Russia’s Judiciary Grabs New Powers

Some very surprising news reported in The Financial Times today which will have an impact on all foreigners doing business in Russia.

Russia’s Supreme Arbitration Court, which regulates commercial disputes, has annulled provisions in some contracts that previously protected foreign companies from being sued in Russian courts.

The move is seen by Moscow lawyers as a power grab – an attempt by “judicial protectionists” to defend the sovereignty of Russian courts from encroachment by foreign jurisdictions.

“It is basically saying that if you are going to have a corporate dispute then the dispute can only be in Russia,” says Andrei Goltsblat, managing partner of Goltsblat BLP, a Moscow law firm. “Some corporate disputes which take place outside of Russia may now not be enforced in Russia. This is meant to bring Russian business to Russian justice, instead of English or other jurisdictions.”