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Russian Business Law – Compendium IV

Without a doubt, the past year has been exceptionally challenging for international corporations doing business in Russia and for major Russian companies doing business abroad or with foreign partners inside Russia. Not unexpectedly, this Compendium IV contains a significant number of articles dealing with sanctions. From a purely legal perspective it is striking to see the impact that the sanctions, counter-sanctions and other restrictions on foreign investment have had on existing ventures, M&A transactions, financing, capital markets and so on. The situation has given rise to an entirely new world of legal issues that no one could have imagined two years ago. The legal challenges faced and experience gained over the past year cannot, however, compensate for the serious negative impact that the falling-out between Russia and the West (and since November also Turkey) has had on business. The Russian media sector is illustrative of this impact. The introduction of a 20% cap on foreign ownership of Russian media businesses, which was enacted in just one week in September 2014, has resulted in an exodus of international media groups from the Russian market. In the past six months we have worked on six transactions in the media sector, all related to disposals or the discontinuation of operations.

On the other hand, Russian government policies on import substitution and incentives for local manufacturers are now helping to facilitate extensive inbound investment into the localisation of production. First and foremost this can be seen in the healthcare sector, with numerous international pharmaceutical groups now localising production to avoid being blocked from participating in public procurement tenders. A similar trend is expected in the IT sector and for many industrial products.

Political events and the legal actions that followed have also overshadowed the fact that there have been significant legal reforms and positive developments that have generally improved the legal framework and increased predictability for international investors. The reform of Russia’s Civil Code continued to progress, and Russian land regulation was amended in many respects. Regulatory and compliance rules were introduced in the banking and capital markets sectors, and, last but not least, there were significant changes in Russian corporate law.

Editor: Torsten Syrbe

Authors: Tamer Amara, Alexander Anichkin, Vladimir Barbolin, Marc Bartholomy, Victoria Bortkevicha, Stewart Dunlop, Adam Fadian, George Kleinfeld, Rae Lindsay, Ella Omelchenko, Nicholas Rees, Evgeny Soloviev, Torsten Syrbe, Robert Trefny, Logan Wright, Deborah Zandstra.

Readership: Managers, businesspeople, in-house counsel, lawyers in private practice and students will, we hope, find this book to be especially useful.

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Related Tags

Russia, Regulatory developments, Hot topic: Sanctions, Deal structuring

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