Legal Market Overview
At the time of writing, reports have suggested that Belarus and Russia intend to form a union state defined by deeper integration – where there will be a transition to unified tax legislation, the creation of common oil, gas and electricity markets, and the formation of a single parliament. Against this backdrop, the number of transactions in Belarus, across all practice areas, remains static. Investment leading to legal work from the usual quarters – China, Russia – slowed down after some years of activity.
Despite this, Belarus continues to to position itself as an attractive place for foreign investment, particularly for technology firms who benefit from a favourable tax and regulatory regime. Belarus’ High Technologies Park and The China-Belarus Industrial Park are the main drivers of work, with the former’s rapid growth accompanying a general boom in the IT sector.
Firms have, over the past few years, seen an increase in corporate and IP work via technology companies, and anticipate further growth over the next few years. Another recent trend, continuing from last year, has been an increase in the number of insolvency and bankruptcy-related disputes.
There has also been high-profile lateral movements in the legal market; some partners left ranked firms in pursuit of new challenges outside the legal industry, while others joined smaller firms or started their own enterprises.
Some firms report a desire for – and predict a looming – shift in the legal climate: for a decrease in bureaucracy and the liberalisation of a legal system described by a number of firms as one in need of modernisation.