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RKP secures victory in a precedent-setting dispute with Google
15 february 2020

The Rustam Kurmaev & Partners (RKP) legal team, partner Dmitry Kletochkin and senior associate Kirill Baranovskiy, successfully defended in court the interests of the top management of a major Russian group of companies seeking to have illegally distributed, false and outdated information about it removed from the Internet.

On February 13, 2020, the cassation court upheld the lower courts’ rulings and agreed with the position that the erroneous and outdated information about RKP’s client should be deleted from Google search engine results. The successful outcome of this difficult case is of great significance not just for the client’s business reputation; it also marks a shift away from earlier negative court rulings in similar cases.

According to Article 10.3 of the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technology and Defense of Information”, Article 5 of the Federal Law “On Personal Data” and Article 23 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, and also in agreement with the European Court of Human Rights’ legal approach, every person has the right to privacy as well as the right to defend their reputation and good name. Distribution on the internet of information that is outdated, false or invalidated by subsequent events is a direct violation of the laws listed above.

“The right to be forgotten is the right of individuals to have search engines remove internet pages with information about those individuals from their search results. Major search engines have differing views on this topic. In our case, the reason for going to court was Google’s refusal to remove information which the client believed to be defamatory and damaging to his business reputation,” Kirill Baranovskiy explained.

Rustam Kurmaev & Partners is a leading Russian law firm in the area of dispute resolution. The firm was founded in October 2017 as an independent team of litigation experts with a focus on commercial disagreements, corporate conflicts, white collar crime and disputes with government authorities. RKP’s expertise in providing comprehensive legal defense services to senior and top executives of leading Russian and international companies has been confirmed by its Pravo-300, Legal500 EMEA, and Chambers & Partners Global rankings.