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- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2013
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Legal market overview
The ongoing changes to the Russian civil code, aimed at promoting the use of Russian law as a basis for transactions, remain a hot topic in the market, with Russian law firms having worked together in an attempt to influence the outcome of the debate in the hope of boosting the attractiveness of Russian law to businesses. English law is currently widely used as it is viewed as a reliable basis for the enforcement of parties’ rights. The most prominent Russian firms have enhanced their English law expertise through associations with international law firms, and have also been able to recruit high-profile English-qualified practitioners.
The corporate and M&A market was dominated by a few headline-grabbing deals, including Russia’s largest-ever transaction as Rosneft acquired the stakes of BP and Alfa-Access-Renova in TNK-BP for a combined $56bn. The size and complexity of the deal as well as the number of parties involved kept a number of corporate practices busy in an otherwise quiet year for M&A generally; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Linklaters CIS, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, White & Case LLC and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP were all involved.
The capital markets were once again dominated by debt offerings, with only a few high-profile equity offerings made. The banking, energy and real estate sectors were the main drivers of business activity in the country, and state-owned oil giant Rosneft was particularly acquisitive as it consolidated its market position and expanded out of Russia. 2013 also saw the rise of the Russian banks as major players in the market, with Sberbank and VTB Bank particularly active, making competition between law firms for places on their legal panels all the more intense.
The dispute resolution arena, in which Russian law firms compete on an equal footing with much larger UK and US counterparts, saw a number of significant developments including the relocation to St Petersburg and subsequent merger of Russia’s Supreme Court and Supreme Commercial Court.
Search News and Articles
Paying tax based on the cadastral value vs. implementing the principle of a stable business environment
Authors: Andrey Nikonov, Senior Partner; Natalya Faizrakhmanova, Senior Associate; Egor Lysenko, Head of Siberian office on Krasnoyarsk; Sergey Sosnovsky, Head of St. Petersburg's practice "Tax law and tax disputes", Pepeliaev Group On 30 May 2014 the Plenum of the Russian Supreme Commercial ('Arbitration') Court adopted a Resolution concerning issues arising when VAT is being charged . With this explanation adopted, significant changes will be introduced to the practice of implementing chapter 21 "Value-added tax" of the Russian Tax Code. Please note the most important provisions of the Resolution which entail material risks or create fresh opportunities.
SUBSIDIES FOR CAR MANUFACTURERS Alexander Strizhov, Associate On 6 July, with the adoption of the Customs Code of the Customs Union, a unified customs territory was formed bringing together the customs territories of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Goods originating in the territories of the Customs Union's member states, as well as foreign goods released for free circulation in the territory of at least one of the member states of the Customs Union, may circulate freely within the unified customs territory with no customs formalities. The powers to set, change and cancel rates of import duty have been transferred to the Commission of the Customs Union, whose functions have been carried out since 1 January 2012 by the Eurasian Economic Commission.
Most Internet shops allow payments via Webmoney, BitCoins or local e-currencies, such as Yandex.Money. Effecting payments through these instruments provides obvious benefits for customers: convenience and timeliness, anonymity and security of payments, which do not require transfer of bank card data. It is no surprise, therefore, that CEO's of some Russian banks have said recently that the bank would compete with big Internet companies, the likes of Google, Alibaba, Amazon and Yandex. But how does the future reality, if it materialises, fit into the existing legislative framework?
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development has set the conditions for foreign goods to be admitted
For the attention of companies' general directors and heads of legal departments Pepeliaev Group advises that on 25 February 2014, the Russian Constitutional Court adopted Resolution No. 4-P in which it recognised as universal the position that an administrative penalty may be imposed lower than previously stipulated set out in Resolution No. 1-P dated 17 January 2013. However, the Court has imposed some limitations on it being applied.
News for employers: changes in the procedure for engaging foreign national employees and determiningAccording to the Moscow City Department of Labour and Employment, the following deadlines have been set for employers to file Applications:
AN ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATION HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR THE RUSSIAN MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY AND TRADE TO PERFORM THE STATE FUNCTION OF LICENSING CONTROL OVER THE MANUFACTURING OF MEDICINES FOR MEDICAL USE For the attention of heads of companies producing medicines Pepeliaev Group advises that on 3 March 2014 the Russian Ministry of Justice registered Order No. 1607 of the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade dated 4 October 2013 "On approving the Administrative Regulation for the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade to perform the state function of licensing control over the manufacturing of medicines for medical use" (the "Regulation").
The most significant legal changes in 2013 affected regulation of intellectual property rights on the Internet.
On July 11, 2014, the VEGAS LEX law firm organized an exclusive workshop for the Mann, Ivanov and Ferber Publishers on the protection of intellectual property rights.
On July 11, 2014, the RBC business information agency hosted a conference, Moscow Transit Hubs Infrastructure: Development Potential , co-sponsored by the VEGAS LEX law firm.
Chambers Europe 2014 has once again ranked Pepeliaev Group's Tax Practice among the best on the Russian legal market (Band 1). According to market research, the firm is marked out by its experienced team which provides support in complex lawsuits and easily handles tax issues. Pepeliaev Group's experts have profound knowledge of the legal sector since they are actively involved in legislative drafting work.
Pepeliaev Group has been ranked among the most influential legal advisers for mergers and acquisitions in 2013. The ranking was compiled by Russian M&A-Agency, a group of experts and analysts.
On July 1-2, the first exhibition and forum of the South of Russia took place in Krasnodar, entitled Onsite Power Generation for Enterprises: Energy Efficiency, Uninterrupted Supply, Lower Costs . Legal experts from the VEGAS LEX law firm participated in the event.
ITR European Tax Awards has included Pepeliaev Group in the nominations in four categories for the year 2014. Pepeliaev Group will contest the awards for best Russian tax firm and the best adviser in the field of transfer pricing. In addition, Pepeliaev Group, together with a number of other companies, features in the "Best European Indirect Tax Adviser" category. The production sharing agreement drafted by Pepeliaev Group for the Russian Ministry of Energy and setting a special tax regime for investors developing the Khvalynsk deposit, has been nominated in the category "European energy transaction of the year". Those compiling the ratings have taken into consideration several aspects: the number of the team members involved in working on the draft (the organisers point out that this is an important factor but not the decisive one), how innovative the project was (whether the team was able to suggest in its advice new solutions for typical problems), the complexity of the task and creativeness in handling it.
Pepeliaev Group advises United Financial Group Asset Management on its purchase of a majority interest in Obolenskoye Pharmaceutics The lawyers of Pepeliaev Group's corporate practice advised United Financial Group Asset Management on its purchase of a 80.55% majority interest in Obolenskoye Pharmaceutics CJSC, a leading Russian pharmaceuticals producer. This transaction resulted in the largest pharmaceuticals holding being established in Russia. The transaction to acquire the enterprise was closed at the end of September.
Partner, Head of dispute resolution practice at Lidings Andrey Zelenin will act as a speaker at the annual international conference "Pharma and Biotech Patent Litigation" that is scheduled to take place in Amsterdam on 28 and 29 of January. The event organized by C5 Global Communications is aimed at bringing together leading representatives of the industry to provide them with an excellent opportunity to communicate informally and share expertise.
ALRUD Law Firm acted as Russian legal counsel to the underwriters Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Goldman, Sachs & Co. in connection with the SEC-registered secondary offering of 26,679,386 Class A shares of Yandex N.V., including 2,425,399 additional Class A shares sold pursuant to an option granted to the underwriters. The public offering price was $22.75 per share, and the total gross proceeds to the selling shareholders amounted to $600 million.
On 2 April law firm VEGAS LEX held a roundtable discussion in Samara on «Optimization of energy costs. Legal instruments» for the major regional power-consumers.