Russians check out UK property law

A TEAM of Russian legal academics has returned from a fact-finding visit to Newcastle under Lyme firm Knight & Sons.

The visitors, from Russian juridical firm LEX, were particularly interested in how property development is carried out in the UK.

Steve Elder, European partner at Knight & Sons, says the two Russian law professors and their interpreter spent two weeks at the firm as part of a mutual co-operation arrangement between the firms, initiated earlier this year.

The union has already generated work for Knight & Sons in Russia, where commercial and property law is rapidly developing.

Elder says the UK lawyers had to “go back to basics” as Russian lawyers got to grips with a new system of property law for their country.

Elder says they have trouble in identifying concepts such as the granting of options, which is frequently used in transactions and is a key tool for serious property development.

Financing was one of the main issues tackled by the visit. Elder says the Russian lawyers find it difficult to show western financiers the best title to use because properties in Russia have a number of different owners.