Belarus’ Stepanovski, Papakul and Partners has announced the expansion of its practice into a new area: "the criminal law protection of business.” According to SPP it is “following the market demand and needs of our clients” in linking "our understanding of business specifics and potential risks faced by owners and managers with our experience in criminal case management.” To facilitate the expansion, the firm has brought criminal attorney Natalia Shekina on board.
“Practice shows that the vast majority of business managers and owners do not realize that in that very moment, when they commit legally significant acts, or sign business documents, they become potential perpetrators of misfeasance in office,” said SPP Managing Partner Alexander Stepanovski. "Our goal is both to solve the existing situations and, more importantly, prevent or minimize their occurrence in future. Same as tax risk assessment, which has always been a part of all our consultations, the criminal law compliance, as it is called by business, or, in simple words, risk assessment, will become yet another obligatory component of our work.”
According to Natalia Shekina, there two categories of cases involving criminal liability that occur most frequently in "economic activities": malfeasance in office and economic crimes related to tax violations. “Speaking about malfeasance, such facts may take place without the official’s action, for example, in case of the official’s act of omission,” explained Shekina. "As regards economic crimes, even an accountant’s error may entail unpleasant consequences for business managers and owners. Unfortunately, a criminal law attorney is usually called after meeting with law enforcement agencies. However, many aspects could have been addressed earlier, during business process planning, and one could get prepared for them or avoid their occurrence."