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Doing business in Ukraine
Contributed by AstapovLawyers
Ukraine is the second largest country in Europe and its position is of strategic importance for the entire continent. Bordered by Belarus, Russia, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland, Ukraine has access to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. In addition to having sufficient human, technical and natural resources, Ukraine is at the crossroads of Central European, Central Asian and Middle Eastern traditions. This makes the country an attractive place for trade and foreign investment and has a favourable impact on its business image.
Legal market overview
While Ukraine has a strong agricultural industry, foreign investment in other sectors has been diminished by Russia’s annexation of Crimea and conflict in the self-proclaimed people’s republics in Donetsk and Lugansk.
There is little transactional work in the legal market and few M&A and real estate deals reach completion, although there is widespread optimism that conditions will improve as early as the second half of 2016. Dispute resolution, meanwhile, is an extremely busy area of practice.
The government is moving ahead with its EU association policy, but progress has been slow and many legislative changes are still required. Many prominent lawyers are taking government positions to push forward reforms.
Some international law firms remain in Ukraine, including Baker & McKenzie – CIS, Limited, DLA Piper Ukraine LLC and Dentons. Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I., however, closed its Kiev office, with some lawyers moving to Integritesand the bulk of the group joining France-headquartered Jeantet, which bucked a trend by entering the Kiev market and will be one to watch for next year. Elsewhere, Clifford Chance sold its business to local lawyers now operating as Redcliffe Partners; and Schoenherr also exited the market, moving its Ukraine desk to Austria.
Firms in the spotlight
Onstan Law Firm
Founded in 2013, Onstan Law Firm is a full-service, internationally focused firm in Ukraine. The firm was formed by Yuriy Fedchyshyn, a tax lawyer, Olena Marchuk, a real estate lawyer, Andriy Fedchyshyn, a corporate lawyer and litigator, and Nataliya Khorushko, a banking lawyer and manager who was previously a deputy director of a branch of a large international bank.
Legal Business: country analysis
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
Click here to read the feature.
GC Powerlist -
INSIGHT: Hard graft
the pan-Europe bribery crackdown
As European agencies turn up the heat on bribery and corruption, we team up with Simmons & Simmons to assess how clients are responding.
Search News and Articles
In the past few years Ukrainian clients have developed an appetite for solving their disputes abroad. Litigation and arbitration sagas involving Ukrainian parties or related to Ukrainian assets often spread across many jurisdictions. In many such sagas various interim reliefs were granted by courts and tribunals.
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.
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.
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.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine at its meeting on August 29 resolved  to amend its Resolution "On approval of the Order for the use of funds allocated in the state budget for payments related to implementation of judgments of foreign jurisdictional authorities rendered upon consideration of matters against Ukraine" (the "Government Resolution"). Appropriate amendments were prepared by the Ministry of Justice (responsible for protecting the state's interests in foreign courts and arbitral tribunals) in order to improve mechanisms to protect the rights and interests of Ukraine in foreign judicial and arbitral proceedings.
Ukrainian district court allowed attachment of property located in Ukraine on the basis of UK procedOn 1 June 2012 Goloseevskiy district court of Kyiv city rendered a decision whereby it recognized and enforced the Order of the High Court of Justice Queen Bench Division Commercial Court (Order). As a result, Ukrainian court allowed attachment of Debtor’s assets located in Ukraine.
Eterna Law has advised Alexander Chernyak — a co-founder of the Russian used cars broker CarPrice – on his investment into the Brazilian analogue service Instacarro.
Avellum was named “Banking and Finance Law Firm of the Year” and “Debt Restructuring Law Firm of the Year” at the X Ukrainian Annual Legal Awards Ceremony, which took place on 24 May 2016 at InterContinental Hotel in Kyiv.
Avellum acted as Ukrainian counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine (i) on the restructuring of state guaranteed loan from VTB Capital to Ukravtodor (“Ukravtodor Loan”) amounting to USD100.8 million, and (ii) on the tap issue of Ukraine’s Notes and GDP-linked Securities to complete the sovereign debt restructuring.
AstapovLawyers announces on a merger with European law firm Baltic Business Group and entering the mAstapovLawyers International Law Group announces a merger with Baltic Business Group, a European full-service law firm with offices in Germany and Latvia. The companies signed a strategic partnership agreement to operate together in European and CIS markets under a common brand ‘Eterna Law’. The Board of Partners will manage the surviving company.
Avellum advised Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on acquisition by CPPIB of a 40% stake in Glencore Agricultural Products (“Glencore Agri”), estimated at US$6.25 billion. The international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer led the transacton at global level, while Avellum advised on Ukrainian law matters.
Avellum once again was recognised as a leading firm by one of the most prestigious legal directories, Chambers Europe. In the recently released Chambers Europe 2016 Avellum is the only independent Ukrainian law firm ranked in the highest Band 1 in all four practices, which comprise Corporate Finance – Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Restructuring and Insolvency, and Corporate/M&A.
Avellum was named Ukraine Law Firm of the Year 2016 at the International Finance Law Review (IFLR) European Awards ceremony in London on 21 April 2016.
Moscow, April 18 th – We are pleased to announce that AstapovLawyers International Law Group is extending the range of services offered to clients. Luxury Retail Consulting, a luxury brands focused agency, joined AstapovLawyers International Law Group on April 11 th , 2016. Daria Goulko, the agency’s Managing Partner and CEO, joined AstapovLawyers as Partner and Head of Luxury Retail Practice that will operate under the brand name of AstapovLawyers.
AstapovLawyers International Law Group has represented its Georgian client in a dispute with a major multinational manufacturer in the soft drinks industry.
Kyiv, 13 April 2016 – AstapovLawyers International Law Group has once again been named amongst the leading law firms in Ukraine, with its Corporate/M&A, Dispute Resolution, Energy, Intellectual Property, Real Estate & Construction, and Tax practices top-ranked in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 EMEA directory.