Meeting of the HSE Compliance Club on "Legal and Compliance Risks of Companies in the New Realities
On March 17 the Project and Training Laboratory of Anti-Corruption Policy together with its partner law firm "Pepeliaev Group" held a meeting of the Compliance Club of the National Research University Higher School of Economics on "Legal and compliance risks of companies in the new realities". Krylova Dina - the moderator of the Club, head of the HSE PULAP, Public Ombudsman for the Protection of Entrepreneurs' Rights in the field of anti-corruption, welcomed everyone and addressed the audience with opening remarks, noting the importance and relevance of this meeting in the current environment.
The Club participants were able to discuss the changes that have occurred in the country and their impact on business and the economy. Experts shared their forecasts on further development of the situation and gave invaluable advice to Club members on how to minimize the impact of sanctions.
Sergey Taut, expert of "Pepeliaev Group", lawyer and deputy head of PULAP, commented on the new sanctions against Russia and emphasized that they open up new opportunities for Russian business and told what they are. Sergey shared his advice on what should and should not be done in the current political situation, and, relying on the opinion of leading economists, told about the types of risks that may be faced by both individuals and legal entities.
Lidia Gorshkova, head of banking and finance practice at Pepeliaev Group, talked about what you need to know about sanctions in the banking sector. The speaker spoke about the strictest category of restrictions, which are called primary restrictions. Another category is sectoral sanctions, which imply a ban on transactions (Sberbank, Alfa Bank). Lydia spoke in detail about the Society for World Wide Interbank Financial Telecommunications and its disconnection in Russia. SWIFT is currently disconnected from some banks. In 80% of cases, it was used for settlements inside Russia. At the end of her speech, the speaker spoke about the sanctions that will affect legal entities and individuals: legal entities can transfer money in foreign currency to their foreign accounts, if they are related to the current activities of branches, and the amount of the transfer should not exceed the amount of funding for the previous year. As for individuals, they can only receive transfers in foreign currency to their foreign accounts from non-residents in the form of wages or rent payments. Lidia Gorshkova stressed that the situation in banking is complicated, but allows finding answers to any questions within the law.
Sergey Shorin, head of the Mergers, Acquisitions and Investments Group of the Pepeliaev Group, in his speech detailed the anti-Russian sanctions concerning financial and other spheres and listed the countries that imposed them. According to him, they affected individuals, banks, large companies, assets, investments, import and export of certain goods, import of banknotes and broadcasting of Russian state media outside the country. Sergey also mentioned Russia's counter-sanctions against other countries and ways to stabilize the current situation. At the end of his speech, the speaker answered questions about new draft laws that concern Russian companies with partners from countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia. According to Sergey, there is a possibility that companies will not suffer from this in any way, because the adoption of restrictive measures against them may lead to an even greater outflow of capital from the country.
Yulia Litovtseva, partner, head of bankruptcy and anti-crisis protection of business practice and lawyer, told about the relevance of anti-bankruptcy compliance in the situation of sanctions and countersanctions. In her speech, the speaker answered the question of why the suspension or termination of a company is fraught with bankruptcy. The audience learned how to distinguish deliberate bankruptcy from the inability to continue operations, and what the pitfalls of determining one from the other may be. Yulia also spoke about the bill "On the external administration of the management of the organization", which is about to come into force, and assessed it from the legal point of view. The grounds for the law were highlighted: the organization was left without management, stopped its activities, terminated the contracts, reduced more than a third of its employees, as well as committed other actions, which led to a decrease in property value and / or inability to fulfill the obligations of the organization. Options were considered to prevent the imposition of external management. Yulia reminded the audience of the importance of preventive measures for companies to prevent bankruptcy, as well as informing foreign businesses of the new legal aspects in Russia in a difficult economic period.During the discussion the audience asked a lot of questions on such relevant topics as the legitimacy of sanctions from the point of view of international law, what decisions managers of Russian divisions of companies from unfriendly countries should take to minimize risks, on the transfer of shares of foreign companies to Russian jurisdiction, the recognition of sanctions measures as force majeure and others. The experts noted that a lot of changes are taking place and it is more important than ever to "keep abreast of them".