Legal Reform overview

Statua with scale

For over 20 years, the EBRD has promoted the development of sound commercial laws and regulations and strong institutions, all of which are integral to economic transition. Through its Legal Transition Programme (LTP) in the Office of the General Counsel, the Bank helps to create investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environments in the economies where we invest.

The LTP focuses on developing the legal rules, institutions and culture on which a vibrant market-oriented economy depends. In particular, we do this through:

Standard-setting. The Bank participates in and contributes to international standard-setting initiatives.

Assessments of laws and practices. We monitor and analyse the status of legal transition in the economies where we invest and develop measurement tools to assess the legal risk for the Bank's investments. Specific sector assessments benchmark the development of key legal sectors in each economy against international or harmonised standards. Country law assessments, meanwhile, provide a means of judging the progress made by a single jurisdiction in making its commercial laws internationally acceptable.

Assisting governments. The Bank develops and implements technical cooperation projects in the economies where we invest. These are designed to support local authorities in establishing investor-friendly legal systems.

  • List of projects undertaken 1996 – 2018

Outreach. The EBRD collaborates widely in order to advance commercial law reform and promote best practice. The Bank coordinates closely with other international financial institutions, international organisations and bilateral assistance providers as well as a number of academic institutions in order to facilitate discussion and further publicise best practice. In addition, the LTP aims to build a body of knowledge of existing legal frameworks so as to make potential projects with governments more efficient as well as more relevant for the country itself.

The LTP focuses on the topics which are most relevant to the EBRD's investment activities and in relation to which the Bank has accumulated the most experience. These  are:

  • Access to finance (including secured transactions, crop receipts, factoring, leasing and fintech)

  • Corporate Governance

  • Dispute resolution and judicial training

  • Environment and climate change

  • Information and communications technologies

  • Insolvency and debt restructuring

  • Natural resources

  • Power and energy

  • Public-private partnerships and concessions

  • Public procurement