Sayenko Kharenko possesses a scaled portfolio of its international arbitration practice acting in landmark investment arbitration cases representing Ukraine, and an established pipeline of commercial disputes. The firm is involved in the largest investment arbitration against Ukraine, acting for the State of Ukraine, alongside international counsel Latham & Watkins, in an Energy Charter Treaty investment arbitration initiated by the minority shareholders of PJSC Ukrnafta under the Arbitration Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce with the amount of claim being around USD 5.4 billion. Another resonant case is representation of the State of Ukraine in an ICSID investment arbitration initiated by a shareholder of PJSC Aerosvit with the amount of claim around USD 700 million. Another area of the firm’s expertise is infrastructure and construction. The practice has a strong track record in enforcing arbitral awards in Ukraine and other jurisdictions. The firm has recently represented Prominvestbank in court proceedings in Ukraine initiated by Everest Estate and 18 other creditors to enforce an USD 139 million investment treaty award against the Russian Federation in Ukraine against the assets of several Russian and Ukrainian banks. The team is led by partner Olexander Droug, supported by counsel Volodymyr Yaremko and senior associate Olesia Gontar.

INTEGRITES is very busy for both investment-treaty cases and commercial arbitrations in different venues and under different rules (LCIA, SCC, ICC, Swiss Rules, ICAC (Kyiv), ICAC (Moscow), GAFTA, UNCITRAL etc.), often acting as a lead arbitration counsel. Over the last year, the team secured several big victories in multimillion arbitrations and received a number of new instructions. For example, the team obtained an unprecedented award in favor of Ukrainian state enterprise Ukrkhimtransamiak, one of the world’s major ammonia pipeline operators, in arbitration in ICAC (Kyiv) against a Russian chemical giant, Togliattiazot, with over USD 190 million at stake. Ongoing highlights include acting as a Ukrainian law counsel to NPC Ukrenergo in its investment treaty claim against Russia, seeking compensation for unlawful expropriation of a power grid, related infrastructure and other property by the Russian authorities following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. In addition to energy, metallurgy and chemicals sectors clients, the team also retains an established workflow of commodities arbitrations. In addition, the firm successfully assisted MOSTON Properties Limited (UK) with award enforcement in Ukraine against PJSC Ukrgasvydobuvannya. The sizeable team has two partners on board: Olena Perepelynska, head of CIS arbitration, is praised for her very strong counsel perfomance and persistent work on improving Ukrainian arbitration legislation; Dmytro Marchukov leads investment arbitration cases and also heads cross-border litigation. Serhii Uvarov, counsel, is referred as a rising star of CIS arbitration. Krystyna Khripkova, senior associate, is another core practice member.

Reputable Ukrainian law firm Asters has extensive experience in arbitration and сross-border litigation. During the past year, the team acted in arbitral proceedings under a wide range of arbitration rules (ICC, LCIA, VIAC, ICAC, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, and the American Arbitration Association as well as UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules), and assisted its clients in enforcing foreign arbitral awards and judgments in Ukraine. Most recently the firm is retained to represent investors in scaled arbitrations arising under bilateral investment treaties. The team further expands its expertise on FIDIC contract disputes. The sizeable team is led by several partners: Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, noted as an all-round professional; Yaroslav Petrov is known for his energy disputes work. Svitlana Chepurna is seen in significant arbitral cases related to the banking field.

Ukrainian law firm AEQUO handles high-profile and complex matters, acting as Ukrainian arbitration counsel with international law firms in commercial and investment disputes. Landmark matters include a historical win for NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine in a series of SCC Arbitrations against Russia’s Gazprom, under long-term gas supply and transit contracts, where Gazprom was ordered to pay a net amount of USD 2.56 billion to Naftogaz of Ukraine. The team also supports Naftogaz and its subsidiaries NJSC Chornomornaftogaz, JSC Ukrtransgaz, Likvo LLC, JSC Ukrgasvydobuvannya, JSC Ukrtransnafta, and Gaz Ukraiiny (Naftogaz group) in prevailing on jurisdiction and liability issues at the first phase of international arbitration against the Russian Federation in a dispute over breach of the Ukraine — Russia bilateral investment treaty through Russia’s expropriation of the Naftogaz group’s assets in Crimea. Another significant case is representing Olympic Entertainment Group, a major European gaming operator, in UNCITRAL proceedings against Ukraine following a highly-politicized legislative ban on gambling imposed in Ukraine in 2009. Partner Pavlo Byelousov, practice head, who also receives appointment as an ICAC arbitrator, is highly active on the market. Denis Lysenko, managing partner, and Myroslava Savchuk, counsel, play an active role in energy disputes.

Renowned for its sustainable arbitration practice, Arzinger handled many international investment and commercial arbitrations administered by the world’s leading institutions. The team is assigned as an arbitration counsel in investment disputes and added pre-arbitration settlement negotiations to its performance. The significant highlight was representing the State of Ukraine in an investment dispute under ICSID rules on a lawsuit filed by Dutch investors seeking recognition of Ukraine’s breach of obligations under the bilateral agreement signed between Ukraine and the Netherlands for the protection of investments in the banking sector as well as obtaining the appropriate compensation (City State N.V. vs. Ukraine). In addition, the team raises its caseload with debt and damage recovery disputes, as well as shareholder disputes. Oksana Karel was promoted to counsel and co-head of international litigation and arbitration group. She was named “star of cross-examination in Ukraine” during the review by peers. Outstanding arbitration practitioner Markian Malskyy returned to Arzinger (he headed Lviv Regional State Administration in July — December 2019) as partner and heads the firm’s Western Ukrainian office.

Ukrainian boutique ARBITRADE boosted its practice of international investment and commercial arbitration, and retained its traditional strength in commodities arbitration under the auspices of GAFTA and FOSFA as well as in arbitrations related to the sale and purchase of complex industrial equipment. In 2019 the team represented one of its long-term clients in two FOSFA proceedings, and has represented several other companies in pre-arbitral settlement negotiations; was instructed in two cases arising from delivery of equipment of undue quality under SCC and VIAC rules, respectively. In addition to conducting pre-arbitral negotiations with the government of Ukraine on behalf of a foreign investor, the team was enlisted to represent a Ukrainian investor in ICSID arbitration proceedings against a foreign state as the only counsel of the claimant in that case. The firm successfully represented a Cypriot entity, Cantarell Trading Limited, in a dispute with Lithuanian debtor UAB CMPK at the London Court of International Arbitration; currently acts for State Enterprise Konotop Aviation Repair Plant AVIAKON in proceedings for recognition and enforcement of an award of the ICAC at the UCCI in the Czech Republic. Pavlo Trytenichenko acts as lead partner. Yuliya Chernykh, of counsel, is regularly appointed as an arbitrator and as an expert on issues of Ukrainian law. Additionally, she has been appointed as Vice President of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Dr. Ivan Vashchinets joined the firm and took in commercial and corporate disputes.

The international arbitration practice of Eterna Law has an extensive caseload of high-value claims in LCIA, ICC, VIAC, NAI, ICAC and other arbitration institutions. The firm also maintains its traditional presence in commodity arbitration under the rules of GAFTA, FOSFA, SAOL, LME and LMAA. In 2019 the practice team focused on disputes in agribusiness, IT, banking and transport areas. The firm is often enlisted for high-value shareholder disputes. Representative cases include an USD 80 million arbitration case in LCIA and USD 50 million arbitration under ICC Rules. In the commodities area the firm acted for a client in an India-seated arbitration matter arising from fraudulent misappropriation of cargo. In the field of investment arbitration the firm provided advice to a major investor in the mining business. The practice is headed by partner Eugene Blinov. Partners Oleh Beketov and Aleksandr Lugovskyi are responsible for general commercial, shareholders and post-M&A, international trade and IT related disputes, as well as recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards and foreign court judgments in Ukraine, England and Cyprus.

AVELLUM’s international arbitration practice has the largest and most outstanding portfolio of commodity arbitrations among Ukrainian law firms, and is assigned by major agriholdings for representation in GAFTA, FOSFA and LMAA cases. In 2019 the firm gained a favorable award for its client in the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and secured a series of wins in GAFTA arbitration. Commodities arbitration workflow is managed by Ivan Kasynyuk, and Iryna Moroz, and with strategic input from Aminat Suleymanova. Partners Mykola Stetsenko and Glib Bondar are currently involved as Ukrainian law experts in large stake investment arbitrations whose total dispute value exceeds USD 1.9 billion, including landmark investment arbitrations brought by Ukrainian investors against the Russian Federation regarding expropriation of their investments  in Crimea[1].

The Ukrainian dispute resolution practice of Kinstellar is vividly present in international arbitration in foreign arbitration centers, being especially keen to act for high net worth individuals. The team stands out for dedication to shareholders and post-M&A disputes. For example, it successfully represented a former shareholder of one of Ukraine’s largest agribusiness groups in a long-lasting London-seated arbitration conducted under ICC Arbitration Rules; represented a Ukrainian high net worth individual in USD 200 million LCIA arbitration in connection with a post-M&A dispute for alleged breach of obligations under the share purchase agreement related to the sale of one of the largest agro-holdings in Ukraine. The highlight of the past year was representation of VTB Bank PJSC (Moscow branch) in the course of recognition and enforcement of an arbitral award rendered in the investment arbitration case Everest Estate LLC vs. the Russian Federation. Kostiantyn Likarchuk, managing partner, is noted for his strategic role in this practice. Counsel Mykyta Nota, FCIArb, has been directly involved in the most significant post-M&A and shareholder disputes.

Ilyashev & Partners is one of the largest and most recognized Ukrainian law firms for domestic and cross-border dispute resolution, including international commercial arbitration, appealing, recognizing and enforcing arbitral awards both in Ukraine and overseas. The firm successfully protected the interests of J.S. Corrugating Machinery Co. Ltd, one of the largest China-based machinery manufacturers, in the recognition and enforcement in Ukraine of an arbitration award published by the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) for the payment by a Ukrainian company of a principle debt; represented JKX Oil & Gas Plc on recognition and enforcement of an ad hoc arbitration award against the State of Ukraine on recovery of USD 12.2 million in losses. Partners Roman Marchenko and Mikhail Ilyashev are regularly appointed as experts on Ukrainian law in the most significant arbitration cases of the last few years. The firm recently increased its presence in LCIA disputes. In 2019, the senior team was enhanced with the arrivals of Roman Protsyshyn and Sergey Nedelko, and promotion of Andrey Bychkov to counsel. Roman Marchenko, unchangeably heads the practice.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang in Ukraine has particular expertise in energy disputes, investment and commercial arbitrations. This past year the team acted in LCIA commercial arbitration proceedings related to the Ukrainian telecom sector. Olexander Martinenko, senior partner, regularly acts as an expert witness on Ukrainian law in various arbitration matters. Olga Shenk is another noted practitioner.

Southern Ukrainian law firm Interlegal is known for its maritime, shipping, international trade and related commodities arbitration practice. In a recent highlight, the firm acted in the interests of a shipbuilding enterprise in debt recovery for ship repair, via the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The firm is also noted for its established caseload in GAFTA, FOSFA and LMAA. The team is led by partners Artem Skorobogatov and Natalya Myroshnychenko.

LCF Law Group represents the interests of clients conducting cross-border business in international and Ukrainian commercial arbitration institutions, as well as on enforcement of foreign awards in Ukraine. The firm acted as Ukrainian law counsel to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in arbitrations versus Todini Construzioni Generali S.p.a. and Olympic Entertainment Group. The team represented the interests of the international trading company Spike Trade within the framework of the procedure for securing a claim filed with the GAFTA Arbitration. A recent highlight is defending Prominvestbank’s interests in a precedent case regarding the removal of the arrest of a bank’s assets in the amount of USD 140 million as property of the Russian Federation (as a result of recognition and enforcement of the investment arbitration decision in respect of assets of Ukrainian residents in temporarily-occupied Crimea). Promoted to partner in March 2019 Julia Atamanova heads  the practice.

Lexwell & Partners has an experienced team for representing the State of Ukraine in investment disputes, and state-owned companies in commercial arbitration proceedings. In particular, the firm is the Ukrainian law counsel in a landmark USD 5.4 billion investment dispute between Ukraine and minority shareholders of Ukrnafta, and acts for Naftogaz of Ukraine in LCIA proceeding with Littop Enterprises Limited regarding corporate governance of Ukrnafta. Another noteworthy case is representation of the State of Ukraine in international arbitration proceedings under the claim of international investor Mr. Igor Boyko regarding compensation for losses to the tune of USD 50 million incurred in connection with the violation of property rights to a shareholding in the Zhytomyr Confectionery Factory. The firm currently represents a Ukrainian seed distributor in an international arbitration case at the International Seed Federation in a dispute with a major French agricultural holding regarding delivered seeds. The team is led by Andriy Kolupaev, managing partner, and includes Igor Nagai, Zhanna Goriacha and Olena Tregubova.

ANTIKA Law Firm represents clients in a broad range of disputes in arbitrational institutions as well as at all stages of enforcement procedures, including recognition and enforcement of foreign courts and international arbitrations awards. The team is regularly instructed by foreign law firms as Ukrainian law experts. Projects team includes partners Dr. Alexey Kot and ­Maxim Korchagin.

The dispute resolution team at Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv office is involved in representing clients in international arbitration and in court proceedings on recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Ukraine and abroad. Ihor Siusel is lead partner.

The dispute resolution practice of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz is headed by partners Maria Orlyk and Anna Pogrebna. The firm currently advises on arbitration proceedings in different jurisdictions and recognition and enforcement of decisions in Ukraine.

In 2019 the Kyiv-based office team of Dentons successfully represented a European creditor in a multi-party arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration against a Ukrainian company, which operates on the world steel market. The firm provided complex English and Ukrainian law advice and represented a client’s interest in the course of arbitration. Oleg Batyuk, managing partner, is the main contact.

In 2019, EQUITY extended its multi-force dispute resolution practice with the launch of its international arbitration branch. The dedicated team dwelled as arbitration counsel into a number of commercial arbitration cases, inter alia, acted as a co-counsel (with Fangda Partners in Beijing) for a Ukrainian producer of cardboard as a respondent in China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission arbitration involving claims for the amount exceeding USD 11 million in respect of supply of equipment from China to Ukraine. The firm was also enlisted to act on recognition and enforcement of an arbitration award of the Arbitration and Dispute Resolution institute of Oslo in the Pelagis AS vs. LLL Laran-07 case. Oksana Varakina joined the firm as practice counsel this past year. Oleg Malinevskiy is lead partner.

The key projects of EVERLEGAL’s international arbitration practice in 2019 include enforcement of a Ukrainian ICAC award in Germany, setting aside a Ukrainian ICAC award in Ukraine, providing complex legal advice at the pre-arbitration stage of the dispute involving a Ukrainian agroholding with one of its foreign contractors. Vsevolod Volkov is lead partner. Marina ­Riashchenko joined the firm as a senior associate.

Odesa-based Jurline is one of the few regional law firms that have experience in accompanying arbitration cases in GAFTA, FOSFA, LCIA, LMAA. Daria Minchenko acts as practice head.

KPMG Law continues to advise on international arbitration matters, acting as expert witness and enforcing arbitral awards in Ukraine. In particular, Yuriy Katser, head of legal, acted as the Ukrainian law expert in four large-scale international arbitrations, including two USD 5.4 billion international arbitrations concerning Ukrnafta, the largest Ukrainian oil company, under LCIA and SCC arbitration rules. The legal team also supported the Belarusian Oil Company in matters related to recognition of an arbitral award in Ukraine.

Odesa-based law firm Legrant is focused on shipping and contractual disputes in international maritime and commodity arbitration institutions. The recent portfolio is centered on representing large international agro traders in GAFTA arbitration. Tatyana Titarenko, managing partner, is the main contact.

Marchenko Partners focuses on investor-state disputes against Ukraine and is known for its use of successful practice of employing investor-state disputes settlement mechanisms under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties at the early stages of these conflicts. Among the public cases is acting for Franklin and Lorraine McMahons, Home Group S.A. and Morgan Furniture LLC (US, Canadian and French investors) in an investor-state dispute and negotiations with the Government of Ukraine for alleged violation of Ukraine’s currency control regulations and a provisional ban on the export-import operations of Morgan Furniture LLC imposed by the Ministry of Economy. The firm acted as an external legal counsel for Philip Morris on public international law matters and proceedings in an investor-state dispute and related negotiations with the Government of Ukraine, and reached the first ever amicable settlement of a tax- related dispute (investment dispute) in Ukraine. Partner Oleh Marchenko heads the dispute resolution team.

Redcliffe Partners’ arbitration team, as led by Sergiy Gryshko, acts for clients in commercial arbitration and under investment treaties, and is also enlisted as a Ukrainian law expert. In 2019, the team acted successfully for a leading global supplier of high-grade refractory materials, securing leave to enforce the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) award in Ukraine and having it enforced in three parallel enforcement proceedings.

Most recently the attorneys of Ukrainian boutique firm VB PARTNERS act as experts in resolving investment disputes. The team is involved in two arbitration proceedings against the State of Ukraine in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes. One of the disputes was brought by an investor in a large enterprise, whose shares were nationalized without offering prompt compensation. Another dispute was caused by measures taken by the State of Ukraine against a banking institution for expropriating its assets under insolvency proceedings.

Sergei Voitovich, partner at Grischenko & Partners, is a renowned heavyweight in investment arbitration. Additionally, he has multiple appointments in ICAC arbitrations.

Dr. Irina Paliashvili, RULG — Ukrainian Legal Group, is referred as a persuasive and knowledgeable Ukrainian expert in international arbitration with unique experience of energy projects, oil and gas regulation and production sharing agreements in Ukraine, Russia and the CIS region.

Irina Nazarova, managing partner of ENGARDE attorneys at law, has an international reputation as an arbitration practitioner acting as both counsel and arbitrator.

 

[1] In late May 2020 the firm announced that it continues to cooperate as an alliance of two

firms — AVELLUM and AGA Partners (these two firms merged in June 2018).

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRMS*

Headquartered in Washington DC, international law firm Covington & Burling has extensive experience of handling matters in Ukraine and for Ukrainian entities, including notable experience with claims arising from Russia’s unlawful conduct relating to Crimea. The firm is known for its unrivalled experience in investor-state arbitration. In particular, the team acts for Naftogaz of Ukraine in a USD 5 billion investment claim against the Russian Federation under the Ukraine—Russia BIT over Russia’s expropriation of assets belonging to Naftogaz in Crimea. The firm also represents the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, DTEK Krymenergo and other Ukrainian investors in their claims against the Russian Federation. The firm is highly active in public international law disputes, representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine before the International Court of Justice in its case against the Russian Federation to hold Russia accountable for its violations of international law in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine under the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism. Washington-based partner Marne Cheek is head of the desk. The key partners are Jonathan Gimblett, Craig Pollack and Jeremy Wilson (London), David Zionts and Nikhil Gore (Washington DC), David Pinsky and Erin Thomas (New York).

Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services related to protecting the interests of Naftogaz of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictions (including foreign state authorities, organizations, institutions, foreign courts, foreign financial institutions, before other entities and individuals) in all respects related to the execution of an arbitral award in favor of Italia Ukraina Gas S.p.A. (IUGAS), and potential arbitration proceedings upon a potential claim from IUGAS (or its successors) at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.

Fieldfisher’s recent track record includes representing minority shareholders in Ukrnafta PJSC against Ukraine in investment arbitration brought at the SCC under the Energy Charter Treaty; acts for a Dutch investor against Ukraine in an investment treaty arbitration on the expropriation of the claimant’s investment in a Ukrainian airline under ICSID rules. Arik Aslanyan, partner, is the head of the Russia & CIS Group, based at the firm’s London office.

Foley Hoag (Paris) is Ukraine’s legal counsel in the investment arbitration case Sinequanon Investment vs. Ukraine. The team includes special counsel Pierre d`Argent, partner Hery Frédéric Ranjeva, counsel Ivan Urzhumov and associate Antoine Lerosier.

International law firm Hogan Lovells is known for its solid track record in handling complex, high-stake litigation and arbitration proceedings related to Ukraine. The firm’s international arbitration team is experienced in both investment treaty and commercial arbitration cases. In particular, the firm is enlisted by Ukrainian businessmen for representation in shareholder disputes. The team is based in London, and includes partners Michael Davison, Kieron O’Callaghan, Markus Burgstaller, Ben Hornan.

Holland & Knight acted as a legal counsel to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the Oksana Baiul vs. Joseph Lemire, Olympic Champions LTD (Delaware), Olympic Champions LTD (BVI), State of Ukraine and Does case; as well as in the Universal Trading & Investment Co., Inc. and Foundation Honesty International, Inc. vs. the State of Ukraine, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine and the Prosecutor-General’s Office of Ukraine case.

Latham & Watkins (London) is legal counsel to Ukraine in the Littop Enterprises Limited, Bridgemont Ventures Limited and Bordo Management Limited vs. Ukraine case under the Arbitration Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The firm also represents Ukraine’s interests in the Gilward Investments B.V. vs. Ukraine ICSID case.

Osborne Clarke handled a shareholder dispute over the distribution of profits from a company and acted in a commercial arbitration dispute arising out of a potential breach of contract in respect of commodities. Artem Doudko, partner, is head of Russia & CIS disputes. Viktoria Garner, senior associate, is another key practitioner in the London-based team.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is legal counsel to the State of Ukraine in international arbitration proceedings regarding compensation for losses incurred in connection with the violation of property rights to a share in the Zhytomyr Confectionery Factory (Mr. Ihor Boyko vs. Ukraine case). London-based partner Alex Gerbi is experienced in disputes relating to Ukraine, Russia and other CIS territories.

Sherman & Sterling (Paris) has long-standing experience of representing the State of Ukraine in investment arbitrations. The firm has been hired as legal counsel for Ukraine in the State Development Corporation VEB.RF vs. Ukraine case as well as in the Gazprom vs. Ukraine case. The firm also acts as French counsel to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the Todini Construzioni Generali S.p.A. vs. State Road Agency of Ukraine case and handles representation of the State of Ukraine in Emergofin B.V. (Netherlands) and Velbay Holdings Ltd (Cyprus) vs. Ukraine in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

Wikborg Rein Advokatfirma AS (Norway) acted as a legal counsel to NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine with regard to providing protection for the rights and interests of Ukraine during the settlement of the dispute between NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and PJSC Gazprom.

Winston & Strawn acts as a legal counsel of the State of Ukraine in the Tatneft vs. Ukraine case. Maria Kostytska, partner of the Paris and Washington DC offices, is a leading counsel.

Withers is a legal counsel to Ukraine in the Todini Construzioni Generali S.p.A. vs. State Road Agency of Ukraine case. The firm is Ukraine’s legal counsel in the ICSID case of City-State N.V., Praktyka Asset Management Company LLC, Crystal-Invest LLC, Prodiz LLC vs. Ukraine. It also provided legal services to protect the interests of Ukraine in the Olympic Entertainment Group AS vs. Ukraine case.

 

This piece of research is based on submissions of international law firms and information available in public sources, in particular, the Official Resource on Public Purchasing in Ukraine — ProZorro.