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Successfully represented a client in a dispute worth USD 10.5 million in the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce

We represented a Client in the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in a dispute with a counterparty arising from a contract under Russian law for the supply of broiler hatching eggs. The dispute was over a debt of UDS 500,000, which our Client’s claim sought to recover. The counterparty issued a counterclaim seeking compensation of alleged losses of USD 10 million. The Client’s claim was upheld; the counterclaim was rejected. The direct involvement of Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers in the arbitration in Stockholm demonstrates our team’s wide capabilities. The project involved: drafting all the procedural documents, speaking English during the hearings, working with witnesses (preparing and interrogating the Client’s witnesses, cross-examining the counterparty’s witnesses), and working in close cooperation with our Client's Swedish lawyers engaged for the arbitral proceedings. The case was considered under Swedish arbitration legislation; aspects of English law were applied in the hearing to the concept of liquidated damages (i.e. those agreed in advance).

Representing a global sportswear producer in a dispute with a distributor

The practice’s lawyers provided legal support to a major global sportswear producer in a number of disputes in which it sought to recover debt from a distributor and regarding the termination of a distribution agreement. Within the framework of the project, our lawyers successfully defended the client in the court of first instance in a dispute initiated by a distributor which was seeking to invalidate a distribution agreement. In addition, Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers have completed a litigation initiated by the issuer of a USD 400,000 promissory note to secure the distributor's performance of its obligations. The issuer was seeking to have the security transaction invalidated. Our lawyers also defended the client in three court cases against a bank to receive USD 3 million secured by a bank guarantee. This project is important from the standpoint of forming judicial practice relating to the enforcement of security for obligations in situations where the issuer of the promissory note has no obvious economic interest in the secured obligation, and when bank guarantees contain incorrect wording relating to the secured obligations.

Opening of a global brand's flagship store in Moscow

Our lawyers represented a French multinational group, the second biggest worldwide brand portfolio of luxury, sport & lifestyle divisions and retail brands, in a transaction to lease 2,000 sq. m. of retail premises in extremely close proximity to the Kremlin.Among the tasks our team had to accomplish was full transactional support , including for the subsequent renovation of the facilities before the store opened. 

Providing support during tax audits and drawing up objections allowing litigation to be avoided

Our lawyers successfully provided support during two field tax audits of a famous producer of confectionery. The objections drawn up by our lawyers and a discussion of them with the tax authority allowed litigation to be avoided. In the first case we managed to convince the tax authority that there was no justification for its conclusions that there was a reduced price for products sold for export. In the second case the objections were accepted with regard to conclusions that the taxpayer had overstated the expenses on payment for intra-group services from foreign companies of the group.

Integrated legal support to a large manufacturer of sports clothes and equipment

Our Antitrust Practice's lawyers provided integrated legal support to an international manufacturer of sports clothes and equipment in its day-to-day business operations. Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers reviewed agreements from the standpoint of competition legislation. We also analysed the client’s business model including its online sales model, and provided advice on Russian advertising legislation.

Advice touching on different sciences

The client, a producer of baked products, contacted us to ask whether it needed to obtain a licence to produce, store, and supply the food products containing alcohol that it produced. 

The client was adding spirit to its products. Such question arose owing to changes in the regulatory definition of products containing alcohol: the alcohol content in such products should exceed 0.5% (instead of 1.5%) of the volume of ready product. The calculation made by Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers showed that the new development does not apply to the client’s products.
Attention to detail

We were contacted by a supplier of foreign food products at the stage when Rospotrebnadzor was conducting an inspection at its warehouse. 

We analysed the documents provided to us and identified violations committed by the client. Rospotrebnadzor at the same time also identified these violations and drew up a protocol in relation to the client regarding an administrative offence. Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers managed to defend the Company in the Commercial Court: the court refused to impose administrative liability on the Company. The client had committed the offence, but, having identified that Rospotrebnadzor had committed material breaches when obtaining and documenting the evidence, we made use of this fact. For this reason, the court refused to hold the client administratively liable.
Initiatives against counterfeit products In association with a network of patent attorneys across the CIS, we are combating the production and sale of counterfeit products that are being distributed in violation of leading international food producers' rights, one such food producer holding the rights to more than 500 trademarks.
Dispute regarding improperly registered trademarks Successfully represented world famous FMCG and food producers against the parties who had improperly registered trademarks and demanded compensation for the alleged infringement of their rights.
Staff restructuring
Implemented an HR restructuring programme (developed HR restructuring strategy, provided legal support for downsizing personnel (over 150 people) and drafted a strategy for negotiations with the trade unions).
Staff optimising and restructuring Legal support was provided to several international FMCG producers throughout the process of terminating the employment of its staff owing to their business being restructured. We succeed in achieving the optimum acceptable outcome for terminating the employment contracts, avoiding reputational risk to the client.
An employee dismissal case Represented a Russian branch of  of the largest home appliances manufacturer in Europe in 2  legal proceedings connected with a regional sales manager being dismissed by reason of redundancy. The lawyers managed to prove in the court of appeal that the employer was right, even though there were a number of defects in its documents.  After the first legal proceedings were completed, the employee filed a new claim; however, we also succeeded here in defending the employer's position. Our support helped the client to complete the redundancy procedure and to finally terminate the relationship with the employee in conflict
Handling a number of criminal cases Instructed by a major international retailer and manufacturer of household goods with an extensive network of stores in Russia, we handled a number of criminal cases in which company employees were held liable for thefts of company property. The company regarded the fact that former employees were held liable as being a deterrent to those still employed within the company. All of the criminal cases went to court, with the guilty parties punished by imprisonment by virtue of article 73 (conditional conviction) of the Russian Criminal Code being applied. Civil lawsuits were upheld in full.
Providing support in the context of a preliminary investigation We devised a legal position and provided support in the context of a preliminary investigation conducted regarding executives of our client, a major food producing concern. The criminal case was brought in relation to the alleged carrying on of unlawful business activity by failing to have a licence when a licence was required. The preliminary investigation lasted for a year before a rare procedural decision was handed down: the head of the investigative body issued a resolution cancelling the investigator’s decision to bring criminal charges. This resolution actually acknowledged the fact that the criminal case was originally launched unlawfully and with no justification.
Legal support for a leading European food manufacturer since 1998 We have provided full-scale legal support for a leading European food manufacturer since 1998, including all issues related to due diligence and the acquisition of a Brownfield site in Moscow Region, reconstruction of the factory and further site development, privatisation of the land site, labour and employment matters, distribution and commercial matters, corporate matters, corporate acquisition in Bashkortostan, tax matters, etc.
Legal support for a leading European cosmetics manufacturer We have provided full-scale legal support for a leading European cosmetics manufacturer since 2001, including the construction of a brand new factory with a service centre, corporate matters, distribution and commercial matters; labour and employment; tax and currency matters, IP & advertising.
Full-scale legal support for a leading worldwide food manufacturer for over 14 years We have been providing full-scale legal support for a leading worldwide food manufacturer for over 14 years, ever since its decision to enter the Russian market, including construction, commissioning and day-to-day business support for six brand new plants in Moscow Region, Volga Region and Siberia including corporate matters, distribution and commercial matters; labour and employment; tax and currency matters; IP & advertising, etc.
Risks associated with producing goods from Chinese raw materials Further to instructions from a Russian light industry company, we analysed potential customs and currency risks associated with producing goods from Chinese raw materials in Ukraine on the give-and-take basis (i.e. goods were produced from the client’s raw materials). We also drafted an opinion regarding the criteria showing whether the goods produced in Ukraine have been sufficiently processed and whether this scheme allowed for the customs benefits to be applied when finished products are imported into Russia.
Hedging transactions On behalf of a major American manufacturer of skincare products we performed an integrated assessment of the model for current relationships under which it undertook hedging transactions. We advised on accounting and tax accounting for transactions hedging against currency risks.
Legal expert review of actions and decisions of administrative authorities Conducted a legal expert review of the actions of the regulator Rostekhnadzor relating to the outcome of an inspection it had conducted, and of the legal positions that a large manufacturing enterprise had drawn up. It was proposed that these positions be used during an appeal against unlawful actions on the part of Rostekhnadzor. Assessed the prospects of challenging in court and devised legal protection.
Conducted a legal expert review of the actions of the regulator Rostekhnadzor relating to the outcome of an inspection it had conducted, and of the legal positions that a large manufacturing enterprise had drawn up. It was proposed that these positions be used during an appeal against unlawful actions on the part of Rostekhnadzor. Assessed the prospects of challenging in court and devised legal protection.

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