The USRBC, in cooperation with the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center, hosted a special legal discussion on Russian State Corporations: What Investors Need to Know to Reduce Risk
with Igor Novikov
, Fellow at the International Law Institute, and William Pomeranz
, Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute. As the role of the state as investor and management in major Russian companies grows, the legal structure governing state corporations creates serious uncertainties for non-state investors in those companies. Terminology and definitions are ambiguous, and the rights and obligations of state shareholders and non-state shareholders are not well-developed. For foreign investors and contracting parties, these uncertainties create significant risks that cannot be easily reduced even with careful drafting of agreements.
Igor Novikov gave an overview of the current state of the law and described the confusing and sometimes even contradictory structure and resulting practical problems. William Pomeranz described the historical and cultural context for state corporations and the state's participation in the Russian economy. The discussion was moderated by Randy Bregman
, Senior Counsel at Dentons. Igor Novikov
is a Fellow at the International Law Institute in Washington, DC. He has extensive experience corporate legislation, maritime law, construction, and immovable property issues in both Russia and Kazakhstan. He founded his own firm, Novikov & Advisers LLP, in 2004 after 10 years with Baker & McKenzie in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He was previously a Criminal Attorney in the Office of the General Prosecutor. William Pomeranz
is the Deputy Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. In addition, he teaches Russian law at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and heads up the Kennan Institute’s rule of law program. Prior to joining the Kennan Institute, he practiced international law in the United States and Moscow, advising clients on investment in the Russian Federation as well as on U.S. anti-money laundering laws, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), U.S. export controls, and homeland security.