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Talk Like Adults

Interview with Evgeny Shestakov, managing partner of INTELLECT-S.

Expert-Ural, № 16 (508) | Irina Perecheva

Market of legal services became more open, clear specialize and professional. Now it is very important not to fail and choose right model of regulation, thinks managing partner Law Firm Group INTELLECT-S Evgeny Shestakov.

- Evgeny Nikolaevich, market of legal services in Russia became very noticeable branch of the economy. What is the reason?

- In my point of view, over the last years our market became adult. Firstly, lawyers became more revealing. It is very important, because it helps the potential customers of law services make the right choice. Ratings, including of "Expert group", are ministerial to it.

Secondly, we have specialization. There are three groups of participants: lawyers, notary officers, law firms. Each one has its own niche. Lawyers particularly specialize on law of crime and rendering legal services to private customers. Notary officers make registration and certificate actions. Law firms primary deal with business service. It is used to break them down into small law specialty boutiques and industrial law firms, which in their turn divided on full service and procedural type firms. 
Thirdly, market became more professional. Government heads for rising the authority and influence of court system, that's why for the last 5 years substantive and procedural law became more involved and the role of lawyers increased. Concurrently with mass change in corporate, tax and administrative rules, requirements for entrepreneurs got more severe. To do business effective, entrepreneurs have to became more professional, and therefore their legal business consultants also had to became more professional.

- For many years experts have been debating about the ways of regulation of market of legal services. It is seem that parties are ready to develop the concrete projects. Which conception is closer to you - Ministry of Justice or High Arbitration Court?

- Let's look at this situation from two sides. If we put in perspective private business, we can say that from all varieties of participants of market of legal services, it chose law firms for service use. As a result today, according to Ministry of Justice, 90 % of legal business consulting are private law firms. Law firms differ from their direct rivals - lawyers, because they direct their activities to project team work, innovations and mobility. Advocateship is too traditional and limited by individual and noncommercial nature of lawyers' work, the prohibition of hiring of one lawyer another and the prohibition to divide the fee of the lawyer with other lawyer even under the pretext of distribution of duties.

At the same time we understand that we need to accept any model. I am delighted as the representative of legal business by competition existence between branches of the executive and judicial authority. Personally it seems to me that conception of High Arbitration Court is more correct, because it allows the lawyer to save independence while the first conception assumes the complete submission to control to Ministry of Justice.

Generally, the fact of existence of progress in the market of legal services and close attention of the government to it shows the positive processes and development of branch. But the state should make the deliberate and balanced decisions in such important issue, as regulation of the market of legal services.

- It has been argued that basic capital in your business - people. For many years lawyers has been complaining that there a lot of nonprofessionals, and graduates have a low qualification. Is there a way out of it?

- Lack of qualified personnel is the problem of all industries. And I don't want to repeat this again and again. I think that the question of education of qualified legal personnel law firm should solve itself. For this purpose there are enough graduates with strong theoretical basis. Further the corporate program of mentoring and adaptation of young specialists does its part in the company. Taking into account that Ekaterinburg has a good law school, personnel perspectives of the Ural firms aren't so sad.

More difficult and more painful is a question with the administrative personnel who are servicing and providing work of law firms: HR-, BD-, PR specialists. For law firms their deficit (more correct - their absence) is caused by that specificity of professional activity and business of lawyers demands from them special knowledge, and first of all - legal. Banal preparation of a content for a site of law firm or release on law case is impossible without possession of specific business processes of consultants from the law. It turns out that the "universal" HR-, BD-, PR specialists don't approach. And lawyers have no desire, addiction, possibility and ability to do this. In my opinion, we have a deficit of the successful, widely promoted law firms with a good HR brand and a stable team of high qualified lawyers.

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