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Legal market overview
Ukraine, often described as ‘the breadbasket of Europe’, has a strong agricultural industry and its economy is benefiting from a resurgence in sectors such as pharmaceutical, retail, outsourcing and energy – particularly renewables such as solar and wind energy. Nevertheless, its recovery from the financial crisis of 2008 is far from complete. Its once strong steel sector is struggling and many international banks are exiting the country’s financial services market.
There is widespread public support for the signing of a European Union association agreement, which could provide long-term economic stimulus, although this is complicated by the imperative of maintaining positive social, economic and political links with Russia. In November 2013, President Viktor Yanukovych decided against signing the EU trade agreement, leading to vociferous public protests, although his removal from power in February 2014 may see the issue being revisited.
Foreign investors remain shy of the risks in Ukraine and many are waiting until the next presidential elections to determine their investment strategy.
Some international law firms are prominent in the market, including Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited, Clifford Chance LLC, DLA Piper Ukraine LLC and Dentons. In addition, Gide Loyrette Nouel enhanced its team by hiring a number of partners following the closure of Beiten Burkhardt’s Kiev office. Nevertheless, the market increasingly favours high-quality domestic firms such as Sayenko Kharenko, Vasil Kisil & Partners, Arzinger and Asters. Young firm Avellum Partners has quickly found a place among the elite.
Also of note, Ulysses and Danevych Law Firm merged in December 2013 to form Marchenko Danevych.
Search News and Articles
By Nazar Chernyavsky
AstapovLawyers Partner Eugene Blinov & the firm's Associate Roman Protsyshyn share their recent arbitration practice regarding applicable law in contractual disputes.
The 2008 financial crisis peak had hardly faded away, when another breaking news was brought to the surface in CIS countries: a significant part of the funds advanced during the pre-crisis period by banks and other financial institutions to support various businesses and commercial initiatives, flew beyond national frontiers to be found in Panama, BVI, Seychelles, Jersey, Cyprus and other offshore and onshore jurisdictions in the pockets of numerous private persons, mostly CIS nationals. No surprise this fact led to a tsunami of disputes, one way or the other related to repayment of loans and funds advanced under other types of finance arrangements. Many of those disputes are still pending, thus, keeping finance arrangements among the top-litigated issues within CIS borders.
Article V1(b) of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, better known as the New York Convention, provides that recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award may be refused, at the request of the party against which it is invoked, only if that party furnishes proof to the competent authority where the recognition and enforcement is sought that it was not given proper notice of the appointment of the arbitrator or of the arbitration proceedings. However simple at first glance, the question of what constitutes 'proper notice' turns out to be less than clear in practice.
This guide provides the international practitioner and in-house counsel with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of the laws and regulations of real estate. This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Real Estate; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. www.iclg.co.uk )
6 February has marked lawyers’ calendars with an important message from the UK Supreme Court: English courts will not accept the jurisdiction over a dispute having the “centre of gravity” in another country. AstapovLawyers' Managing Partner Andrey Astapov and Associate Anna Kombikova comment on a recent CIS precedent.
The Presidium of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) recently amended Article 52 of the Rules of the International Commercial Arbitration Court (ICAC) at the UCCI. This article governs the procedure for forwarding an arbitral award to the parties to arbitration proceedings.
Eugene Blinov and Anna Kombikova of AstapovLawyers ILG commented on peculiarities of enforcement of arbitral awards against Ukrainian bankrupt companies. The lawyers noted the risks connected with such cases and suggested possible solutions.
On 6 November 2012, the Ukrainian Parliament adopted changes to the Law of Ukraine "On the Procedure of Carrying-Out Settlements in Foreign Currency", dated 23 September 2004, No. 185/94-BP, as amended, granting the National Bank of Ukraine ("NBU") a power to amend for a term of up to six months the term for cre-diting to the exporters' accounts of currency proceeds under export contracts. These changes to the law entered into force on 17 November 2012. The NBU was extremely fast to implement its new power, passing a Resolution dated 16 November 2012, No. 475 (which entered into force on 19 November 2012).
The mitigation of damages is a well-known principle in international legal practice. However, in Ukraine there is no widely applied court and arbitration practice on the issues relating to mitigation of damages, and aggrieved parties may be unclear as to what should and can be done.
AstapovLawyers is pleased to announce it has become an official legal partner of the Ukrainian Tennis Federation. AstapovLawyers will provide full legal support to the Federation including advice on on-going matters, drafting and negotiating contracts, employment, tax and corporate issues. AstapovLawyers has become the first law firm to act as an official legal partner of the Ukrainian Tennis Federation.
On 12 September 2014, AstapovLawyers has held a Compliance Workshop for employees of Energoatom, a national nuclear energy generating company.
AstapovLawyers has successfully represented Delta Bank, one of the major Ukrainian banks, in a USD 71 million dispute against a Ukrainian tycoon, an owner of a significant agricultural group of companies in Ukraine.
Kyiv, 23 September 2014 - Ivan Lishchyna , Counsel, has taken part in the conference and students seminar "The relationship between alternative dispute resolution and ordinary courts: New trends in the Ukraine, Germany, Poland and other countries" organized in terms of collaboration with Institute for Eastern European Law, Munich. The event took place in the Institute of Legislation of the Verchovna Rada of Ukraine on September 8 - 10, 2014.
In January 2014 - July 2014 Zavadetskyi Advocates advised and represented a Canadian citizen who had been imprisoned in Ukraine for serious crime and criminal investigation against whom raised many questions as to its integrity and impartiality. Along with their client, Zavadetskyi Advocates also advised a US charitable institution that provides social services internationally to people in crisis situations. The client has been released from the sentence several years before time and was able to leave Ukraine.
AstapovLawyers has successfully represented Canon Russia in a dispute with a Russian retailor LLC Fotosintez (Foto.ru brand) on abuse of rights in the surety agreement.
Kyiv, 26 May 2014 - Avellum Partners reported that, during Q4 2013 and Q1 2014, it closed the following finance deals.
In September 2013 - July 2014 Zavadetskyi Advocates successfully represented Ukrainian subsidiary of the leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, ZTE Corporation, in criminal investigation of USD 5 million corporate fraud committed against the company in Ukraine. Advocates of the firm provided ZTE Corporation with advice and representation within the criminal procedure were suspects were identified and the fraud has been thoroughly investigated.
Zavadetskyi Advocates advised a US private equity fund regarding USD 110 million divestiture from Ukrainian commercial real estate project.
AstapovLawyers International Law Group has provided corporate tax consulting and legal advisory to the joint stock oil company Bashneft, one of the Russia's largest integrated oil companies, due to its contemplated expansion into new market in the Southeast Europe.