Criminal law defence of business
Handling a number of criminal casesInstructed 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 investigationWe 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.
Drafting internal guidelines in order to prevent cases of commercial briberyAdvised a major manufacturer of industrial goods as to company employees’ compliance with the requirements of Russian anti-bribery legislation in the commercial sector. We also drafted internal guidelines for relationships with contracting parties in order to prevent cases of commercial bribery.
Drafеing a legal opinion regarding the criminal law risksDrafted a legal opinion regarding the criminal law risks in relation to a creditor sending a complaint to law enforcement bodies concerning executives of the Client committing fraud by way of embezzling funds obtained under a loan agreement. After reviewing the facts of the case and the documents, we concluded that there was no risk of a criminal prosecution. Later, after a preliminary examination was conducted in respect of our client, the decision was taken not to open a criminal investigation into fraud. This was in line with our forecast.
Appealing to the state prosecutor’s office against searchesAppealing to the state prosecutor’s office against searches being conducted in the office of our client, a major logistics company. During such searches, financial and business documents of the company and computers were seized, while employees were given demands to appear to answer questions. As a result of the appeal, a response was received from the prosecutor’s office according to which it was established that police employees committed violations when they carried out the searches. The audits in relation to the company within the scope of the law “On searches and investigative activity” were terminated, the documents and computers were returned, and the employees were not interrogated.
Appealing a request to supply informationAppealing a request from a police authority addressed to a major international retailer asking the retailer to supply information and documents. After the Moscow City State Prosecutor’s Office had examined the arguments set out in our appeal, it addressed a demand to the Deputy Head of the City of Moscow Internal Affairs Division for the information request to be withdrawn because it was neither grounded nor substantiated.