Legal market overview in Belarus

The market in Belarus has been greatly affected by two significant recent events; the first is the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the second is the economic and political aftermath of the 2020 presidential election. These factors have contributed to a pervasive uncertainty, which has shaped the direction of legal practice in the country lately. Much transactional work and direct cross-border work has come to an almost complete halt from the August 2020, and bankruptcy proceedings/compliance work is increasing. There has also been increasing willingness amongst clients to move their businesses to neighbouring countries, such as Ukraine and Latvia, resulting in increasing relocation and restructuring mandates. The IT sector continues to stand out as the fastest growing in the country, drawing in work in a multitude of practice areas. The favourable tax regime enjoyed by companies operating in this industry continues to attract foreign investment, particularly in the High Technologies Park and the China-Belarus Industrial Park. Belarus has also latterly seen an increase in the establishment of new firms, most notably dispute resolution boutique Goretsky & Partners. This trend seems set to continue, although the key players in the legal market remain the same. A shift towards the liberalisation of the legal system in Belarus has been predicted and anticipated for some little time now, and, despite firms maintaining hopes and reporting some initial signs of such a change, the current uncertainty has largely put a stop to any significant work in this direction. Whether either the pandemic or the political situation in the country will have a long-term effect on the potential decrease of bureaucracy which firms have been hoping for remains to be seen.