Firm Profile > Aver Lex > Kiev, Ukraine

Aver Lex
2 KHRESTOVYI ALLEY
5TH FLOOR
01010 KIEV
Ukraine

White-collar crime Tier 1

Aver Lex focuses predominantly on white-collar crime, which makes up 80% of its workload. It has one of the largest specialist practices, led by outstanding partners Olha Prosyanyuk and Vitaliy Serdyuk, which acts for high-profile public figures and large international businesses. The firm is 'probably the first to go to on the market and it is known for large political cases'. Artem Drozdov and associates Andriana Fozekosh and Bogdan Bilenko are highly regarded.

Testimonials

Olha Prosyanyuk and Vitaliy Serdyuk are the best known practitioners, but Artem Drozdov is also very good.

Aver Lex is definitely one of the top law firms in white-collar crime. They successfully represented our company being an aggrieved party as a result of embezzlement committed by a financial officer in a Ukrainian company. The team is highly experienced, effective and reliable, providing skilful protection in complicated cases.

I would particularly give prominence to Atrem Drozdov. He has deep legal expertise in the field of criminal law and criminal procedure and a strong background in criminal investigation. He and his team developed an effective plan of action which helped us recover a significant part of damages and took quick actions where right decisions had to be taken fast.

Igor Fedorenko took part in the development of key forensic strategies which helped our company reach the result. Attorneys Maksym Kozlyuk and Tetyana Bazko were extremely helpful. The team gave comprehensive support in contacting pre-trial investigation office, drafting current documents and other day-to-day matters.

I’d like to single out Vitaliy Serdyuk and Igor Fedorenko. Vitaliy is an excellent spokesperson, he always knows how to communicate with media. He is never afraid of difficulties and entanglements. He is one of the best criminal lawyers in Ukraine with a perfect reputation.’

Igor Fedorenko is a perfect strategist. He always takes into account the potential risks and does the strategy to achieve the goals. They lead a big team of attorneys. Everyone is a qualified lawyer, hardworking person. For me, it is a pleasure to work with AVER LEX.

Attorneys of AVER LEX have advised our company on criminal and tax matters. The results achieved by attorneys in our cases once again confirmed that AVER LEX is a first-class team of professionals who always do more than they bargained for. On top of all of that, AVER LEX lawyers are very attentive and patient with their clients.

Partner Artem Drozdov is a top white-collar crime lawyer. He has a brilliant legal mind, understands white-collar and criminal investigation issues on both sides of the pond. He can explain complex matters in very simple words, even in a difficult case.

AVER LEX is an excellent criminal law firm, which is the best choice for many clients.

This is a very solid and well-organised company. They are able to deal with cases of the highest complexity and responsibility, to work under great pressure from the most serious opponents. Moreover, they always offer non-standard strategic decisions, which are not presented on the market yet.

Igor Fedorenko is an irreplaceable member of the strategic level team, a highly respected criminal lawyer. His advice is always pragmatic and addressed to effective problem solving.

Olga Prosyanyuk is an excellent team manager who is able to organise the internal work of the team as a well-coordinated smooth mechanism. Moreover, she is a brilliant criminal lawyer, for whom the main goal is to achieve the desired result for the client with all her might. Olga very skilfully and effectively communicates with foreign partners on the project. She actively fights against violations of the rights and guarantees of lawyers both within and outside the framework of the project.

Lawyers Bogdan Bilenko and Andriana Fozekosh are rising stars, highly professional, hardworking and confident in their knowledge.

Vitaliy Serdyuk, due to his experience, is involved in his projects in non-stop mode, which allows him to see non-standard ways of defence, which can radically affect the process. Most often his ideas are procedural bombs that neutralise the opponents.

Artem Drozdov is very professional in the development of the detailed defence algorithm simultaneously in several directions. He skilfully forms a network of team functions, which allows everything to be kept under control.

Igor Fedorenko has the ability to notice and anticipate details and circumstances that are not obvious. In fact, he is thinking up the methods of defence a few steps forward.

Igor Fedorenko can find an approach to any person and reach an agreement with anyone. In my opinion, one of his main qualities is the ability to discern the strengths of lawyers and put together a team that will able to meet the challenges.

Artem Drozdov is one of the strongest business defence lawyers. Artem can explain in simple language the most complicated case.

AVER LEX is the best in the WCC defence. The team understands not only the risks and the ways of their prevention, but they can foresee the development of the case several steps ahead.

Tetyana Bazko is a very professional litigator with extensive experience in the criminal proceedings. Moreover, she is an open and friendly lawyer.

Igor Fedorenko can find an approach to any person and reach an agreement with anyone. In my opinion, one of his main qualities is the ability to discern the strengths of lawyers and put together a team that will able to meet the challenges.

Artem Drozdov is a calm and clear person. He is one of the strongest business defence lawyers. Artem can explain in simple language the most complicated case.

Key clients

Viktor Yanukovych, the fourth President of Ukraine (2010-­‐2014)

Myroslav Prodan, former acting Head of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine

Oleksandr Yanukovych, businessman, son of the ex-president of Ukraine

ZTE, Ukrainian branch of Chinese multinational telecoms company

Bunge Ukraine

Pilot

The firm: AVER LEX is the leading WCC boutique law firm in Ukraine, focused on high-profile economic crimes and politically motivated prosecutions, cases regarding defence of corporate executives in criminal proceedings and corporate security matters. The firm stands out for its mature highly specialised team, and commands unrivalled capacities for being a preferred criminal defense counsel in particular compound and complex WCC litigations in Ukraine.

AVER LEX was recognised as the sole leader (Band 1) in the ‘Dispute resolution: White-collar crime’ (Chambers Europe 2017, 2018, 2019); Law Firm of the Year in Criminal Law (Legal Awards 2016); listed among the top firms in Business Crime Defence (Who is Who Legal 2016); eminent leader in Criminal law and Business defence (‘50 leading law firms of Ukraine 2017’), etc.

Areas of practice: The firm advises on all aspects of criminal law, providing both the traditional services of legal prosecution and defence, and the new requirements of preventive criminal law and corporate compliance. We render the most convenient legal strategies for the defense or solution of legal problems to institutions, individuals and corporations. Our expertise encompasses White-Collar Crime; Corporate Criminal Law, Corruption and Bribery; Tax Fraud and Evasion; International Criminal Law; Extradition; Business Crime, Fraud; Risk Assessment; Criminal Due Diligence, etc.

We provide for complex legal decisions in corporate security aimed at identifying and minimising criminal risks in business; defence of legal rights of detained and convicted persons during a provisional arrest; measures to release from custody; comprehensive legal defence during operational search activities and pre-trial investigations by the law-enforcement bodies; successful advocating in court hearings within a criminal proceeding; legal aid to complainants; recovery of damages judgments.

In 2017-2018 clients’ portfolio included state officials and high net worth individuals within protection from politically motivated prosecutions (Viktor Yanukovych (4th President of Ukraine, 2010-2014), Myroslav Prodan (the Acting Chairman of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine), Olexander Onishchenko (Ukrainian politician, businessman and member of the Ukrainian Parliament), Serhii Bochkovsky (Head of the State of Emergency Service of Ukraine), etc; big corporate clients from a range of economic sectors (Odessa Portside Plant, Diamant Bank, ZTE Corporation, LTD Carlton Trading, Bunge Ukraine, BRCM-Nafta, Total Ukraine, Ukrainian Interbank Currency Exchange Group).

Department Name Email Telephone
Olha Prosyanyuk prosyanyuk@averlex.com
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Artem Drozdov  photo Mr Artem Drozdov
Mr Igor Fedorenko  photo Mr Igor Fedorenko
Ms Olha Prosyanyuk  photo Ms Olha Prosyanyuk
Mr Vitaliy Serdyuk  photo Mr Vitaliy Serdyuk
Number of lawyers : 37
English
Russian
Ukrainian
IBA (International Bar Association)
The European Criminal Bar Association

Olha Prosyanyuk, Managing partner

Olha Prosyanyuk explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Aver Lex from your competitors?

AVER LEX Attorneys At Law is the first WCC boutique in Ukraine focused at providing comprehensive legal defence in most complicated criminal and politically driven cases.

Our team consists of more than 30 attorneys with focused specialization. We have sufficient professional capacity to defend clients’ interests in several concurrent proceedings that involve a group of defendants/suspects/witnesses in several regions simultaneously. For example, the case of Oleksandr Onyshchenko, former Deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament, involved almost 30 suspects, who were simultaneously interrogated and searched in attorneys presence. In addition, attorneys’ team currently defends Viktor Yanukovych, the 4th President of Ukraine, and deals with 53 ongoing proceedings in various jurisdictions.

We have a significant experience in defending clients in cases of diverse complexity, even in no-win circumstances when clients do not hope to succed in defending their rights. At the same time, we handle unconventional cases and establish precedents for the future. Case of Viktor Yanukovych, the 4th President of Ukraine, was considered simultaneously with the adoption of a number of new laws that establish new procedures in the Ukrainian judiciary e.g. introduce special type of court review in absence of a defendant, as well as special seizure instrument.

By using creative legal solutions and our strong in-house PR team, we are ready to face illegal pressure on our clients made by both the state and their opponents; we fight for client’s interests all the way through. For example, funds and valuables amounting to UAH 9.5 million were stolen from our client’s personal safety deposit box. Bank’s representative failed to respond properly to attorneys’ and client’s claims for funds recovery. Therefore, the defence and in-house PR team made this situation public to draw maximum attention of the public and national media. As a result of comprehensive defence approach, attorneys managed to recover client’s funds in full.

We really love what we do and accept our responsibiluty for it. We do not compromise interest of our clients and make sure that the entire process is handled within legal framework. Thus far, the court took into account arguments and evidence presented by attorneys in Serhii Bochkovskyi’s case and recognised him as unlawfully dismissed as DSNS (State Emergency Service of Ukraine) Head, even though the case was politically influenced by Serhii Bochkovskyi’s political opponents.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Active development of White Collar Crime practice in Ukraine has begun several years ago when leading law firms started to set up separate criminal defence practices in addition to general litigation. Although 7 years ago criminal cases were handled by sole practitioners. Moreover, today criminal practice is not simply formed as an independent direction of legal services. It is possible to emphasize separate sub specializations with specific narrow-focused players and teams of the market.

We anticipate that the practice will be of high demand in the nearest future for several reasons.

  • Governmental policy aimed at combating corruption, which includes several directions:
  • introduction of anticorruption programs and establishment of new law enforcement agencies. At the same time, we may observe the tendency towards increase of the number insepead of improvement of the investigation quality. Many cases are far-fetched and commenced for certain reasons; therefore, after such case is referred to the court, the investigation cannot provide necessary evidence which result in “collapse” of the case. Furthermore, in most cases competences of such bodies overlap, hence they simultaneously or one after another investigate the same client;
  • cooperation with international, foreign authorities, organizations and legal firms in respect of protection of human rights and interests. The number of multi-jurisdiction proceedings increased significantly in 2018, which resulted in greater demand for strong partnerships with law firms in other countries. In addition, many international human rights organizations inquired into review of cases in Ukraine and carried out special monitoring thereof;
  • unfortunately, we should note significant number of fake criminal proceedings in terms of combating illegal gratification (bribery) by charging with unjust enrichment. Some ”targeted” persons are accused of accepting/offering bribes only on the basis of testimony of two or three strangers who allegedly handed over/accepted a “bribe”. Later on, after a detailed inspection, such persons turn out to be “agents” who are regulalrly involved in preparing respective applications and staging bribe transfers.
  • We expect a “traditional” increase of the number of investigations due to presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine in 2019. These factors prove that business and civil servants need a comprehensive and consistent defence of their rights in criminal cases.
  • Despite ongoing judicial reform in order to enhance trust in the judiciary, we can now observe escalated pressure on judges aimed at adopting “suitable” court decisions. In cases where judges start resisting such pressure, efforts are taken to dismiss them under fake reasons.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We have developed several training programs based on our most common cases in order to prepare clients for communication with law enforcement agencies and opponents up until an attorney arrives. Besides, other law firms, not having criminal practices, underwent our trainings, since cases when investigative actions are conducted in attorneys’ offices and places of residence have become more common.

Our clients can also get an “Emergency Aid”, i.e. service ensuring a 24/7 legal aid for clients.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Most situations in terms of criminal proceedings require attorneys be personally present and promptly react in order to duly defend client’s interests. This is the reason why use of communication technologies or rendering services in criminal practice will not have the same effect as in any other practice.

Thus far, we can assess efficient use of technologies in criminal practice aimed at securing limited access to information received from a client, as we ll as to elaborate defence algorithm both being an attorney-client privilege.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Criminal practice has its own specifics. In particular, one of the main tasks for attorneys is to preserve the business as a whole and subsequently ensure its proper operation. Most common cases of business attacks may include hostile takeover, fraudulent actions of partners or employees, or interest of state authorities, which may result in companies ceasing to exist or being owned by other persons.

One of our clients, a co-owner of a large pharmaceutical business, found himself in a conflict with his partner, which resulted in a risk of loosing his business. The unscrupulous partner enhanced commencement of a big number of fake criminal proceedings, which resulted in searches and property seizure. The proceedings were protracted, but attorneys managed to defend client’s interests and ensured that seized property was returned. Moreover, attorneys took preventive measures to ensure that such situations would never happen again in the future.

Another client of ours, engaged in a financial business, had a conflict with corrupted law enforcement officers interested in obtaining personal financial benefit. They repeatedly conducted searches; one of such searches ended up with destrustion of office walls. Due to timely interference of attorneys and prompt defense measures, attorneys succeed to defend and preserve client’s business. In addition, an emergency legal aid agreement was executed by the client, and attorneys protected his interests even when searches were conducted during non-working hours, at night. Preventive measures were also taken for this client in order to avoid similar situations in the future.

Unfortunately, such situations are quite common in Ukraine that is why timely legal aid and active response through preparation of numerous submissions to the competent authorities, collecting of evidence and publicity are of a great importance.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

AVER LEX is and will be Ukrainian leading WCC boutique providing legal services at the highest international standards. We intend to continue taking the most complex projects, and fighting for client’s interests all the way through by using creative solutions. We also plan to carry on establishing trust-based partnerships with foreign law and consulting firms by involving them into joint work on multi-jurisdiction projects.