The Moscow Times Legal Forum

The Moscow Times brought together lawyers from Russian and international companies for its annual Legal Forum held on March 23. The theme was recent legislative initiatives in tax, corporate and anti-monopoly laws. European law firm CMS Russia served as general partner to the event and Russian law firms Pepeliaev Group and Yakovlev and Partners acted as partners. More than 130 lawyers and legal department directors of leading Russian and foreign companies attended the forum.

The first session was devoted to changes in corporate law. Snezhana Yakovleva, Advising Deputy on legal matters to the State Duma, spoke about proposed amendments to the Civil Code, which were recently sent to President Dmitry Medvedev for revision. Medvedev was particularly displeased with the requirement to increase the core capital for organizations of all forms of ownership. He said it threatens to eliminate many small businesses that simply cannot meet this requirement. The bill has been posted on the Internet and lawyers may submit their own comments. The business community hopes that legislators will take the experts’ opinions into consideration. CMS Russia partner Leonid Zubarev spoke about the practical aspects of overcoming risks connected with changes to the 2010 Civil Code.

The second session dealt with legislative changes to tax law. Yakovlev and Partners tax attorney Andrei Felyust and Salans partner and co-director of global tax practice Yevgeny Timofeyev gave presentations. They spoke about specific tax obligations when signing license agreements and ways to resolve tax issues between retailers and suppliers.

The second session also included a separate discussion of practical considerations regarding new changes to the labor law. CMS Russia partner Sergei Yuryev and Pepeliaev Group senior attorney Andrei Slepov gave talks on this issue.

The third session was devoted to anti-monopoly bills. Yakovlev and Partners leading anti-monopoly expert Yekaterina Leonenkova spoke about administrative proceedings related to anti-monopoly violations.