A1 Law Office is a non-typical legal practice formed by lawyers with significant experience of working on projects of A1 Investment Company, high competencies in prevention and resolution of corporate conflicts, mediation projects and specific situations. The vast practical experience of the lawyers allowed us to form a team with the competencies necessary to provide the most effective legal assistance to companies and citizens in difficult situations. The team of A1 lawyers decided to apply their knowledge to implement a number of activities not typical for lawyers: "social advocacy", "complex inheritance protection", "litigation financing".
About comprehensive inheritance protection
Along with the activities traditional for us, the Office is planning to actively develop a complex inheritance protection service. The reform of private property institution in Russia during the 1990s-2000s, the formation of increasingly complex and modern tools for structuring asset ownership, the emergence of a whole layer of wealthy people who established their own capital after perestroika have raised the question of guarantees for the transfer of their accumulated assets to their heirs.
It is no secret that real legal wars are often started for the rights to inheritance, especially significant one. There are fake wills or alternative versions of wills, unfounded statements about the insanity of ancestors and the invalidity of wills, heirs without objective reasons are recognized as unworthy, control over the bequeathed assets is seized by former partners of an ancestor, operational control over inherited enterprises is usurped by unscrupulous managers. And this is just a small part of the list of abuses that occur after the opening of the inheritance.
The culture of inheritance relations is expanding, more and more people are executing wills, consulting lawyers on inheritance issues, but few people are really thinking about protecting their loved ones and their capital from real "inheritance wars" that may arise in the future when they are gone. Only an approach that includes a whole range of legal and actual measures can minimize this risk, and, when implemented, effectively counteract the negative consequences.
About litigation financing
The Office will not deal directly with litigation financing and has no right to do so. Litigation financing is one of the activities of our strategic principal, A1 Investment Company, which successfully finances complex Russian and cross-border legal proceedings by investing significant capital. Our task as lawyers is to assess the prospects of the projects proposed for financing, as well as to implement a particular legal strategy for which the funding will be provided. The implementation of large-scale legal proceedings in a situation where one of the parties does not have financial resources or is deprived of access to its funds is almost impossible without litigation financing.
About pro bono projects
The decision to establish A1 Law Office was largely driven by our belief that respecting the rights and legitimate interests of all citizens and organizations requires lawyers and advocates fulfilling a certain social mission – provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Our team of A1 lawyers has been developing competencies in the field of resolving complex legal conflicts for decades. During this time, several generations of lawyers have changed, and each new one, considering the experience of its predecessors, was willing to employ itself not only in resolving legal conflicts on a commercial basis, but also in projects aimed at achieving socially significant goals.
Implementing pro bono projects is our strategic goal. The Office will assist the least protected and distressed citizens and legal entities almost free of charge. We believe that legal knowledge and experience should serve not only business goals, but also socially important initiatives. Unfortunately, not everyone has access to high-quality and timely legal assistance. The legal community should pay more attention to these most vulnerable participants of legal relations.
Currently, there is a situation where small and medium-sized businesses, as well as charitable and public organizations, are actually not protected from legally "wrong", but financially or administratively "strong" opponents. The presence of a legally justified and fair position without the ability to defend it often leads to the adoption of unfair judicial decisions, the conclusion of oppressive contracts and the inability to exercise the rights provided by law.
Our activities in this area have already led to agreements reached on a strategic partnership in this area with several law firms and legal practices on the joint implementation of pro bono projects, and the allocation of large resources for public activities. We also actively cooperate with charitable funds and public organizations not only to find individual projects, but also to solve more global problems in terms of developing the practice of providing pro bono services in Russia.
Plans for the near future
We plan to expand next year by admitting lawyers specializing in a number of areas of law as members. The implementation of pro bono projects will remain the strategic objective of the Office. It is possible that we will be able to talk about our success in this area, of course, in case our principals wish so. The Office also plans to participate in conferences, discussions and other public events to draw the attention of colleagues to the need to provide free legal assistance on a regular basis.
Happy New Year! I wish you and your loved ones good health during this difficult time. I wish you not to get into "special situations", but in case of their occurrence not to lose faith in justice and legality and to seek high-quality legal assistance.