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Digest 89

April 4, 2018 Subsribe

SPBILF 2018 News

Don’t lose your chance to learn more about St. Petersburg during St. Petersburg International Legal Forum!

The tour Venice of the North: boat trip along rivers and canals of St. Petersburg is included to the SPBILF 2018 Delegate Package. To apply for the tour please forward the request to tour@spblegalforum.com till April 30th, 2018.

“Due to the discouraging statistics about the rehabilitation bankruptcy proceedings in Russia and their effectiveness, a bill on restructuring of these proceedings has been drafted” 1

In the view of the drafters, the adoption of the bill will contribute to reducing costs, shortening the duration of insolvency proceedings, enhancing their effectiveness and improving the recovery rate. Besides, it will defend the interests of viable debtors that face temporary financial difficulties.

To achieve these goals the bill provides particularly the following mechanisms: 2

  • The debtor or creditor can start the debt restructuring proceeding by submitting an application if there are evidences that solvency of the debtor can be restored;
  • The debt restructuring plan contains the following measures: the retaining powers of shareholders/owners of the debtor to appoint and terminate powers of the debtor`s management; the appointment of two single executive bodies (one from the debtor and from the creditors) etc. The time frame for submission of the debt restructuring plan is 4 months from the date of introducing the restructuring procedure; the time for implementation of the plan is 4 years (but may be extended to 4 more years);
  • The debt restructuring plan can be submitted not only by the debtor, but also by other persons who are interested in restoring of the solvency of the debtor;
  • The contracts that are necessary for the successful restructuring can remain in force after introducing the restructuring procedure;
  • As a general rule the bill states that transactions that were made in the accordance with the debt restructuring plan cannot be avoided.

1 The bill are available at http://sozd.parlament.gov.ru/bill/239932-7.

2 See explanatory note to the bill at http://sozd.parlament.gov.ru/bill/239932-7

“Russia is a world-leading energy player, exporting nearly half of its primary energy output”

Russia’s energy sector is a formidable contributor to the nation’s socioeconomic wellbeing. The Russian Federation is a world-leading energy player, exporting nearly half of its primary energy output.

The combination of external and domestic challenges, coupled with the change dynamic of the economic metrics, resource potential, and technological wherewithal of Russia’s energy sector dictate the need to rethink its development model and, first of all, make such changes that would drive accelerated innovation-based growth and restructuring.

The key focus in the present circumstances is for the energy sector, via structural transformation, to break through to a higher, entirely new level that would be ultimately conducive to Russia’s strident socioeconomic advancement, while balancing the interests at play in the marketplace.

It is our duty to assure that the further development of our energy sector is mindful of the national energy policy priorities, such as guaranteed energy security of the entire country and its every region, support and incentives for innovation by players in the energy sector and its subsidiary industries, minimization of the negative impact from mining, processing, shipping and use of energy on the environment, climate and human health, promotion of competition and guaranteed fair play for all Russian companies in the domestic energy markets, transparent, non-discriminatory pricing, and statutory regulation of the business activities that are incumbently monopolistic.

All these priorities, to be properly addressed, require an appropriate legal framework and regulatory basis.

Our plan is, during this roundtable, to focus on a number of matters related to the promotion of competition in the energy sector, assess how the recently enacted legislative changes affect the ratings of “doing business,” and evaluate the degree of consumer buy-in in the implementation of the digital economy transition plans.

We think it is imperative that we also consider the matter of legal regulation, the trends and prospects of the legislative process that concerns the energy sector, and some topical issues from court and law enforcement practice, among which it would be particularly important to look at how the licensure mechanism works for the business of energy sales, to examine the “alternative boiler-house” road map, the unified legislation on the fundamentals of the government regulation of prices (tariffs), the switch to direct contracting, the advent of smart energy meters, and some other matters.

The topicality and seriousness of the above-listed matters, coupled with the fact that many aspects of legal regulation in the energy sector are in need of further elaboration, determined our choice of topics and the purpose of our discussion.

We expect this roundtable to be attended by eminent Russian and international energy law experts, representing both authorities and some major energy utilities operating within Russia and internationally.

The event will be worth their while to public and private investors, Russian and international energy utilities and linked businesses, government agencies, and punditry at large.

“The case will be based on real events associated with the construction of a football stadium”

Arbitration Battle premiered at the 2017 St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. That time, it was RULF v. ILF, pitting top attorneys-at-law from Russian and international law firms. The battle format proved a success with the audience of SPBILF participants, whose feedback indicated it had been a great show, and one of considerable practical value. So, we have decided to repeat the Arbitration Battle experience.

This time, a team of top Russian arbitration lawyers will take on a team representing several foreign jurisdictions. Coincidentally, 2018 being the year when the FIFA World Cup comes to Russia, the case will be based on real events associated with the construction of a football arena.

Who may benefit

Practicing lawyers and researchers specializing in international arbitration, cross-border disputes and/or civil law, heads of corporate legal departments, representatives of government authorities.

“We must find a rational regulatory approach for technology, an approach that would heed both the effective provisions of Russian civil law and international regulatory best practice”

Some experts contend that cryptographic algorithms are, as it were, a kind of natural law, and that it applies to humans, not computers. Automatic smart-contract performance, coupled with the irrevocable, unconditionally authentic nature of distributed ledger entries, add up to a new level of confidence. In the foreseeable future, this may lead us to a place where costly intermediaries, such as banks or other financial service providers, will become redundant. On the other hand, products and services based on the use of this kind of financial high tech may leave the consumer confused and thus vulnerable to speculators.

Therefore, the legal regulatory framework for the relations that consequently arise must protect the interests of all the parties and, at the same time, must not hamper the ability of Russian businesses, including start-ups, to compete vis-à-vis other high-tech endeavours internationally. Exorbitant proliferation of legal precepts could prove to be the greater evil, undermining Russia’s investor appeal for domestic and foreign investors alike.

Even within the professional community there can exist vastly different approaches to the economic assessment and legal qualification of technology. It is incumbent upon us to find a rational regulatory approach for technology, an approach that would heed both the effective provisions of Russian civil law and international regulatory best practice, and it is imperative that we adapt the existing legal instruments to the realities of digital economy.

Who may benefit

This discussion panel will be of interest to those enterprises whose business involves the use of digital innovations, such as blockchain technology, geo-location tools and machine learning. The panel’s agenda may prove helpful to small, medium and large businesses contemplating the use of innovative financing solutions – ICOs, crowd-funding, etc.

Public servants representing regulatory policy-making bodies of the digital economy may find the discussions on legal regulation issues to be of particular relevance.

“We plan to introduce the participants to a project that will feature the world’s foremost mediators sharing their success stories”

Due to certain of its unusual qualities, mediation is markedly on the rise nowadays as an alternative method of dispute resolution. Modern mediation is a dispute resolution method characterized by such qualities as ultimate openness to the needs and interests of the parties, commitment to building the framework for an autonomous search for solutions and articulation of settlement terms, and absence of external pressure, which ensures the authenticity of decision-making and voluntary compliance with the mediated deal. What makes the biggest difference about a mediated deal is that it is executable, seeing as only 10% to 15% of arbitration awards entered in Russia are actually executed.

Confidentiality, which is one of the fundamental principles of mediation, precludes the broad circulation of information on successfully completed mediation processes. Our discussion panel will be tapping one extra information source. We plan to introduce the participants to a project that will feature the world’s foremost mediators sharing their success stories.

The other component of the event will be devoted to online dispute resolution. This is a trend that has been steadily gaining momentum for the last 20 years, and becomes particularly relevant today as the digital economy invades every facet of human activity.

Who may benefit

Our discussion panel potentially targets all lawyers irrespective of their specialty (but primarily consultants, attorneys, corporate counsels, defenders, judges and so on); top and medium-rung managers; leaders and partners of law firms; CEOs and proprietors of all business formats; statesmen, politicians and public figures who, in their professional capacity, have a vested interest in seeing improvements in the legal framework, access to the institutions of justice and due process, and institutions overall; and, generally, all those with a stake in wholesome, equitable resolution of disputes and controversies, preventing destructive conflicts, and propagating a culture of constructive civility in dispute resolution.

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