Digest 64

Dear colleagues,

It is the time to review 2016. Prior to the holidays we are happy to highlight the results of the 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.

Summing up the Year 2016


The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum will take place on 16-20 May 2017. Sign up to stay in touch with SPILF in the New Year!

For SPBILF daily programme, click here.

This year we offer a Special price on SPBILF 2017 Delegate Package for businesses, with the exception of consulting services firms. For more info, see Terms of Attendance.

Non-personalized Certificate for Participation in SPBILF are now available! A company may purchase any number of certificates for its employees. No need to finalize certificate holders’ names until right before the event.

The “early bird” registration special terms have been extended until 15 January 2017.

Conferences under SPILF auspices

In the year about to end, top lawyers, corporate executives and leaders of the communities concerned met for a series of conferences on the arbitral reform, the legal aspects of Russia-China cooperation, and regulation of the art market.

There are just over 15 conferences on our current schedule. The regulators Rostekhnadzor, Roskomnadzor, Rostrud, Rosfinmonitoring and the Skolkovo School of Management have joined us as co-hosts alongside our customary partners Rospotrebnadzor, Rosreestr, Rospatent, Antimonopoly Service, Taxation Service, Central Bank, Skolkovo Foundation, and the Federal Office of Court Bailiffs.

The agendas and outputs of the conferences will provide a solid groundwork for the roundtable debates at SPBILF. For more information, click here.

Legal Forum Live

2016 was the year when the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum went online.

Those who could not make it to St. Petersburg to attend SPBILF personally were offered a chance to attend it online in 2016. All the events of the SPBILF Business Programme were streamed live, and the Forum’s cyber-audience was a multiple of its physical audience.

The new SPBILF project, Legal Forum Live, saw over 2000 participants across Russia and the CIS get together for conferences of their own, accompanied by the online viewing of VI SPBILF sessions, followed by debates on the issues brought up by SPBILF among the attending members of the local legal communities.

More than 30 major cities across Russia and the CIS joined us in the project’s debut year.

LF Academy

As the SPBILF online platform gained audience, we got the idea for LF Academy, an online educational resource that will bring the spoken word of some of the best minds of jurisprudence to all those willing to hear.

LF Academy is an evolution of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, which has built unique partnering relationships with a broad-based contingent of some of the best experts in their respective fields of law.

  • More than 20 000 already listen and learn.
  • Over 500 hours of lectures, more than 100 lecturers, available 24/7.
  • Lots of encouraging, appreciative feedback on the project.

Why don’t you join us!



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


Dear Colleagues,

New Year’s Greetings on behalf of the Federal Antimonopoly Service, and from me personally! 2016 has been an eventful year for us, and I’m positive that the changes we have seen will spell the beginning of a new era in Russia’s antitrust and tariff regulation.

The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum is unbeatable as a legislative debate platform as it brings together all the parties concerned: entrepreneurs, legal professionals, government officials, judges, and non-government organizations from every part of the world.

It is certain to me that the Forum will continue to promote effective networking between the business community, lawyers, authorities, the judiciary, and NGOs from around the globe.

I wish SPBILF hosts, participants and guests excellent health, prosperity, success and good fortune in everything they do in the coming year 2017!

Igor Artemiev

Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation

Dear readers, delegates and guests of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, dear colleagues!

Wishing you a joyful holiday season and a happy New Year filled with peace and happiness! It was a great pleasure having the opportunity of sharing experiences and exchanging opinions among this international legal community! I am looking forward to be there again next year!

All the best!

Wolfgang Brandstetter

Austrian Federal Minister of Justice

Dear Colleagues and Hosts of the Forum, Friends,

My sincere greetings for the New Year 2017!

It is my wish to you that all your problems and setbacks are left behind in the year going away! Let the New Year bring you countless enjoyable moments, pleasant encounters, professional achievements and personal success! I wish you happiness, good health and, generally - all the very best!

I look forward to seeing you all at the Forum!

Viktor Blazheev

Vice-President, Association of Legal Education of Russia - Rector, Kutafin Moscow State Law University

Dear Guests, Participants and Hosts of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, Colleagues,

My sincere best wishes for the coming New Year!

In the coming year, we will be getting together with you again to discuss the current trends in Russian and international law, the tense and positive moments of international interoperation, and notable changes in the national laws of many countries. We will be attending the roundtables, heated debates and unofficial cultural events of the Forum together. And all this will be hallowed at all times by our shared awareness of the essence of the Law, for law, justice, due process and the legal profession flow from one and the same spring – the exalted commitment to higher justice and higher law inherent in the nature of each of us. From this springs forth the noble calling to wield the Law so as to protect those in need of protection and care. I wish all my colleagues – lawyers, attorneys, politicians and public servants – to entreasure these lofty aspirations and fuse them with their professional ambition to work for the good of society.

My special greetings go out to all those involved in the preparation of the Forum. I am very glad to realize that we no longer confine our collaboration to the SPBILF days. Members of your LF Academy educational initiative have visited the recent Rospatent desktop and empirical conference. They have produced a video report of this intellectual property milestone and suggested that we should together design a video tutorial on the basics of patent law. Education and instruction being high priorities for our agency, I would like to thank you for that offer! I am positive that all our plans will be fulfilled in the coming year!

Happy Holidays!


Grigoriy Ivliev

Director General, Federal Service for Intellectual Property

Dear Participants of the Forum, Friends and Colleagues,

Happy New Year! My wish to you is that 2017 becomes for you the year when you meet amazing people and do fantastic things. Let every new day charge you with energy and inspire positive thinking and positive acts, and let each day bring something new and wonderful into your life!

It is customary to look back and make plans for the future on New Year’s Eve. 2016 was a good and busy year for CLA and its members. CLA experts were put on the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation taskforce on legislative improvement, Bank of Russia taskforce on corporate governance improvement, and the Justice Ministry Board on Improvements in the Arbitral Process.

CLA and FAS of Russia for the first time joined forces to develop Clarifications of the FAS of Russia. On 30 November 2016, the FAS of Russia Presidium ratified the output of this collaboration: Clarifications Regarding the Correspondence between Art. 9.21 and Art. 14.31 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the RF.

In response to a CLA letter regarding the application of Federal Law No. 272-FZ of 3 July 2016 “On the Amendments to Selective Legislation of the Russian Federation for the Purpose of Enhancing the Liability of Employers for Payroll Related Violations,” the Ministry of Justice of Russia on 19 September 2016 forwarded to CLA and posted on the official Ministry of Justice website an explanation about how the new legislation is to be interpreted. The corresponding amendments are to be added to the Labour Code of the RF by the end of 2016. CLA has put together a team (Active Corps) of labour lawyers to continue the dedicated effort of improving Russia’s labour law.

CLA has carried out a survey on the court performance of corporate lawyers as part of its Lawyers and Business project, resulting in a set of recommendations for corporate lawyers.

We believe that CLA has proved to be a trusty assistant and source of ideas and inspiration for its members. The Corporate Lawyers’ Alliance has even more ambitious plans for 2017.

As 2016 draws to a close, our wish is that 2017 be a peaceful and happy year for us, our loved ones and our country. I wish you a Happy New Year 2017, and professional growth and personal happiness in the New Year!

Alexandra Nesterenko

President, Russian Corporate Counsel Association

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Our heart-felt greetings to you for the coming Christmas and New Year! The departing year 2016 was a marquee year for Russia and its business community in more ways than one. But along with the challenges that put us to a serious test, the past year brought each of us moments of vibrant success. The lawyers of the Inter RAO Group member companies, in conjunction with the parent company, worked hard in 2016 – with excellent results. The legal units of Inter RAO were acclaimed, respectively, as the best tax planning team and the best legal department in Russia’s energy utility sector in 2016.

I am confident that the New Year 2017 will open up new vistas and new opportunities for each of us. Therefore, I wish us all professional excellence, a stellar career, and financial prosperity! In your arduous ascent towards the pinnacles of professional career growth, let the understanding and care of your loved ones always walk with you, and let you always find the time amid your busy schedule to share your successes and achievements with them!

Happiness and good luck in the New Year!

Alexander Pakhomov

Dear Colleagues and Co-workers,

Despite the difficulties, despite the renewed and broader sanctions, and despite the far-from-harmonious international situation overall, our country ends this year stronger than before. “Per aspera ad astra,” as the ancient Romans said. And thus we, corporate lawyers, despite the challenging cases we tackle, the stiff statutory requirements, restrictions and rigid conventions notwithstanding, somehow manage to make our way into a better tomorrow, and we emerge wiser and stronger from the adversity. I wish you all new victories large and small in the coming year, and I wish you peace and unconditional domestic harmony!

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"

It has been a pleasure and privilege for me to be involved with the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum since its inception, and to see it grow from strength to strength. The Forum continues to encourage good analysis and lively debate. It helps to spread the latest thinking on legal issues of topical importance around the world. It also promotes mutual understanding and respect for different points of view. In short, the Forum has created an international community of legal professionals, academics, politicians and others who are interested in law and the rule of law. To all of you, and to the sponsors and organisers who make the Forum possible, I wish a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Michael Swainston QC

Barrister, Brick Court Chambers

Dear Colleagues,

I wish all the participants and guests of the Forum, and all the readers of the Digest, a Happy New Year 2017! And I sincerely wish you all well-being, prosperity and success in your work!

The St. Petersburg International Legal Forum and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation have been partners so long that it is a good tradition by now. In the outgoing year, the VI SPBILF hosted a successful conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, which gave all the Forum participants an opportunity to personally meet the judges and chief justices of the constitutional and supreme courts of more than 30 states.

We trust that the coming year will bring new opportunities for mutual and meaningful cooperation.

Sergei Sergevnin

Head of the Department of International Relations and Generalization of the Constitutional Review Practice, Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation

Dear Colleagues, we wish you a Happy New Year!

In 2016, we saw many a strong legislative initiative and serious, meaningful amendment that concerned all of us. But in spite of that, we – and I mean you and us – succeeded in helping our businesses, our clients and partners to elegantly adapt to the new realities and make competent business plans for the coming year. In this, we owe a lot to information technology and advanced communications.

The digital age is here, and it compels us to rethink our ways of interacting and to search for new, flexible solutions to respond to complex business challenges.

MegaFon responds to the challenges of the digital market, updating its service and activating cutting-edge technology, such as machine learning. This technology makes it possible to process years of experience and terabytes of data, yielding accurate prognoses. We are also changing the way we evaluate our employees’ performance. We do our best every day to eliminate formality in our work, seeking a format that would value the result more than the process. At the same time, we make sure that our regulations remain in compliance with the law. It is thanks to all this that our customers can safely entrust all technical aspects to us and focus on what they love to do, and we, for our part, are able to grow ahead of the market.

We wish you: fast-track attainment of all your goals, stable and reliable networking with colleagues, clients and partners, ultimate openness and trust in your relationship with them, productive dialogue, new ambitious projects, successful accomplishments, and far-out professional achievements! Let the year 2017 bring you and your loved ones good health, lots of optimism, prosperity, new opportunities and limitless happiness!

Anna Serebryanikova

Director of Operations, PJSC MegaFon

Happy New Year 2017 to all SPBILF Participants and Friends!

Let the New Year be filled with joy, happiness, kindness, inspiration and creative drive for all of you!

I wish us all more understanding on the path towards making our ideas a reality! Let such mainstays of forensic science as inner conviction and informed initiative be our solid starting point in all undertakings!

I wish great health and prosperity to you and yours in the New Year!

Svetlana Smirnova

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

To all of our friends and colleagues: we wish you and your families relaxing holidays and an excellent start to a prosperous, successful and, in particular, peaceful new year. We look forward to joint projects and challenges and to staying in contact.

All the best,

Cornelia Topf & the Gleiss Lutz team

Dear Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The calendar year-end is upon us, and this behoves us to look back.

2016 was a turbulent year, filled with events both joyful and tragic, long-awaited and entirely unexpected. It was no accident that the linguists whose job is to watch the changes in the Russian language (language being, in its own way, a mirror of the soul-life of the people) noted such words as “Brexit” and “bottom” among the most frequently occurring in 2016. And yet the outgoing year showed that not all changes are changes for the worse. The fact that Russia yet again reasserted its claim as a major global power is self-evident.

“The night is the darkest before dawn,” goes the old saying. I am confident that the year 2017 will see many good things happen for each of us and for our country. And personally, I wish you all an upbeat mood, great health and prosperity!

Yours truly,

Mikhail Shvidkoy

Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation