Sebastian Rice Quoted in The Lawyer on Russian Transparency

Akin Gump’s Sebastian Rice, partner in charge of the firm’s Moscow office, was quoted in The Lawyer on the topic of legislation enacted by Russia to increase transparency in business operations.  The legislation has begun to effect fundamental changes for both businesses and the law firms looking for their legal work.

Rice notes, “There have been a lot of tenders and RFPs requesting a lot of detailed information, and from our point of view this has been really positive, especially in terms of the banks, as it has given us the opportunity to launch new relationships, it brings more openness and transparency and it gives firms like ours a shot at working for the banks.”

“It has been a bit of a closed shop, but the fact that procurement processes are now being audited should make it much more of a level playing field. Previously, firms were just called to do the work, and companies did not have to show any reasoning behind why they picked a particular firm, whereas now they will have to. It’s going to be a much more transparent process.”

Rice concluded, “RFPs are starting to catch on and this is creating a more competitive tender process. It may also stop complacency as historic relationships are going to be challenged.”