whom would you especially recommend to attend your roundtable (legal advisers, in-house attorneys, lawyers from the Russian / international companies, notaries, bars, etc.)?
I am sure that our round table will attract both in-house attorneys and practicing lawyers because obviously, lawyers do often move from private practice to an in-house position.
Bars and notaries will be glad to see the new generation of responsible and professional corporate counsels. And I do also cordially invite law schools academics and judges.
Interview about the roundtable “Risk Insurance of Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage”
Moderator of the roundtable, Director for legal and corporate affairs and property-related issues - Director of the Department for legal and corporate affairs of the State atomic energy corporation «Rosatom»
1. What determines the urgent character of the issues discussed at your roundtable?
The risk of nuclear and radiation accidents increases as nuclear technologies are getting more widespread and new Atomic Power Station are being built all over the world, including the developing countries. Such a global nuclear technologies expansion results in expansion of the territory where international conventions on civil liability for nuclear damage are applied.
As a consequence, risks of nuclear accidents, as well as amounts of compensation for nuclear damage, are constantly increasing. Currently, insurance is the main and single option of securing nuclear reactor operators’ liability worldwide. This fact determines the urgent character of the problem of the insurance of civil liability for nuclear damage.
2. What are the main issues to be brought up for consideration?
The most crucial issues are as follows:
role of nuclear risk insurance in improving nuclear safety;
trends and prospects of nuclear insurance development: insurance of civil liability for nuclear damage at decommissioning, liability limit decrease for nuclear power plants with an acceptably low level of risk;
peculiarities of the insurance of civil liability for nuclear damage in mutual insurance companies;
risk insurance at nuclear export, different approaches to peculiarities of the insurance of transportable and low-power nuclear power plants;
potential of the Russian nuclear insurance pool and exchange of international experiences in the area in question.
3. Whom would you especially recommend to attend your roundtable (legal advisers, in-house attorneys, lawyers from the Russian / international companies, notaries, bars, etc.)?
Obviously, I would invite lawyers from the nuclear law area and insurance companies dealing with nuclear risks. Moreover, I would call such people the target audience of our roundtable.
However, as the discourse on nuclear insurance is not that widespread and, consequently, our panel is quite unique and highly qualified speakers contribute as well, I believe the discussion will be interesting for any lawyer.
4. Who are the main experts at your panel?
All our speakers are distinguished experts in international nuclear law and nuclear risk insurance, in particular:
Steven Burns, Head of Legal Affairs of the Nuclear Energy Agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development;
Danny Van Welkenhuyzen, Managing Director, European Liability Insurance for the Nuclear Industry;
Danielle Degueuse, Special Advisor for Nuclear Issues of the General Secretariat of EDF;
Pavel Rudenskiy, President of the National Association of Insurers of the Nuclear Industry;
Sebastiaan Reitsma, Consultant at Nuclear Risk Insurers, London;
Ximena Vasquez-Maignan, Senior Legal Adviser, OECD / NEA;
Wolfram Tonhauser, Section Head at the Office of Legal Affairs, IAEA;
Frank Akos, Senior Adviser to the AREVA;
Mark Tetley, Managing Director, Nuclear Risk Insurers Limited (NRI);
Yury Kudryavtsev, Head of the Insurance working group in the Corporation;
Marina Amelina, Director general of JSC“Atomic insurance broker”.
Representatives of 40 states have already registered for the Forum.
Representatives of international organizations are also among the participants of the Forum, including the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, members of Europol and World Intellectual Property Organization.
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