Russian Law Journal

Advanced search

The Role of Offshore Jurisdictions in Russia

Full Text:


This paper will examine the interaction between offshore jurisdictions and Russia, with particular emphasis on the role played by the British Virgin Islands in structuring offshore transactions. This paper will look at popular narratives about offshore jurisdictions, including traditional arguments about round-tripping and corruption, before examining the legal rationale for the use of offshore structures in Russia. It will be argued that the use of offshore jurisdictions arose as a response to deficiencies in the Russian legal system, particularly in terms of Russian law as it relates to property rights, and the related problem of enforcing such rights. In contrast to these perceived deficiencies in the Russian legal framework, offshore jurisdictions provided a stable and modern legal environment, the use of which allowed Russian investors to gain access to Western common law principles of corporate governance, property rights and shareholder rights.

About the Author

Kristian Wilson
Bedell Cristin Law Firm (Singapore)
Russian Federation

Senior Associate at Bedell Cristin Law Firm (Level 25, North Tower, One Raffles Quay, 048583, Singapore


1. Berezkina, Evgeniya. Recent Developments in Russian Corporate Legislation: Will New Norms Secure the Future for Shareholders Agreements?, 16 The Columbia Journal of European Law Online 31 (2009), available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

2. Chazan, Guy, et al. Moscow Claims Anti-Russian Bias Led Arcelor to Accept Mittal Bid, The Wall Street Journal (Jun. 27, 2006), <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

3. Dzarasov, Ruslan. T he Conundrum of Russian Capitalism: The Post-Soviet Economy in the World System (Pluto Press 2013).

4. Glossary of Statistical Terms, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Jan. 4, 2006), <>(accessed May 18, 2015).

5. Gordon, Richard, & Morriss, Andrew. Moving Money: International Financial Flows, Taxes, & Money Laundering, 37(1) Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. (2014), available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

6. Koroliuk, Timur D., & Rudenko, Dmitry Y. Russian Multinationals FDI Outflows Geography: The Emerging Dominance of Greater Europe, 67(1–2) European Researcher: International Multidisciplinary Journal (2014), available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

7. Kuzmina, Maria. Jurisdictional Competition in a Developing Economy: Law and Policy Issues of the Offshore Structure Use in Russia, Ill. Bus. L.J. (Nov. 30, 2009), <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

8. Ledyaeva, Svetlana, et al. Foreign Investment from Offshore Jurisdictions into Russia: An Analytical Overview, 2013(140) Russian Analytical Digest, available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

9. Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil (Oxford University Press 2008).

10. Pulec, Karina L. Legal Restraints on the Use of Shareholders’ Agreements for Structuring Foreign Investment Deals in Russia, 45(2) Cornell Int’l L.J. (2012), available at <>(accessed May 18, 2015).

11. Said, Edward W. Orientalism (Vintage Books 1978).

12. Schneider, Richard C., Jr. Developments in Soviet Property Law, 13(4) Fordham Int’l L.J. (1989), available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

13. Vlcek, William. Byways and Highways of Direct Investment: China and the Offshore World, 39(4) Journal of Current Chinese Affairs (2010), available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

14. Wilson, Kristian. Seeking Truth from Fact: Rationale and Use of Offshore Jurisdictions in the PRC, 6 Tsinghua China Law Review 205 (2014), available at <> (accessed May 18, 2015).

For citation:

Wilson K. The Role of Offshore Jurisdictions in Russia. Russian Law Journal. 2015;3(2):119-136.

Views: 2761

ISSN 2309-8678 (Print)
ISSN 2312-3605 (Online)