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Mergers, fallout and Russia

Posted by: Laurence Simons 22/11/12

With all these mergers going on it's easy to assume that the formula reads as follows: big company turnover + small company turnover = bigger turnover + rapid ascent up the Global 100 rankings + wealth = success.

But it's a little more complex than that, as the Goltsblat BLP head of employment Nadezhda Ilyushina explained to the Moscow Times this month. Essentially: the fallout sees, among other things, a whole mess of employment law to deal with.

"[Over] the past ten years, Russian companies that are subdivisions of Western companies more and more frequently have been insisting on non-compete and non-solicitation provisions being included in employment contracts with Russian employees," says Ms Ilyushina. But Russian courts aren't yet adjusted for an influx of Western employment laws and clauses, which is resulting in a tangled mess of non-compete and non-solicitation provisions. Which could lead to a world where any provisions that lawyers do try to implement are rendered, well, useless.

What this impending mess does seem to signify though is that emerging markets can be a hotbed for legal specialists with local knowledge and employment law smarts, whether it's among legal firms fresh from an international merger or some oil giant flexing its muscles into Russian fields. If you fancy a move, don't just think a move abroad is for Fancy Dans on the partner track: specialisms are as valuable, if not more so, overseas.