• Mikhail ILYASHEV| Ilyashev & Partners

    Domestic litigation practice still secures good and stable workflow and income for law firms in Ukraine. While the number of court cases remains almost the same, the introduction of court reform will require much more work from the lawyers in each case. I also expect that the duration of the average court case will become longer than it was before the reform.

    Clients will need some time to understand that their case-related expenses will also rise now. Law firms wishing to keep their “fixed” or “capped” legal fees (charged under a certain individual case) unchanged will suffer greatly from a fall in profits.

    I expect that proper application by judges of legislation related to remuneration of attorneys’ fees of the winning party at the expense of the losing party will allow clients, acting in due course, to hire more expensive law firms and will add work flow to leading law firms.

    Domestic law firms are still dominant in the “domestic litigation” market and I do not see any possible risks regarding this state of affairs on the part of international law firms operating in Ukraine.

    However, Ukrainian courts have not made any significant progress in gaining the trust of the top business groups. Major transactions are still structured abroad stating the leading international arbitration institutions as the place for settlement of disputes. It means that in the near future major commercial disputes will be part of “international arbitration”, rather than “domestic litigation”, practice. And in this area local law firms need to do a lot to compete successfully with their international colleagues.

     

  • Dmytro MARCHUKOV | INTEGRITES

    Notwithstanding the reported economic recovery in Ukraine, the negative consequences of the most recent significant crisis are, to a large extent, still fueling major cross-border litigations. The Ukrainian state, Privat group, as well as Privatbank itself (now on the former’s side) have been the most active providers of work in the respective disputes… some of which involve all three.

    Thanks to these parties, Ukraine-related litigations have once again come top of CIS-related litigation agenda in London and beyond. This is notwithstanding the fact that the state-run Deposits Guarantee Fund is not as active internationally as the Russian Deposits Insurance Agency. Otherwise, we would have seen even more Ukrainian disputes in London as well as offshore.

    Remarkably (albeit not surprisingly), a relevant development came not long ago through the judgment in Shulman vs. Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov. In that judgment Barling J concluded that — after a number of high-profile examples — Gennadiy Bogolyubov may no longer be used as the anchor defendant before English courts.

    The more or less standard set of cross-border litigations coming out of Ukraine has just very
    recently been expanded by the huge lawsuit of Privatbank against PwC in Cyprus. It has become the first reported meaningful example where a Ukrainian party (notably, state-related) brought significant claims against a provider of professional services. Moreover, this particular example is massive as per all relevant indicators: the amount claimed, the size and market position of the respondent, as well as the sensitivity of the underlying cause of action. The trend is likely to be followed going forward given that many other now insolvent Ukrainian banks were reported to have been involved in similar lending activities. Further lawsuits could also be brought against professional services providers by creditors in large non-banking Ukrainian defaults. This is why the competitors of PwC will have to closely follow the developments of the Cypriot case (which may be rather slow by definition) having reason to wish the respondents success.

    Also, there may be an interesting twist to trust litigations (mostly, as part of broader asset recovery attempts) following the findings made in Mezhprombank vs. Pugachev. In that case, Birss J of the High Court of England and Wales sent a strong reminder to everyone that trusts shall not be used to hide the assets or to hide oneself.
    The message came as a sort of surprise to many users of trusts in Ukraine.

    The near future promises us even more popcorn desiring action until the end of the year. It is possible that in 2018 we will get to see the conclusion of litigation over the USD 3 billion Russian bond, important developments in Tatneft’s case against Bogolyubov, Kolomoisky, Yaroslavsky and Ovcharenko, further cross-border freezing attempts against the former shareholders of Privatbank, as well as continuing international enforcement activity of Tatneft against the non-immune assets of the Ukrainian state. The latter may well be “reciprocated” by similar activity on the part of the Ukrainian state against Gazprom trying to collect the massive antimonopoly fine via the natural gas Goliath.

Ilyashev & Partners maintains an exceptionally strong position in the broad area of dispute resolution equally in domestic and cross-border matters. The multi-office firm actively expands its client portfolio, and continues to represent its long-standing clients in widely diversified court cases. A significant part of its projects are enlisted by the Moscow office. Among work highlights of note are representation of FSC More, one of the 13 enterprises of the national military-industrial complex under the control of Ukroboronprom in Crimea, in the European Court of Human Rights in a dispute over the company’s rights violated by the illegal nationalization of its assets in Crimea by Russia; representation of Agrein Group, a major agricultural holding in a corporate dispute, including protection of its official in criminal proceedings on fraud charges; representing the interests of Megapoliszhilstroy (one of the investors in the RESPUBLIKA trade and entertainment center) in litigation with a bank on debt recovery under a construction loan agreement. The firm has an extensive record of disputes with state authorities. The team acts for Ukrrichflot in a number of disputes with the Administration of River Ports. Mikhail Ilyashev, managing partner, and Roman Marchenko, senior partner, enjoy the reputation of top-level litigators, and lead the sizeable teams out of different offices.

Litigation is the anchor practice area for the distinguished Ukrainian law firm EQUITY. The firm is known for its particularly strong record in debt recovery and corporate disputes, and recently triggered its white-collar crime practice. Known for a strong following in big industrial clients, the firm advised the Azovmash group of companies on the restructuring of debts to 10 major creditor banks totaling and represented the debtor in disputes with Alfa-Bank, accompanying the bankruptcy procedure with respect to two companies in the group. PJSC Kyiv Shipyard, a shipping plant in Ukraine, is represented in disputes relating to recovery of debts under loan agreements and on mortgage as a means to secure performance. The firm’s clients include Stockman Interhold (businessman Andrey Adamovsky), Ferrexpo AG, AvtoKrAZ, NEST Corporation, AIS Corporation, Ukrainian Business Group, the corporate non-government pension fund of the National Bank of Ukraine, Mriya Agro Holding, Arterium Corporation, Helen Marlen Group and others. Notably, the firm raises its presence in cross-border cases. Oleg Malinevskiy coordinates the majority of court disputes, including banking and corporate cases. Sergiy Chuyev is in charge of administrative disputes. Vyacheslav Krahlevych acts on land disputes and disputes including economic crimes. Viktor Barsuk has headed the practice for many years.

LCF Law Group focuses on supporting complex disputes, both in terms of the number of parties involved and processes. The group is known primarily for its prominent banking clientele, and substantially enhanced its client base with significant domestic clients from the agrarian, food, transportation and shipbuilding, energy and retail sectors. Among the company’s clients are such banks and companies as Alfa-Bank, Oschadbank, Pravex-Bank, Bank Contract, Universal Bank, OTP Bank, New European Company, Mriya Agro Holding, AVK Group, SI Group Consort ltd, Nikmorservice Mykolayiv. Recognized Anna Ogrenchuk, managing partner, chairs the dispute resolution team. Artem Stoyanov, senior partner, is a well-known litigator. The senior team includes counsels Olena Volyanska and Yulia Atamanova.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is one of themost long-established players on the litigation market market, distinguished for domestic and cross-border disputes capabilities. The team often acts alongside international law firms, and represents the interests of prestigious international clients. The team has recently been representing TB Fruit Holding Establishment in a series of court disputes against Ukrainian banks regarding set-off validity and pledge termination; acts for an international car maker in a dispute regarding vindication of the real estate property secured as collateral by a client. In 2017 the litigation team represented big clients (like Kyivstar, Imperial Tobacco Ukraine, Zevs LTD, Sberbank of Russia, Rele) in their disputes with the tax authorities. Another highlight is acting as a Ukrainian law counsel and an expert in Ukrainian law for SCM Financial Overseas Limited arising from the sale and purchase agreement between the seller (claimant) and client relating to the purchase of shares in a company exercising control over Ukrtelecom. Managing partner Andriy Stelmashchuk acts as lead partner of the litigation team. Other partners leading litigation work are Oksana Voynarovska (labor disputes); Vitaliy Kasko (white-collar crime), Oleg Alyoshin is noted for cross-border litigation; recognized Oleg Makarov, carried the firm’s private clients practice. Oleg Kachmar, promoted to partner, is core figure in domestic litigation. Ilarion Tomarov, counsel, leads IP-related disputes.

Sayenko Kharenko focuses on complex, high-stake issues acting for big corporate clients, national industry heavyweights, domestic and international banks. The firm acts for the shareholder in PJSC Sumy NPO, one of the largest machine-building enterprises in Europe manufacturing equipment for oil, gas and chemical industries, appealing around 100 decisions of the supervisory board providing consent to commit the significant transactions for a total amount of about USD 3 billion; represented PJSC Ukrainian Insurance Group in an insurance indemnity collection dispute. The practice flourishes with corporate security matters, including those with a white-collar crime element, tax litigation. Other selected clients are Archer Daniels Midland, Azovmash Group, Kyivstar, Ostchem, Reckitt Benckiser, Donetsksteel Group, Frunze’s shareholder. The firm traditionally leads the market in international and cross-border litigation. The big practice is led by several partners: Sergey Pogrebnoy has been deeply engaged in corporate security include defending client interests in corporate conflicts; Serhiy Verlanov acts in tax litigation; Olexander Droug is in charge of international arbitration and cross-border commercial litigation. Sergiy Smirnov, counsel specialises in domestic corporate, fraud and business crimes. Volodymyr Yaremko, senior associate, is dedicated to multi-jurisdictional disputes and arbitrations.

Arzinger has a traditionally recognized reputation in the form of its strong litigation team with representation in its branch offices located in Lviv and Odessa. The broad-based practice acts on commercial, banking disputes and debt collection, corporate, tax, IP, civil, administrative, labor and competition disputes. The team has also been involved in multi-jurisdictional cases and represented clients’ interests in ECHR proceedings. In particular, the team represented the interests of Archer Daniels Midland, a subsidiary of a large international agricultural holding, in eight commercial disputes against a group of Ukrainian companies, as well as in tax disputes. The remarkable client list includes sound names, among others, Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, Zeppelin International AG, Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits S.A., Mercuria Energy Trading S.A., Raiffeisen group, MAN Truck & Bus Ukraine, LLC etc. Partners Markian Malskyy and Kateryna Gupalo are core practitioners. Artur Martynenko joined the team as a counsel, and heads the firm’s commercial litigation practice.

Traditionally, INTEGRITES litigation team demonstrates an extensive track record of disputes by acting for sound names. Moreover, the firm has a well-positioned practice of cross-border litigation and asset tracing. Most recently the dedicated team was involved in several large stake cases pending before UK and Cypriot courts. The team represented VTB Bank in one of the largest bankruptcy cases in 2017 in respect of Westa’s debt restructuring. INTEGRITES also acts as a legal counsel to a retail group of companies in numerous litigations with PJSC Bank Forum and PJSC Kyiv Rus, representing government institutions such as the State Executive Service and the Deposit Guarantee Fund. Volodymyr Pavlenko, partner, has been in the head of litigation since Oleksiy Sluch moved in-house. The cross-border litigation practice is guided by partner Olena Perepelynska, and has been enhanced by the arrival of Dmytro Marchukov and Serhii Uvarov from AVELLUM.

During this past year MORIS GROUP provided support in administrative proceedings and in a great number of disputes related to corporate governance, tax and finance issues. The group continues to be instructed by banks. In particular, the team represented Deltabank in USD 149.7 million disputes on offset of loans and deposits of a debtor to Delta Bank resulting from the process to put the bank into liquidation; provided legal support to IMEXBANK in the procedure of foreclosure of the mortgaging of the Chornomorets FC Stadium in the extrajudicial procedure by recognizing the onwnership rights of the bank to the stadium. The team continues to represent State Concern UkrOboronProm in a variety of disputes. Partners Maryan Martynyuk, Oleg Paryliak, Volodymyr Rak are highly involved in ligation. Andriy Savchuk is the practice head.

In November 2017, Alekseev, Boyarchukov & Partners announced its merger with Trusted Advisors. The united firm strengthened its market positions in bankruptcy, litigation and criminal practices. The firm has impressive experience of accompanying disputes in the banking sector related to debt collection and mortgages, representing, in particular, the interests of the Illichivsk grain port in a number of such cases. Vladyslav Rieznikov, Oleksandr Tkachuk and Maksim Boyarchukov are the responsible partners.

The litigation team at EVERLEGAL is focused primarily on banking, tax and corporate matters, as well as commercial and employment disputes. The team has already gained particular expertise in complex banking disputes. The 11-lawyer team was involved in high-stake loan acceleration cases representing a major Ukrainian car dealer, a large Ukrainian agricultural holding and one of the biggest trade and logistics complexes in Ukraine. The firm recently started enhancing its services in debt collection, currently advising UkrsotsBank and Alfa-Bank in disputes with debtors. Tax disputes are another strong point of EVERLEGAL. The firm successfully represented major Ukrainian companies like Svitland Development Ltd, Stolitsa Group, Sport 23 LLC in a number of disputes with the Ukrainian tax authorities. Partner Andriy Porayko heads the practice. Oleksandr Ruzhytskiy, promoted to partner in 2017, is another important team member.

ADER HABER (previously this team was a part of Spenser & Kauffmann) has confident positions in commercial litigation, tax and customs disputes, debt recovery, and employment disputes. The team provided legal support for Inditex Group in a number of legal proceedings on the recovery of administrative and economic sanctions and penalties for non-compliance with standards for employment of people with disabilities; acted for a major Ukrainian Retail & FMCG network in a series of debt recovery matters. The team has a unique expertise in insurance and dispute resolution related to insurance payments and non-compliance. Family disputes are a new practice undertaken by the team. The firm enjoys a strong client portfolio, among others, Alfa-Bank, Ukrsotsbank, MERX, MetLife, Fudmerezha, Centravis Production Ukraine. Yuriy Petrenko, managing partner, is the eminent practice head, known for its long-standing litigation practice. Partner Tatiana Daniltseva heads insurance and tax disputes team. Aleksei Solomko, counsel is head of enforcement proceedings. Andrii Hvozdetskyi, promoted to counsel, is present across many litigation projects, is another important team member.

AEQUO rapidly expands the diversity and capacities of its litigation practice, acting for prestigious international and strong domestic clients. In 2017 the firm represented Novus in an alleged cartel case initiated by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine against 18 major Ukrainian food retail chains in 2013 and is among most notable cases initiated by the regulator in the last few years. Another highlight is representing a major European bank in a number of litigation proceedings in Ukrainian courts regarding compensation for losses and damages and acted for several Ukrainian subsidiaries (brands) of Inditex Group in tax disputes. The firm has exceptionally strong positions in IP litigation, earning wins in several landmark cases, as led by partner Oleksandr Mamunya. Pavlo Byelousov, counsel, splits his time between international arbitration and domestic litigation. Denis Lysenko, managing partner, acted in antitrust and tax related disputes. Yevgen Levitsky is another key member of the team.

ANTIKA Law Firm has an active litigation practice centered on comprehensivecommercial disputes, including contractual breach, debt collection, matters of consumer rights protection. The team is known for its well-established position in the energy sector and proficient expertise in energy disputes. In 2017 the firm represented AWT Bavaria concerning recovery of insurance indemnity paid to an individual as a recourse, vehicle replacement, invalidation of the contract of assignment of the right of monetary claim, changing the wording of the reason for dismissal, recovery of severance pay, moral harm and others. The team also supported Energobank PJSCin court proceedings in the process of collection of debts under a loan agreement. Partner Andrey Kuznetsov has run the firm’s litigation work for many years. Leading individuals are Maxim Korchagin and Alexandra Fedorenko.

The litigation practice of ARIO Law Firm is mostly dedicated to representation in terms of bankruptcy proceedings and white-collar crime matters, as well as loan recovery and property disputes, business protection and protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. The firm currently acts for VIP House Ltd as a borrower before a Ukrainian bank, involving restructuring and amicable settlement. The practice is led by partners Julian Khorunzhyi and Oleksii Voronko.

Ukrainian full-service law firm Asters expands its presence in dispute resolution, assisting with a broad spectrum of disputes, including corporate, contract, debt recovery, tax and regulatory disputes, antitrust disputes, copyright and IP. The team advises Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan UK LLP, lead counsel acting for the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, on Ukrainian law matters and acting as a national legal counsel in connection with court proceedings in the High Court of Justice in London commenced by a Trustee, The Law Debenture Trust Corporation, against Ukraine regarding its alleged debt under 2013 Eurobonds held by the Russian Federation, and Ukraine’s appeal against the summary judgment granted by the High Court. The firm represented ACNielsen in a dispute on challenging the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine decision on a cartel of trade networks, de facto prohibition of further operations on Ukrainian market and annulment of fine. Oleksiy Didkovskiy, Svitlana Chepurna and Tamara Lukanina are lead partners.

AVELLUM has managed to form a litigation caseload out of unique and complex cases. The firm acted for the bondholders’ committee of Mriya Agro Holding in bankruptcy proceedings against for three Ukrainian suretyship providers the total amount of almost USD 1.8 billion;  acting for Ferrexpo Plc in litigations between its subsidiaries and the state-run Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF) regarding claims to the tune of over UAH 4.2 billion. The firm also represents an international investor in commercial court proceeding against an Icelandic company regarding an enforcement of claims against a deposit held in a Ukrainian bank. Dmytro Marchukov and Serhii Uvarov left the firm for INTEGRITES. Glib Bondar and Mykola Stetsenko are the main contacts.

Dispute resolution is the recognized strength of AVER LEX, market leading criminal defense attorneys at law. The firm is particularly noted for handling comprehensive cases with commercial litigation and criminal element. For example, the team has a strong inflow of business protection cases, including commercial and property rights assignments, corporate conflicts, asset tracing and debt recovery litigation, protection of professional rights, reputation and dignity. The team rapidly expands its corporate client profile, adding banks, commercial and professional services, financial services, transportation, energy sectors. Managing partner Olha Prosyanyuk splits her time between litigation and involvement in the firm’s criminal defense practice.

In 2017 the Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie protected the rights and interests of clients in commercial, administrative and criminal disputes, including disputes in relation to joint activity, international sale and purchase of goods and services, purchase and sale of corporate rights, protection of investments and from attacks by corporate raiders, loan and mortgage matters, intellectual property and consumer rights protection, labor and trade union matters, bankruptcy and other related matters. Ihor Siusel, partner, heads the Kyiv dispute resolution practice group.

Dynasty Law Firm, which operates through two offices in Kyiv and Dnipro, traditionally has an extensive and well-diversified litigation portfolio. In 2017 the team was highly active in debt recovery disputes and disputes with the DGF, IP-rights protection, disputes with the state authorities. In particular, the firm defended the interests of clients, a number of foreign and domestic companies, in a dispute with the authorized person of the Deposit Guarantee Fund in recognition of transactions with PJSC Aktabank as void. The firm acted for Plant Prefor on recovery of debt for goods delivered to its counterparties; represented the interests of Bunge Ukraine in a number of disputes with the State Environmental Inspection in Dnipropetrovsk Region. The management of the firm’s litigation practice is carried out by partners Denys Myrgorodskiy, Yevheniy Smiyuha and Denys Kytsenko.

ENGARDE, a Ukrainian firm with renowned litigation and international arbitration focus, handles representation in complex matters in domestic courts, cross-border cases in Ukraine with a foreign element, and cross-border cases abroad with a Ukrainian element. In 2017 the team acted as instructing counsel to Martin Kenney & Co (BVI), led by Justin Fenwick QC (London), in representing clients as claimants in a civil fraud case in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). Having achieved success in an oppression remedy claim in the BVI High Court, the firm carries on protecting the clients’ interests in the appellate instance of the BVI court system, as well as in Ukrainian courts. Partners Irina Nazarova, Andriy Vyshnevsky and Roman Ognevyuk are core practitioners.

Ukrainina law firm ESQUIRES is a highly-focused young market force, acting on debt collection, mortgage, real estate and banking matters, tax litigation, defamation disputes, and criminal defense. As recent highlights, the firm represented Solum LLC, Piraeus Bank S.A. Group, in a real estate dispute on nullification of public auction results; acted for Trade and Logistic Center Arctic in a number of litigations, in particular, a dispute on nullification of a mortgage agreement entered into with a Ukrainian bank, and on nullification of a joint venture agreement and collection of funds spent as a result of the dishonest actions of the company’s former director. Other clients include Dialog Diagnostics, Slavyanka Group, ICU Group. Oleksandr Shkelebey is head of litigation. Opana Karlin leads the firm’s criminal law practice.

Eterna Law commands a sizeable team out of different offices of its presence, well-equiped to handle domestic and cross-border disputes. The clients come from banking, financial and investment industries, energy, agribusiness. The team defended the interests of a Polish agro company in a dispute with a Ukrainian agro trader and successfully represented the interests of one of the largest foreign companies in the field of aviation leasing in the process of recognition and enforcement of a decision adopted by the International Commercial Arbitration Court; represented DSM Nutritional Products Sp.z.o.o. in a court dispute regarding debt collection on the basis of a supply contract. Partner Oleh Beketov leads the firm-wide practice.

Evris Law Firm (previously known as N&D) possesses a strong following of banks, industrial groups, agricultural and energy companies in Ukraine. The core focus of the dispute resolution team is enforcement proceedings in debt collections and debt recovery disputes. Sergiy Dankov joined the team as a bankruptcy expert. Key figures of the sizeable departament are managing partner Andriy Dovbenko, the head of dispute resolution Ihor Kravtsov, senior associates Oleksandr Krenets, Kostyantyn Kurilchenko and Maksim Zamikhovsky.

GOLAW is distinguished team known for its well-versed litigation practice, with recognized capabilities in tax litigation, commercial and regulatory disputes, employment and white-collar crime. In 2017 the firm acted on comprehensive support of the bankruptcy case of Kuzmyntsi Brick Factory, the debtor of Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation (EGAP), also defended a leading Czech bank from unfair actions by the borrower of loan funds; Vilnogirsk Glass, regarding the withdrawal of property used as collateral under loans. The litigation team is guided by counsel Kateryna Manoylenko. The firm’smanaging partner, Valentyn Gvozdiy, is the main figure.

In 2017 Gramatskiy & Partners demonstrated robust development of its litigation practice, with the lion’s share of cases being against banks and financial institutions, fiscal bodies, loan and mortgage disputes, land, labor, as well as disputes over debt collection. In particular, the team represented the interests of Yust-Service LLC Group in connected disputes regarding the recognition of the right to a VAT tax credit; acted for PJSC Plant Keramic in a dispute against a group of purchasers of a property complex on recognition of property right to real estate. The firm stands out for its strong following of industrial and engineering, construction, IT clients. Andrii Trembich is the leader of the 18-lawyer strong team.

ILF Law Firm, which has two offices in Kyiv and Kharkiv, has a diversified formidable litigation practice, spanning commercial, corporate, administrative, property and employment disputes. In 2017 the practice’s workload was centered on asset protection instructions, being particularly vivid in the agro and food, retail, pharmacy industries. Another significant share of cases covers deposit recovery in connection with mass liquidation of banks, compensation for losses from assets loss in the Anti-Terrorist Operation zone in Eastern Ukraine, owners of business in the temporarily occupied territory of annexed Crimea. ILF has a compound practice of representation in the European Court of Human Rights. Dispute resolution partner Olexiy Kharytonov is a a well-recognized domestic litigator. Andriy Kristenko leads ECHR cases.

The Kyiv office of Kinstellar rapidly developed itsdispute resolution team during its presence in the market, and attained a well-diversified offering out of cross-border and domestic litigation. In 2017 the team represented a Ukrainian high net worth individual in a large multi-jurisdictional shareholders dispute in connection with fraudulent misappropriation of assets committed by former business partners in a number of jurisdictions. It also advised a former investor of the second largest shopping mall in Kyiv — Sky Mall — on a major shareholder multi-jurisdictional dispute that involves around 30 sets of litigation proceedings in order to prevent hostile takeover attempts against the asset. The team acted for East West Group in over 25 sets of separate proceedings in Ukrainian courts and several proceedings in Cyprus regarding appointment of the receiver and liquidation of a Cyprus holding company initiated by banks. Kostiantyn Likarchuk, managing partner,heads the firm-wide dispute resolution practice. Mykyta Nota, counsel, is another key team member. Former judge Lyudmyla Volkova joined the firm as managing associate with a focus on domestic litigation proceedings, administrative law matters and arbitration cases.

L.I.Group has broad experience of debt recovery litigation and proceedings around wide bankruptcy matters. The group has a strong following of bankings clients. For example, it represents Sberbank, Motor Bank, VAB Bank, OTP Bank, Piraeus Bank and others. Mykola Kovalchuk is the primary litigation force of the firm.

Lexwell & Partners has a solid track record in domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes, with particular focus on regulatory, tax and corporate disputes. The firm recently represented ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih in litigation to appeal decisions of the Kryvyi Rih City Council regarding the establishment of land tax rates, and represented the interests of a car dealer in consumer protection disputes regarding the quality of sold cars. Another highlight was acting for the Odessa Port Plant in a court proceedings related to the recognition of the arbitration award (the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce). The team is led by Andriy Kolupaev.

Pavlenko Legal Group is a highly dispute-focused domestic firm, centered on banking disputes, protection from corporate raiding, telecom disputes and litigation with state authorities. For example, the firm representedTsentral Capital LLC in a series of disputes with Obolon PJSC in connection with UAH 52 million debt recovery. Oleksandra Pavlenko is known in the litigation arena. Olena Pertsova, another important figure, is referred for her excellent litigation skills1.

Poberezhnyuk & Partners law group continues to develop its domestic litigation practice, acting on various debt collection and tax-related matters. The firm acted for Kyiv Green Energy in a tax dispute and represented Metronom regarding recovery of debts under a general contract for the construction of a residential complex. The group also acts on defamation cases, protecting honor, dignity and business reputation, and commercial contracts disputes, construction and land litigation. Larysa Poberezhnyuk has solid experience as a litigator. Dmitriy Troekurov is another responsible partner.

VB PARTNERS has reaffirmed its market standing as a dispute resolution and white-collar crime boutique. During the past year the firm enriched its client portfolio with a number of banks, private clients and international companies. The firm represented shareholders of Commercial Bank Premium in a dispute on cancelation of the Resolution of the National Bank of Ukraine with respect to the revoking of a banking license and NBU resolution. The firm represented the interests of client in a lawsuit against PJSC Rodovid Bank for recovery of loan debt; acted in a commercial litigation on collection of dividends for the period of 2012-2013 from the major electricity producer in favour of a non-resident. All partners are involved in practice. Volodymyr Vashchenko is a head of the dispute resolution team, and is focused on tax and civil disputes. Denys Bugay is responsible for resolving corporate conflicts, and leads the rising white-collar crime practice. Oleksandr Lukianenko specializes in commercial litigation and corporate dispute settlement.

The Kyiv office of DLA Piper launched its dispute resolution practice in 2016. The firm has prominent multinational clients, including commercial banks, financial and consultancy services, telecoms, energy, hospitality, agriculture, manufacturing through to construction, aircraft and aerospace manufacturing, infrastructure and shipbuilding. The team is focused on issues that are cross-border in nature, often in relation to parallel litigation and arbitration proceedings. In particular, it acted as an expert at the request of The Boeing Company, and its space technologies arm — Boeing Commercial Space Company, before the United States District Court for the Central District of California — provided three written expert declarations in the dispute with Boeing’s former joint venture partners Yuzhniy (Ukraine) and RSC Energia (Russia) in the Sea Launch project. Partner Olga Vorozhbyt, who is also known for unrivalled compliance knowledge, heads the firm’s litigation and regulatory practice.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang’s litigation team has a following of international clients in the energy, bank, financial services, telecommunicatins, FMCG sectors. The team acted for Deutsche Bank and Eksport Kredit Fonden in respect of insolvency and restructuring matters relating to finance provided to four SPVs connected to Mriya Agro Holding Public Limited. The firm also provided legal assistance to JKX Oil & Gas plc on enforcement of the emergency arbitral award against Ukraine rendered in connection with arbitration proceedings under the Energy Charter Treaty over gas market restrictions and punitive taxation measures imposed by Ukraine. Olexander Martinenko, senior partner, heads the practice.

The Kyiv office of Dentons acts on developing litigation strategies on restructurings and recovery matters, insolvency proceedings, and maintains its active litigation practice in IP, employment and tax disputes. In 2017 the team represented an international company which develops crop protection solutions in a tax dispute related to the recognition of a non-commercial representative office as the permanent establishment of the parent company in Ukraine; represented one of the world’s largest global electronics manufacturer services company in a case related to a labor dispute. Managing partner Oleg Batyuk is the key contact person.

Litigation is one of the key practices of the domestic law firm Jurvneshservice. The year 2017  included litigation in administrative courts as to cancellation of tax decisions and matters of registration of land lease agreements. The frim has unveiled a new practice of representing the interests of individuals in general courts that includes claims on protection of dignity and reputation (for example, defense of Mikheil Saakashvili), inheritance, recognition of a person that is legally incapable, setting aside of arbitral awards, labor and corporate disputes, etc. The big team involved in litigation includes Anna Tsirat, Gennadii Tsirat, Dmytro Salatiuk, Roman Kolesnyk, Kateryna Tsirat and Ilia Holtsov.

International Legal Center EUCON possesses a dispute resolution practice team based in two offices, namely in Kyiv and Warsaw. The consistent following of Polish clients and Ukrainian corporates doing business in Poland instruct the firm on tax, corporate, labor disputes, debt collection, contractual and property rights matters. The team is often involved in pre-trial procedures for resolving disputes and mediation, execution of judgments. In Ukraine the firm enjoys recognized strength in tax controversies. Selected clients are Savik Shuster Studio, Vostok, LLC, Ukrrichflot PJSC, Plastics-Ukraine, LLC, TNK BP-Commerce, Alpha Center, LLC, PJSC Linyk, etc. Tetiana Samsina, senior partner, is in charge of commerical litigation. Other partners act along their core specializations: Yaroslav Romanchuk leads tax disputes, while Yevgen Petrenko is at the forefront of tax-related criminal proceedings.

KM Partners is a recognized leading team for handling tax and customs disputes, often involving white-collar crimes. The commerical disputes caseload is rich in property rights litigations, debt recovery, real estate and land issues. Labor disputes are another area of expertise. The lead partners for tax litigation are Alexander Minin and Alexander Shemiatkin. Disputes on transfer pricing and customs are led by Ivan Shynkarenko. Commercial disputes and cases on international arbitration are led by Maxim Oleksiyuk.

ARBITRADE’s litigation practice continued to develop in 2017, with strong focus on the defense industry, as the firm has retained a number of significant state enterprises among its clients. The team also maintains tax litigation practice. In addition, the firm has successfully procured the recognition of an award of ICAC at the UCCI in the territory of Uzbekistan without the involvement of a local counsel. The work highlight is, inter allia, representing a well-known insurance company, COFACE (France), in a dispute with a Ukrainian distributor, who failed to pay for goods purchased from Hennessy and MHCS under an insured contract. The litigation team is led by Andriy Shulga.

Ante Law Firm acts in complicated litigations for its key industries practices — aviation and pharmaceuticals. In 2017 a handful of court cases for Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, Omega Pharma Ukraine (Perrigo group) and Zdravo were completed for the benefit of clients. The firm represents Sanofi in one of the most notorious business pressure cases of 2017. The firm was active in labor cases acting on both sides — employer and employees. A dispute regarding defense of huge real estate property rights is being handled within a seller’s bankruptcy procedure. A number of corporate, IP rights, competition and public procurement conflicts are also the subject of litigation work. The team is led by attorneys Andriy Guck and Roman Storonskiy.

KPD Consulting stands out for its ability to resolve leasing disputes. The firm is a legal counsel of leading leasing companies, encompassing Porsche Finance Group, VTB Leasing, UniCredit Leasing, Hypo-Alpe-Adria Leasing, Ozon-Investment, UkrTechProm Leasing, etc. The firm handled representation and defense of the interests of Piraeus Bank ICB in commercial courts of different instances against a third party claim with respect to the bank’s commercial real estate. Igor Kalitventsev is managing partner and head of the dispute resolution practice.

In 2017 Lavrynovych & Partners accompanied a number of property disputes related to real estate. In particular, a case on the recognition of the client’s right to place property in the center of Kyiv in accordance with an investment agreement, recognizing the absence of the right to dismantle installed structures, was handled. The firm provides legal assistence in a dispute over the ownership of retail facilities in Chernihiv, dispute over the foreclosure of a mortgage on a property in Kyiv. Partner Stanislav Skrypnyk heads the litigation practice.

Over the past year, Attorneys Association PwC Legal has successfully represented prestigious clients in dispute resolution, including criminal proceedings. Tax litigation of complex multi-episode disputes involving significant amounts is the firm’s recognized strength. The team represented the Kharkiv Tractor Plantin a case regarding cancellation of the decisions issued by the courts of administrative jurisdiction on debt recovery. In September 2017 the team was enforced by Dmytro Donets, who joined as a partner and head of the dispute resolution practice. Manager Zhanna Brazhnyk heads the tax litigation unit.

KPMG Law showcases a diversified dispute resolution practice, encompassing tax and commercial litigation. The recent caseload includes representing one of the largest international construction companies as a co-defendant in a dispute regarding non-fulfillment of contractual obligations under a road construction agreement. The firm represented a leading European bank before Ukrainian courts and enforcement authorities in a number of disputes over dividends, acted for the DGF, one of the Ukrainian banks under DGF administration before Ukrainian courts and other public authorities in several legal proceedings regarding foreclosure of real property (a shopping mall). Yuriy Katser, head of legal, is the core figure in litigation.

Legal Alliance Company, highly focused on the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, has an extensive litigation practice which saw the firm represent client cases related to abolition of drug registration, antitrust and competition law, intellectual property rights, corporate and employment, patient claims. The most significant cases of the past year saw a compensation case for damages caused by an unreasonable statement to the Security Service of Ukraine about violation of rights protected by a patent belonging to Bayer; representation of large pharmaceutical companies in courts within the confines of bankruptcy of Alba Ukraine. Illya Kostin is a lead partner.

In 2017 ST Partners acted in cases on protection of honor and business reputation of a high-ranking official and countering a campaign to discredit him; participation in disputes over the lease of a number of objects of state and municipal property; supported the recovery of property in the interests of a bank. Sergiy Tyurin is the lead partner.

Domestic litigation is the core focus of Skliarenko, Sydorenko & Partners. Its record spans corporate disputes, bankruptcy, protection of honor, dignity and business reputation, IP, tax, employment, show business, contract disputes, etc. In 2017 the team defended the interests of Monbat Ukraine/Smile LLC in a dispute with the customs authority regarding an improperly applied code for an imported commodity. Another highlight is representation of Andriy Danylko in a case related to protection of copyrights for the use of the stage name Verka Serduchka. GRAWE UKRAINE Life Insurance, PrJSC, Mama Music LLC, PrJSC Ukrgazbud, UkrTower LLC are part of the firm’s client roster. Managing partner Oleksandr Skliarenko heads the litigation practice.

The recent focus of Marchenko Danevych isinvestor-state disputes and negotiations, ADR, complex regulatory and commercial litigation and international arbitration. The team acted for U.S.-French Investors in the Morgan Furniture and Investors v Ukraine case, in the first publicly known investor-state dispute and parallel proceedings in national courts related to arbitrary tax charges. Partner Oleh Marchenko is head of dispute resolution.

Litigation is the core practice of Lviv-based Matviyiv & Partners. The firm specializes in commercial disputes, including disputes regarding execution, amendment and dissolution of contracts, collection of funds. The team renders legal assistance to a number of banks, particularly Kredobank in disputes regarding loan recovery. The firm handled representation of a group of private individuals in a dispute with OKCI BANK regarding the redemption of shares. The firm also acts for agribusiness clients on protection in court of the boundaries of a land bank. Its main clients include Agro LV Limited, LLC part of the Continental Farmers Group. The key figures are Serhiy Matviyiv, Roksolana Kostur and Iryna Pyatkovska.

Odessa-based ANK Law Office has a dedicated team of litigators. Among the major clients in 2017 are Brooklyn-Kyiv LLC, Vector Oil Trade, Container Terminal Odessa, Container Terminal Chornomorsk. The firm recently provided legal support to a Hong Kong company, Henford Logistics Limited, in court proceedings on recovering debt and represented VECTOR-OIL TRAD and Brooklyn-Kyiv LLC in tax disputes. Alexander Kifak and Nadezhda Sofronkova act as responsible partners.

The dispute resolution practice of Odessa-based Jurline includes corporate, tax, construction, maritime and investment disputes. The firm acted for LLC TIS-Mindrobyva in its dispute over the suit by the State Enterprise Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine on termination of a long-term contract on the use of cargo berth No. 17 in the Yuzhniy port area and the obligation to conclude a servitude agreement for the berth. Other major clients are Victor D (co-owner of 7-kilometer market), ISRY, Marlow Navigation Ukraine, Odessa Factory of Construction Machinery, Terminal Capital Invest, Terminal Stevedoring and Co., TIS-Grain Ltd, Container Terminal, PALMA, Nova Tech. Partner Vitaliy Cherkes heads the team, which also includes partners Volodymyr Zubar, Maxim Kapelist and Oleksiy Inozemtsev.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar continues working on dispute resolution in the aviation industry. In particular, the team represented carrier Ukraine International Airlines in three lawsuits against Lviv Airport and the Ministry of infrastructure of Ukraine; and in a number of disputes with the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and Aviation Service in connection with recovery of state aviation charges as well as in debt restructuring matters. Oleg Bondar, managing partner, leads the  practice.

SDM Partners provides a full range of dispute resolution services, handling representation before general, commercial, and administrative courts. Partners Dmytro Syrota, Serhiy Dzis and Yuri Rudenko are the prime practititoners.

Sokolovskiy & Partners is known in the main known for handling tax and customs disputes, bankruptcy, protection in criminal proceedings, litigation in economic courts as well as in general courts on civil and labor matters. Senior partner Tetiana Lysovets is practice head.

A strong performer in criminal law, Solodko & Partners has a dispute resolution practice, handling complex business protection matters as well as administrative and civil cases. The team includes Yevgeniy Solodko, Zlata Simonenko, Ekaterina Mazanek.

In 2017 the Western Ukrainian based Advice Group extends its litigation profile with commercial, tax and administrative disputes. The firm represented a manufacturer of the textile industry in a dispute with the Customs Service and State Fiscal Service, and advised on the customs clearance of imported raw materials. The group also acts in cases on protection of business reputation regarding refutation of inaccurate information related to the quality of a client’s products, a leader of the Ukrainian food industry; represented RTi Rohrtechnik International in challenging a decision by the State Executive Service. Oleh Kyryievskyi is the lead partner.

Kharkiv-based Shkrebets & Partners has a well-balanced litigation practice whose core focus is on tax matters, debt collection and restructuring. The firm is known for representing industrial, energy and municipal names such as Kharkiv CHP-5, Eristovskiy MPP, Kharkivoblenergo, Zhylkomservis, Kharkivvodokanal, Zarya. Partners Eugene Shkrebets, Andrey Syvak, Yuriy Artukh and Alexey Meniv are active litigators.

The litigation expertise of Odessa-based LeGran.TT is centered on charter party issues, cargo interests, shipping agreements, accidents, employment, payment claims. The work highlight is a precedental dispute between ZIM and See Ports Authority on an illegal collection canal due from all vessels, calling in Quarantine, Lanzheron, Cabotage and New harbors as well as collection of an overpaid canal due. The key contact is Tatiana Titarenko, the firm’s managing partner.

Konnov & Sozanovsky traditionally acts on commercial and employement disputes, and also cases related to protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. Most recently the firm represented Microsoft Ukraine in a labor dispute and represented Caterpillar Financial Ukraine before commercial courts in disputes claiming lease subject and lease payments arrears. Alexey Pokotylo is the lead partner.

Among significant cases of Gestors Attorneys Association are representation of Agrosvit Limited (Cyprus) interests as for reimbursement from Novaagro Limited and refund of corporate rights. The team representated a group of legal entities in a case regarding the right of ownership to  nominal personal shares issued by PJSC Holding company KYIVMISKBUD. Vitalii Makhinchuk is the lead partner.

Peterka & Partners, the Kyiv branch of the Czech law firm, acts for its clients in commercial disputes, most recently debt recovery. For example, the firm represented Reticulum Power a.s., a leading Czech company in investments, corporate restructuring, purchasing debts and administration, in connection with debt recovery in Ukraine. Tatiana Timchenko and Taras Utiralov are the primary points of contact.

Law Offices of OMP acts for private investment funds, pharmaceutical multinational groups, transnational grain traders, agribusinesses, leading retailers, developers, IT companies. The firm protected the interests of Agro-Region Group on appeal of a decision by Kozeletsky District State Administration on limitations of freight transport traffic by settlements and on renewal of a land lease agreement on unclaimed land plots. Valeriy Bitsyuk, Mykola Orlov and Igor Ogorodniychuk are the key contacts.

Lviv-based Pavlenko & Partners provides representation in tax litigation and white-collar crime. Sound cases handled last year included representing LLC Yablunevyi Dar in recognizing tax decisions as invalid and LLC TB Sad. Another busy area is recovery of bad debts. Yuriy Melnyk is the lead partner.

Kharkiv-based Oksana Kobzar Law Firm focuses on cases against customs and debt collection from foreign counterparties. The firm’s client roster takes in Alex-3, Specimpex, Euro-Dyligans LLC, Geponic LLC, Institute of Monocrystals NAS Ukraine and others. Oksana Kobzar is the main contact.

Suprema Lex handled protection of creditors and depositors of Ukrainian banks in court proceedings related to debt recovery and mortgage issues. It also protected the rights of bondholders of Privatbank in Ukrainian courts. Victor Moroz and Roman Oksanych are the main practitioners.

In addition to its strong tax litigation, Vdovychen & Partners strengthens its position in administrative, civil, commercial and criminal cases. Managing partner Oleg Vdovychen is the main contact.

In 2017 Kharkiv-based Sheverdin & Partners was active in tax litigation, debt recovery disputes and disputes with the DGF and state authorities. Criminal law defense is another area of recent growth. The firm is led by Maksym Sheverdin.

Odessa-based Interlegal is highly recognized for its complex maritime practice and known for successfully settling numerous incidents under maritime law.

Gryphon Legal, under the guidance of Igor Lynnyk, represents banks on debt recovery from big Ukrainian corporates. International Law Firm KODEX acted for Canadian Lactopur Inc. on debt recovery in Ukraine. Okhrimchuk Grushyn Khandurin acted for a bank in a number of economic disputes and provided legal advice to an individual in a complicated family dispute relating to divorce.

1 She joined AEQUO in May 2018.