• Taras DUMYCH|Wolf Theiss

    Both the development of the conventional energy regulatory framework, and of the industry itself in 2018 — beginning of 2019, were driven by the initiatives of the Government of Ukraine with the aim of increasing production of hydrocarbons, and so moves towards energy sustainability for the country. Though the regulatory framework in this area has remained generally stable, it still faced a number of important positive changes.

    The most remarkable legal achievement was in the field of granting special permits for subsoil use. Starting from the end of 2018 special permits are to be sold via open electronic auctions for which purpose the ProZorro platform was selected. The said decision, and its practical implementation, proved to be effective and added to the transparency of the process for the issuing of special permits.

    Another development, expected to increase the attractiveness of the oil and gas sector, is the liberalization of the regime for access to geological information held by the Government. This will allow the interested investor to run simpler feasibility studies of mineral deposits.

    In addition to the classical procedure for granting rights to explore and produce oil and gas, the Government placed strong emphasis on the promotion and practical implementation of the regime for product sharing agreements. This has already resulted in Nafta a.s., the Slovakia based oil and gas company, becoming an operator of the Yuzivska gas field, as well as international investment companies like SigmaBleyzer announcing their intention to launch a fund focusing specifically on energy projects based on product sharing agreements.

    The above developments have resulted in an increase in legal work, not only for oil and gas companies pitching for special permits and product sharing agreements, but also for service companies, equipment suppliers and financial institutions, the role of which will be no less important for the successful development of projects.

  • Andriy OLENYUK

    2018 saw unprecedented growth in terms of renewable power sector growth in Ukraine.

    According to the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission, 742.5 MW of renewable power generating capacity were installed, which is 2.8 times more that the renewable power generating capacity installed in 2017. The overall renewable power generating capacity installed in Ukraine is 2.117 GW.

    Notably, solar power plants and wind power plants represent approximately 96% of renewable power generating capacity installed. At the same time, the share of renewable power in the overall electricity output in Ukraine comes to 1.9%. while the share of renewable power in the overall cost of electricity is 8.7%. Reportedly, up to 1 GM of new renewable power generating capacity will be installed in Ukraine in 2019, which may significantly impact grid capacity and cause major grid balancing issues.

    Given the pace of growth and potential issues involved, the Government opted to change the renewable power support scheme. On 25 April 2019 Parliament adopted a law aimed at gradual substitution of the current feed-in tariff support scheme with an auction-based support scheme for investors in renewable power.

    The following are the key provisions of the new law:

    First, in relation to new projects, the new ­auction-based support scheme will be introduced as of 1 July 2019 and will run in parallel with the current feed-in tariff support scheme until 2019.

    Second, wind power plants with an installed capacity of less than 5MW (or three wind turbines irrespective of the installed capacity) and solar power plants with installed capacity of less than 1 MW will be exempt from the mandatory auction-based support scheme and may qualify for the voluntary auction-based scheme or the reduced feed-in tariff scheme.

    Third, the auction-based support scheme would entitle the bidder to a 20-year long power purchase agreement at an auction-determined price for electricity produced.

    Fourth, in order to qualify for a new support scheme, a renewable power developer would need to confirm that it has met 5 participation requirements: (i) formalise land use rights for a project, (ii) apply for and approve interconnection terms with the distribution system operator, (iii) provide the required KYC information, (iv) be a company registered in Ukraine, (v) make a security deposit of EUR 5,000 per 1 MW of proposed capacity in order to participate in the auction and EUR 15,000 per 1 MW — in order to confirm the maturity of the intention to proceed with the project implementation’s once the winner is known.

    It is expected the new auction-based support scheme will cool off growth in the sector and will bring new strategic investors into play. Overall, 2019 will be a busy year for both renewable power investors and their consultants.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro ­Olswang houses the strongest energy practice in the country, which utilizes full-scope regulatory, transactional and complex disputes expertise. The high-end client base spans international upstream oil and gas companies operating in Ukraine, EU energy traders, major international financial institutions. The Kyiv team is regularly enlisted for market entry support and structuring investments, joint ventures and M&A, project finance, construction and development. The practice has a recognized strength in import and electricity export projects, as well as in the municipal energy sector. This past year the firm acted for McKinsey carrying out assessment of the existing and expected legislative framework applied to Ukraine’s gas storages with a view to introducing participation by the private sector. The office is in front of renewable energy projects in the country, and most recently advised Scatec Solar, a Norway-based solar power developer, on successfully completed acquisition of companies leasing land plots for the purpose of building solar plants in Mykolayiv and Cherkasy Regions of Ukraine. Olexander Martinenko, senior partner and constantly referred to as an authority, is spotlighted for his prowess in commercial and dispute work. Vitaliy Radchenko remains among the top energy lawyers in the country. The key members of the practice team are Volodymyr Kolvakh, Inna Antipova, Anatolii Doludenko and Maryna Ilchuk (joined as a senior associate from Arzinger).

The biggest Ukrainian law firm, Asters, traditionally has a sound portfolio of big international and local energy clients, demonstrating a fully-fledged offering. This includes M&A, development, construction, regulatory regimes and licensing matters across the sector, financing, with notable growth of subsequent disputes. The recognized expertise lay in advising on production sharing issues, electricity and environmental matters. Asters continued to boast renewable energy projects, ensuring regulatory and transactions support. The firm acted as a legal counsel to China Machinery Engineering Corporation in connection with the signing of a EUR 230 million contract with DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private power producer, for the construction of a solar power plant in Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk Region); advised VR Capital Group on the acquisition of 50% in Matlomenius Holdings, owner of PodilskEnergo, which is building a 60 MW solar power plant near Kamianets-Podilskyi, from ICU. With the recent merger with EPAP Ukraine, the practice reinforced its disputes and finance capabilities and extended energy practice profile with big ticket mandates. Three partners lead the practice team. Armen Khachaturyan is a recognized strategist praised for expertise in energy public-private partnerships. Yaroslav Petrov is active in renewable energy, gas trading, oil and gas development. Tamara Lukanina preserves her legacy for conventional energy expertise. Another recent addition to the team is Anzhelika Livitska, who joined from Dentons as a counsel.

Baker McKenzie is a point of choice by global and national energy leaders, state companies and government authorities, financial institutions and investors. The office renders advice across a broad range of industry sectors, i.e. oil and gas projects, mining, energy infrastructure, nuclear and renewable energy. The Kyiv team is renowned for its notable experience on involvement in high scale privatizations of energy companies and corporate restructuring of state-owned enterprises. The office renders long-lasting advisory to the State Property Fund of Ukraine on privatization of a 78.289% shareholding in Centrenergo, one of the largest Ukrainian power-generation companies. The well-established transaction team is involved in Ukraine’s first combined type of public-private partnership in the energy sector, representing Polenergia International on its potential participation in Ukraine — EU Energy Bridge Project. The firm is among core counsels for big-ticket capital markets and financing work in the sector. Baker McKenzie advised National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom on a debut bond offering in US capital markets, guaranteed by the State of Ukraine and insured by OPIC. Known for his wealth expertise in the public energy sector, Serhiy Piontkovsky, managing partner, is a central figure contributing to the firm’s leading positions on the market. Ihor Olekhov, a renowned banking and finance partner, actively handles ­renewable projects workload1. Recently promoted counsel Andrii Moskalyk is an established name for corporate and M&A, PPP and energy infrastructure projects.

The Kyiv energy practice of Dentons is a part of its global energy group, and enjoys a strong following from international energy corporates and sound local heavyweights. The firm’s experience extends to upstream oil and gas, mining and natural resources, nuclear energy and renewables. In 2018 the office demonstrated a flourishing renewable portfolio comprised of solar, wind, biomas energy areas. The firm acts as legal counsel to DTEK on the implementation of a project for the construction of a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 200 MW in Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk ­Region); advised ACCIONA Energia Global in connection with its EUR 54.7 million investment in the development of a solar power plant in Dymerka. The dispute team represented Misen Enterprises AB in international arbitration in connection with a dispute under the bilateral investment treaty between Ukraine and Sweden, as well as on a joint activity agreement between Misen and PJSC UkrGasVydobuvannya. Maksym Sysoiev is a highly regarded name on the renewable energy market. He significantly raised his profile over the past year through the professional network. Lead partner Adam Mytsyk is endorsed for structuring and financing gas trading and renewable energy projects. US-qualified partner Myron Rabij left the firm for McCarter & English (USA).

The practice of Redcliffe Partners is very well connected in the energy community, and is a preferred legal counsel among major international investors in the sector, spanning oil and gas, conventional power, renewable energy and energy efficiency. The solid transactional team had a busy year as it was involved in M&A transactions, structuring investments and market entries. A notable highlight is advising Ukrnafta on a potential sale of its gas producing assets to Naftogaz of Ukraine. The firm customarily advises on complex high-value financing and restructuring matters, often representing the interests of banks and international financial institutions. Most recently the firm advised the EBRD on a loan faculty to Myronivsky Hliboproduct, Ukraine’s largest agricultural produce company, under a biogas loan agreement. The previous year was also noted for its fast-growing renewable portfolio, when the team advised on investment and development issues, deals and regulatory assignments. Three-partner practice is headed by Dmytro Fedoruk, and includes Rob Shantz and Zoryana Sozanska-Matviychuk. Svitlana Teush, counsel, raised her professional profile throughout the past year and is praised for her active market presence.

Sayenko Kharenko has a sizeable multidisciplinary practice team ensuring a wide scope of assignments across transactional, regulatory and dispute resolution settings. In 2018 the firm acted on corporate structuring mandates and wide range of oil and gas issues. Given the market leading standing for high-value financing ­projects the team, as guided by renowned partner Nazar Chernyavsky, has a consistent record of representations, most recently acting for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and OPIC on sovereign-guaranteed financing to State Enterprise National Nuclear Energy Generating Company Energoatom to construct the centralized spent nuclear fuel storage. The team is at the forefront of energy efficiency, and accomplished a series of project financings for NEFCO. This past year the firm boasted its renewable practice by getting new counsel Maryna Hritsyshyna from Wind Power (DTEK ­Renewables). The firm’s most recent remit included advising on the acquisition of solar power plants, licensing and regulatory issues, EPC contracts for the construction of wind and solar farms in Ukraine, financing of wind, solar, and waste-to-energy ­projects. The international arbitration team continues to represent the State of Ukraine in an Energy Charter investment arbitration initiated by the minority shareholders of PJSC Ukrnafta. Counsels Konstantin Gribov and Igor Lozenko work alongside projects of the energy practice. Vladimir Sayenko is among the key lead partners. Oleksandr Nikolaichyk partner, received endorsements for his work on complex energy M&A.

Primarily focused on the energy sector, especially on the renewable area, EVERLEGAL became one of the core focused teams throughout the past two years. The transactional team was one of the busiest in the market with M&A work, supporting entering Ukraine’s renewables energy market and a full scope of regulatory and development issues. The firm most recently advised UDP Renewables on the sale to Acciona Energy of the Ukrainian solar power plants under development in Kyiv Region with a total capacity of 57.6 MW. In 2018 the team extended its workload with project financing as led by new partner Vsevolod Volkov, who joined from INTEGRITES. The firm has notable expertise in advising clients on structuring and developing small hydro energy projects, and the wealth of experience of its senior team in oil and gas matters. The two-partner practice dramatically added in terms of its capacity and praise received from the market. Andriy Olenyuk is noted for his exceptional expertise in greenfield projects. Yevheniy Deyneko is head of corporate and M&A, and is also in charge of instructions from oil and gas clients.

Arzinger, a Ukrainian firm with well-established regional presence across Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, has a sustainable following of industry majors enlisting the firm for transactional, regulatory and contentious mandates. A substantial part of the practice involves investment structuring and M&A work in the area of oil and gas, power and renewables. The presence in renewables takes in regulatory, M&A and construction matters, while waste power projects expertise is on the ground. The current remit included equipment importation, supplies and assignment of warranties, capacity increase, etc. This past year the firm reconfirmed its strong positions in energy disputes via its involvement in cross-border commercial and investment disputes. Timur Bondaryev, managing partner, took charge of practice, and endorsed oil and gas development expertise. The Lviv-based international arbitration partner Markian Malskyy 2was vivid on the dispute front with energy industry clients.

INTEGRITES, a law firm with a network of offices, headquartered in Kyiv, utilizes an impressive roster of European, Asian and local clients. The firm is present across natural resources and mining, electricity, alternative energy. It is traditionally seen across regulatory, antitrust, project financing and GR work. In 2018 the firm was noted for its growing workflow in the renewable sector, which demonstrated a tremendous boost last year. For example, most recently the team advised NBT, a large Norwegian power generating company on the development and construction of the wind farm in the south of Ukraine with a capacity of 250 MW. The representative client names include AKW Ukrainian Kaolin, Dyckerhoff Gmbh, Moston Properties Limited (UK), United Company RUSAL Limited, UMITLI and others. The international arbitration and cross-border litigation practices, as led by Olena Perepelynska and Dmytro Marchukov, are one of the key teams with long-lasting expertise in energy disputes. Managing partner and practice head Oleksiy Feliv is singled out for a busy year for direct involvement in renewable energy work.

AEQUO has a firm recognition for proficiency in energy disputes, supported by being a trusted counsel in strategic international arbitration cases. Known as a Ukrainian law counsel for Naftogaz of Ukraine, the firm assisted its client with a successful outcome of the SCC Arbitration resulting in over USD 4.6 billion worth of damages being awarded by the Tribunal. Another highlight was advising Fortex Energy, a Ukrainian supplier of imported gas to industrial consumers, on the legal framework for gas supply and transmission in Ukraine, ­out-of-court legal remedies against defaulting buyers in Ukraine as well as consulting model gas supply contract. Denis Lysenko, managing partner, renowned transactional lawyer, demonstrates direct involvement in the firm’s energy-centered international arbitrations. Highly-active arbitration practitioner Pavlo Byelousov, who was recently promoted to partner, commands a wealth of experience in energy-related disputes. Counsel Myroslava Savchuk is closely involved in the majority of highlight matters. Another strong side of firm is its corporate and M&A team headed by Anna Babych. The firm’s recent profile includes projects in the sector of renewables and ­related infrastructure.

ANTIKA Law Firm has a traditional presence in the area of natural resources and subsoil use, energy efficiency and energy saving. The firm advises on development and extraction projects, and ­accumulated long-lasting regulatory upstream expertise. The team is a trusted counsel to JV Delta, a company of the Cadogan Group, on subsoil use and its activity as an operator of two joint investment and production activity agreement on gas production within two wells drilled in Western Ukraine. Recent victories include representing Esan in the proceedings on the claim of Derzhheonadra regarding the cancellation of a special permit for subsoil use. ANTIKA’s team is customarily noted for its work on NEFCO, and support of its Project Implementation Unit Support for Energy Efficiency improvements in public buildings in the cities of Chernivtsi and Ivano-Frankivsk. Other representative clients include Shell Retail Ukraine, AWT Bavaria, Ukrnafta PJSC. Two partners primarily manage the workload of the practice: Dr. Alexey Kot focuses on subsoil use and issues of hydrocarbon production; ­Alexander Burtovoy has a steady workflow of energy efficiency and saving projects. Litigation partners Andrey Kuznetsov and Maxim Korchagin run dispute works for energy sector clients.

AVELLUM is known primarily as the market leading transactional team chosen to represent local industry heavyweights and the largest financial investors active in the Ukrainian energy sector. The team is mandated to act on the largest restructuring and financings. For example, it advised Metinvest B.V. in connection with the refinancing of Metinvest’s USD 2.23 million debt; represented Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on the state-guaranteed USD 250 million loan to State Enterprise Energoatom. The EBRD and Black Sea Trade and Development Bank consistently hire the firm to support its lending operations in the sector. This past year the firm raised its profile of renewable projects, being particularly active in solar and biogas. For example, the dedicated team acted as the legal counsel to Investment Capital Ukraine on the establishment of joint ventures with VR Capital Group to develop a 63.8 MW solar power plant in Khmelnytsky Region and a 34.75 MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Kherson Region. The firm is also enlisted for investment and commercial arbitrations. The multidisciplinary practice team includes two counsels Maria Tsabal (energy financing deals), Maksym ­Maksymenko (construction and development), and the recently promoted tax partner Vadim ­Medvedev. The team was strengthened with the arrival of counsel Viktoriia ­Morozova (previously head of the legal department at the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission — NEURC), dedicated to electricity market reforms and regulation. The lead partner is the prominent banking lawyer Glib Bondar, while corporate partner Yuriy Nechayev handles corporate and M&A workflow.

DLA Piper has a well-established energy practice comprising corporate and M&A, project finance, contractual, tax and regulatory for the energy sector clients. The Kyiv team is proficient in project finance and most recently boosted its renewable track record. The largest renewable project in Ukraine was the financing of more than USD 500 million for a four-phase, 500 MW wind farm in south-eastern Ukraine (Zaporizhzhya), where the firm advised OPIC, an agency of the United States government. The office demonstrates involvement in conventional and energy infrastructure issues. The team continues to advise BMUB (Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany) on establishing an energy efficiency fund and its by-laws, secondary legislation relating to such a fund and its operation. The practice is led by two partners, namely Oleksandr ­Kurdydyk (finance, projects and restructuring) and ­Galyna Zagorodniuk (corporate and M&A). Illya Muchnyk, legal director, is another important figure in this practice.

Eterna Law presents a diverse practice of traditional oil and gas, power and electricity sectors, although it established a separate renewable energy practice in 2018. The firm has formidable representations of energy clients in corporate, M&A, competition, regulatory issues, as well as across energy disputes. The international arbitration team is known for its high-value ongoing cases in VIAC arbitration proceedings, where it represents the interests of Ukrenergy Trade Slovakia and Korlea Invest AS, which were commenced due to the breach of the export contracts for supply of electricity to Slovakia, Romania, Hungary. Amongst other disclosable clients are DTEK, Centrenergo, Energoatom. The workflow of the renewable energy practice is centered on advising international investors, mostly from Turkey, Greece and Lithuania. The relevant project portfolio is exemplified by representation of Modus Group, one of the largest operators in the market of alternative energy in Europe, on issues of legal and financial audit of solar energy projects and transaction support with 35 MW project acquisition in Zhytomyr ­Region; and advising Yuzhne Energy on preparation to the sale and purchase of wind energy projects. The three-partner practice is led by Oleh ­Malskyy (corporate and M&A), Eugene Blinov (­international arbitration), Maksym ­Uslystyi (renewable). The presence of the latter in the renewable sector over this past year was noted by peers too.

EY enjoys market recognition of core tax and legal advisor, and is especially endorsed for unique production sharing and joint activity agreements experience in the oil and gas sector. The unprecedented long-lasting project is advisory to Naftogaz of Ukraine on major corporate governance restructuring its unbundling (breaking up the company so as to separate transmission from production and supply) in accordance with Ukrainian and EU legislation. The EY legal team is experienced in transactional support and investment structuring in the renewable sector. In particular, it advised Carlo Maresca, an Italian business group, in connection with the acquisition of Malyn Energy Park, a Ukrainian solar energy company. The team of Iryna ­Kalyta, Bogdan Malnev, Iryna ­Kovalenko, ­Andrii ­Pryimak under the guidance of Albert Sych is praised by market insiders.

Throughout 2018 GOLAW deepened its sharp focus on renewable sector, developing solar and wind energy and rapidly developing the biomass sector. Inter alia, the practice team advised KBPP Management Ltd on EPC and operation and maintenance contracts with Danish company BWSC on a project to build a biomass power plant. Another area of concern is energy efficiency and related finance. The firm advises Enkom a.s. on the implementation of an EPC contract on reconstruction of Kharkiv heating networks financed by the World Bank. Other publishable clients include Armon Capital, BioEnergy, TIU Canada. The two-partner practice is led by Sergiy Oberkovych and Max Lebedev.

Gramatskiy & Partners maintains its established upstream sector with the focus on exploration and development, electricity production and distribution. Given the firm’s core strength in construction issues, it regularly acts on power plant construction projects and related municipal infrastructure. The firm recently advised Eurotransgaz Corporation Kft., a Hungarian oil and gas exploration, production and gas storage company, in connection with the establishment of a joint venture with Eurogazinvest LLC, to pursue a gas exploration project in Western Ukraine. In 2018 the team was actively involved in the nuclear power projects of KS Group, advising on construction and operation of nuclear plants; and remains present in renewable energy sector and energy efficiency ­projects. By way of example, the firm supported an established client, City Capital Group, in the project called Implementation Unit Support for Energy Efficiency improvements in public buildings in the city of Kyiv; acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel in negotiations with the Chinese subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned Fortune Global 500 company in connection with the acquisition of majority stakes in Ukrainian SPVs that own solar power plants. The key team members are Vitalii Tymchuk, Roman Pozhodzhuk, Alina Rudeichuk, as led by Ernest Gramatskiy.

Kinstellar rapidly expands its presence on the Ukrainian energy market, announcing sound mandates of power plant operators, multinational energy holding companies, energy traders, project companies and consortia, lenders and governments. The office, as part of a consortium led by a global financial advisor Pericles Global Advisory, has won a mandate to advise the State Property Fund of Ukraine on the privatization of state-owned Odesa Port Plant. In October 2018 the Kyiv office was mandated again by Naftogaz of Ukraine to provide legal advisory service to its supervisory board. The scope of work included corporate and M&A, energy and infrastructure, project finance, energy trading contracts, regulatory, compliance, etc. The office is a point of choice for international investors carrying out investment projects in the alternative energy sector. In particular, the team advised TBEA, China’s largest energy equipment manufacturer and a global leader in the power T&D equipment manufacturing sector, on its investment in a Ukrainian 500 MW wind power plant in Southern Ukraine. The banking team led by Andriy Nikiforov advised the Investment Fund for Developing Countries, on a loan facility to three projects companies (solar farms) belonging to the Kness Solar Group with a total capacity of approx. 35 MW. ­Olena Kuchynska, partner, leads the practice.

KPMG Law is an established legal player in the energy market, with particular focus on corporate and M&A, compliance, as well as traditional strength in tax and regulatory matters. The office is a point of choice by international oil and gas companies seeking market entry advice. The dedicated team provided ongoing tax and legal advice to Crosco concerning implementation of service contracts for drilling wells; supports Ukrenergo in the implementation of a compliance office. This past year the team demonstrated vivid activity in renewable energy projects, structuring investments in this sector and ensuring related regulatory, contract and related legal coverage. Yuriy Katser, director, head of legal, is consistently present on the market. Sergey Popov is lead partner.

Renowned for strong tax expertise and litigation capabilities, Sokolovskyi & ­Partners performed substantial advisory work in 2018. Inter alia, the firm continued to operate in the field of electricity regulation and connection to electricity networks and plant construction projects. Solar and bioenergy are areas of growth in renewable workflow. Oleh Kostiuchenko, practice head, is very active in municipal and construction spheres. Vladyslav ­Sokolovskyi, managing partner, is the key contact.

ILF Law Firm with offices in Kharkiv and Kyiv streamlined its niche service of support for energy efficiency projects. The lion’s share of its recent portfolio is centered to support of investments in energy efficiency of municipalities and territorial communities, when the team consistently acts for UNDP and Greencubator. Another key area of the energy team’s work is establishing an electricity market. For example, the firm supported creation of the first in Ukraine municipal energy cooperative society, which is located in the city of Slavutych. Electricity supply disputes is another area of recent focus. The main figures of its practice take in Ivan Bondarchuk and ­Serhiy Silchenko.

Renowned for its work across energy disputes, Ilyashev & Partners fields a portfolio of significant cases, some of them with political significance. The firm represented State Enterprise Ukrinterenergo in a Russian arbitration court on cancelation of the decision of the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation (the ICAC at the RF CCI) in a dispute with PJSC Inter RAO on the refunding of payments for electricity supplied from Russia to the territory of Donbas, and in Ukrainian courts to reject recognition and enforcement of an award granted by this arbitration institution in favor of Russian state company Inter RAO UES. The most recent court practice is centered on enforcement of international arbitration awards and tax litigation. The firm is often attracted for expert witness work in high-profile international arbitration proceedings. Most recently managing partner Milkhail Ilyashev provided expert witness testimony in corporate law in the LCIA dispute Littop Enterprises Ltd, Bridgemont Ventures Ltd and Bordo Management Ltd — minority shareholders of PJSC Ukrnafta vs. Naftogaz of Ukraine and PJSC Ukrnafta in respect of the actions of the government and Naftogaz. Established clients encompass UkrGaz, UkrGazEnergo, LetterOne Group, Hydro Energy Holding, Group DF, Ostchem Holding.

Matviyiv and Partners, a Lviv-based law firm primarily known for its extensive litigation background, had a busy year for representing subsequent clients in disputes. Recent highlights take in representing Lvivoblenergo PJSC in USD 1 million debt collection proceedings claimed by Naftogaz of Ukraine; acting for Czechpol Energy (part of RUMIS Investment Limited) in a dispute with Dontekhenergo. All litigation partners, namely Roksolana Kostur, Serhiy Matviyiv, Iryna Pyatkovska, are routinely involved in representations.

Kharkiv-based Shkrebets & Partners is a prominent local firm with a substantial portfolio of clients in Eastern Ukraine. It is mostly known for consistent expertise in litigation, being proficient in tax controversies and debt collection. Among others, the firm regularly represents an established client, Kharkiv Combined Heat and Power Plant No. 5. Andrey Syvak is a responsible partner.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is best known for representing energy clients in sophisticated cross-border litigation and domestic proceedings, exploration and industrial development of deposits, asset deals and sector specific tax. The firm is presently guided by Oleg Alyoshin and acts as Ukrainian law counsel to Energy Standard Group, PJSC Sumy NPO in USD 480 million shareholders corporate and commercial dispute in litigation proceedings in Cyprus. The team continued to handle resonant representation of Gennadiy Bogoliubov, a well-known Ukrainian businessman, in a dispute to the value of about USD 340 million against Russian oil company Tatneft at the High Court of Justice in London regarding alleged appropriation of funds for oil transferred to the Kremenchuk oil refinery. Alexander Borodkin, who is primarily focused on real estate and renewables, advises on structuring the acquisition of a Ukrainian gas trading company.

Vdovychen & Partners preserves its local clientele, enlisting the firm for regulatory and tax disputes work. The recent portfolio added in tenders support work and regulatory assignments in the upstream sector. Firm’s founder Oleg Vdovychen is the primary figure.

Wolf Theiss continues to enjoy an established position in the oil and gas area, especially in transaction matters and gas transit expertise, followed by recent development of energy infrastructure expertise. Among key projects in 2018 were advising Snam, a major international gas transportation system operator, on a project regarding the unbundling and partnership of the Ukrainian gas transport system. The legacy and reputation of Taras Dumych, managing partner, definitely works to his advantage.

International Law Firms

Pinsent Masons, headquartered in London, has energy and infrastructure among its core sectors of specialization. The firm is often enlisted to advise clients from Ukraine and countries of the former Soviet Union. This past year the firm, as guided by partners Mark Roe and Sofia Parra, advised a state company in relation to the “War Risk” claim made by a US contractor in relation to the Chornobyl project in Ukraine. Notably, in the past the firm advised the State of Ukraine and its funders on contracts for and implementation of decommissioning and related remedial works at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant, and successfully resolved numerous disputes that arose in relation to it; advised the state-owned nuclear electricity company of Ukraine and the EBRD in relation to the Shelter Implementation Plan for making safe the destroyed unit fourth reactor at the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

1 In June 2019 he joined CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang as a partner.

2 On 5 July 2019 he was appointed head of Lviv Regional State Administration.