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Andrey Mikonin gives to RBC a legal forecast for the year 2014

19 February 2014

This year the advocates in St. Petersburg are not expecting an increase in bankruptcy cases, even though the economic situation has become more difficult. Conversely, they are planning to get money on the “living creatures”: the most profitable will be the environmental disputes, real estate cases and the cases involving IP rights.

RBC wanted to ask the speakers of law firms as to which disputes should be paid attention to this year, who will be a major participant in arbitration proceedings and which area will be having problems.

One of the issues that will be pressing in 2014 will be challenging lease agreements of city property by private businesses. “This is due to the different interpretations that the St. Petersburg authorities and Federal Registration Service have as to Article 17.1 of the Federal Law on Protection of Competition” – explains Andrey Mikonin, partner and head of the litigation department at S&K Vertical. Due to the difficult economic situation this year it is not advisable to expect an increase in bankruptcy cases, advocates say that the crisis has not yet reached the level of arbitration. “Since the incubation period is in average more than a year - says A. Mikonin - this year one shouldn’t wait for an epidemic of bankruptcies. For example, the consequences of the crisis of years 2008-2009 are getting. massive manifestation in arbitration only today."

The most profitable cases, that is the cases with a high probability of recovery of legal fees and costs, according to the participants of the market are environmental disputes, real estate cases and the cases involving IP rights.

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 As the largest money-wise success in St. Petersburg arbitration last year lawyers unanimously call the claim initiated by LCC Ofset, in which it challenged an unlawful withdrawal of funds by Promsvyazbank. The decision in an amount of 126 million Rubles ordering the defendant to cover 11.1 million Rubles as the costs (ruling of the 13 Appellate Arbitration Court) became a precedent. Advocates of S&K Vertical represented the plaintiff. “This year we are hoping to develop this success given that there is a general tendency of an increase of the costs awarded by arbitration courts.” – notes A. Mikonin.

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