Digest 39

Dear colleagues,

It is the time to review 2015. Prior to the holidays we are happy to highlight the results of the Forum jubilee year and invite you to enjoy sincere congratulations of our participants and partners! Season’s greetings!

You can subscribe to regular mailing list following the link.

News of the Forum

2015 was a remarkable year in the history of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum


In 2015 the anniversary V St. Petersburg International Legal Forum took place. We are happy to present you a final booklet featuring key moments of all business programme events!

St. Petersburg International Legal Forum enters 2016 with a new project – Legal Forum Live. The Legal Forum Live project is a series of events all over the world. They involve watching online sessions of the VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum and discussion of the relevant issues among representatives of regional legal communities. Over 20 companies from 3 countries have already became the event organizers under the Legal Forum Live project. Learn more at Legal Forum Live.

Representatives from 14 countries including Armenia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Republic of Abkhazia, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Ukraine, USA have registered for the Forum 2016. Register for the Forum and keep in touch during the New Year.

Greetings kaleidoscope

Prior to the winter holidays the partners and participants of Forum congratulate colleagues!


I congratulate participants and friends of the Forum on the coming year 2016!
I wish you in the New Year to find inspiration and create, be innovators and not to forget about traditions, enjoy your favorite occupation and implement all plans, spend more great minutes with your friends and families!
Let the coming year bring you only good new!
I wish you and your families good health and good spirits in the new year!

Anton Alexandrov

Partner, Monastyrsky, Zyuba, Stepanov & Partners

Please accept my season’s greetings! Let the New Year bring nice events, great news, luck and success! I wish that you have understanding and support from your colleagues, friends, your beloved and dearest; I wish only nicest recollections about the departing year will remain in your hearts, and this will help to look into the future with joy and optimism. Happy New Year!

Sergey Arakelov

Deputy Head, Federal Tax Service of the Russian Federation

On behalf of the creative lead team of Hogan Lovells I would like to wish the coming year to be really new: there should be new interesting projects, new and useful law products, new legal solutions and approaches to solving problems. Let us create the future and let our everyday work move us in our development to the next new level!

Oxana Balayan

Managing Partner, Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Dear colleagues, please accept my warmest congratulations on the coming New Year and Christmas! I wish you that all your matters be settled amicably and all disputes by agreement of the parties! Let you be surrounded by support and care of your nearest and dearest, and let misfortunes stay away! I wish you harmony, joy, calmness and confidence in tomorrow!

Aleksey Chichkanov

Executive Vice-President, Head of the Public-Private Partnership Centre, Gazprombank OJSC

With all our heart the team of the legal firm Goltsblat BLP congratulates our clients, friends and the whole legal community in Russia with the coming New Year. We wish you all happiness, success in business, prosperity, successful and profitable projects in the New Year. We wish the New Year to become the time of new opportunities and achievement for everyone. Our special congratulations to all people who made our forum the leading site for exchanging opinions and sharing experience among lawyers, we hope you will continue doing this important work in the coming year with the same enthusiasm and passion, and we will aim our efforts at winning new supporters of the Forum so that it can help us find challenging solutions in our ever-changing world. Happy New Year!
With best wishes,

Andrey Goltsblat

Managing Partner, Goltsblat BLP

I would like to wish all colleagues and their families and loved ones a peaceful holiday season and a happy and healthy new year. 2015 was a very difficult year. It was a difficult year for business and a difficult year for the world. Refugee crisis, wars in the Middle East and Africa, horrible terrorist acts such as the bombing of the Russian plane over Sinai and the massacre of innocents in Paris seem to occur more and more frequently. Even more painful for me personally has been the ongoing and increasing tensions between the US and Russia. For me this is a very unnatural situation, since I firmly believe that Russians and Americans have so much in common and can and should work together for the benefit of both nations and the entire world. With this background, it goes without saying that the St Petersburg International Legal Forum assumes an even more important role than in the past in assuring and elevating the dialog among legal professionals from all over the world. Finally I would like to remind all colleagues that the economic crisis has had an enormous impact on the Russian people in the past year with a very significant increase in poverty levels. This means that our obligation as lawyers to support and promote legal assistance for the poor and pro bono work for NGOs is more important than ever and I would like to thank the organizers of the SPBILF for being in the forefront of promoting legal aid and pro bono legal services in Russia.

Glenn Kolleeny

Partner, Dentons Europe

Dear readers, delegates and guests of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, dear colleagues! On behalf of the Notary Chamber and on a personal level I would like to congratulate you on the coming 2016! Let the New Year be especially positive and memorable, rich in important events both in the professional area and in private life! I wish the New Year will bring many new impressions, interesting and useful meetings, and the forthcoming VI International Legal Forum will provide a unique opportunity to share experience and develop professionally!

Konstantin Korsik

President, Federal Notary Chamber of the Russian Federation

Dear colleagues!
Looking back at the departing year, we can safely say that it has brought to the business community and to us, business lawyers who guard the interests of the business, a large number of challenges and opportunities. This is exactly what makes our profession remain one of the most dynamic and exciting, imposing the highest requirements to the members of the legal community. Being confident that many interesting and inspiring legal events are yet to come, we cordially congratulate you on the coming New Year 2016 and wish you well-being, prosperity, good mood, and strong confidence in yourself and in the selected legal positions.

KPMG Legal Services Group

Dear participants of the Forum!
The Association of Corporate Lawyers reached a new level of development in 2015. Corporate lawyers were consolidated by the work on the Concept of Regulation of Professional Legal Aid Market. It was important for us to include the right of corporate lawyers to legal representation, voluntary participation in the Bar, and a number of other aspects. We are inspired by the fact that the position of the Association is taken into account by the legal profession reforms.
We continue our work on introduction of antitrust compliance, prepare proposals on e-document management in labor relations, deal with issues of mandatory procurement share by large companies from MSEs, and discuss introduction of new norms of the civil legislation.
The Association of Corporate Lawyers established the North-West asset in St. Petersburg that unites talents and top brains of the industry.
This is how productive the current year has been for the Association and its members.
Please accept my warmest congratulations on the coming 2016! I wish you professional growth and individual happiness!

Alexandra Nesterenko

President, Russian Corporate Counsel Association

Dear friends!
Please accept my warmest congratulations on 2016 New Year and Christmas!
The 2015 year is close to its end, leaving memories about great events, new achievements, and acts of kindness. It was not easy for everyone, but all together we managed to do a lot. The professional legal community will remember this year for massive changes in legislation that, when implemented, will improve the quality of relations in the sphere of entrepreneurship, corporate and public relations. Certainly, it will depend on the servants of Themis how successful these reforms will be and how they will be developing in the future.
I believe that everything good that brought us joy in the departing year will find its way into the coming year.
New Year is the time when we realize how quickly the time flies. And we recall that life is what happens to us while we are making plans. In the noise of celebrations we realize that the greatest value for us is our nearest and dearest, real friends, and well-tested partners. I would like to thank you and your colleagues for our joint work in the departing year! I wish you health, success and happiness in the new 2016!

Alexander Pakhomov

Member of the Management Board - General Counsel, JSC Inter RAO

Dear colleagues and friends!
Our country again faces challenging times. And we are stepping into 2016 leap year. However, it is not the first crisis in the history of Russia, and definitely it is not the most serious one. Every time when the country finds itself, it would seem, in a dead end situation, it brilliantly copes with all the difficulties and reaches new heights. On the one hand, crisis and difficulties are definitely bad. But on the other hand, it is a window of opportunities for growth and development. As they say, what does not kill us makes us stronger. I wish you in the New Year professional success, self-realization, and, of course, peace and family happiness!

Andrey Popov

Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs and Property-related Issues, Director of the Department for Legal and Corporate Affairs, State Atomic Energy Corporation "Rosatom"

Dear colleagues, I would like to congratulate you on the coming New Year! Let the New Year bring you new clients, new professional achievements and secure judgments! I hope the economic turbulence will stay in 2015 and the coming 2016 will bring only happiness and well-being!

Anna Serebryanikova

Legal Affairs and Government Relations Director, MegaFon OJSC

The year that is now ending has been indeed successful for our Firm. This year we have strengthened our key practices and expanded our Moscow Office.
Besides that, this year 2015 has been generous to us as to professional awards and recognition.
The Firm has been highly recommended by the experts of Russian and international rankings. Indeed, it is impossible to earn recognition in the world of law without handling complex and high-profile projects.
Taking advantage of this position, I would like to congratulate all the readers of the SPILF Digest with the upcoming year 2016!
Dear Colleagues, I hope that the coming year will be productive and rich for us. It will bring us new projects and achievements, as well as landmark events and interesting encounters that will take place, in particular, at the 2016 St. Petersburg International Legal Forum.

Sergey Slagoda

S&K Vertical Attorneys at Law

Dear colleagues,
This year has been very interesting and it enabled us to offer a number of new services and products to our clients who are now more demanding when they choose consultants. I wish all of you to develop further in the New Year – confidently and consciously, and use all opportunities for developing key competences. I wish imagination will never leave you, and commitment always yields fruit. I wish you success!

Ivan Smirnov

Managing Partner of St. Petersburg office at Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev &Partners

The year that is now ending will be memorable for me and, I am sure, for the whole expert community in Russia by a high-level recognition of forensic developments for the first time in many years. A significant event for me was receiving the award “Contribution to development of legal integration in Eurasia” of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. Being a member of the forensic community, I am happy that our creative work on enhancement of forensic activities was evaluated so highly, and the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev said a word of encouragement to forensic experts. The keen interest in forensics from the legal community was the first sign of a future large-scale project, since in July of this year heads of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization signed the Ufa declaration with an overall purpose of expanding cooperation, including the area of forensics. I would like to wish us all to work ambitiously and tirelessly in the new year! Only our joint experience and knowledge will ensure prosperity of the legal profession, and our achievements will add to the glory of our country!

Sveltana Smirnova

Director of the Russian Federal Center of Forensic Science, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation

My dear colleagues, business partners and friends from Russia and from all over the world! I wish you and your beloved ones for 2016 a year full of peace, trust and confidence, interesting projects, success at work and in achieving your private targets as well as health and well-being. I hope that I will see many of you again at the next legal forum in May.
Best regards,

Cornelia Topf

Partner, Gleiss Lutz

Dear colleagues and readers!
I wish you all a great end to this year and a happy New Year! I wish you good health and happiness in personal life. I believe that next year we can be even more creative, cooperate, develop law further and shape legal practice in a way suitable for a state based on the rule of law.
Best regards,

Paul Varul

Professor at the University of Tartu, Partner of Law Firm VARUL

The year 2015 that is now ending was full of interesting events and significant projects. Our Fund, in particular, by the end of the year presented the results of the feasibility study for establishment of an Islamic bank or an Islamic bank window in the territory of Russia. The work on this feasibility study lasted nine months and we tried to consider all questions that are raised in the process of development of an Islamic financial model in Russia. We analyzed in what form this project should be implemented: on the basis of existing banks, in the form of Islamic bank windows that can become a launch pad for testing instruments of the Islamic finance industry, or establishment of a separate financial institution. We also considered whether this product is in high demand among potential clients, what amendments can be introduced into the taxation and banking regulation for launching Islamic finance. The analysis is presented in the developed substantiation, we also included recommendations.
It was a great honor for me to be the moderator of “Strategic Approach to Islamic Financial Instruments” session within the V St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in May 2015 where the topic of the Islamic financial industry was raised for the first time. This anniversary Forum combined the best ideas of the recent years and became one of the most memorable events of the year. The discussed issues were momentous and very significant: prospects of Islamic banking industry establishment in Russia at the time of global changes in foreign trade relations; diversification of banking business and obtaining competitive advantage for financial institutions when using mechanisms of Islamic financing; problems of introducing Islamic finance; possibility of making amendments in legislation and supervisory practice in order to create conditions for formation of Islamic banking in Russia.
I sincerely hope that the coming year 2016 will be equally significant and it will allow implementation of all conceived ideas and projects. And the forthcoming VI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum will again become a discussion ground with questions of concern for the Russian and international legal community. The Forum program always reflects those events that take place in the legal environment of Russia and the world, legislative initiatives and projects in the area of Russian and international jurisdictions. Let the coming year be just as busy and relevant!
See you in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg at the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum 2016.
Happy New Year!

Linar Yakupov

President, Association of Regional Investment Promotion Agencies – President, Fund for the Development of Islamic Business and Finance

Coming in the next issue:

The next issue of the Digest to be launched on 13 January will keep you informed about the VI SPBILF news, as well as the interview with SPBILF’s participants.