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Legal market overview
Ukraine was seriously affected by the economic downturn of 2008 and has been struggling to recover since. Numerous foreign-owned banks have sold up and left the country, where the judicial system is seen as complex and unreliable. The natural resources sector is an area of promise, but investment has been slow as investors seek a more stable environment, although Russian investors and some private equity funds are active. Tax disputes have been on the increase as the government has been aggressively implementing the new tax code and, with fewer M&A deals taking place, more law firms are focusing on dispute resolution.
This is a legal market where private practice law firms have existed for only 20 years, but domestic law firms are increasingly attracting international clients with good quality. Conversely, international law firms are targeting large Ukrainian clients, which have typically in the past preferred local counsel or in-house teams.
Excellent domestic firms such as Sayenko Kharenko and Vasil Kisil & Partners compete well with international law firms, as do younger firms including Avellum Partners and EnGarde Attorneys at Law in chosen areas. Ukraine’s most profitable firm per equity partner remains Ilyashev & Partners. Boris Danevych recently took most of the team from Law Firm Paritet to create Danevych Law Firm.