Lyubov Duyko’s interview to the «Delovoy Peterburg»
S&K Vertical Partner Lyubov Duyko became the Attorney of the Season (Summer 2014), getting into the top of professional rankings. In one of her recent cases, Lyubov managed to obtain a judgment for 15 million Rubles against the First Medical University for the malpractice incident during the childbirth that led to the death of the newly-born child.
Lyubov, what is your area of specialization at S&K Vertical?
— S&K Vertical specializes in complex litigation and corporate conflicts; I am the Chair of the Partner Board of the Firm and thus I handle a broad area of legal issues. But usually I represent private individuals in various matters that they are facing: personal belongings or investments, charity, taxation, citizenship, family law.
And the case that you have presented for the ranking – is it some kind of a VIP involved or it is an exception?
— This is an exception, a non-commercial project. One of my friends introduced me and Irina Razina to each other, right after the baby had been born. Our deliberation as to whether to pick up the case lasted quite long. Then we decided finally to do it and the spent a long time for preparations. The child was still alive at that time and we were watching for Irina when she approached various doctors, and we were working on the paperwork that would reflect all the events. We analyzed her physical state and the state of the child. We waited until the insurance company completed its investigation. We gathered all necessary documents. We talked with various professionals in order to find the best place and the best expert that we could have the expert investigation carried out, that we could rely upon. And we realized that could not do it in St. Petersburg, since all doctors here are closely connected to each other and have a strong corporate solidarity. No one wanted to give an expert opinion against his or her own colleagues. And thus we understood that it would be better to obtain the expert opinion in Moscow.
We had no doubt whatsoever that we were right. If she had left the child on the third day to start all over again with her own matters, it would have been an absolutely different story. But Irina did not do it. For two years he has maintained a hospital ward in her room. She had to quit her job and devoted all of herself to the baby. And the baby was like a plant: he could not swallow and laid all the time in a special armchair. And he was dying, slowly.
At that time, she could not do litigation. And soon after the baby passed away, she approached us and said: I am ready to go to court. People in such a grief usually give up. But this time we have managed to convince her.
And we applied with a motion to appoint and expert investigation in Moscow. The court agreed and the expert procedures lasted long and then confirmed everything: that from the beginning the doctors chose a wrong tactic leading to those awful consequences.
How many of those social projects do you have?
— They are rare but there are some. For example, we handled a complicated dispute between Anna Astanina and her husband, the banker Vadim Levin. We represented Ms. Astanina and made it that she could have meetings with her children until they left for England to study. And right now we are providing legal assistance to Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s international cinema project called “Dau”. The footage for the project was shot in various countries, mainly in Ukraine. We also provide consultancy to the Stanislavsky Electrotheatre, which promises to become one of the greatest cultural projects in Moscow. Ulyana Lopatkina is my long-time client, in respect of her property issues, advertisement and personal projects. Andrey Meylunas, the historian who wrote books on the Romanov family and the one who has returned the Rotschild family archives, has also entrusted us with his matters. We also handle some cases for Alexander Kenzhakov. And besides that we provide assistance in deals with art objects between major collectors on a regular basis.
And how did you end up in the the All-Russian Society of Environmental Protection?
— It happened in 2012. This organization, with its glorious history of 90 years, had then more than 50 regional offices, the assets and special status and also a harsh struggle for power. In a sense, a narrow group of people appropriated all important positions in the Society notwithstanding the will of the most of the members. Then the other group has asked S&K Vertical for help. We managed to stop the conflict and ensure that the new fair elections be carried out. As result, the post of the Chairman of the ASEP has passed to Konstantin Tsybko, the member of the Federation Council. And I stayed in the ASEP, because environmental issues have always been interesting to me personally. And then I was elected in the Presidium, and now I am the deputy Chairman of the ASEP for legal matters.
So, even though S&K Vertical parted with Ilim Group to leave this client to Pen&Paper, you now have your “own” senator too?
— (laughing) I think it is not due to Ilim Group that Kostya Dobrynin (Pen&Paper founder, currently the senator representing Arkhangelsk Region. – ed.) became the senator, but rather due to his own talents. He became a remarkable politician.
Lyubov Duyko (born 1976 in Leningrad)
? Degree in Law, Law Faculty of St. Petersburg State University, 1998
? 1999: admitted to practice as an advocate, founded Advocate Office No. 69
? 2004: co-founded Law Firm “Green Corridor”
? 2009: co-founded S&K Vertical. Practice: strategy development, advocate assistance, GR, PR.
? 2013: appointed in the Presidium of public organization "Russian Society of Environmental Protection"
S&K Vertical Law Offices
? Founded in 2009 by the group of partners originally from the anti-raider firm “Green Corridor”. Senior partner – Konstantin Krutilnikov.
? More than 1.5 thousand cases won, including those in the Higher Arbitration Court and the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation.
? The assets protected by the firm in the corporate conflicts worth $ 6 billion. / Source: company’s data
Irina Razina v. “The First Med”
? On 21 November 2012 Irina Razina represented by Lyubov Duyko, submitted a lawsuit to Primorsky District Court of St. Petersburg against State Educational Institution “The First St. Petersburg State Medical University named after academic I.P. Pavlov” seeking compensation of physical and moral damage in an amount of 15 million Rubles. According to the lawsuit, as a result of the medical malpractice of the Institution she gave birth to a child with an non-curable damage of brain, who lasted 2 years in a critical state and died..
? The conclusions of two expert examinations (under the auspices of Rosgosstrakh Insurance Company and Russian Health Agency) confirmed that the doctors had chosen a wrong tactic that caused the tragedy. For a more objective assessment an additional expert examination has been appointed in the Russian Health Ministry and it established a causal link between the actions of doctors and the fatal outcome.
? On 20 June 2014 the court granted the relief in the full amount of the compensation as sought, thereby considering the moral and physical sufferings of the plaintiff as proven and adequately corresponding to the sum sought.