On February 7, 2013 Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) held a conference entitled “Protection of Business Reputation: Legal and PR Aspects”. The event was attended by over 200 guests, including many top managers and heads of legal and PR departments of large Russian and international companies.
During the event the leading legal and PR experts, as well as representatives of Russia's judiciary shared their experience and expertise related to the protection of business reputation and discussed the specifics of the Russian legislation, the specificity of and approaches to efficient protection of business reputation in court, remedies to problems related to establishing of the evidentiary basis, the existing case law as related to defamation cases, as well as the role of PR techniques in the protection of business reputation.
The event was opened by RSPP Managing Director for Corporate Relations and Legal Support Alexander Varvarin who made a point on the practical value of the issue under discussion for representatives of the business community.
Denis Arkhipov, Partner at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, spoke about what one shall be guided by when making a decision to file a claim in case of defamation, what alternative remedies to problems may be efficient in certain situations, and what steps shall be taken in case you have made up your mind to turn to the court. In his presentaion Denis Arkhipov gave a detailed account on a few key disputes related to the protection of business reputation.
The Russian Supreme Arbitration Court Judge Natalia V. Pavlova in her speech covered the existing problems related to the protection of business reputation in the case law and also touched upon the recent changes. Mrs. Pavlova particularly noted that business reputation has an economic value and a legal entity shall be compensated for non-material damage in defamation cases.
Alina Kudryavtseva, Senior Associate at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners, spoke about ways of organizing pre-trial activities so as to establish a sufficient evidence basis in order to further successfully manage the litigation. Alina underlined the importance of calling on legal experts at the initial stage of a conflict, “The court is not a panacea of all woes but in a number of cases it is the timely involvement of legal experts that ensures that your reputational risks shall be mitigated”.
Nana Gobeshia, the former head of legal department at Vedomosti newspaper, gave a detailed account of the main principles for operation of business media editorial staff in case of defamation charges. She noted that the journalists of leading business media have to structure their work in strict compliance with the regulations established, which shall virtually reduce to zero all cases of publishing false information or causing reputational damage through publishing false information due to a journalist’s fault.
The event concluded with a speech made by Alexey Ryabinkin, Managing Director of Mikhailov and Partners who viewed the whole situation with the eyes of a PR expert. Alexey shared his experience as related to the use of PR tools for the protection of business reputation and told about issues of vital importance in case the problem has to be solved by legal means.
The official program concluded with a Q&A session.