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Our Cases

Mediation and termination of criminal prosecutions

Ongoing legal support was offered to a major energy holding company as part of pre-investigative inspections and the investigation of criminal cases initiated in connection with insolvency. This was caused by the unforeseeable termination of finance and the withdrawal of further investment by the principal customer.

At this stage the defence successfully terminated the criminal cases which had been instigated against the client on suspicion of failing to disclose the funds of an organisation from which taxes were recoverable.  

Under current practice, cases of this kind are terminated only if the damage incurred is fully compensated, with funds transferred to the treasury equal to five times the value of the damage caused.

However, the defence’s strategy, i.e. timely collation and consolidation of evidence during the investigation by the legal team meant that the criminal case was dropped after an amicable settlement between the parties with compensation in the amount only of the arrears, without applying the additional five-fold sanction. The legality and justification of the decision was corroborated by the conclusion of the St. Petersburg Prosecutor’s Office.

Support for the acquisition of the largest underwear retailer in Russia and Ukraine

Our client acquired a retail chain with 300 stores under insolvency proceedings.

During the project, our team of lawyers provided support with the conclusion of deals for the client’s acquisition of assets and the development of a new business model. We also helped create a corporate structure for a new holding company, optimising it to suit the client, and protected the client’s interests in the court proceedings involving the bankrupt retail chain.

Protecting the interests of the majority of shareholders in the Lenta retail chain in a corporate dispute involving VTB and TPG Capital

In this particular case, our client’s opposition to other shareholders in the Lenta retail chain to the candidate for the position of CEO escalated into a corporate dispute, covering a number of jurisdictions.

Our team of lawyers coordinated the legal team’s work to enhance the effect of investigating foreign disputes (BVI, UK) for judicial proceedings in Russia, and it also represented the client’s interests in all proceedings in Russia, with the dispute concluding with one of the largest M&A deals in the Russian retail sector.

Securing a client’s interests in the acquisition of major assets

The rights of a seller to a major commercial property in the centre of St. Petersburg were contested by a government agency.

Thanks to the creation of a complex structure of warranty obligations which were assumed by the counterparty to the transaction, the government agency withdrew its appeal against the judicial acts recognising the seller’s right of title over the site, and the client was able to exercise its associated rights.

Acquittal of wrongfully accused

We successfully defended the former chief physician of a clinical hospital during the pre-investigative and judicial investigation stage.

Our client stood accused by the Main Russian Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for St. Petersburg, under Part 1, Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code, of abusing his position during an open tender.

The Primorsky District Court of St. Petersburg acquitted the accused. According to statistics, the Russian courts grant acquittals in just 0,7% of all cases investigated.

Mediation and termination of criminal prosecutions

Thanks to the organisation of a skilful defence, a criminal case was dropped after being brought by the Russian Investigative Committee based on corpus delicti, as stipulated under Part 2, Article 143 of the Russian Criminal Code (violation of occupational health and safety requirements) following the death of an employee at the company in question.

In the course of the investigation led by the legal team, it was possible to prove that twelve of the client’s employees were not involved in the accident. Furthermore, an expert opinion was obtained as a direct result of our advocates employing an industrial safety specialist. This opinion determined that the equipment behind the accident had been subject to natural wear and tear, and that there was no causal relationship between the actions of the company’s employees and the hazardous consequences. The Primorsky District Court of St. Petersburg acquitted the accused.

Construction of an add-on for the corporate structure of an online retailer

As part of project implementation, Pen & Paper lawyers supplemented their client’s corporate structure covering several jurisdictions, and offered civil-law instruments to enable a new kind of interaction for the various elements of the proposed structure, the aim being to minimise criminal, administrative and civil legal risks for the client’s management.

Protecting a client’s interests in a corporate dispute in a well-known retail chain in Russia

A breach of obligations by the client’s counterparties in an M&A deal led to a significant violation of its property rights.

The opposition also initiated a number of court proceedings not connected with the deal in an attempt to force the client to withdraw the proceedings. The team of lawyers devised a comprehensive strategy for the judicial protection of the client’s interests, encompassing all instigated and potential judicial proceedings.

Protecting the interests of one of St. Petersburg’s oldest trading companies during the contestation of property

In this dispute, our firm helped the client to preserve its lease rights over a retail property covering over 70,000 square metres in the very centre of St. Petersburg. The lease hold had been concluded over ten years ago at a favourable rent.

Acquittal of wrongfully accused

Our lawyers have a portfolio of successful criminal cases under the pro bono project: one such criminal case was against the minor N. Leontiev, accused of robbery (under Article 161 of the Russian Criminal Code).

 The teenager was detained by police officers under suspicion of robbery. During his questioning at the police station, Leontiev sustained multiple injuries as a result of which lost consciousness and died.

The lawyers represented the teenager’s mother in the preliminary and judicial investigations. N. Leontiev was acquitted of involvement in the crime.

The victim’s lawyers initiated a second criminal case simultaneously, this time against the police officers involved in the detention and murder of N. Leontiev. The case was instigated under corpus delicti, as stipulated under Part 4, Article 111 of the Russian Criminal Code (malicious, grievous bodily harm leading to the death of the victim through negligence). The case culminated in the sentencing of the police officers to6.5 and 9 years’ imprisonment, with RUB 2,500,000 paid in moral damages.

Release from custody

Following an investigation by our legal team, our lawyers secured during the appeal court hearing bail instead of detention in custody for the chairman of the board of directors of one of the city’s principal employers. The chairman was accused of a number of economic crimes.

Even though the accused refused to plead guilty or give testimony, including testimony that would incriminate other people (upon which the prosecution insisted), the court reviewed the defence’s position and, contrary to the opinion of the Prosecutor’s Office and the investigator, altered the means of restraint.

In 2013, the courts in Russia changed the means of detention from arrest to release on bail in just 0,2% of all cases. Furthermore, an expert opinion was obtained as a direct result of our advocates employing an industrial safety specialist. This opinion ruled that the equipment behind the accident had been subject to natural wear and tear, and that there was no causal relationship between the actions of the company’s employees and the hazardous consequences.

Support for an M&A deal with a complex procedure for the investor to replace a client

Our client reached an agreement with its partners on its withdrawal from the business. However, without other sources of revenue the deal could go ahead only if an investor was brought in to replace the client gradually. The deal was further complicated by the business being dependent on the client’s competences.

The team of lawyers at Pen & Paper therefore established a procedure for the client’s gradual departure from the business, while also ensuring that the client would receive the due payment.

Representation of a client in a dispute with energy industry entities

In this case, our client’s counterparties had been incorrectly calculating payment for supplied energy over a considerable period.

They had been concealing the actual circumstances, which had a serious impact on the amount of payment. The dispute was further complicated by the fact that fundamental evidence was in the hands of the opposition. Our lawyers established a procedural position in the dispute whereby the opposing party’s refusal to disclose the relevant evidence was interpreted as its admission of the corresponding circumstances.

Acquittal of wrongfully accused

We successfully defended the former chief physician of a clinical hospital during the pre-investigative and judicial investigation stage. Our client stood accused by the Main Russian Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee for St. Petersburg, under Part 1, Article 286 of the Russian Criminal Code, of abusing his position during an open tender.

The Primorsky District Court of St. Petersburg acquitted the accused. According to statistics, the Russian courts grant acquittals in just 0,7% of all cases investigated.

Representation of a client in a dispute with a structural unit of the Russian Ministry of Healthcare

Our client did not receive payment for supplying medicine.

The opposing party attempted to prove in court that the medicine was of a substandard quality and sought to establish this fact through an out-of-court procedure intended to remove the medicine from circulation, having failed to pass the mandatory control and certification procedures. The team of lawyers at Pen & Paper represented the client in lawsuits, seeking to recover contractual payments and eventually achieving reconciling of the parties.

Acquittal of wrongfully accused

Our lawyers have a portfolio of successful criminal cases under the pro bono project: one such criminal case was against the minor N. Leontiev, accused of robbery (under Article 161 of the Russian Criminal Code). The teenager was detained by police officers under suspicion of robbery. During his questioning at the police station, Leontiev sustained multiple injuries as a result of which lost consciousness and died.

The lawyers represented the teenager’s mother in the preliminary and judicial investigations. N. Leontiev was acquitted of involvement in the crime.

The victim’s lawyers initiated a second criminal case simultaneously, this time against the police officers involved in the detention and unlawful killing of N. Leontiev. The case was instigated under corpus delicti, as stipulated under Part 4, Article 111 of the Russian Criminal Code (malicious, grievous bodily harm leading to the death of the victim through negligence). The case culminated in the sentencing of the police officers to 6,5 and 9 years’ imprisonment, with RUB 2,500,000 paid in damages for moral harm.

Representation of a foreign company in a dispute on recovery of USD 146 million

The opposing side filed applications in over 10 regions in Russia, seeking to enforce an arbitration ruling of the London Court of International Arbitration under which USD 146 million was sought from the client.

Our lawyers at Pen & Paper established a procedural strategy to counter all initiated judicial disputes, resulting with the ruling being dropped in all the regions in question.

Protecting a foreign company’s interests in a corporate dispute in a Russian company

In this case, our client had lost corporate control over a company which owned extremely valuable property in central Moscow.

The loss of this asset involved the falsification of documents and was followed by further unlawful corporate actions. Pen & Paper implemented a corporate rights instrument in order  to protect the client’s corporate rights, thereby rendering ineffective the efforts of the opposing side. It also incorporated lawsuits into the strategy, which, rather than being linked with the restoration of these rights, posed significant risks for the opposing side.