CD: How would you describe the current level of commercial disputes across Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)? To what extent have you seen an increase in this area?

Gritsenko: The level of disputes is hard to estimate, given that a large number will remain confidential when resolved by arbitration. The English courts continued to assert jurisdiction over defendants, including Russian defendants, which have personal ties with England, in cases such as Bestolov v. Povarenkin and Eng King v. Petrillo. As to the LCIA, a third of their cases are connected with Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), even if the parties may not have a Russian nationality but rather are nationals of the British Virgin Islands or Cyprus, among others. Russian and CIS parties are also very active in arbitrations before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Biriulin: Commercial disputes are often a way to solve commercial problems. The number of cases in Russia has been moderately growing from 2011 to reach more than 1,500,000 in 2016. The growing number may be explained by the fact that business has been growing in recent years, even though the growth rate of the economy is low. One of the problems is a shortage of money. Profits are used to finance turnover, so there is not much left to develop a business, hence many companies have to use credit. We believe the number of cases will remain approximately at the same level because the law is stable and no drastic changes are expected. Commercial disputes are examined for the most part by commercial courts. Common courts in Russia are the proper venue for a limited number of cases where physical persons are involved. These may be owners of copyrights or patents.

Apr-Jun 2018 issue

Bryan Cave

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Gorodissky & Partners

Grant Thornton