The development of the dispute resolution practice in Ukraine has been contingent on many factors, from socio-economic factors influencing the causes of disputes to narrow legal factors, which determine the tools for resolving disputes.

    Thus, although the trend of mass withdrawal of domestic banks from the market is now exhausted (just one bank in 2018 as opposed to 95 banks that were found insolvent in the previous 4 years), this sphere remains the main generator of court disputes in the country. This is due, in particular, to the sale of the most valuable NPLs belonging to insolvent banks, the greater aggressiveness and effectiveness of new NPL owners (at least in comparison with the state, as represented by the state-run Deposit Guarantee Fund) in relation to debtors and guarantors. We also should not forget about the former shareholders of such banks who continue to fight for their return to the market.

    In addition, an important factor in the formation of changes in the dispute resolution practice is the attempts by MPs to improve the regulation of spheres susceptible to the emergence of legal disputes, particularly corporate, credit and financial relations, bankruptcy and insolvency, creditor protection, anti-corruption, recovery of stolen assets and management thereof, etc.

    The main influence on the industry has undoubtedly been exerted by the judicial reform process, in particular the further refurbishment of the judiciary corps, introduction of the monopoly of attorneys for representation in courts of all instances, and the ensuring of real possibilities for alternative dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation.

    The dispute resolution practice is still the most competitive, profitable and most demanded on the Ukrainian domestic market. Talking of the make-up of client demand, it is worth noting two important trends. The first trend is the short-term mass demand by business for attorneys (often unrelated to their professional level), which is due on the one hand to the new requirement of the law that a court case must be argued exclusively by an attorney and, on the other, the absence of in-house attorneys of many enterprises.

    The other trend, a long-term one, is the request by a large client for a complex litigation (“superlitigation”), which combines highly-qualified expertise not only in the field of civil, economic and administrative proceedings, but also in the field of criminal defense, asset tracing, bankruptcy, cross-border litigation, arbitration, mediation. In other words, in all areas of a potential solution to a client’s legal problem where he or she asks for professional protection.

    Indeed, when addressing a lawyer, the client often does not fully understand the essence of the problem, not to mention the best choice for solving it. In this case, super litigation firms, unlike narrowly-specialized boutiques, are not tempted at all to impose only one way to resolve the issue, serving as a genuine “one-stop shop” for a comprehensive solution of a client’s numerous legal problems.

    I am convinced that this trend will be dominant for confirmation of the leadership in the dispute resolution practice on the Ukrainian legal market, and it is this trend that determines our company’s development strategy.

  • Roman MARCHENKO|Ilyashev & Partners

    Both 2018 and 2019 have seen an increasing number of high-value litigations involving parties from Ukraine. Along with other common law jurisdictions, London remains an extremely popular forum for Ukrainian litigants, not least because of its powerful instruments that enable the freezing of assets around the world and to obtain other types of interim relief. In their turn, Ukrainian businesses and high-net-worth individuals are now among the top foreign litigants appearing before London commercial courts in the number of court cases. Notably, the majority of such litigations involve allegations of fraud.

    While general commercial and shareholders disputes remain popular among Ukrainian parties, some of the biggest arbitrations and litigations in terms of their monetary value come from the banking and energy sectors, where the sums being disputed have reached several billion US dollars. As many of these disputes involve state-owned companies and other major players on the Ukrainian market, their outcome will inevitably have a significant impact on the relevant industry sectors.

    Unlike domestic litigations, cross-border disputes require an involvement of lawyers from different jurisdictions which are often very different from each other. Some Ukrainian law firms have, in addition to their domestic litigation teams, well-developed international dispute resolution practices which are formed from English-speaking lawyers with substantial international background, including both civil and common law experience. This allows Ukrainian law firms to work effectively in conjunction with foreign lawyers in multijurisdictional disputes when representing Ukrainian parties. Having a team of lawyers with an international background also helps Ukrainian law firms to understand the needs of foreign clients who require legal assistance in Ukraine. For example, when obtaining security or disclosure orders in support of international arbitrations, or in the process of recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards or court judgments.

    In addition, Ukrainian lawyers are often instructed as experts on issues relating to Ukrainian law for the purposes of foreign court proceedings or international arbitrations.

    Ukraine’s market is gradually becoming more open to international business, which is a factor that is likely to have an impact on the number of cross-border disputes involving a Ukrainian element in coming years.

With its longevity on the market Ilyashev & Partners is one of the largest and most recognized Ukrainian law firms for domestic and cross-border dispute resolution. Over the last couple of years the firm has developed its own network of offices, expanding its presence in other jurisdictions and recording new victories for clients. The firm is preferred by major banks and financial companies, energy, industrial heavyweights, telecommumication majors, real estate and developers, agrarian, food and beverages, FMCG companies. Among work highlights of note are representing the interests of Agrein Group in a corporate dispute between the management of the group and its shareholder for a total amount of USD 200 million, including the protection of a group official in criminal proceedings for fraud; representing the interests of Poltava Mining and Processing Plant (­Ferrexpo AG) in a USD 145 million lawsuit against Bank Finance and Credit; representation of the Creative Group in arbitration and litigation (High Court of England and Wales, in two LCIA arbitrations, according to ICC rules in Munich, in the economic courts of Ukraine and Cyprus, courts of general jurisdiction) with an international consortium of banks managed by Unicredit Bank regarding the recovery of loans from group companies. The firm’s clients include BTA Bank, JKX Oil & Gas Plc, State Enterprise Antonov, PZU, Group DF, COFCO, Reikartz Hotels & Resorts, ISTIL Management, Johnson & Johnson, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Megapoliszhilstroy (one of the investors in the Respublika trade and entertainment center), Inter TV Channel. Both partners Mikhail Ilyashev and Roman Marchenko spent many years in the litigation practice, and receive strong market endorsements for strategic guidance on litigation in high stake cases.

Ukrainian law firm EQUITY confirms its position among top domestic litigation teams for debt recovery and insolvency matters, corporate and property rights disputes, tax litigation. The dedicated practice benefits from the tremendous growth of the firm’s white-collar crime practice team, which regularly acts on comprehensive cases involving criminal proceedings. Given challenging and complex cases in work, over the last couple of years the team also increased its involvement in cross-border matters. The firm has historically acted on the side of borrowers against major banks, and has an exceptionally strong track record of litigation work within bankruptcies. The firm continued to represent in numerous litigation proceedings the interests of Azovmash group of companies in the course of restructuring of debts owed to 10 major creditor banks. The firm acted as a legal counsel to Helen ­Marlen Group in more than 10 disputes related to the settlement of debt obligations to a creditor under credit and collateral agreements. Among other highlights is recent success in protecting the interests of the corporate non-state pension fund of the National Bank of Ukraine in a dispute to contest the validity of a mortgage agreement, whereunder the fund was given security interest in real estate worth UAH 42 million to secure performance of obligations under registered bonds. Other clients include UKRINCOM, Stockman Interhold (businessman Andrey Adamovsky), Ferrexpo AG, AIS Corporation, etc. Its partners are directly involved in representation in courts. Oleg ­Malinevskiy is a vivid litigator with a focus on banking and insolvency disputes. Serhiy Chuyev customarily represents clients in administrative disputes. Vyacheslav Krahlevych acts on real estate and property rights disputes and consistently increases his profile in economic crimes. Viktor Barsuk is the main strategist.

Over the past year, LCF Law Group has strengthened its position as a recognized litigation heavyweight, expanding volumes of work and capacities. The firm stands out primarily for its prominent banking clientele, and continued to diversify its client portfolio with significant clients from the agrarian, food, transportation and shipbuilding, energy, pharmaceuticals, retail and FMCG sectors. The team’s core strength is representation in debt recovery disputes, where the group acts on the side of both lenders and borrowers. Clients include banks and companies like Alfa-Bank, Ukrsotsbank, Tascombank, Prominvestbank, Allianz Ukraine Insurance Company, Altbank, Universal Bank, BTA Bank, VS Bank, AVK Confectionery Company, Fozzy Group, Mriya Agro Holding, Bunge Ukraine, Ovostar Union, TNT Ukraine (FEDEX Group), Eridon group of companies, Ukrenergy Coal, Yuriya Farm, Kievguma, VikOil, ­Avtosoyuz. Partners Anna Ogrenchuk and Artem Stoyanov are highly-recognized litigators, who are vividly present across various domestic cases. Being especially active in insolvency representations, Olena Volyanska was promoted to partner recently. The senior team includes counsels Yulia Atamanova and Tetyana Ignatenko.

The outstanding merger of Asters and EPAP Ukraine (since October 2018) established the largest Ukrainian law firm with one of the largest litigation forces on the market. The joint team has extensive experience in both domestic and cross-border litigation, as well as other forms of dispute resolution. The firm’s caseload spans corporate and contract disputes, debt recovery, tax, regulatory, antitrust/competition disputes, copyright and intellectual property disputes. The firm demonstrated great success when it acted as local Ukrainian legal counsel for Ukraine in the USD 3 billion Eurobond dispute with Russia, where Ukraine scored an important victory in September 2018 in the English Court of Appeal. Among other work highlights is representation of Privatbank in around 80 proceedings brought before Ukrainian courts to challenge contracts associated with the refinancing of Privatbank as well as representing it in foreclosure proceedings and mortgage disputes. The client list includes, among others, the Lysychansk Oil Refinery, Quinn Properties Ukraine, EuroChem, Silkway Airlines, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. This big domestic litigation team is currently managed by partners Andriy Pozhidayev and Gleb Bialyi. The cross-border litigation practice is co-headed by the firm’s co-managing partners Oleksiy Didkovskiy and Serhii Sviriba, with key contribution of other partners — Svitlana Chepurna and Yaroslav Petrov.

The reputable Ukrainian law firm Vasil Kisil & Partners has a long-standing history in the litigation arena, with a consistently strong domestic performance and experience in the most challenging large stake cross-border disputes. The team is well-connected with international law firms and endorsed by foreign counsels during the poll. The firm represented Piraeus Bank in bankruptcy proceedings of a distressed construction company in relation to validity of a surety agreement, and a bank in debt recovery cases under loan agreements in the Supreme Court. Large scale tax litigation is one of the firm’s recognized strengths. The team represented the Ukrainian subsidiary of a leading international tobacco company, Imperial Tobacco, in a landmark dispute with the tax authorities regarding the enforcement of financial sanctions of USD 137 million imposed due to alleged violation of Ukrainian laws on licensing of the wholesale trade in tobacco products. Other important highlights include acting as Ukrainian counsel in a major dispute brought by Russian oil company Tatneft before the High Court of Justice in London against a number of defendants regarding the alleged appropriation of funds for oil transferred to the Kremenchuk oil refinery. Managing partner Andriy ­Stelmashchuk heads the litigation practice team. Oleg Kachmar is a core figure in domestic litigation. Other partners leading litigation work are Oksana Voynarovska (labor disputes); Oleg Alyoshin is at the front of cross-border litigation and international arbitration.

The full-service law firm Sayenko Kharenko possesses a well-diversified dispute resolution practice encompassing a bench of disputes: commercial, administrative, corporate, recovery of bad debts, disputes arising in the process of insolvency and debt restructuring, real estate and construction disputes, public procurement, employment, tax, financial services and insurance, international trade and compliance disputes. The team represents the interests of global corporations and leading national companies, Ukrainian and international banks. Selected names on the client list include Altcom, Azovmash Group, Kreditprombank, Kyivstar, Ostchem, OTP Bank, Philip Morris Ukraine, Power Machines, Reckitt Benckiser, Severstal-Ukraine, Swedbank, Ukrainian Insurance Group, Universal Bank. The firm also acts for a shareholder in PJSC Sumy NPO, one of the largest machine-building enterprises in Europe that manufactures equipment for oil, gas and chemical industries, appealing against around 100 decisions of the supervisory board providing consent to commit to significant transactions running to a total sum of about USD 3 billion. Another public case is representing the Ukrainian Insurance Group in the Supreme Court of Ukraine in an insurance fee recovery matter. This past year the team was involved in scaled debt recovery matters, including within insolvency proceedings. The big practice team is led by several partners. Sergey Pogrebnoy focuses on corporate security and corporate conflicts resolution. Olexander Droug is head of international arbitration and cross-border commercial litigation. Sergiy Smirnov specialises in domestic corporate, fraud and business crimes. The senior team of counsels covers significant areas of litigation work in the firm. ­Vitaly ­Odzhikovsky handles a remarkable portfolio of tax litigation workload. Oleksiy Koltok, who is co-head of the litigation practice, acts on banking and insurance, real estate and construction issues. Volodymyr Yaremko is developing his involvement in multijurisdictional disputes.

Arzinger houses one of the largest litigation teams across the network of its offices in the country and has a wealth of experience in both domestic and cross-border litigation proceedings. The firm’s broad-based expertise includes a huge variety of disputes: tax, commercial, debt collection, corporate, IP, civil, criminal, administrative, labor and competition disputes. The team is highly preferred by clients from the pharmaceutical, agrarian, retail and FMCG, ­energy, real estate, banking sectors. It is noteworthy that the branches in Lviv and Odesa are very active in administrative disputes as well as debt recovery, shareholder conflicts, customs matters. In particular, the team represented ADM Trading Ukraine, a Ukrainian subsidiary of a large international agricultural holding, in a complex commercial dispute before the Supreme Court. Arzinger represented METRO Cash & Carry Ukraine in litigation proceedings against the State Ecological Inspection of Ukraine; acted for the EBRD in insolvency court proceedings on debt collection against a borrower, a Ukrainian pharmaceutical company, arising out of a loan agreement governed by English Law. Partners ­Markian Malskyy1 and Kateryna ­Gupalo are core practitioners. Sergii Shkliar has returned to the team to the post of founding partner. He served as Deputy Minister of Justice of Ukraine on Executive Service matters from 2015 to 2018.

INTEGRITES has strengthened its dispute resolution practice, both domestic and cross-border, with an inflow of high-profile instructions and competition of the dedicated practice team. The client portfolio spans banks and financial services, automotive, aviation, energy, real estate, retail, tax, agriculture, pharmaceutical sectors. The work highlights include representing Kyiv-Atlantic Group in a debt recovery case; complex representation of the largest creditor in Westa’s bankruptcy proceedings which required simultaneous assistance regarding a conflict of interests in respect of 50 other creditors. The firm has a confident standing in multijurisdictional disputes across most of the countries where Ukrainian businesses have a presence. The notable area of experience is shareholder disputes, involving numerous jurisdictions. Throughout 2018, the team acted for the Central Bank of Iceland in several cross-border cases, as well as within Ukrainian civil litigation in respect of a shareholding in Ukrainian companies owning a pharmacy chain in Western Ukraine. In 2018 INTEGRITES merged with the Ukrainian litigation-focused firm Pravochyn. Oleksandr Onishchenko, managing partner of Pravochyn, became partner and domestic litigation practice head of the amalgamated team. The cross-border litigation practice is headed by Dmytro Marchukov, partner, with the important role of counsel held by Serhii Uvarov. Their tandem is known for a good track record in shareholder disputes and asset tracing and recovery matters.

Ukrainian law firm EVERLEGAL rapidly gained its market niche and established a network for court representation in different geographical regions of the country. The dynamic team developed a well-diversified litigation practice centered on complex banking, tax and corporate matters, as well as commercial and employment disputes. The anchor is debt collection, where the firm currently advises the National Bank of Ukraine, Ukrsotsbank, Alfa-Bank and Ukrsibbank (BNP Paribas Group) in disputes with their debtors. Furthermore, the team acted in high-stake loan acceleration cases representing a major Ukrainian car dealer, a large Ukrainian agricultural holding and one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Ukraine. The team is experienced in real estate and land disputes, including defense against illegal and hostile actions. For example, the firm represents the interests of Czech agroholding Resilient A.S. in a complex dispute regarding the restoration of the rights to lease 800 hectares of land illegally taken from the client as a result of raider attacks. Andriy Porayko heads domestic litigation, spearheading the development and growth of the practice together with Oleksandr Ruzhytskiy. Vsevolod Volkov, who joined this past year as a partner (previously — INTEGRITES) began to develop international arbitration and cross-border litigation in the firm.

ADER HABER demonstrates growing dynamics of its dispute resolution practice spanning commercial litigation, tax and customs disputes, debt recovery, insurance and employment disputes. This past year the team provided system legal support for 15 disputes in court proceedings connected with recovery of debt to a Ukrainian bank within the confines of representing the interests of a major Ukrainian retail and FMCG network; acted for a Ukrainian bank with foreign investments on debt recovery on credit obligations from a state enterprise. The firm handled representation of the interests of the State Enterprise Production Association of the Southern ­Machine Building Plant. A.M. Makarova (TM Yuzhmash), the world’s largest producer of rocket and space technology, in the process of debt restructuring under an enforcement procedure. The team is constantly preferred by banks, automotive, agribusiness, retail and FMCG, real estate, TMT sectors. Selected client names include British American Tobacco, Vodafone, Alfa-Bank, ­Ukrsotsbank, Credit Agricole Bank, Piraeus Bank, Raiffeisen Bank Aval, VTB Bank, Sberbank, Crystalbank, Industrialbank, Deposit Guarantee Fund, UKRAVTO Corporation, WOG, Fudmerezha (TM Velyka Kyshenya), Kovalska Industrial Construction Group, Altis Holding, AXA Insurance. The firm’s managing partner, Yuriy Petrenko, heads the practice and spent many years in domestic litigation. The practice is co-headed by counsel Andrii Hvozdetskyi. Other partners are responsible for their specific areas of focus. In particular, Aleksandra Fedotova handles real estate and land disputes; Tatiana Daniltseva heads the insurance and tax disputes team. Counsel Tetyana Ivanovych represents clients in labor and family disputes. The firm has a standalone enforcement proceedings practice headed by counsel Aleksei Solomko. In March 2018, with the arrival of Oleksandr Udovychenko, a retired judge of the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine, the firm completely formed the area of bankruptcy and financial restructuring.

In 2018 AEQUO bolstered its dispute resolution practice with strategic hires and promotions, and substantially enhanced its capacity and accumulated expertise in the banking and financial sector, agribusiness and energy disputes, corporate disputes, disputes with government authorities. ­Recent landmark matters include representing Pilot Group’s TV production companies in a multi-million debt collection dispute; representing a Cypriot company managed by receivers appointed by the London Commercial Court of English High Court of Justice for the worldwide assets of Mukhtar Ablyazov (a Kazakh tycoon and former chairman of BTA Bank) in court proceedings in Ukraine in a dispute with Latan Corporation Ltd and SPCHC Max-Well LLC regarding invalidation of loan agreements and recovery of debts worth over USD 110 million. It is noteworthy that the team won a lawsuit at the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal representing a leading British airline against the State Aviation Service to declare illegal and invalidate resolutions on imposition of fines for violations in the field of civil aviation. A group of lawyers led by counsel Olena Pertsova (arrived from ­Pavlenko Legal Group) enhanced the practice team. Oleksandr Mamunya, partner and head of dispute resolution, has a remarkable portfolio of IP litigations. Pavlo Byelousov, who was promoted to partner, heads the international arbitration and cross-border litigation practice with a special focus on investment, commercial and energy-related disputes. Yevgen Levitskyi and Myroslava Savchuk were promoted to counsels.

Alekseev, Boyarchukov and Partners is known as an insolvency-focused firm that possesses substantial experience of accompanying disputes in the banking sector related to debt collection and mortgages. Clients include Alfa-Bank, Ukrsotsbank, Sberbank, Prominvestbank, numerous companies and individuals. Sergey Boyarchukov is the lead partner.

ANTIKA Law Firm has a well-versed litigation practice team that acts regularly in comprehensive commercial disputes, including contractual breach, debt collection, matters of consumer rights protection. The firm is noted for good expertise on subsoil use and its legacy in energy disputes. In 2018 ANTIKA represented Nasosenergomash Sumy Pump and Power Engineering Works in the process of appeal against the cancellation of a tax assessment notice. The team acted for KUPOL, a public organization of veterans and combatants, in court proceedings on the invalidation of a lease on military real estate concluded between the NGO and the Kyiv Apartment Operations Department of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Long-standing client AWT Bavaria is represented in a range of disputes. The firm’s litigation practice is managed by partner Andrey Kuznetsov. Maxim Korchagin and Alexandra Fedorenko are cited as key individuals.

The litigation practice in Ario Law Firm is devoted in the main to representation in bankruptcy proceedings, as well as business protection, debt recovery and property disputes. The litigation team is supported by the firm’s criminal practice, acting on comprehensive cases involving parallel criminal proceedings. The team recently acted for Avtodom LLC (represented by the liquidator) in a dispute related to international recovery of assets on a mortgage loan, issued to the former management for the construction of real estate. The team also defended the interests of the Lvivteploenergo LPC before Supreme Court in a dispute with State Enterprise Energorynok regarding recovery of an advance payment for the supply of electricity. The practice is led by Julian Khorunzhiy, senior partner, and supported by counsels Volodymyr Kovalenko, Kyrylo Yukhno and Andriy Fylyk.

With the merger of AVELLUM and AGA Partners the amalgamated dispute resolution practice became well-diversified and added certain niche services. During the research period the firm handled corporate disputes, insolvency, debt recovery, commercial, trade and commodities, tax and family disputes. General commercial and tax is the core focus of its domestic court matters. Another area of strength is representing international and local clients on recovery of debt and enforcement of collateral in Ukraine. Among highlights of note are representing a leading global investment fund as owners of the majority of notes issued by Mriya Agro Holding in the insolvency proceedings regarding Mriya Group companies, as well as representing the Ukrainian subsidiary of Eurohold Bulgaria Plc before Ukrainian courts in a set of corporate, employment, and administrative litigations initiated by its former director and minority shareholder. Vadim Medvedev, tax partner, is in charge of tax disputes. Partners Aminat Suleymanova and Iryna Moroz are known for their wealth of expertise in family dispute resolution, while Ivan Kasynyuk is noted for an unrivalled track record in trade and commodities disputes.

AVER LEX, market leading criminal defense attorneys at law, is increasingly active in comprehensive cases with commercial litigation and parallel criminal proceedings. The firm has a standalone business protection practice accumulating expertise from the litigation and white-collar crime teams. The team’s portfolio encompasses asset tracing and debt recovery litigation cases, proceedings regarding sanctions appeal, corporate conflicts, and protection of professional rights, reputation and dignity. Olha Prosyanyuk, managing partner, is at the forefront of the most challenging cases.

Baker McKenzie is regularly involved in complicated disputes, both in Ukraine and around the world, including handling complex cross-border proceedings. The recent litigation portfolio includes disputes in relation to joint activity, international sale and purchase of goods and services, purchase and sale of corporate rights and real estate assets, investment and protection from raider attacks, real estate and aircraft lease, machinery and equipment leasing, credit and mortgage, tax and customs, intellectual property and consumer rights protection, bankruptcy and other related matters. The office is constantly enlisted for representation by international banking and financial services institutions, agribusiness, energy sectors. The Kyiv-based dispute resolution practice group is headed by Ihor Siusel, partner.

Dynasty Law Firm, which operates via two offices in Kyiv and Dnipro, traditionally has an extensive litigation portfolio. In 2018 the team was highly active in debt recovery and corporate disputes, countering debtor sabotage as well as restructuring and protection of debtors, enforcement proceedings and economic crime. The litigation practice is managed by partners Denys Myrgorodskiy, Yevheniy Smiyuha and Denys Kytsenko. Partners Olesia Artem, Antonina Selivanova, Vyacheslav Kokhlyakov and Tamila Petrenko are active in court proceedings.

In 2018, ENGARDE participated in several litigation cases related to bankruptcy, contract invalidation, handled representations in Ukrainian courts on the recognition of foreign judgments. Senior partner Andriy Vyshnevsky is the key contact.

Domestic law firm ESQUIRES expands its client roster for representation in commercial disputes, and in parallel equipped its practice team with new practitioners. Among the major projects is representing the Trade and Logistic Center Arctic in numerous disputes, including a case on voiding a mortgage contract with a state bank as well as in bankruptcy proceedings. The major clients in 2018 were Solum, real estate market operator and manager, Piraeus Bank S.A. Group; Dialog Diagnostics, distributor of Roche Diagnostics GmbH (Germany), Sebia (France), Nikon (Japan) and Becton Dickinson (USA); Slavyanka Group; ICU Group. Partner Oleksandr Shkelebey is in charge of litigation.

Eterna Law has a wide caseload that recently has been substantially devoted to administrative and civil cases. The firm has a traditionally well-established following of agrarian and trading companies that seek representation in debt collection on the basis of supply contracts. Сorporate and post-M&A disputes, including cross-border litigation, make up notable expertise provided by the firm. Oleh Beketov, partner and head of international litigation department, acted as an expert on issues of Ukrainian legislation, in the litigation BTA Bank vs. Vanguard Capital Partners Ltd, Sangelo Management Ltd, Artam Developers Ltd, which was considered by the High Court of Justice in London. The multimillion USD dispute concerned claims in relation to Kyiv land plots and the parties referred to the norms of Ukrainian legislation. Aleksandr Lugovskiy, who was promoted to partner, is another key figure in this practice.

EVRIS Law Firm represents the interests of banks, industrial groups, agricultural and energy companies in Ukraine. The firm acts for both borrowers and lenders, but its core strength is enforcement proceedings in debt collections and debt recovery disputes. In 2018 the team represented Bank Credit Dnipro in five debt collection disputes, including recognition of Ukrainian courts decisions on the territory of Cyprus and conducting investigations on existing assets of debtor, arresting accounts and properties of debtor on Cyprus. The firm also supported the Oranta Insurance Company in enforcement proceedings. Ihor Kravtsov, managing partner, heads the dispute resolution practice.

GOLAW represents its clients in dispute resolution and litigation in general, economic and administrative courts, along with support for international commercial disputes. The team has expertise in working with both Ukrainian and international business companies. The firm is known for its very well-established inflow tax litigation and employment disputes. In addition, the team expands the scope of debt recovery work, most recently representing a bank in several disputes with a dishonest debtor, a Ukrainian leading glass factory. Selected clients of the firm include Expobank a.s, Galicia Distillery, Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation (EGAP), Vortex Group (Credit 365), Gemofram, Medkom Marketing and sales, Officials of Bogomolets National University, Marka Ukraine, GAP Ukraine, Zara Ukraine. Practice head Kateryna Manoylenko has been promoted to partner as well as head of the firm’s tax practice Iryna Kalnytska. Partners Valentyn Gvozdiy and Sergiy Oberkovych remain central figures in the firm.

Gramatskiy & Partners’ dispute resolution practice displayed a significant increase in 2018. The lion’s share of its portfolio included cases against banks and financial institutions, tax authorities, land, labor, credit and mortgage disputes, as well as debt recovery. The team recently protected the right of the legal ownership of Garden Bay Resort (Capital Group) to a land plot (30 hectares on the shore of the ­Dnipro River) vs. the claim of the Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv Region; represented Plant Quant PSJC in a dispute versus the majority shareholder and the National Securities and Stock Market Commission regarding recognition of decision to dematerialize shares as illegal and issue a duplicate of a certificate on the of issue of shares. Andrii Trembich is the leader of the 18-lawyer strong team. Ernest Gramatskiy, managing partner, accompanies the most sophisticated cases.

ILF Law Firm’s litigation practice portfolio in 2018 included asset protection (land and real estate, business reputation, deposits in liquidated banks, bad debts), business protection in Ukraine and at the European Court of Human Rights. A separate area of recent growth concerned corporate disputes between shareholders, which often arise around the key assets of the firm’s corporate clients. Long-standing client BASF enlisted the litigation team to run a variety of matters, among others, debt and damages recovery, employment litigation. Given ILF’s deep expertise in the healthcare sector, the firm rapidly expands it caseload of protecting the rights of patients in disputes with clinics and/or doctors. Partner Olexiy Kharytonov is deeply involved in domestic litigation, and enjoys good professional reputation on the market.

Kinstellar’s dispute resolution team reaffirmed its market standing for handling cross-border and domestic litigation and arbitration. The firm has a strong following of Ukrainian businesses and high net worth individuals, often acting as a lead counsel in cross-border mandates. The Kyiv team handled corporate litigation, post-M&A and shareholders disputes, debt collection, bankruptcy and insolvency litigation. In 2018 Kinstellar continued to act for the former investor in Sky Mall on a major shareholder multijurisdictional dispute that involves around 30 sets of litigation proceedings. The team represented Mr. Andrey Adamovskiy in a major multijurisdictional shareholders dispute concerning the treatment and division of the assets and liabilities of Oledo Group. Another notable case was advising ­Lifecell, one of the largest mobile ­operators in Ukraine on challenging the decision of the Ukrainian competition authority on the imposition of multimillion fines for misleading advertising. Selected public clients include Continium Group, Colliers International, East West Group, and majority shareholders in Nemiroff Vodka Limited. Kostiantyn Likarchuk, Kyiv managing partner and the head of the dispute resolution practice firm-wide, is widely known for his wealth of cross-border litigation experience. Lyudmyla Volkova, ex-judge, who joined the firm last year, focuses on domestic litigation proceedings, administrative law matters and arbitration cases. Counsel Mykyta Nota is present in high-profile cross-border litigations.

L.I.Group specializes in bankruptcy, debt recovery litigation and business security. The team, as led by Mykola Kovalchuk and Artur Megeria, senior partners, represents the interests of Ukraine’s largest banks in terms of debt collection, foreclosure of mortgages, recognition of property rights and protects the interests of banks from recognizing credit and mortgage contracts as invalid.

In 2018 Lexwell & Partners demonstrated a prominent track record in domestic disputes. The firm recently represented State Oil in disputes over the protection of corporate rights of gas station owners and advised Mykolaivcement on a number of disputes initiated by the minority shareholder of the company and related to the mandatory redemption of its shares. ArcelorMittal is another important client instructing the firm. The team is led by Andriy Kolupaev.

Dynamic Ukrainian brand MITRAX attorneys at law represents a wide range of services related to dispute resolution and business protection. The strong sides of the firm are anti-raiding litigation measures and settlement of family disputes. Recent landmark matters include supporting a non-resident company in debt collection within the bankruptcy proceeding of a dishonest debtor; protection of Tagus Investments OU in a debt collection case under a commission agreement, as well as giving support on issuing executive orders for compulsory execution of arbitration court decisions. Managing partner Kyrylo Fesyk leads litigation practice; partner Dmytro Syrko is responsible for business protection; partner Oleh Golubnychyi handles family disputes.

The MORIS GROUP’s dispute resolution department showcased rapid expansion of its presence across sectors and complex disputes involving toxic assets. The firm’s client portfolio is equally well-represented by both domestic and international companies, banks and other financial institutions, as well as trading and FMCG companies, including Hyundai, Lukoil, the Football Federation of Ukraine, Deposit Guarantee Fund, State Concern ­UkrOboronProm, State Enterprise ­Antonov, Ukrlandfarming (Avangardco) and Persha Pryvatna Brovarnia. The team is the leading counsel of the Deposit Guarantee Fund (DGF), supporting fully half of the largest banks engaged in temporary administration or liquidation. The recent work highlight is providing full legal support to the procedure of foreclosure of a flagship mortgage (a stadium) in an extrajudicial procedure by recognizing the property rights of PJSC IMEXBANK. The team also handled, on behalf of DGF, representation of Delta Bank in a dispute with NPP Sirius; provided legal support to Bank Khreschatyk, representing a client in a dispute with Mona LLC to collect a mortgage debt owed by the borrower and its guarantors. Partner Andriy Savchuk heads the litigation practice.

In 2018, the litigation-focused domestic law firm Pavlenko Legal Group defended the interests of main players in the telecommunications and media, retail, real estate, gas, oil, agricultural and other markets. A significant part of caseload included banking disputes on debt recovery, business protection, disputes with government authorities. In particular, the team defended the interests of OTP Bank in tax disputes; represented Metronom LLC in a dispute over the purchase of elite real estate from a bank; represented the interests of AIS Group of companies in a number of legal proceedings related to the return of confiscated property. Oleksandra Sasina (Pavlenko) and Vitaliy Burdak are responsible partners.

Poberezhnyuk & Partners law group continues to develop its domestic litigation practice, acting on various disputes regarding collection of arrears, inflationary losses and penal sanctions under supply agreements as well as tax-related trials. Larysa Poberezhnyuk has solid experience as a litigator. Dmitriy Troekurov and Sergii Avramenko are the core figures in this team.

VB PARTNERS is a domestic ­boutique specializing in dispute resolution and white-collar crime. The commercial litigation focus comprises debt collection, banking, tax and customs, regulatory and shareholders disputes. Notably, the firm is constantly preferred by Ukrainian banks and their shareholders. In particular, the team supported Commercial Bank Khreshchatyk in an appeal against the decision as taken by the National Bank of Ukraine on recognizing the bank insolvent. This past year the firm extended its involvement in cross-border proceedings. Another highlight of note is protection of Mykolaiv ­Alumina Plant in court proceedings brought by the prosecutor to terminate the lease agreement for state property. Among other clients, the firm represents Commercial Bank Premium, shareholders in Delta Bank Ukraine, International Clinic for Rehabilitation. All three partners on board, namely Denys Bugay, Volodymyr Vashchenko and Oleksandr Lukianenko are directly involved in litigation practice.

The litigation practice of Absolute Law Agency is predominantly centered on debt recovery disputes. In particular, the firm represented the interests of VTB Bank in a pool of disputes with Elektrostal LLC (and affiliated companies) for the recovery of debts under loan agreements. Oleksandr Bondarchuk, managing partner, and Oleksandr Hladii, director, are the main contacts.

Ante Law Firm has a distinctive focus on complicated litigations for its key industries practices — aviation and pharmaceuticals. In 2018 the firm successfully completed court cases for Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, ­Zdravo, DFU Agro, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways. The team stands out for its impressive track record of successful litigations in favor of airlines in cases involving claims brought by passengers and agents. This outgoing year was notable for employment litigations. A number of corporate, IP rights, competition and public procurement conflicts are also the subject of work for Ante’s litigation team that is led by attorneys Andriy Guck and Roman Storonskiy.

ARBITRADE’s litigation practice continued to represent its clients in Ukrainian courts, maintaining its practice of recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards in other jurisdictions, which started with Uzbekistan last year, and is currently going on in Hungary. The array of key cases in 2018 ranged from an ECHR application, to a competition dispute. In particular, the firm was recently instructed by the Netherlands office of Coface to act in the name of agrarian company Adama Ukraine in a dispute with its counterparties under contracts for the sale and purchase of agricultural fertilizers which had failed to pay the purchase price. It was also engaged by a Ukrainian pharmaceuticals producer, Farmkhim, in a competition dispute with Farmak. Andriy Shulga heads the practice. Pavlo Trytenichenko, managing partner, is another core practitioner.

CMS is present in Ukraine through two offices: CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. In addition to recognized strength in international arbitration, and in particular, energy disputes, the Kyiv team of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang headed by Olexander Martinenko has expertise in a variety of disputes encompassing tax disputes, product liability as well as cross-border disputes. The team of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, as led by partners Maria Orlyk and Anna Pogrebna, has been engaged in various matters for a number of international clients in cases against Ukrainian debtors.

The Kyiv office of Dentons has a long-standing experience in cross-border and domestic commercial litigation, including commercial real estate and product liability disputes, local and cross-border IP litigation and also a successful track record in local tax and customs disputes. In 2018 the team represented Bojer Innovativ ­Ingenior Radgivning, an engineering consulting company from Denmark, on its appeal against a lower court judgment regarding a raid of its property in Odesa. The team also advised a multinational automotive company in court proceedings regarding vindication of the property from illegal possession against conditions of leasing agreements; acted for leading companies for asset-based financing solutions in Europe on restructurings and recovery matters, developing recovery and litigation strategy regarding a multi-million loan agreement with a Ukrainian company in FMCG sector. Managing partner Oleg Batyuk is the key contact.

The Kyiv office of DLA Piper is rapidly expanding its dispute resolution practice. Being part of the international heavyweight with sound global and local brand names in the client list, the team is enlisted for complex multi-faceted disputes, mainly cross-border in nature, often in relation to parallel litigation and arbitration proceedings. Among disclosable highlights is representation of Swissport in a series of landmark litigation proceedings in Ukraine brought by a client’s former lawyers, when all five claims were duly dismissed by various courts, including the Supreme Court in one case, in full. The team also represented Swissport in a claim lodged against Ukraine International Airlines, arising out of an earlier corporate dispute between the companies. This past year the litigation team also acted on complex reputation-critical cases, protection of its property rights, debt collection and defamation proceedings. The team currently represents PwC Ukraine in a dispute with the National Bank of Ukraine in Ukrainian courts. Partner Olga Vorozhbyt heads the firm’s litigation and regulatory practice.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar represents clients in the aviation industry of Ukraine. In particular, the firm represented Ukraine International Airlines in 3 lawsuits against Lviv Airport and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, as well as in number of disputes with the Cabinet of Ministers and Aviation Service in connection with recovery of state aviation charges. Oleg Bondar, managing partner, is the practice head.

EUCON Legal Group is known primarily for accompanying sophisticated high-stake tax disputes. Another focus of the firm is corporate as well as labor disputes, debt collection, disputes over the illegal use of trademarks, contractual and property rights matters. In 2018 the firm was especially active in shareholder disputes in agribusiness. The firm represents clients in courts of all instances of Ukraine and Poland, including procedures for pre-trial dispute resolution and mediation, and enforcement of court decisions in both jurisdictions. Managing partner Yarolav Romanchuk and partner Yevhen Petrenko are the core contacts in litigation issues. Tetiana Samsina, who was in charge of commerical litigation, left the partnership this past year.

Gestors Attorneys Association handled representation of PJSC of Gas Supplying and Gasification Donetskoblgaz in court proceedings in a lawsuit brought by the Mayor of Kramatorsk, Donetsk Region. Other significant clients are PJSC Chornomornaftogaz and Ukrainian Media Holding (UMH). Andriy Tsvyetkov and Vitalii Makhinchuk are the main figures.

In 2018, Grischenko & Partners defended the interests of a subsidiary of a foreign manufacturer of heating equipment in disputes with counterparties regarding debt collection. Among cross-border disputes the case of Tatneft, which is considered in the High Court of Justice in London, should be noted. Partner Sergei Voitovich is a renowned international arbitration practitioner and Ukrainian law expert.

One of the most important areas of Jurvneshservice practices is representation and protection of clients’ interests in Ukrainian commercial, civil and administrative courts. In 2018 the firm represented AtlasJet Ukraine in a dispute with the State Aviation Service of Ukraine as to rights to operate an international route. Gennadii Tsirat and Dmytro Salatiuk represented Datcha Schteingoltsa (Ukraine) in Crimean courts as to repossession of real estate.

In addition to a remarkable tax litigation reputation, a considerable part of KM Partners dispute resolution practice is commercial disputes, led by partner Maxim Oleksiyuk. This practice includes disputes related to supply, lease and service relations, as well as real estate, land and corporate issues. The firm regularly represents clients in disputes against supervisory authorities in architectural control, firefighting, ecology, antitrust and consumer rights protection. The firm has a good standing in labor disputes, as led by partner Alexander Shemiatkin. The lead partners on tax litigation are Alexander Minin, Alexander Shemiatkin and Elena Bukuyeva. Dispute resolutions on transfer pricing and customs issues are led by Ivan Shynkarenko.

Konnov & Sozanovsky’s team, as led by partner Alexey Pokotylo, successfully defended the interests of a sociologist and expert of the Public Security Fund. The court found groundless and dismissed the plaintiff’s claims against the sociologist for protection of honor, dignity and business reputation. The team also successfully represented the clients’ interests in a court dispute with PJSC Kyivoblenergo claiming for settlement of “green tariff” debt and handled numerous consumer disputes.

In addition to the increasing track record in tax litigation, KPMG Law enhances its portfolio of commercial and corporate disputes. The legal team represents ­CTPark Lviv LLC, the Ukrainian subsidiary enterprise of CTP group, European leader in industrial park management, in a complicated land dispute protecting a client’s ownership right from arbitrary interference and providing legal support in contemplated construction of an industrial park. Yuriy Katser, head of legal services at the firm, is in charge of this practice.

Law Offices of OMP is experienced in litigation, acting for the interests of private investment funds, pharmaceutical multinational groups, transnational grain traders, agribusinesses companies, leading retailers, IT companies and developers. Major public clients in 2018 include Agro-region Group and Dedov Agro holding. Valeriy Bitsyuk, Mykola Orlov, Igor Ogorodniychuk, Yaroslav Sverdlichenko are dedicated partners.

Legal Alliance Company represents clients in dozens of lawsuits relating to healthcare and pharmaceuticals, including the abolition of drug registration, antitrust and competition matters, intellectual property rights protection, employment, contractual disputes, claims brought by patients. In particular, the rights of a leading national pharmaceutical manufacturer were defended in a dispute with the ­Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine on the cancellation of an order to apply a special sanction — an individual licensing regime for foreign economic activity; protected the interests of the Association of Representatives of Foreign Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in an unfair competition case in the distribution of television advertising of a medicinal product. The core litigation includes ­Natalia Lavrenova and Vitalii Savchuk, and is led by partner Illya Kostin.

LEZO Attorneys at Law is a young law firm established by former in-house lawyers of a commercial bank. The firm has a sharp focus on litigation involving banks and financial companies, including debt recovery disputes, foreclosure and enforcement proceedings, disputes with banks and state regulatory authorities, employment conflicts with the participation of top managers, disputes involving substantial owners. The team is led by Nataliia Fedyk, managing partner, and associate partner Bohdan Masekha.

The core focus of Marchenko Partners (till August 2018 — Marchenko Danevych) is investor-state disputes and complex cross-border and domestic litigation. The team is preferred by multinational companies to resolve their vital regulatory and commercial disputes at the crossroads of national and international laws and regulations, government relations and public policy considerations. Marchenko Partners managed to achieve full satisfaction of investors claims in 2 out of 4 publicly-known instances of cooling-off period settlements in investor-state disputes against Ukraine, and partial satisfaction in another case. This past year saw the team act for Philip Morris and achieved the first ever formal settlement of a tax dispute in Ukraine. Partner Oleh Marchenko is head of dispute resolution. The market also praises his exceptional expertise in tax.

Peterka & Partners, the Kyiv branch of the Czech law firm, is regularly instructed for representation at Ukrainian courts in commercial and administrative disputes, including court proceedings against Ukrainian citizens regarding the collection of debts, destruction of counterfeit goods with further enforcements of court decisions. The firm recently provided representation of Reticulum Power, a leading Czech company before Ukrainian courts in connection with debt recovery in Ukraine. Taras Utiralov, partner, is the main contact in Ukraine.

Litigation is one of the main practices of Ukrainian law firm Pravovest. The firm is accredited by the state-run Deposit Guarantee Fund for the representation of interests of insolvent and liquidated banks. The DGF has instructed Pravovest for work with the assets of 7 insolvent banks. The firm has cooperated for a long period with Ukrgasbank in the search for, and restoration of, ownership rights to an illegally withdrawn mortgage on real estate objects. Gleb Segyda and Denis Shkiptan are lead partners.

SDM Partners is active in domestic litigation, representing clients before general, commercial, and administrative courts. The firm recently provided legal support to a leading Ukrainian financial group in the settlement of a dispute related to railway cars and acted to protect a cardboard factory against attacks by raiders. Yuri Rudenko became a partner and leads the firm’s practice. Partner Mykola Melnyk is another key contact.

Among the most landmark dispute resolution projects of Sergii Koziakov & Partners was advising the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in a dispute between the State of Ukraine, four Crimean Museums and the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam. The firm’s team, together with its Italian partner — law firm Legance Avvocati Associati, defends the interests of Ukraine in a civil suit against the State of Ukraine by relatives of an Italian journalist killed in Slavyansk during combat actions. Other notable cases included representing Odesa Port Plant in economic courts of Ukraine on challenging its alleged dominant position and abuse. The practice is led by Mykola Podpalov and Andriy Karnaukhov.

Domestic firm Skliarenko, Sydorenko and Partners is centered on domestic dispute resolution. In 2018 the firm continued acting for a long-standing client, a Ukrainian subsidiary of one of the largest international life insurance companies, in a dispute with the state authorities on the reimbursement of financial reserves deposited with an insolvent bank. Clients include Kreisel, part of FIXIT Trockenmörtel Holding AG, Monbat. Oleksandr Skliarenko is in charge of litigation.

The litigation practice of Sokolovskyi & Partners is focused on business disputes, i.e. commercial and distressed assets practice, land disputes, civil and labor litigation, as well as tax and customs disputes. The firm stands out particularly for the extensive workload of tax litigation and representation in the course of bankruptcy proceedings. The team has a strong mid-market following among domestic clients. The practice is led by senior partner Tetiana Lysovets.

In 2018 Suprema Lex acted to protect the interests of creditors and depositors of Ukrainian banks in legal proceedings for debt collection and application for mortgages. The team is also engaged in protecting the rights of bondholders of Privatbank in Ukrainian and foreign courts. Given the firm’s experience in the aviation sector, its lawyers represented the largest helicopter operator in a dispute with the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine in matters on refusal to extend the Air Operator’s Certificate. Victor Moroz and Roman Oksanych are key team members.

In addition to its strong tax litigation work, Vdovychen & Partners is developing its caseload in administrative and commercial cases, including appeal of investment treaties and land lease agreements, debt and damages recovery. The main clients in 2018 were Truskavetskurort, Kyivmetroproekt, L-Capital, Carmen Invest, Ukrinvestcenter, Svitlovodskpobut. Managing partner Oleg Vdovychen is the main contact.

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

Regional Counsels

Advice Group, a Lviv-based law firm, has a solid portfolio of litigation workflow spanning commercial, tax, customs and administrative disputes. The firm fulfilled representation of a carrier in a dispute with foreign insurance companies for damages; represented a manufacturer of the textile industry in a dispute with the customs and tax authority. Recent wins for clients take in Ternopilskyi Molokozavod (TM Molokiia), KarpatSmoly, Raitex, Klingspor. Anton Podilchak and Igor Sokolovskyi are the primary figures.

Litigation is the anchor practice area for Matviyiv and Partners. The firm operates in two offices: its headquarters in Lviv and the branch in Kyiv. In 2018 the team represented Corporation KRT in a dispute resolution procedure on abolition of tax notifications-decisions; acted for Lviv­oblenergo in debt collection proceedings with Naftogaz of Ukraine. Another work highlight was advising Agro LV Limited, a part of the Continental Farmers Group, in a dispute with the Prosecutor’s Office in Lviv Region over the rights to use land plots belonging to deceased citizens. The key figures are Serhiy Matviyiv, Roksolana Kostur and Iryna Pyatkovska.

During 2018 Odesa-based ANK Law Office extended its litigation practice to 20 attorneys, and became one of the largest teams in Southern Ukraine. There were several prominent trials related to maritime law in the firm’s portfolio of late. The ­client list includes Agro-Reni, Brooklyn-Kiev, SC CTO of the company HHLA, Vector Oil Trade, Novolog, Risoil Terminal. Alexander Kifak and Nadezhda Sofronkova act as lead partners. Artyom Volkov, head of the maritime practice, is active in court matters.

Dispute resolution is one of the central practices of Odesa-based Jurline. The firm is involved in corporate, tax, construction, maritime and investment disputes in state courts and in international commercial arbitration. In particular, the firm acted in a dispute on the obligation to carry out actions to conduct a new assessment of an asset — the berth in Yuzhniy port, Odesa Region. Decisions adopted by courts of first and appeal instances were taken in favor of TIS-Mindobryva terminal, while the cassation appeal was denied by the Supreme Court. As an active legal counsel in the commercial real estate market, the team is currently acting in a dispute regarding the division of corporate rights in a shopping center. The firm’s major clients include the Illichivsk Grain Terminal, Odesa Factory of Construction Machinery, TIS-Grain, TIS-Mondobryva, PALMA Group of companies, Transinvestservice, Odesa Plant Construction Machinery, Fontan Sky shopping centre. Partner Vitaliy Cherkes heads the team, which also includes partners Volodymyr Zubar, Maxim Kapelist and counsel Oleksandr Vovk.

Odesa-based law firm Legrant is experienced in representing the interests of shipowners, forwarding agents, cargo owners, shipping agents, container lines in complex shipping and contractual disputes, related insurance claims. Representative client wins of the firm include Black Sea Commodities, Vin-Orient, MetalsUkraine Corp, Vtormetexport, Inzernoexport, ­Vernon Shipping, Olimpex. The key contact is managing partner Tatyana Titarenko.

Odesa-based De-Jure Law Firm handles civil cases. In 2018 the firm acted in appeals involving a land plot and real estate ownership. The core industrial mainstay is healthcare and agribusiness. Managing partner Gregory Tripulskii is the main contact.

Odesa-based Interlegal comes highly recognized for its complex maritime practice and is known for successfully settling numerous incidents under maritime law.

Sergeyevs’ Law Office is a boutique law firm based in Odesa, specializing in practices related to maritime, including dispute resolution and mediation. The firm also has good expertise in settlement of marine insurance cases, representing the interests of individuals and business entities. Projects successfully completed in 2018 take in successful representation of a local crewing company in a tax dispute before administrative courts of all instances as well as representing the interests of crew members of some vessels in a maritime claim for unpaid wages. Yuriy Sergeyev is the main contact.

Kharkiv-based Shkrebets & Partners is among top go-to litigation firms in the region. The lion’s share of the recent portfolio consists of debt recovery proceedings, tax litigation, administrative disputes. The team is known for representing industrial, energy and municipal names such as Kharkiv ­CHP-5, Kharkivoblenergo, Zhylkomservis, Zarya. Partners Eugene Shkrebets, Andrey Syvak, Yuriy Artukh and Oleksiy Meniv lead litigation projects.

In 2018, Kharkiv-based Krolevetskyi & Partners had a vivid presence in commercial disputes, and is a popular choice for industrial clients of this region. In 2018 the firm acted on court proceedings related to foreclosure on a mortgage (shopping and office center) in favor of a group of individuals, followed by the sale of the specified property; handled a dispute on protection of a big construction company in Eastern Ukraine in a sports facility designed for holding the European Football Championship in Ukraine and Poland — Euro 2012, on recovering previously invested funds in connection with the recognition of the contract as invalid. In addition, the team accompanied the cases on restructuring of accounts payable and the resolution of a dispute on the recovery of a penalty under a contract agreement. Kyrylo Krolevetskyi is the main contact.

Kharkiv-based Sheverdin & Partners, as guided by Maksym Sheverdin, is known for its representation of mainly regional clients in courts.


International Counsels*

Dutch law firm Bergh Stoop & Sanders has been advising the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine in the dispute between the State of Ukraine, four Crimean Museums and the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam regarding   Crimean treasures that had been given on loan to the museum in Amsterdam for the “Crimea — Golden Island in the Black Sea” exhibition. The decision of the Amsterdam District Court is currently under appeal.

The UK litigation firm Candey has a dedicated Ukrainian desk, as led by London-based partner Yuri Botiuk, and provides access to international dispute resolution solutions. The core competences for Ukraine include freezing injunctions, asset tracing, fraud claims as well as expert opinions on banking matters.

The core competences of Covington & Burling are investor-state arbitration and public international law disputes, international commercial arbitration, cross-border litigation, and white-collar investigations (particularly anti-bribery investigations). Covington was engaged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine to represent Ukraine at the International Court of Justice in a case adverse to the Russian Federation alleging Russia has violated the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The firm, inter alia, acts for Oleg Mkrtchan and related entities in English High Court litigation proceedings regarding the sale of indirect interest in Industrial Union of Donbass, a Ukrainian metals company. The firm has over 15 lawyers who spend significant time working on Ukraine-related matters. The head of the group is partner Marney Cheek (Washington). Partners Craig Pollack and Gregory Lascelles (London) also noted as key figures in litigation matters.

Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services related to protection of the interests of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictions (including foreign state authorities, foreign courts, foreign financial institutions) in all respects related to the execution of the arbitral award in favor of Italia Ukraina Gas S.p.A.

The London-based litigation practice of international law firm Fieldfisher possesses a wealth of experience in Ukrainian matters — English High Court litigation as well as international commercial and investment arbitration. The firm acts for Ukrainian businessman Igor Kolomoisky in the course of setting aside the Worldwide Freezing Order over the client’s (and other defendants’) assets granted in December 2017 as a result of PrivatBank’s application to the English High Court. The firm also acts for the heirs of a prominent Ukrainian businessman in BVI proceedings to set aside an alleged discretionary trust, against the deceased’s former business partners and the corporate trustee. Partner Arik Aslanyan is head of the Russia & CIS Group.

In 2018 Freshfields Bruckhaus ­Deringer was hired to provide legal services to protect the interests of ­Naftogaz of Ukraine in foreign jurisdictions on all issues arising in international trade activities.

In 2018 Herbert Smith Freehills is increasingly seen across dispute resolution matters. The firm recently advised a Ukrainian bank in relation to commercial court proceedings in relation to a EUR 60 million loan; acted for a large commercial organization in a case in the European Court of Human Rights alleging, inter alia, a violation by an Eastern European contracting party of its right to a fair hearing and deprivation of its property; advised an ultra-high net worth individual in relation to a dispute arising from the sale of a business. London-based partners Nusrat Zar, Jeremy Garson and Chris Bushell handle the cases.

Hogan Lovells, a renowned international law firm, regularly represents Ukrainian companies and businessmen in resonant high stake litigation in English courts. The recent track record includes representing PrivatBank in fraud proceedings in the English High Court against former shareholders, in which PrivatBank claims over USD 2 billion; representing Mr. Serhiy Taruta in fraud proceedings in the English High Court involving Mr. Haiduk, Mr. Mkrtchan and others. Chris Hardman, Michael Roberts, Richard Lewis, Alex Sciannaca and Rebecca Wales are key partners handling litigation.

Pinsent Masons has solid experience of representing clients from Ukraine and the wider former Soviet Union region. The firm’s core competences are various commercial and contractual disputes. With regard to matters involving Ukraine, Pinsent has experience of representing a Ukrainian state company in a contractual dispute; advised the State of Ukraine and its funders on contracts for and implementation of the decommissioning and related remediation works at the Chornobyl nuclear power plant and resolved numerous disputes that arose in relation to it; acted for a trust structure of a Ukrainian UHNW individual in lifting freezing injunctions. The firm currently advises corporate defendants in a major claim by a Ukrainian state bank in relation to unpaid loans. The core figure is London-based partner Michael Fenn, supported by Ben Wells and Slava Tretyak.

The international business litigation and arbitration heavyweight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan acted as the lead counsel to Ukraine in the USD 3 billion Eurobond dispute with Russia. In September 2018 the English Court of Appeal handed down a judgment in the latest hearing of the ongoing dispute commenced by the Trustee, The Law Debenture Trust Corporation plc, against Ukraine regarding its alleged debt under bonds issued in 2013. The Russian Federation is trying to force Ukraine to repay the USD 3 billion Eurobond. Alex Gerbi acted as lead counsel.

* This piece of research is based on submissions of international law firms and information available in public sources, in particular: The Official Resource on Public Purchasing in Ukraine — ProZorro.