CITY and Home Counties firm Penningtons is acting for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a proposed loan to a major Belarussian company.

A team from the company and commercial department headed by partner Roger Duncan is advising on ownership and security of assets and will regularly be visiting factories in the capital Minsk with Belarussian consultant Oleg Gvozd.

Partner Christopher Chidley, who is a member of the team, said: “The law in Belarus is continuing to develop following its separation from the Soviet Union in 1992. The project is complicated because the laws about privatisation and lending are still unclear.”

Penningtons has also won a public tender out of a beauty parade of 30 law firms to act for the government of Belarus in the privatisation of the timber sector and it is overseeing the sale of a wood mill in the former Soviet state of Arkangel.

Duncan said: “It is exciting to be involved in the continuing privatisation of industry in the former Soviet states. Penningtons is honoured to be involved in the projects.”

As part of a programme to assist new investors in Belarus a number of laws have been passed. The Belarus pledge law came into legislation in April 1994 and a new bankruptcy law has been promoted.