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Time for Active Thought

Alexander Rassudov, Managing Partner of Rightmark Group legal firm, Chairman of Board of Directors of Leader Group speculates about two extremes of the Russian legal system. 
The current year will be a fruitful period for active legal thought and its adaptation to the new reality. This conclusion is based on three catalyst factors : changes in the national economy, abolition of the Supreme Arbitration Court of the Russian Federation and changes in regulation of property relations.

Last year’s collapse of the national currency and ongoing difficulties related to availability of finance, e.g. in development sphere, led not only to indecently low prices of land sale bids denominated in USD and EUR, but also the need for total updating of the settlement method ‘space in projects under construction in exchange for land’. Changes in capital intensity and duration of construction of residential and social/business projects necessitates the adjustment of established social and utility infrastructure development models, developer credit facilities for co-investors.

Effective resolution of such matters is only possible, if a lawyer understands at least the basics of financial management and marketing. Just a few days ago I made sure of it, when we, jointly with the financial director, had to recalculate, and jointly with the sales director had to rewrite the concept of two residential complexes to be brought on the market, due to external factors. Only the symbiosis of arithmetic, knowledge of the market and flexibility of the domestic law made it possible to quickly develop a financial and legal model for substitution of expensive credit resources and transform concepts of the earlier declared projects.

It was not so long ago that everyone looked forward to regular novelties of the Supreme Arbitration Court (hereinafter referred to as the SAC of the Russian Federation) that clearly and categorically explained, when and how any given legal provision should be applied. Naturally it did not always go smoothly. For example, in a dispute related to bankruptcy procedure the first- and second-instance courts dismissed all our arguments by reference to the materially obsolete case law of the SAC of the Russian Federation.

However, by the time when a case was considered by the cassation court the case law of the SAC of the Russian Federation changed drastically with due regard for our arguments. This resulted in reversal of the court rulings given earlier and satisfaction of out claims.

Now we have to face another extreme, when the case law developed by the SAC of the Russian Federation is not taken into consideration in dispute resolution solely due to abolition thereof. Such negation of valuable judicial practice results in legal uncertainties and adversely affects the stability of commercial turnover.

Still, no matter how regrettable the abolished SAC of the Russian Federation may be, its liquidation and major updating of the legislation make it impossible to live according to standards and practices of the past, and also promote creative approach of lawyers to the law enforcement.

To sum up, legal community will live this year under a wonderful motto: ‘To fight and to search, to find and to hold on’. Only such an attitude will make it possible to maintain the returns and expand a market share.

Source: Delovoy Petersburg newspaper No.38 (4230), page 16