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The Supreme Arbitrazh Court upheld lower court decisions in a case concerning the tax liability of a company which had treated licence fees that it paid for the use of trademarks under assignment agreements as a deductible expense. The court particularly examined the criterion of economic justifiability with which tax deductions must comply.

If a holder of uncertified shares is deprived of its rights to them by the unlawful actions of the share registrar, a number of actions may be brought, including a 'revendication' claim - a new development in this area of litigation. If such a claim is successful, should enforcement proceedings be brought against the registrar or the unlawful possessor of the shares?

Russia's currency regulations have been progressively liberalized in recent years, but some restrictions remain and may present a litigation risk to companies in international trade. There is conflicting court practice on the issue of repatriating currency from non-residents, but federal circuit arbitrazh court decisions suggest guidelines to minimize the likelihood of a fine.

Russian legislation allows a licensee company to make a tax deduction for royalties or licence fees paid to the licensor in exchange for IP rights, thereby reducing its tax base. However, the economic substance of such arrangements is under increasing scrutiny by the courts, which have also adopted new methods of appraising the market price for the use of IP rights.

There is an increasing tendency in Russia for the authorities to treat violations of tax law as crimes, rather than merely administrative offences. A recent resolution from the plenum of the Supreme Court clarifies the issue of criminal liability for tax evasion.

In a recent case the decision of a joint stock company's supervisory board was overturned because a court decided that the absence of two ‘retired’ board members meant that the voting quorum had not been achieved.

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