Covington Briefing: What Tech Companies Need to Know About the Ukraine Conflict

Covington Briefing: What Tech Companies Need to Know About the Ukraine Conflict

  • Monday, May 16, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

 As the conflict in Ukraine continues to evolve, technology industry clients are turning to Covington for guidance to navigate the resulting complex legal, policy, and commercial implications they are facing. Sharing unique insights and perspectives gained representing some of the world’s most successful technology companies, as well as years of experience helping clients navigate the tensions and intricate matters relating to Ukraine and the Russian Federation, Covington experts will cover the key legal aspects and geopolitical issues technology companies need to know in this concise and highly concentrated, off-the-record virtual briefing.

Monday, May 16, 2022
9 - 10:30 a.m. PDT
12 - 1:30 p.m. EDT
5 - 6:30 p.m. BST

Log-in Details will be provided upon registration.

Click here to register.

Covington Authorities Will Explore:

  • Global Problem Solving – Navigating the Geopolitical Scene – Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a geopolitical earthquake that has upended the assumptions not only of diplomats but also of business executives and the law firms that advise them. Long-term investments in Russia are being wound down or suspended, and political risk assessments are rapidly being transformed, especially regarding global growth, sanctions, supply chains, and trade. In this segment, Al Larson, Steve Rademaker, and Cecilia Malmström dive into the impacts on business strategies that must be constantly reassessed on every issue and region, including with respect to China.
  • International Trade, Sanctions, and Secondary Sanctions – Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and other allied countries have imposed significant new sanctions and export control restrictions on Russia and Belarus, along with many of their companies, financial institutions, government officials, and prominent businesspersons. These measures not only greatly restrict permissible business activities in Russia and Belarus, but also are complex and challenging for companies with business in these markets to navigate. David Lorello and Steve Bartenstein will provide an overview of the highly fluid and evolving U.S., EU, and UK sanctions landscape and discuss how the new measures can impact technology companies with business in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.
  • Cyber Attacks and Data Security – Although suspected Russian-sourced cyber-attacks increased over 800% during the 48-hour period immediately following the invasion of Ukraine according to U.S. cybersecurity agencies, that increase in activity has not yet resulted in broad-based destructive cyber attacks on private entities or critical infrastructure. This session will discuss what has occurred, what hasn't occurred, and what to expect, with respect to Ukraine-Russia cyber issues. Micaela McMurrough and Mark Young will explore the steps technology companies operating globally should employ to prepare for – and prevent -- hostile cyber incidents.
  • M&A and Other Transactions – The crisis is impacting cross-border M&A transactions, including deals involving business operations in Ukraine and Russia, with some European companies calling off prospective deals following the Russian invasion, citing market uncertainty. The war is also affecting new deal flow, with executives assessing the reputational and regulatory risks of potential transactions. But with many tech companies making the decision to exit the Russian market, joint ventures are being dismantled and outsourcing arrangements terminated. In this segment, Louise Nash and Luciana Griebel will assess the impact these factors have on what is otherwise expected to be a strong year for M&A.
  • International Arbitration Angles for Companies Exiting Russia, including Bi-Lateral Investment Treaties – Foreign investors seeking to exit Russia should be mindful of Russian countermeasures that threaten to expropriate or otherwise harm the value of those investors’ property. International arbitration under investment treaties may be the only effective remedy for those investors to recover losses caused by Russia’s retaliatory measures. David Pinsky will discuss these treaties and the protections they provide to companies with investments or operations in Russia.
  • Energy and Environmental Risks – Europe is overly reliant on Russian hydrocarbons. As it aggressively reduces its exposure, Europe will source alternative energy supplies elsewhere. Thomas Reilly will explore the immediate and far-reaching impact of this, including knock-on inflationary impacts for global supply chains and incentives for greater investment in new hydrocarbon projects (US permitting for March for new wells was higher than any month on record). Equally, it will hasten the energy transition as governments seek to reduce their exposure to volatile hydrocarbon markets. Technology companies are not immune from these inflationary risks, but there are opportunities as well in the accelerated energy transition.
  • Supply Chain Regulation and Disruption – Governments are increasingly turning to supply chain regulation and restriction as a means of achieving geopolitical goals. Tom Plotkin will discuss legal developments related to supply chains and explain how these moves can have significant implications for businesses, both within Russia and Ukraine, and beyond.
  • Anti-Money Laundering – Risks from Evasion of SanctionsMike Nonaka and Ian Hargreaves explore how tech companies and the technology and platforms they create, support, or monetize can be used to launder the proceeds of crime. Those proceeds of crime can derive from sanctions violations, or other criminal offences committed by Russia or sanctioned entities and individuals. Failure to address a mere suspicion that they are handling proceeds of crime or facilitating the movement of “dirty” Russian money can be a crime in itself - with significant fines and jail time.
  • Reflections and Outlook for the Future – Briefing Moderator Sebastian Vos will share his observations on how the technology industry is impacting -- and being impacted by -- the Ukraine situation in this increasingly connected world.

The briefing is designed to equip legal and business leaders with crucial information on the key Ukrainian issues impacting the technology industry. You will have an opportunity to submit questions in advance of the briefing, during the registration process.

Click here to register.

Space is limited, so early registrations are recommended.

90 minutes of CLE credit provided for CA and NY.

A Universal CLE Certificate is available for other state bar requirements.

Event is closed to the media. Chatham House Rules will apply.

Visit our Ukraine Crisis: Resources for Responding to the Impact of the Escalating Conflict toolkit to access information and resources, including several alerts covering the impact of recent sanctions and heightened export controls.