Baker McKenzie utilizes a cross-practice group with a versatile offering that includes acquisition and development of stores, strategic expansions, lease of retail and warehouse premises, complex shopping mall projects, e-commerce and tax, customs and compliance, data privacy issues and GDPR. The firm also assists renowned retail brands with structuring of a franchising and distribution relationship, competition and regulatory matters, and represents their interests in litigation. The Kyiv team is especially sought after for intellectual property protection for many international consumer goods brands facing counterfeiting and unauthorized import and distribution. For example, the firm advises Columbia Sportswear Company on IP matters related to trademark infringement matters and protecting a company’s trademark rights at the State Customs Service. Top names in the client list include Auchan, Billa, McDonald’s. The multidisciplinary team is led by several partners: Vyacheslav Yakymchuk (corporate and M&A), Ruslan Drobyazko (IP), Serhiy  Piontkovsky and Lina Nemchenko (real estate).

DLA Piper supports a roster of foreign supermarkets and cosmetics retail chains and luxury apparel brands in Ukraine. With a strong real estate offering, the firm assists clients with retail lease, expansion and launch, contractual arrangements and regulatory support. The practice team advised Billa Ukraine on securing a record eight-year lease extension agreement with Kyiv City Council for its flagship store on Bessarabskyi Market in Kyiv. Other clients encompass Leroy Merlin, Bomond Group, McDonald’s. It draws on experience in handling distribution, franchising and licensing agreements. The multidisciplinary portfolio of projects is led by several partners: Natalia Kochergina runs real estate matters; Natalia Pakhomovska advises on commercial practices and IP.

AEQUO has a cross-practice portfolio, advising prominent local and foreign retailers, “Do It Yourself” market players, fashion brands and consumer electronics retailers. The team is approached for business restructuring issues, corporate transactions, competition, tax, trade and regulatory matters. The firm recently advised Inditex on corporate restructuring of its Ukrainian subsidiaries and implementing a restructuring plan. The competition practice team regularly acts for DIY and food retail majors. In particular, among significant highlights was advising Epicentr K, the largest Ukrainian DIY retailer, in an antitrust investigation defending against allegations on misleading advertising in promoting of goods in the retail chain; representing Novus along with two other regional retail chains, Delicat Retail and Veresen Plus, on merger clearance regarding establishment of an “alliance” for the joint purchase of products. The firm offers additional strength in IT and commercial contracts. Among comprehensive projects in 2019 is advising Zara on setting-up online sales in Ukraine, including tax, customs, requirements for formalizing sale and return transactions, customer protection, data protection, product liability regulations. Partners Denis Lysenko (tax, corporate), Anna Babych (corporate and M&A, commercial contracts), Sergey Denisenko (competition) lead the projects for clients in the sector.

The cross-practice expert team of Asters is retained by retailers and retail landlords, department stores on commercial, competition, real estate, employment and dispute resolution. Currently, Inesa Letych advises Leroy Merlin, one of the leading DIY retailers in Europe, on labor and employment matters related to outsourcing and outstaffing of personnel, while Sergiy Grebenyuk acted on highly-publicized criminal proceedings related to outstaffing services. The real estate practice regularly assists with expansions and subsequent acquisitions of real estate and land plots, development. The firm is a popular choice for luxury and consumer brands. For example, the team led by Roman Kostenko constantly advises PRADA Group on all day-to-day legal issues and operation of its first mono-brand boutique in Ukraine. Oleksandr Voznyuk represents clients in numerous antitrust and competition matters, inter alia, regulatory investigations.

The Ukrainian law firm ADER HABER supports a roster of national retail supermarket chains, clothing brands and landlords, as well as clients operating in the food and beverages sector. The firm regularly advises on taxation and related litigation, customs, IP, antitrust, real estate, land, employment, health and safety issues affecting the sector. The firm advises Technocom Ltd, a Ukrainian subsidiary of Nestle S.A., on issues of inspection visits by the State Employment Service, on the termination of labor relations, guarantees of trade union rights. The firm is also active in asset acquisitions for further development and lease. The firm notably assists clients with competition matters. In particular, it represents Nyva Winery (TM Tairovo), a major Ukrainian winery producer in antimonopoly disputes over the identification of signs of unfair competition in the course of its marketing campaign and marking products. Other clients include Fudmerezha (ТМ Velyka Kyshenya), Inditex Group, WOG, AVK Company, Merx. The retail domain is led by two partners: Aleksandra Fedotova deals with real estate and land, asset deals and competition; Yuriy Petrenko runs litigation.

Arzinger is preferred by prominent international retailers, including DIY, consumer goods and household appliances, apparel retailers present in Ukraine. The firm, as guided by Timur Bondaryev, managing partner, regularly assists clients with commercial lease, expansion and competition. The IP practice led by Kateryna Oliinyk advises foreign brands on the IP aspects of launching on the Ukrainian market, and also has experience of advising e-commerce projects.

Ukrainian law firm GOLAW has an established following of international fashion, food and FMCG retailers, beverages, household, cosmetics producers. The firm is particularly sought for its tax advisory, representation in regulatory disputes, Internet sales, employment, IP and corporate governance consulting. The team successfully represented Marka Ukraine (Marks & Spencer retail group) in a tax dispute regarding appealing against a tax assessment, and won the dispute on the claim of the organization of collective management of copyright and related rights as for penalties to a client for copyright infringement, namely use of musical works. Another area of recent work is representing clients in administrative courts challenging the decisions of regulatory consumer affairs authorities. Other clients include GAP Ukraine and Galicia Distillery. The clients are represented by partners Iryna Kalnytska, Max Lebedev and Valentyn Gvozdiy.

Gramatskiy & Partners regularly acts on structuring assets purchase and sales, supply chains and distribution schemes. The firm is known for its strong commitment in advising developers and landlords, and in the past year also enriched its client portfolio with producers, distributors and retailers of electronics and FMCG. The firm consistently advises Dniprovskyi Rynok on regulatory changes in trade and retail infrastructure, and supports it during various state inspections. Darynok Trade Center in Kyiv is another established client serviced by the firm. Among other areas of activity is structuring the supplying of equipment to different retail networks. One ongoing project is managing the lease contracts of Trade and Entertainment Center Chocolate with its retailers. Yurii Gorda runs the practice.

In 2019 Ilyashev & Partners supported a series of M&A deals involving big shopping malls, as well as disputes regarding construction finance for a trade and entertainment center in Kyiv. The firm advised Soltex Capital LLC in the UAH 777 million acquisition of the Respublika Trade and Entertainment Center in Kyiv; represented DH Invest Neruhomist (the company owns property rights to lease of premises in the Respublika Center) in litigation with a bank on recovery of debt under a loan agreement. Recent projects include advising Internet shop LeBoutique on reorganization of its activity using a subcommission agent; representation of Zara Ukraine in Dnipro in the course of inspections by the State Service for Consumer Protection. The team’s client roster includes Auchan Retail International, Inditex, the House of Toys chain of shops for kids. Managing partner Mikhail Ilyashev is the main figure.

Ukrainian law firm Nobles has a broad client portfolio out of conventional and web-based businesses. The offering includes commercial arrangements, trade and distribution, real estate, employment, corporate matters. The team advised GAP, a major international clothing and accessories retailer, in relation to franchise and import requirements under Ukrainian laws, and Eterna Mode GmbH, a German fashion retailer, regarding distribution agreements for Ukraine. The firm acted as a local counsel to a global brand of an international chain of convenience stores in connection with possible expansion into the Ukrainian market. H&M, Mothercare, Mango, Zooplus are also clients. Volodymyr Yakubovskyy and Alexander Weigelt are lead partners.

Sayenko Kharenko’s retail group assists industry clients, including the world’s best-known brands, and traditionally represents financial institutions working together with the industry. This multidisciplinary team advises across a broad spectrum of matters, including real estate, intellectual property protection, international trade, customs and compliance, tax, dispute resolution, employment. Under the guidance of Sergey Pogrebnoy and Sergiy Smirnov the firm acted for Auchan Ukraine on criminal law matters in connection with fake notifications about exposure and terrorism acts, and represents its interests in litigations related to the protection of property rights to land plots. The tax team, as led by Svitlana Musienko, has successfully represented Ceetrus Ukraine in a tax dispute. The M&A practice guided by Oleksandr Nikolaichyk acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Bergner Group on the acquisition of a majority interest in a Ukrainian distribution company, and on the establishment of a joint venture with a local partner aimed at developing the distribution network for Bergner products in Ukraine.

ANK Law Office has a well-established following from owners and operators of shopping malls and business centers in Odesa, where the firm is based. The core focus is assisting clients with leasing of commercial real estate, from elaborating to tax structuring and profit shifting. The Riviera Shopping City, Marine Plaza Business Center, Vuzovskiy Business Center are among the firm’s clients. Dmytro Kolodiazhniy and Denys Yakovlev are the main practitioners.

The cross-practice experience of Dentons in the retail sector encompasses competition, lease and real estate issues affecting retailers, distribution and wholesale operations. The office is hired by international operators, including supermarkets, luxury brands and household retailers. Oleg Batyuk, managing partner, is the main contact.

INTEGRITES advises companies working in retail on tax and customs, antitrust and competition, corporate restructuring, real estate, banking and finance, intellectual property. The firm advises big European retailers on employment and compliance. The team advised the EBRD on secured project financing to Multi Veste Ukraine, a major European retailer, which relates to one of the two shopping malls in the Ukrainian city of Lviv. The key partners are Viktoriia Fomenko (tax and customs) and Serhiy Shershun (antitrust and competition).