Criminal Law / White-Collar Crime
Criminal practice is now enduring active “turbulence”. The number of open criminal proceedings has increased significantly since last year. But do not think that this is connected with crime growth or law-enforcement efficiency. The matter is rather in the change of the first figures in power and law-enforcement structures that desire to show high results of their work, and also in constant legislative amendments that make a criminal process simple as much as possible for an investigator/prosecutor. The suggestion to simplify a condition for “putting on the international/interstate wanted list” to “putting on the state wanted list” to initiate a special litigation proceeding confirms the above-mentioned; or a suggestion of a possibility to withdraw assets (special confiscation) till the end of the case investigation and a court award. And all these in addition to the actively applied methods of pressure on business: searches, interrogations, and property arrests.
Most popular accusations are: accusation of fraud; assignment, embezzlement and acquisition of other people’s property via misuse of an official position; laundering of criminally received income; taxes payment evasion; fictitious business; terrorism financing; misuse of power of a duty position; as well as an offer, promise or paying improper benefit (bribe). Such a situation made business representatives address criminal practice advocates after start of any relations with the law-enforcement bodies and more often in order to have a criminal “audit” with the purpose to minimize possible risks. Liability upon these accusations is the most severe and can result in total loss of business and personal freedom. That is why nowadays it is not simply important, but vitally essential to secure yourself and your business and to be one step ahead!
AVER LEX is a highly-specialized Ukrainian law firm that focuses on criminal law. The practice team consists of 13 lawyers led by the company’s partners and widely-recognized criminal defense attorneys Vitaliy Serdyuk, Olga Prosyanyuk and Igor Fedorenko. The team is enlisted for identification and minimization of criminal legal risks, comprehensive protection within pre-trial investigations and the trial stage of criminal proceedings. In particular, the firm is the regular premier choice for economic crimes and handles matters for persons suspected and accused of committing economic malfeasance and abuse of office and property cases. Over the last couple of years AVER LEX has worked on a number of complex high-profile cases involving high-ranking officials and key business persons. Defamation cases are an important part of the workflow. The company is also known for being a partner on criminal law and procedural issues of large consulting and companies in Ukraine.
The sizeable Kiev team of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is frequently consulted in the most high-profile criminal matters. The firm covers all criminal law issues, focusing on defense in criminal law cases, preventive counseling on compliance, tax evasion, corporate internal investigations, and other areas. The team is known for its strong track record of high valued and multi-dimensional disputes, and combines expertise in Ukrainian criminal law with experience of anti-corruption provisions of the US (FCPA) and UK (Bribery Act) law. Highly-recognized criminal law expert Sergiy Grebenyuk was promoted to partner. Serhii Sviriba, managing partner and practice co-head, is an exclusive representative of the international anti-crime network Fraudnet.
Arzinger’s criminal defense practice covers business protection and white collar crime. The team represents the interest of senior management, company’s officers and employees with management functions. The attorneys ensure legal protection at all stages of criminal proceedings, including during inspection of a company’s financial or business activity or tax legislation compliance, during pre-trial investigations or criminal trials. The caseload includes tax evasion, fraud, embezzlement and seizure of assets. Partner Kateryna Gupalo, head of tax and customs disputes as well as white collar defense practices, is the key contact.
In 2015 the white-collar crime team of VB PARTNERS was busy in numerous criminal proceedings, including tax evasion, fraud and banking-related matters. For example, the team represented Zaporozhsky Alyuminoviy Kombinat, Public JSC, in a criminal case concerning the annulling of shares. Most recently the firm acted in the interest of Indesit Ukraine in a criminal prosecution of the chairman of a client’s contractor on the fact of fraud and evasion of a court ruling. Known practitioner Denys Bugay, partner, heads the 4-attorney team. Partner Oleksandr Lukyanenko, an expert in commercial and corporate crime, is another contact.
Bogatyr & Partners, Ukrainian boutique focused on business crime, fraud, asset tracing and recovery, commercial litigation in Ukraine and internationally and legal assistance in challenging economic sanctions. The firm’s senior partner Volodymyr Bogatyr is a specialist in cross-border disputes and works closely with a range of legal advisors and investigators from the United States, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Switzerland, France, Austria, Lichtenstein and other jurisdictions. Recently he acted for a private client in a complex cross-border fraud matter involving tracing assets in Canada and Switzerland, obtaining a freezing injunction and recovering USD 70 million via Cyprus courts.
Sayenko Kharenko undertook rapid development of its white-collar crime practice, which is increasingly preferred by international clients. The past year brought a number of high-profile criminal cases when the firm represented large corporations, businessmen, government officials, and non-residents in criminal proceedings related to financial fraud, tax evasion, bribes, crimes by officials, fictional business activity and other cases. The firm is currently representing the interests of a large international retail group in criminal proceedings within investment projects related to construction of trade centres in Kiev and Odessa; represented a Ukrainian subsidiary of a large international agriculture corporation in criminal proceedings initiated against the company’s officials. The group is led by litigation partner Sergey Pogrebnoy.
The sizeable white-collar crimes practice at Juscutum Attorneys Association consists of 16 associates, including senior associate Kseniya Prokonova. One of the most representative projects is appeal against the arrest of a UAH 15 billion property owned by PJSC Naftogazvydobuvannya and support of DTEK Energy in a case against law-enforcement on releasing a coal cargo detained at Odessa Customs. Apart from petrochemicals, the firm traditionally actively represents IT clients, for instance, Advancedhosters and Bella trade, Agrarian Commercial Bank PJCS, Service-Online LLC, Kuna Bitcoin Agency. The practice is headed by Denys Ovcharov, noted for his recent work by peers.
In 2015 attorneys of ARBITRADE were involved in the most controversial and unprecedented criminal proceedings both in terms of complexity and ultimate outcome for judicial practice. The recent portfolio encompasses one of the first cases with the participation of jury, a number of criminal proceedings initiated in relation to tax matters and raiders attacks and many others. It is noteworthy that the firm continued to represent insurance company ECCO and its Austrian investor as plaintiff in the series of criminal proceedings. Managing partner Pavlo Trytenichenko and partner Andriy Shulga lead the dedicated team.
Evgeniy Solodko, managing partner of Solodko & Partners, is widely referred among the best known criminal defense attorneys in Ukraine. His relevant experience includes representing a former minister of justice of Ukraine in criminal proceedings.
Integrites significantly strengthened its criminal law practice after being joined by Denys Statnikov, who previously headed the Statnikov & Partners law firm. The team has considerable experience in defending clients in criminal cases of significant complexity, interaction with law-enforcement bodies, protecting clients’ assets against illegal third party actions, legal representation in criminal proceedings involving economic crimes and corruption charges. Following his joining, the Integrites criminal law practice primarily focuses on support and protection of businesses in tax-related criminal proceedings, violations of anti-corruption and compliance law and procedures, as well as on white-collar crime. The team also concentrates on protecting the business interests of clients against unlawful actions by state authorities, e.g., fiscal authorities or law-enforcement agencies.
KM Partners attorneys-at-law provide services on defense of clients’ officials and staff in criminal proceedings on white-collar crimes. Given established positions in tax law, the team has profound experience of tax evasion matters. The firm’s attorneys carry out defense in criminal proceedings opened on the grounds of public crimes, qualified as forgery in office, neglect of official duty, fraud, misappropriation, embezzlement or conversion of property through corrupt behaviour, violation of occupational safety law, etc. Cases are supervised by partners Alexander Minin and Alexander Shemiatkin.
International Legal Center EUCON has a traditionally strong following from corporate clients’ officials on representing in criminal proceedings. The team recently carried out the defense of rights and interests of such clients as the Consulate General of Poland in Lviv, Ukrainian Payment System LLC, Ukrrichflot, MTD Company, LLC. Practice head Yevgen Petrenko and senior lawyer Ganna Shyshko represent clients in court and investigative authorities. Yaroslav Romanchuk, managing partner, oversees the practice.
Vasil Kisil & Partners acts for officials and management of corporates, including agrarian, IT, financial and banking institutions. The scope of its recent representations covered alleged fraud, forgery, tax evasion, high stake embezzlement. For example, the team provides legal aid to a big Ukrainian agriculture company operating in Eastern Ukraine in respect of alleged financing of terrorism and tax evasion. The team members are Oleg Kachmar, counsel, Yuriy Kolos, associate, as supervised by the firm’s managing partner and acknowledged litigator Andriy Stelmashchuk.
FCLEX reports on accompanying about 30 criminal trials, mostly related to business activity and powers of officials. The most recent practice included criminal proceedings related to the appropriation/embezzlement of public funds, as well as funds received from banking institutions. It is noteworthy that FCLEX accompanied criminal cases initiated during the election campaign. Partner Taras Poshyvanyuk leads the practice.
The representative cross-border performance of Ilyashev & Partners includes legal support of international extradition of the former owner of BTA Bank, Mukhtar Ablyazov, to Ukraine and Russia from France, and currently acts for the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Ukraine in two extradition processes in England. In Ukraine the firm is involved in representing an official agricultural holding in criminal proceedings on charges of fraud and protecting a bank’s officer in criminal proceedings regarding embezzlement through abuse of office. Artem Orel is the main criminal defense attorney. Partners Milkhail Ilyashev and Roman Marchenko are the main contacts.
Asters, full-service Ukrainian law firm, defends corporate clients and individuals in criminal proceedings. A significant part of its caseload was determined by tax evasion and fictitious business activity, as well as purported abuse of authority, embezzlement, money-laundering. Leading associates Oleksandr Yakovenko and Oleksiy Ukolov are the primary members of white-collar crime practice. Oleksiy Didkovskiy, managing partner, supervises the team.
Given the sharp niche in tax litigation, a significant part of the criminal law practice of Sokolovskyi & Partners is focused on providing effective legal assistance in criminal proceedings under tax evasion. Tetiana Lysovets, senior partner, leads the practice, and is experienced in legal assistance, both directly to clients (consultations, participation as an advocate in questioning and in court proceedings, filing and preparation of various petitions, complaints against investigators, prosecutors, judges, etc.), and managing teams of lawyers to coordinate their activities and active participation in forming the legal position in criminal proceedings.
The criminal law practice at Jurimex Law Firm includes defense in a wide range of trials and pre-trial investigations. Representative cases include ensuring legal protection of a long-standing client MSL LLC, operator of state lotteries, in 143 criminal proceedings, unfounded public suspicion of customer gambling sessions; representing the Amstor Group as the victim in criminal proceedings on the raider seizure of businesses. The team is active in the media sector and represented the journalists of Radio Svoboda in criminal proceedings over obstruction of their professional activity. Partner Yaroslav Tolkachev heads the criminal law and procedure practice.
The Kiev office of Baker & McKenzie is remarkably active in dispute resolution, including white collar crime. The areas of significant activity included representing the officials of clients at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Prosecutor’s Office, Security Service of Ukraine and Ukrainian courts. The key practitioners are partners Ihor Siusel and Hennadiy Voytsitskyi.
Given its strong tax dedication the team of Attorneys Association PwC Legal has successfully supported a number of clients in the course of criminal proceedings, providing the full scope of support of attorney’s, including participation in interrogative actions. The practice is led by Andrey Pronchenko, managing partner, who extends capabilities in areas connected with tax disputes, including support of top companies’ officials in criminal proceedings that involve tax matters. Other team members are Alexander Protsyuk and Zhanna Brazhnyk.
Kharkov-based Shkrebets & Partners protected the interests of local officials and business in different criminal proceeding. The portfolio of company encompasses participation in fraud, misappropriation, tax evasion cases. For example, the firm defended the interests of DTEK Pavlogradugol in criminal proceeding under payments of premiums of compulsory state pension insurance. The practice is led by partner Olexiy Meniv.
Gramatskiy & Partners has two practices: business protection and criminal defense. Business crime has 12 lawyers and is led by Olexandr Koval. In 2015 the team acted in a series of tax-related criminal proceedings and represented the interests of a number of clients in pre-trial investigations.
Law Firm Dynasty handled protection of private military clients within criminal procedures and supported corporate clients’ officials in tax evasion matters. The management of the practice is carried out by partners Vyacheslav Kohlyakov and Anna Poddubnaya.
Law Firm Ario (previously known as Ario Capital Group) added to its practices portfolio support in criminal proceedings. The dedicated team was formed with the arrival of Yevhen Hrushovets and Vladyslav Gryshchenko.
Attorneys’ Association Gestors, under the guidance of Oleksandr Babich, provides protection in a wide range of criminal proceedings, notably abuse of power and protection of honor and dignity.
Established in late 2014 the litigation boutique Trusted Advisors, as led by Ivan Mishchenko, is noticeable in white-collar crimes practice. S.T. Partners and both founding partners Svitlana Trofymchuk and Sergey Tyurin are known on the market for their criminal defense work. Angelika Sitsko, partner at GOLAW (previously — Gvozdiy & Oberkovych) remains dedicated to criminal cases with respect to the business sector. Alexei Kominarets, managing partner at Legal Guarantees, protected abig oil trader in criminal proceedings on charges of tax evasion.
Igor Fomin, Fomin & Partners, is one of the most recognized criminal defense attorneys, and often acts in resonant cases.
Yaroslav Zeykan, Zeykan, Popovych, Holub & Partners, is highly regarded by the market for his academic and research input, numerous landmark fundamental books.
Mr. Bogatyr graduated from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University with J.D. in 1999, and received a Ph.D. from Legislation Institute of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine in 2014.
Volodymyr Bogatyr acts for clients in complex, fact-heavy and high value cross-border commercial disputes. As part of that work, Volodymyr is often responsible for the strategic coordination of proceedings in multiple jurisdictions. He is the only qualified Ukrainian advocate who is registered as a foreign advocate in both Russia and Poland.
Mr. Bogatyr’s practice focuses on a broad range of civil and criminal litigation and investigations involving international and transnational matters. He undertakes international litigation management work, coordinating the provision of legal advice and/or legal proceedings across multiple jurisdictions.
Mr. Bogatyr has represented both corporate clients and individuals in a wide variety of matters, including fraud claims, white collar matters, assets tracing, post-M&A disputes, partnership and joint venture disputes. He provides advice on contractual and insolvency matters as well as issues relating to the enforcement and recognition of judgments in Ukraine and abroad.
Mr. Bogatyr’s deep, yet wide-ranging understanding of his specialty has also benefited from his experience in distinguished public service prior to him entering private practice. Mr Bogatyr served as Ukrainian Deputy Justice Minister from 2007 to 2011. He was recognised as Honorary Lawyer of Ukraine by the President of Ukraine in 2010. He also possesses acknowledgments from 2008 provided by the Parliamentary Committee on Combating Organized Crime and Corruption.
Since his return to private practice, Mr Bogatyr has developed a strong track record of successfully helping his clients deal with national and cross-border asset recovery investigations in fraud, insolvency and bribery matters.
Litigation, Dispute Resolution, Corporate Fraud Investigation, White Collar Criminal Defense, Law Enforcement Intelligence, Global Litigation and Enforcement, Transnational Litigation and Foreign Judgments, Internal Investigations, Government investigation, Government Relations and others.
Ukrainian, Russian, English
Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (2002), V.M. Koretsky Institute of State and Law of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Vitaliy Serdyuk deals with protection of officials in politically motivated persecutions; protection from illegal acts of law enforcement authorities, business partners and competitors. Mr. Serdyuk was the leader of a working group of the Ukrainian Bar Association dealing with reform of the Criminal Procedural Code. Vitaliy Serdyuk actively ensures the provision of emergency legal defense against unlawful actions on the part of state authorities and third persons within the framework of the Ukrainian Bar Association Hot line, NGO The Bar Council of Ukraine, the Bar Council of Kiev.
The professionalism of Vitaliy Serdyuk was contributed to the recognition of the Aver Lex Attorneys at Law among the best law firms in the sphere of “dispute resolution” according to international ranking Chambers and Partners 2016. In 2015 and 2012 Mr. Serdyuk received an award in The Best Criminal Case Attorney nomination, which was a part of the annual legal prize. According to research Legal 500 EMEA 2015, Vitaliy was recommended as real professionals in the sphere of disputes resolution. He was mentioned in the 100 best lawyers of the court practice respectively to research Choice of a client: TOP 100 best lawyers of Ukraine 2015. As consistent with research 50 Leading Law Firms of Ukraine 2015, 2014, 2013 Vitaliy was awarded as the leading lawyer in criminal cases. In 2015, 2014, 2013 Mr. Serdyik was recognized by Ukrainian Law Firms. A Handbook for Foreign Clients as the one of the best in the fields of criminal law/business crime. According to all-Ukrainian independent public rating Attorney of the year 2013, Vitaliy was among the top 5 attorneys.
Ukrainian, Russian, English