Ilyashev & Partners received strong market endorsements as the leading Ukrainian law firm for domestic litigation and has an inherent part of the cross-border pack in Ukraine. With a network of its own offices in Ukraine, Russia and Estonia, the firm is one of the largest dispute resolution teams among Ukrainian law firms. The firm is traditionally a primary choice for banks and financial companies, energy, industrial heavyweights, telecommunication majors, real estate and developers, agrarian, food and beverages, FMCG companies. The firm is noted for representing the interests of VEB.RF in dispute related to declaring the actions of a state executor (bailiff) as unlawful and canceling a decision on the inventory and seizure of property; appealing in the Supreme Court the recognition and enforcement of the decision of the Hague Arbitration Court on the recovery of USD 139 million from the Russian Federation as compensation for the properties of the Privat Group in Crimea; representation of Creative Group in arbitration and litigation (High Court of England and Wales, in two LCIA arbitrations, according to ICC rules in Munich, in the economic courts of Ukraine and Cyprus, courts of general jurisdiction) with an international consortium of banks managed by UniCredit Bank regarding the recovery of loans from group companies. In the area of international trade the firm is enlisted for a significant case of acting for the State of Ukraine in the first and only EU case against Ukraine regarding the abolition of moratorium on the round timber export in the Dispute Settlement Body under the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU. The firm’s representative clients’ portfolio includes State Enterprise Antonov, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, FSC More, FERREXPO AG, JKX Oil & Gas Plc, J.S. Corrugating Machinery Co., Hempel Ukraine, BTA Bank, PZU, Group DF,  COFCO, Ukrrechflot, ISTIL Management, Johnson & Johnson, Reikartz Hotels & Resorts, Creative Group. Longevity BTA Bank Case is among the firm’s work highlights. Mikhail Ilyashev, managing partner, and Roman Marchenko, senior partner, enjoy reputations as top-level litigators and provide strategic guidance on litigation in high stake cases.

Asters dispute resolution team is one of the biggest in Ukraine and offers expertise in a full spectrum of disputes, e.g. commercial, regulatory, tax, antitrust, insurance, IP, labor and family law disputes. The team runs the biggest case in the market — acting for the National Bank of Ukraine and JSC CB Privatbank — in a series of interrelated disputes (around 500) associated with the 2016 nationalization of the largest commercial bank in Ukraine. The team is also known for its expertise in corporate disputes, multimillion corporate debts collection, significant regulatory claims, FIDIC contract disputes. The firm has a well-established practice of representation in disputes with the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. For example, the team successfully represented Sanofi in connection with its appeal of the AMCU decision in the investigation on the pharmaceutical products distribution market. The firm is one of the brightest counsel in cross-border litigation and complex multijurisdictional disputes, often with many jurisdictions being involved simultaneously. The highlight is acting as local Ukrainian legal counsel for Ukraine in the USD 3 billion Eurobond dispute with Russia, with respect to the validity of the loan on various grounds, principally on the grounds of duress arising from Russian threats and aggression leading up to the entry into the loan and beyond. The domestic litigation team is managed by partners Andriy Pozhidayev and Gleb Bialyi. Counsel Oleg Lazovsky is noted for his activity in disputes related to the banking sector. The cross-border litigation practice is co-headed by the firm’s co-managing partners Oleksiy Didkovskiy and Serhii Sviriba, with key contribution from partner Svitlana Chepurna and counsel Dmytro Shemelin. Partner Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi is recognized as an expert in sports law disputes in Ukraine, and is an affiliate member of the Association of Engineers-Consultants of Ukraine, which represents FIDIC interests in Ukraine.

EQUITY, a Ukrainian litigation heavyweight with a groundbreaking track record in large-scale disputes, is consistently preferred by big industrial corporations and Ukrainian businessmen. In 2019, the team worked with its regular clients — LLC Industrial Construction, one of the prominent developers in Ukraine; LLC Kakhovka Prom-Agro, the Ukrainian representative of the agro sphere; JSC Kyiv Shipyard; JSC Creative, a Ukrainian representative of the agro sphere; Stockman Interhold (businessman Andrey Adamovskiy), and continued to work with the Ukrainian Business Group, Corporate non-government pension fund of the National Bank of Ukraine. The past year for the firm stands out for setting new precedents in insolvency matters, when the Supreme Court ruled that the court may not adopt a formalistic approach in assessing the facts and taking a decision on the commencement of insolvency proceedings, and also confirmed that the country’s central bank had unlawfully declared one Ukrainian bank to be insolvent. The work highlights over the period under research included disputes within the framework of a project for restructuring the debt of the Azovmash Group of companies to 10 creditors, when the firm represented the client’s interests in disputes with creditors, totaling approximately USD 680 million, as well as disputes in relation to the bankruptcy procedure of two companies — Azovelectrostal and Azovzagalmash. The firm represented the corporate non-government pension fund of the NBU in a series of disputes to return withdrawn assets in the amount of around USD 100 million. Another calling card of the team is defending the interests of investor Andrey Adamovskiy and the company Stockman Interhold in disputes to the tune of USD 100 million with Estonian businessman Hillar Teder as part of a corporate conflict revolving around the Sky Mall amusement and shopping centre in Kyiv. The firm has a formidable portfolio of large-scale tax disputes, acting on behalf domestic industrial heavyweights. Over the last couple of years the firm fostered its involvement in cross-border matters. The firm’s partners are active litigators. Viktor Barsuk has been heading the practice and is the firm’s key strategist. Oleh Malinevskyi coordinates the majority of court disputes, including banking and corporate disputes and handles cross-border litigation issues. Sergiy Chuyev runs administrative disputes. Vyacheslav Krahlevych handles agrarian and land litigation. The senior team of counsel includes Dmytro Tylipskiy, Oleksiy Stepanenko, Andriy Ivaniv and Oksana Varakina.

LCF Law Group, a highly-regarded domestic litigation firm, is especially known for its unrivalled track record in debt recovery disputes, insolvency proceedings, and highly-specialized disputes in the areas of market securities, financial services and insurance disputes, as well as disputes with regulators. Recent highlights included assisting Mriya Agro Holding in eleven bankruptcy disputes which led to an aggregate of USD 800 million in debts being released; acting for VR Global Partners in a USD 250 million distressed loan portfolio contract dispute; providing advocacy to AVK Group in disputes with creditor banks regarding USD 246 million debt collection and forced sale of collateral. The team currently represents Bunge Ukraine against state-owned Sea Ports of Ukraine in order to enforce the client’s rights to continue to pursue its business operations with an aggregate value of USD 180 million under a deed of easement. LCF renders legal support to Alfa-Bank in terms of challenging the decision of the National Bank of Ukraine to impose a USD 1.1 million fine for undertaking risky transactions to the tune of USD 43 million. The sizeable team is headed by two partners — highly-recognized litigators, vividly present across various domestic cases, Anna Ogrenchuk and Artem Stoyanov. Olena Volyanska is especially active in insolvency cases; Yulia Atamanova and Tetyana Ignatenko are present across a wide range of disputes. Early in 2020 the team further strengthened its position in litigation by adding lawyers’ teams from EVRIS Law Firm and Sheverdin & Partners.

In 2019, Sayenko Kharenko expanded its capacities and became one of the biggest and most versatile dispute resolution practices in the market. Separate partner-led teams handle cases in domestic litigation, arbitration and cross-border litigation, tax disputes, white-collar criminal defense and IP litigation. In particular, the litigation team represented the shareholder of PJSC Sumy NPO in Ukraine’s biggest corporate dispute with a total value exceeding USD 3 billion with one of the largest machine-building enterprises in Europe; DF Group’s companies, including JSC Azot, PJSC Severodonetsk Azot Association and JSC Concern Stirol in several complex court disputes challenging the decisions on application of anti-dumping measures against the import of goods from the Russian Federation; Auchan Group in several disputes on its property rights to land plots in Odesa. The firm has rapidly grown its portfolio of tax disputes, being retained to represent a number of significant clients, inter alia, Philip Morris Ukraine, Ceetrus Ukraine, Trigon Farming Kharkiv (Agromino) and others. Highlights in cross-border litigation include representing VTB Bank Ukraine and Prominvestbank in court proceedings in Ukraine in connection with the recognition and enforcement in Ukraine of the investment treaty award in favor of Everest Estate and 18 other award creditors against the Russian Federation; acting as Ukrainian counsel to the Allard Pierson Museum in connection with a dispute between Crimean Museums and Ukraine over the ownership and control of Crimean gold treasures on loan to the museum in Amsterdam. The domestic litigation team is led by partners Sergey Pogrebnoy and Olena Sukmanova (former First Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine, who joined the firm in October 2019), with key contribution of counsel Oleksiy Koltok, who manages litigation projects. The international arbitration and cross-border litigation team is led by partner Olexander Droug, supported by Volodymyr Yaremko and Olesia Gontar. Counsel Vitalii Odzhykovskyi is in front of tax litigation. IP partner Yaroslav Ognevyuk is in charge of IP litigation matters.

In 2019, INTEGRITES demonstrated its extensive dispute resolution practice, equally well-presented in both domestic and cross-border disputes. Representative matters included joining on behalf of SyvashEnergoProm LLC two already pending court proceedings on the side of the energy market regulators, to restore the functioning of Ukraine’s green energy market. The team also represented Ferrero Ukraine during the settlement of a disputed matter with the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine relating to allegedly outstanding tax obligations on income tax and value added tax. The cross-border litigation team has a diverse pipeline of representations, acting as a lead counsel in several high-profile shareholders disputes, instructed by large Ukrainian businesses, and multijurisdictional debt recovery matters. Disclosable highlights include representing the large Ukrainian oil-extraction plant, Dniprooliya, and its Turkish majority shareholders in a corporate dispute with a local partner. The firm’s lawyers continue to be among the pioneers of recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments in Ukraine on the basis of the principle of reciprocity. In particular, the team has advised Flooring Industries Ltd S.A.R.L., part of the UNILIN/MOHAWK group, on Ukrainian law matters in three litigations against a Ukrainian licensee before German courts and further successfully represented the client in  proceedings before a Ukrainian court for recognition and enforcement of the resulting German judgment. Another work highlight is representing the interests of State enterprise Ukrkhimtransamiak, one of the world’s major operators of an ammonia pipeline, in Ukrainian litigation regarding setting aside of ICAC arbitral of the arbitral award, initiated by a Russian chemical giant Togliattiazot with over USD 190 million at stake. The sizeable team is guided by reputed partners, constantly cited as strong litigation professionals. Oleksandr Onishchenko heads domestic litigation, and is particularly involved in debt recovery, invalidation of transactions and contracts in court, and bankruptcy. Cross-border litigation is headed by Dmytro Marchukov, who has been also instructed to act as a legal expert in five high profile foreign proceedings in the UK, the US and Cyprus. Olena Perepelynska, a market leader in international commercial arbitration, regularly acts as counsel in arbitration-related litigation (e.g. enforcement of arbitral awards and obtaining interim measures in aid of arbitration), and assists Ukrainian clients in fraud and conspiracy litigation in various common law jurisdictions. Serhii Uvarov, counsel, is known for acting in multijurisdictional corporate and shareholder disputes.

Arzinger’s litigation portfolio is highly diversified and encompasses commercial, banking disputes and debt collection, corporate, IP, tax, civil, criminal, administrative, labor and competition disputes. The team traditionally acts for clients in both domestic and cross-border litigation proceedings, and enjoys a strong following by clients from the pharmaceutical, agrarian, retail and FMCG, energy, real estate, banking sectors. Most recently the dedicated practice team represented Voshod Solar LLC, a local solar power plant, in a series of commercial litigation disputes against a Ukrainian financial company worth over USD 17 million; represented Roche Ukraine, a Ukrainian subsidiary of one of the leading global pharmaceutical companies, in the process to challenge a UAH 9 million fine levied by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine; represents Marubeni Corporation, one of the world’s leading agricultural machinery traders, in commercial litigation and enforcement dispute against a Ukrainian debtor due to the latter’s breach of contract, which is governed by Swiss law. The firm also represents EBRD in insolvency court proceedings on debt collection in the amount of more than USD 17 million against a borrower, a Ukrainian pharmaceutical company, arising out of a loan agreement governed by English law. The senior litigation team is run by partners Sergii Shkliar, Kateryna Gupalo, Markian Malskyy (until July 2019), and counsel Oksana Karel, co-head of the international litigation and arbitration group. Timur Bondaryev, managing partner, is involved in significant court matters.

Multi-faceted AEQUO’s litigation practice consists dedicated groups that cover litigation of a wide array of disputes in the banking and finance sector, corporate and restructuring disputes, property rights disputes, tax and disputes with governmental authorities, disputes involving intellectual property and art. The firm is highly regarded for its unrivalled expertise in sophisticated energy disputes. Recent landmark matters include representing Rozdilska Tsehla in a unique litigation involving privatization of state property; representing Posco International, a leading South Korean trading corporation, in a dispute regarding the termination of the easement agreement on the use of the berth and its infrastructure, which are state-owned. This past year the team defended the interests of ProCredit Bank in a precedent-setting dispute over a loan commitment before the Supreme Court. AEQUO’s cross-border team has assisted, inter alia, the receivers appointed by the London Commercial Court of English High Court of Justice for the worldwide assets of Mr. Ablyazov in a series of court proceedings in Ukraine in disputes over assets illegally dissipated by Ablyazov’s controlled companies from BTA Kazakhstan. Three partners manage the sizeable team — with two co-heads — Denis Lysenko (tax and regulatory, finance and corporate protection disputes), and Oleksandr Mamunya (IP and intangible assets disputes). Pavlo Byelousov heads international arbitration and cross-border litigation, and has a special focus on investment, commercial and energy-related disputes. Three counsel belonging to the firm run cases along their core profiles — Myroslava Savchuk deals with tax and regulatory disputes; Yevgen Levitskyi is at the front of finance disputes; Olena Pertsova, who received endorsements as a proficient litigator, is in charge of corporate protection disputes.

EVERLEGAL’s litigation portfolio comprises banking, tax and corporate matters, as well as commercial and employment disputes. The particular strength is complex banking disputes, where the team handles debt collection for Ukrsotsbank, Alfa-Bank and Ukrsibbank (BNP Paribas Group). The team also acts in real estate and land disputes, defending investors and honest businesses against illegal and hostile actions. The team currently represents the Ukrainian subsidiaries of Czech agricultural holding Resilient a.s. in a complex dispute (230 court cases) regarding the restoration of lease rights on 800 hectares of land illegally taken from the client as a result of resonant raider attacks. Notably, in 2019 the team handled a significant dispute against the Ministry of Youth and Sport of Ukraine by appealing a decree that provides for a monopoly of the state in sport medicine services. With three partners on board, the firm is highly referred as a strong competitor to local heavyweights. Andriy Porayko heads the practice and, together with Oleksandr Ruzhytskyi, drives its development in terms of scope and geographical coverage. Vsevolod Volkov was extensively involved in litigation projects as well as cross-border litigation matters.

The MORIS GROUP’s dispute resolution department showcased a sharp focus on banking litigation and complex disputes arising out of bank failures, distressed and toxic financial assets, and claims by creditors. The team is the leading counsel of the state-run Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF), supporting fully half of the largest banks engaged in temporary administration or liquidation. The recent work highlight is a high value and intensive series of litigation cases for Imexbank, which was declared insolvent in 2015. In one of the most complex cases, the team defends mortgage foreclosure proceedings brought against the bank, in which creditors seek to take control of a large football stadium in Odesa, the city where Imexbank was based. The team also handled, on behalf of Delta Bank and its state-backed receivers, debt collection proceedings against the T.B. Fruit Group of Companies. In the area of commercial litigation the group continues to defend UkrLandFarming in relation to a lawsuit involving two other large, Ukrainian farming businesses, Nibulon and the Rise Company. The team also protects the property rights of Ivano-Frankivskcement, a large cement producer in Ukraine, after the company was suspended from using railcars to transport its cement, and was accused by the security services in Ukraine of having procured railway cars from Russian companies banned from doing business due to sanctions imposed upon them. Partner Andriy Savchuk heads the litigation practice.

ADER HABER demonstrates a wide spectrum of dispute resolution practice spanning commercial litigation, debt recovery, tax, insurance and employment disputes. This past year the team represented the interests of local subsidiaries of Inditex Group, a major international retail company, in court proceedings on the recovery of administrative and economic sanctions and penalties from a group of subsidiaries for non-compliance with the standards for employment of people with disabilities; and advised Nyva Winery (TM Tairovo), a major Ukrainian winery producer, in four antimonopoly disputes over the identification by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine of signs of unfair competition in the course of a marketing campaign and marking products. The firm also handled representation of the interests of Ukrainian Members of Parliament in a legal dispute in a lawsuit to the former Chairman of the Parliament of Ukraine, Mr. Andriy Parubiy, about the recognition of unlawful actions and inactivity during the consideration and voting on a draft bill on religion at a parliamentary sitting. In 2019 the firm opened a new cross-border project involving Chinese jurisdiction, and has also represented the interests of clients with such jurisdictions involved as Germany, Switzerland, Spain. The caseload is run according to the specifics of disputes. For many years Yuriy Petrenko, managing partner, has been head of litigation and dispute resolution. Another key executive and rising star of the firm is Andrii Hvozdetskyi, counsel. Tatiana Daniltseva is in charge of insurance and tax disputes; Aleksandra Fedotova handles real estate and land disputes and antitrust and competition proceedings; Tetyana Ivanovych is recognized for representing clients in labor and family disputes.

Backed by substantial bankruptcy and insolvency litigation practice, Alekseev, Boyarchukov and Partners’ litigation practice is centered on representation in the banking and financial sector. The clients of the practice take in large Ukrainian banks, financial companies, private enterprises — Siver Bud, Mriya invest, Discovery — drilling equipment, Polikombank, Alfa-Bank, Financial company Geneva, Financial company Investohills Vesta, and others. Alexander Tkachuk is the head of litigation, and Maxim Boyarchukov heads the bankruptcy practice. Both partners have extensive experience in court matters.

ANTIKA Law Firm has a well-versed litigation practice team that acts regularly in comprehensive commercial disputes, including contractual breach, debt collection, matters involving consumer rights protection. Its recent track record included representing Chornomornaftogaz during the process of settling a dispute with insurance companies regarding the distribution of compensation paid for damages during the crash of the ship Naftogaz-97 in Hong Kong port. The firm’s litigation practice is managed by dedicated partner Andrey Kuznetsov. Managing partner Alexey Kot handles some significant, particularly challenging matters. Maxim Korchagin and Alexandra Fedorenko are cited as key individuals.

The litigation practice run by ARIO Law Firm is devoted in the main to representation in bankruptcy proceedings, as well as business protection, debt recovery and property disputes. The litigation team is supported by the firm’s criminal practice, acting on comprehensive cases involving parallel criminal proceedings. The team recently acted for Avtodom LLC (represented by the liquidator) in a dispute related to international recovery of assets on a mortgage loan, issued to the former management for the construction of real estate. The team also represents the interests of the Lybid Hotel Complex in a corporate dispute in connection with a raider attack on corporate rights and handled, on behalf of the Deposit Guarantee Fund, representation of Delta Bank in a dispute over a land plot near the
Bukovel Resort. The practice is led by Julian Khorunzhiy, senior partner.

During the period under research AVELLUM’s dispute resolution team reaffirmed its market standing for handling cross-border and domestic litigation. The team handled corporate disputes, insolvency, debt recovery, commercial, trade and commodities, tax and family disputes. General commercial and tax is the core focus of domestic court matters. Another area of strength is representing international and local clients on recovery of debt and enforcement of collateral in Ukraine. The team continued to develop its presence in high-stake cross-border litigation. Partner Vadim Medvedev is head of litigation, and was noted as a rising star in cross-border proceedings and a technically strong lawyer.

AVER LEX, the market leading criminal defense boutique law firm, is known for strong performance in comprehensive business protection cases with commercial litigation and parallel criminal proceedings. The firm advises big corporate clients, and is retained by agro, banks, chemicals, commercial and professional services, construction and materials, energy, healthcare, real estate, technology companies. In 2019 the team received a growing number of requests from clients to defend their rights during raids, hostile takeovers and corporate conflicts. The team’s portfolio also encompasses asset tracing and debt recovery litigation cases, proceedings regarding sanctions appeal. Olga Prosyanyuk, managing partner, is at the forefront of the most challenging cases.

Baker McKenzie is regularly involved in complicated disputes, both in Ukraine and around the world, including handling complex cross-border proceedings. The recent litigation portfolio includes a number of corporate and contract law issues, dispute arising from credit and mortgage, construction, tax and customs, employment, intellectual property and consumer rights protection, shareholder disputes, debt collection and bankruptcy. The dispute team also acts in challenging the decisions of regulators. The office is constantly enlisted for representation by international banking and financial services institutions, agribusiness, energy sectors. The Kyiv-based dispute resolution practice group is headed by Ihor Siusel, partner.

The sizeable dispute resolution practice of Eterna Law combines both domestic and cross-border litigation. The team is well-connected with international law firms and endorsed by foreign counsel by the poll. A big part of the firm’s work is providing expert opinions on Ukrainian law in the courts of England. Oleh Beketov, senior partner, is named the first port of call for some high profile clients and London firms. In particular, he acted as an expert on a Ukrainian law in the case involving state Ukrainian bank PrivatBank against its ex-owners, which is being considered by the High Court of Justice. The recent portfolio of the firm takes in debt recovery and insolvency proceedings, disputes arising out of violation of supply contracts, corporate conflicts and shareholder disputes, tax litigation. This past year the team also increased its involvement in IT-related disputes. Selected projects include acting for PJSC Stevedoring Company Avlita in a complex tax dispute and representing DSM Nutritional Products Sp.z.o.o. in a court dispute regarding debt collection on the basis of a supply contract. Oleh Beketov and Aleksandr Lugovskyi are responsible for general commercial and international trade disputes, complex fraud and asset tracing/recovery matters involving multiple jurisdictions (England, Cyprus, BVI, US, Panama, Switzerland, Russia), recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards and foreign court judgments in Ukraine, England and Cyprus. Denys Kytsenko is primarily focused on domestic litigation. Eugene Blinov, is recognized for his advocacy skills in arbitration and cross-border litigation matters.

GOLAW represents clients in disputes at general, economic and administrative courts, along with support for international commercial disputes. The firm has extensive expertise in representing the interests of big international and Ukrainian banks (like Expobank a.s, Česká exportní banka (Czech export bank), ProCredit Bank, Ukrsotsbank) in insolvency cases; and representing the interests of international and Ukrainian retail companies (GAP, ZARA, Gallicia Distillery, Reckitt Benckiser, etc,.) in tax disputes. The team rendered legal support to Expobank a.s. in a dispute with a dishonest debtor, and restoration of a bank’s right to make foreclosure on mortgaged real estate. The team is also well known in Ukraine for protecting the interests of government and public figures in disputes over the protection of honor, dignity, and business reputation, and has been constantly referred as a prominent team in labor disputes. The practice is headed by Valentyn Gvozdiy, managing partner, and Kateryna Manoylenko, partner.

Gramatskiy & Partners’ dispute resolution practice included cases against banks and financial institutions, tax authorities, land, labor, credit and mortgage disputes, as well as debt recovery. The team recently represented Graal LLC in a dispute with JSC Vades on transferring the rights of the buyer to LLC shares and recognizing the ownership of a 99% stake in capital; represented two companies of Seven Hills Group in a dispute resolution vs. the Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv Region regarding the vindication of land plots. Andrii Trembich is the leader of the well-versed team that includes Olexandr Koval, Vitalii Tymchuk, Iurii Gorda and Ihor Kasianov.

ILF Law Firm is known for its well-established diverse dispute resolution team, featured with unique expertise of representations before the European Court of Human Rights. The litigation portfolio in 2019 took in protection of assets —land and real estate in the field of construction and retail in Ukraine, as well as labor and corporate disputes. The number of corporate conflicts between co-owners of Ukrainian enterprises, protection against corporate raids, mediation of corporate conflicts and the use of consulting tools to resolve such conflicts at the pre-trial stage were an area of recent growth. Partner Olexiy Kharytonov is deeply involved in domestic litigation. Another recognized strength of the firm is proficient practice of employment disputes headed by Serhiy Silchenko.

The highly diversified dispute resolution practice of Kinstellar is known for handling post-M&A and shareholder disputes, debt collection, bankruptcy and insolvency litigation, administrative and other disputes with public authorities and local government bodies. The team traditionally acts on high stake cross-border litigation. For example, the firm represents a Ukrainian high net worth individual in a large USD 550 million multijurisdictional shareholders’ dispute, involving asset tracing and fraud investigations (the proceedings are being held in Cyprus, Belize, Ukraine, Liechtenstein, Panama, the UK and Switzerland); advised a former investor in the second largest shopping mall in Kyiv — Sky Mall — on a major shareholder multijurisdictional dispute that involves around 30 sets of litigation proceedings with respect to hostile takeover attempts regarding the asset. The team represented Lifecell, one of the largest mobile operators in Ukraine, on challenging the decision of the Ukrainian competition authority on imposition of multimillion fines for misleading advertising. The office is rapidly growing its aviation practice, and currently advises WIZZ Air Hungary Kft and its Ukrainian subsidiary Wizz Air Ukraine LLC, in a number of mandates pertaining to its operations in Ukraine. Kostiantyn Likarchuk, managing partner, heads the dispute resolution practice firm-wide. Mykyta Nota is a counsel, who specializes in international arbitration, local and cross-border litigation. Lyudmyla Volkova is a managing associate focusing on domestic litigation proceedings, administrative law matters and enforcement proceedings.

L.I. Group specializes in bankruptcy, debt recovery litigation and administrative disputes. The team, as led by partners Mykola Kovalchuk and Artur Megeria, represents the interests of Ukraine’s largest banks in terms of debt collection, foreclosure of mortgages, recognition of property rights and protects the interests of banks from recognizing credit and mortgage contracts as invalid. Another vivid area of practice is challenging regulatory decisions of state authorities.

In 2019 Lexwell & Partners demonstrated a prominent track record in domestic disputes. The firm represents ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih in appealing decisions adopted by Kryvyi Rih City Council regarding the establishment of land tax rates and rents; represents the interests of the distributor and dealer of Toyota/Lexus cars in Ukraine in a number of disputes on protecting the rights of consumers regarding the quality of sold cars. On the cross-border front, the firm advised the holding companies of the Motto petrol station chain on a number of disputes contesting share purchase and sale agreements in the authorized capital and decisions of the general meeting of company participants, and also advised on the best mechanisms for strategy in economic disputes pending before the High Court of Justice of England and the Supreme Court of Belize. The team is led by Andriy Kolupaev, managing partner.

The rapidly growing Ukrainian legal brand MITRAX represents a wide range of services related to dispute resolution and business protection. The strong sides of the firm are anti-raiding litigation, corporate conflicts measures and settlement of family disputes. The main industrial areas include defense industry, the agricultural sector, construction and real estate. The practice possesses three dedicated partners on board. Alexander Strokan is the head of dispute resolution; Dmytro Syrko is responsible for business protection; Oleh Golubnychyi handles family disputes. Former managing partner Kyrylo Fesyk left the firm and was appointed head of Obolon District State Administration in Kyiv.

Pavlenko Legal Group accompanied more than 100 litigation cases in 2019. The team defended the interests of companies in the areas of telecommunications and media, retail, real estate, gas, oil, agricultural and other markets. Selected client names include JSC Gastransit, Ukrtelecom JSC, OTP Bank, Financial Company Central Capital, ASKA PJSC, Patriot PJSC, PJSC Myronivsky Plant of Greets and Feed Stuff, Logistic Invest LLC, Private Enterprise Volzhanka, Rodina Energy Group. A significant part of portfolio consists of banking disputes, such as bad debts recovery, surety, mortgage, bank loans, assets protection, as well as disputes with state authorities and defamation cases. Vitaliy Burdak
 is the responsible partner. Hrygoriy Pavlenko is noted as a key executive.

Litigation is one of the core practices at Salkom Law Firm. In 2019, the most notable cases concern the protection of property rights, disputes with controlling authorities, claims for damages filed against the Individual Deposits Guarantee Fund, and labor disputes. The firm succeeded in the defense of banks’ officers in disputes for damages on the Individual Deposits Guarantee Scheme. The firm stands out for experience in disputes over the ownership, use and disposal of land. Another highlight was representation of Ridniy Kray in a case on the demand for real estate — hotel Vodospad and a plot in Yaremche, Ivano-Frankivsk Region, which was illegal possessed. The 15-strong litigation practice is led by partners Viktoriia Klumiyk and Yuriy Leonov.

The commercial litigation focus of VB PARTNERS comprises debt collection, banking, tax and customs, regulatory and shareholders disputes. The notable area of the firm’s litigation practice is challenging the decisions of state authorities. For example, the State Property Fund, National Bank of Ukraine, Fiscal Service, etc. The firm is also experienced in filing applications to the European Court of Human Rights regarding violations of the right to peaceful enjoyment of property. The team rendered representation of the interests of a shareholder in the Khreshchatyk Commercial Bank in litigation related to an appeal of the decisions as taken by the National Bank of Ukraine and Deposit Guarantee Fund on liquidation of this bank. The standout case of 2019 was representation of Mykolaiv Alumina Plant as the plaintiff on the obligation of the Ukrainian Seaports Authority to bring the depths of the waters to passport values. Selected clients of the firm include British American Tobacco Ukraine, Svitland Development, Mallino Development Group, Spike Trade Group, International Clinic of Rehabilitation, Colliers International Group, Prosperity Capital Management, WTT Hotels One Limited, Avellana Gold, PrikarpatZapadtrans; shareholders in Delta Bank Ukraine, Delta Bank Belarus, Khreshchatyk Bank, Commercial Bank Premium, Omega Bank, Classic Bank, Terra Bank, etc. Volodymyr Vashchenko is head of the firm’s dispute resolution practice. In addition to white-collar crime focus, Denys Bugay and Oleksandr Lukianenko are also directly involved in the litigation practice.

The dispute resolution team of the Kyiv office of DLA Piper is enlisted for complex multi-faceted disputes, often in relation to parallel litigation, cross-border and arbitration proceedings. Among disclosable highlights is representation of Swissport, the world’s largest provider of ground and cargo handling services, in a series of litigation proceedings in Ukraine brought by its former lawyers, who represented Swissport in a lengthy corporate dispute with Ukraine International Airlines (UIA) regarding corporate rights in Swissport LLC, a joint venture with UIA. The team currently represents PwC Ukraine in a dispute with the National Bank of Ukraine in Ukrainian courts. The recent portfolio also includes regulatory, debt recovery, employment and tax disputes. Partner Olga Vorozhbyt heads the firm’s litigation and regulatory practice.

The litigation practice of Absolute Law ­Agency is predominantly centered on debt recovery disputes, mortgage and loan agreements, commercial and tax disputes. Given its strong positions in bankruptcy, the agency enjoys the following of banks and financial companies. Oleksandr Bondarchuk and Oleksandr Hladii are the main contacts.

Odesa-based ANK Law Office has one of the largest litigation teams in Southern Ukraine. There were several prominent trials related to maritime law in the firm’s portfolio of late. In particular, the team represented Bulgarian Shipping Company NAVIBULGAR in court proceedings under a claim against the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority on recovery of losses; and represented the interests of the defendant — captain of Chornomorsk Sea Port Stanislav Nezavitin in a court case under the claim of Privacy Development Ltd against the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority on  recovery of losses. The client list also includes Agro-Reni, Brooklyn-Kiev, SC CTO of the company HHLA, Vector Oil Trade, Novolog, Risoil Terminal. Oleksandr Kyfak and Nadiya Sofronkova act as lead partners. Artem Volkov, head of the maritime practice, is active in court matters.

Ante Law Firm represents clients in various disputes and court cases mainly related to aviation and pharmaceuticals, but also handles cases for clients which are related to other sectors of the economy as well as private clients. The clients, which generated most dispute resolution work in 2019, were Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine LLC, Zdravo LLC, DFU Agro and international airlines. A labor dispute involved the Head of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine was settled in his favor in 2019. Corporate, IP rights, competition and public procurement conflicts are handled by the litigation team that is led by Andriy Guck and Roman Storonskiy.

ARBITRADE continued representing clients in courts in 2019, with many cases involving a cross-border element. In particular, the team provides all-encompassing legal support to DSV Logistics in all litigation proceedings arising out of contracts for carriage of goods, and was instructed by the Netherlands office of COFACE to act in the name of an agrarian company called Adama Ukraine in a dispute with its counterparties under the contracts for sale and purchase of agricultural fertilizers, which had failed to pay the purchase price. The client profile encompassed Gold Craft FZE, State Enterprise Specialized External Trading Firm Progress, Veres group of companies, Innavante LLC, State Enterprise Konotop Aviation Repair Plant AVIAKON. Pavlo Trytenichenko is a responsible partner.

Odesa-based firm AS Legal is focused on bank disputes, including cross-border transfers support, IT commercial disputes, as well as family property disputes and cross-border marriage support. The team also represented interests of JSC Odesteplokomunenergo before the European Court of Human Rights regarding cancellation of real estate title registration, and before the Constitutional Court of Ukraine regarding a constitutional complaint aimed at limiting the Ministry of Justice’s powers to terminate real estate title registration, which break the constitutional right to real estate property of individuals and legal entities. Maxim Andreev acts as projects head.

CMS operates in Ukraine through two offices.

Being a leader of the energy sector in Ukraine, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang supports clients on different issues of the Ukrainian law in energy field, including providing support in the event of any issues arising related to dispute resolution. The team also enjoys recognized strength in international arbitration and has expertise in a wide variety of disputes and other contentious matters, including cross-border disputes, tax disputes, fraud and FCPA-driven investigations. The practice is headed by senior partner Olexander Martinenko and supported by Olga Shenk, who was recently promoted to counsel.

The team of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, as led by partners Maria Orlyk and Anna Pogrebna, has been engaged in various matters for a number of international clients in cases against Ukrainian debtors.

The Kyiv office of Dentons has experience of cross-border and domestic commercial litigation, including commercial real estate and product liability disputes, local and cross-border IP litigation, and also a successful track record in local tax and customs disputes. In 2019 the team represented the biggest creditor of a group of Ukrainian companies that operates in the global steel market in respect of insolvency proceedings and complex debt restructuring. The team also advised another client regarding debt recovery matters under a service agreement with a counterparty. Ukrainian managing partner Oleg Batyuk is the key contact.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar is focused on specific disputes in aviation industry, representing the firm’s established clients — Ukraine International Airlines, Interavia LLC, Aerohandling. Oleg Bondar, managing partner, leads the practice.

EUCON Legal Group is known primarily for accompanying sophisticated high-stake tax disputes. The firm is also focused on corporate, shareholder disputes (especially in agribusiness). Managing partner Yarolav Romanchuk and partner Yevhen Petrenko are the core contacts in litigation issues.

Gestors Attorneys Association is focused on complex litigation. The team handles ongoing representation of JSC Chornomornaftogaz in disputes related to return of the Titan-2 crane-mounting vessel to the owner; represented PJSC Donetskoblgaz before the Supreme Court regarding appeal to an order issued by the state labor authority. The practice is led by partners Andriy Tsvetkov and Vitalii Makhinchuk.

The core dispute resolution focus of 6-offices Black Sea experts Interlegal is shipping, ship arrest and claims handling on the side of ship-owners or charterers. The team also litigates disputes on issues of laytime and demurrages, damages suffered by the carrier as a result of force majeure, on disputes settlements upon cargo, charter parties and bills of lading. Partners Arthur Nitsevych, Nikolay Melnykov, Natalya Myroshnychenko, Artem Skorobogatov are the key faces of the practice.

Jurline, an Odesa-based law firm, is highly adept at handling corporate, tax, construction, maritime disputes. The team recently represented the interests of LLC TIS in a number of claims brought by the Deputy-Prosecutor of Odesa Region for recovery of lost profits in connection with non-payment of share participation; provided legal support to Illichivsk Grain Terminal in the port of Chornomorsk in a dispute regarding the recovery losses for alleged loss of grain, owned by Glencore Agriculture B.V.; and provided legal support to TIS-Mindobryva, located in the port of Yuzhniy, in a dispute initiated by the claim of the Yuzhnenska branch of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority regarding the recovery of UAH 54 million from the terminal for the use of berths. The team is headed by partner Vitaliy Cherkes, including partners Volodymyr Zubar, Maxim Kapelist, counsel Oleksandr Vovk.

In addition to recognized strength in tax litigation, a considerable part of KM Partners dispute resolution practice takes in commercial disputes, as led by partner Maxim Oleksiyuk. This practice includes disputes related to supply, lease and service relations, as well as real estate, land and corporate issues as well as debt collection matters. The firm also enjoys good standing in labor disputes related to collective agreement conclusion, changes in the production and work organization, changes of the essential conditions of work and other issues, as led by partner Alexander Shemiatkin.

In 2019 KPMG Law Ukraine demonstrated a diversified portfolio, encompassing tax and commercial litigation. The recent caseload of the firm’s commercial litigation practice includes representing a leading European bank and private investor before Ukrainian courts and enforcement authorities in a number of disputes over dividends distribution; representing the state-run Deposit Guarantee Fund and one of the Ukrainian insolvent banks under DGF administration before Ukrainian courts and other public authorities in several legal proceedings regarding foreclosure of real property (a shopping mall). The practice team successfully represented CTPark Lviv, LLC in a complicated land dispute. Yuriy Katser, head of legal and commercial dispute resolution practice, is the core figure in commercial litigation.

Legal Alliance Company acts in corporate disputes, IP-litigation, damages, debt collection, tax disputes. Pharmaceutical companies hire the firm to represent their interests in disputes concerning cancellation of registration of trademarks; de-registration of medicines and importation of medicines in connection with violation of IP rights; compensation for the use of patents without the permission of the owner. This past year the team represented the interests of a Ukrainian football club in three disputes over the alienation of corporate rights and invalidation of a contract on sale of corporate rights. The core litigation team includes Natalia Lavrenova and Vitalii Savchuk, and is led by partner Illya Kostin.

Legrant is one of the prominent teams involved in litigation in the maritime industry in the southern region of Ukraine. The firm has experience representing the interests of shipowners, freight forwarders, cargo owners, cargo transportation agents, container lines in complex shipping and contractual disputes related to insurance claims. Another important part of its dispute resolution practice is tax disputes. The firm’s selected clients list includes Black Sea Commodities Ltd, Global Ocean Link, Graincom Shipping, Inchcape Shipping Services, Overseas Transport Ukraine, United Marin Group, Vtormetexport Ltd, Inzernoexport Ltd, Metalsukraine Corp. Ltd, Olimpex Coupe International, Polaris, Ferko, Transship, Ferrexpo, Stark Shipping, Phaeton, Maxgrain, Savoy Trading LP, Orexim, Asket Shipping, Bunge, Cofco, Nikmorservice Nikolaev. The key contact is managing partner Tatyana Titarenko.

The dynamic local team at LEZO Attorneys at Law is visible across debt recovery disputes, foreclosure and enforcement proceedings, disputes with banks and state regulatory authorities. The firm has experience of handling tricky employment conflicts in which top managers figure. The team is led by Nataliia Fedyk, managing partner, and associate partner Bohdan Masekha.

Commercial litigation is one of the main areas of legal services provided by Peterka & Partners in the CEE region. The Ukrainian office handles representation in commercial and administrative disputes, including court proceedings against Ukrainian citizens regarding the collection of debts with further enforcements of court decisions and court proceedings regarding the destruction of counterfeit goods and enforcements of a court decision. This past year the office represented Raiffeisenbank a.s., a Czech bank belonging to one of Europe’s leading banking groups, as a creditor in insolvency proceedings of several companies of a major, problematic agricultural group. Partner Taras Utiralov is the core contact.

In 2019 Sheverdin & Partners[1], as guided by Maksym Sheverdin, represented clients in competition law cases, tax disputes, bankruptcy proceedings. The national litigation highlights take in representing Mashprom, the largest distributor of coffee and tea in Central and Eastern Ukraine, in 15 parallel litigation proceedings throughout Ukraine against Mashprom’s regional and local distributors, violating the distribution agreements in part of marketing activities relating to the Jacobs brand. The firm demonstrated involvement in cross-jurisdictional disputes in the fields of IP and retail, which included parallel proceedings in Ukraine, Poland and the USA.

Skliarenko, Sydorenko and Partners is a local litigation firm with experience in IP, administrative, corporate and investment disputes. The firm is experienced in acting for clients on cross-border litigations. The firm acted in court cases involving the interests of parties in Germany, Georgia, Italy, Cyprus and other foreign jurisdictions. Oleksandr Skliarenko is in charge of litigation.

Kharkiv-based Shkrebets & Partners is among the most active litigation firms in Eastern Ukraine. The lion’s share of its recent portfolio consists of tax litigation, labor disputes, debt recovery proceedings related to energy sector, administrative disputes. The team is known for representing industrial, energy and municipal names such as Kharkiv CHP-5, Kharkivoblenergo, Zhylkomservis, Zarya. The team is also retained for defense in defamation cases. Partners Evgeniy Shkrebets, Andrey Syvak, Yuriy Artukh and Oleksii Meniv lead litigation projects.

The dispute resolution team of Sokolovskyi & Partners handles numerous tax and customs disputes, as well as litigation-related, debt recovery, commercial, land and labor disputes. The firm is known for its focus on insolvency and bankruptcy. Tetiana Lysovets, senior partner, leads the practice.

VDA Group, a new entrant to the market, focuses sharply on banking disputes. The team protected and represented the interests of JSB Ukrgasbank in numerous procedures regarding the protection of assets and debt collection. Yevhen Kolomiiets and Andrian Gladun are the main point of contact.

Vdovychen & Partners is known for its strong tax litigation work and also growing caseload in administrative and commercial cases, including appeal land lease agreements, debt and damages recovery, employment disputes. Managing partner Oleg Vdovychen is the main contact.

During 2019 the Kyiv office of Wolf Theiss advises RMD Group and a Canadian investor in Ukraine in connection with fraud committed against him by his Ukrainian partners; and advising thyssenkrupp Materials Services GmbH in bankruptcy proceedings with respect to one of its customers from Ukraine that defaulted on payments for supplied products. Taras Dumych, managing partner, is the key contact.

Oleg Alyoshin, partner of Vasil Kisil & ­Partners, received a great appraisal from the market, being cited as one of most tenacious litigators in the country. The market also appreciates his team of noticeable young professionals, namely Vasylyna Odnorih and Nick Yurlov[2].

Peers see Irina Nazarova, managing partner of ENGARDE attorneys at law, as a seasoned practitioner and well placed to advise on all types of arbitration/cross-border litigation and parallel proceedings.

 

[1]In April 2020 the firm merged with LCF Law Group.

[2]The firm has not submitted information for the current research.

 

INTERNATIONAL LAW FIRMS*

Dutch law firm Bergh Stoop & Sanders has been advising the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the long-term dispute between the State of Ukraine, four Crimean Museums and the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam regarding Crimean treasures that had been given on loan to the museum in Amsterdam for the Crimea — Golden Island in the Black Sea exhibition. The decision of the Amsterdam District Court is currently under appeal.

International law firm Covington & Burling has extensive experience handling matters in Ukraine include investor-state arbitration, international commercial arbitration, public international law disputes, commercial disputes under English Law. In 2019 the firm represented the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in an action filed against Ukraine by Law Debenture Trust Corporation in the High Court of England and Wales. The firm is also acting for Ukrainian businessman Oleg Mkrtchan and his related corporate entities in a high profile case before the High Court in London litigation proceedings regarding the sale of indirect interest in the Industrial Union of Donbas. This is a dispute with Mr. Mkrtchan’s former business partners — Vitaliy Haiduk and Serhiy Taruta that involves claims in excess of USD 1.3 billion. The team working on this case includes Craig Pollack, Greg Lascelles, Eddy Eccles, Jonathan Heath, Alexander Gudko and Charlotte Raynor.

Dr. Róbert Mezei Law Office (Hungary) is the Ukrainian legal counsel in a dispute between the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and Hungarian Medical Centre for the return of unused funds for patient treatment.

Enyo Law is a London-based disputes only boutique firm. In 2019, the team worked on two large Ukraine-related cases before English courts, representing Mr. Gennadiy Bogolyubov. These are Privatbank vs. Bogolyubov and Kolomoisky, and Tatneft vs. Bogolyubov. The key partners are George Maling, Tim Elliss, Konrad Rodgers. Evgeniya Rubinina, partner and international arbitration lawyer, is another key figure.

Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services related to protecting the interests of Naftogaz of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictions (including foreign state authorities, organizations, institutions, foreign courts, foreign financial institutions, before other entities and individuals) in all respects related to the execution of an arbitral award in favor of Italia Ukraina Gas S.p.A. (IUGAS).

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer continues to provide legal services to protect the interests of Naftogaz of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictions on all issues arising in international trade activities.

Hogan Lovells, a renowned international law firm, regularly represents Ukrainian companies and businessmen in resonant high stake litigation in English courts. Under the guidance of Richard Lewis, partner, the firm represents PrivatBank in fraud proceedings in the English High Court against former shareholders Igor Kolomoisky, Gennadiy Bogolyubov and others, in which PrivatBank claims over USD 2 billion. Another recent case is led by London-based partner Michael Roberts, representing Mr. Serhiy Taruta in fraud proceedings in the English High Court involving Mr. Haiduk, Mr. Mkrtchan and others. The proceedings, in which Mr Taruta is both a defendant and an additional claimant, involve claims with an aggregate value in excess of USD 2.7 billion.

Holland & Knight acts as a legal counsel of Ukraine in appeal proceedings in the USA in the Oksana Baiul v Joseph Lemire, Olympic Champions LTD (Delaware), Olympic Champions LTD (BVI), State of Ukraine and Does case.

Swiss Jacquemoud & Stanislas provides legal services related to protecting the interests of the State of Ukraine in a dispute with Euronews SA for the return of financial guarantees, allocated to ensure the terms of the agreement with the European Language Union regarding the holding of the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine in 2017.

Legance — Avvocati Associati (Milan) is a legal counsel to Ukraine in the civil case of Rocchelli’s relatives (an Italian journalist killed in Slovyansk during combat actions) and others vs. the State of Ukraine before a court in Pavia.

Osborne Clarke handled a shareholder dispute over the distribution of profits from a company and acted in commercial arbitration dispute arising out of a potential breach of contract in respect of commodities. Artem Doudko, partner, is head of Russia & CIS disputes.

The international business litigation and arbitration heavyweight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan acted as the lead counsel to Ukraine in the ongoing USD 3 billion Eurobond dispute with Russia in the High Court of England and Wales. Alex Gerbi is lead counsel.

 

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