Highly-reputed Ukrainian law firm AVELLUM acts on major market-impacting domestic and cross-border transactions. The firm has a homogeneous team that is seen consistently across large-scale M&A and joint ventures, and is renowned for notable expertise in private equity deals. In terms of industrial coverage, the firm’s recent project portfolio includes agriculture, healthcare, FMCG, TMT, banking, renewables. In a recent highlight it acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Groupe Atlantic, a leading French HVAC company, on the acquisition of SST Group’s electric underfloor heating and water leakage control systems business; acted as the legal counsel to Dobrobut, a leading private healthcare services provider in Ukraine, and its shareholders on the disposal of a minority stake to Horizon Capital. In 2019 the team boasts its presence in renewables. Consistent client Investment Capital Ukraine (ICU) instructed the firm to represent it in the sale to VR Capital Group of a 50% stake in a holding company owning 11 solar plants in Mykolaiv Region, and further establishment of a joint venture between ICU and VR. The team has a premier banking practice and regularly advises banking M&A. In particular, the firm advised KfW in connection with the sale of its shareholding in ProCredit Bank to ProCredit Holding AG&Co. KGaA, Two dedicated partners are extremely reputed among Ukrainian and foreign peers. Mykola Stetsenko remains the leading figure for high-profile M&A deals, capturing sophisticated projects under his guidance. Yuriy Nechayev received strong positive feedback from transactional lawyers and has an excellent track record. Counsel Andriy Romanchuk is a prominent team member with strong involvement in major assignments.

The Kyiv office of international heavyweight Baker McKenzie has a stellar reputation for high-profile corporate and M&A work. It stands out for its extensive experience in working on cross-border deals governed by English law. The office is a point of choice for global business on its investments in Ukraine and for Ukrainian blue chips carrying out outbound expansion. As a premier M&A counsel, in 2019 the Kyiv team was present in the healthcare, agriculture, oil and gas, IT and telecommunications, transport and infrastructure sectors. For example, the firm advised the shareholders of Biopharma, a leading Ukrainian manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products, on the carve-out of its non-plasma business and its further sale to Stada AG; represented the sellers of Septa Communications, a Ukrainian AI startup, in its acquisition by Perion Network Ltd, an Israeli adtech company. As regards outbound investment highlights, Baker McKenzie acted as lead counsel to MHP SE, a leading Ukrainian agro-industrial group, on its acquisition of a 90.692% stake in the issued share capital of Perutnina, a vertically-integrated company in Southeast Europe, including Slovenia. Given its strong presence in oil and gas and natural resources, the office is hired to form joint vehicles for participation in PSA tenders. Finally, the firm is consistently preferred by local and international private equity firms on strategic matters. Andrii Moskalyk, counsel, is strongly endorsed by the market for his good experience in the oil and gas sector, production sharing agreements and public-private partnership. Referred as a strong transactional lawyer Olha Demianiuk, partner, focuses on the pharma and healthcare sector. Practice group head Viacheslav Yakymchuk has longevity in practice and is noted for being a strong negotiator.

Sayenko Kharenko commands a sizeable team and a stellar clientele out of sound domestic and foreign names. The firm is very active in local and cross-border M&A, corporate restructurings, buy-out and subsequent squeeze-out procedures, and has a wealth of experience in corporate governance in the public sector. In particular, the M&A team acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Orexim Group, a major Ukrainian logistics group, on the sale of a controlling stake in its grain terminal business to Posco Daewoo Corporation; represented BPCE on its acquisition of a majority stake in Oney Bank S.A. and creation of a joint venture with Auchan Group. The team is experienced in advising private equity funds and, in particular, advised Horizon Capital regarding acquisition of a minority stake in Dobrobut. The practice team advised Huhtamaki Foodservice Ukraine, a subsidiary of the world’s largest packaging manufacturer in the foodservice segment — Huhtamaki Oyj, in connection with the launch of production in Ukraine. The practice has three partners on board. Oleksandr Nikolaichyk was at the front of the majority of instructions this past year, and was praised for his progressive approach in handling M&A transactions. Alina Plyushch is known for involvement in deals governed by English law, and heads the private wealth management practice. Renowned Vladimir Sayenko splits his time between M&A and competition matters.

AEQUO boasts a diversified transactional practice with notable expertise in private equity and venture capital and cross-border transactions. It is notable that the firm boosted its client base from the TMT and infrastructure sector, and supported a number of landmark M&A deals in 2019. In particular, the firm represented MTS Group in the USD 734 million acquisition by NEQSOL of VF Ukraine; advised Posco Daewoo, Korea’s largest trading company, on the acquisition of a majority stake in a grain export terminal in Mykolaiv Sea Trading Port and establishment of a joint venture over its terminal business. The firm continued supporting the M&A activity of Dragon Capital, a leading investment company in Ukraine, on its investment in a number of significant companies, inter alia, a stake in Ciklum, a leading global digital services and software engineering company; Idea Bank JSC (Lviv); as well as commercial properties (warehouse complex Arctica, shopping malls in Kyiv Aladdin and Smart Plaza Obolon). Anna Babych significantly expanded the practice workflow this past year, and acts as a lead partner in the most sophisticated projects in agro, real estate, TMT, energy and natural resources. Denis Lysenko, managing partner, lead mandates in the retail and oil and gas areas. Yulia Kyrpa handles banking and real estate M&A. Сounsel Michael Lukashenko was endorsed as a fast-growing professional with a solid presence in private equity deals. Of counsel Oksana Krasnokutskaya is another active figure of the practice group.

As a part of a big international powerhouse DLA Piper is a point of choice for major global corporations for a broad range of corporate work, including support on cross-border M&A and complex joint ventures, disposals, corporate restructurings and reorganizations, as well as corporate governance issues. This past year the cross-practice team worked out of different offices and acted on a transaction of unprecedented scale, having represented NEQSOL on the acquisition of VF Ukraine, one of the largest local mobile network operators from Russian telecommunications operator MTS Group for USD 734 million. The practice team acted for Perion Network in the course of the USD 3.75 million acquisition of Septa Communications LLC, also known as Captain Growth, a Ukrainian start-up which applies cutting-edge AI-driven technologies to marketing. The industry experience spans energy, IT and telecommunications, consumer goods, food and beverages, hospitality and leisure, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. The Kyiv team also possesses unique expertise in the aerospace, defense and technology sectors, as it is involved in a number of strategic mandates. The practice head is Alla Kozachenko (promoted to partnership in May 2019). Galyna Zagorodniuk, partner and head of antitrust and competition, guides corporate work. Legal director Anastasiya Bolkhovitinova focuses on projects in aerospace, defense and technology.

СMS is represented through two offices in Ukraine: CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang stands out for its unrivalled position in the energy sector, and English law capability in Ukraine. Backed by the strong standing of its global network, the Kyiv team is enlisted for complex cross-border M&A, JVs, restructuring and has notable expertise in private equity projects. The team also runs regional English law governed M&A deals from the Kyiv office. The firm advised Scatec Solar ASA and Acciona Energia on their investments and expansions in Ukraine; continued to advise Nafta a.s. on the English and Ukrainian law aspects of their ongoing partnership with Cub Energy Inc. to develop the Uzhgorod oil and gas field in Western Ukraine. Other industries of recent focus are real estate, infrastructure, agribusiness, life science. For example, the firm advised Meyer Bergman, a leading real estate investment management firm on its sale of the Aladdin Shopping Mall in Kyiv to Dragon Capital. Another highlight is advice to Discovery Life Sciences on its bespoke exclusivity arrangements with East West Biopharma in Ukraine. English-qualified corporate and private equity partner Graham Conlon plays a key role in collecting sophisticated mandates. Tetyana Dovgan is another partner on board with a solid M&A practice.

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz is a popular legal counsel among clients from German-speaking countries. The team is experienced in corporate restructuring and reorganizations, complex cross-border transactions and rendering general corporate support for the operations of clients in Ukraine. Among significant highlights of late was assisting the World Bank with the ultimate purpose of supporting the Government of Ukraine in establishing a certifiable Gas Transmission System Operator within the ongoing process of unbundling the Ukrainian Gas Transmission System Operator. The team was contracted as the advisor to Main Gas Pipelines of Ukraine — the new independent gas transmission operator created by the government to meet the requirements of the EU’s Third Energy Package. Corporate and M&A partners are Maria Orlyk and Austrian-qualified Johannes Trenkwalder.

Housing the largest team on the Ukrainian market, Asters is a reputed name and a preferred legal counsel for cross-border deals and sophisticated advisory. Given its exceptional international standing, the firm regularly gains mandates on Ukraine for global acquisitions and mergers. This past year the firm advised Regal Petroleum on the purchase of shares in PJSC NPK Ukrnaftainvest; continued advising Salini Impregilo S.p.A. on the restructuring of its Ukrainian assets and operations in connection with the disposal of Todini Costruzioni Generali. The firm acted as a legal counsel to Dobrobut, a leading Ukrainian network of private medical centers, on its acquisition of the Boris Medical Center. The partners who managed the practice workflow are Armen Khachaturyan, Oleg Boichuk, Oleksiy Demyanenko, Vadym Samoilenko. Counsel Olena Radko received extensive praise from peers.

Having a global reach and well-established positions on the Ukrainian market, Dentons acts on cross-border M&A, joint ventures, also rendering consistent corporate advisory to major international corporations in Ukraine. The diverse practice team supports M&A and investment deals in agriculture, energy, retail, financial services, technology, hardware and electronics, and chemicals sectors. The team advised Competera, a next generation pricing platform for eCommerce and omnichannel retailers, on corporate and tax matters, including setting up US headquarters and establishing an additional operating entity in the US for direct cooperation with customers; acts for SMIS on complex corporate, competition and regulatory matters relating to the implementation of an e-health system in Ukraine. The firm’s strong M&A profile features representation of both sellers and purchasers. US-qualified partner Adam Mycyk is constantly referred to as a bright transactional lawyer, and has been especially focused on the energy sector of late. Volodymyr Monastyrskyy is noted for his deep expertise in M&A, and is also known for guiding the compliance and employment practices. Office managing partner Oleg Batyuk is the practice head.

Arzinger customarily commands the significant workflow of corporate assignments from its wide-ranging client base, and saw a tremendous breakthrough in its M&A track record in 2019. This past year the multi-disciplinary team acted as legal advisor to Stada Group in benchmark M&A — acquisition of a non-plasma pharmaceutical business from Biopharma. The firm provided legal support for Delta Wilmar CIS on acquisition from investment fund Dragon Capital of the entire stake in Chumak, a leading Ukrainian producer of branded food products; advised National Joint Stock Company Nadra Ukraine in the course of acquisition of entire stakes of an Italian multinational oil and gas company, Eni S.p.A., and British independent oil and gas company Cadogan Petroleum in the investment project on exploitation of the Cheremkhivsko-Strupkivske Gas Field. The practice team is highly active in the IT community and demonstrates expanding experience in advising investors entering into start-ups, and supported investments of private equity funds. In particular, Arzinger acted as legal advisor for Investment Capital Ukraine in the course of making an investment in tech start-up Apostera, a pure automotive software product company providing a product solution for safe autonomic driving and navigation. Another highlight is transactional support for Ajax Systems, a wireless security system in Europe, in the course of the investment transaction to attract USD 10 million in investment from Horizon Capital. The practice portfolio includes advising on corporate governance, squeeze-out, joint ventures and post-acquisition integration. The team has two partners on board; an active transactional lawyer Anna Zorya and internationally recognized Timur Bondaryev. Alesya Pavlynska, counsel, is the key contact for German-speaking clients.

EY is increasingly becoming a vivid player on the Ukrainian M&A market, equally active in local and cross-border private deals. Industrial areas of recent focus include agriculture, energy, e-commerce, transport and infrastructure. In terms of unbundling of Naftogaz of Ukraine, EY acted on a number of strategic assignments: advised Naftogaz as a parent of JSC Ukrtransgaz on the USD 120 million sale of Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine LLC to JSC Main Gas Pipelines of Ukraine, and on transfer of the gas transmission system of Ukraine from JSC Ukrtransgaz to Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine LLC. EY is often chosen to support foreign investments in Ukraine, and most recently represented an Eastern European producer of ready-to-eat vegetables in the acquisition of a Ukrainian producer. Another area of expertise is working on private equity transactions. For example, EY advised Horizon Capital on acquisition of a significant minority stake in Ajax Systems from SMRK and the management of Ajax Systems. The corporate team rendered advice on transformation of the Money Museum and Educational and Informational Center of the National Bank of Ukraine. Albert Sych is known for his strong focus on the oil and gas sector. Bogdan Malniev is highly visible on the M&A front and received consistent praise from market peers.

Eterna Law possesses a wide corporate offering, structuring foreign investments and market entries/exits, corporate governance issues, restructuring, structuring joint ventures in various jurisdictions, share and asset deals, M&A. The firm is often enlisted to act as a legal counsel in jurisdictions of its presence — Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. Clients customarily come from the investment industry, financial services, renewable energy, port infrastructure, commercial property and IT. The firm advised CoreValue, a technology company with development centers in Ukraine and Poland, on its sale to Oaktree Capital Management and Cornerstone Partners. Eterna’s established client, renowned businessman Alexander Chernyak, instructs the team to support the development and implementation of the ownership structure of a group of companies called AE 37 under the legislation of foreign jurisdictions. Another transactional highlight is advising AIG during the sale of a large insurance company to an investment fund. The practice has three partners on board. Oleh Malskyy is focused on M&A; Maksym Uslystyi led renewable energy and Kazakhstan projects[1]. Recently promoted Artem Kuzmenko took over workflow in IT, infrastructure and construction.

EUCON Legal Group undertakes special focus on supporting bilateral business activity between Ukraine and Poland. The firm operates through two offices in Kyiv and Warsaw, which ensured a solid following of clients with interest in both jurisdictions. The mainstay of the firm is corporate structuring, share deals, corporate governance and resolution of corporate conflicts. In a recent highlight the firm supported market entries of Polish medical companies Alab Laboratoria and Centrolab onto the Ukrainian market. Notably, the firm also advised the Warsaw Stock Exchange on the sale of shares. In terms of Ukrainian outbound investments, the team represented Fozzy Group, a leading food retail chain in Ukraine, on entering the Polish market through acquisitions of a legal entity. Shareholder issues made up a significant part of practice portfolio. Yaroslav Romanchuk and Andrii Romanchuk lead the practice from two offices, respectively.

Ukrainian law firm EVERLEGAL is a highly dynamic team with a vivid focus on the renewable energy sector, representing developers and investors. The core offering includes handling cross-border M&A and JVs, as well as advising on general corporate matters. The firm develops its expertise in private equity. In 2019, the firm completed a series of transactions where it represented UDP Renewables in the sale of a 75.01% shareholding to Acciona Energy for further construction and development of a number of solar power plants in Odesa Region. The firm continued to raise its presence in the IT, FMCG and agricultural sectors. Notably, the firm develops a following of IT clients rendering support on their transactional and operational matters both in Ukraine and other jurisdictions, including M&A. The practice team advised Louis Dreyfus Company Ukraine, a large agricultural holding, on incorporation of an operational company in Ukraine for carrying on its rail cars leasing business in partnership with the EBRD. Managing partner Yevheniy Deyneko commands considerable market appreciation for his active role throughout the past year. Andriy Olenyuk, who heads renewable energy work, extended his advice to IT and agricultural clients.

GOLAW is a popular legal counsel to Ukrainian and foreign companies, banks and financial institutions, as well as private investors doing business in Ukraine or entering local markets. Key strengths of the team include business restructuring conducted jointly by corporate and tax teams, and regulatory knowledge in terms of advising clients from highly-regulated industries. Outbound investment structuring is another area of recent focus. In 2019 the firm received a steady workflow for various corporate governance matters, acting as a legal counsel to TIU Canada, a subsidiary of the Canadian investment fund REFRACTION Asset Management, Printec Ukraine, DOW Izolan, Ubisoft Ukraine, GAP Ukraine, Marka Ukraine, Oriflame, Mercator Medical. Max Lebedev acts as a lead partner.

Gramatskiy & Partners is a long-standing local firm with a permanent client base that loads it with general corporate matters, corporate structuring, share deals, squeeze-out, local and cross-border restructuring. Among others, the firm often supports intra-group transactions. The dedicated team regularly acts for clients operating in the real estate and construction, engineering, transportation and logistics, IT, HoReCa sectors. The team’s recent M&A highlights include representation of the Bakery Food Industry in the acquisition of Fornetti group; acting for IT Soft LLC in acquisition of companies that own co-workings in Kyiv and Lviv. The team handled the merger of distribution networks of alcohol and non-alcohol beverages — LKO, Ditrade, SKS, Prodmarket. Backed by an established IT clientele, the team demonstrated growing focus on supporting investment in start-ups, and recently represented Ukrainian software developer SBTech UA in the course of its buy-out by the US IT holding company Daft Kings. Yegor Ignatichev is in charge of the firm’s corporate practice. Ernest Gramatskiy works on M&A instructions, especially known for deep knowledge of the real estate sector.

ILF Law Firm works along its flourishing industrial areas of focus — healthcare and IT. The firm has two offices, in Kharkiv and Kyiv, and commands specific expertise in the reorganization of hospitals in different regions of Ukraine. In 2019 the firm was active in advising establishment of medical start-ups and supported pharmacies. Strong ties with the Kharkiv IT cluster made the firm a primary choice for structuring business models, commercial activities and M&A assignments in this segment. The firm acted for IT Craft on restructuring its group of companies. Shareholders’ agreements are another area of recent growth. Selected clients include BASF, EGGER Romania, Unavinar, NOX Ukraine. Serhiy Silchenko acts as a lead partner, with strategic input from Tetiana Gavrysh.

Ilyashev & Partners raises its corporate and M&A practice workload, being instructed by banks and financial organizations, companies from agriculture, industrial production, transportation and logistics, aviation construction, real estate, construction materials, commercial property and retail. The team acts regularly on corporate reorganizations, restructurings, corporate governance matters, and expands its M&A pipeline. The landmark deal of 2019 was in the area of commercial real estate, when the team represented Soltex Capital LLC in the course of the UAH 777 million (about USD 32 million) acquisition of the Respublika Trade and Entertainment Center. Another notable deal was representing the interests of the sellers of shares in PFTS Stock Exchange in the process of acquisition of a 49.9% stake in PFTS Stock Exchange shares by WOCE Co., Limited. The firm expands its ­portfolio of corporate assignments in the Russian Federation and Estonia, having offices in Moscow and Tallinn. Corporate and shareholder disputes, often cross-border ones, are a strong feature of the team. This past year the team protected the interests of the Rostok-Holding Group and its beneficiaries in a shareholders dispute with former business partners in litigation in the British Virgin Islands. Partner Yevgen Solovyov co-heads the practice together with firm’s managing partner Mikhail Ilyashev. Another key figure is Leonid Gilevich, counsel.

INTEGRITES has boosted its corporate and M&A practice with incoming transactional and advisory assignments and a new practice executive team. In 2019 the firm enjoyed an expansion in M&A work, involving cross-border mandates spanning agriculture, renewable energy, transport, aviation, real estate and construction, hospitality, healthcare, technology. Backed by the past’s year boom in the renewable energy practice the team, as led by managing partner Dr. Oleksiy Feliv, was highly active in supporting share deals in this sector. Among significant ongoing highlights is supporting NBT, a wind farm developer on emerging markets, in the acquisition of a design company with the potential and lease rights to develop the Zophia wind farm; supporting Eurocape/LongWing, an independent European wind farm developer and operator, on corporate restructuring related to the construction of the first phase of a planned 500 MW wind farm in Ukraine. Corporate governance issues, joint ventures structuring, squeeze-out and corporate conflicts resolution are significant areas of recent workoad. Strategic joint venture projects involving Ukrainian state-owned enterprises also fall within the team’s current remit. The new partner Illya ­Tkachuk (previously a local partner in Jeantet) joined with the team of lawyers in April 2019 and strengthened the firm’s pipeline. Munich-based Dr. Julian Ries heads international offices and acts as a lead partner for many of the firm’s German-speaking clients.

Odesa-based law firm Jurline is a point of choice for significant business in Southern Ukraine spanning shipowners, transshipment and transportation services, wineries, real estate and commercial property. In addition to general corporate matters the firm is enlisted for sophisticated share deals which often include a cross-border element. The solid client base, among others, includes TIS-Mindobryva, PJSC Odesawinprom, PTK Shabo, Kadorr Group, PJSC Severtrans, PJSC Odesavtotrans, Vesta, SK Petroleum, Teka (Sarmont group holding), Fontan Sky shopping center. Volodymyr Zubar heads the practice.

The Kyiv office of Kinstellar is a bright team with a consistent flow of instructions on corporate governance, regulatory and compliance, privatization matters, cross-border and local M&A deals, establishment of JVs, as well as permanent operational support. The team stands out for a number of sound corporate governance projects in Ukrainian state-owned enterprises supported by international development institutions — the corporate governance reform of Naftogaz of Ukraine, Ukrposhta, the national postal operator, Ukroboronprom, the holding of Ukrainian state-owned defence companies; and is currently advising the supervisory board of Ukrenergo. Most recently the office advised leading Ukrainian seed producer MAIS in connection with the establishment of a joint venture with a strategic investor, a US company called Remington Seeds. Furthermore, given its strong network in emerging markets, the firm is enlisted for cross-border M&A deals involving Ukraine, spans the following industries as agriculture, energy and natural resources, insurance, real estate. Standout projects in the infrastructure sector is representing the Qatari port operator QTerminals in the largest port concession tender in Ukraine to date in connection with the planned transfer of assets of state-owned enterprise Stevedoring Company Olvia and the assets of the state enterprise Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine into concession. Iryna Nikolayevska, partner, heads the corporate/M&A and compliance practices. Olena Kuchynska, partner, has a sharp focus on the energy, oil and gas and environmental sectors.

KPMG Law renders advice on corporate governance, restructuring, debt-to-equity swap, M&A, and regularly supports market entries and exits of its sound international clientele. Sector wise the firm’s client profile includes the energy, agriculture, real estate, IT sectors. It is quite notable that the office is involved in advising on privatization matters. For example, the firm renders vendor tax assistance to the State Property Fund of Ukraine in connection with the contemplated privatization of JSC Odesa Port Plant and acts as the adviser on preparation of the State Enterprise Plant Eleсtrotyazhmash for privatization. Supported by past year’s rise in the renewable energy practice, the legal team is present in M&A deals. In particular, the firm supported CCK Power Holdings Limited in purchasing a 100% stake in two SPVs for the development of solar power plants in Ukraine. The transactional side benefits from strong tax expertise. For example, the dedicated team conducted tax due diligence of JSC Chumak in connection with its acquisition by the Delta Wilmar Group of companies from Dragon Capital; handled tax due diligence and tax structuring advice in connection with the acquisition of the Cropio group of agri IT companies by Syngenta. The multidisciplinary team is led by Yuriy Katser and Sergey Popov.

Nobles, a Ukrainian law firm, has a broad portfolio of clients coming from the IT, e-commerce, media, telecommunications, insurance and real estate sectors. Being part of a big German law firm in the past, the team preserves its close cooperation with Noerr whenever projects cover CEE jurisdictions. The practice team is often enlisted for corporate restructuring, shareholders agreements and corporate governance. On the M&A front, the firm regularly assists with Ukrainian aspects of multijurisdictional deals. For example, the team represented Dreamgroup Management on the sale of its hostels in Warsaw, Prague and Bratislava to Safestay plc, a London-based operator of an international brand of contemporary hostels. Another example includes advising Viatrans S.A., a Swiss company in the area of TIR-insurance and international transport activities, regarding sale of its 22% shareholding in a leading insurance company in Ukraine. Selected client names are H&M, Beam Suntory, Ivoclar Vivadent, Zooplus, LSG Sky Chefs, Mothercare, BayWa, Fr. Meyer’s Sohn, Rocket Internet, TÜV NORD, Xantis Pharma, Llentab. The practice has two partners on board. Volodymyr Yakubovskyy is a vivid M&A practitioner. Alexander Weigelt, a German-qualified lawyer, focuses on corporate and regulatory advice for international clients, particularly from German-speaking jurisdictions.

In 2019 Pavlenko Legal Group continued to enhance its positions in corporate and M&A, grabbing new transactional work in agrarian, real estate, financial services, healthcare and pharmacy industries. The team’s project portfolio encompasses corporate structuring and restructuring, corporate rights purchase and squeeze-out. Highlights from the past year include representation of Pivdenna Agrarian-Export Company (PAEK) on its acquisition of Buhsky Elevator LLC; acting for TAS Group in its acquisition of the Cosmo Pharmacies chain. Eridon, the leading Ukrainian company in distribution of plant protection products, fertilizers and seeds of foreign selection, was represented in acquiring the corporate rights of LLC Grant-N, a producer of concrete items and construction products, to develop industrial capacities for reprocessing sunflower. Lead partner Denis Maistrenko reaffirms his market niche.

Given its close ties with international law firms, Redcliffe Partners acts regularly as a Ukrainian law counsel in the framework of multijurisdictional transactions. The firm’s recent areas of M&A activity include oil and gas, renewable energy, financial services, IT, infrastructure and real estate. Redcliffe Partners advised UiPath, a fast growing software company, on the acquisition of Ukrainian automated process documentation startup StepShot. Among current large-scale mandates is advising Trident Acquisitions on negotiations with San Leon Energy plc regarding the sale of a share in Trident Black Sea and the structuring of Trident’s further participation in the PSA project. The three partners on board are Dmytro Fedoruk, US-qualified Rob Shantz and Zoryana Sozanska-Matviychuk.

The Kyiv office of Wolf Theiss is a part of the CEE network, and is regularly enlisted for multijurisdictional M&A, asset deals, corporate restructuring and market entries. The firm recently advised JCI, a global diversified technology and multi-industrial leader, on Ukrainian law issues in connection with the global sale of its power solutions business; advised Dassault Systèmes SE, a French software company, on acquisition of Selerant group’s Serbia and Ukrainian subsidiaries engaged in software development as a part of acquisition of Selerant S.r.l. The firm acts actively for private equity firms, and most recently advised Vista Equity Partners on the acquisition of a Ukrainian subsidiary of Vertice Technologies, a software products developer and distributor, as a part of global M&A. Another notable project in 2019 was advising Sompo International, a major international insurance company, on the first ever M&A warranty and indemnity insurance for a transaction in Ukraine. Taras Dumych, managing partner, heads the practice.

ADER HABER handles general corporate work, including structuring market entries and exits, complex restructuring involving foreign jurisdictions, advises on corporate governance and shareholder agreements. Key areas of industrial focus take in energy, agriculture, real estate, construction and development, retail and IT. The team regularly acts for longstanding client Merx, a large furniture holding company, on various corporate assignments including asset deals; advises Panda Claim, a start-up on commission services, on incorporation and complex support of business activity. Outbound investment structuring is another area of recent growth. Sound clients include British American Tobacco and Kalpataru Power Transmission Limited. Aleksandra Fedotova, real estate partner, leads corporate and M&A work. Vitaliya Karhova, counsel, is in charge of corporate advisory.

The compact Ukrainian niche team at Alstellar Law Firm is focused on international corporate structuring and M&A. The project portfolio spans corporate restructuring projects involving the multijurisdictional level. Most recently the firm represented MacHouse on corporate restructuring and handled the corporate structuring of Moneyveo, micro financing organization group, in 10 new jurisdictions. Alstellar supported LiraLand in its entering the European market via a company set up in the Balkans. Managing partner Olga Vinglovska is noted for her professional experience in corporate structuring issues.

Ante Law Firm has a dedicated niche among clients coming out of the aviation and pharmaceutical sectors. The firm renders corporate law services to Lufthansa group (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels Airlines), Ernest S.p.A., British Airways, Air France/KLM, Alitalia, Qatar Airways and other international airlines, operating flights to/from Ukraine. Furthermore, the firm is a point of choice for many representative offices, which includes their registration and liquidation, opening of branches, changes in management and corporate structuring. The Council of Europe Office in Ukraine involves the firm’s team in some projects, related to establishment of independent public broadcasting in Ukraine — Ante rendered services for the benefit of UA: Suspilne TV channel (Ukrainian national public broadcasting company). The firm’s pharmaceutical clients take in the local offices of multinational companies (for example, Sanofi, Perrigo) and Ukrainian companies, operating as importers and distributors of medicines, medical devices and cosmetics (Zdravo Pharmmarketing Company). The practice is headed by Roman Storonskiy.

Backed by a confident position in energy and subsoil use, ANTIKA Law Firm is consistently preferred by subsequent sector players to handle their corporate assignments. The team represented Cadogan Ukraine Holdings Limited, subsidiary of Cadogan Petroleum Plc, in its withdrawal from the treaty on Joint Investment and Production Activity on extracting hydrocarbons and assignment of its interest in a few production licenses owned by Westgasinvest, LLC. Another established client, AWT Bavaria, has received advice on implementation of a new corporate management structure developed within the process of reorganization of its business. The team is led by four partners: Dr. Alexey Kot, Alexander Burtovoy, Andrey Kuznetsov and Sergii Korniienko.

Known best for its extensive bankruptcy and insolvency practice, ARIO Law Firm has a focus on anti-raiding measures and distressed M&A. The team’s current portfolio takes in corporate structuring assignments, share and asset deals as well as resolution of corporate disputes. The firm represents Hotel Lybid in a corporate dispute due to a raider attack on corporate rights. The team acts mainly for local clients, and is led by partners Julian Khorunzhyi, Ruslan Sydorovich and Andrij Fylyk.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar handles corporate work for its main niche, the aviation sector, with increasing activity in real estate and infrastructure. The practice remit takes in corporate structuring, restructuring, governance issues, privatization, share deals and acquisitions. The list of public clients takes in Ukraine International Airlines, Interavia, Aerohandling and a number of private investors. Oleg Bondar and Oleksandra Nikitina are the main contacts.

The Kyiv office of French law firm Jeantet continues to preserve its mainstay, representing mostly international clients, including significant francophone names, on various corporate matters in Ukraine. In addition, the firm has a steady transactional project profile, including asset deals, M&A, as well as governance advice, structuring of distribution of dividends and squeeze-out. Clients come from the agrarian, energy, technology and engineering industries. Office head Bertrand Barrier took over leadership in this practice.

KM Partners advises on general corporate matters, including changes in corporate charters, governance, termination and liquidation, debt-for-equity swap, structuring and reorganization, cross-border investment deal structuring. The firm has M&A work with the tax implications of corporate transactions as its recognized strength. Alexander Minin and Maxim Oleksiuk are lead partners.

The long-standing market player Konnov & Sozanovsky rendered a legal offering on corporate matters and M&A in the agrarian, real estate and infrastructure, media sectors. Most recently the firm acted for Canon Ukraine and Booking Ukraine on corporate structuring of their activities in Ukraine. Sergei Konnov and Alexey Ivanov are the lead partners.

Krolevetskyi & Partners, a Kharkiv-based law firm, regularly supports incorporation and business structuring, reorganizations, asset and share deals. Backed by an established following of regional industrial companies (for example, Metalan steel and metal warehouse, Tradesteel, Rento Plus), the team carried out the sale of corporate rights and advised on the establishment of a corporate venture fund. Another project included advising Ideasoft Group on structuring its IT business with the opening of a branch in Estonia. Olexii Zaitsev heads the practice.

In 2019 Marchenko Partners acquired M&A expertise with the arrival of a dedicated practice from Nobles, as led by partners Roman Shulyar and Artem Nagdalian. The new practice is keen to handle cross-border M&A, joint ventures, restructurings. Industrial areas of focus take in IT, transport and logistics, infrastructure. The major highlight was advising DP World on a joint venture transaction with TIS Group that also envisaged acquisition by DP World of a controlling stake in major Ukrainian stevedoring operator TIS Container Terminal. Roman Shulyar is praised for his “reasoned approach” in the course of handling transactions.

MORIS GROUP, a Ukrainian law firm with offices in Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk, is involved in restructurings, sale and purchase of corporate rights, liquidation, corporate governance issues. In addition to clients from industrial, energy, real estate, financial sectors, the firm reveals a large pro bono practice that supports charities, foundations and public organization. The client list includes CemInWest S.A., Ukrainian Startup Fund, Persha Pryvatna Brovarnya, Promprylad.Renovatsia plant. Maryan Martynyuk is a lead partner.

Peterka & Partners, the Czech law firm with an office in Kyiv, renders day-to-day support to the activities of its clients in Ukraine. It is hired for establishing subsidiaries, structuring and  corporate governance issues. The client list takes in Mammoet, market leader in engineered heavy lifting and transport services; Mekoprint, a Danish-based producer and global supplier of electronic ware; PEKM Kabeltechnik, a manufacturer of electrical equipment and electronics; Steelcase, a global leader in the production of office furniture; ACO Industries, a worldwide leader in trench drainage solutions, and others. Partner Taras Utiralov is the main contact.

SDM Partners, a Ukrainian law firm focused on advising foreign clients, acts on local and cross-border deals. The team stands out for transactional activity in the healthcare industry, having supported a large European healthcare services group in its acquisition of clinics and laboratories. Another example of sectoral focus is real estate, where the team handled share and asset deals in different regions of Ukraine. This past year the firm advised one of the largest Ukrainian financial groups in the course of acquisition of real estate assets. Dmytro Syrota and Serhiy Dzis are lead partners.

Stron Legal Services is focused primarily on advising fintech, e-commerce and IT companies. The core offering includes corporate and tax structuring of a group of companies. Managing partner Oleg Derlyuk is the main contact.

Corporate and M&A is one of the key practices of local firm Sytnyk & Partners. The team has established a following of German-speaking clients. The firm most recently advised the leading European Gaming Group on market entry and launch of activities at its Ukrainian office; represented the leading European Media and Publishing Holding on the sale of its publishing business for the benefit of a group of Austrian investors. The cross-border highlight is representing BENTELER International AG in the course of acquisition of BENTELER Distribution Ukraine by Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group. Artem Sokurov, counsel, is the practice head.

The young law firm Quantum Attorneys is focused on mid-market clients with a special focus on the fintech, retail and FMCG sectors. The dedicated team handles corporate structuring and restructuring, corporate rights sale. Maksym Andrianov heads the practice.

Oksana Ilchenko, managing partner of the Kyiv office of EPAP, is noted by peers for guiding a number of corporate transactions.

Volodymyr Igonin, partner of Vasil Kisil & Partners, is praised for his proficient and calm negotiating manner.

 

[1] In June 2020 Maksym Uslystyi left the firm and launched ACQUIS Law Firm.

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRMS

Herbert Smith Freehills often acts on corporate matters and M&A transactions involving Ukraine with its team of dedicated legal practitioners across its global network. The international team advised Groupe Atlantic, a leading French HVAC company, on the acquisition of SST Group’s electric underfloor heating and water leakage control systems. The project team included lawyers from two offices: Moscow (Alexei Roudiak, head of corporate EMEA and managing partner; Artjom Tamaev, of counsel) and Frankfurt (Ruediger Hoffman, counsel).

Latham & Watkins advised Russian telecommunications operator MTS Group on the USD 734 million acquisition by NEQSOL of VF Ukraine, one of the largest local mobile network operators. The team in Moscow included counsel Edward Kemspon, and associates Timur Bayramov and Alexander Fedorkov, assisted by London-based associate Aoife McCabe.

For more information about international law firms advising M&A transactions, please see ­Table 4.