Biography

Ekaterina is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. Her main research interests are in the field of business and human rights. She completed PhD at the University of Cambridge on the access to justice for victims of business-related human rights violations in the UK. She also holds law degrees from the Perm State University and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. In the last few years, Ekaterina served as a consultant on several research projects that have sought to strengthen corporate accountability for human rights violations, including for the United Nations. Prior to commencing her academic career, Ekaterina practiced corporate law specialising on all aspects of M&A transactions. She completed a training contract in White & Case’s Moscow office before spending seven years as a senior in-house lawyer at two leading Russian investment companies.

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Ekaterina’s research focuses on the evolving field of business and human rights. She looks at how corporations can be held accountable for the negative impacts of their business operations using international, domestic and transnational legal instruments. 

Leverhulme project on climate change litigation

Ekaterina was awarded the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship to complete a project 'Suing Corporations for Climate Change: The Promises and Pitfalls of Tort Law'. The study will take place in 2022-2025.

Oak project on civil liability for human rights violations

In 2019-2022, Ekaterina coordinated a comparative study of civil liability for human rights violations across several jurisdictions in the Global South and Global North funded by the Oak Foundation. The primary purpose of the project is to determine whether and when the law of civil remedies provides a real opportunity to hold state and non-state actors accountable for their involvement in three specified categories of human rights violation: (i) assault or unlawful arrest and detention of persons; (ii) environmental harm; and (iii) harmful or unfair labour conditions. The first outcome of the project was published under the title Civil Remedies and Human Rights in Flux: Key Legal Developments in Selected Jurisdictions.

PhD thesis ‘Tort litigation against Transnational Corporations: The Challenge of Jurisdiction'

Ekaterina’s PhD examined access to justice in the UK for overseas victims of business-related human rights abuses (e.g., poor working conditions, environmental pollution). She looked at the emerging trend of private claims brought against parent companies of transnational corporations for their alleged involvement in human rights violations committed abroad (e.g., Lungowe v Vedanta, Okpabi v Shell). The thesis provided a comprehensive analysis of the debates surrounding parent company liability and the problem of extraterritorial regulation and proposed a novel framework for the assertion of jurisdiction by the English courts when parent companies and their foreign subsidiaries operate as a single economic enterprise.

Liability of Transnational Corporations: Theory and Practice

Ekaterina is the author of Liability of Transnational Corporations: Theory and Practice, the first Russian book to analyse various problems surrounding corporate accountability for human rights violations. This project involved a comparative survey of legal regimes in a number of jurisdictions (Australia, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) identifying how corporate and tort law doctrines (piercing the corporate veil, enterprise liability and duty of care) can be utilised to frame the civil liability of parent companies for human rights violations arising from the operations of their subsidiaries.