Digest 93

May 3, 2018 Subsribe

SPBILF 2018 News

The schedule of the Forum’s events is published on the Forum’s site – pencil the dates in your diary. The Agenda is open for download.

Go to the Agenda ►

See you on May 15-19, 2018!

“Innovations with a Harm Reduction Potential Require Regulatory Predictability”

The pace of change in economics accelerates over the years. More and more new products and services come to the market. In different sectors – from pharmaceutics to engineering, from the automotive industry to FMCG – socially responsible companies seek to offer to their consumers better products – products which are more efficient, or more user-friendly, or have lesser negative impact on the environment or health. After a while, the legislation begins to adapt to the new reality. Is the time coming for a fundamental change in regulatory environment?

Innovations, cutting-edge technologies and new advanced products should ideally benefit people and the society in general. Promoting innovations should be among the core social goals of government. In order to achieve this goal, governments should ensure consumer access to such products and technologies that are able to reduce harm and improve the quality of life. Governments should also create an environment for businesses that would facilitate and encourage development and commercialization of such innovations, while providing the necessary regulatory oversight. Shaping a favorable regulatory environment is a necessary prerequisite for the development of innovations focused on harm reduction and for their efficient introduction into the consumer goods market. Such a regulatory environment could be based on the following principles:

  • Innovations need regulation. It is impossible to predict what new products will appear in the future. But one can determine in advance the general "rules of the game" for market participants. The concept of harm reduction should become one such rule. Products with the potential for harm reduction, as confirmed by scientific data, should have access to the market;
  • Uncertainty as to the outcome should not per se serve as a justification for the restriction or prohibition of innovations. Uncertainty is inherent in any innovative product and technology. It is important to take rational decisions, avoid overestimating theoretical adverse consequences, and avoid preventing technological breakthroughs by unreasonable and excessive bans and restrictions;
  • Individuals should have access to less harmful products and technologies. Consumers should have the right and a viable possibility to switch from more harmful products to potentially less harmful innovative products. Developers and manufacturers should be required to bring such products to the market;
  • Individuals should have access to information about existing alternatives to conventional products and technologies. Such information must be accurate and not misleading. Manufacturers have a duty to communicate this information to consumers;
  • Regulation on innovations with a harm reduction potential should be designed in a way that encourages consumers to transition to better products.

Society will benefit from regulations based on these principles, and such regulations can positively impact future sustainable development.

During the discussion session representatives of ministries and agencies of the Russian Federation will discuss with executives from large businesses the challenges of commercialization of innovative products with harm reduction potential under circumstances where the regulatory environment lags behind technological development.

The session will be of particular interest to Russian and foreign companies, public and private investors, representatives of governmental authorities and general public.

The discussion session will take place on May 17, 2018.

“In recent years, Russia has taken a number of systemic measures aimed at improving housing affordability. The areas of development of the housing construction financing and mortgage lending are planned to be discussed within the DOM.RF discussion session”

The development of the housing sector and the increasing affordability of housing in the Russian Federation are inextricably linked with the development of the mortgage housing finance market, as well as the development of various forms of housing financing.

In recent years, Russia has taken a number of systemic measures aimed at improving housing affordability (a unified institute for development in the housing sector was formed, a compensation fund for shared construction was created, changes to the legislation were made in order to introduce an e-mortgage).

Moreover, the Government of the Russian Federation is currently implementing the priority project "Mortgage and rental housing" (approved by the Presidium of the Presidential Council for Strategic Development and Priority Projects), within the framework of which various proposals are being worked out for introducing amendments to the legislation of the Russian Federation, as well as the work on the implementation of the Roadmap for the gradual replacement of the citizens’ funds involved in the development of the apartment buildings and other real estate by the bank loans and other forms of financing that minimize the risk to civilians (approved by the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation).

These and other areas of development of the housing construction financing and mortgage lending are planned to be discussed within the DOM.RF discussion session.


  • The development of the mortgage housing loans and mortgage securities:
    • Legal aspects of the development of online mortgage (including the identification of borrowers and their use of biometric data in mortgage lending issues), the implementation of the e-mortgage (bond);
    • the mortgage coverage of the claims for loans, secured by the pledge of claims under the agreements for participation in equity construction.
  • The improvement of the foreclosure and sale of mortgaged property mechanisms;
  • The mitigation of risks of investors and lending institutions that finance the housing construction (including the improvement of the escrow account mechanisms for citizens' funds attraction and the development of the other forms of financing);
  • Foreign regulatory practices in the field of attracting investment in housing construction.

The Art of Negotiation: Strategies, Tactics, Focus on success

Practicing lawyers spend a substantial part of their work time at the negotiation table. Every negotiation is a complex process for all parties who face the necessity of managing their business, physiological and professional powers effectively. During the event, leading experts with years of negotiating experience gained at high-profile international projects will discuss legal and practical issues that every modern and successful negotiator must master.

In particular, we will discuss how to react to aggressive negotiation tactics, in situations where it is vital to keep a cool mind, make right decisions fast and focus on reaching the initial goals. Speakers will also explore best practices on understanding and breaking negotiation deadlock, including tips on avoiding the deadlock and overcoming the deadlock situation. Cultural diversity and stereotypes related to country, gender and other specifics of the negotiating parties is a special topic for the discussion.

Speakers will share insights into the latest court practice on unfair contractual terms resulted from inequality of bargaining power and will talk about inequality criteria, forced agreement and prospects of invalidation of such an agreement in court. In addition to that, they will discuss the latest precedents on safe negotiations exit strategies, fixation of preliminary agreements and liabilities for unfair breaking off.

Thursday, May 17
16:30 – 18:00
Hyde Park, General Staff Building (6-8, Dvortsovaya sq.)

Business lunch Parallel import and selective distribution: in search of balance

On 17 May at 2:00 p.m. a business lunch Parallel import and selective distribution: in search of balance will be held by Pepeliaev Group within the framework of the St Petersburg International Legal Forum. Sergey Pepeliaev, Managing Partner at Pepeliaev Group, will be the moderator of the event.

In accordance with current legislation, the import of goods labelled with a trademark without the consent of the rightholder constitutes an infringement of the exclusive right to the trademark. In its resolution dated 13 February 2018, the Russian Constitutional Court (the "Constitutional Court”) set a number of restrictions on the exercise by the rightholder of the power of prohibition by introducing the notion of a bad-faith rightholder. However the court did not determine the criteria. The position of the Constitutional Court is aimed at striking a balance of the interests of all parties to the business process. However, it remains unclear where the boundaries of discretion of the legislature and of courts end.

The first part of the discussion will tackle issues of parallel import. The experts will discuss the criteria for the ‘bad faith’ of a rightholder and the possibility to supplement the Russian Civil Code with such criteria as well as the matter of who will be given the role of the “evaluator” of a rightholder’s actions with respect to the restricting the import of goods, overpricing, posing a threat to safety and when and how such evaluator will exercise its powers. Moreover during the business lunch, the participants will talk about the uncertain status of rightholders: how the price of your product should be substantiated so that it is not recognised as overstated.

A separate set of questions will be devoted to customs control in the context of parallel import in Russia and in other EAEU member-states.

The second part of the discussion during the business lunch will be devoted to selective distribution. The application of strict quality criteria for selecting counterparties within the framework of selective distribution allows the producer to maintain its image and brand value. On what conditions may selective distribution be acceptable from the perspective of Russian antitrust legislation and what are the risks companies assume when they implement a selective distribution model? The experts will also discuss applicable international experience which may be used to enhance the regulation of selective distribution in Russia.

Sergey Pepeliaev, the moderator of the business lunch, commented on why the selected topic is important. “The problems associated with the regulation of parallel import and selective distribution have become especially topical for international manufacturers selling their products in Russia after Resolution No. 8-P of the Constitutional Court dated 13 February 2018 has been issued," he said. "Pharmaceutical companies, producers of premium goods, cosmetics, home appliance goods and even car manufacturers are all at risk. When rightholders sell their goods, rather than merely selling their products to the consumers they also provide a set of services attached to those goods. Third-party distributors are not able to offer such an integrated solution. When we are talking about clothes and cosmetics, the parallel import risks come down to purchasing a low-quality product while purchasing medical products with an obscure background puts a consumer's health at risk. Our business lunch will gather representatives of the Russian Constitutional Court, the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service, the Russian Federal Customs Service, the Federal Service for the Supervision of Public Health and Social Development, the Court for Intellectual Property Rights and the business community. They will advocate the development of quality criteria and the setting of the straightforward ‘rules of the game’ for all distributors of goods.”

Further to the outcome of the discussion, suggestions will be developed with regard to the regulation of parallel import and selective distribution.

To register at the business lunch, please send your applications at e.duboshina@pgplaw.ru.

Thursday, May 17
14:00 – 15:30
White Pavilion, General Staff Building (6-8, Dvortsovaya sq.)

GQ Legal Ceremony

GQ Legal will take place ‪on May 16 within the SPBILF, where GQ will award the best lawyers in various lifestyle nominations, which are chosen by specially created advisory council consisting of leaders of the legal world and GQ editorial.

GQ Legal ceremony will be an annual event.

The event is closed / Invitations only.

Wednesday, May 16
19:30 – 00:00
State Academic Cappella (river Moyka, 20).

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