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St Petersburg gathering hailed as a major success

Hong Kong, 24 May 2019: Colin Cohen has hailed the St Petersburg International Legal Forum as one of the most important events in the law profession’s global calendar after attending last week’s gathering.

Around 5,000 delegates from more than 90 countries were present to hear a diverse range of legal topics debated in more than 100 different business events, including discussion panels, presentations, lectures, working breakfasts and lunches, and cocktail receptions.

“The organisation was impeccable, the list of attendees was impressive and the agenda was thoroughly relevant and engaging. Since it was first held in 2011, the Forum has emerged as a major international platform for discussion of a broad range of legal issues by lawyers, politicians, academics, economists and researchers,” said Mr Cohen, Senior Partner in Boase Cohen & Collins.

“‘Aside from the discussion sessions, it offered countless networking opportunities, both at the Forum venue and at the many satellite events organised around it. For a firm such as ourselves, with a significant amount of Russia-related work, it has become a must-attend conference.”

Amid a hectic schedule, Mr Cohen co-moderated an interactive discussion, “East-West: Russian Disputes Abroad – Key Trends”, which examined foreign lawyers’ experiences in handling arbitration and litigation matters involving Russian parties.

Highlight of the week was a plenary session entitled “The Art of Law” in which the speakers included Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile, and Neil Kaplan QC, founder of the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre.

Mr Medvedev told the audience: “Today, the hottest legal issues arise at the junction of law, technology, economy and art. Financial technologies, smart contracts, blockchain, big data and artificial intelligence are increasingly becoming part of business, and legal services are increasingly being automated and intellectualised. It is imperative to include universal basic approaches in legal regulation in order to provide a transparent, effective and safe environment for digital technology.”

The St Petersburg International Legal Forum took place in the city’s iconic General Staff Building, which forms part of the huge State Hermitage museum.


Colin Cohen listens to a point being made during a discussion on Russian disputes abroad while (below) Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev speaks at “The Art of Law” plenary session.