ADER HABER, a Ukrainian law firm, is known for its extensive real estate practice, expertise in labor and employment, health and safety, tax disputes, as well as growing competition practice. The team represents clients in regulatory inspections and disputes. The firm recently advised a leading producer of non-alcoholic beverages in Ukraine on the risks of violations in the process of development of product labeling; represented a major producer and distributor of dairy products in Ukraine and foreign markets in two tax disputes appealing against tax charges. Partners Tatiana Daniltseva (tax) and Aleksandra Fedotova (real estate, competition) are the main contacts.

Ukrainian law firm AEQUO has a well-placed cross-practice consumer and retail team, advising a wide roster of major national retail stores, DIY market players, international retailers, and consumer electronics producers. The firm’s diverse portfolio of projects spans transactional and antitrust matters, as well as in litigation. After the landmark representation of Novus, one of the largest national supermarket chains alongside two regional supermarket chains on obtaining approval for concerted actions regarding establishment of the first ever joint purchasing alliance, the team continues to provide assistance to the alliance and each potential candidate in the process of joining the alliance. The firm was retained by ATB, a large supermarket chain, for a dispute over the extension of a lease agreement for a plot of land surrounding a shopping mall in the city of Dnipro, and successfully represented ATB Market in a dispute over input VAT, in which a tax authority questioned the economic substance of certain transactions; defended Auchan Retail Ukraine in a dispute over the lease of a piece of immovable property located in Kharkiv. The IP practice team grew its workload with assignments from the sector. Antitrust and competition partner Sergey Denisenko heads the consumer and retail group. The firm’s other partners lead projects along their practice areas – Anna Babych (corporate and M&A), Olena Pertsova (commercial litigation), Denis Lysenko (tax), Mariya Nizhnik (competition investigations).

Ukrainian law firm Asters provides a one-stop shop offering and is well-placed to advise international and domestic retailers, DIY, e-commerce, fashion, pharmacies and gasoline retail, FMCG, food, beverage, home appliance, and other consumer goods manufacturers and distributors. The firm has an established track record of representations in competition investigations, dealership arrangements, development of franchise network of stores, taxation, commercial and antitrust compliance, regulatory matters, data protection. The firm acts regularly on real estate and operational matters. The firm assists PRADA Group, a longstanding client, on all day-to-day legal issues and the operation of its first mono-brand boutique in Ukraine, including issues related to operations during the Covid-19 quarantine; provides ongoing legal advice to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (IBRC), including on a range of corporate matters in relation to a major shopping mall (Univermag Ukrayina), in which IBRC owns an interest. The banking and finance practice team is regularly involved in lending transactions for corporate borrowers in the sector. The multidisciplinary team is led by the firm’s partners – Oleg Boichuk (real estate, M&A) and Alexey Pustovit (competition).

Baker McKenzie has a cross-practice team advising retail and consumer goods clients, advising on designing market entry strategies and expansions, development, supply chain, distribution. The firm regularly advises on sectoral M&A, commercial leasing, leasehold management issues, intellectual property protection, taxation. The office has a specialist retail real estate group, and acts in project development, reconstruction and extension of retail stores. The Kyiv office continued advising IKEA on the opening of a number of pick-up points (including mobile pick-up points) in various Kyiv locations; conducted a legal due diligence, drafted and negotiated lease documentation in respect of IKEA’s warehouse in Kyiv Region; various matters arising during their operations in Ukraine, as well as with their further expansion plans. The IP practice is highly regarded for a spectrum of instructions on trademark protection, online and offline enforcement, anti-counterfeiting actions and protection at the border, etc. The key partners are Vyacheslav Yakymchuk (corporate and M&A) and Ruslan Drobyazko (IP).

EY Ukraine is a point of choice of multinational companies operating in retail and consumer goods industries, assisting with tax and legal structuring of presence in Ukraine. The team handled legal and tax support of entering the Ukrainian market by the German global discount supermarket chain; legal advice on advertising matters to an international company specializing in the production of sports shoes, clothing, equipment and perfumery. Borys Lobovyk, partner, is the main contact.

Ukrainian law firm GOLAW is traditionally highly active in advising on retail and consumer markets, especially international clothes and fashion, food, cosmetics and FMCG retailers. The firm’s multidisciplinary practice includes tax consulting and dispute representation, structuring market entry, M&A deals, employment, competition. The firm’s disclosable partners take in GAP Ukraine, Red Bull Ukraine, Marka Ukraine. Corporate partner Max Lebedev and tax partner Iryna Kalnytska are the main point of contacts.

Gramatskiy & Partners is well-positioned to advise on specific regulatory matters pertaining to the organization and handling of retail business, structuring retail chains, distribution and supply, taxation and regulatory inspections. The firm has a distinguished real estate practice, with longstanding expertise in commercial property matters, regularly hired for lease contracts and lockdown limitations. The firm expanded its client portfolio recently, taking in producers and distributors of food and beverages, FMCG and electronics. The team advised Park Lane LLC in the placement of food sale points on the market; supported PJSC Dniprovsky Market in the course of regulatory inspections. The team continued working on a landmark project representing New Complex LLC & General Construction LLC on the reconstruction of the Shokolad [Chocolate] Trade and Entertainment Center and manages subsequent leasing to retailers. Iurii Gorda acted as practice head[1]. 

Following a one-stop approach for retail sector clients, INTEGRITES draws on the firm’s expertise in corporate structuring, tax consulting, competition, consumer protection issues, employment, compliance, day-to-day business operations. The team advised Leroy Merlin on various employment-related issues in Ukraine; Savencia Group, one of the world’s leading milk processors, on various corporate restructuring issues and on day-to-day business operations. The firm enjoyed an increase in IP requests in 2021, including registration and use of trademarks, combating counterfeit production. Viktoriia Fomenko, tax and customs partner, is the main point of contact. 

Jurline, an Odesa-based law firm with strong positions in the region, is sought after by the retail sector for handling supply, franchising, distribution agreements, conclusion and operation of lease and sublease, advertising and compliance with legal requirements for consumer protection. In addition, the firm advises on antimonopoly legislation and registration of signs for goods and services. Clients include large distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, shopping and entertainment centers, business centers, to name a few – Fontan Sky Shopping Center, Bastion Autogroup. The main contact is recently promoted partner Daria Minchenko. 

The amalgamated international law firm Kinstellar (with the team that it acquired from DLA Piper Ukraine in June 2021) possesses multidisciplinary expertise spanning lease matters and regulation of lockdown, franchising and distribution, intellectual property and commercial practices. The client roster included retailers and consumer product manufacturers, including supermarkets, cosmetics retail chains and luxury apparel brands in Ukraine. The firm supported a landlord in the extension of a long-term lease with Dior for its premises in a historical building in the center of Kyiv. The key contacts are real estate partner Natalia Kochergina and counsel of IP practice Natalia Kirichenko.

Nobles demonstrates a consistent commitment to advising international clothing and food retailers, FMCG market players on corporate, competition, regulatory, intellectual property, employment, tax and dispute resolution. The firm has experience of supporting market entries and expansion, structuring of operations in Ukraine and their further legal support, assists with lease obligations, opening of stores, safety requirements, distributorship, and franchising agreements. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, GAP, NEXT Retail, Matrize Handels, Mothercare are among the firm’s clients. The dedicated practice group is led by Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko (competition and intellectual property), Volodymyr Yakubovskyy (corporate and M&A), Alex Weigelt (corporate and real estate) and Denis Vergeles (tax and employment).

Sayenko Kharenko has a strong real estate and dispute resolution offering, assisting clients with corporate transactions and financing. The firm continues advising its client Auchan Ukraine, including on real estate investment issues, regulatory, land matters, and defended it in the Supreme Court of Ukraine case against the Asset Recovery and Management Agency. Real estate partner Svitlana Gurieieva is the main contact.

Vdovychen & Partners is hired on a regular basis for advising on the tax aspects of retail business, structuring investments and supply chains for hypermarkets. This past year the firm conducted legal due diligence aimed at revealing task risks for an auto parts sale retail chain; supported contracts on the supply of chemical items for hypermarkets and an analysis of agreements with Leroy Merlin. The team also continued to advise on investment in developing a retail child nutrition chain. Managing partner Oleg Vdovychen is the key contact.

 

 

[1] In February 2022 he joined AEQUO.