AGA Partners is a leading law firm in commodities arbitration and international trade, which has shipping among its core areas of expertise. Having on board a wide roster of top agrarian holdings, traders and exporters, the team has an unrivalled track record in disputes arising from shipping by the sea, charterparty claims, claims under freight-forwarding agreements, demurrage compensations, cargo claims. The firm developed a number of trade contracts governed by English law for major international trading companies operating in Ukraine. This past year the team advised drafts of sale contracts for such behemoths as COFCO International, POSCO International and Alberta Corp LP. Another public highlight included representation of Astarta Holding (sellers) in ICAC at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry against Maltese buyers in two disputes on the alleged failure of sellers to comply with a delivery period. Partners Ivan Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz are the main practice leaders.

ANK Law Office is one of the major legal counsel for maritime law and port infrastructure, and is based in Odesa. During 2021 the firm advised the world’s leading P&I Clubs and insurers under the issues connected with payment of compensation for loss of life, disability and personal injury claims of Ukrainian seafarers during their employment on board foreign vessels and other marine perils. The firm further advised leading shipowners, ship managers, crewing companies, shipping agents and tug service providers. In 2021, ANK intensified its support to Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) members within MACN Help Desk, which was arranged in 2020. Highlights of recent projects include legal support to the owners of m/v “TIZIANA” in two cases on violation of customs rules by the master during inspection of a ship’s stores in Mykolaiv; support to Socar Logistics on the maritime case related to potential arrest of several vessels operated by Caspian Marine Services Limited in Ukraine as a security of a shortage claim of Socar Logistics arising out of charter parties signed with Socar through a number of intermediaries. The team successfully supported the owners of m/v “AGIOS KONSTANTINOS” in a case related to the arrest of the vessel in Ukraine in September 2021; represented Ukrferry LLC (Ukrainian Ferry Fleet Operator) in court related to the operation of the fifth terminal at Chornomorsk Sea Port, where the client acted as a third party on the defendant’s side. The key maritime lawyers are Artem Volkov and Kostiantyn Moriakov. The founder of the firm, Oleksandr Kyfak, is a highly-respected figure in the legal community.

Ante Law Firm is market leader in aviation law, advising major airlines on their activities in Ukraine, cargo, handling and warehouse services operations, ticket sales agents and tour operators, in aviation and NDC aggregators. The scope of services included regulatory, litigation, taxation, anti-monopoly/competition, labor, etc. In 2021 Ante advised head offices of air carriers regarding regulations introduced due to the pandemic, changes in taxation, labor issues and other matters, related to conducting business in Ukraine. The firm constantly represented airlines in disputes with the Ukrainian Aviation Meteorological Center, cases arising from disputes on rights to operate flights; handled a significant number of passengers’ claims court cases; legal support on AMCU and NABU investigations regarding various issues; supported airlines in their restructuring processes. The firm advised Bees Airline, a new Ukrainian air carrier, on the leasing of its first four aircraft to start flights. The firm was actively involved in Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Drones market development and regulatory framework. Clients include Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa group, Air France-KLM, Bees Airline and others. Having a well-versed experience in the aviation sector, Andriy Guck is the most recognized professional, equally regarded for regulatory knowledge and litigation skills. The senior team includes Maria Tereshchenko (passenger claims and court cases) and Anna Iliashenko (drone regulation, regulatory). Other practitioners are Kateryna Ishchenko and Yuriy Veklenko. 

Asters has a well-established following of clients from the aviation industry, including Ukrainian and international cargo and passenger airlines, aviation insurers, aircraft leasing companies. Within 2021 the firm continued advising a number of low-cost carriers on corporate and commercial law related to their operations in Ukraine, as well as on sector regulation, insurance, reimbursement of damages law, imposition of fines, etc. Asters traditionally has a distinctive presence in railways, and provided legal support to GE Transportation, a Wabtec Company and Transportation Ukraine, on various issues of contractual, regulatory and currency control legislation in relation to execution of a USD 1 billion Framework Agreement with JSC Ukrainian Railways on the supply and maintenance of  diesel freight locomotives, supply of the next batch of 40 locomotives and execution of the Master Services Agreement in relation to 30 locomotives that have already  been supplied. The partners of the firm, Gleb Bialyi, Oleksiy Demyanenko and Vadym Samoilenko, guide the projects in the transportation area. 

The Kyiv office of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang advises lessors, fleet owners and aircraft operators on financing and leasing structures, repossessions and security structures. The firm regularly supports the sale and lease of aircraft, structuring and restructuring lease arrangements. Further, the team offers support in corporate, financing, commercial and procurement issues. Banking and finance partner Ihor Olekhov is experienced in advising aviation finance projects. 

Dentons is a point of choice for international aircraft maintenance and engineering companies, as well as manufacturers for different types of transport. The Kyiv office recently arranged support with participation in public procurements, provision of engineering services, potential investments in Ukraine. Furthermore, the expertise includes aircraft leasing matters. Oleg Batyuk, managing partner, is the main contact.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar Law Bureau is focused on the aviation industry, and primarily represents the biggest domestic air carrier – Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA). The firm was involved in representing Ukraine International Airlines on debt restructuring before the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise, Boryspil Airport, State Aviation Administration of Ukraine, including representation in relevant litigations. Throughout the past year the firm continued a world resonant case representing UIA in connection with resolving the consequences of the Boeing 737-800 downing near Tehran, Iran in January 2020, negotiating with the government authorities of Iran, Ukraine, insurers, etc. regarding the provision of compensation to relatives of victims in Ukraine; represented the client’s interests in investigations, criminal/civil proceedings in Ukraine. The firm also advised on the renting of commercial property, PPP and aviation infrastructure, settlement of aviation claims. Other clients include Interavia LLC, Aerohandling, and private investors. The key figures are Oleg Bondar and Oleksandr Povar. 

Eterna Law is well-known for its established international commodities arbitration practice, as it is involved in representations arising out of soft commodities shipments, i. e. breach of charter parties, shipping arrangements, contractual agreements, default of payment, misappropriation of cargo and non-delivery of goods. The firm represented Alcodis SA in the ICC arbitration against a Ukrainian-based trader arising out of the shipment of bioethanol. Eugene Blinov, lead partner of the firm’s international arbitration practice, is the main point of contact.

The Kyiv office of Fortior Law is positioned as an international dispute resolution firm, with a focus on disputes in international trade, shipping, and commerce. In particular, the firm is instructed for contentious and non-contentious shipping issues ranging from disputes under charter parties to ship sale and purchase contracts. The team’s highlight projects are centered on multijurisdictional disputes, representing clients in LMAA and other arbitrations specializing in shipping disputes, as well as handling amicable settlements. Danil Hristich and Sergey Platonov are the main figures guiding the Ukrainian team’s work. 

Gramatskiy & Partners is known for its extensive scope of transport regulation advisory, spanning auto transport, expediting and logistics services, shipping, demurrage compensations, recovery of payments for imposed services. The firm has become increasingly active in advising agribusiness players, most recently advised one of the biggest grain traders in Ukraine on breaking the contract on chartering a sea vessel; acted for Logistics Grain Terminal IP for the recovery of demurrage compensation from a charterer. The firm traditionally supports its corporate clients with the purchase and lease of transportation vehicles, as well as with insurance agreements, permits and licensing for cross-border auto transportation, forwarding and storage services. The main point of contact is Ernest Gramatskiy, the practice head and the firm’s founder.

Ilyashev & Partners has very well-established positions in the aviation and aerospace areas, acting on sophisticated disputes, as well as advising on expansion plans. One long-lasting client, the State Enterprise Antonov, which is Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and service company, instructs the firm on a variety of matters. Most recently the firm handled due diligence to establish a joint venture called ANTONOV India with JNR on the territory of the free economic zone Aerospace Special Economic Zone – Devanahalli Bengaluru. Having established relations with clients in the defense sector, the aviation team is retained for high-profile disputes, both domestic and cross-border. This past year the firm continued representation of the State Enterprise Ukrspetsexport in an arbitration case against the Ministry of Defense of North Macedonia on debt recovery for technical support of helicopters, equipment supply and professional training. The firm represented the interests of the strategic State Enterprise Plant 410 of Civil Aviation in its dispute with Aviabudprogres LLC with respect to supply of defective parts for the repair and modernization of An-32 aircraft. Other clients include ANTONOV Airlines, Air Astаna, Air China, Flydubai, Cavok Air, the Ihor Sikorsky International Airport Kyiv (Zhulyany). Roman Marchenko, the firm’s partner, heads the aviation practice. The firm successfully expands its presence in the maritime sector, and its office in Odesa headed by Sergey Nedelko has rapidly raised its client roster of shipowners and P&I Clubs on various shipping disputes related to cargo, crew and port claims. The firm successfully represented the interests of The American Club and the National Navigation Company of Egypt in the case of lengthy delay of the Wadi Sudr vessel in the Sea Port of Chornomorsk after its loading with wheat in December 2020; advised CMA CGM on payment of contract compensation in respect of the death of a crew member on the vessel in the seaport of Singapore. 

INTEGRITES is retained by international players from the transport and logistics industry, being particularly noted in aviation services providers, and the railway, automotive sectors. The firm advised on the acquisition of BGS Rail, a Ukraine-based provider of 4,200 railcars for long-term rent at short notice established by Baltic Ground Services. Another project is advising DiDi Chuxing Technology (China), the world’s leading mobile transportation company, on issues related to entering the Ukrainian market and organization of ride-hailing business in Ukraine. Optimization of business activities in Ukraine due to COVID-19, employment and compliance law issues made up  another part of workflow. The firm is also known for its strong international arbitration practice. Dr. Oleksiy Feliv, managing partner, is the main contact.

Headquartered in Odesa, Ukrainian law firm Interlegal possesses a network of offices across the Black Sea Region, and opened a new associate office in Uzbekistan in 2021. The firm has well-versed expertise serving a variety of international clients across all shipping and maritime areas. The firm actively handles representation in cost and damages recovery under trade contract cases, marine insurance reimbursement, cargo damage recovery and storage fee claims, penalties appeal, ship arrest and release from arrest. The team is also known for transactional work, providing legal support in the purchase and sale of vessels, sailing yachts, barges, etc. The big team has four partners on board – all well-known practitioners – namely Arthur Nitsevych, Artem Skorobogatov, Nikolay Melnykov and Alexey Remeslo.

The Odesa-based law firm Jurline is traditionally well-versed in maritime and shipping, seaports and terminals, road and rail transportation. The team acts on registering seafaring vessels under foreign flags, formalising the purchase and sale and mortgage of the fleet, and support for large loans secured by vehicles. Another domain is settlement of disputes related to the carriage of goods by rail, road and sea transport, including full legal support of transport and forwarding activities and customs clearance. The firm’s client list encompasses PJSC Severtrans, PJSC Odesavtotrans, LLC Vesta, Viterra Ukraine, SK Petroleum, LLC Teka (Sarmont Group Holding), Atlas Crewing, LLC Agriterra. Volodymyr Zubar and Oleg Kutateladze are lead partners.

The amalgamated team of Kinstellar and DLA Piper Ukraine (merged in July 2021) encompassed regulatory aviation expertise and long-standing positions in acquisition, disposition, lease and financing of aircraft, aviation equipment. The firm advised Aviation Capital Group, a worldwide industry leader in aircraft leasing to airlines on lease of four Boeing Model 737-8HX aircraft under USD 147 million lease agreements with local aircraft company Bees Airline LLC. The projects were led by the firm’s banking and finance team, which is guided by Oleksandr Kurdydyk and Dmytro Pshenychniuk.

Odesa-based law firm Legrant has a well-established following of shipowners, shipping agents and port operators. The team is often referred for its established caseload of disputes with the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority, appealing against the imposition of port duties in condition of the absence of cargo operations, additional port duties, administrative, sanitary and vessel duties, etc. The firm acted for its client in the State Regulatory Services to get access to pilot services. The team is at the forefront of legislative improvements in the sector, providing its proposals for simplification of administrative procedures and growing marine and river cargo traffic, provision of port services. Liudmila Sizonenko is known as a litigation lawyer in these types of disputes. Tatyana Titarenko, managing partner, is the main point of contact. 

Odesa-based boutique Sergeyevs’ Law Office is focused on maritime law, especially representing manning/crewing agents, ship owners and ship management companies, seafarers and the rights of their families. The team handled representation of the interests of one of three crew members who survived an accident of Bourbon Rhode vessel that took place in 2019 in the negotiation process involving the Bourbon Supply Investissments SAS and Bourbon Marine Services Greenmar Ltd due to disability and moral damage in the case of the lost (sunken) vessel; legal support of the claim in litigation versus the Ministry of Infrastructure and Maritime Administration of Ukraine on the implementation of international norms to national legislation. The firm advised and negotiated international commercial contracts for some of the world’s largest shipowners – V. Group, V. Ships UK, CMA Ships Singapore Pte, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, Stolt Tankers. The team also arranges support in negotiations on settlement of insurance claims and litigation. Yuriy Sergeyev and Svitlana Sergeyeva are the key points of contact.