Criminal law defence of business

Criminal law defence of business

The broad horizons of our attorneys in Russian criminal law, allied with their extensive practical experience, allow them to successfully solve complex and non-standard problems when we represent and defend the shareholders, executives and employees of clients in the context of a criminal trial (avoiding or minimising any risk of criminal liability). 

Pepeliaev Group’s lawyers help clients in solving specific business tasks:

  • to prevent the destruction of a business as a result of criminal prosecution, in particular when investigative bodies have used prohibited methods of investigation, possible abusive practices, and illegal and excessive coercion;
  • to prevent competitors from using criminal procedure to gain access to the client’s confidential information;
  • to maintain a business-friendly environment among the staff members during state control and coercive procedures, to minimise the risks of panic among the staff caused by these procedures;
  • to prevent additional “extra-procedural” costs from growing owing to intimidation, threats and blackmail, which some malevolent officials use.

Legal support for criminal law and criminal procedure law issues

  • Assessing criminal law risks
  • Advising on criminal law and criminal procedure law issues
  • Devising the legal position in a case, defining the strategy and tactics of further steps
  • Defending the client’s interests before law enforcement authorities
  • Challenging the acts and omissions of law enforcement officers
  • Defending the interests of the client (its managers and employees) before courts of general jurisdiction 
  • Appealing against court decisions to higher courts
  • Reviewing and summarising the practice of applying criminal and criminal procedure legislation; participating in the development and discussion of legislative initiatives.


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.
Other projects