Russian and CIS markets couldn’t escape the painful consequences of the global downturn. Legal Business looks at how domestic and international law firms are redrawing the market and what a series of law reforms will mean for investors.
Telenor is a client of Russian fi rm Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners. Chair Dimitry Afanasiev believes this shareholder dispute has entered a phase where illegitimate acts sanctioned by Russian courts can affect Telenor’s shareholders and damage Russia’s reputation internationally. Referring to the Russian state’s public commitment to the anti-corruption agenda (see box, ‘Enemy number one’, page 134), Afanasiev says: ‘The outcome of this case will be a litmus test for the world to watch.’
Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners’ Afanasiev has the last word with this thought: ‘Many in Russia think this crisis is more psychological than economic in nature and that it will pass sooner rather than later. It remains to be seen whether this is a cavalier attitude of the Russian people, more accustomed to hardship and suffering than in the West, or whether this is reasonable optimism.’ As for the law firms best-placed to endure the crisis, ‘the best are the busiest,’ Afanasiev says.