Cases

Case of royalties which appeared not to be required for payment

Company A was a distributor of content bought from the copyright holder, being Japanese transnational company B. The Companies made a license agreement, whereby A had the right to sell the content, should make reports on sales and, based on the sales volume, pay royalties to B.


At some point, А had a substantial debt to В. В filed a claim with court, and A, in its turn, applied to us seeking to protect its interests.


During examination of the license agreement, it appeared that А can pay nothing to В. It appeared that the license agreement was, on the one hand, too general, and, on the other hand, complex and complicated, with a big number of appendices which should be executed, but they were not, and what is more – the agreement fails to state what B’s consideration should be. In fact, the companies had relations which referred to general prices set for distributors, but the parties did not sign an agreement on the amount of royalties.


Price is an essential term for a license agreement. If the price is not agreed, the agreement shall be deemed not executed. It turned out that A made payments upon oral agreements with reference to the published prices for dealers, but A have never signed such a price list and, instead, agreed orally and paid.



We filed a counterclaim seeking to declare the agreement void.


It is interesting to note that, usually in such situations when a debt is collected, the plaintiff’s party, as a rule, is sure that the debt will be collected and the pending hearings are just a formality, but, during the hearings of the case, the plaintiff’s confidence rapidly changed to surprise.


As a result, the court admitted that we are right and issued an order declaring the agreement void. Thus, our client should officially pay nothing to В.



The case finished with А and В sat down at the negotiation table and agreed on reduction of the amount of payment and on new cooperation terms.



«Старуха» у разбитого корыта

Супруги были в браке около семнадцати лет.

И так уж сложилось, что они решились развестись.

Еще в начале брака они подписали брачный договор, в котором было прописано, что у каждого из них будет личная (раздельная) собственность.

После развода супруга подумала, что раз теперь её больше никто содержать не будет, надо бы оспорить брачный договор и потребовать с мужа значительную часть имущества. Брачный договор мы успешно отстояли.

Но она не успокоилась, и через некоторое время подала иск о том, чтобы взыскать со своего бывшего супруга порядка пятнадцати миллионов рублей, которые он якобы снимал с ее счетов.

Но нам удалось доказать, что эти деньги принадлежали лично ему.




Но это не самое главное.

Нашему клиенту был неприятен сам факт, что его же деньги у него требуют вернуть и он подумал о том, чтобы проучить бывшую супругу и дать понять, что так делать нельзя.

И тогда мы предъявили встречный иск и попросили взыскать с нее порядка полутора миллиона долларов США. Именно во столько мы оценили половину стоимости зарубежной недвижимости, которая была куплена в браке в долевую собственность. И до того, как его бывшая супруга подала иск к супругу, он был не против, чтобы половиной владела супруга и не собирался у нее ничего забирать и просить оплатить половину. Но поскольку она решила взыскать с него пятнадцать миллионов рублей, он подумал, а почему это он будет дарить вот эту половину зарубежной недвижимости. Мы посчитали затраты на приобретение недвижимости и предъявили встречный иск с требованием у нее полтора миллиона долларов (половина затрат).


Суд разобрался в ситуации и увидел, что, действительно, квартиру покупали в долевую собственность, а платил только супруг. 

Суд встал на сторону бывшего супруга и решил взыскать с нее половину от цены покупки квартиры.


Дело осложнялось тем, что иск мы подавали во время пандемии, срок исковой давности заканчивался через три дня, два из которых выходные, и надо было найти нотариуса и переводчика и успеть перевести документы с иностранного языка.

Необходимо было срочно отправить документы, но из-за карантина почтовые отделения не работали, кроме двух круглосуточных в Москве.

Количество людей в очереди было огромным, мы простояли несколько часов, но нам удалось отправить документы за 20 минут до 00.00, то есть до истечения срока исковой давности.

Case of managing to preserve the house despite a preliminary sale agreement

Our client received a notice. It stated that he must sell his cottage in the near Moscow Region to a third party at a price 12 times lower than the actual price.


Upon consideration, it was found out that the owner’s old-aged father lived in the house. The father had a delegable power of attorney authorizing him to make payments for the house. The father appeared to be involved in a fraudulent scheme. As a result, he voluntarily signed a document based on which a preliminary sale agreement was drawn up thereafter, whereby the actual owner shall sell the property for a very low price.



Anastasia managed to prove the most difficult thing to court – that, by signing the documents, the client’s father did not intend to sell the cottage, and that all lawbreakers’ actions which led to signature of the documents are fraudulent. The house remained with the legal owner, and a criminal case was brought against the lawbreakers.


Everyone faces bankruptcy cases

During a case of declaring one of the banks bankrupt, the Deposit Insurance Agency filed an application for recovery of damages which, in particular, provided for a joint liability of the members of the board of directors of the bank in the amount of RUR 160 million.


The amount of stated claims is an aggregate amount of loans not repaid by the debtors. The members of the board of directors were blamed for approval of the bank credit committee’s decisions on granting such loans. We managed to satisfy the court that there is no cause and effect relationship between the actions of the members of the board of directors and the consequences in terms of the bank’s losses. The court dismissed the recovery of damages by the members of the board of directors.



The basis of the judicial act consists of the position from a statement of defense prepared by us that the members of the board of directors did not take any unlawful actions and that there is no cause and effect relationship between the losses and the approval of the bank board of directors’ decisions on granting such loans. The arguments that the disputed transactions were not major transactions for the bank, were not outside its business activities, and that the entering into such transactions did not depend on the decision of the members of the board of directors were examined in detain and presented.


Protection of persons engaged in R&D

The client carried out research and development (R&D) works in respect of a pharmaceutical product under a government contract. The contract provided for a necessity to engage additional financing. For this purpose, the client made an agreement with the plaintiff (joint stock company, or JSC), which was called by them as investment contact. The parties agreed in the contract that, in case of a positive result of R&D, the client in future will make an agreement with the plaintiff for the transfer of exclusive rights to production and sale of the pharmaceutical product. The Ministry of Health suspend registration of the pharmaceutical product due to reasons beyond the parties’ control. JSC applied to court seeking to terminate the investment contract, refund the financing and pay a penalty. Our task was to prove that it is R&D works which were financed and which were completed, but not the exclusive rights to sell the pharmaceutical product. The difficulty was that, as a result of the said suspension of registration of the pharmaceutical product, JSС received nothing. Absence of the defendant’s guilt should be proved and it was business risk of the plaintiff; and it was achieved in all three court instances.



A decision in the case has importance not only in the medical sector, but in any R&D sector, because it enables to protect the rights of the contractor to R&D works and, hence, facilitates performance of such works.


Corporate disputes and conflicts  a traditional way to apply to a lawyer-mediator

Struggle of shareholders for the post of general director is a typical case. One group tried to remove the other group’s director. The other group, on the contrary, represented the director’s interests and planned to retain him on his post. Anastasia defended the director’s side. To make matters worse, the board of directors consisted of equal number of each party’s representatives.

The party planning to shift the power hoped to ensure its overweight at the general meeting by challenging the transaction of purchase of shares by one of the shareholders, and make the director change thereafter.

Based on the specific character of the procedure of adoption of decisions by the board of directors, the lawyer managed, on lawful grounds, not to admit the holding of a meeting at which opponents intended to implement their plan. Proposals and the strategy implemented by the lawyers further went through all courts. The conflict lasted for several years. At some point, the director’s side managed to buy out shares from one of the shareholders previously supported the opponents. The director’s position strengthened significantly. However, the situation of a long-term corporate conflict was not the best background for the company development, that is why the director’s side decided to conduct itself with honor and buy out the opponents’ shares at the price considerably higher than the market one. Transaction was appointed, all conditions were agreed, approved, and agreements were aligned. But the opponents’ main representative failed to appear.

The strategy of ‘our’ party’s conduct was changed. We stopped proposing anything. Several months later opponents did start negotiations. In those new conditions the director’s side chose the strategy “take it or leave it” – they offered the price much less than that several months ago. Buying out took place.


Case of the most expensive flat in Russia with an area of 1.5 thou. square meters

The owner of the flat made a five-level reconstruction of its residential area. As a result, his neighbors and management company became deprived of an access to the roof, technical utilities and elevator machine room. The house became facing problems with ventilation and sewerage systems. Upon elevator breakdowns, liftmen (and dwellers trapped in the elevator) became the neighbor’s victims, because every time the dwellers had to find him and ask to enter the elevator machine room.

And, should the fire occur, the dwellers would have to jump out of the windows, because the emergency exit also was on the neighbor’s territory, and he just concreted it.

We took the dispute at a stage of a long-term conflict, having passed court instances. The owner of the most expensive flat in Russia had some approvals for replanning. However, they did not cover everything that actually was done, but, nevertheless, the neighbors and management company lost in all court instances.

Anastasia managed to persuade the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to abolish the orders of lower courts as unlawful and issued in absence of expert review of the performed works in order to identify their compliance with the obtained approvals. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation reflected the arguments of the cassational appeal in its ruling almost completely. The case is not completed yet, a repeated approval circle is going on. And most importantly, it is focused on the expert review which the defense party applied for.

Детали имеют значение

Против клиента подали иск об оспаривании его договора займа и заключенного несколько лет позже договора поручительства.

Иск подала компания-поручитель.


Договор был заключён достаточно давно и по нему накопилась миллиардная задолженность в пользу клиента.

И чтобы не отдавать эти деньги, которые уже были присуждены, заёмщик нашёл "ход конём" и пошёл оспаривать этот договор через третье лицо.




Как мы поступили и что мы сделали:


Во-первых, попросили назначить предварительное заседание.

Дело в том, что у нас процессуальный кодекс разрешает в рамках предварительного заседания рассмотреть вопрос о том, а не пропущен ли срок давности для предъявления иска, потому что если он пропущен - это основание для отказа в иске и не нужно тратить время и исследовать весь вопрос по существу. Т.е. не нужно начинать многомесячные споры, а можно остановиться на рассмотрении только этого вопроса.


Мало кто просит назначить предварительное заседание.


Мы изучили выписки из ЕГРЮЛ и показали суду все возникшие связи - кто учредил компании и кто ими владеет, через кого и в итоге доказали, что тот, кто заключал с нами договор займа больше, чем три года назад, является конечным бенефициаром истца.


В итоге суд увидел связь и рассмотрев наше заявление признал, что срок исковой давности действительно пропущен, истец действует не добросовестно и удовлетворил наше заявление, отказал им в иске.


Таким образом, в одно заседание можно выиграть дело просто тщательно подготовившись к нему.


P.S. анекдот о том, как папа-адвокат ругает сына, выигравшего дело, пять лет их кормившее, остается анекдотом. Идиотов все меньше, а информации больше. Клиент ценит профессионализм.


Dispute about a huge building (7 thousand square meters) in the center of Moscow

In the 90-s, entrepreneurially-inclined businessmen deceived the dwellers of the house facing the Kremlin. A commercial firm approached the housing cooperative and proposed the following: “Let us reconstruct your dilapidated buildings and garages, make good parking and, moreover, the plot area is enough to build a non-residential building: we will build it, share it and take it on lease together”. The cooperative agreed, obtained all necessary authorizations for reconstruction of dilapidated buildings on the land plot, all approvals. The firm engaged contractors and the construction started. Then the construction was completed, but the firm was reluctant to register it. It appeared that the firm did not planned to give anything to the cooperative and wanted to take it all. The cooperative was only needed to obtain all approvals. The firm secretly declared the simple partnership contract between the cooperative and the firm void. The cooperative did not know of court proceedings. The consequences of voidness were not defined and, thereafter, when the cooperative got at the truth of the matter, the period of limitation passed. Then endless court proceedings began and the cooperative lost all cases. The firm register its title to the construction-in-progress through the court. As a result, the members of the cooperative asked for lawyers’ assistance. We built the line of defense and managed recognition of the cooperative’s title to the building having provided valid evidence that, in fact, the parties had contractual relations. The contractor may only be eligible for consideration but not for gaining ownership of the building which he constructs at the customer’s task. The land plot was owned by the customer, that is by the cooperative. All approvals were obtained by the customer as well. Thus, the title to the results of work may only arise to the customer. Moreover, a new facility was created due to reconstruction of two dilapidated buildings (reconstruction by demolition). The old buildings belonged to the cooperative, so the title to the building constructed in their place may only initially arise to the cooperative.

In the end, the customer’s title to the building was recognized. The case passed all instances. Thereafter, when the firm understood that it will not obtain the title to the building, it applied to court seeking to be paid consideration of about RUR 1 billion as contractor for which it would absolutely be eligible upon fair and honest conduct. But that requirement counted against them. Anastasia applied and defended the position that the firm missed the period of limitation for collection of its consideration which could have been received within three years after completion of the construction works. The firm filed that claim very late (while it was litigating and was not losing hope to get the ownership of the building). As a result, the firm was left with nothing.