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KIAP's IP team, working pro bono, has helped the SUNFLOWER charity register its logo as a trademark in Russia's Rospatent office, giving the  foundation exclusive ownership of the trademark under Russian law.

Foreign sanctions are forcing international companies to carefully evaluate their contractual relationships with Russian counterparties. In this respect Russian competition law provides obstacles that may be difficult to over-come.

The news that many of the legal markets in CEE impose stricter rules on law firm advertising and marketing than many of their Western counterparts comes as no surprise. Still, to explore this concept just a bit, for this issue, we asked law firm marketing and BD experts around CEE: “What, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between law firm marketing in your market and law firm marketing in London or New York?

White & Case has advised SIBUR, a leading Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, on the tender offer related to the USD 500 million, 4.125% Guaranteed Notes due 2023 issued by SIBUR Securities DAC and unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed by PJSC SIBUR Holding.

German lawyer Thomas Mundry has been living and working in Russia since 1994. He advises both Western and Russian clients on investment, financing, and other projects in the Russian Federation. His sphere of activity covers a wide range of industries, including automotive manufacturing and supply industry, oil and gas, chemicals, engineering, retail, food and consumer goods, the fashion industry, and IT.

The Deal: In September 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Moscow offices of Clifford Chance and CMS had advised on USD 850 million pre-export financing provided by 11 international banks for Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash producers. On July 27, 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that the two firms had advised on another Uralkali financing, this time involving a USD 825 million facility provided by 14 Russian and international banks.We reached out to both firms for more information about this most recent deal.

During the last decade, customary business processes have been disrupted by new financial technologies such as blockchain, cryptocurrencies, blockchain tokens, and smart contracts. The appropriate regulation is on its way in Russia, as Russian regulators have recently shifted their focus from imposing a ban on cryptocurrencies to looking for ways to regulate the new relationships. As a result of prolonged discussion about the legal nature of tokens and cryptocurrencies, the authorities have come up with two bills designed to set a cornerstone for Russian regulation of the digital economy.

In June of this year Russia adopted a law giving the Russian President broad authorization to retaliate for foreign sanctions. The Russian parliament is also currently considering a bill that would criminalize compliance with U.S. and other foreign sanctions against Russian parties. While the practical impact of the additional authorization for the President is unclear, criminalization of compliance with foreign sanctions may have serious negative repercussions for U.S. and European businesses operating in Russia or having other Russian exposure.

Throughout my career, the only predictable feature of the Russian market has been its unpredictability. Given what has happened in Russia in the first months of 2018, it would appear that foretelling the future is not about to get any easier.

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