Sayenko Kharenko retains its leadership on the international trade scene due to an impressive portfolio of landmark large-scale projects, covering WTO rules, trade defense proceedings, contractual and regulatory work. The firm is renowned for its unique WTO practice, and is involved in several ongoing disputes, including acting on behalf of the DF Group companies in WTO dispute settlement proceedings in DS493 and WTO arbitration proceedings to identify the reasonable implementation period in DS493; advising a client in respect of potential violation by Georgia of its WTO obligations in the application of taxes to imported tobacco products. The firm is at the forefront of trade remedies work. Recent highlights include representing Kyivguma LLC in an anti-dumping investigation related to imports into Ukraine of rubber caps for medical purposes originating in Poland and China; JSC Ilyich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol in an anti-dumping investigation related to imports into Ukraine of galvanized sheets originating in Russia and China; Kharkiv Bearing Plant in anti-dumping investigation related to imports into Ukraine of railway bearings originating in Kazakhstan; JSC Azot, JSC Rivneazot, JSC Severodonetske Obyednannya Azot in safeguard investigation related to imports into Ukraine of nitrogen fertilizers notwithstanding the country of origin and export. The highlight of external investigations included representation of JSC Ilyich Iron and Steel Works of Mariupol in an anti-dumping investigation related to imports into the Eurasian Economic Union of galvanized sheets originating in Ukraine and China; Novokramatorsk Machine-building Plant in sunset review of anti-dumping measures applied to imports into the Eurasian Economic Union of cast rolls whose origin was Ukraine. The team’s portfolio includes advising on a wide range of contractual instruments (distribution and agency agreements, development of franchising chains) and trade compliance (technical regulations, ecological standards, sanctions). Well-reputed partner Anzhela Makhinova keeps the busiest pipeline of projects in the market. Ivan Baranenko is noted for his strong involvement in practice. Andrew Zablotskyi, counsel, left the firm to head the State Forest Resources Agency of Ukraine.

In 2019 the international trade practice of Ilyashev & Partners has seen tremendous growth due to the flourishing volume of trade defense proceedings — the team’s recognized strength, as well as advisory on WTO regulations, export control and sanctions. It is notable that the firm was mandated to represent the interests of the State of  Ukraine against the claim by the EU at the first dispute estimated at USD 1.3 billion within the framework of the EU — Ukraine Association Agreement regarding the moratorium on exporting round wood. The practice team is sought in the representation of domestic industrial players in internal trade investigations. In particular, the firm successfully accomplished representation of Ukrainian cement producers in anti-dumping investigation related to imports of cement from Russia, Belarus and Moldova with subsequent imposition of a duty; represents producers of steam-cured concrete and their professional association in terms of an anti-dumping investigation related to imports of gas concentrate blocks from Belarus; represents Russian Uralchem Group in two safeguard investigations related to imports of ammonia nitrate and complex fertilizers into Ukraine. The firm recently succeeded in representing foreign producers when its team acted for the Indian producer of syringes Lifelong Meditech Pvt. Ltd in anti-dumping investigation against imports of syringes from India, Turkey and China. Among examples of representation abroad is acting in partnership with US law firm Mowry & Grimson for the Zaporizhzhya Ferroalloy Plant, Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant and the Ukrainian Association of Producers of Ferroalloys and other Electrometallurgy Products in the fourth sunset review of anti-dumping duties on export to the US of silicomanganese from Ukraine and China. Furthermore, the firm has a broad portfolio of advisory projects. The team recently represented HeidelbergCement in abolishing sanctions, and advised the Association of Cement Producers of Ukraine with respect to an embargo on the import of clinker and portland cement from Russia. The practice is headed by Olena Omelchenko, who is considered one of the top experts in the market. Among the growing new generation is Oleksiy Gorbatiuk. In December 2019 Olga Stefanishyna (who previously occupied different positions in state service) joined as a counsel[1].

The international trade practice of Asters demonstrated tremendous growth, with a sharp focus on defense in trade investigations. The firm has significantly expanded its client roster with industrial companies and their associations seeking protection in trade remedies measures (for example, Azov-Tech LLC, Belarusian Cement Company, Gomel Chemical Plant JSC, International association of producers, exporters and importers of fasteners Fastexim, Russian Fertilizer Producers Association, Yara International ASA and others). Highlights include successful representation of five Chinese and Turkish producers of syringes in an anti-dumping investigation against subsequent exports to Ukraine, which was terminated without imposition of duties; representation of China Iron and Steel Association in an anti-dumping investigation against imports into Ukraine of certain corrosion-resistant steel products originating from China. Asters participates in the majority of ongoing trade remedies proceedings initiated in Ukraine. The sizeable team has two partners: Alexey Pustovit and Gleb Bialyi, and counsel, esteemed by peers, Anton Sintsov and Dmytro Vidsota[2].

AEQUO rapidly develops its international trade practice enhancing versatility, encompassing trade remedies, customs and tax advice, export control, market access and distribution, cross-border deal structuring, sanctions. Given the general increase in the trade defense area in 2019, the firm shifted its focus onto anti-dumping investigations. In particular, the team represented the interests of two leading Chinese steel mills and two of the biggest Chinese steel traders in an anti-dumping investigation against imports of rolled steel with corrosion-resistant coating originating from China. The firm currently represents the interests of four leading Chinese pipes producers as well as the China Chamber of International Commerce in an anti-dumping investigation against imports of pipes originating from China. The latest project is representing ELM-PLASTIC GmbH, a leading German producer and exporter of medical devices, in a safeguard investigation against imports of syringes regardless of the country of origin or export. Adept at advising cross-border commercial arrangements, the firm has developed distribution schemes for Komatsu Europe International NV and Renart LLC. A notable example of export control work is acting for Limpid Armor on the status of goods, procedures applicable to military goods, registrations with the State Export Control Service of Ukraine and obtaining permits required for obtaining the status of a special exporter of military goods. ­Oleksandr Tereshchenko, senior associate, heads the practice. The general guidance is handled by two partners: Anna Babych (commercial and distribution practice) and Denis Lysenko (trade remedies and customs).

The market recognizes the expertise of Attorneys’ Association Gestors in anti-dumping and safeguard investigations. This past year the firm provided legal support to Production Association Oscar (Ukraine), one of the leading manufacturers of high-tech seamless pipe products, in the course of a special safeguard investigation on import of certain types of steel products into the EU. Another highlight was acting in cooperation with the Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie for ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih during an anti-dumping probe into imports of carbon and other alloy steel rods originating in Belarus and Moldova. Partner Yaroslav Snigur, known for good technical knowledge of trade remedies, leads the practice.

This past year INTEGRITES facilitated its trade remedies practice, as led by counsel Sergey Lakhno. Over the past year, the firm represented the cement production companies of Eurocement Group in an anti-dumping investigation against imports of cement products into Ukraine from Russia, Belarus and Moldova. Another highlight is representation of a Ukrainian salt production company, Russalt-Ukraine Ltd, in the procedure to initiate a safeguard investigation against the import of salt from Belarus while an anti-dumping measure into the same product was in force. Among ongoing cases is representing the tube and pipe production and trade companies of the French-headquartered VALLOUREC Group and Ukrainian tube and pipe importer and producer Pivdentransbudkomplekt Ltd in an anti-dumping investigation against imports of certain pipe products from China. In February 2020 Yevgen Ivanets (previously — junior partner at GAI Group) joined as a counsel on economic investigations. The firm stands out for its expertise in countervailing investigations. The renowned arbitration team headed by Olena Perepelynska, has strong expertise across a wide spectrum of commodities. The firm has a solid list of agrarian clients represented in GAFTA proceedings. The highlight of 2019 was representing one of the largest metallurgical companies in Ukraine in Swiss Rules arbitration against a Russian buyer. The firm advises on drafting and executing commercial contracts, including customs law issues, under the guidance of tax partner Viktoriya Fomenko. The firm advised KFC, a leading company in the fast food restaurant market, regarding franchise agreements and policies for franchisees in Ukraine, inter alia, regarding retail price maintenance; advised WÖRWAG Pharma relating to developing the medicine distribution scheme in Ukraine and the drafting of distribution contracts.

Baker McKenzie has a globally recognized practice of structuring supply chains for international corporations around the globe. The Kyiv office regularly renders sanctions compliance advice, export and import controls, product regulation, customs clearance, public procurement procedures. Over the last couple of years the Kyiv team has increased its involvement in internal trade investigations, bringing anti-dumping and safeguard cases into its portfolio. The major highlight was successful representation in cooperation with Attorneys’ Association Gestors of ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih in an anti-dumping investigation into imports of carbon and other alloy steel rods from Belarus and Moldova.
Nadiia Filozop is the key practitioner. The practice is headed by counsel Hanna Shtepa.

Sergii Koziakov & Partners, a renowned domestic firm, is noted by peers for expertise in safeguard investigations in Ukraine. Other experience of its team includes sanctions advice, export control and regulatory.

Market insiders note Anna Sisetskaya, Vasil Kisil & Partners, for her involvement in trade investigations in 2019.

AVELLUM retains the position of undisputable leader in commodity arbitration. The firm is instructed by the majority of the largest Ukrainian agricultural holdings to act for them in GAFTA, FOSFA and LMAA cases. Notably, the team is approached for the development of trade contracts for many Ukrainian offices of international trading companies. The team initiated GAFTA arbitration and successfully represented Top Grain Ltd, a Russian agritrading company, as the claimant in a dispute on recovery of damages due to the buyer’s failure to present the vessel within the agreed delivery period. The firm successfully represented Agroprosperis in the first tier and an appellate decision in FOSFA Arbitration awarding USD 10.5 million in damages with respect to non-acceptance of soybeans by buyers due to the prohibition of import on the territory of Russia. The firm represents Agrolana Ltd, a Ukrainian large exporter of organic products, in a dispute on delivery of Ukrainian organic commodities to the Netherlands, under FOSFA arbitration. The three-partner team is the largest sharply focused commodities practice on the market. Ivan Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz are both attributed wide-range expertise and provide guidance on caseloads. Aminat Suleymanova preserves her strategic role in client relationships. The key team members are Dmytro Koval and Iuriy Gulevatyi[3].

Ukrainian boutique ARBITRADE actively represents clients in disputes related to trade in agrarian produce and commodities. The firm historically enjoys a great following of Ukrainian traders in agricultural commodities, although in 2019 it also received several mandates from foreign agricultural traders relating to disputes with Ukrainian counterparties. The dedicated team was engaged in both pre-arbitral dispute resolution and commodities arbitrations under the auspices of GAFTA/FOSFA under English law, as well as in arbitration under ICAC rules at the UCCI. Among disclosable clients are Bunge, Astarta group of companies, Oleos Trading, EFKO group of companies. Pavlo Trytenichenko acts as lead partner. Yuliya Chernykh, of counsel, has retained involvement in the practice despite her other engagement as a lecturer at the University of Oslo. Dr. Ivan Vashchinets joined the firm as a new partner to foster the practice. Partner ­Andriy Shulga left the firm.

As a prominent maritime market player, Interlegal, an Odesa-based law firm, renders legal advice to trade companies on issues related to obligations under sale contracts and relationship with carriers, freight forwarders and terminals. The firm is particularly praised for proficient work in freight and debt recovery. The team has a well-established client following encompassing, among others, Orom Imexpo, Sodrugestvo, Daniel Trading, BayWa, Risoil S.A., Sungrain, Thyssenkrupp, Maxigrain. It advises on trade contracts (GAFTA, FOSFA) across all its six Black Sea Region offices, and represents clients in subsequent arbitration proceedings. Natalya Myroshnychenko acted as lead partner in the majority of recent cases. Artem Skorobogatov, Alexey Remeslo and Andrey ­Perepelitsa are traditionally seen in the market.

Eterna Law has historically had agricultural producers and traders among clients seeking representation on international arbitrations, especially GAFTA and FOSFA, as well as LMAA. This domain of commodities arbitrations is led by partner Eugene Blinov. The firm also returned to the area of trade investigations in 2019, being enlisted for representations in a number of anti-dumping proceedings, particularly an investigation into the import of aerated concrete blocks from Belarus. As example of contractual assignments, the firm advised a large multinational retailer, namely Detskiy Mir on franchises, licensing and supply agreements in CIS countries. Oleh Malskyy, partner, leads trade remedies and contractual instruments.

Legrant, an Odesa-based law firm, has a sharp focus on international trade matters emanating from maritime law and shipping issues. The team regularly advises on cross-border trade contracts regulated by English law and GAFTA, FOSFA and LMAA proceedings, washout agreements, export control and customs matters. Large international traders are among its clients. Managing partner Tatyana Titarenko is the key contact.

Gramatskiy & Partners acts for an impressive roster of domestic clients in agriculture, industrial manufacturing, technology and engineering industries. The team is customarily approached for structuring export and import deals, export control, customs clearance, currency liberalization, logistics, transportation matters. For example, the firm acted for MGT Black Sea Group regarding grain export and Trading VPG Ltd Agency on the export of oil crops from Ukraine to the EU. Backed by an established following of software developers, the team has a niche offering to structure export of software products and support services abroad. Andrii Trembich is in charge of the practice.

Ukrainian law firm Nobles is focused on advising on expansion to international clients on the Ukrainian market, multijurisdictional structuring of supply chains, as well as establishing distribution and logistics systems in Ukraine. For example, the firm advised German fashion company Eterna Mode GmbH regarding distribution agreements for Ukraine; represented Advanced Micro Devices, an American multinational semiconductor company, in trade matters with a Ukrainian distributor. The team is also instructed for regulatory and customs matters, and advises a large Japanese trading company, Sumitomo, on product safety and certification issues related to automobile parts imported into Ukraine. Alexander Weigelt and Volodymyr Yakubovskyy are lead partners in this practice.

 

[1]In June 2020 Olga Stefanishyna was appointed the Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.

[2]In January 2020 Dmytro Vidsota left Asters and established Robinson Patman.

[3]In late May 2020 the firm announced that it continues to cooperate as an alliance of two firms — AVELLUM and AGA Partners.

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRMS

With more than 30 years of experience, Van Bael & Bellis (VBB) has the largest expert team of lawyers in Brussels handling EU trade law. The firm possesses unmatched experience representing Ukrainian companies in trade defense investigations in the EU as well as in several other jurisdictions. The dedicated practice with Ukrainian clients is led by partner Yuriy Rudyuk. Associate Sergiy Beketov is another notable practitioner. The team represented Metinvest in a major trade defense investigation in the EU with regard to imports of flat steel products; represented the entire Ukrainian steel industry in an EU safeguard investigation against the import of various steel products. Furthermore, the firm represents Interpipe in EU trade defense investigations as well as in EU Court proceedings. The Geneva office is exclusively dedicated to handing WTO matters, and its lawyers have recently provided extensive legal support to the Government of Ukraine in several WTO dispute settlement proceedings against the Russian Federation. Managing partner Philippe De Baere, head of the Geneva office, Clotilde du Parc and counsel, Isabelle Van Damme, were the lead lawyers in these proceedings. Associates Joanna Redelbach and Tetyana Payosova were also part of the team.

In recent years, Covington & Burling has seen a significant increase in international trade matters involving Ukraine. The firm counseled a number of US-based companies currently or looking to do business in Ukraine on Russian and Ukrainian sanctions. In a recent highlight the firm advised MHP on EU customs classification rules and on the negotiation of an amendment to the DCFTA to increase the EU’s quota for imports of poultry cuts from Ukraine, resulted in an additional duty free quota of 50,000 tons of poultry meat per year. The team includes Candido Garcia Molyneux, Peter Balas, Atli Stannard, Karel Kovanda and Erika Mann.

According to the poll, Clyde & Co, Ince & Co, Hill Dickinson, Reed Smith, Stephenson Harwood are also among foreign law firms active in the commodities area involving Ukrainian clients.

Established practices
Listed in alphabetical order