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The tech law team at AEQUO demonstrates continuous practice growth, being enlisted for M&A transactions, market entering, tax structuring, regulatory issues, data protection, migration and policy-shaping. The firm enjoys a robust client base of IT-product and outsourcing companies, hardware and telecom, online services, and further assists its corporate clients with IT-related transactions. The increase in tech M&A boosted the team with significant deals. For example, assisting Dragon Capital with the acquisition of a controlling stake in Treeum, a leading Ukrainian online financial supermarket that manages business media resources (including minfin.com.ua and finance.ua); advising 4A Games in connection with attracting investment from Tencent, the largest video game publisher, and a series of other landmark projects. The team took part in a benchmark deal for Ukrainian legal tech, and represented Onit Inc., a leading provider of enterprise workflow automation and AI solutions on the acquisition of Axdraft, a Y Combinator-backed document automation company. The team is sought for its legal support to maintain R&D offices in Ukraine, and also acts as a Ukrainian legal counsel on multijurisdictional projects empowered by global law firms. Among other notable areas of advice are gambling and advertising of online gambling providers, cyber sport. The firm advised Scientific Games, an American company that provides gambling products and services on the new legislation requirements for suppliers of software and equipment for gambling. This past year the team boosted its GR domain and contributed to plenty of IT and e-gov initiatives. The firm has affirmed its position in the telecom area, with particular focus on M&A and corporate matters, as well as sector specific competition advice. Clients include Google (incl. YouTube), GlobalLogic, Star (previously, Cogniance), SPD Ukraine, OLX, RIA.com, ABBYY, Naftogaz Digital Technologies, Skylum, Sisense, PandaDoc, Ukrtelecom JSC and many others. The head of the IT industry group, Mykyta Polatayko, is one of the most active sector-focused practitioners, with a broad-based technology practice — both regulatory and transactional. Corporate and M&A partner Anna Babych is lead partner of the IT practice, noted for her expertise of telecom regulation. Oksana Krasnokutska is visible for transactional advice regarding the telecommunications sector.
The full-service law firm Sayenko Kharenko retains its commanding position on the Ukrainian IT and telecom landscape, being instructed for challenging deals and strategic comprehensive projects. The scope of the practice workload this past year included, among other things, M&A, raising investments, setting up R&D centers and development offices in Ukraine; transfer, outsourcing, licensing agreements; protection of IP rights in several jurisdictions. For example, the firm advised Creatio, a global software company that provides a low-code platform for process management and CRM, in connection with the raising of USD 68 million in investment by Volition Capital with participation from Horizon Capital; advised the Treeum group and its shareholders on the sale of a controlling stake in the group to Dragon Capital. The competition team advised ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO, Louis Dreyfus Company and Glencore Agriculture on obtaining clearance from the Antimonopoly Committee for a joint venture to develop an independent and trusted digital platform to enable post-trade efficiency for the participants of the agri-industry. Given the firm’s involvement in the development of new gambling legislation in Ukraine, the team represents top world gambling providers and major Ukrainian betting and lottery operators, software and payment services companies, and many prospective buyers of Ukrainian sports betting operators. The firm had a groundbreaking year in terms of GR work, as the team acted as experts at key public forums for development of taxation for the IT industry, including involvement in the current Diia City taxation initiative, e-commerce laws and copyright protection on Internet regulations. The team is consistently retained to advise telecom players on transactional and regulatory matters, among others, licensing requirements applicable to telecom services and products; data protection and maintaining databases; introducing new technologies, regulatory compliance; rolling out a video-on-demand service in Ukraine. Oleg Klymchuk re-joined as IP practice counsel and technology, media and communications group coordinator. Alina Plyushch is at the forefront of projects in the gambling industry. Pavlo Kovalchuk took over the key executive role in telecommunications projects. With his international standing and versatile experience lead partner Nazar Chernyavsky guides the practice and is particularly active in the GR arena.
With its commanding position globally, the robust IT/TMT legal practice of Baker McKenzie has a standing following of global tech heavyweights, such as international search engines, gaming companies, platforms, social networks, payment networks, and prominent producers of electronic devices. The Kyiv office is mandated to assist with the launch of innovative services and products in Ukraine, performing regulatory, data protection, consumer protection, GDPR, localization of distribution and service agreements, tax, customs, corporate and employment issues. International tech companies instruct the office on software outsourcing and joint production agreements, as well as the structuring of their operations in Ukraine. The firm acts regularly on sophisticated transactional matters, and most recently advised Embracer Group AB Holding, a Swedish video game holding company, on acquisition through its wholly-owned subsidiary Saber Interactive, of 100% in Kyiv/Malta-based 4A Games Limited. The firm has further wealth of experience in the area of media and broadcasting regulation, including distribution of international TV channels in Ukraine and broadcasting licenses. Other areas of client queries cover cybersecurity, encryption, gaming and gambling regulations, with notable expertise in fintech. The multidisciplinary seasoned team consists of dedicated practitioners from different practice groups Viacheslav Yakymchuk and Olha Demianiuk (corporate and M&A), Ruslan Drobyazko (IP), Hennadiy Voytsitskyi (tax), Lina Nemchenko and Mariana Marchuk (employment), Maksym Hlotov (fintech). The head of the practice group is Oleksiy Stolyarenko, a highly-esteemed professional acclaimed for his deep knowledge of the sector.
Coupled with its global network, DLA Piper is the preferred firm for significant cross-border matters, and sophisticated regulatory mandates. The Kyiv office arranges legal support for large technology multinationals entering the Ukrainian market, and assists with software development, assignment, licensing and R&D agreements, and supports with sustainable termination strategies. The firm regularly assists with technology-based transactions. For example, it advised Stillfront Group AB, a leading free-to-play powerhouse of gaming studios, on the acquisition of a 100% shareholding in Game Labs Inc. The office is approached for contractual set-up with contracting companies, IP rights transfer, restructuring operations in Ukraine, engaging Ukrainian-based contractors for software development. The practice team possesses long-standing expertise in the telecom sector, advising sector majors on telecom services regulation, use of telecom equipment, mobile financial services regulation, satellite regulation, taxation, compliance and legislative affairs. In 2020 the Kyiv team acted on the Ukrainian part of a global deal, having advised Polhem Infra on its acquisition of Telia Carrier. The firm’s clients include NEQSOL, Kyivstar, VFU Funding PLC, Viber, Verizon. Legal director Natalia Kirichenko is particularly well-versed in complicated assignments in the telecom sector. Anastasiya Bolkhovitinova is another key team member, handling corporate work with experience in technology, telecommunications, aerospace and defense sectors. IP partner Natalia Pakhomovska left the firm.
Asters acts for a wide range of technology companies, financial institutions and telecom majors, advising on sophisticated regulations, M&A transactions, disputes resolution, and is also increasingly active in the GR space. The firm particularly stands out for its expertise in telecommunications and cybersecurity, and is mandated to support information and communication infrastructure development for both the public and private sectors in Ukraine. The firm’s wide-ranging projects portfolio, among others, encompasses legal structuring of new IT products and IT-business in Ukraine, structuring of relations with local IT staff, provision of software development services, use of cloud services, transfer of intellectual property rights. On the transactions front, the firm advised Intersections Inc. d/b/a Aura, a technology company dedicated to simplifying digital security for consumers, in connection with the purchase of a software business, including acquiring IP assets to enhance its IT business. Yuriy Kotliarov has strong experience and endorsements in telecommunications, cybersecurity, and intersection of IT and telecom services. Sergiy Tsyba is present across the sector related assignment. IP partner Julia Semeniy runs media and advertising. Constantin Solyar leads tax advice, and Oleg Boichuk guides M&A work.
Alcor is a highly-focused domestic firm with tech law as its main competence, having among its clients product and IT consulting companies, large game developers, up-and-coming public companies and start-ups from Silicon Valley. Most recently the firm advised an American e-commerce company on the implementation of its stock incentive plan in Ukraine; assisted with the review and properly structured the global distribution system of a Ukraine-origin company developing a universal insider threat management platform. The firm has a sharp focus on supporting the operations of R&D offices in Ukraine, including recruitment, real estate, HR payroll, accounting services, tax planning, IP protection and M&A deals support. In 2020 the firm assisted a leading US healthcare technology company in ensuring the legally safe operation of its R&D center in Ukraine, and conducted due diligence of a California fintech start-up, helping it raise more than USD 20 million in funding. The firm is headed by Dmytro Ovcharenko, a highly-active practitioner across the IT community.
AVELLUM regularly supports transactions in the IT and telecom sector, also handling the transfer of IP rights, data protection matters, complex and cross-practice market-entry advice, regulatory and IP due diligence. The firm is traditionally enlisted to support the most challenging technology transactions, having a series of significant cross-border M&A in its recent portfolio, and Ukrainian parts of global deals. The firm was a legal counsel to major shareholders of Axdraft, a Ukrainian document automation company, on its sale to Onit. Among recent assignments are clearance of IP rights to an IT product, cybersecurity matters, procurement regulations. The tax team developed a full-scope tax advice service that covers all possible tax-related questions regarding the operation of innovative service Uber Shuttle in Ukraine. The practice is led by Anton Polikarpov. Mykola Stetsenko leads transactional work.
The Kyiv office of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang delivers multijurisdictional legal support to its global clients and supports their queries on the Ukrainian market. The firm enjoys the loyalty of major technology leaders and IT giants, assisting with establishment of their operations and assessing expansion plans in Ukraine, structuring commercial relations with Ukrainian partners, inter alia, outsourcing of IT services and assignment of intellectual property, IT service contracts, privacy/data protection advice. The office is traditionally mandated for cross-border M&A. The team is also knowledgeable as to broadcasting regulation and data transmission, licencing and contract compliance. The TMT sector group is led by partner Olga Belyakova.
Eterna Law provides legal support with corporate and tax advisory, employment and disputes. The firm acted for CoreValue group during its sale to an investment funds group, and for international structuring and restructuring of businesses in several jurisdictions; assisted Wefuture Ltd with registration of an international trademark, and assignment of exclusive property copyrights on computer programs. The firm grabbed the instructions of gambling market players, including structuring their entrance, taxation, licensing, etc. Cross-border disputes regarding violation of software development contracts, hacking and unauthorized access to data became part of the firm’s portfolio recently. The practice has two partners on board. Artem Kuzmenko took in transactional and corporate instructions from gambling and IT companies. Aleksandr Lugovskyi works on IT-related disputes.
The innovation and technology practice team at EVERLEGAL develops the scope of its offering for international industry players, significant domestic stakeholders and Ukrainian start-ups. The firm acts for international IT companies on corporate governance, contractual relations with services providers, operational matters. The firm continues to advise IT companies on sector specific employment matters, in particular, agreements with employees and independent contractors, protection of personal data, getting work and residency permits for their international employees and staff relocation. In 2020 the firm advised on the development of innovation parks. For example, it acted as a legal counsel to the first Ukrainian innovation park, UNIT.City, in connection with the receipt of EUR 50 million in financing from the European Investment Bank. Furthermore, the team provides legal support for start-ups, and assists with financing and subsequent financial restructuring, and also has notable expertise in crowdfunding and extending its involvement in technology-related litigation. The practice is guided by two partners — Yevheniy Deyneko, who advises large and mid-sized foreign corporates and Ukrainian outsourcers, while Oleksandr Ruzhytskyi took in the function of a dedicated IT business development partner.
The legal team of EY Ukraine continued supporting investments in the IT business, setting up joint ventures, establishing operating models, corporate restructuring and tax advice. The team continued supporting Horizon Capital on its investment, most recently representing the private equity fund EEGF III in acquiring a significant minority stake in MAKEUP, a leading European e-commerce player in the beauty segment operating in 14 markets; and in the course of investment by Horizon Capital, TA Ventures, Genesis Investments, iClub and Mission Tech into Liki24, a Ukraine-based e-commerce platform for medicine delivery. The integrated team is enlisted for comprehensive state projects, and provides all round legal, commercial, financial and strategic advice on a unique project involving development of the foreign direct investment strategy for the Ukrainian government, including digital infrastructure issues. EY also renders ongoing assistance to Rozetka, a leading Ukrainian e-commerce company. Borys Lobovyk and Bogdan Malniev lead the projects.
Gramatskiy & Partners possesses an extensive offering for IT clients, providing for structuring a business model, IP rights, contractual set-up with contractors, confidentiality issues. The firm has an established roster of foreign clients purchasing Ukrainian IT companies, supports cross-border technology transfer, development of new IT products, Ukrainian software rights purchase. The firm recently rendered support in the expansion of the American company DraftKings through the acquisition of SBTech Global Group (including SBTech Ukraine), a well-known Israeli software developer in the field of gaming, online casinos, sports betting. The firm has broad experience in supporting the development of software products. In particular, the firm acted for SmartTender LLC, on the creation and launch of tender software for organizing and conducting auctions (including in the ProZorro system). The firm represented Labs Technology Services in the course of organization of a software development center for the American company Starry, Inc. and its corporate restructuring. In addition, the team has standout expertise in supporting software development in the gaming and entertainment areas, and a very-well established workflow of projects on investing in technology start-ups. Igor Reutov heads the practice and forms multidisciplinary task forces. Transactions support is supervised by Ernest Gramatskiy, renowned for his versatile skills.
ILF is sought after by product and outsourcing IT companies, investors and start-ups. The scope of the dedicated practice spans corporate structuring of IT companies, partnership arrangements, licensing and service agreements, market entry, raising investment, international tax planning, contracts with customers and developers. The firm further develops partnership agreements for IT business development, and elaborated agreements on joint management of intellectual property rights. This past year the team gained unique experience on highly-regulated markets. For example, the branch office of the Swiss IT-company KASKO2GO enlisted the team to support it with a licensing and partnership agreement with a Ukrainian insurance company to launch its application for end-use customers. The firm represented Singaporean investment fund Intrinity in its investment in a domestic start-up throughout equity participation and a convertible loan. Arsen Buchkovskii heads the practice and visibly expands the geographic reach of the project portfolio.
IT law forms a significant part of the legal offering provided by Juscutum Law Firm, with proactive participation in national digitalization projects and GR efforts. The firm is known for its vast knowledge of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency regulation. The team rendered regulatory advice to Binance, a large cryptocurrency exchange, and protection of IP rights attributed to cryptocurrencies; Andromeda Ukraine, a leading provider of blockchain solutions, on participation in a public procurement tender for introducing blockchain technology in the services of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine. Among notable highlights is the role of a legal counsel of the digital tokenization project for FC Dynamo Kyiv. Clients include Fex.Net, a cloud computing platform; Blackwood Games, a Kyiv-based games developer; Swiss Venture LLC, a leading end-to-end custom software development company in Ukraine; Blocksport, a Swiss-based SportsTech; Solve.care, a US-Indian healthcare platform with a R&D function in Ukraine. Managing partner Artem Afian maintains a strong presence in the IT community and is one of the co-authors of the draft law On Virtual Assets.
Domestic boutique Legal IT Group possesses significant expertise in GDPR, intellectual property, contract drafting, investments and disputes for IT business. The firm is also enlisted for business structuring and geographic expansion. For example, it advised Simbaze, a software company, on its new business structure, incorporation in new countries and compliance with local ad laws. The team assisted Buki, one of the biggest Ukrainian educational marketplaces, with creating a Public Offer that allows Buki to work on the EU market and engage highly-qualified tutors, and with compliance with the GDPR; advised Opinov8, a software company specializing in technology consulting, engineering, product and platform development, on software development agreements and enlargement of business activities on the market of Latin America. The group is consistently approached for drafting of software development agreements, license agreements for AI software, data processing agreements, SaaS (software as a service) agreements, master services agreement, etc. The firm has two partners on board — Anton Tarasiuk and Gennadiy Tamashev. The key members of the team are Oleksandra Belymenko (operational support of IT business), Aleksandr Holod (contract law, disputes resolution) and Kateryna Dubas (endorsed for advising on privacy law and GDPR).
Stron Legal Services possesses niche expertise in supporting e-commerce and fintech projects for both large businesses and small start-ups. The team is particularly keen to handle international tax and corporate structuring projects, and incorporation of R&D offices in Ukraine, e-commerce business structuring, support for crypto exchange projects based on blockchain technology. The standout feature is niche advice on online gambling. This past year the firm handled the corporate and tax structuring of an online casino, advising on the use of blockchain technology for the purposes of accounting and storage of corporate rights, and assisted with the development of internal and cybersecurity policies. The firm assisted a Japanese dating project in corporate and tax structuring of the holding, obtaining a license, development of the scope of required documentation for the web site and internal documentation. The team also handles structuring of outsourcing IT companies in Ukraine, covering employment matters and contractual arrangements with foreign contractors. Oleg Derlyuk fronts the firm, commanding seasoned experience in international tax and corporate structuring.
Being a part of firm-wide TMT practice in Emerging Europe and Central Asia, Kinstellar handles significant sector-related transactions across the region, and in Ukraine. The team is retained for acquisition finance, compliance and M&A, corporate reorganization, supporting business operations, data protection and transfer, e-commerce. Kinstellar Kyiv advised GTT Communications, Inc., a global leader in cloud networking services, on the sale of its infrastructure business to I Squared Capital, an independent global infrastructure investment management firm, assisting with the divestment of the infrastructure business in Ukraine and advised on complex Ukrainian law matters related to the transfer of assets, debts, claims, contracts, IP rights, employees, data and business processes. Another notable representation was acting for the ERBD in relation to financing of up to USD 115 million in the acquisition by Datagroup, a major Ukrainian communication company, of Volia, a major Ukrainian cable and OTT TV broadcasting company. The office advises the EBRD on telecom and TV broadcasting regulatory matters. Another area of focus is employment advice and structuring relations with Ukrainian contractors and transfer of employees. Counsel of banking and finance practice Andriy Nikiforov is the TMT practice head.
MK Legal Service, a domestic law firm, develops its market standing in IT, telecommunication and cybersecurity area, acting for household names. The team acted for YouTV, a national OTT provider, in the sale of its 30% stake. The firm supports its long-standing client GigaGroup, a prominent player on the Ukrainian telecommunications and technology market, on development of a cloud services business in Ukraine, and supported creation of infrastructure as a service (IAAS) operator of cloud services. Other clients include online pharmacy IPharm, Trustee Wallet, a start-up that provides services as a wallet for buying and selling cryptocurrencies from any bank card, IT support company Synchron. Maksym Kurochko, managing partner, is the key contact.
Dentons is an entry point for international companies entering the Ukrainian market, as well as those seeking employment advice. The office assists with investment in Ukrainian technology companies, contracting private entrepreneurs and individuals, as well as data protection issues and IP protection. This past year the firm acted for telecommunication companies and advised on TV broadcasting regulations. Oleg Batyuk is the main point of contact.
EXPATPRO law firm focuses on the specifics of employment and contracting in IT, tax and corporate structuring. In 2020 the firm was involved in IT business relocation to Ukraine, covering setting up the subsidiary contract, full team and staff relocation from overseas to Ukraine, amending contracts and their update to comply with the legislation of Ukraine. The firm has assigned 5 foreign IT companies that have opened or substantially developed their offices in Ukraine, such as IT REX, 2021.ai, GP Solutions, SayGames, PlayDay, Interstorm, Silvaco Inc. The firm also advises Ozon Technologies LLC on implementing the remote team’s work in compliance with local labor regulation and international group’s policies. Tetiana Yashchenko heads the team.
Ilyashev & Partners customarily has an extensive litigation caseload, working for companies from landline, mobile and satellite services and Internet access markets. The firm represented IP Telecom Bulgaria in recognition of a trademark as being invalid and transfer of the domain name zadarma.ua. The firm acts in litigation on non-authorized access and related to information security issues. The team, as led by Leonid Gilevich advised SLR Ukraine, a subsidiary of Selerant, a software developer for managing product life circle, on employment matters in view of the potential acquisition of Selerant by the private equity fund Symphony AI; and rendered legal support for Suntech Innovation, a developer of software for supporting the sports betting industry, on gambling regulation and production of a subsequent software product, including IP rights protection, confidentiality and data protection, taxation, employment structuring. This past year the team of Oleskandr Padalka advised the TikTok social network on advertising regulation and remuneration of advertising videos; PromoVeritas on advertising campaigns in Ukraine. Dmytro Nikulesko is active in IP litigation. Vitali Galitskihh, head of the Estonian office, focuses on fintech and crypto exchange matters.
Established in September 2020 as a full-scope IP boutique, Mamunya IP formed a dedicated team focused on IT. The firm has an essential client portfolio consisting of media and new technologies, consumer electronics, and software development sectors. The scope of services spans patent and trademark prosecution, enforcement, including litigation, data protection, GDPR, data privacy, protection from unfair competition, copyright advice and litigation. The firm currently represents Finik.Pro LLC, a Ukrainian software developer, in copyright infringement action against one of the largest banks in Ukraine and Russia. The firm’s founder, Oleksandr Mamunya, has long-standing expertise of representing large foreign and domestic tech companies.
The Kyiv office of Belarusian SBH Law Offices established a separate IT practice in 2020. The firm has a strong position among IT-companies in Belarus, which were actively relocating to Ukraine in the autumn of 2020. The firm advised Belarusian IT start-up Fanatika on entering the Ukrainian market and provided legal support on the seed round of investments; assisted Apalon Apps with full legal support on setting up businesses in Ukraine. The firm also assists with attracting investments, and advised Belarusian venture capital fund Kolos Ventures on issues of venture capital investment in the Ukrainian IT company SOC Prime and IT start-up Be.Live. The practice was headed by Minsk-based partner Alexander Bondar.
Sokolovskyi & Partners is approached for its specific knowledge of taxation in the IT sector, assisting IT companies and individuals involved in the production of IT projects, and dealing with taxation of intellectual property rights on software. The firm recently assisted with introduction of e-document management and e-signature. Another vivid area of expertise is legal tech. Ihor Shevchenko and Serhii Tanchyn are the key contacts.
Ukrainian law firm Arzinger* is named for its well-established client following of IT developers and electronics producers. The market strongly endorsed its IP partner Kateryna Oliinyk for her expertise in domain names disputes in Ukraine. Corporate and M&A partner Anna Zorya is endorsed for involvement in sector deals.
Axon Partners* is a fully IT focused law firm known as a start-up supporter in IT as well as in cryptos.
Another noted firm during the peers’ review is Vasil Kisil & Partners*. Ilarion Tomarov was endorsed for IP selling and IP litigation projects, and Oleksandr Melnyk for expertise in data privacy and telecom.
Other firms and individuals mentioned in the poll are Nataliia Vasylechko from Lviv-based BK Partners (commercial), Maksym Nosarev, founder of Tretten Lawyers (cross-disciplinary experience). Avitar received praise for GDPR compliance on the US and EU markets. The market also highlighted the market standing of Legal Nodes and its co-founder Nestor Dubnevych, for GDPR experience and counseling famous Ukrainian start-ups. Yurii Krainiak, managing partner and head of media law at Jurimex Law Firm, was noted for his counseling of telecom-related matters.
 Effective 14 June 2021, the Kyiv office of DLA Piper was acquired by Kinstellar.
 The firms marked with * have not submitted information for the current research.
- Artem Afian (Juscutum Law Firm)
- Anna Babych (AEQUO)
- Arsen Buchkovskii (ILF)
- Nazar Chernyavsky (Sayenko Kharenko)
- Oleg Derlyuk (Stron Legal Services)
- Oleg Klymchuk (Sayenko Kharenko)
- Yuriy Kotliarov (Asters)
- Dmytro Ovcharenko (Alcor)
- Mykyta Polatayko (AEQUO)
- Anton Polikarpov (AVELLUM)
- Oleksiy Stolyarenko (Baker McKenzie)
- Anton Tarasiuk (Legal IT Group)
* Effective 14 June 2021, the Kyiv office of DLA Piper was acquired by Kinstellar.