Lectures & Events

Taxpayer Abuse and International Law: Implications of the Yukos Saga
Institute for Global Security Law and Policy
SEP 30, 2013
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Moot Courtroom (A59)
CLE Credit
Approved for 1 hour of in-person CLE credit

In the world of complex corporate transactions, taxpayers both abuse and are abused. Yukos, once the largest oil producer in Russia, engaged in aggressive tax planning to avoid income taxation. Its techniques closely matched those of its Russian competitors, and in general terms resembled the moves used by companies such as Starbucks and Microsoft to minimize their global tax burden. The Russian government responded ferociously, using tax claims to throw Yukos into bankruptcy and to seize most of its assets. Yukos in turn responded with an array of international law claims and domestic lawsuits in various arbitral tribunals, international courts, and domestic courts of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. Paul Stephan will use the case of one Russian company to illustrate how some foreign governments are abusing the system of international taxation to the detriment of businesses.

This forum will be of interest to Ohio attorneys who practice in the field of corporate tax law, work in tax or finance for multi-national corporations, and those that practice in in foreign and international courts.
Speaker Information
Mark MartinsPaul B. Stephan
John C. Jeffries, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Law
David H. Ibbeken '71 Research Professor
Director of the Graduate Studies Program at the University of Virginia.

An expert on international business and Soviet and post-Soviet legal systems, Paul Stephan has advised governments and international organizations, organized conferences, edited books and lectured to professionals, university groups and high school students on a variety of issues raised by the globalization of the world economy and the transition away from Soviet-style socialism. During 2006-07, he served as counselor on international law in the U.S. Department of State. Other interests for Stephan, who joined the Law School faculty in 1979, include international law, taxation and constitutional law.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Stephan has worked on a variety of projects involving law reform in former socialist states. He has worked in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Albania and Slovakia on behalf of the U.S. Treasury and in Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan on behalf of the International Monetary Fund. He also has organized training programs for tax administrators and judges from all of the formerly socialist countries under the auspices of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. His casebook on international business is used at law schools both in the United States and abroad. He has written extensively on international law, corruption and the history of the Cold War. Most recently, he is the co-author, with Robert Scott, of The Limits of Leviathan: Contract Theory and the Enforcement of International Law (Cambridge University Press, 2006). His current research interests include books on the political economy of international lawmaking and on the collapse of communism.

Additional Information
Register at the door
Free and open to the public

Supplemental Readings:

Browse Lectures
Current LecturesPast Lectures

Get the latest news from CWRU Law directly to your inbox