Category Archives: M & S Updates

Bruce S. Marks and the firm have been engaged to represent the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign

Bruce S. Marks and the firm have been engaged to represent the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign, Inc. in litigation filed in Pennsylvania federal court by the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee.   Their relationship dates to 1994, when Donald Trump attended an event for Bruce’s reelection campaign to the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Filed opposition to Plaintiff’s motion for TRO

Sur-reply of Defendant Donald J. Trump for President, INC. to Plaintiff’s Motion for Temporary Restraining Order And Preliminary Injunction

Thomas Sullivan acted as moderator ABA’s Eighth Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIC’s-Related Business Disputes

September 30, 2016

ABA’s Eighth Annual Conference on the Resolution of CIS-Related Business Disputes was held at the Raddison Royal Hotel in Moscow. The conference was attended by representatives of more than one hundred law firms from Europe, Asia and America.

Thomas Sullivan acted as moderator of the fifth session on International Judicial assistance. The panel addressed practical workarounds for navigating potential traps that can arise in connection with both inbound and out-bound service of process and requests for international judicial assistance in matters involving Russian parties.

Event’s brochure

Significant Changes to the Russian Arbitration System is to Take Effect on September 1, 2016

Major changes to the domestic and international arbitration in Russia will come in effect on September 1, 2016. The changes were introduced by Federal Law No. 382-FZ “On Arbitration in the Russian Federation,” and Federal Law No. 409-FZ “On Amending Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation and Considering Paragraph 3 Part 1 Article 6 of the Federal Law ‘On Self-Regulating Organizations’ as Having Lost Its Force Due to the Adoption of the Federal Law ‘On Arbitration in the Russian Federation’”.

The arbitration reform extends this list of disputes subject to jurisdiction of international commercial arbitration to include disputes where a substantial part of the obligations arising from the relationships between the parties is to be performed abroad, or where the subject matter of the dispute is most closely connected with a foreign state. It also extends the scope of disputes pertaining to international investment, which may be made subject to the international commercial arbitration.

The reform implements new rules for administration of arbitration process. Permanent arbitration institutions may only be created under the auspices of non-commercial organizations and are required to obtain a license from the Russian Government. A number of restrictions placed on Ad hoc arbitrations, including limitation on jurisdiction of ad hoc panels to hear corporate disputes and inability to gain assistance from the Russian courts in collecting evidence.

The new law aims to resolve unclarities as to which corporate disputes can be subject to arbitration. It also provides that arbitration agreements can be part of the Russian company’s charter binding on all shareholders.

Some provisions of the laws will be taking effect after September 1, 2016.

For more information please contact Maria Grechishkina ( at (215) 569-8901.

Marks & Sokolov obtained dissolution of a restraining order and dismissal of a compliant based on “internal affairs” doctrine

What the case involved: Plaintiffs, shareholders in a BVI holding company, brought an action over a purported $58.5 million investment in the BVI company’s main asset – an Ohio steel company. Plaintiffs initially obtained a temporary restraining order from an Ohio court, enjoining the sale of the steel company.

Process and Result: Marks & Sokolov attorneys successfully obtained dismissal of plaintiffs’ claim for inspection of books and accounting of the BVI company defendant under the internal affairs doctrine.  The court found BVI law governs the defendant’s internal affairs and it lacked jurisdiction to interfere in those affairs.  The court determined plaintiff’s claims for conspiracy fraud and theft and $58.5 million unjust enrichment claim were derivative and could not be brought without BVI court approval, as required by BVI law.  The court dismissed for forum non conveniens  because the BVI is an adequate forum, no sources of proof or witnesses were located in Ohio and difficult questions of BVI law were at issue.  In addition, the court dismissed because the foreign corporation plaintiff lacked standing since it was not licensed to do business in Ohio.   Preliminary injunctive relief was accordingly dissolved.

Banks and Insurance Companies Will Identify Foreign Clients

New reporting requirements to organizations involved in providing banking, financing and insurance service have been implemented. The requirement concerns monetary and other transactions involving property.

The organizations are required to collect information on foreign clients, including: registration numbers, main place of business, and information on beneficiaries and founders. The requirements will extend to аll foreign unincorporated entities, such as trusts and funds.

Federal Law dated December 30, 2015 N 424-ФЗ

Entered into force on January 10, 2016 

Mass Media Outlets Which Failed to Report Foreign Financing will be Subject to Fine

Pursuant to the changes in the law “On Mass Media”, mass media outlets have to report foreign financing to the Russian government (RosComnadzor -Russian Committee on Supervision). Failure to provide the report entails penalty in the amount of double the amount of the financing received.

(A year ago a federal law restricted a possibility of  foreign ownership in a Russian media to 20 per cent. The requirement came in effect as of January 1, 2016. The media owners have until Feb. 1, 2017 to comply with the new requirements by making the necessary structural changes).

 Federal Law dated December 30, 2015 N 464-ФЗ

The changes came into force on January 10, 2016

Quota for Foreign Participation in Banking Organizations Limited to 50%

The Bank of Russia will decline to register and issue license to credit organizations when participation of the foreign capital in its charter capital exceeds 50%. As provided for in the law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation” (Bank of Russia)”, the regulator can impose additional requirements to credit organization with foreign investments as far as the reporting, the protocol for confirmation of nomination of the executives and the list of the permitted banking transactions.

Federal Law dated 12.2015 N 372-ФЗ

Came into force December 26, 2015

Bruce Marks elaborates on the Hague court ruling in Yukos case and international law implications in an interview to Radio Svoboda

Radio Svoboda, July 7, 2015. Bruce Marks, the founder and managing director of Marks & Sokolov, LLC, elaborates on the Hague court ruling in Yukos case and international law implications in an interview to Radio Svoboda.

Bruce Marks is an expert on commercial legal matters between the West and the former Soviet Union.