9 November 2011

Moscow - Business ethics and professional standards are high on the Russian business agenda at a time when the country is moving towards improved regulation of its legal profession. To address this increasingly important issue, DLA Piper and White & Case LLP are running a flagship pro-bono business ethics course for law students from throughout Russia from 9 to 12 November 2011. Thirty Russian law students - all winners of a recent essay contest on legal ethics - will attend the course, "Professional Responsibility and Ethics in the Global Legal Market", at the prestigious Moscow State University (MGU).

The course is being taught by the international law firms DLA Piper and White & Case LLP, with clients Verizon and Microsoft delivering the general counsel's perspective, and is being run in collaboration with the nonprofit organisation PILnet: The Global Network for Public Interest Law and MGU. Additionally there will be contributions from Professor Phillip Genty of Columbia Law School and American and Russian court advocates. The course will cover a broad range of issues such as regulation of the legal profession, conflicts of interest, anti-corruption, corporate responsibility and pro bono.
Poor business ethics have been recognised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development as a significant issue in Russia, where the legal profession is largely unregulated and professional responsibility and ethics are not widely taught in universities. In the last few years, however, the landscape has begun to change and there have been moves towards improved regulation of the profession.

Delphine Nougayrиde, Corporate Partner at DLA Piper Moscow, commented: "DLA Piper is proud to be educating the next generation of Russian lawyers on business ethics and professional standards. Promoting these topics amongst the country's future business leaders and moving towards improved regulation of the legal profession will help reduce corruption and create a more transparent court system, which in turn will improve the professional standards of Russian business - a fundamental requirement for creating a more transparent environment for investment and helping Moscow achieve its goal of becoming an international financial centre."

Hermann Schmitt, Executive Partner of White & Case's Moscow office, said: "White & Case is pleased to play a part in this professional responsibility and legal ethics course. I hope the launch will provide the basis for regular training that will help awareness of professional ethics among Russian law students. The combination of top-level practitioners and talented law students will result in an interesting and productive event."

Dmitry Shabelnikov, Director for Russia for PILnet, noted: "With the considerable influence that the legal profession has in the modern world, it is inevitably subject to high ethical standards. PILnet believes that the profession must contribute to the good of society, for instance offering pro bono legal assistance to those who cannot afford services. We hope that this course will become a regular event and that it will be followed by  Russian law schools, which do not yet pay significant attention to ethics. We are delighted and grateful to find such enthusiastic support for the project from all the parties involved - Moscow State University Law School, DLA Piper, White & Case, and all other participants."

For further information:
James Wallis, DLA Piper Media Relations,  +44 20 7153 728,

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