• Tetyana IVANOVYCH | ADER HABER

    We expect major developments with the acceptance of The European Common Data Protection Regulation (hereinafter — GDPR), which would become applicable on May 25 2018, but has already managed to draw the attention of Ukrainian businesses working with the personal data of Europeans. The extraterritorial principle envisaged by it forces everyone who offers their products or services in the EU market or monitors the behavior of EU residents to be GDPR-compliant. Such a circle of extraterritorial effect by the GDPR has led to a review of privacy policies and businesses. GDPR applies to all companies that regularly process HR data of EU residents. For companies that were still processing EU resident data without any legal basis, it is urgent to conclude at least typical contracts with data exporters from the EU. This will require minimal effort, but will protect the “exporter” from the potential severe responsibility under GDPR. A breach of GDPR will lead to much more severe penalties than the current data protection regime, including fines of up to EUR 20 million, or 4% of annual worldwide turnover. Likewise, a market is emerging in the field of establishment of a new post — data protection officer (hereinafter — DPO), as it is required by GDPR for certain data controllers and processors to appoint a DPO. It is important to note that employers must ensure that DPOs report to the highest management level (i.e. ordinarily, board level), adequate resources are provided to enable DPOs to meet their GDPR obligations and DPOs operate independently and cannot be dismissed or penalized for performing their tasks. This role needs to be carefully considered before making an appointment. As with the Data Protection Agreement, certain information must be supplied to employees before their personal data is collected and processed by the firm, otherwise such processing is unlikely to be considered fair and is likely to be contrary to the data protection principle that personal data must be obtained and processed lawfully.

     

Vasil Kisil & Partners has a strong reputation on the market as a leading and very experienced team. The firm makes use of cross-border capacities being a member of Ius Laboris, an alliance of law firms. The wide offering provided by the team includes advisory and litigation, as well as transactional matters. The recent caseload has been rich for dismissal projects, terminations and redundancies, employee transfers due to corporate reorganizations, privacy and personal data protection policy. The firm is a preferred counsel for many international corporations doing business in Ukraine derived from IT and telecom, pharmaceuticals, automotive, agricultural, delivery and logistics services, etc. Oksana Voynarovska, partner, is widely endorsed for her broad expertise and years of experience. Another referenced practitioner is the recently promoted counsel Valeriya Savchuk, who is acclaimed for her knowledge in specific labor law issues.

Baker McKenzie has remarkable market standing thanks to its employment practice, offering full-scope service in this area. International clients instruct the firm for general legislation and pending labor law changes, trade unions, personal data protection, disciplinary liability, labor safety, localization, structuring employment matters in terms of M&A, internal corporate investigations, compliance, and employment-related tax advice. The practice team also applies alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for resolving employee grievances and legal claims. The main dedicated practitioner is counsel Mariana Marchuk, known in the market for her extensive experience. The lead partner is Lina Nemchenko, splitting her time between employment and real estate.

The Kyiv office of Dentons is consistently instructed by international companies doing business in Ukraine with regard to employment issues that arise, as well those arise as a result of M&A, restructuring, closures. The labor and employment practice also works closely with tax and dispute resolution groups. Of late the team acted a lot on termination of employment, including reorganization and mass redundancies; and was also instructed on trade unions, collective agreements, remuneration, migration. The firm advises International luxury products company on employment, immigration and corporate law issues in connection with the employment of foreign and local employees by a local subsidiary of the company. The team’s litigation highlight includes representing one of the world’s largest global electronics manufacturing services company in a complex and large-scale labor dispute. The practice team continued advising on the implications of military service and mobilization laws that impact employers. Volodymyr Monastyrskyy is a lead partner with years of experience.

Sayenko Kharenko has a stand-alone integrated practice that consists of a merged employment practice with privacy/data protection and anti-corruption niche practice groups. Selected highlights include advising on employee transfers, employing foreign nationals, compensation and benefits, employment risks of entering into service agreements with private entrepreneurs, the engaging of Ukrainian nationals by foreign companies, workforce restructuring, including redundancies, disciplinary actions against trade union management and other trade union issues, employee suspension. The firm has an established special mediation group that offersamicable resolution. This last year the practice team used this procedure for a number of labor disputes, including those related to compliance violations and employees dismissals. The team also advised on the implications of Ukrainian employment and personal data protection laws on internal investigations. Dr. Svitlana Kheda leads the practice and is recognized for her particular knowledge of anti-corruption/anti-bribery, and mediation.

The full-service law firm Asters supports clients with a broad range of employment matters, noted especially for advisory. Recent coverage included hiring and firing, internal documents and contracts, implementation of labor protection procedures, advice on salaries and compensation to employees, labor safety matters, structuring of relation with certain groups of employees, relocation of employees, terminations and IP transfer. The firm has prestigious clients, Wizz Air Group, Visa and Molson Coors Ukraine to name a few. The practice is supervised by two partners, Armen Khachaturyan and Svitlana Chepurna. Inesa Letych, senior associate, is active across various advisory mandates and also handles disputes.

The employment practice of ADER HABER is one of the most rapidly growing in the firm, and throughout last year developed into a full-service offering. These included hiring, transfer and dismissal of personnel, assisting in international mobility of executive personnel and compliance, lay-offs and peaceful settlements, collective bargaining agreements, strikes and trade unions, downsizing, restructuring, disputes and disciplinary proceedings. In addition to its established client following, the practice demonstrated significant wins including, among others, for Inditex, Nestle, Yandex, Coca-Cola, AVK Company, Agrospetsservis, FINKO Invest. Recent highlights include representing the interests of local subsidiaries of Inditex Group in legal proceedings on the recovery of administrative and economic sanctions and penalties for non-compliance with the standards for employment of people with disabilities. The firm was consistently instructed by the subsidiary of Nestle S.A. on collective agreement issues and interaction with a trade union, home-based employment; and by Alfa-Bank on trade unions, collective bargaining and strikes, as well as on complex restructuring issues. Tetyana Ivanovych, counsel, has significantly enhanced her reputation throughout this outgoing year.

AVELLUM provides an employment offering as part of multi-jurisdictional deals counseled by its strong team. The team also often advises on data protection and data transfer issues, especially in case of FCPA or other internal or external investigations, employment structuring and dismissals. In a recent highlight the firm advised Deutsche Beteiligungs AG on the due diligence of employment matters, protection of employee rights and social benefits; advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board of employment matters on its proposed investment in Global Logic Inc. Other well-known clients include Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, ClinTec International, JKX Oil & Gas plc, Deere & Company. The firm’s key practitioner, Yuriy Zaremba, moved to become a counsel but continues practicing real estate, employment and corporate matters.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang renders general labor, employment and immigration advice, as well as corporate and outsourcing projects for an array of international clients. The office regularly deals with employment of foreigners in Ukraine, secondment of expats; structuring employment and dismissals, transfer of employees, regional and industry collective bargaining agreements. Instructions also come from transactional practices and intersect with M&A and IP. Olexander Martinenko and Olga Belyakova are lead partners.

DLA Piper Ukraine is visible in employment law matters for both purely employment law advisory, as well as within M&A global transactions and outsourcings. The practice focus covers hires, terminations, corporate policy, employee transfers and localisation projects. The firm is traditionally instructed by global clients and represents top local, national and international businesses, to name a few: Boeing, Inchcape Shipping Services, Skyrizon Ukraine, TÜV Rheinland Group, CEB, Inc. Managing partner Margarita Karpenko lead the practice and is focused on complex employment-related matters, including multi-jurisdictional employment related projects.

Eterna Law typically assists on employment matters as part of its corporate, regulatory, finance and tax advice. The practice centers to employment matters related to top management and personnel including employment agreements, internal employment-related documents, development of motivations system, immigration compliance and advisory services for cross-border assignments, employment of foreigners. The firm has a prestigious client base that takes in, among others, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ukraine LLC, Christian Dior Couture Ukraine, Auchan Ukraine, FHI360. Oksana Kneychuk, partner, leads the practice.

EVERLEGAL is overseeing an expanding portfolio of labor and employment matters, being active in advisory and contentious work with focus on IT, agriculture and food, as well as not-for-profit organizations and embassies. The team has a flow of assignments for elaborating optimal ways for personnel engagement, corporate reorganizations and restructurings, including personnel transfers and mass reductions, allocation and transfer of IPRs, harmonization of compliance clauses, anti-corruption, confidentiality, as well as currency control and tax matters related to employee incentive schemes (share plans and option schemes). The firm is enhancing its litigation capabilities further, and is also experienced in work permit and residency issues for foreign employees and secondees. The practice is led by Yevheniy Deyneko, managing partner. Partners Andriy Olenyuk and Oleksandr Ruzhytskiy actively handle the subsequent projects.

EY traditionally has a well-established practice preferred by large multinational and local companies. The area of focus is quite broad, extending to employment agreements and internal documents, labor law due diligences and HR health checks, immigration compliance, advice on cross-border assignments, mediation of conflict termination cases. In the recent workflow there are instructions for implementation of remuneration policy, structuring of short-term and long-term international outbound assignments, feasibility of implementing a globally operated long-term incentive plan for Ukrainian employees from the labor law, tax and currency control perspectives. The core practitioners are Olga Gorbanovskaya, Albert Sych and Halyna Khomenko.

Gramatskiy & Partners is known for its solid experience in employment, providing both an advisory and litigation service. With a well-established bankruptcy practice the firm is highly active in staff reduction programs at bankrupt enterprises, and also supports comprehensive disputes. Over the last couple of years the team has become very popular among software developers in structuring employment with staff and freelancers, private entrepreneurs with customers. In addition, the firm showcased a number of projects on anti-corruption compliance programs, developing outstaffing models, cross-border transfer of employees and personal data, employment of foreigners and migration issues. Mykola Voitovich is the practice head.

ILF Law Firm,a Ukrainian law firm operating through its offices in Kharkiv and Kyiv, is recognized for its employment matters expertise and especially sound litigation capabilities. The team has been active over the last couple of years in comprehensive labor disputes that established judicial practice in a number of cases. In the past year the firm increased the number of advisory projects and amicable settlements, mostly related to dismissals. It is hired by both employers and high-profile executives. Industry-wise clients come from the agrarian, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, banking sectors as well as non-profit organizations. Serhiy Silchenko is a practice-dedicated partner widely endorsed for his strong dispute skills.

Ilyashev & Partners has recognized strength in complicated employment disputes, and has also demonstrated a growing portfolio of advisory matters taking in trade unions and collective bargaining agreements, dismissals, employment of foreigners, labor safety matters. The firm represents both employers and employees, and has a significant caseload of litigations. Foreign clients include SE Antonov, Al Ghurair Investment, Wargaming, Algol Chemicals, Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine. Leonid Gilevich is one of the most active and versatile practitioners, including in corporate practice.

International Legal Center EUCON has a vivid focus on structuring employment and business migration. The firm operates through two offices — Kyiv and Warsaw, and naturally supports employment matters within bilateral investment flows. Of late there has been a steady following of assignments for employment advisory in Poland. The firm is also equally noted in the dispute area. The most wide-known representation in Ukraine was the case of Savik Shuster, a popular TV host, appealing against the annulment of his permit for employment as a foreigner. Tetiana Samsina, senior partner, is in charge of the practice in Ukraine. Andriy Romanchuk is based in Warsaw and handles the practice in Poland.

Jeantet Ukraine has a strong following of international clients, and is called upon in employment matters they face in Ukraine, including internal employment procedures and regulations, internal restructurings, employment of foreign employees, collective bargaining agreements and trade unions, redundancy, social benefits plans. The firm assisted SOKA on preparation of collective-bargaining agreements and internal regulations for 3 Ukrainian subsidiaries; provides complex legal assistance to L’Oreal Ukraine for obtaining work permits for its expatriated employees, as well as for legalisation of their families’ stay in Ukraine; also represented Ukrainian JSC Vetropack Gostomel on several dismissals of top managers. The office has a traditional solid clientele, in addition to the mentioned names there are PACT, Credit Agricole, Daymon Worldwide Europe Inc., Saint Gobain Construction Products. The practice is headed by Illya Tkachuk, a local partner. Apart from his dedication to corporate and M&A, he acts on negotiations with trade unions, mediation, redundancy plans and dismissals. Inna Kostrytska, senior associate, is another important practitioner.

GOLAW is equally active on the broad range of matters, both advisory and disputes.The recent caseload included contractual relations with employees, outstaffing, termination, employment of foreigners. The firm customarily has a strong litigation practice. The firm accomplished representation of Galicia Distillery in a dispute with a former employee, dismissed due to job cuts, about reinstatement to a post and claiming loss of earnings during this absence; and advising Gamingtec,  a British IT company specializing in the development of software for the gaming industry, on issues of contractual relations with consultants. The enviable client roster includes sound names like Reckitt Benckiser, Agro Core, Amic, Azelis, Dreamscape Networks, Evyap Trading, GAP, Ubisoft, Inditex Group. Valentyn Gvozdiy, managing partner, leads the practice.

KPD Consulting Law Firm has a strong following of its consistent clients, and is especially preferred by developers and real estate companies, banks, IT, household producers. The team extends advice on general labor law issues, development of compliant labor policies and procedures, employment of foreigners, and also represents clients in disputes with former employees. The firm protected the interests of UniCredit Leasing LLC in two court cases on re-employment of one dismissed top manager of the company and recovery from the client of a large sum of compensation for dismissal. Some other clients include Ukrsib Asset Management (BNP Paribas Group), Winсor Nixdorf LLC, JSC Dniproshyna, BSH Pobutova Technika LLC, Business Centre Illinsky. Kyrylo Kazak is partner and head of the criminal law, criminal procedure and laborlawpractice group.

The Kyiv branch of Wolf Theiss focuses its employment practice in support of corporate restructurings and M&A, regulatory, finance and tax assignments, as also advisingits long-term clients on their day-to-day operations. The office advised Bain Capital, a leading global private investment firm, on labor issues related to the acquisition of Sealed Air’s Diversey; advised Orrick on the possibility to use a digital signature for the execution of employment, confidentiality agreements or other documents during an interview or employment process. Other clients include Western Union, Diageo, Snap Inc., Automated Systems Holdings Limited, IREX. Olga Ivlyeva is the main contact.

Ante Law Firm enhances its labor offering providing both advisory and litigation. The firm is particularly known for its unique experience in aviation, and rapidly grown presence in pharma and healthcare. This past year the firm performed a full audit of labor relations for big pharma marketing company Zdravo and resolved a few complicated staff dismissal issues for a global pharmaceutical company. The firm rendered legal assistance to airlines (for example, Qatar Airways and new Ukrainian airline SkyUp) with their labor law issues. On the dispute front Ante dealt with a number of labor disputes between topmanagers and employers, and was involved in representing both parties. Clients include the Technomedex group, Omega Pharma Ukraine, Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, Avialiga, Ukrainian office of the Council of Europe, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine. Andriy Guck is the main rainmaker at the firm.

PwC Legal maintains itsemployment and immigration practice and enjoys the business consultancy focus of other service lines. The legal team renders employment advice related to market entry and operational activities of prestige international names, including the hiring and firing of local management, compliance, expatriate employees employment and immigration issues, cross-border secondment. Clients include Hopewell Residential, Wolters Kluwer, Joy Global Inc, Guala Closures, etc. The practice is led by Olga Melnychenko. Andrey Pronchenko, managing partner, is involved in handling complex labor disputes.

KPMG Law regularly advises on labor law and also often delivers a tax and compliance offering. Thus, the team acts on compliance from the labor law and payroll perspective, international secondment and outstaffing solutions, tax and legal advice on implementation of long-term incentive plans, and also develops HR documentation. Yuriy Katser, director, is head of legal.

Given its established niche in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector, Legal Alliance Company has a notable employment offering with a special industry focus. Recent practice has come from sectoral corporate restructuring, M&A and reduction of foreign players presence in Ukraine. The firm acted a lot on dismissal cases, transfer of employees, and advisory on internal matters. Represented clients include Glenmark, Boehringer Ingelheim, Astellas, Contrad Swiss, UNDP, Delta Medical, Acino, Santen-Oy, Alvogen. Illya Kostin is lead partner.

Law Offices of OMP enjoys a strong following of pharmaceutical clients, working a lot on labor audits for foreign international and transnational companies and their representative offices. The team is also experienced in legal counseling on dismissal of top managers in CIS countries, as well as wholesale redundancy. Clients include GSK, Sandoz, Ipsen, Glenmark, Biocad, Crown Agents, Dileo Pharma, Alkaloid, Ruukki Ukraine and others. Igor Ogorodniychuk and Mykola Orlov are the lead partners.

Peterka & Partners renders advisory for its clients, mostly Ukrainian subsidiaries of international companies, related to their operational activity. Typical instructions include obtaining work permits, change of director, termination, transfer of employees within the accession process. Among the clients are Bigadan, Embassy of the Czech Republic, KRKA, Nutreco, Sioen, Steelcase, T Machinery. The core contact is Tatiana Timchenko.

SDM Partners has a complete offering from employment agreements to litigation, and sound names among its clientele. These are Grawe, Honda, BIC, KWS. Dmytro Syrota and Serhiy Dzis are the main contacts.

Vdovychen & Partners handles employment advisory, including labor safety, incentives, drafting internal instructions, redundancies. The firm has a focus on domestic clients. Andrii Molchanov, junior partner, is the main contact.

Jurvneshservice, a Ukrainian law firm with a long presence on the market, is focused on employment disputes. The firm acts on top ranked employees’ dismissals, negotiations of collective agreements, as well as representation in courts. The firm is notable for advising aviation clients recently. Anna Tsirat is the main contact.

Attorneys Association Gestors renders advice to a number of solid names, including McDonald’s Ukraine, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, PJSC of Gas Supplying and Gasification Donetskoblgaz. The team is experienced in employment and settlement agreements, dismissals, internal labor regulations. Andriy Tsvyetkov is the main contact.

Dynasty Law Firmrenders advisory and labor disputes from its offices in Dnipro and Kyiv. The firm represents employers and acted in cases of administrative liability and disciplinary recovery. Antonina Selivanova is the main contact.

KM Partners advises a great deal on issues of remuneration of labor, task risks, outsourcing and outstaffing,compliance. In 2017 the firm was also active in supporting cases on dismissal, work schedule, collective agreements. Alexander Shemiatkin is lead partner.