Competition in Ukraine

Aequo

Aequo has a specialist team of competition lawyers that has built up a strong roster of domestic and international clients. Its wide-ranging workload includes merger control, cartels and abuse of dominance investigations, as well as advice on compliance. Founding partner Mariya Nizhnik rejoined the firm in late 2020 from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) to lead the practice. Managing partner Denis Lysenko, newly promoted partner Sergey Denisenko and senior associate Yevgen Blok also feature prominently in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mariya Nizhnik; Denis Lysenko; Sergey Denisenko

Other key lawyers:

Yevgen Blok

Key clients

Alois Dallmayr Kaffee OHG

Apax Partners

Apollo Global Management

ArcelorMittal

Bunge

Dragon Capital

Ecosoft

Epicentr-K

GlaxoSmithKline Plc

Mobile TeleSystems (MTS)

Novo Nordisk

Novus

Sandoz

UkrGasVydobuvannya (UGV)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) with significant merger control challenges associated with its $734m sale of its local assets. The target was among the top three mobile operators in Ukraine, and therefore has a potentially dominant position in the market. Despite the level of regulatory attention, however, the firm was able to successfully secure merger clearance during phase one review without any additional obligations upon the parties.
  • Advising Novus along with two other regional chains – Delicat Retail and Veresen Plus – on AMCU concerted actions clearance regarding the first joint procurement alliance establishment. For Ukraine, it was the first-of-a-kind matter as the AMCU has never cleared alliances formed by retailers’ group for the joint procurement of products.
  • Successfully represented Ecosoft in the AMCU investigation into the client’s public procurement activities. Apart from heavy financial penalties, the company could have been banned from participation in public procurement procedures for three years.

Arzinger

At Arzinger, the team is ‘very professional, experienced and attentive to details and clients' requirements’. It excels in obtaining merger clearances, handling post-clearances in gun-jumping cases and advising clients on AMCU behavioural investigations. Timur BondaryevSergii ShkliarLana Sinichkina and Oleksander Dyakulych are 'guided by the ethical principles of honesty, fairness and decency'. They also excel in state aid matters and private antitrust counselling and enforcement.

Practice head(s):

Timur Bondaryev; Sergii Shkliar; Lana Sinichkina; Oleksander Dyakulych

Testimonials

‘First of all, it is necessary to admit high-quality service and personal attention which Arzinger’s lawyers provide to each of their clients. As for me, in comparison with other law firms, this one provides the greatest transparency in informing its clients about the state of affairs and executes orders in very short period of time.’

‘Arzinger has a leading team in all areas of law, guided by the ethical principles of honesty, fairness and decency and providing a professional solution to the client’s legal problems. As for me, these qualities distinguish them from other similar companies that work in this sphere.’

‘The Arzinger team’s strengths are that the lawyers are highly-qualified with broad practical experience and deep expertise in competition matters. They understand business processes, always protect the company’s interests, and provide high-quality legal assistance.’

‘We dealt with Timur Bondaryev and counsel Oleksander Dyakulych. They are highly-qualified lawyers who understand business processes and needs, and provide high-quality and comprehensive legal support and assistance in competition and other legal matters.’

‘The team is very professional, experienced and attentive to details and clients’ requirements.’

Key clients

Imperial Tobacco Ukraine

STADA AG

Roche

GSK Ukraine

IDS Borjomi PJSC

State Enterprise “ARTEMSIL”

Work highlights

  • Representing two Ukrainian subsidiaries of Imperial Tobacco group in unprecedented court proceedings related to cancellation of the decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine imposing the largest fine in the history of anti-competitive concerted actions.
  • Provision of legal support to STADA AG in obtaining merger and concerted actions clearances for acquisition of a non-plasma pharmaceutical business from BIOPHARMA.
  • Successfully represented Roche Ukraine in its appeal against the decision of the Ukrainian Competition Authority on allegedly anticompetitive concerted actions between the client and its distributors, and proved legality of its commercial policies and discounts system.

Asters

Asters has 'one of the best competition law practices on the market’ and its 16-strong competition team is the largest dedicated group in Kiev. Igor Svechkar leads the group, in which partners Alexey Pustovit and Oleksandr Voznyuk and counsels Sergiy Glushchenko and Tetiana Vovk play major roles. They handle the full range of antitrust work, which includes working closely with the Brussels office on multijurisdictional merger filings. State aid work is another area of activity.

Practice head(s):

Igor Svechkar

Other key lawyers:

Alexey Pustovit; Oleksandr Voznyuk; Sergiy Glushchenko; Tetiana Vovk; Nazar Chuchak

Testimonials

‘Probably one of the best competition law practices on the market’

‘Partner Oleksandr Voznyuk supported by associate Nazar Chuchak make a good team effectively supporting the client in competition litigation and providing practical and client-oriented advice. Oleksandr has wide experience and is probably one of the best experts in competition law as regards commercial activities in Ukraine both material and practical aspects.’

‘Partner Alexey Pustovit and his team provide prompt, easy to comprehend and reliable legal advice on merger filings in Ukraine.’

Key clients

Allergan Plc

Bayer

Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

Essilor Amera,

General Electric Company

KKR

L’Oréal

Mironivsky Hliboproduct

Microsoft Corporation

Peugeot S.A.

Philip Morris

Robert Bosch GmbH

Sanofi

Siemens AG,

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.

Visa

Wilmar International Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Allergan Plc with obtaining merger clearance of its circa $63bn acquisition by AbbVie Inc.
  • Assisting Peugeot S.A. with obtaining merger clearance for its merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which will create the world’s fourth-largest automaker valued at $50bn.
  • Assisting International Flavors & Fragrances and DuPont with obtaining merger clearance for the merger of International Flavors & Fragrances with DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences Business valued at $26.2bn, to create the combined company valued at $45.4bn.

Avellum

Avellum has 'an impressive first-class team capable of handling all aspects of competition law, such as high-value mergers, cartel investigations, abuse of dominant position and issues regarding state aid'. In addition to handling merger control matters and investigations, the firm is among the leading advisers on antitrust litigation. Managing partner Mykola Stetsenko, partner Yuriy Nechayev and newly hired counsel Mykyta Nota (who joined from Kinstellar) lead the practice. Counsel Yaroslav Medvediev is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Mykola Stetsenko; Yuriy Nechayev; Mykyta Nota

Other key lawyers:

Yaroslav Medvediev; Valeriia Lepska

Testimonials

‘The team demonstrates ongoing and comprehensive knowledge of practical tips together with strong theoretical background which enables it to gather the fullest picture of potential scenarios and further implications even on the early stages of the case. In other words, the client is confident since the route chosen is the right one, a compliant one and best suited for execution.’

‘Mykyta Nota is tremendous in providing on time in full support for the client. The depth of his expertise is far beyond any expectations. He is able to find non-standard and creative solutions which reveal a viable and reasonable route for further case developments.’

‘Associate Valeriia Lepska is extremely professional and reliable, delivering high-quality legal product and providing exceptional expertise.’

‘Avellum has an impressive first-class team capable of handling all aspects of competition law, such as high-value mergers, cartel investigations, abuse of a dominant position, and issues regarding state aid. Everyone is extremely collaborative, working well as a team and also excellent at interacting with local regulator.’

‘Mykyta Nota is clearly an outstanding competition lawyer. He is an immensely experienced practitioner possessing particular in-depth knowledge of both competition law and judicial review procedures.’

‘Competence and diligence. Mykyta Nota has always been very helpful in solving our legal issues. He is very competent and hardworking. He always gives all necessary explanations. The quality of his work has always been of the highest standard.’

‘Avellum’s competition team is best-in-class in terms of service, expertise and capability. They constantly demonstrate outstanding work on novel and extremely complex issues.’

‘Mykyta Nota delivers practical advice that goes far beyond just advising as to standard legal requirements. He is very responsive, knows both the law and practice, and has keen insight as to the current trends in Ukraine.’

Key clients

British American Tobacco

Cartamundi NV

Mr. Sergei Probylov

Work highlights

  • Acted for British American Tobacco in complex and high-profile litigation in connection with challenging a €245m fine imposed by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on the Ukrainian subsidiaries of four leading international tobacco producers and their distributor in Ukraine for alleged anti-competitive concerted practices.
  • Advised Cartamundi NV on obtaining a merger control clearances and concerted practices clearance from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for the acquisition of The United States Playing Card Company division from Newell Brands Inc.
  • Advising one of the largest Ukrainian producers of juices, soft drinks and baby food on unfair competition in relation to its marketing strategies and the respective investigation by the competition authority.

Baker McKenzie, Kyiv Office

Baker McKenzie, Kyiv Office has 'a great combination of practical expertise and good skills for managing complicated submissions for antitrust clearance'. Practice head Oksana Simonova is 'very attentive to clients' needs and guides them carefully through the process’. Working closely with other offices in its global network, the Kiev-based team acts for multinational public and private companies on merger control matters in Ukraine. The firm also handles issues concerning abuses of dominance and anti-competitive concerted actions. Senior associate Olga Mikheieva is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Oksana Simonova

Other key lawyers:

Olga Mikheieva

Testimonials

‘The firm has only deep theoretical knowledge, but also strong practical knowledge and understanding of business processes.’

‘The firm finds non-standard approaches to the problem and has high standards of communication.’

‘A great combination of practical expertise and good skills of managing complicated submissions for antitrust clearance.’

‘Oksana Simonova, partner. Very attentive to clients’ needs and guides them carefully through the process.’

Key clients

ADM

Bayer AG

Berlin Chemie

Biofarma

Fater

Grundfos

Hitachi Ltd.

JKX Oli & Gas

Metinvest Holding

Remington Seeds

SOCAR

Sumitomo Corporation

Tieto Oyj

Unilever

CLACIS

CLACIS is a competition law boutique that focuses only on matters concerning competition law and compliance in Ukraine and the CIS region. It acts for a mix of major domestic and international market players, including Chinese shipping company COSCO, trading house Glencore, MasterCard and PepsiCo. The scope of the group's work includes competition investigations, audits, infringement cases, antitrust litigation and merger control. Managing partner Antonina Yaholnyk acts for clients operating in sectors such as telecommunications, retail, agriculture, banking, consumer products and pharmaceuticals.

Practice head(s):

Antonina Yaholnyk

Key clients

Biocon Pharmaceutical

British American Tobacco

COSCO

Farmastor

Glencore

Group “T.B. Fruit”

InBev

Lifecell

MasterCard

PepsiCo

Pro-Pharma

Terex Corporation

TPS Holding, Ocean Plaza

Work highlights

  • Advising T.B. Fruit on competition law issues in distribution.

CMS

CMS frequently acts for large domestic and multinational companies in high-profile merger control mandates, as was evidenced when it recently advised TIS Group on the competition aspects of a landmark joint venture that marked DP World’s entry into Ukraine. Maria Orlyk and Olga Belyakova are the joint heads of the practice. They are supported by senior associate Nataliya Nakonechna and associate Mykola Heletiy, who specialise in commercial and competition law work. Orlyk recently worked with the EBRD on a four-year project aimed at building capacity in the AMCU. Olexander Martinenko joined Kinstellar in late 2020.

Practice head(s):

Maria Orlyk; Olga Belyakova

Other key lawyers:

Nataliya Nakonechna; Mykola Heletiy

Key clients

TIS Group

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

ALPLA-Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG

MV Cargo

Acciona Energia

OTP Bank

Work highlights

  • Comprehensive legal support to Acciona Energia on three applications to obtain merger control approvals from the AMC of Ukraine for the acquisition of several companies and assets to create joint projects in Ukraine.
  • Legal advice to OTP Bank on Ukrainian competition aspects relating to a series of transactions to acquire several banks and insurance companies in CEE.
  • Assisted TIS Group with successfully obtaining merger control approvals from the AMC of Ukraine for the setting up of a joint venture, whereby DP World entered Ukraine directly for the first time.

DLA Piper Ukraine Limited Liability Company

DLA Piper Ukraine Limited Liability Company has a first-rate reputation in large and complex multijurisdictional competition matters, including high-value merger control, the antitrust aspects of commercial agreements and trade practices, compliance audits, abuses of dominance and state aid cases. Practice head Galyna Zagorodniuk is a long-standing member of the Public Council of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine and is widely regarded as one of the leading practitioners in the market.

Practice head(s):

Galyna Zagorodniuk

Key clients

NEQSOL

AccorHotels

Volvo Cars

Michelin

Jabil

Kyivstar

Pfizer

Mondelez

Jacobs Ukraine (JDE)

Work highlights

  • Advised NEQSOL on obtaining merger control clearance and permit for anticompetitive actions (non-compete) from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for the acquisition of VF Ukraine (one of the largest local mobile network operators with c. 20m subscribers) from MTS Group for $734m.
  • Assisting VFU Funding PLC with competition law matters during preparation of prospectus for its debut $500m 6.20% loan participation notes listed on Euronext Dublin (GEM).

Ilyashev & Partners

Ilyashev & Partners is frequently involved in large and precedent-setting competition law matters in sectors as varied as agriculture, energу, real estate, transport, pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Practice head Oleksandr Fefelov is among the most experienced practitioners in the market, having acted on the first merger clearance in Ukraine 25 years ago. The firm recently handled antitrust matters for UPD Holdings Limited arising from its €200m investment in Ocean Plaza Project. Counsels Oleksandr Padalka and Valeriia Gudiy are experienced in inspections of enterprises by the state regulatory authorities, and in the resolution of administrative disputes.

Practice head(s):

Oleksandr Fefelov

Other key lawyers:

Oleksandr Padalka; Valeriia Gudiy

Key clients

UPD Holdings Limited

COFCO Agri Ukraine

Bunge

Ivano-Frankivsk Cement Plant

Ukrcement

Tribo Group

LetterOne Group

BIOPHARMA

Ukrrichflot

BTA Bank

Alfa-Bank Ukraine

PZU Ukraine

SE Antonov

Omnifarma

Work highlights

  • Advising Soltex Capital on the acquisition of Respublika Shopping Mall in Kyiv.
  • Acting for UPD Holdings Limited on the acquisition of 33.5% shareholding in Ocean Plaza Project (Cyprus) Ltd.
  • Representing the interests of Ukrrichflot Shipping Company in the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine in a case on monopoly abuse by JSC Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian Railways).

Sayenko Kharenko

Sayenko Kharenko has 'experienced professionals who have good relationships with the AMCU and give good quality advice'. The firm has one of the largest practices in the market, and is known for undertaking merger control work, particularly in complex and high-value transactions. It has successfully obtained more than 800 merger clearances since forming the practice. Vladimir Sayenko, Maksym Nazarenko and newly promoted partner Valentyna Hvozd jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Vladimir Sayenko; Maksym Nazarenko; Valentyna Hvozd

Testimonials

‘The Sayenko Kharenko competition team has experienced professionals with good relationships and contacts with the Ukrainian Antimonopoly Committee. They give good quality advice within short response times.’

‘Valentyna Hvozd is our contact and is very responsive to clients’ needs and requests. She also manages client expectations very well and is overall an excellent lawyer providing good quality and reliable advice.’

‘Very efficient and to the point competition law advice. Well connected with the competition authorities. Swift responses and solution-minded service. Vladimir Sayenko and Valentina Hvozd stand out.’

Key clients

BASF SE

Bayer Aktiengesellschaft

GlaxoSmithKline plc

EQT Fund Management S.à r.l.

Solvay SA

Japan Tobacco International

SUN InBev Ukraine

Takeda Pharmaceutical

Nidec Corporation

Widex Holding

Work highlights

  • Assisting GlaxoSmithKline plc with obtaining merger clearance of Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for its acquisition of control of Pfizer’s consumer health business creating the world leader in consumer healthcare with sales of approximately $12.7bn.
  • Assisting an oil and gas company with obtaining merger clearance for its $69.1bn acquisition of a 70% majority stake.
  • Representing a global tobacco company in the AMCU’s case investigation on the anti-competitive concerted practices between tobacco product manufacturers and their Ukrainian distributor.

Dentons

Dentons' Kiev practice is part of a global competition, trade and regulatory group. It frequently handles complex merger control and other antitrust matters for multinational companies in industries such as pharmaceuticals, retail, energy and tobacco. Its work spans compliance audits, large M&A transactions and contentious matters. Practice head Volodymyr Monastyrskyy, and senior associates Oksana Franko and Igor Svitlyk, are the notable practitioners in the team.

Practice head(s):

Volodymyr Monastyrskyy

Other key lawyers:

Igor Svitlyk; Oksana Franko

Key clients

Grasshopper Solar Corporation

VLC Renewables

Work highlights

  • Advised VLC Renewables, the Jersey-based fund established by Low Carbon and Vitol, on competition law matters in connection with its investment in the first phase of a 500MW onshore wind farm at Zaporizhia in Ukraine.
  • Advised a leading total solutions provider for solar energy on competition law matters in connection to photovoltaic power plants development in Ukraine.
  • Advised a global automobile company on competition and antitrust law matters in connection to the acquisition of an auto repair center in Ukraine.

Integrites

Integrites advises leading domestic and international companies on concerted practices and abuse of dominance investigations, merger control, competition investigations and antitrust litigation. The firm acted for metals OSTCHEM in a dispute challenging an AMCU decision on abuse of dominance. The practice is led by newly-promoted partner Serhiy Shershun, whose experience includes a seven-year stint as the State Commissioner of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. Senior litigation partner Vyacheslav Korchev also plays a key role.

Practice head(s):

Serhiy Shershun

Other key lawyers:

Vyacheslav Korchev

Key clients

Sibelco Group

OSTCHEM

AKW Ukrainian Kaolin Company

Gals Agro

Ministry of finance of Ukraine

Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC)

KFC

Dominoni

JUUL Labs

Vitmark

Wärtsilä

36 regional gas companies in Ukraine

Work highlights

  • Acting for the OSTCHEM enterprises in a dispute against the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU). The dispute arose out of the AMCU precedent decision regarding alleged abuse of dominance, where the AMCU decided to separate OSTCHEM group. The AMCU delivers a decision on the forced separation only for the second time in its history and for the first time during the past 20 years. Challenging such decision in court is unprecedented, taking into account such a sanction is really rare in competition law.
  • Representing a leading manufacturer in the metal industry, namely one of its factories, in an abuse of dominance investigation initiated by this factory against its main supplier.   The supplier is a producer of 70% of core supply to the client’s factory. Contrary to the terms of the agreement, the supplier is reducing the volume of supplies to the factory, making it buying supplies at spot prices, which are much higher than contracted prices from the supplier.
  • Advised Sibelco Group on obtaining merger clearance in Ukraine. Advised the client regarding the merger clearance on clays market, in which the participants have significant combined market share. The team also conducted a difficult comprehensive economic analysis in order to define market correctly.

Kinstellar

Kinstellar's team in Kiev works with members of the firm's offices in Budapest and Prague to advise on merger control, cartels, abuses of dominance, state aid and public procurement. It also handles the enforcement of competition law issues and actions for damages. The departure of Mykyta Nota to Avellum leaves associates Daryna Ushchapivska and Yulia Eismont as the principal contacts, supported by new dispute resolution head Olexander Martinenko who joined from CMS.

Other key lawyers:

Daryna Ushchapivska; Yulia Eismont; Olexander Martinenko

Key clients

Nemiroff Vodka Limited

Lifecell

Syngenta

British American Tobacco

QTerminals

Wizz Air Hungary

TÜRKİYE VARLIK FONU (TURKEY WEALTH FUND)

Work highlights

  • Representing the interests of British American Tobacco (its Ukrainian affiliates) in court proceedings challenging the Ukrainian antitrust authority decision alleging that the company was involved in anticompetitive concerted action with the other tobacco companies in Ukraine as well as a local distributor, Tedis Ukraine LLC, to create and maintain the monopolistic position of Tedis within the Ukrainian market for the distribution of tobacco products.
  • Advised Türkiye Varlık Fonu (Turkey Wealth Fund) on obtaining merger control clearance of transaction on the acquisition of control over Turkcell İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş. by Türkiye Varlık Fonu.
  • Advising Wizz Hungary Representative Office before the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine in connection with the authority’s recommendations to the major Ukrainian carriers (including the Client) alleging unfair competition practices during the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

Legal Alliance Company

Legal Alliance Company is best known for assisting clients with obtaining regulatory clearances of corporate transactions in the pharmaceutical sector, as well as related investigations by the AMCU. According to one of its clients, 'the practice possesses unique industry-related expertise, bringing valuable insights and practical experience when providing solutions'. The firm's client base includes many leading multinational pharmaceutical companies with operations in Ukraine. Andriy Gorbatenko 'leads the team of high-quality associates and focuses on results and desired outcomes'.

Practice head(s):

Andriy Gorbatenko

Testimonials

‘With a key focus on pharma and healthcare, Legal Alliance has been chosen as our legal partner in representing our interests in competition cases. The practice possesses unique industry-related expertise, bringing valuable insights and practical experience when providing solutions and ensuring efficient services to the highest of standards. ’

‘Andriy Gorbatenko, partner with Legal Alliance, is our key contact in competition issues. He is a dedicated legal professional who has a deep understanding of the pharmaceutical industry. Andriy leads the team of high-quality associates and focuses on results and desired outcomes. The ability to drive collaboration in a clear way and to resolve legal, regulatory and deal-related challenges are among his strengths.’

‘For almost 10 years Legal Alliance has been our legal partner in numerous cases, earning respect through consistent professionalism in all interactions. The Legal Alliance team has advised on the unfair competition case and has protected interests of the company against the competitor, who spread misleading advertising on the produced product, among others. Professional and prompt actions by Legal Alliance associates allowed us to prevent extra financial loss.’

‘Legal Alliance team takes a decisive course of action, and performs with dedication in advising based on best practices.

‘Legal Alliance is committed to high-class client support and guidance. The team, under the supervision of the partner Andriy Gorbatenko, follows up to make sure desired outcomes are realised.’

‘Very responsive and client-oriented. Able to cover different law fields within Ukraine and across borders.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the interests of numerous global pharmaceutical companies in Ukraine at the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine in relation to obtaining conclusions in the form of advisory clarification regarding Ukrainian Competition Law compliance of the vertical agreements concluded between pharmaceutical companies and distributors and retail (pharmacy chains) providing any incentive mechanisms for purchases or sales.
  • Advised a leading international FMCG on market research conducted by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU).
  • Advising a leading Ukrainian pharmaceutical company on an investigation by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU) into the advertising of a medicinal product that could mislead consumers.

Marchenko Partners

Marchenko Partners handles high-stakes merger control matters across a broad range of industries, including food and beverage, healthcare and logistics. The firm also excels in assisting clients with state aid complaints and private antitrust litigation, including double damages claims. Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko garners praise from clients, with one noting: 'every time you communicate with him, you are charged with positive energy and learn new things'.

Practice head(s):

Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko

Testimonials

‘I really like that the firm is constantly developing new areas and generating new sub-practices in competition law.’

‘I really like Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko because every time you communicate with him, you are charged with positive energy and learn new things in competition law.’

Key clients

Nova Poshta

McDonald’s Ukraine

Carlsberg Ukraine

DP World

Philip Morris Ukraine

ISTIL Group

B. Braun Medical

Work highlights

  • Representing Nova Poshta, the largest private Ukrainian postal and courier company, in a pioneering state aid case against Ukrposhta, the only national postal operator in Ukraine.
  • Assisted Carlsberg with a competition compliance spot check, which involved collaboration with the top local IT security and research providers in order to develop an IT solution, enabling efficient performance of an in-depth and multi-faceted competition compliance review.
  • Advised DP World on merger control and various other competition aspects of the landmark deal on acquisition of TIS Container Terminal in Odessa region (one of the leading Ukrainian container terminals).

Redcliffe Partners

Redcliffe Partners handles high-value merger clearance matters due to its involvement in large cross-border M&A transactions. Clients describe its antitrust practice as 'proactive and well organised'.  The firm recently advised GE Capital on obtaining merger clearance for the sale of the PK AirFinance to Apollo Global Management. Newly promoted partner Anastasia Usova leads the practice, which was strengthened by the arrival of experienced associate Denys Medvediev, who joined from Aequo. Usova, senior associate Nataliya Kovalyova and associate Tetiana Smurova are 'true professionals with great interpersonal skills'.

Practice head(s):

Anastasia Usova

Other key lawyers:

Denys Medvediev; Tetiana Smurova; Nataliya Kovalyova

Testimonials

‘Tetiana Smurova and Anastasia Usova are true professionals and have great interpersonal skills.’

‘Anastasia Usova is very responsive and clear in her responses, and is able to coordinate complex tasks in a very demanding transaction.’

‘The antitrust team of Redcliffe Partners is a top place for complex merger control cases with a very responsive team that provides fast and – where required – detailed advice and thinks one step ahead already before.’

‘Anastasia Usova is a passionate lawyer that puts herself in the client’s place, gives practical advice within short notice without losing her humanity.’

‘I would identify the following characteristics of the team as their main strengths: responsiveness, pragmatism, and a very solid experience in the area of merger control in Ukraine including valuable insights into recent law enforcement trends and decisions. I would also highlight their high level of English language skills which makes it particularly convenient to work with the Redcliffe Partners team on large international transactions. ’

‘Anastasia Usova has been our go-to contact for various merger control-related queries. She has always been extremely responsive and willing to provide advice even in early, non-billable stages of a potential matter. She is also very pragmatic and understands the needs and concerns of financial investors for whom merger control is a matter that needs to be handled quickly and efficiently.

‘Senior associate Nataliya Kovalyov was our main point of contact on a recent merger control matter. She was very responsive and proactive which made it very pleasant to work with her.’

‘Attentive to detail, logical and consistent. I would like to mention Anastasia Usova. All meetings are very constructive. She has a very good sense of the context and goals of the client.’

Key clients

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC)

General Electric Company

Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) on obtaining merger clearance from the AMCU for the sale of 70% of its shares to Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) for a total purchase price of $69.1bn.
  • Advised GE Capital on obtaining merger clearance from the AMC in connection with the sale of the PK AirFinance aviation lending business to Apollo Global Management (Apollo) and Athene Holding Ltd. (Athene).
  • Advised Charoen Pokphand Foods Public Company Limited on obtaining merger control clearance from the AMC for the acquisition of the entire share capital of HyLife Investments Ltd, which owns 50.1% of HyLife Group Holdings Ltd, a pork producer and distributor headquartered in Canada.

Vasil Kisil & Partners

Vasil Kisil & Partners is predominantly focused on investigations into market dominance abuse and cartels, as well as merger control matters. In addition, it also advises clients on unfair competition issues, public procurement, antitrust litigation and regulatory compliance. The practice, which is led by Anna Sisetska, also advises clients on state aid regulations that were introduced in Ukraine in 2017. It acts for large domestic and international companies, notably in the FMCG, gas and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Practice head(s):

Anna Sisetska

Key clients

Metro Cash and Carry Ukraine LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising METRO AG (Germany), a parent company of METRO AG Group, on an investigation by the Competition Authority into EP Global Commerce A.S.’s contemplated acquisition of a stake in METRO AG, which would enable EP Global Commerce A.S. to own more than 50% of shares of METRO AG. The transaction is subject to obtaining merger clearance in Ukraine.

Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss excels in assisting clients with large, cross-border transactions that raise complex issues of vertical restraints and abuse of dominance. In 2020, it handled high-profile matters in the retail, oil and gas, chemicals, financial services, agriculture and IT industries. Associate Olga Ivlyeva leads the firm's competition practice in Kiev, which works closely with teams in the firm's international network.

Practice head(s):

Olga Ivlyeva

Key clients

Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG

Snap Inc.

Karpatnaftokhim

DSM Nutritional Products Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co. KG, the world’s leading travel retailer, on Ukrainian competition issues related to the establishment of a joint venture together with Orior Group subsidiary, as well as representing the client before the Ukrainian competition authority to obtain merger clearances and concerted actions approval.
  • Advising an American camera and social media company on non-compete arrangements in services agreements with IT specialists and employment agreements of its Ukrainian subsidiary with employees from the Ukrainian competition law perspective.
  • Advising Karpatnaftokhim, one of the biggest Ukrainian plants, on structuring the sale of assets to a third party, as well as representing it in front of the Ukrainian competition authority for obtainment of merger clearance.

Ante Law Firm

Ante Law Firm's antitrust practice focuses on the needs of clients in the aviation and pharmaceuticals industries. It represents clients (among them international airlines) in investigations and contentious matters brought by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. Practice head Andriy Guck also acts for leading global brands, including Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine LLC, in high-value cases concerning the possible violation of pharmaceuticals industry regulations on unfair competition.

Practice head(s):

Andriy Guck

Key clients

Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine LLC

Zdravo LLC

Lufthansa AG

Austrian Airlines

Danylo Halytskyi Lviv International Airport

Qatar Airways Group Q.C.S.C.

British Airways PLC

Alitalia

Perrigo Ukraine LLC

Lutsk Foods LLC (Runa trademark)

Work highlights

  • Advised Lutsk Foods LLC (Runa trademark) on a claim to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine against unfair competition practice by the competitor who copied elements of tomato sauces design and trade mark Kecha.
  • Representing the Danylo Halytskyi Lviv International Airport in the investigation regarding access to ground handling market.

Antika Law Firm

Antika Law Firm has a growing roster of domestic and international clients for competition law matters. Its work includes antitrust compliance audits, risk assessments, advice on internal policy and standards, and merger control. Lead partners Alexey Kot and Sergii Korniienko also handle cases concerning economic concentration and abuse of dominance, as well as providing advice on the niche area of advertising law.

Practice head(s):

Alexey Kot; Sergii Korniienko

Key clients

AWT Bavaria Group

Henkel Ukraine

Work highlights

  • Updating of the AMCU compliance policy of AWT Bavaria Group, review of the advertisement and marketing programs in regards to unfair competition regulations.

EY Law

EY Law is sought after to handle the competition aspects of high-value cross-border M&A transactions. It has also worked with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine on competition issues arising from pilot concession projects in the seaports of Olvia and Kherson. Also notable is that the firm handled merger control issues for Naftogaz in the unbundling of Ukraine's gas transportation system. Borys Lobovyk leads the practice, in which corporate partner Albert Sych plays a major role.

Practice head(s):

Borys Lobovyk

Other key lawyers:

Albert Sych

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

International Finance Corporation

Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine

Naftogaz of Ukraine

Sarantis

Horizon Capital

Puma

MK Group

Rozetka

Altran

Work highlights

  • Advised Naftogaz of Ukraine on competition matters in connection with unbundling and independence of the operator of the gas transportation system.
  • Advised Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine in relation to competition issues during the pilot concession projects in Olvia seaport and Kherson seaport.
  • Advised Sarantis in connection with obtaining a merger clearance and permit for concerted practices for the acquisition shares in Ergopack.

LEGRANT LAW COMPANY

LEGRANT LAW COMPANY in Odessa has a specialist focus on maritime law, international trade, ports and terminals, litigation and arbitration. The firm assists clients with cases before the AMCU, notably in matters concerning the unlawful charging of fees for services beyond port dues, which can be seen as monopoly abuse by the state enterprises. Tatyana Titarenko is the lead partner.

Practice head(s):

Tatyana Titarenko

Oleksandr Peremezhko & Partners

At Oleksandr Peremezhko & Partners, founding partner Oleksandr Peremezhko has extensive expertise in handling complex transactions, as well as international and domestic dispute resolution. His work encompasses merger control, concerted actions, abuse of dominance cases, unfair competition, public procurement and the representation of clients before the AMCU and in court proceedings. He recently acted for vehicle manufacturer Tital Company in a challenge to the rejection of a public procurement tender.

Practice head(s):

Oleksandr Peremezhko

Key clients

Cinema Analytics LLC

Topex Ukraine LLC

LEGO Ukraine LLC

TITAL Company Ltd

B&H PJSC

Ukrainian Film Distribution LLC

Bohdan Batruch

Road Company Alcor LLC

RK Group LLC

IONITY

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted as a legal counsel to Tital Company Ltd, a big manufacturer of fire fighting vehicles, in case on challenging the decision to reject the company’s proposal in the public procurement procedure in the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.
  • Successfully defended the interests of Tital Company Ltd in the court of first instance in a dispute over the cancellation of the decision of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine based on the results of a state (public) tender for the purchase of the special purpose fire truck.
  • Representing Ionity in a case concerning the abuse of the dominant position by its competitor.

Law Offices of OMP

Law Offices of OMP is active in high-value corporate transactions involving complex competition issues. It also supports Ukrainian and international companies in AMCU investigations into unfair business practices, with its recent work featuring significant matters for multinational pharmaceutical groups and large retail chains. Lead partners Mykola Orlov and Yaroslav Sverdlichenko also handle contentious matters both at appeal and in the Supreme court.

Practice head(s):

Mykola Orlov; Yaroslav Sverdlichenko

Key clients

Agro-Region Group

Dedov Agro holding

Cygnet Holding

Glencore Group

Cargill

Sandoz

MSD

Glenmark

Alpen Pharma AG

Gedeon Richter

Abbott No

Bausch Health (Valeant)

Pavlenko Legal Group

Pavlenko Legal Group predominantly handles domestic merger control, unfair competition and compliance audits. Its recent work included representing Kernel Group in an AMCU investigation into the purchase of corporate rights in Rail Transit Cargo Ukraine LLC. Practice head Anna Hryshchenko has more than ten years of experience of competition law and corporate transactions, as does key partner Denis Maistrenko. Senior lawyer Daria Stadnyk also plays a central role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Anna Hryshchenko; Denis Maistrenko

Other key lawyers:

Daria Stadnyk

Key clients

Kernel Group

PAEK Group

Eridon

Work highlights

  • Represented Kernel Group in the AMCU’s investigation of possible violations of the legislation on economic competition protection (obtaining control without the permission of the AMCU) regarding the purchase of corporate rights in Rail Transit Cargo Ukraine LLC.
  • Advised private company Eridon on obtaining clearance of its acquisition of real estate complex (sugar plant) for the purpose of its further reconstruction.

SDM Partners LLC

At SDM Partners LLC, the lead partner is Dmytro Syrota, who is well regarded for competition law matters. The firm assists large domestic and international companies with public procurement matters, internal antitrust audits, mock dawn raids and market investigations. It is frequently called upon to advise on cases involving concerted practices, abuses of dominance and unfair competition.

Practice head(s):

Dmytro Syrota

Sergii Koziakov & Partners

Sergii Koziakov & Partners is 'well placed to handle any competition-related issue on any stage and is much respected'. Its work includes high-profile investigations and merger control matters. Practice heads Mykola Podpalov and Nataliia Isakhanova are 'true professionals, their advice is very unique'. Associate Andrii Pylypenko 'achieves results on all levels, whether it is court or in competition investigations'.

Practice head(s):

Mykola Podpalov; Nataliia Isakhanova

Other key lawyers:

Andrii Pylypenko

Testimonials

‘A nice team that knows everything about competition law.’

‘Mykola Podpalov and Nataliia Isakhanova are both great.’

‘They are true professionals, their advice is very unique and out of scope. They are really strong in competition matters in Ukraine, whether it is abuse of dominance or M&A involving the AMCU merger clearance.’

‘Partners Mykola Podpalov and Nataliia Isakhanova are very devoted to the project, attorney-at-law Andrii Pylypenko achieves results on all levels, whether it is court or in competition investigation.’

‘They have professionals including former high ranked employees of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine, so they are well placed to handle any competition related issue on any stage and are much respected.’

‘Mykola Podpalov, Nataliia Isakhanova and Andrii Pylypenko are outstanding professionals. They always have solutions and ready to help.’

‘Nataliia Iskhanova knows the law but also knows the lore and the people to get things done.’

‘Nataliia Isakhanova is great, well-regarded throughout Europe and for good reason.’

Key clients

Nibulon LLC

Subsidiary Enterprise “Lactalis Ukraine”

Subsidiary Enterprise “Itron Ukraine”

PrJSC “Itron Ukrgas Meters Company”

LLC “Fifth Guard”

Lenovo group

PrJSC Lactalis Mykolaiv

State Enterprise “Ukrspyrt”

Chinese Commerce Association

Work highlights

  • Representing companies of Itron group (USA) – SE “Itron Ukraine” and PrJSC Itron Ukrgas Meters Company during the investigation of the Antimonopoly committee of Ukraine of the case on abuse of dominance on markets of natural gas.
  • Representing SC “Lactalis Ukraine” – one of major Ukrainian dairy products distributors, in challenging the AMCU decision on unfair competition with the penalty up to $1.3m.
  • Defending the State-Owned Enterprise “UKRSPYRT” – the largest producer of high-quality alcohol and alcohol products in Ukraine, as defendant in case challenging the AMCU decision on abuse of dominance with the penalty applied by the competition authority in amount up to $1.2m.