St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London
On January 29, 2013 the unique event took place in London — St. Petersburg International Legal Forum visited the capital of Great Britain. The guest Conference marked not only a new milestone in the history of St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, but a major contribution to the Russian-British relations in legal area.
Arranged on the Ministry’s of Justice of the Russian Federation initiative, St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London was supported by The Law Society of England and Wales, The Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation and The Russian Corporate Counsel Association.
More than 150 delegates attended the Conference, among them Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Alexander Konovalov, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice of the UK Chris Grayling, the Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court Anton Ivanov, the Chairman of the Department of financial regulation and supervision of the UK John Griffith-Jones, vice-presidents and heads of legal departments of outstanding international and Russian companies, managing partners of leading firms.
On January 28, 2013 the guest Conference was preceded by a welcome reception hosted by His Excellency Mr. Alexander Yakovenko, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the UK. Alexander Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, delivered a welcome speech. Mr Konovalov pointed out the importance of the Russian-British cooperation in legal sphere.
We are deeply interested in British legal traditions, in professional skills of British lawyers. We hope that participation of authoritative and eminent British lawyers as well as Russian delegates in this programme will boost the substantial representation of British legal system on the III St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in this May.
The Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court Anton Ivanov, in turn, stressed that “in the past few years the cooperation with English lawyers, legal institutes and courts is developing very intensively” and the results of this cooperation are evident.
On January 29, 2013 in one of the oldest bars of England and Wales, Lincoln’s Inn, two discussions dedicated to: 1) National and supranational legal regulation: challenges and opportunities for development of International Financial Centers, and 2) Investment Arbitration took place. Moderators of the first panel discussion were Alexander Konovalov, Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation, and Michael Swainston QC, Brick Court Chambers Barristers. Following speakers participated in the discussion: John Griffith-Jones, the Chairman of the Department of financial regulation and supervision of the UK, Mikhail Galperin, Director of the Department of economic legislation of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, David Green, financial advisor, earlier — Advisor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Christopher Grout, Registrar of the Financial Court of Qatar Financial Centre, Daniel Corrigan, Chairman of TheCityUK, Russia, CIS and Mongolia Group; Adviser to CEO, CME Group, Europe.
Lord Hoffman, Law Lord, addressed the Conference guests with the welcoming speech: “You are taking part in a unique cross-border event — largescale St. Petersburg International Legal Forum has come to London. Taking into account the topics of the agenda it is no wonder why the chosen city is London. It is London that is worthily considered to be the center of both financial markets and arbitration. Today, everyone has a chance to talk about the features of the national financial regulation in his country and also to gain a useful lessons from the experience of his colleagues ... being in the very heart of legal London.” Michael Swainston, in turn, noted the importance of not only the place of the first guest Conference, but also the importance of the composition of the delegation.
We are in the building of former Chancery discussing the issues of financial regulation. On this remarkable day, I am very pleased to see the representatives of the legal society along with the business one, who can lead us to what they need from a legal system
The discussion addressed the following issues: points of unification and harmonization of national regulation of economic activity, the role of financial centers in the approachement of the legal systems, codification of international acts regulated financial markets, the expansion of supranational jurisdiction implementation, competition of traditional national legal institutions and transnational legal policy.
Anton Ivanov, the Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court of the Russian Federation, moderated the second discussion. Among speakers were Vladimir Khvaley, Chairman of the ICC Arbitration Commission Russia; Partner, Baker&McKenzie, Russia; Vice-President of the International Court of Arbitration ICC, Svetlana Yachevskaya, Head of the Legal Department, Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, Vasily Torkanovskiy, Head of the International Law Practice Group, Ivanyan & Partners, James Crawford, Professor, The University of Cambridge, Tomas Solis, Advisor, Patton Boggs, Klaus Reichert, SC, Brick Court Chambers. The discussion addressed the issues of fair treatment of government and investors in arbitration, assurance of implementation of investment arbitration acts, points of evolution of the traditional international legal instruments in the field of investment arbitration and new challenges of the global economy as well as the matter of investment arbitration as a factor of the investment attraction of the country.
A special emphasis was devoted to preparation of the III St. Petersburg International Legal Forum. The participants got the opportunity to learn at first-hand about the draft programme of the year 2013 and of the plans of the Ministry of Justice for the satellite events in the course of the III Forum.
Guest Conferences under the auspices of St. Petersburg International Legal Forum will also take place in the Netherlands and Italy in order to enhance bilateral legal cooperation and preparation for the Legal Forum in St. Petersburg
Participants about the Conference
Vice-President for Corporate and Legal Matters at MTS
I believe that the important lessons learned at the London Conference by the heads of legal services of companies- members of RCCA will play a positive role for lawyers in both their personal lives, and businesses of their companies-employers
Show full quote
On January 29, 2013 the Guest Conference “St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London”, devoted to the discussion of the legal aspects of the creation and development of international financial centers, as well as the international investment arbitration took place. RCCA traditionally supported the Forum by delegating its representatives, who in addition to the official agenda had the opportunity to get connected with their British counterparts, to get acquainted with their approaches not only to designated issues, but also to the development of the legal profession.
I believe that the important lessons learned at the London Conference by heads of legal services of companies-members of RCCA will play a positive role for lawyers in both their personal lives, and businesses of their companies-employers.
Following its mission, RCCA is planning to continue cooperation with the Organizing Committee of the Forum and invites its members to participate in the III St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in May 2013, within the framework of which there will be held a contextual RCCA event involving judges of the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, and a special panel with the focus on corporate lawyers.
Head of the Legal Department, Afisha Rambler Joint Company
It is a great idea to organize a series of "Travelling Forums". I would like to thank all the inspirers and organizers
Show full quote
It is a great idea to organize a series of "Travelling Forums". I would like to thank all the inspirers and organizers. And of course, from any point of view it is difficult to imagine a place more suitable for the first event. The UK has a very special understanding of law and the unique atmosphere of the historic Old Hall at Lincoln's Inn, where two discussion sessions of St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London were held, allowed all participants to move back for several centuries, and find themselves at the place of origins of public law school. Historical atmosphere was also recreated by moderators and speakers, among which I particularly remember Michael Swainston, Barrister at Brick Court Chambers, who was a perfect first session moderator.
Vice-President for Legal Issues, Vympelkom OJSC
The Conference and its delegates demonstrated a high level and relevance of the discussed questions
Show full quote
The organization of the first guest Conference of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London was a significant event by itself – magnificent history of English law and legal procedure, ancient walls of Chancery Court, where the Conference was held, portraits of Lords Chancellor dressed in robes, all these aspects caused piety and a understanding of the firmness of the rule of law. At the same time, discussions that were held during the Conference were very relevant. In particular the discussion over the jurisdiction of the International Investment Arbitration and the execution of its decisions provoked a great interest and demonstrated different views and approaches to the solution of these issues. The Conference and its delegates demonstrated a high level and relevance of the discussed questions.
General Manager, JSC Gazprom Neft
Conference’s advantage is a large representation of participants from both the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom
Show full quote
My opinion is contradictory.
On the one hand, the creation of financial center and the need of foreign investment attraction were discussed; on the other hand, the discussion was concluded by the speech of the Ministry of Finance, which, in the light of the International Investment Arbitration, stressed the sovereignty of Russian state budget and its protection before any investor.
In addition there was a very large representation from both the Russian Federation, including the Minister of Justice, and from the UK side as well.
Head of Legal Department, Member of the Board for OJS Insurance Company Ingosstrakh
Everything was perfect: London democratic atmosphere as well as perfect organization
Show full quote
Everything was perfect: the London democratic atmosphere as well as perfect organization. I was glad to hear the words of Anton Ivanov concerning positive attitude to arbitration courts and the implementation of their decisions. It is important not for Ingosstrakh only but for the whole insurance community, which is so in need of specialized financial justice.
Legal & Corporate Affairs Director at O'KEY group
One of the advantages of London meeting was an opportunity to hear the opinions of colleagues from the state authorities
Show full quote
I enjoyed the presentation of the colleagues from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation. In my opinion, one of the advantages of London meeting was an opportunity to hear the views and opinions of colleagues from the state authorities on agenda’s issues. It should be noted that their presentations were informative. I would like to express my special gratitude to the organizers who created perfect business atmosphere at the Forum.
Deputy of CEO, Corporate Affairs in CEDC, Russian Alcohol Group
The Conference excellently managed with such goals as deepening the Russian-British cooperation, sharing experience and views and formulating the agenda for the main Forum in May
Show full quote
The first guest Conference of the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, well-known international event broadly recognized by the international legal community, was held on January 29, 2013 in London. Such recognition is proved by the representation of authoritative and respected lawyers, government officials and business community of Russia and Great Britain, who took part in the Forum: the Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Alexander Konovalov, the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice of the UK Chris Grayling, the Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court Anton Ivanov, the Chairman of the Department of financial regulation and supervision of the UK John Griffith-Jones, vice-presidents and heads of legal departments of major Russian and international companies, partners of leading law firms.
A representative delegation of RCCA members visited the event in London. Their active participation in the Forum significantly ensured dynamics and positive perception of the event by Russian lawyers and officials as well as their foreign counterparts.
The Conference began on the evening of January 28, when the participants were welcomed on the official reception by the Ambassador of the Russian Federation in the UK Alexander Yakovenko. The Ambassador as a professional diplomat provided guests with all opportunities for networking. The organizers kept the reception atmosphere for the next day in one of the oldest bars of England and Wales, Lincoln’s Inn.
Despite tight time several important topics relevant for international legal community were discussed at the Forum: 1) National and supranational legal regulation: challenges and opportunities for development of International Financial Centers, and 2) Investment Arbitration.
The first topic, in terms of creation of International Financial Center in Moscow, is widely discussed in media. The Government of the Russian Federation is tasked to create all necessary conditions for its functioning as soon as possible. The substantial progress of Russia in this direction was noted at the Conference, despite some critical attitude to the possibility of the realization of this idea. Presentations of foreign colleagues were largely followed by a single keynote: Russia is moving in the right direction and is able in few years to achieve the goal. One of the leading roles in this process belongs to the legal community. The investment climate depends on the rules of the game and the law enforcement practice.
The theme of the second part of the Conference logically followed the first one. The pace of the debate was set by the Chairman of the Supreme Commercial Court Anton Ivanov who was moderating the panel. He drew attention of the audience to the public legal aspects in the field of international private relations, including regulation and protection of investments, and the balance between the public legal interest and the interest of the investor. It turned out that the problem of the relations between private interests and state immunity in the area of ??investment protection was not clearly perceived by participants from different countries and jurisdictions. There is a certain need to keep dialogue open. We hope the discussion will be continued in May in St. Petersburg!
The Conference in London, in my opinion, made a successful start to the new Forum format — small, or guest Forum. Being the first SPILF event abroad the Conference excellently managed with such goals as deepening the Russian-British cooperation, sharing experience and views and formulating the agenda for the main Forum in May.
I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers.
Head of Legal Department, UniCredit Bank
The Conference made possible to learn the positions not only officials and representatives of Russian legal community but also the experienced English experts
Show full quote
The International Legal Forum in London is a significant event in terms of the reforms in economic and legal regulation in the Russian Federation and Europe. Discussed topics were quite relevant and made possible to learn the positions not only officials and representatives of Russian legal community but also the experienced English experts. In addition the excellent organization of the forum should be noted. Special thanks (Special gratitude should be expressed) to Alexander Yakovenko, Russian Ambassador to the UK, for wonderful reception and support.
Head of Legal Department, OTKRITIE Financial Corporation
The Forum was well organized, the format was right
Show full quote
The Forum was well organized, the format was right. In addition, participation of honorable guests gave the opportunity for effective networking. The latter is very important for our profession. The idea of such promotion of the main Forum in St. Petersburg is quite interesting.
Acting Chairman, COMMERZBANK (EURASIJA)
I would like to highlight the creativity of the idea to hold the Guest Conference of the International Legal Forum on two specific topics
Show full quote
Concerning the organization I would like to highlight the creativity of the idea to hold the Guest Conference of the International Legal Forum on two specific topics in the field of international law, which are equally relevant for both Russian and English experts.
About the speakers: unfortunately, Alexander Voloshin, who was mentioned as a participant, didn’t attend; Russian representatives spoke very generally about the creation of MFC in Moscow. The speech of Daniel Corrigan, who surprised me by deep examination of the Russian derivatives market problems and his awareness in the current Russian judicial practice, was very memorable. The list of speakers at the second session was too diversified and presentations lacked brightness and animation. The speech of Khvaley which clearly outlined the major problem of law enforcement practice in the protection of foreign investors in investment arbitration (the issue of a clear definition of terms “foreign investor" and "investment" to avoid abuses of this institution by business entities and individuals under the jurisdiction of the respondent state) was the best one.
General Counsel RCA, Siemens LLC
Leading representatives of various spheres of business and law enforcement attended in the Conference
Show full quote
Thank you for the invitation to the St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London! Overall I enjoyed the event and its format. Leading representatives of various spheres of business and law enforcement attended the Conference. I acquainted with the English lawyers. We shared opinions on the development of international law and its enforcement in different jurisdictions. Presentations of Svetlana Yachevskaya and Vladimir Khvaley were especially memorable.
Regulatory Affairs Director, Enel OGK-5
It was a proper dialogue of interested parties – not just a set of pre-prepared speeches
Show full quote
The convergence of approaches in the sphere of economic relations regulation will never cease to be relevant for the involved specialists – it is an endless topic because the complete uniformity in this area is unfortunately just impossible.
It is not less important for participants and regulators recognizing each other limitations to understand clearly each other needs and expectations. The dialogue which took part at the Forum (and it was a proper dialogue of interested parties – not just a set of pre-prepared speeches) is a good example of the "empathic listening" of business, government and other parties of this complex process.
QC, Barrister, Brick Court Chambers, UK
It was very good therefore, to see Lincoln’s Inn returning to its roots, and providing, thanks to the Ministry, a magnificent setting for really good comparative legal exchange and education
Show full quote
For the first time, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation exported its highly successful St. Petersburg International Legal Forum abroad. This was part of the Ministry’s drive to make the St. Petersburg Forum a truly international and cutting edge platform for development of law, and particularly for development of new solutions from the best that different legal systems have to offer. It was very successful in that regard. There was first-rate participation by acknowledged experts, who gave real insight into the topics of regulation of Financial Centres and investment arbitration, and there was excellent attendance and involvement of Judges, legal professionals and business people with an interest in those areas.
This new venture by the Ministry also combined very well with the history and tradition of the venue. The Old Hall in Lincoln’s Inn was the Old Court of Chancery, where equity was invented. Lincoln’s Inn is one of the four remaining Inns of Court which were originally established to house barristers and to teach the law. These days teaching has largely moved to universities, but traditional law courses often miss the international comparative law which is so important to modern legal practice. It was very good therefore, to see Lincoln’s Inn returning to its roots, and providing, thanks to the Ministry, a magnificent setting for really good comparative legal exchange and education. The Ministry has done a great service to legal scholarship and development, and all of those who put this event together deserve to be congratulated on their achievement.
International Relations Manager, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
The session on challenges and opportunities for development of International Financial Centres was by far the most informative session on the subject that in my view was made possible by having it in London, which is a great advantage of the new travelling format of the Forum
Show full quote
Thank you for organising the guest Conference "St. Petersburg International Legal Forum in London" on 29 January 2013. It was a very useful initiative in connecting professionals in Russia and the UK. The key speakers provided excellent overview of the legal landscape and challenges in Russia. I found the session on challenges and opportunities for development of International Financial Centres perfectly well presented and moderated. My congratulations on securing such high level speakers who provided invaluable insights. It was by far the most informative session on the subject that in my view was made possible by having it in London, which is a great advantage of the new travelling format of the Forum. It was definitely contributing factor of success. Thank you!
Counsel, Patton Boggs LLP
The new traveling format allows greater number of international participants to attend the event
Show full quote
I would like to thank you for the opportunity of participating in this prestigious event. I think that the Forum was very well organized, and the panels were very instructive. In my opinion, the new traveling format allows greater number of international participants to attend the event.
I look forward to continue assisting at the Forum in the future. For example, I would be happy to make an outline of key topics on foreign investment and investment arbitration (such as state responsibility under international law, state attribution, and the procedural aspects of an investor-state arbitration).