In The Corner Office feature of CEE Legal Matters we ask Managing Partners at leading law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. In light of current events, the question for this online occurrence of the feature is: "What have been the top three most often asked COVID-19 related questions that you have gotten from clients in the last month?”
Lawyers in Baker McKenzie's Moscow office were part of the firm's multi-jurisdictional team advising arrangers and dealers Citi and J.P. Morgan and dealers Barclays, BofA Securities, and HSBC on the establishment of a USD 6.5 billion Global Medium Term Note program by VEON, a global provider of connectivity and Internet services.
As already mentioned in our previous news on this topic, due to COVID-19 the Russian State Duma adopted on 18 March 2020 Federal Law No. 50-FZ according to which Russian joint stock companies (JSC) can, based on the decision of the Board of Directors, conduct annual shareholders’ meetings in 2020 via absentee voting.
In the current situation, many Russian companies, especially those with foreign investment, have found they are unable to hold their annual meetings (“Annual Meetings”) in full compliance with applicable laws. This is due to both the recent tightening of formal requirements for corporate resolutions and new restrictions on movement, meetings and business operations in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
On March 19, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Linklaters had advised Sovcombank on its arrangement of a RUB 5.7 billion domestic green project bonds issued by an orphan special purpose vehicle, SFO RuSol 1 LLC. We spoke to Sergei Kaduk, Executive Director for Securitization and Project Finance at Sovcombank, about the Issuance.
Following Mr. Putin’s speech on 2 April 2020, measures promoting isolation such as nationwide non-working days and regional quarantine measures are being extended until end of April/beginning of May. This will also impact the activity of the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). It can be expected that at least the measures currently implemented by FAS will be extended. So far FAS has done the following in connection with the COVID-19 epidemics.