• Denys BEREGOVYI|Axon Partners

    Exports of IT services in 2018 came to USD 4 billion in volume, and made up 4% of Ukrainian GDP. Granted, these numbers make government take IT seriously.

    Last year’s priorities among lawyers and their clients in Tech changed dramatically – thanks to the long-lasting “crypto winter”. FinTech clients shifted back to more traditional, transparent business and investment models, meaning a pricier “entry ticket” as well as complex legal support in licensing, setting up in-depth compliance procedures, business structuring in multiple jurisdictions. Thus, crypto and blockchain today is about technology and not the currency.

    Moreover, GDPR stole its thunder, becoming probably the most discussed topic among Ukrainian tech lawyers in 2018. It is fair to say GDPR boosted data protection consulting in general, as the requests of tech clients are not limited to EU jurisdiction or users. More will follow, should the EU finalize its new ePrivacy regulation and Ukraine adapt its data protection laws to GDPR standards.

    Hype topics aside, the core legal questions in IT remain the same: corporate transactions, tax, intellectual property.

    Corporate and tax structuring continues to be a key issue for a majority of tech businesses, considering the effects and opportunities brought by the new Law On Limited Liability Companies, never-ending discussions on abandoning or modifying the Unified tax system and slow but firm adaptation of foreign structures to BEPS requirements.

    It has been a fruitful year for M&A and investments in companies with Ukrainian R&Ds — the Rozetka-EVO merger, GitLab, Ring deals were the headliners. R&D offices are trending as well, as there are more than 110 operating now and this number will grow thanks to the proven quality of specialists, emerging ecosystem and tech-focused infrastructure in major cities.

    A good promo for Ukraine should be the launch of on-demand delivery platforms Glovo (now covering the five largest cities) and Uber Eats as they prove our market is good enough for operations and not just outsourcing.

    Another positive trend is the launch of new start-up accelerators as well as foreign VCs entering our market. The announced launch of the state-backed Ukrainian National Startup Fund is another sign of the recovery of the Ukrainian economy and the government’s reverence to the IT industry.

    Hopefully, 2019, with parliamentary elections just around the corner in Ukraine, will not harm these developments.

  • Olga BELYAKOVA|CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

    For the Ukrainian telecom business 2018 was the year of 4G, starting from the auctioning of radio frequencies and ending with launching of technology by all three mobile operators. Although the outcome of the auction was no surprise for the public, it had a significant impact on Ukraine’s image given we were well behind other European countries in introducing this technology.

    Nowadays one can hardly find a pure telecom company among national giants, as all of them are involved not only in classic telecom, but also in IT and technology businesses, big data, cloud services, etc. A recent example in 2019 was that of Vodafone Ukraine establishing an R&D platform (IT SmartFlex) for the development of software and various IT solutions.

    The long-awaited introduction of mobile number portability (MNP) by telecommunication operators came into effect from 1 May 2019, which is another significant development in Ukraine’s telecom sector. It is too early to say how popular and efficient this service will be, but the fact that all necessary preconditions for its launch have been completed (including settlement on the dispute related to conducting MNP tenders) and the service became operational, is another step taken in Ukraine’s European course. In the legal sphere we expect more small litigations between operators and subscribers related to various nuances of MNP (transfer of available subscriber’s money between operators, etc.).

    As global trends in telecom area revolve around 5G and are related to smart city solutions, the recent statement by the Ukrainian Minister of Infrastructure about organizing a 5G tender in 2020 is promising, though it’s still uncertain given the huge cost of technology for the business and unclear demand for 5G in Ukraine. Nevertheless, with 4G on board the development of national technology sector will grow anyway.

    In any event lawyers will not remain without work. With the rapid development of mobile solutions, including internet of things (IoT), legal practitioners will have big room to develop their data privacy and cyber security practices. And lawyers specializing in contentious matters will have an opportunity to face various interesting liability issues related to IoT, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc.

Sayenko Kharenko maintains its market leading position in the IT and telecommunication sector, revealing an impressive selection of high-profile multinational clients. The firm is equally well-versed to handle both consulting and transactional advice. Throughout 2018 the firm advised large IT outsourcing and product companies, IT start-ups on software development matters, mobile applications and gaming, as well as a broad range of the firm’s corporate clients. Selected recent experience includes acting for the EBRD under the technical cooperation project “Open Government in Ukraine: Support in implementation of e-government solutions based on the ProZorro concept” in connection with setting up an entity to operate the electronic trade system “ProZorro.Sale”. The firm notably exceled in sophisticated M&A projects and transactional IP. The team was engaged in a landmark deal in the e-commerce area, having advised on the sale of a controlling interest in EVO Group, which operates marketplaces in Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan, by Naspers Group to ­Rozetka. The recent formidable caseload included comprehensive IP due diligence, setting-up technology R&D centers in Ukraine, corporate and tax structuring; software development and implementation agreements, master services agreements, protection of software programs. The firm also acts for large telecommunication players, with notable strength in the regulatory field, including broadcasting, cellular network technology and competition. The multidisciplinary team consists of practitioners with sector experience across all key practice areas of the firm, and is led by renowned partner Nazar Chernyavsky, who is especially noted for his fintech expertise. Oleg Klymchuk, counsel, was extremely active on IT-related IP work. The firm hired promising lawyer Daryna Sydorenko as coordinator of the technology, telecom and cybersecurity group. The IT community also singles incredible networking and strategic role of partner Michael Kharenko.

Drawing an integrated international network IT/TMT practice group of Baker McKenzie is the preferred legal counsel for global tech companies investing in Ukraine and major local tech players entering foreign markets. The firm has a wide international recognition, especially in the US among the IT community. Throughout the past year the office continued to advise international search engines, gaming companies, platforms, social networks, payment networks, and prominent producers of electronic devices on launching their innovative products and services in Ukraine. The firm consistently advises on GDPR and data privacy localization issues in Ukraine, media regulation, e-commerce, and covers client’s queries on IP protection, corporate structuring, tax, employment, compliance. The office raised its profile with advising telecom regulatory clearance, media regulation of distribution of international TV channels, cybersecurity. The multidisciplinary team consists of dedicated practitioners from different practice groups. Promoted to counsel, Oleksiy Stolyarenko heads the IT/TMT industry group at the Kyiv office, and is especially endorsed by peers for his data protection knowledge.

DLA Piper has the great advantage of international presence, with its client list including software outsourcing and technology companies, telecom majors and media clients. The office regularly handles transactional mandates, and advised а global leading customer experience company, Webhelp, in the acquisition of a 91.89% stake in the share capital and voting rights of Runway, a company specializing in business process outsourcing services; advised Perion Network on its USD 3.75 million acquisition of Septa Communications LLC, also known as Captain Growth, a Ukrainian start-up which applies cutting-edge ­AI-driven technologies to marketing. The TMT group is integrated with IP practice and is instructed for IP structuring and transfer of IP rights, assignment and licensing, software development and R&D agreements, tax structuring, various employment and regulatory issues. The team has a traditionally busy practice for telecom regulatory and data protection advice. This past year the firm acted as a legal counsel by phasing-in SMART-MONEY, a secure online payment method provided by mobile firm Kyivstar. Among others, the prominent client portfolio includes Aristocrat, Perion Network, Adobe, PDFfiller, ZeniMax, Discovery Communications. For many years the practice is led by partner Natalia Pakhomovska. Legal director Natalia Kirichenko is another key figure in this practice.

AEQUO continues to expand its practice offering to high-end IT majors, being of late increasingly active in outsourcing and product market segments, field of telecom operators and investors. In addition to a well-versed telecom presence, throughout 2018 the firm significantly enhanced its IT market positions by adding new top-end clients (in particular, Facebook, Microsoft, AI Factory, Bonex, DeltaHost, MapBox, RIA.com, Uklon) and expanding IT expertise due strategic lateral hires. The firm advised YouTube on the launch of Paid Services in Ukraine, including Channel Sponsorship, Paid Messages and Stickers during streams; advises Google on launches of new projects and technologies; accomplished advising a US company providing multiple AI business solutions with regard to the structuring of its relations with Ukrainian data scientists, drafting service contracts and IP related amendments. The strong transactional team is present in landmark deals in the sector, most recently advised a large investment company on the acquisition of stake in a TOP-5 outsourcing company. The firm boosted its blockchain-based and ICOs projects. For example, the dedicated team rendered legal support to Bonex on development and launch of the blockchain platform for tokenization of bonus and loyalty programs; acted as a Ukrainian law counsel of a producer of the Capacity Transfer Radio equipment on launching ICOs. The practice benefits from the strong IP practice led by partner Oleksandr Mamunya. Most recently his team advised a US technology company on transfer of IP rights for inventions and works of authorship created by Ukrainian scientists. Broad-based telecommunication expertise covers sound regulatory support, transactions and disputes within the sector. The firm assists DeltaHost, a Ukrainian hosting provider on elaboration of a new service-line; represents Dragon Capital before the National Council of Television and Radio Broadcasting of Ukraine in connection with the acquisition of Radio-Era TRC, the first nationwide radio station in Ukraine. Mykyta Polatayko, who joined the firm to lead its IT industry group, is present across a huge number of projects. Corporate and M&A partner Anna Babych is noted for solid experience representing sectoral clients in transactional mandates.

The Ukrainian law firm Axon Partners has the largest industry specialized team possessing multi-functioning expertise across core practice areas. In addition to its presence in Kyiv and Lviv, this past year the firm opened an office in Kharkiv as a result of its merger with Oksana Kobzar Law Office. The major clients are IT outsourcing companies (MLSDev, IDAP, ImageX, ShipHawk), as well as product companies, start-ups and venture funds. The firm advises Beetroot, VGS, Binary Studio, Intelliarts accompanying the process of creating R&D offices; represents its long standing client Datas (Egar Technologies) in various deals with key Ukrainian banks and financial institutions. The firm also offers corporate support for sector clients, for example, currently provides complex restructuring of the group of companies Likarni COM, free service for on-line medical appointment booking, as well as supported venture financing from a German venture fund; handled complex restructuring of the group of companies Poster POS, cloud-based iPad point-of-sale system for cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, etc., in Ukraine and the Russian Federation, as well as contracts for ongoing operations and GDPR compliance. Among new public client wins are Cryptagio OÜ, Innovation Park Unit.City, Farmer2Be, Go Beauty, Green Panda Games, Data Intelligence Lab, FreelanceHunt, Matic Insurance, Beetroot, VGS, Binary Studio. In 2018 the firm was a vivid legal counsel for fundraising campaigns for blockchain-based companies, supporting initial token offerings, set up of cryptofunds and crypto-exchanges. For example, the firm provided DMarket, the first blockchain-based cross-game marketplace for turning virtual in-game items into real assets, with legal assistance in fundraising to value of USD 19 million. The team advises Hosting Ukraine on organization of the legal structure of data center and represents in trademark and domain disputes. All partners are directly involved in project work. Denys Beregovyi is primarily involved in developing telecom and structuring companies rendering an “uberization” service. Bogdan Duchak advised gaming industry and IT integrators. Nazar Polyvka and Orest Gavryliak were dedicated to the venture industry and crypto projects. Lviv-based partner Yura Kornaga is noted for his corporate work in the sector and client development efforts. Kharkiv-based Oksana Kobzar provides tax advisory pertaining IT. The most publicly known representative of the firm is Dima Gadomsky.

The cross-practice team of Ukrainian law firm Arzinger accumulates expertise from its tax, intellectual property, regulatory, banking and finance, data protection, competition, employment, as well as other legal issues arising in IT projects. The firm often acts as Ukrainian counsel in the framework of global deals in the sector. Arzinger was most recently involved in advising on the acquisition of Magento Commerce business worldwide by Adobe Systems. Another highlight is advising an Austrian mobile network operator on development and purchase of IT services from an international company having it developers residing in Ukraine. Other areas of recent activity include a wide range of contractual issues in the technology sector, including software development and purchase, data protection, IP rights clearance, etc. The firm advised online marketplace designed for the needs of modern transfer market functionaries in the football industry on development of employment structure as well as data/IP-rights transfer mechanisms. The practice is co-led by tax partner Pavlo Khodakovsky and IP partner Kateryna Oliinyk.

In 2018 Asters, the largest Ukrainian full-service law firm, exceled in both IT and telecommunications areas, adding a huge roster of prestigious clients. The projects workload covered software development and technology transfer, operations of datacenters, advisory on cybersecurity. The firm advised IBM on Ukrainian regulatory issues in connection with any applicable restrictions on the launch of certain products on the market. Asters is often hired for handling M&A projects and general corporate work. The firm has a flourishing list of high-end companies in the telecommunications sector on a wide range of mandates. In particular, telecom services delivery and electronic communication networks. The team of Taras Kyslyy, counsel, acted on issues of licensing, data protection, unfair competition, protection of trademarks and copyright. Among disclosable highlights is advising Verizon Communications, American telecommunications company, on compliance of a new client information exchange software service with Ukrainian legislation. Public clients include Information & Computing Services, Inc., IPnet, Nickelodeon. Yuriy Kotliarov, partner, is best known for his work in telecommunications regulatory instructions. IP partner Julia Semeniy has been focused on IP matters in industry of video games, software development and the media sector. Market sources stressed the important role of co-managing partner Oleksiy Didkovskiy for strategic development of the telecom practice.

AVELLUM is mostly known for its strong transactional standing. The firm was present in one of the most high-profile deals in the Ukrainian e-commerce sector when it advised EVO Group on its merger with Rozetka, a leading online retailer and marketplace. Moreover, the firm advised Nordcurrent, the largest game development studio in the Baltic region, on acquisition of Ukrainian game development and animation studio Blam! Games Studios, establishment of a Ukrainian LLC and development of proper employment structure for software developers; as well as on the acquisition of the newly established company by Nordcurrent Group. Another highlight is advising members of UAngel, Ukrainian business angels network, on various matters related to investment in start-ups, including structuring of investment, taxation, protection of intellectual property rights and convertible loans. The team’s recent focus also included software license, support supply and distribution agreements, data and IP rights protection. In early 2019 Anton Polikarpov joined as a counsel to develop the IT and IP practice areas.

The poll endorsed the increased visibility of Brightman Law Firm, a young Ukrainian firm with focus on cryptocurrency investments and initial coin offerings (ICO). The firm diversified its service and started working with product and outsourcing IT companies on a wider range of matters. The team developed services in data protection, compliance, software and hardware licensing agreements, e-commerce and online gaming/gambling, IP rights protection, legal support of IT and internet marketing businesses immigration. In the second half of 2018 the firm switched into more complicated projects of security token offering (STO), digitalization and tokenization of assets and other cryptocurrency and blockchain-based business activities. Dmytro Honcharenko and Krystyna Nyemchynova founded the firm.

The wider technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) practice at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang is a preferred legal counsel for international companies seeking advice on Ukrainian law. The team supports a range of technology clients on their activities in Ukraine, advising on data protection and transfer, corporate, commercial, employment and IP law matters. The firm has expertise in specific telecommunications regulatory and satellite broadband Internet connection services. The team is headed by Olga Belyakova, partner and co-head of TMT sector group at the level of Central and Eastern Europe.

EVERLEGAL, dynamic Ukrainian law firm, enjoys prominent IT majors among its clients. The team has notable expertise in corporate restructuring and M&A, wide range of commercial matters, specific issues covering intellectual property rights assignment and transfer matters, personal data compliance, service agreement and procurement procedures. The team has won the loyalty of outsourcing IT companies seeking advice on structuring of local business, employment law matters, including conclusion of employment contracts with staff and contracts with independent contractors, IP and taxation. Another category of clients are investors seeking support on how to establish start-up businesses, various corporate matters and general advice on operational activity. The firm’s managing partner, Yevheniy Deynenko leads transactional mandates and works with a significant pool of IT clients, primarily large and mid-sized foreign corporates or large Ukrainian outsourcers. Oleksandr Ruzhytskiy is a dedicated IT business development partner.

EY Ukraine is constantly active in corporate and M&A work, entering the Ukrainian market and structuring employment relations. The main area of expertise encompasses personal data protection and on-­going legal support of IT companies. In 2018 the legal team demonstrated an extensive track record for M&A deals. For example, EY acted as a lead legal counsel and tax advisor to Temania Enterprises Ltd, a holding company of the Rozetka group, in the course of its merger with EVO; advised Horizon Capital on acquisition of a minority stake in Intellias, a Ukrainian IT company specializing in software development; represented SoftwareOne in connection with the acquisition of Comparex, a global IT provider specializing in cloud managed services, software license management and sourcing. EY has strong positions among investment funds, most recently advising a US-based private equity fund in connection with an investment into a well-known Ukrainian start-up producing consumer electronics and smart house appliances. The team’s work is led by partners Albert Sych, Vladimir Kotenko and Iryna Kalyta.

Gramatskiy & Partners possesses a full spectrum offering for the IT sector, with clientele stems from start-ups to software companies, developers, investors, cloud providers, server companies, telecommunication players. In 2018 the firm expanded scope and geography of mandates, being involved in multi-level projects. The IT practice was boosted by queries on software development and service agreements, structuring holding companies, tax and employment structuring. Among new areas of recent growth are software development in gaming and entertainment, personal data protection, GDPR compliance, IP rights transfer. A recent cross-border transactional highlight is representing Playtech (UK) in the acquisition of Studio 88 Australia Pty Ltd. The team accomplished a number of notable projects for its client Labs Technology Services on arrangement of centers of software development and establishment of sustainable outsourcing IT infrastructure. The sizeable practice team has a formidable clientele, to name a few, Clickmein, Skywind Tech UA, PTS UA Services, Sea Services Ukraine, KSTT Services, Callfin, Astartes, White Rhino, Morpheus Games, Yuromash, Vidmind, Information Technologies, Smarttender. The practice is led by dedicated practitioner Igor Reutov under the strategic supervision of Ernest Gramatskiy.

ILF Law Firm, with offices in Kharkiv and Kyiv, is distinctively focused on advising IT sector, among others working with service and product IT companies, outsourcing and Internet projects. Clients include investors and founders of IT start-ups. The firm has a well-versed practice of corporate and tax structuring, as well as strong track record of projects involving outsourcing and software development contracts. In 2018 the firm is noted for corporate structuring of the product segment of the IT market, especially in games development area with further entry into foreign markets and international platforms (Steam, Google Play, App Store, Amazon, etc.). Given the firm’s strong following among Ukrainian outsourcing companies, they consistently instruct ILF to handle their corporate structuring abroad for ensuring access to foreign clients. The team is also noted for supporting acquisitions of Ukrainian outsourcing companies with unique expertise. For example, medical data protection and diagnostics. The past year also saw client queries for supporting ICO projects, data protection and transfer, confidentiality. The list of public clients includes Dish Network, SPS Ukraine, Disquire, Sciforce, X1 Group, Raccoongang. Renowned practice head Anton Zinchuk moved in-house, remaining of counsel. Partner Serhiy Silchenko took over the reins in the practice.

Juscutum Law Firm, a member of World IT lawyers, is a sound market player with an established IT client base and major telecom players. In response to client needs in early 2018 the firm created a new practice of blockchain headed by IT community insider Julia Shtabska. The team demonstrated a series of comprehensive legal support of ICO campaigns for such clients as REMME, CryCash, Crytec, Spotcoin, Tradelize, Solve.Care, Paytomat, GraphGrail, Propy. Another highlight is lawmaking for Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). The firm is a point of choice for both start-ups and foreign IT companies entering the Ukrainian market. Juscutum is a popular brand name for domestic outsourcing companies for corporate, tax and employment solutions. The firm represented Vodafone Ukraine in a dispute on the committing of violations by Ukraine’s main mobile operators through dissemination of information about dubious ‘per second’ billing of calls. Katerina Karaseva heads the firm’s telecom practice. Artem Afian, managing partner, is involved in practice development and strategic guidance. He directly manages advice on complex technology agreement and investment structuring. Nestor Dubnevych and Valeria Diachenko left the firm.

Legal IT Group is a highly-focused domestic team that gained its niche within outsource IT companies, game development studios, digital studios and start-ups. This past year the firm added work on supporting product IT companies and advising on GDPR. The firm acts for Prostir.one and developed a set of IT contracts for development of software between the company and its clients/ contractors; created an end user license agreement for Thingsboard, which provides software for working on cloud severs. The team gains popularity among foreign clients, and most recently provided comprehensive legal support to a big US company called CloudSimple Inc., including involvement of Ukrainian developers. Among the clients are InCust, Lenal, 42DM, Webrov Group OU, Mev Ukraine, Deyteris, Turbo-rocket games, Triggmine OÜ, SEPTA Communications, 4Service Holdings GmbH, Waterlily-games, PNN soft, Kifreez, Competera, Incust, Futuro team, IKS, Tiras 12, Eleken, Dah development, B2Blogger. Anton Tarasiuk and Gennadiy Tamashev are the firm’s lead partners.

Ilyashev & Partners is primarily known for its extensive experience in disputes in the telecommunication area, and well-established expertise in IP, commercial, corporate and regulatory areas. Among the highlights is ongoing support to Xiaomi in the course of launch of its new technology in Ukraine, defense of trademarks and domain names. The firm acted as a Ukrainian legal advisor on regulatory issues on introduction by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) of a new payment system called EasyPay between its member airlines and travel agents. In 2018 the firm extends its expertise on crypto-currency and related regulation. Throughout the past year the firm advised Cryptagio OÜ on a token launch, and CityLife LP on crypto-currencies, licensing and ICO. The highlight is supporting an agreement of exchange of crypro-currency, namely euro and real estate for Estonian company Property for BTC. This past year the litigation highlights included representation of companies, members of Inter Media Group, in a series of disputes with Zeonbud in debt collection for supplied telecommunication services. The list of clients includes LetterOne Group, Wargaming Group Limited, Informatsiine merezhyvo, Lattelecom, Niel Natural Resources, Center of System Integration. Milkhail Ilyashev is the main figure.

Konnov & Sozanovsky has a legacy of a reputation established in film production, media and entertainment. Most recently the firm supported restructuring the business of an international media group, establishing four companies to operate in the filmmaking industry, purchase of media assets in the area of filmmaking. The firm has a number of established clients among top IT companies. For example, the firm provides services to Microsoft Ukraine on issues relating to day-to-day business operations, including drafting various types of contracts and agreements, advising on corporate, labor, tax, and regulatory issues. Sergei Konnov is lead partner in media practice. Alexey Pokotylo supervises related workflow.

ADER HABER maintains its presence in the IT market with the development of its advisory offering for IT start-ups, in particular establishing foreign structures, IP, tax and day-to-day support. The team advised PANDA CLAIM, IT start-up on commission services, on incorporation and complex support of its business activity. Another highlight is advising a major Ukrainian commercial bank with international capital on legal analysis of a contract on the provision of services in the field of information technology and outsourcing services in a large M&A deal. With Tatiana Kharebava moving in-house, Aleksandra Fedotova took over leadership in this practice.

Ante Law Firm regularly advises on media issues, notably advertising and promotional activity in media. The firm is especially well regarded among aviation and pharmaceutical clients. The firm’s lawyers support all media activities of Qatar Airways, including launch of the Ukrainian version of the web-site and all types of advertising; acted for Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine on advertising of pharmaceuticals. The major highlight is advising the Ukrainian office of the Council of Europe on its media, access to information and reinforcing public broadcasting system in Ukraine projects. Kateryna Ishchenko is the key contact.

Lviv-based law firm Bachynskyy & Partners is focused on advising IT companies on a constant basis. In 2018 the firm’s work became more internationalized. The practice portfolio includes corporate and tax structuring of IT business, contractual matters, trademark prosecution, copyright, as well as GDPR compliance and e-commerce. Recent client wins include Geekapps, Keenethics, Relevant Software. Nataliia Vasylechko is the practice head.

The Kyiv office of Dentons is traditionally vivid in transactions, and expanded its advisory in fintech regulatory and related finance issues. The firm advised on complex IP and technology issues, cloud technology services, software supply and development contracts, e-commerce, e-money regulations. The firm advises BlaBlaCar, the world’s largest long-distance ride-sharing community, in connection with activity on the Ukrainian market; provides continuous legal support to Bojer Innovativ Ingeniør Rådgivning (BIIR) on various IP and IT licensing issues in Ukraine; advising a European software company on Ukrainian law matters in connection with the sale of shares to global provider of OSS/BSS software products solutions and services, and with subsequent transfer of shares in a Ukrainian subsidiary. The projects are led by two partners, Oleg Batyuk and Natalia Selyakova.

Eterna Law advises on corporate and tax, shareholder disputes, arbitration and enforcement of decisions, employment and relocation. Last year was marked by advising companies on ICO matters and crypto currencies. The firm maintains its popularity among private investors on structuring the purchase of IT and related businesses, access to Ukrainian and Kazakh markets. The practice team changed lead partners in 2018. The majority of projects were led by Maksym Uslystyi and Aleksandr Lugovskyi.

As a part of the firm’s wider TMT practice, Kinstellar has a solid sectoral following and private equity funds in Ukraine. Its Kyiv office is enlisted for advising on data management and privacy, general and sector-specific regulatory and compliance, corporate and M&A. Banking and finance counsel Andriy Nikiforov is the practice head.

In 2018 Law Offices of OMP rapidly developed its presence in the IT sector. The firm advised Media Service AA on development and implementation of software platform Accemedin for training doctors; acted for investors at all stages of the creation, development, launch and operation of the platform LIKI24 — a resource for the search and delivery of drugs. Mykola Orlov and Igor Ogorodniychuk are the lead partners.

Sokolovskyi & Partners tackled its IT/IP related offering past year. The firm’s expertise includes software development contracts, SaaS (software as a service) agreements, advising the introduction of IT products in the commercial activity of clients. New services offered by the practice team include supporting IT start-ups that use blockchain technology and IT energy projects. The firm is also known for supporting legal tech projects. Ihor Shevchenko, counsel, is the main contact.

Synergy IP Law Agency is a boutique firm with extensive offering in intellectual property and tax. The agency has a steady workflow of assignments from the sector. Most recently the team of Anna Kravchuk handled legal support provided to Konica Minolta Ukraine on tax issues for operations with software, drafting and support of contracts on software; advised Innover Ukraine on a contract regarding software and cloud services supply. In 2018 the firm received instructions from client Rozetka Limited, including monitoring and termination of infringements of client’s intellectual property rights on the Internet.