ADER HABER is a Ukrainian law firm which boasts of considerable knowledge in land law regulations, regulatory expertise, being active on both the advisory and litigation fronts. The team is sought after for its legal support in corporate deals in the sector, land bank extension activities, complex property rights and tax matters. The team acted for I&U GROUP, a large Ukrainian agricultural holding focused on grain exports, on conducting legal due diligence of a holding owning around 12,000 ha with ameliorative systems. Lead partner Aleksandra Fedotova has extensive knowledge of land regulations. Tatiana Daniltseva guides the tax caseload. 

Ukrainian law firm AEQUO has a cross-practice agribusiness team acting across numerous domains, such as corporate, commerce, M&A, financing agrarian borrowers, land regulation, antitrust and competition, tax, dispute settlement. The firm is one of the most visible M&A legal counsel in the sector, and recently advised Dragon Capital on the merger of its portfolio company KMZ Industries with the elevator arm of Variant Agro Build. The banking and finance team advised a foreign direct financing business by the name of AlmaStone, which provides secured, short to medium duration trade finance facilities, on granting a USD 10-million loan to the group of grain trading companies; acted for Epicentr K, a Ukrainian market leader in DIY retail and distribution, agribusiness, and manufacturing of construction materials, on obtaining a USD 120 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop its agricultural infrastructure in Ukraine. Having consistently advised the European Business Association, the firm recently advised its Agrochemical Committee on WTO law. Other clients include Posco International, Corteva, E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DuPont), AgroVista, a Rostok Holding, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., MHP Bunge Ukraine, etc. The sizeable team is led by six partners, who have managed a respectable and diverse portfolio of sophisticated matters and advised in all sectors of agribusiness. Yulia Kyrpa, executive partner, heads the agribusiness team. 

AGA Partners provided legal support for the commodities trade, arbitration and shipping, to an absolute majority of the largest agriholdings in Ukraine. The firm developed a number of trade contracts governed by English law for major international trading companies operating in Ukraine. Recent highlights include representing Astarta Holding in ICAC at the Ukrainian CCI against Maltese buyers in two disputes; representing Alfagra Ltd in a GAFTA arbitration against a Russian trading company in a complex trade multijurisdictional dispute. The firm also became a local adviser to GrainCorp Operations Limited on various international trade matters, and represented its interests in two disputes in GAFTA arbitration; acted a local adviser for OLAM International on various international trade matters; became a sole legal adviser for Mimier Trade SA in all international trade issues that appear during its business activity under sale contracts; represented Oliyatorg OU in FOSFA Arbitration under a sale contract with a trading company from the Netherlands. Three partners of the firm, namely Aminat Suleymanova, Ivan Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz, lead the projects. 

ANK Law Office, an Odesa-based legal counsel, stands out for consistent support in infrastructure projects on construction, reconstruction and modernization of inland and port silos and grain terminals for accumulation of grain cultures near sea ports. The agribusiness clients also instruct the team to assist with trading (sale) contracts, which are usually subordinated to English law and GAFTA/FOSFA rules. Among the clientele are ADM Ukraine, Brooklyn-Kiev, VG Trade, Delta Wilmar CIS, Risoil Group, Rusagro-Prim SRL (Moldova). The key team members are Dmitrii Kolodiazhniy, Kateryna Bondarenko, Vladyslav Brig, Victoriia Russu. Oleksandr Kyfak, the firm’s founder, is the main contact.

The renowned strength of ARBITRADE is its successful track record of agricultural commodities arbitrations under the auspices of GAFTA and FOSFA. The firm is regularly instructed on arbitration cases as well as pre-arbitral settlement negotiations in disputes arising out of international contracts for the sale and purchase of agricultural commodities. Most recently the firm represented the interests of AGROTRADE AG, a German cattle and crop exporter, in a major dispute with a Turkish company seeking damages of around EUR 4 million for breach of contract; Agritera OÜ in a GAFTA case with a French counterparty called Soufflet Negoce S.A.S under a contract for delivery of corn of Ukrainian origin; Bunge S.A. before ICAC at the UCCI against its Polish counterparty on the latter’s failure to deliver crude sunflower seed oil under a contract. Partners Pavlo Trytenichenko and Dr. Ivan Vashchynets run cases.

Full-service law firm Asters provides for multidisciplinary capacities to advise major domestic and international agricultural companies in high-level transactions, litigation and regulatory matters. Its recent portfolio includes M&A support, structuring land banks, tax advice and litigation, structuring supply chains, assistance to multinational agrarian majors in structuring of a potential investment in Ukraine, representation in antitrust investigations and trade remedies. The firm is traditionally retained by international financial institutions such as EBRD and IFC as a Ukrainian legal counsel in the course of extending finance to Ukrainian agrarian and food enterprises. For example, Asters acted for IFC in connection with a USD 20 million loan to Nyva Pereyaslavshchyny, Ukraine’s second largest pork producer. The practice is led by two partners, Vadym Samoilenko and Gleb Bialyi. The key figures of the senior team include renowned real estate and land practitioner Anzhelika Livitska, and strong in international trade and litigation Anton Sintsov.

AVELLUM possesses sophisticated multidisciplinary expertise, particularly in debt capital markets borrowings, cross-border finance, M&A involving agricultural assets, corporate restructurings. The team regularly represents borrowers on major capital markets deals in the agricultural sector, and also supports them with consent solicitation matters. Furthermore, the team has experience of advising both borrowers and lenders in the course of acquiring financing for agribusiness. In 2021 the firm acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to MHP on the acquisition of Braintree Meats Limited, a UK company active in the distribution of meat products in the UK; conducted antitrust due diligence of Edinstvo Group, a Ukrainian producer of animal feed, for the purposes of Diligent Capital Partners, an independent mid-market private equity firm. The firm is also experienced in advising on high profile insolvency case and represents clients in various litigation proceedings related to the agri sector; advised Lactalis, a French multinational dairy products corporation, on Ukrainian law matters related to acquisition of PJSC Bel Shostka Ukraine. The client portfolio includes industry leaders like Kernel, MHP, Mriya Agro Holding. In 2021 the list was enhanced by Samoran Investments Limited, Elaphiros Holdings Ltd, Diligent Capital Partners, Lactalis and others. The projects are led by corporate and M&A partners Mykola Stetsenko and Yuriy Nechayev; Glib Bondar leads finance and capital markets projects; Vadim Medvedev covers tax and domestic litigation matters. Anton Arkhipov advises on competition matters regarding agri deals.

Often retained by international investors and large Ukrainian agricultural holdings, Baker McKenzie has extensive experience of advising in relation to the agricultural production and soft commodities sector, and is regularly enlisted to handle sophisticated mandates. In particular, the firm advises M&A and joint ventures deals, reorganizations, financing, tax, structuring of supply chains, land regulations. This past year the firm represented Remington Seeds as to strategic agreement with MAIS to purchase its seed plant and farming operations in Ukraine; advised A.G.R. Group, a private agricultural innovative holding, on the acquisition of two enterprises in Kherson Region. The firm is esteemed for its extensive track record for sector related capital markets and finance transactions, and is routinely instructed by agricultural companies, banks and financial institutions. Most recently the firm acted as Ukrainian law counsel to Aragvi Finance International DAC (part of Transoil group) in connection with a USD 400 million Eurobonds issue. Sector infrastructure development is another area of focus. The agricultural industry group in Kyiv is led by Viacheslav Yakymchuk, corporate and M&A partner, and has several partners on board – Oksana Simonova advises on merger control, unfair competition law issues, Lina Nemchenko has extensive experience of real estate and construction matters, Hennadiy Voytsitskyi heads the tax practice.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang is a point of choice for M&A, commercial, finance and disputes. The firm advises prestigious banks on complex cross-border finance matters, and most recently advised on ING Bank-led syndication of USD 450 million pre-export financing to Kernel Group and supported ING Bank N.V. on a USD 100 million three-year syndicated pre-export finance facility for Nibulon S.A; supported the Export-Import Bank of Korea on extending its secured USD 36 million financing to Grain Terminal Holdings in Ukraine. The Kyiv branch stands out for its expertise in infrastructure, which extended the capacities of agrarian corporates, and further assists with building contractual structures, structuring their relations with distributors and customers. The multidisciplinary team is led by partners Ihor Olekhov (banking and finance), Graham Conlon and Tetyana Dovgan (corporate and M&A), Natalia Kushniruk (land).

International law firm Dentons is chosen by international agricultural players for advising on a wide range of legal issues related to their activities in Ukraine. In particular, the firm acts on investment in the Ukrainian agrarian industry, acquisition of shares in local companies, special financial instruments as pre-export secured facilities, support in relation to plant IP and pesticides regulation. Partners Ihor Mehedynyuk and Volodymyr Monastyrskyy are the main contacts.

Eterna Law has a noteworthy international arbitration practice, acting on behalf of agro producers and traders, especially commercial and commodities arbitrations (GAFTA, FOSFA, LMAA). The highlights of the past year include representing Ukragrocom in the ICAC at the UCCI arbitration arising out of the shipment of soft commodities; representing Astagra Ltd, a major Kazakh-domiciled agricultural trader in a dozen FOSFA arbitration disputes against several Belgian traders. The firm acted as an advisor to an agriholding, which consists of 136 companies on financing involvement to increase the client’s land bank. Partners Eugene Blinov (arbitration) and Oleh Malskyy (corporate and M&A) are the main contacts.

EUCON Legal Group has a noteworthy practice rendering support for day-to-day activities, land regulation and transactions, regulatory advisory, tax and presentation in disputes. This past year the group has established a flow of land advisory projects, in particular, it advised its longstanding client, Plastics Ukraine, on changes to the designation of land plots; supported acquisition of a land plot for SMK Group, a high-tech meat processing business in Ukraine, for further construction of a meat processing plant. The firm enjoys an established project history of supporting investors on entering the agricultural markets of Ukraine and Poland, land duty, structuring export and import supply chains, international and domestic certification, etc. The important area of recent focus is legislative drafting in the area of land and agricultural relations. Managing partner Yaroslav Romanchuk is the main point of contact.

In 2021 EVERLEGAL demonstrated active the positioning of its agricultural and land law practice, acting across corporate and M&A, banking and finance, commercial and dispute resolution practices. The firm is sought after for complex disputes regarding the protection of property rights to land; financing agricultural products’ suppliers through the mechanism of crop receipts. Furthermore, the team possesses expertise in securing supply contracts and antitrust issues. The team continued to represent Louis Dreyfus Company Ukraine in disputes on the recovery of penalties for non-supply of goods under contracts for the supply of agricultural products; Agromino Danish agricultural holding, in a complex dispute (over 350 court cases) regarding the restoration of lease rights on 800 ha of land illegally taken from the client as a result of resonant raider attacks in 2018; Ukrlandfarming in disputes regarding the return of lands to landlords. The firm acted for KupiPai, an online platform for buying and selling agricultural land, launched by a leading investment company, Concorde Capital, regarding the purchase and sale of agricultural land. Svitlana Teteria heads the practice. Andriy Porayko is lead partner.

Gramatskiy & Partners is sought after by agricultural producers, logistics companies, traders and financial institutions. The team handles sectoral acquisitions, corporate structuring, agrarian land regulation, land and production facilities lease, structuring cross-border export contracts. Furthermore, specific expertise includes animal breeding, crop farming, production of agrochemicals, processing and agricultural export. The recent project portfolio includes advising VPG Agro Plus LLC and acquisition of a group of companies owning a land fund as well as transformation of  VPG Agro Plus LLC group of companies into a family holding called Dynasty Group; acting for Dynasty Group as to the acquisition of an elevator in Volyn Region, acquisition of rights to a grain terminal in Khmelnytsky Region; support of Gordenia LLC, Cuca Tech Farm PP in the launch of an investment project to cultivate new varieties of wheat and oats; Grain Trading Ukraine with grain supply to bread factories of Ukraine. The client pool also includes Samurai LLC, Sunrise Agro LLC, AgroTechnologies, Shenzhen Ruiben Import and Export Service Co., AgroAlliance Group, Ugrain, United Landing, Boros, Agriconsulting, Technomontazh, Green Farm, Selkhozmechanizatsia PJSC, Interagrostandart, Fly Harvest, NewGen Organic, United Grains, Zaporizhzhia Land. The practice is led by Mykola Voitovich.

Ilyashev & Partners is primarily known as a dispute resolution powerhouse, being sought after by agricultural companies in debt recovery under supply contracts, property rights, asset protection, insolvency, tax, as well as international arbitration and trade. The firm has a strong international arbitration practice involving commodities arbitration. The firm’s arbitration professionals recently advised Kryvoozersk plant Organic Standard on the prospects of arbitration proceeding and defense of Oliyatorg OU in FOSFA. Additional strong credentials belong to the international trade practice, as led by partner Olena Omelchenko. The team is highly active in trade investigations involving agrarian companies, and most recently representing the interests of Seedco at regulatory authorities to oppose the possibility of imposing an export quota on sunflower seeds. On the transactional front, the firm supported the sale of a stake in agriholding Golden Sunrise Agro. Other public clients encompass COFCO Agri, CHS Ukraine, Bunge Ukraine, Myronivsky Hliboproduct, GrainCorp, Al Ghurair Investment. The firm’s managing partner, Mikhail Ilyashev, is the main point of contact.

As a full-service law firm INTEGRITES is mandated for transactional agribusiness projects and comprehensive dispute resolution in the sector. The team is chosen by major agroholdings, grain exporters and traders, sunflower oil and grain producers. Other instructions include providing advice on land regulations and land lease agreements, complex tax matters, competition. The projects included support for InVivo, Soufflet Group on obtaining merger clearance in three jurisdictions for one of the biggest M&A transactions in Europe valued at USD 2.76 billion; advising Dominoni, an Italian manufacturer of agricultural machineries, in a case on unfair competition. The firm has a dedicated international arbitration practice and subsequent expertise in trade remedies, having represented the interests of 12 leading Ukrainian dairy product manufacturers in a safeguard investigation against the import of certain dairy products into Ukraine. The firm is enlisted for handling complex disputes, including cross-border and international arbitration, commodities arbitrations (GAFTA, FOSFA). The multidisciplinary practice is guided by partners – Olena Perepelynska (international arbitration), Dmytro Marchukov (cross-border litigation), Viktoriya Fomenko (tax and customs), Illya Tkachuk (corporate and M&A).

Jurline, an Odesa-based law firm with strong positions in the south of Ukraine and a remarkable client roster from significant agricultural business and food industry enterprises, the largest grain traders in Ukraine, as well as grain terminals, agro-industrial enterprises and enterprises providing custody services and transportation of grain. The firm advises on land matters, taxation, antitrust, consumer protection legislation, legislation on food safety and quality, as well as on a variety of contractual issues (grain delivery, grain storage, commercial activity). The firm also stands out for advising the largest wineries. It acted as a legal counsel to preparation of the single property complex Odesavinprom for privatization. Major clients encompass TIS-Grain Ltd., TIS-Mindobryva Ltd, Illichivsk Grain Terminal, PJSC Odesavinprom (Frantsuzky Boulevard TM), LLC PTK Shabo, Arus Trade LLC. Managing partner Volodymyr Zubar is the main point of contact.

KM Partners is traditionally retained by agricultural holdings, grain traders, exporters on a range of tax and transfer pricing issues, as well as preparation of transfer pricing documentation. The firm also handles support of trade agreements on agricultural goods. The firm recently acted for the Ukrainian subsidiary of a large international grain trading  company and handled legal due diligence of an oil-extraction plant and transshipment terminal of vegetable oils and grain products. Alexander Minin, Maxim Oleksiyuk, Alexander Shemiatkin are the core figures.

Having leading foreign and domestic innovative agrichemical and agri-tech companies in its client roster, boutique firm Mamunya IP formed a dedicated team focused on innovative agribusiness. Among the recent instructions handled by the firm are patent and trademark prosecution, enforcement, including litigation, plant varieties registration, anti-counterfeiting, regulatory advice, protection from unfair competition, advertising regulations, etc. Oleksandr Mamunya, managing partner, is the main point of contact.

Cherkasy-based Rezultat Law Firm provides a wide range of services for clients in the agrarian sector, including land consolidation, land bank management, legal protection, representation in state authorities and local self-government bodies. Most recently the firm supported the Granex-Cherkasy LLC land bank expansion project; advised on the acquisition of agricultural plots in Dytiachyi Tabir Kozatska Fortecia into private ownership; assisted Shevchenko-Agro FG, BMK-2020 LLC with leasing agreements for the purchase of agricultural machinery. Liubov Polishkevych is lead partner.

Established in March 2021, Kharkiv-based Roland Law Firm is focused on two directions: judicial and extrajudicial protection of the interests of farmers in relations with creditors and traders, as well as obtaining resources – expansion of land banks and the use of surface water to ensure irrigation. Over the course of the previous year, the team assisted clients with settlement of monetary and non-financial obligations; obtaining permits for the use of surface water for irrigation; expansion of land banks throughout land lease; tax audit support. Clients include local agri producers – Аrtika+ LLC, ARTI LLC, farming partnership Voskhod A, Biotreyd, Siveles. Serhiy Silchenko (former partner of ILF) is the main point of contact. 

Sayenko Kharenko is retained for large Ukrainian and multinational agricultural companies, industry associations, NGOs and government authorities on the most challenging and unique projects in this sector. The firm draws upon versatile capabilities to advise in high-value M&A transactions, banking, finance and capital markets mandates, tax, regulatory and IP matters, with significant experience in international trade and international arbitration projects. Selected project highlights in 2021 included supporting the interests of Bayer in several cases; advising MHP in connection with an unsuccessful attempt by a respondent to set aside an arbitral award by the ICAC; representing AKSER GROUP LLC and the Association Greenhouses of Ukraine in an anti-dumping investigation related to imports into Ukraine of heat insulation materials originating in Belarus and Russia; support for Agromino in several tax disputes; representing a leading agritech company in a tax dispute with the state tax authority. The firm also supported Ukrainian impact-investment initiatives by providing structuring advice to the Family Dairy Investments project with the aim of reviving Ukrainian villages by investing in family dairy businesses located in the Ukrainian countryside. The practice has two partners on board, namely Oleksandr Nikolaichyk and Oleg Samus. 

Law Offices of OMP was noted for assisting agroholdings and for its presence in corporate deals in the agrarian sector.