AEQUO has one of the strongest arbitration practices in Ukraine when it comes to representing big oil, gas, and power companies in major high-stake disputes. The team having acted for Naftogaz in battles with Russia’s Gazprom and the russian federation, and for UkrGasVydobuvannya in a series of international arbitration cases. Partner Pavlo Byelousov specializes in international and domestic arbitration and litigation, with a special focus on investment, commercial and energy-related disputes. Senior partner Oleksiy Filatov, a recognized practitioner, focuses on local and cross-border litigation and international arbitration, particularly corporate, commercial and investment disputes, joined the firm as senior partner. 

AGA Partners has one of the most outstanding portfolios of commodity arbitrations among Ukrainian law firms, and has built up experience of arbitrations beyond the bounds of agribusiness and trade, including pharmacy, construction and real estate, banking, energy and retail. The firm represents the interests of strategic Ukrainian State-Owned Enterprise Ukrhydroenergo at the ad hoc arbitration under the auspices of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) in a dispute with Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG concerning a rehabilitation project – increasing the capacity of Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant. The team successfully represented JR-Coal s.r.o before the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution in an unjustified claim for recovery of funds. In addition to numerous GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations the firm lead arbitrations in the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce of Ukraine, including representation of Alfa Trading Limited, a part of Wilmar International in three separate arbitration proceedings against Cyprus and Estonian sellers. The team is also active in enforcement procedures after receipt of an arbitral award both in Ukraine and abroad. Partners Ivan Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz guide the practice, with strategic input from managing partner Aminat Suleymanova. 

ANTIKA Law Firm provides representation of clients in a broad range of disputes in arbitration institutions as well as at all stages of enforcement procedures, including recognition and enforcement of foreign courts and international arbitrations awards. The team handling arbitration cases includes partners Dr. Oleksiy Kot and Dr. Maksym Korchahin. The firm’s partners are also regularly instructed by international law firms as Ukrainian law experts in multimillion arbitration disputes.

ARBITRADE has broad experience of representations in investment and commercial arbitration in different capacities (as legal counsel, experts and arbitrators), and in various industries ranging from industrial equipment and pharmaceuticals to oil extraction and processing. The team is also experienced in agricultural commodities arbitration and 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. The recent caseload includes representing the interests of AGROTRADE AG, a German cattle and crop exporter, in a major dispute with a Turkish company seeking damages for breach of contract under English law, in the GAFTA dispute resolution service; representing the interests of Agritera OÜ (Estonia) in a GAFTA case with a French counterparty Soufflet Negoce S.A.S under a contract for delivery of corn of Ukrainian origin, as well as representing the interests of Bunge S.A. (Switzerland) in a case under ICAC at the UCCI against its Polish counterparty on the latter’s failure to deliver crude sunflower seed oil under the contract. Dr. Yuliya Chernykh, of counsel, appeared as an expert on points of Ukrainian law in investment treaty cases before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), as well as before the High Court of Justice in the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales Commercial Court. She is also an active arbitrator. Dr. Ivan Vashchynets, partner and practice head, has vast scientific and practical experience in international arbitration.

Ukrainian full-service law firm Asters took over significant large-scale international arbitration cases, handling disputes under a wide range of arbitration rules (LCIA, ICAC, VIAC, SCC, AAA, UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules), and assisted its clients in enforcing foreign arbitral awards and judgments in Ukraine. The firm represents both investors and respondents in arbitrations arising under bilateral investment treaties. The team acts as local Ukrainian counsel to Privatbank in connection with its claim brought against the russian federation pursuant to the Ukraine — russia BIT; acted as the local Ukrainian counsel to PrivatBank in two parallel arbitration proceedings before the LCIA on enforcement of Eurobonds issued that were subsequently bailed-in in the course of the Bank’s nationalisation in December 2016. The firm also expands its expertise on FIDIC contract disputes, handling complex disputes with a multitude of parallel proceedings. Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi is practice head and lead partner in commercial arbitration. Oleksiy Didkovskiy, co-managing partner, plays a key role in significant arbitral cases related to the Ukrainian banking sector. Serhii Sviriba, co-managing partner, is another key figure of the practice. Counsel Dmytro Shemelin left the firm[1].

During the research period, AVELLUM handled a wide range of high-profile cross-border disputes, including commercial and investment arbitration. The firm successfully represented large Czech industrial manufacturer Ferit S.r.o. in four parallel arbitrations before the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Experienced Kostiantyn Likarchuk rejoined the firm as senior partner and head of the international arbitration practice. Counsel Mykyta Nota was promoted to partner. In addition, Oleksii Maslov, next generation arbitration lawyer, was promoted to counsel. Partners Mykola Stetsenko and Glib Bondar act as experts on Ukrainian law before foreign courts and arbitration investment tribunals.

The dispute resolution team at Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv office is involved in representing clients in international commercial arbitration and in court proceedings on recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Ukraine and abroad. Ihor Siusel is lead partner.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang is busy with sophisticated international arbitration cases. In particular, it was involved in an international investment arbitration case related to misappropriation of assets, and handled a complex arbitration proceeding related to supply of equipment. Olga Shenk, practice head, was promoted to partner.

The Kyiv office of Dentons expanded its client portfolio and gained high-profile cross-border litigation and arbitration matters. The team continued representing Misen Enterprises AB in a dispute under the bilateral investment treaty between Ukraine and Sweden, as well as on a joint activity agreement between Misen and public joint-stock company UkrGasVydobuvannya. The firm also represents an international investor in litigation and potential international arbitration against the shareholders of a Ukrainian company regarding claims of breach of representations and fraud arising from the client’s acquisition of shares in the Ukrainian company. Oleg Batyuk, Kyiv managing partner, lead the practice.

Eterna Law predominantly represents clients as a lead counsel in arbitrations under both Ukrainian and English law and, notably, also acts alongside international law firms and local law firms from other jurisdictions. The firm consistently maintains a strong presence in commodities arbitration, regularly representing clients from Ukraine and other states in GAFTA and FOSFA proceedings. The practice team is retained for representation of clients from transportation, infrastructure, energy industries, as well as state agencies and enterprises. For example, the firm acts on behalf of Ukrainian Railways JSC, the state monopoly rail operator, in the railways field, in a dispute with an Austrian counterparty regarding an engineering service contract for the construction of a major railway tunnel in FIDIC ad hoc arbitration; representation of Inetec, Institute for the Nuclear Technology ltd, in the ICAC at the UCCI arbitration arising out of the delay in the sales of mechanical goods. The international arbitration practice is headed by Eugene Blinov. Mykhaylo Korchynskyy is a key contributor.

Dynamically growing EVERLEGAL handles arbitrations and cross-border litigations in such industries as energy (including renewables), military and defense, manufacturing and technology, infrastructure and construction, banking and finance, shipping, international trade and others. The team has acted on LCIA arbitration proceedings involving renewable energy assets in Ukraine as well as ICSID investment arbitration relating to an investment dispute against the State of Ukraine with respect to solar energy investments in Ukraine; represented Artem State JSHC, a leading enterprise of the aircraft industry of Ukraine, in a matter related to enforcement of an SCC award. Vsevolod Volkov heads the international arbitration and cross-border disputes practice.

The Ukrainian office of Swiss-based Fortior Law’s team acts for clients before English courts, as well as in arbitration matters under the rules of the LCIA, LMAA, GAFTA, FOSFA, SCAI and others. The team specialises in international dispute resolution, with a focus on disputes in international trade, shipping, and commerce which arise in the trading of crude oil, grains, chartering and carriage of goods by sea. The expertise spans disputes under sale-purchase agreements, charterparties and bills of lading. Danil Hristich, the practice head, was promoted to partner. Sergey Platonov is another key team member.

Gestors Attorneys’ Association acts for clients in international arbitration proceedings both in Ukraine and abroad. The firm successfully represented the Skvyrskyi Grain Processing Factory Ltd during investigation of the claim related to collection of a debt and penalty from a Belarusian company in the Arbitration Commission of the OJSC Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange. Managing partner Andriy Tsvyetkov leads the practice.

Recognized for its strong domestic and cross-border litigation performance, Ukrainian law firm Ilyashev & Partners retains its involvement in international arbitration disputes, also acting on recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in Ukraine. The team represents the interests of the State Enterprise Antonov in disputes with regard to collection from Antonov Salis GmbH of payments due under the charter agreement.; represented the interests of J.S. Corrugating Machinery Co., Ltd for the enforcement in Ukraine of two arbitration awards of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission issued against South Cardboard LLC and United Cardboard Company LLC for debt recovery. The team, as led by partners Roman Marchenko and Mikhail Ilyashev, includes Roman Protsyshyn, Sergey Nedelko and Marina Riashchenko.

Ukrainian full-service law firm INTEGRITES houses a versatile international arbitration practice, which includes both investment-treaty cases and commercial arbitrations in different venues and under different rules (LCIA, ICC, DIS, ICSID, SIAC, ICAC (Kyiv), GAFTA, UNCITRAL etc). Having a strong client roster of energy clients, the team is highly esteemed for representation in disputes arising in the Ukrainian energy sector. In particular, the team acts as a Ukrainian law counsel for NPC Ukrenergo in investment arbitration against Russia regarding the expropriation of the power grid, recreational facilities and other property by the Russian authorities following the annexation of the Crimea peninsula in 2014. The team is experienced in multijurisdictional debt recovery, commodities arbitration, and experiences increasing number of instructions on available investment treaty protections. Widely recognized Olena Perepelynska, partner and head of the arbitration practice, acts as arbitration counsel, expert and arbitrator. Partner Dmytro Marchukov has acted as a Ukrainian law expert in two related ICSID investment arbitrations (one of them was discontinued in June 2021), instructed by US attorneys for the direct and indirect owners of valuable commercial real estate in Ohio and Texas, which the US Department of Justice seeks to forfeit in the course of the said litigations. Partner Serhii Uvarov focuses on commercial and investment arbitration, arbitration-related litigation and cross-border commercial litigation with a strong focus on the energy industry, particularly electric energy and renewables. Promoted to counsel Krystyna Khripkova was noted for her active role in the arbitration community.

Southern Ukrainian law firm Interlegal, which is based in Odesa, specializes in maritime, shipping, international trade and related commodities arbitration. During the research period the firm acted in proceedings under GAFTA, FOSFA, LMAA and ICAC Rules. Arthur Nitsevych, Artem Skorobogatov and Alexey Remeslo are the main contacts.

Odesa-based Jurline is experienced in accompanying arbitration cases under the rules of GAFTA, FOSFA, LCIA, LMAA, and others. Daria Minchenko is lead partner.

Kinstellar merged with DLA Piper Ukraine in June 2021. The merged team advised clients on a variety of aspects of international arbitration in various jurisdictions under a variety of international institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules, including ICC, SCC, LCIA, ICSID, UNCITRAL, Swiss Rules of International Arbitration, ICAC at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and others. The highlight of 2021 was successfully representing an agricultural company in connection with fraudulent misappropriation of assets committed by former business partners in a number of jurisdictions before the LCIA. Olexander Martinenko, partner in the Kyiv office and the firm-wide head of dispute resolution, acts as the Ukrainian law expert in investment arbitration against the Russian Federation as well as in a UNCITRAL investment arbitration case against Ukraine; acted as the Ukrainian expert witness for Olympic Entertainment Group AS in a UNCITRAL investment arbitration case against Ukraine under the claims arising out of the Government’s ban on gambling in 2009. Olga Vorozhbyt, partner, firm-wide head of compliance, risks and sensitive investigations, is experienced in complex domestic and cross-border litigation and international arbitration proceedings.

KPMG Law Ukraine extended its expertise in international arbitration. One of the latest cases was a dispute at the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the UCCI regarding unique analysis of the impact of coronavirus quarantining on the functioning of the rental market and the obligations of tenants and landlords. Yuriy Katser, head of legal, also acted as the Ukrainian law expert in more than five large-scale international arbitrations.

Renowned Ukrainian ligation powerhouse LCF Law Group has an established international arbitration practice. The firm handles arbitrations arising from breaches of commercial contracts, with experience in representing both claimants and respondent parties, and also has experience of advising on FIDIC contract related arbitrations, commodities arbitration. Topics covered include debt recovery, breach of duty, corporate and IP disputes. The team recently represented the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on behalf of Ukravtodor (State Agency of Automobile Roads of Ukraine), on the Ukrainian law aspects of an ICC International Court of Arbitration dispute regarding a FIDIC contract related to road construction. Dr. Yulia Atamanova, partner, is the practice head.

Lexwell & Partners is retained for large-scale strategic arbitrations, representing the State of Ukraine in investment disputes, and state-owned companies in commercial arbitration proceedings. In particular, the firm acted as the Ukrainian law counsel of the state in an investment dispute between Ukraine and minority shareholders in Ukrnafta; acts for Naftogaz of Ukraine in LCIA proceedings regarding corporate governance of Ukrnafta. Another lasting investment highlight is representing the State of Ukraine in international arbitration proceedings under the claim of international investor Mr. Ihor Boyko regarding compensation for losses incurred in connection with the violation of property rights to a shareholding in the Zhytomyr Confectionery Factory. Igor Nagai and Zhanna Goriacha are the core members of the team, as led by Andriy Kolupaev.

The team at Redcliffe Partners acts on both commercial arbitration and arbitration under investment treaties, representing the claimant’s side and acting as Ukrainian law experts. For example, Sergiy Gryshko[2], partner and head of dispute resolution, acted as Ukrainian law expert on issues of Ukrainian law and procedure to PAO Tatneft (investor) before the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales Commercial Court of the High Court of Justice, which relates to the enforcement in England of the arbitral award in the UNCITRAL investment arbitration of PAO Tatneft v. Ukraine, PCA case.

Sayenko Kharenko’s arbitration practice continues to advise on an array of prominent blue-chip clients on commercial and investment treaty arbitration. In 2021, the firm’s clientele included, among others, leading Ukrainian and international producers, international financial institutions, commodities market players, construction companies, international commercial banks, shareholders of large Ukrainian industrial groups and companies as well as such long-term clients as the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. Disputes based on FIDIC contracts are among areas of the practice’s focus. Recent landmark representations include, inter alia, the largest investment arbitration case by Ukraine – the State of Ukraine was victorious in the Energy Charter Treaty claim by the minority shareholders of PJSC Ukrnafta under the Arbitration Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce with a claim of around USD 5.4 billion, but which later increased to USD 6.108 billion. The team acts as Ukrainian counsel to the State of Ukraine, alongside an international counsel, in a USD 700 million ICSID investment arbitration initiated by the largest shareholder in PJSC Aerosvit, namely Gilward Investments in its case versus Ukraine. The practice team is led by partner Olexander Droug. Dr. Tatyana Slipachuk resumed her legal career and returned as a special advisor in May 2021. Other key figures are counsel Volodymyr Yaremko and senior associate Andriy Stetsenko.

Ukrainian dispute resolution boutique VB PARTNERS deepens its expertise in resolving cross-border disputes and supporting international investment arbitration. The team is representing, alongside international company Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, the interests of a shareholder in Delta Bank Belarus at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes regarding compensation for losses incurred as a result of nationalization of business on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. Vladimir Vashchenko is the head of dispute resolution.

International Law Firms*

Clyde & Co acted as a legal counsel of the State of Ukraine in the Philip Morris International and others vs. Ukraine case, and provides legal services to Ukraine in the investment arbitration case Sinequanon Investment vs. Ukraine.

International law firm Covington & Burling has extensive experience of handling matters for the State of Ukraine and Ukrainian entities, including a number of investor-state arbitrations. In particular, the team acts for Naftogaz of Ukraine et al. in an investment claim against the Russian Federation under the Ukraine-Russia BIT for Russia’s expropriation of Naftogaz’s assets in Crimea, administrated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. The firm also acts for the government of Ukraine in two sea law cases under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. Washington-based partner Marne Cheek heads the desk. The key partners are Jonathan Gimblett, William Lowery, Clovis Trevino, Jeremy Wilson, David Zionts, Nikhil Gore, David Pinsky and Erin Thomas.

Fieldfisher is a legal counsel of Lugzor, Libset, Ukrinterinvest, DniproAzot and Aberon Ltd in arbitration proceedings against The Russian Federation under UNCITRAL Rules. The PCA acts as registry in this arbitration. The team also represented minority shareholders in Ukrnafta PJSC against Ukraine in investment arbitration brought at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce under the Energy Charter Treaty; acts for Gilward Investments BV against Ukraine in an investment treaty arbitration on the expropriation of the claimant’s investment in a Ukrainian airline under ICSID rules.

Foley Hoag LLP acts as a legal counsel to the State of Ukraine in the case of the lawsuit brought by the company Sinohydro Corporation Limited against the State Highway Agency in connection with the implementation of a contract for the reconstruction of the M-06 Kyiv – Chop highway. The dispute is being considered by the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, the firm is hired by the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine as a legal advisor in the SREW N.V. vs. Ukraine Case at the ICSID.

Hogan Lovells has a consistent presence in complex, high-stake litigation and arbitration proceedings related to Ukraine. Its recent track record included representation of the State of Ukraine in Misen Energy AB (publ) and Misen Enterprises AB vs. Ukraine Case before the ICSID. The plaintiffs claim that the State of Ukraine allowed the use of discriminatory measures, violated guarantees of fair and equal treatment, and allowed the illegal expropriation of their investments.

Holland & Knight was hired as a Ukrainian legal counsel in the Mykola Ivanenko and others vs. Ukraine case.

Headquartered in Washington DC, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP represents Airport Belbek LLC and Mr. Igor Kolomoisky vs. the Russian Federation, which is being conducted under UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules pursuant to the Agreement between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on the Encouragement and Mutual Protection of Investments.

Latham & Watkins (London) is a legal counsel to the State of Ukraine in the Littop Enterprises Limited, Bridgemont Ventures Limited and Bordo Management Limited vs. Ukraine case at the Energy Charter investment arbitration under Arbitration Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, in which the claim was USD 6.1 billion. The firm also represents Ukraine’s interests in the Gilward Investments B.V. vs. Ukraine case ICSID investment arbitration initiated by a shareholder in Aerosvit, a Ukrainian airline part-owned by the state.

International arbitration is among the core Ukraine-related practices of Osborne Clarke. The team, as led by Artem Doudko, partner, in particular, advised a Ukrainian majority shareholder in a technology business on a dispute with international minority investors.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has an impressive track record of Ukraine-related matters. The firm was hired as legal counsel to Ukraine in the Motor Sich shareholders vs. Ukraine case and acts as legal counsel to the State of Ukraine in international arbitration proceedings regarding compensation for losses incurred in connection with the violation of property rights to a shareholding in the Zhytomyr Confectionery Factory (Mr. Ihor Boyko vs. Ukraine case). The team also acts for JSC CB PrivatBank in the arbitration against the Russian Federation under UNCITRAL Rules pursuant to the Ukrainian-Russian BIT. London-based partner Alex Gerbi is experienced in disputes relating to Ukraine, Russia and other CIS territories.

Sherman & Sterling (Paris) was hired as legal counsel for Ukraine in the State Development Corporation VEB.RF vs. Ukraine case before the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The said arbitration case is the result of the illegal, in the plaintiff’s opinion, expropriation of investments made by VEB.RF to Ukraine’s Prominvestbank. The firm also handles representation of the State of Ukraine in Emergofin B.V. (Netherlands) and Velbay Holdings Ltd (Cyprus) vs. Ukraine at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, which arose out of the Supreme Court’s decision (2015) to expropriate the claimants’ majority stake in the Zaporizhzhya Aluminium Plant.

Winston & Strawn acts as legal counsel of the State of Ukraine in the Tatneft vs. Ukraine case. This complex dispute includes representation of the state’s interests in the ad hoc Arbitration Tribunal and in national courts, particularly in the USA and UK. The team is also legal counsel to the State of Ukraine in the Republic of Tatarstan, the Ministry of Land and Property Relations of the Republic of Tatarstan vs. Ukraine case as well as in the Modus Energy International B.V. vs. Ukraine case under the Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Partner Maria Kostytska is the leading counsel.

Withers is a legal counsel to Ukraine in the Todini Construzioni Generali S.p.A. vs. State Road Agency of Ukraine case.

Chinese Yingke Law Firm is legal counsel to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the Xinjiang Communications Construction Group Co., Ltd vs. State Road Agency of Ukraine case.




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

[1] He joined Omni Bridgeway as investment manager and senior legal counsel.

[2] He became head of the Ukrainian office of Queritius Law Firm.