• Alexey Kharitonov |ILF (Inyurpolis Law Firm)

    According to market data, dispute resolution brought law firms about 20% of their income this year. As relevant as ever remain the disputes of depositors with the Deposit Guarantee Fund regarding the liquidation of banks. In 2016 their number rose by 21.

    At the start of the year the number of disputes on land and other assets also rose, as did instances of senior managers finding themselves involved in criminal cases, which can often be an excuse for a dishonest takeover. However, the adoption of new anti-takeover regulations by the Ukrainian Parliament helped the situation somewhat, bringing the number of hostile takeovers down by 50%, according to the Ministry of Justice. A new regulatory body called the Commission on complaints against actions of state registrars, and the new SMS Beacon service, now ensure that companies are made aware via SMS or Telegram Messenger when their entry is being tampered with.

    With the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, many companies lost access to their assets and couldn’t pay off their debts in time, which led to a series of disputes with banks. Consequently, those companies whose assets are locked away in occupied territory or Crimea are suffering major losses, making them turn to the ECHR as the last resort. It’s a new kind of litigation for Ukraine. What makes these cases special is the added difficulty of finding evidence in restricted territories as well the considerable time they require. In 2014 only a handful of companies chose this legal remedy, but now, in 2017, dozens of businesses and thousands of citizens are lining up at the ECHR. Their numbers will surely grow, considering how ineffective national remedies are.

    Furthermore, new anti-corruption legislation and electronic tax-returns from civil servants will increase the number of criminal cases on illicit enrichment as well as proceedings regarding sources of declared assets.

  • Kostiantyn Likarchuk | Kinstellar

    The Ukrainian economy, which is slowly recovering, determines the long-term drivers of any dispute resolution practice. Last year there were many disputes in the financial and banking sectors as well as post-M&A disputes. Civil conspiracy claims and shareholder litigation have also been key drivers of cross-border litigation practices.

    Another trend is the increased importance of white-collar crime in cross-border disputes. Ukrainian and international clients have become involved in criminal white-collar investigations both in Ukraine and abroad as part of larger dispute resolution cases. Such proceedings are now more frequently seen as a tool for claims for damages in situations where traditional international litigation strategies are viewed as less effective.

    International clients are becoming subject to criminal investigations in Ukraine by newly formed anti-corruption bodies, namely, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU). We see increasing demand for advice on various aspects of criminal proceedings in Ukraine arising from the dealings of international clients with state authorities.

    Despite Brexit, London remains one of the preferred venues for the resolution of post-M&A and shareholders’ disputes, both on the arbitration and litigation fronts. However, it is unclear whether this will remain the case post-Brexit, given the non-applicability of the Brussels Regulation, which provides that judgments rendered by courts of member states should be recognizable and enforceable in other member states.

    In any event, independently of Brexit, some clients are prepared to switch to arbitral institutions in Asia (e.g., SIAC) to reduce the costs of potential disputes without prejudice toward the quality of services provided by such institutions.

    Currently, clients do not only expect sophisticated and business-focused legal advice in international litigation, but highly praise industry knowledge and specific focus on client sectors. This encourages law firms to expedite the creation of industry-focused teams within litigation practice groups. We expect this to be a long-lasting future trend in cross-border litigation.

The sizeable litigation team at Ilyashev & Partners has extremely well-established positions in dispute resolution, both domestic and cross-border. A significant part of projects are being tackled by the firm’s Moscow office. In 2016 the firm represented its long-standing clients State Enterprise Antonov, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, BTA Bank
(Kazakhstan and Ukraine), FSC More, in various disputes. Among others, Creative Group was represented before the High Court of England and Wales as well as in two LCIA arbitrations, arbitration under ICC rules in Munich, the economic courts of Ukraine and Cyprus, in connection with disputes with an international consortium of banks under the management of UniCredit regarding the collection of loans from the group’s companies. RGC-Trading (Group DF) was supported in a dispute with the Odesa Port Plant regarding the recovery of debts for gas supplies. RCB Bank (Cyprus) was represented in a dispute with Foldale Trading Limited about foreclosure on mortgages and ProCredit Bank — in the process of debt collection under lease agreements in the territory of annexed Crimea. The team also represented the port of Vitino, one of the largest northern ports in the Russian Federation, the only port in the White Sea that transports crude oil, in litigation related to bankruptcy proceedings, debt collection, disputing transactions concluded by the company’s former management, and acted on behalf of White Sea Oil Depot, the owner of the main assets of the oil terminals in the port of Vitino. The team is led by Mikhail Ilyashev, managing partner, and Roman Marchenko, senior partner, who are both highly recognized in court matters.

Litigation is the core practice for EQUITY (called FCLEX up till June 2017), a renowned domestic dispute resolution force on the Ukrainian market. In 2016, a lot of new clients were attracted, among them — Helen Marlen Group, Frosbi-M (“Furshet”), Platinum Bank, Zaporizhtransformator, Ukrferry, Deposit Guarantee Fund, Brokbusiness Insurance Company. The firm also continues cooperation with key clients, including Azovmash, Ukrainian Business Group, Corporate pension fund of the National Bank of Ukraine, Agro Holding Mriya plc, Vernum Bank, Trust Bank, Stockman Interhold (businessman Adam Adamovskiy), Ferrexpo AG, AutoKRaZ, Concorde Capital, AIS Corporation and many others. In 2016 the firm accompanied more than 1,000 litigation disputes for a total of around USD 3.2 billion, including the representation of PJSC Zaporozhtransformator and PJSC Zaporozhskiy factory of heavy-duty transformers in a dispute over the decision of the AMCU to violate the economic competition with participation in tender procedures for the sum of USD 300 million, and representation of the Azovmash Group in more than 30 disputes within the framework of the project on restructuring the debt owed to 10 creditors running to a total in excess of USD 850 million. The firm represented the interests of Trade Kommodyty in a resonant dispute that arose around the competitive bidding for the supply of fuel and lubricants for JSC Ukrzaliznytsia. Senior partner Viktor Barsuk oversees the practice. Partner Oleg Malinevskiy coordinates most of the litigation, including banking and corporate disputes. Partner Serhiy Chuyev accompanies tax disputes, as well as banking litigation. Partner Vyacheslav Krahlevych is responsible for real estate work.

In 2016 LCF Law Group strengthened its prominent positions in litigation. The firm enhanced its team, both qualitatively and quantitatively with counsels Yulia Atamanova and Alexander Biryukov, as well as senior lawyer Julia Lukoshkina, increasing its client portfolio, both through banking institutions and large companies in other sectors (agro, transportation, real estate, energy). In particular, Oschadbank, AVK Group, Fozzy Group, Nikmorservice Nikolayev, TAS Group, YURIA-PHARM, Ovostar Union are the clients of the firm. The group entrenched its position as exclusive litigator of Alfa Bank. Among last year’s highlights is complex legal support of Alfa Bank in a dispute with Azovmash Group for collection of overdue credit debts under three loan agreements for a total amount of more than USD 70 million. Core practitioner Anna Ogrenchuk, managing partner, is also known for active participation in expert groups on judicial reform. Artem Stoyanov, senior partner, is another key contact.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is one of the most long-established players on the litigation market, regularly preferred for representation in matters involving major international investors and the highest Ukrainian Government authorities. The team has recently been representing one of the major Latvian banks in debt collection litigations, liquidation procedure of a Ukrainian bank; acts for a Ukrainian company which provides services in the real estate sphere, in a dispute with the National Bank of Ukraine and Department of the State Enforcement Service of Ukraine related to recognition of an act of property assessment as invalid as well as the mortgage, which provided for enforcement of obligation under the loan agreement in question. In 2016 the litigation team represented big clients (such as Shell, Solum, Imperial Tobacco Production Ukraine, Zelmer Ukraine, Sandvik, Manushar Ukraine) in disputes with the tax authorities. Another highlight was acting as Ukrainian counsel for well-known Ukrainian businessmen Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogoliubov in a major corporate dispute against another well-known Ukrainian businessman, Victor Pinchuk, before the High Court of Justice in London regarding the payment of dividends and transfer of shares of one of the major Ukrainian Iron-Ore Works. Managing partner Andriy Stelmashchuk acts as lead partner of the litigation team, included Oleg Kachmar, Yuriy Kolos, Tetyana Berezhna, Yegor Svidlo. Oksana Voynarovska, partner, is devoted to labor disputes, as is Vladyslav Podolyak, counsel, who acted in IP-related disputes. Oleg Makarov, partner, enjoys a reputation of a high-level litigator. Partner Oleg Alyoshin is noted for rebooting his cross-border litigation activity.

Integrites is one of the few firms on the market that have a solid network of operating offices in the CIS supported by an international office network in Europe. The 30-strong practice is structured as specialized tactic groups. During 2016 the list of clients grew with the addition of many reputable names, including the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, State Defense Concern UkrOboronProm, Farmak, DHL, Bionic Hill Innovation Park, Retail Group, Next Group Plc, Bank of China, China Development Bank, EKF, Morgan Stanley, Palma Group, Plati Spa, Quick Payment System Ltd., Rockwool International AS, Rosatom, RUSAL, St. Jude Medical, Vesta Service, Bank Mikhailivsky. Work highlights encompass representing BIONIC Hill in a domestic real estate litigation case on an acquisition of a land plot as well as complex legal support to the VTB Bank in a range of interrelated trials, initiated against more than 10 retail companies of Fozzy Group. Vyacheslav Korchev, senior partner, is the head of dispute resolution and international arbitration practices. Oleksiy Sluch joined the firm from Vasil Kisil & Partners in January 2017 аs a partner and head of the litigation practice; Volodymyr Pavlenko (prior — KPMG Ukraine) is a counsel of litigation practice since 2016, while Denys Kytsenko, known in bankruptcy left the firm.

The sizeable litigation team at Arzinger operates through its offices in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa. In 2016 its diverse caseload centered on debt collection, tax, commercial, IP disputes, business crime matters both domestic and cross-border. In 2016 the team represented an international bank group in a dispute on recovery of payables from a Ukrainian company — a global leader and the largest Ukrainian manufacturer of mono and multi-crystalline silicon wafers for solar cells worth upwards of USD 95 million under a credit agreement governed by Spanish law. Markian Malskyy, partner, head of the firm’s West Ukrainian branch is an important contact as is Andriy Seliutin, partner, head of the firm’s South Ukrainian branch. Partner Kateryna Gupalo, the head of tax and customs disputes as well as white-collar defense practices, is another core practitioner.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners (EPAP Ukraine) has a proven track record of resolving the most complex multijurisdictional and domestic disputes across a wide range of industries. This past year the team represented clients in disputes related to antimonopoly regulation, insurance law and practice, maritime and labor law, real estate, IP, debt recovery issues, and tax, as well as unprecedented family law issues. In particular, the team represented a US-based leading provider of larger Offshore Service Vessels to the global energy industry, in a complex dispute involving different spheres of international and Ukrainian law; a Ukrainian leasing company in several multimillion disputes over debt recovery and enforcement proceedings. Gleb Bialyi, partner, is a co-head of the litigation practice. Arsen Miliutin, counsel of the litigation practice, also leads the tax litigation group. Talina Kravtsova heads the family law team, which is the part of the litigation practice. Serhii Sviriba is managing partner and a co-head of litigation practice with a particular focus on international arbitration and cross-border litigation.

Sayenko Kharenko’s litigation team handled an impressive portfolio of over 190 projects for the total sum of more than USD 4 billion. The firm maintains an enviable roster of clients in the banking, insurance, IT, metallurgy, oil and gas, retail, machine-building and other industry sectors. The latest work highlights take in protecting the interests of a shareholder in one of the largest plants in Europe, which produces equipment for oil refining, petrochemical and gas industries, appealing around 100 decisions of the Supervisory Board providing approval to go ahead with significant transactions; representing the interests of Financial Industrial Group Altcom in court and enforcement proceedings relating to debt recovery of UAH 52 million. Representation of Azovmash, one of the largest machine-building enterprises in Ukraine, in 13 court cases on debt recovery running to USD 65 million. The team also acted as legal counsel to U&Sluno, one of the leading providers of IT and consultancy services in trade, logistics and distribution, on recovery of penalties and damages in Ukrainian courts, caused by counteragents in violation of the terms of general cooperation agreements. This multi-force team is led by three partners: Sergey Pogrebnoy — domestic litigation, Tatyana Slipachuk — cross-border litigation, Serhiy Verlanov — tax litigation.

The main specialization of the dynamically developing litigation practice at Trusted Advisors is banking and corporate disputes. In 2016, the firm supported about 120 cases, coming to a total of about USD 1.6 billion, including bankruptcy proceedings and represented the interests of debtors in the process of foreclosure on mortgage, as well debt enforcement support. The team’s clientele composes of primarily local clients with a sharp footing of agricultural enterprises (e.g., Agricultural Technology System, PJSC Odesa Oil and Fat Industrial Complex, Ilychevsk grain port, etc.). Ivan Lishchina, previously a partner and head of the international dispute resolution practice, was appointed Government Commissioner for European Court of Human Rights in June 2016, having handed  his practice to the leadership of managing partner Ivan Mishchenko. Vladislav Rieznikov, partner, is active in bankruptcy proceedings.

AEQUO demonstrated rapid growth in litigation true the year keeping focus in specific industry sectors, namely, banking, pharma, IP, engineering, telecommunications and media. Amongst landmark projects was representing RwS Bank in a series of litigation proceedings in a dispute with a debtor regarding protection of assets; acting for Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Limited in the first of a kind case involving a biosimilar medicinal product registered in Ukraine; representing Forbes (USA) in Ukrainian courts in proceedings on recognition of the AAA arbitral award in Ukraine as well as in proceedings claiming access to the forbes.ua domain name in Ukrainian courts. Partner Oleksandr Mamunya heads the dispute resolution and IP practice. Pavlo Byelousov, counsel, is dedicated to this practice area. Denis Lysenko, managing partner, acted in tax related disputes.

Prominent in corporate, finance and tax, Ukrainian law firm AVELLUM is a notable market player in cross-border litigation as well as domestic high-profile disputes. The team represents the Ukrainian subsidiaries of LSE-listed Ferrexpo Plc in court proceedings challenging the under-recognition and ranking of its claims in the liquidation of Bank Finance and Credit and representing an international investor in commercial court proceeding against an Icelandic company regarding enforcement of claims against a deposit held in a Ukrainian bank with foreign capital. The team’s landmark case was acting for the trustee under two issues of Eurobonds of Mriya Agro Holding Plc in litigation on enforcement of claims (almost USD 600 million) against 68 Ukrainian sureties under Eurobonds. The practice is led by Dmytro Marchukov, active practitioner experienced in both domestic and cross-border litigation, fraud investigation, as well as recognition and enforcement of foreign judicial and arbitral awards.

Kinstellar’s Kyiv office was launched on March 2016 on the basis of Legal Bureau of Likarchuk. Throughout the period of its market presence the firm strengthened its position in domestic and cross-border litigation, acting as legal counselor for a wide range of reputable clients in cases totaling USD 1.5 billion in value. The team have been presenting clients in diverse types of litigation, including: corporate and commercial litigation, debt collection, post-M&A and shareholders’ multijurisdictional disputes as well as disputes related to immovable property or immovable property rights. The team represents a Ukrainian high net worth individual in large multijurisdictional shareholders’ dispute involving assets tracing and fraud investigations; advises Stockman Interhold S.A., a former investor in the Sky Mall shopping mall in Kyiv on a major shareholder multijurisdictional dispute that involves around 30 sets of litigation proceedings in order to prevent hostile takeover attempts aimed at the asset. Another highlight is acting for majority shareholders in Nemiroff Vodka Limited on a number of multijurisdictional disputes with minority shareholders valued at USD 350 million. The team includes Kostiantyn Likarchuk, partner, head of dispute resolution practice Kinstellar-wide, Mykyta Nota, managing associate, Andriy Yanchuk and Danylo Volkovetskyi, associates.

Alekseev, Boyarchukov & Partners has a reputation for local dispute resolution mandates and acts predominantly for banking clients. In 2016 Ukrsotsbank, Ukrgasbank, VTB Bank, Blitz Inform, Euro Pharma, Alfa Bank, OTP Bank, GEOS, PU Kievkinofilm are all listed in firm’s client portfolio. For example, the team acted for its longstanding client Ukrsotsbank on mortgage and debt recovery and defended the interests of Ukrgasbank in the bankruptcy procedure of the Mriya Group of Companies; represented VTB Bank on the cancellation of registration of the bank’s property right to mortgage from PE ALGOL-2003 (Milkiland Ukraine group). Senior lawyers Aleksandr Tkachuk and Inna Rudnik are key practitioners. Maksim Boyarchukov is head of litigation, while managing partner Sergey Boyarchukov oversees the team.

MORIS GROUP has improved the dynamic of the litigation practice, developing its dispute portfolio centered on banking, finance, corporate governance, tax issues and administrative proceedings. In 2016 the firm represented and still represents Delta Bank in USD 149.7 million disputes on the offset of credits and deposits of a debtor to Delta Bank caused by its liquidation process; National Investments Bank in USD 78.9 million debt recovery disputes with debtors caused by the liquidation process. Debt collection highlights include representing UkrOboronProm in USD 35.7 million debt collection with SEA EMERLAND; Societe Generale Equipment Leasing Ukraine in 8 disputes with various Ukrainian companies on debt recovery and seizing of property. Partner Andriy Savchuk is head of litigation.

The sizeable dispute resolution practice at ILF (Inyurpolis Law Firm) consists of 13 fee earners on board. The team encompasses varied expertise in debt recovery, bankruptcy, commercial, defamation cases, criminal defense, as well as unrivalled track record of representations in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Disputes under family law formed the new sphere of practice. Among the key strength of the team last year was bad debt recovery with a special focus on the banking sector (i.e. loan recovery matters and recovery of corporate and individual deposits) and sensitive cases on debt recovery cases from debtors located on the territories that are currently not under the control of the Ukrainian Government. Partner Alexey Kharitonov is a key litigation figure. Andriy Kristenko defends the interests of clients before the ECHR.

In 2016 the highly-qualified Pavlenko Legal Group accompanied more than 150 litigations worth a total of USD 400 million: protection of businesses from raiding, bank disputes, disputes in the areas of intellectual property, telecommunications, aviation as well as disputes with state authorities. The team represents MMDS-Ukraine in appealing against 4G licensing annulment and acted for TAScombank in a deposits recovery case. The firm’s founder and managing partner Oleksandra Pavlenko returned to practice from state service. Olena Pertsova, head of litigation, is an important team member.

The Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie has been providing legal assistance to clients in complicated disputes, including handling complex cross-border matters. In 2016 the team acted as legal counsel in bankruptcy proceedings and debt restructuring related issues, disputes on the enforcement of bank guarantees, antimonopoly and trademark related disputes, regulatory disputes challenging decisions adopted by state authorities. Ihor Siusel, partner, heads the Kyiv dispute resolution practice group.

The experienced team at ANTIKA has a wide spectrum of litigation matters. It defended the interests of AWT Britannia in a dispute on recognition as wrongful and cancellation of tax decision notices; represented AWT Bavaria in tax litigation as well as in all consumer-related and labor-related disputes. The team also successfully defended the interests of PJSC Energobank (in liquidation) in a range of dispute on debt recovery. Recognized litigator Andrey Kuznetsov, partner, runs litigation work. Maxim Korchagin (partner since 2017) and Alexandra Fedorenko, senior associate, are leading individuals.

During 2016 GOLAW acted on a series of large-scale debt collection cases. Thus, Československáobchodníbanka was represented in a complex dispute with its borrower, the Kuzmintsi Brick Plant, on debt recovery, as well as on initiating the insolvency of the latter; Expobank CZ, a.s, was supported in a case with Volnogorsk Glass LLC for the resumption of the rights of a mortgage agreement. Inditex Group, a consistent client of the firm, was represented in a dispute with the supervisory authority in the field of social protection of the disabled on appealing against the imposition of administrative sanctions as well as a series of tax disputes. The litigation team is guided by senior associate Kateryna Manoylenko. Valentyn Gvozdiy, managing partner, is the key contact.

In 2016 EVERLEGAL extended its litigation practice through handling a broad range of matters with the primary focus on tax, commercial, corporate, employment and banking disputes. The firm portfolio includes representing the interests of private individuals in a dispute with a major Ukrainian bank regarding early debt repayment, advising a global producer of electrically operated tools in a number of labor disputes with its former employees, and representing the interests of an international development company in a number of tax disputes. The caseload featured construction, corporate and shareholder disputes. Andriy Porayko is head of the dispute resolution practice. Oleksandr Ruzhytskiy, recently promoted to partner, is another key figure in litigation.

Spenser & Kauffmann has a strong litigation force with particular experience in advising banks, insurance companies, retail and FMCG, automotive, construction companies, as well as private clients. In 2016 the team acted for Infiko-Holding, LLC on restructuring of the debt owed to a large Ukrainian bank with foreign capital (factoring company) with subsequent legal support for court proceedings and business protection; provided advice and development of a strategy for protection of Alfa Development Limited in a dispute under a contract on capital repair, concluded with the public authority of a foreign state. Partner Yuriy Petrenko heads litigation, Nickolas Likhachov, counsel, is involved in international asset tracing issues.

Dispute resolution is the core focus for AVER LEX attorneys at law, top-tier criminal defense counsel. In addition to possessing a sizeable portfolio of criminal cases, the firm regularly acts on business protection cases, including commercial and property rights assignments. In particular, last year the team provided representation and protection of the interests of the Ukrainian Interbank Currency Exchange on invalidating the decision by the National Securities and Stock Market Commission, which annulled the license on trade organization on the stock market. Another significant case is protection of the client’s property and corporate rights (a business centre and equity stake in a legal entity) against fraudulent takeover via the forging of documents. Managing partner Olga Prosyanyuk splits her time between litigation and involvement in criminal defense practice.

Dynasty Law Firm, which operates through two offices in Kyiv and Dnipro, traditionally has an extensive domestic litigation portfolio. In 2016 the team was highly active in debt recovery disputes, insolvency matters, tax litigation and disputes with state authorities. For example, it advised the Dnipropetrovsk Meat-Processing and Packing plant’s appellation with the lawsuit against the State Inspection of Ukraine for Price Control about the reversal of the defendant’s order and the decision on applying economic sanctions for violating state discipline of prices. It also provided legal support in the bankruptcy procedure of the Acoustics Company. The management of the firm’s litigation practice is carried out by partners Denys Myrgorodskiy, Yevheniy Smiyuha, Antonina Selivanova, Snejana Karagodina, Viacheslav Kohlyakov, Anna Poddubnaya and Tamila Petrenko.

VB PARTNERS diversified its litigation practice, with the mainstay in commercial, debt recovery, banking, tax and customs, regulatory and shareholders disputes. In addition, the firm possesses a separate white-collar crime practice. In 2016 the team acted in a number of complicated disputes, inter alia, Mykolayiv Alumina Refinery, was represented in proceedings on the recognition of illegal inactivity on the part of Mykolayiv customs, which led to a delay in clearance of goods. KIT Yekaterinburg, a shopping mall which belongs to Mallino Development Group, an international holding company specializing in managing commercial real estate, was supported in a trial on debt collection under a surety agreement. Furthermore, the team represented the interests of another client in a lawsuit against Rodovid Bank for the recovery of loan debt. Three partners work in the practice’s litigation work. Volodymyr Vashchenko is focused on tax, commercial and civil disputes. Denys Bugay leads corporate, commercial, regulatory disputes, also heading the white-collar crime practice group. Oleksandr Lukianenko specializes in corporate, commercial, regulatory and criminal disputes.

The dynamic local litigation practice of L.I. Group enjoys a strong track record of debt recovery cases, acting predominantly for banking clients, such as VTB Bank, VAB Bank, Ukrsibbank, Sberbank, Piraeus Bank. In particular the team, led by Mykola Kovalchuk and Artur Megerya, supported the case on debt recovery from the guarantor of PJSC Creative in favor of Piraeus Bank.

Renowned for its dispute resolution focus ENGARDE is noted for its strong performance in both arbitration and litigation. The past year saw the team’s active engagement in banking and corporate litigation as well as enforcement in Ukraine of international arbitration and court decisions. Recent landmark cases took in representing the interests of clients in a dispute over unjust violation of shareholders’ rights and complex dispute of a major European vehicle producer with its dealer in Western Ukraine. Partners Andriy Vyshnevsky and Irina Nazarova are the main point of contact.

Over the past years Ukrainian top law firm Asters’ dispute resolution group has expanded quickly, attaining specialization within the team. The firm is involved in a broad spectrum of disputes, including corporate and contract disputes, multimillion debt recovery, tax and regulatory, antitrust/competition disputes, copyright and IP disputes. The comprehensive recent portfolio includes high-stake cross-border work. Oleksiy Didkovskiy, Svitlana Chepurna and Tamara Lukanina are lead partners.

CMS Cameron McKenna’s office in Ukraine possesses expertise in contentious matters including energy, tax and customs disputes as well as cross-border litigation. The team is also instructed by a client for fraud and FCPA-driven investigations and compliance work. This past year Olga Shenk (previously — the Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie) joined the team as a new senior associate, while partner Olga Vorozhbyt left to join DLA Piper. The reputable Olexander Martinenko, senior partner, heads the practice.

ARBITRADE’s litigation practice has seen some industrial extension and has a particularly good standing in advising state enterprises. In addition to disputes in the agrarian sector and high value tax disputes which have become traditional for the firm, it has become actively involved in disputes in the defense, logistics and IT sectors. Thus, the firm was engaged by a number of companies in the Ukrainian defense industry in disputes with their counterparties. This year ARBITRADE also continued to protect the interests of its clients in cases of unlawful actions by state authorities, in particular, tax offices and provided legal services in connection with the recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards. Managing partner Pavlo Trytenichenko is practice lead. Partner Andriy Shulga is noted in court trials.

2016 was a fruitful year for Eterna Law (emerged as a result of the merger of AstapovLawyers international law group and Baltic Business Group) and its litigation practice. The firm acted as a legal counsel of Concorde Bermuda in a case on securities trading regulation, that resulted in conclusion of a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Oleh Beketov, partner and head of international litigation, acted as an expert on issues of Ukrainian legislation, in the litigation Pinchuk versus Bogoliubov and Kolomoisky, which was considered by the High Court of Justice in London. The team was strengthened by the joining of Yaroslav Berezhnyi, on the position of a counsel and head of the Ukrainian litigation practice.

Lexwell & Partners regularly acts as a local counsel in domestic and multijurisdictional matters. The firm recently represented ArcelorMittal Berislav, PJSC in a dispute over the cancellation of a special permit for the use of mineral resources as well as recovery of losses caused by the emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. Another highlight was acting for Pravexbank in a number of debt recovery disputes. The team is led by Andrey Kolupaev.

Established in October 2015, N&D (since 2016 an independent Ukrainian law firm, previously a member of Andreas Neocleous & Co International LLC) has gained a reputable client and project portfolio in litigation, acting previously in debt collection and debt restructuring disputes. The enforcement practice is the team’s strong side. For example, the team represented the interests of First Ukrainian International Bank in enforcements of Ukrainian courts’ decisions under 11 debt collection disputes amounting to USD 75 million with legal entities and private clients; represented Prominvestbank’s interests in the enforcements of decisions by Ukrainian courts under 10 debt collection disputes with a total amount of up to USD 110 million. Igor Kravtsov heads litigation and arbitration. Managing partner Andriy Dovbenko oversees the majority of projects.

Litigation is the core practice of Sklіarenko, Sydorenko & Partners. Its litigation record includes corporate disputes (protection from hostile takeovers); bankruptcy; protection of honor, dignity and business reputation; IP and tax disputes. Among the clients: Institute for Reproductive Medicine, Mr. Andriy Danylko (stage name Verka Serduchka), and private clients. Managing partner Oleksandr Skliarenko heads the litigation practice.

Redcliffe Partners’ dispute resolution practice generated client workflow out of local litigation, international commercial and investment arbitration. The scope of representations, among others, included debt collection cases and enforcement in Ukraine, shareholders’ disputes. Partner Sergiy Gryshko, the practice head, enjoys a reputation of being a reliable practitioner.

KPMG Ukraine is instructed by traditionally sound clientele for representation in tax and commercial disputes. In particular, the firm provided turn-key assistance to Codelouf Limited in the recovery of dividends from one of the biggest Ukrainian gas and oil companies; advises Agrana Fruit Ukraine on potential strategies of recovery of funds frozen in an insolvent Ukrainian bank. Another work highlight is forensic due diligence of one of the largest insolvent Ukrainian banks (including efficiency diagnostics of the bank’s collection/litigation practices) on behalf of the Deposit Guarantee Fund. Senior counsel Yuriy Katser, head of legal, is a prime contact.

Last year the Kyiv office of Dentons was busy with debt recovery proceedings, enforcement of arbitration awards in Ukraine, tax and IP disputes, as well as international arbitration. The industrial focus is primarily centered on energy and financial institutions disputes. Artem Lukyanov, who primarily focuses on litigation and debt recovery as well as on restructuring and insolvency matters, joined the team. Managing partner Oleg Batyuk is a key contact person.

Lavrynovych & Partners traditionally provides litigation services. In 2016 the team acted for CS Marcom on reclamation of property from the illegal possession by Devilon Group; advised Avanta-Group LLC in litigation on eviction from previously occupied areas on the basis of a lease agreement. Stanislav Skrypnyck, partner, is the main litigator.

Gramatskiy & Partners demonstrates the most significant activity in proceedings against banks and financial institutions, fiscal authorities, credit and mortgage disputes, land, labor, as well as disputes on recovery against the firm’s client debtors. Significant cases include protecting GRAAL in a dispute against the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, where the client is an investor in the project concerning reconstruction of European Square in central Kyiv and construction of the Stolychnyi office and hotel complex. Andrii Trembich is the curator of the 18-lawyer team.

The litigation practice at Ario Law Firm is supervised by Julian Khorunzhyi, senior partner, as well as Yevhen Hrushovets and Iryna Serbin, partners. This dynamic team is mostly dedicated to representation in bankruptcy proceedings, as well as loan recovery disputes and business protection. The firm boosted its white collar crime practice this past year.

ANK Law Office, based in Odesa, has a long-standing presence on the litigation front. Among the major clients in 2016 are Brooklyn-Kyiv LLC, Vector Oil Trade, Olimpex Coupe International, Metalsukraine Corp., KERNEL, HPC Ukraina. The firm recently successfully defended the interests of VECTOR-OIL TRAD in litigation with the State Fiscal Service on holding as invalid and annulling tax notification-decisions. Alexander Kifak and Nadezhda Sofronkova are noted as responsible partners.

In 2016 Ante law firm acted for a number of market defining administrative litigations for its aviation clients. The firm has also successfully handled a number of labor cases on both sides — employer (big pharm a corporation) and employees including a category A civil servant. Tax litigation ended in favor of the pharma marketing company Zdravo in both the first and appeal instances. A corporate conflict within a Ukrainian airline led to a few litigations where Ante represents one of the shareholders. Partner Andriy Guck leads the firm’s team.

The track record of the Kyiv branch of Peterka & Partners’ includes representation before Ukrainian courts in commercial and administrative disputes, including court proceedings against Ukrainian citizens regarding the collection of debts with further enforcements of court decisions and court proceedings regarding the destruction of counterfeit goods and enforcements. Tatiana Timchenko and Taras Utiralov are the prime figures.

The majority of disputes handled by KM Partners are related to tax matters and white-collar crimes. The firm has considerable experience in representing the interests of clients in disputes with the State Fiscal Service regarding the so-called “reality” of transactions as well as labor and customs duties. In particular, the team defended the interests of a well-known company, whose main activity is wholesale trade in household detergents, in a dispute regarding inclusion of license fees (royalties) into the customs value of imported goods. All partners on the board practice litigation across their practice focuses. The leading experts on tax litigation are Alexander Minin and Alexander Shemiatkin. Dispute resolutions on transfer pricing and customs are led by Ivan Shynkarenko. Commercial disputes and international arbitration is led by Maxim Oleksiyuk.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar has a strong track record for successfully resolving corporate disputes, especially in the aviation sector. Among the clients are Ukraine International Airlines, Lufthansa Group, Swissair, Boryspil International Airport and a number of other Ukrainian airports as well as a number of handling and catering companies operating at Ukrainian airports, Reso Group, Amadeus Group, Lufthansa Group, Danske Commodities, Europcar Ukraine, Bionorica SE (Germany), Opower Inc (USA), Advent International. Oleg Bondar is a lead partner.

Marchenko Danevych advises and represents multinational companies in complex litigations and disputes, including antitrust, IP, regulatory and tax. The firm has been successfully acting for US and French private investors and their local manufacturing subsidiary (the largest exporter of products in its industry to EU countries) in domestic litigation with the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine and in a related investor-state dispute and negotiations with the Ministry of Justice and the Government of Ukraine. Moreover, the team regularly represents multinational companies in antitrust investigations and white-collar/FCPA investigations and proceedings. Oleh Marchenko is a lead partner.

BOGATYR & PARTNERS represented both corporate clients and individuals in a wide variety of matters, including fraud claims, white collar matters, challenging sanctions, assets tracing, post M&A disputes, partnership and joint venture disputes. Furthermore, it provided advice on contractual and insolvency matters and issues relating to the enforcement and recognition of judgments in Ukraine and overseas. Volodymyr Bogatyr often acts on cross-border matters.

In 2016 Pravochyn attorneys at law was involved in key disputes over the collection of arrears for a special (transport) levy to the aviation finance fund, the so-called aviation charge, where the firm represented the interests of Ukraine International Airlines. Other landmark cases were disputes related to multimillion debt collection. Partners Oleksandr Onishchenko and Oleksandr Pashchenko are both active litigators.

Attorneys Association PwC Legal is traditionally strong in tax litigation cases. The firm has also strengthened its litigation practice by hiring new team members, namely Maryna Pavlenchyk and Lidiia Zhovtiak, to form the cornerstone of the new commercial litigation branch. The practice is led by Andrey Pronchenko, managing partner.

Kharkiv-based Shkrebets & Partners has a well versed litigation practice with remarkable capacities. In the past year the firm showcased involvement in circa 100 litigation projects. Clients include industrial and municipal names, as Kharkiv CHP-5, Eristovskiy MPP, Kharkivoblenergo, Zhylkomservis, Kharkivvodokanal, Zarya. The work highlight is a dispute between PJSC Kharkiv CHP-5 and specialist tax inspectorate for servicing of major taxpayers on additional tax liabilities totaling UAH 52 million. Partners Eugene Shkrebets, Andrey Syvak, Yuriy Artukh are active litigators.

With an established niche in pharmaceuticals, Legal Alliance Company has litigation experience in legal proceedings regarding administrative disputes, including the tax authorities; commercial disputes; intellectual property rights and copyrights, disputes around the deregistration of medicinal products. Ilya Kostin is a responsible partner.

The Ukrainian office of DLA Piper established its litigation and regulatory practice with the arrival of new partner and practice head Olga Vorozhbyt in October 2016. The team’s core specialization lies in the main sub-areas, like domestic and cross-border litigation, arbitration, banking and finance litigation, global investigations, asset tracing, arbitration, white-collar crimes.

During 2016, Poberezhnyuk & Partners law group continued to develop its litigation practice, acting on various debt collection and tax-related cases. The dispute caseload was broadened with assignments from private clients, particularly recovery of deposits in Ukrainian banks, loan recovery and bad debts. Partner Larysa Poberezhnyuk is a prime contact. Dmitriy Troekurov, new partner, enhanced the team.

In 2016 the Lviv-based Advice Group has been providing representation of rights to trademarks of Julius Blum GmbH, one of the largest global manufacturers of furniture, in a dispute regarding unfair competition with unlawful use of trademarks involved. The group also represented a major Polish investor, a Western Ukrainian textile manufacturer, in a complex customs dispute with regard to the unlawful charging of additional customs duties. The projects were performed under the leadership of partner Oleh Kyryievskyi.

Highly active in the agrarian sector, the caseload of Law Offices of OMP consists primarily of tax litigation, disputes coming out of leasing and supply arrangement. For instance, the firm acted for Cargill AT in a court dispute against the fiscal authorities, including VAT reimbursement. Valeriy Bitsyuk, Yaroslav Sverdlichnko and Mykola Orlov are noted as responsible partners.

The litigation caseload of Sokolovskyi & Partners encompasses tax and customs disputes, cases related to bankruptcy proceedings, criminal cases, commercial litigation, civil and employment litigation. Senior partner Tetiana Lysovets leads the practice.

Over the last couple of years International Legal Center EUCON has performed large-scale tax litigation. The firm has also handled corporate, IP and real estate related disputes. Yaroslav Romanchuk and Tetiana Samsina are the main figures.

Suprema Lex is focused primarily on the transportation sector, representing clients from maritime and aviation industries. The firm recently carried out protection of an international carrier in a dispute on the failure by a Ukrainian carrier to carry out freight international shipping terms. The dispute was considered in several jurisdictions, namely Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Germany. Managing partner Victor Moroz is the prime contact.

SDM Partners is focusing on various types of dispute resolution, including amicable pre-court settlement. The team is particularly centered on representing clients regarding disputes with the state authorities, such as tax and customs. It also supported a client on debt restructuring and recovery matters. In particular, the firm represented a major real estate operator in court disputes with a bank on loan restructuring. Serhiy Dzis is the main contact.

Odesa-based LEGRAN.TT utilizes experience in settlement of maritime related disputes and international arbitration. The firm’s expertise is connected with charter party issues, cargo interests, shipping agreements, accidents, employment, payment claims; and also tax related disputes. The key contact is Tatiana Titarenko, managing partner.

Domestic litigation is a core focus of Prove Group. The firm is particularly experienced in handling disputes with the state authorities and resolving conflicts between business entities, including countering illegal acquisitions. The team recently accompanied litigation by Interleaseinvest Ukraine B.V. and state registrars regarding the restoration of data in the State Registry of Enterprises that was carried out using forged documents in order to establish control over the enterprise, whose majority shareholder is a client of the firm. It also acted in the interests of Unison Group in an asset recovery case. Julia Repina, managing partner, is the main point of contact.

Gentls is a new market player that was established in September 2016. Partner Oleh Gromovyi is known for representing high-ranking public officials on honor, dignity and business reputation protection, as well as intellectual property and other commercial litigations. Recent representations have included acting on behalf of Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groisman, ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and MP Glib Zagoriy.

Established in November 2016 as a result of splitting off from EVERLEGAL, law firm ESQUIRES has a comprehensive and targeted litigation offering. Apart from commercial disputes, the market newcomer develops collar defense and investigations. Oleksandr Shkelebey, Opanas Karlin, Artem Saprykin, and Viktoria Kovalchuk are the firm’s partners.

During 2016 the dispute resolution practice headed by Taras Dumych continued to grow at Wolf Theiss. It acted for both international and domestic companies in Ukraine and abroad. Juscutum Attorneys Association represented the interests of clients in various disputes, including appealing against a sale contract in bankruptcy proceeding, recognition of an obligation as partially terminated, determining the residence of children, recovery of several debts, as well as recognition of ownership of a domain name. S.T. Partners is an active local team for debt recovery, execution of court decisions, criminal proceedings and disputes under family law matters. Tax litigation is one of the main specializations of Vdovychen & Partners, founded by Oleg Vdovychen. Alexandrov & Partners supported debt collection disputes on behalf of Ukrgasbank and acted in the settlement of real estate litigation matters. Odesa-based Interlegal is highly recognized for its complex maritime practice and known for successfully settling numerous incidents under maritime law. Okhrimchuk Grushyn Khandurin provided legal advice to Rockservice in respect of tax issues, in particular, with regard to the company operations as a VAT payer, and with regard to respective registration procedures and renewal of its VAT payer status. Khomenko, Pіtа and Partners retained a project on the restructuring of assets and debt, including court matters. Aleksey Pukha and Partners represented Bosnian ENKER DD in debt collection from a contractor in connection with the failure of a foreign economic contract. Odesa-based De-Jure is noted in litigation circles, acting in a wide range of local disputes, including debt collection. Attorneys’ Association Gestors handled representation of Agrosvit Limited with regard to reimbursement of money from the company Novaagro Limited and the refunding of corporate rights.