Baker McKenzie is highly sought after by major international investors and large Ukrainian agricultural holdings to handle sector-related transactions such as M&A and establishment of joint ventures. This past year the Kyiv office acted for Remington Seeds with respect to a strategic agreement with MAIS to purchase its seed plant and farming operations in Ukraine; represented ADM and ­Marfrig Foods S.A. in connection with several merger control and concerted action filings in relation to establishment of a joint venture in the USA, which will be active in the development, production and commercialization of vegetable protein-based finished consumer food products. The office is highly active in advising projects related to the infrastructure of Ukraine ports extending agrarian export capacities. The team recently advised Glencore Agriculture Limited, an agricultural commodities giant, on its acquisition of LLC Everi port terminal from the Orexim Group. The firm is known for acting for international financial institutions on their project finance transactions in agriculture. Tax issues and the structuring of supply chains are among other recent areas of growth. The agricultural industry group is led by corporate and M&A partner Viacheslav ­Yakymchuk. Other partners involved in industry related projects are Oksana ­Simonova (competition), Lina Nemchenko (real estate and construction), Hennadiy Voytsitskyi (tax).

The agribusiness offering of AEQUO provides industry expertise coupled with core practice areas — corporate and commercial matters, financing, competition, intellectual property, litigation and arbitration, real estate, land regulation and tax. Renowned for its expertise in transactional agribusiness mandates, the firm consistently supports investment in Ukrainian agriculture, and recently represented Agartha Fund (UAE) at the AMCU in connection with the acquisition of 13 agro companies, holding a significant agricultural land bank and active in Chernihiv and Sumy Regions from Kernel Group; represented one of the beneficiaries of Rostok-Holding in obtaining merger clearance for a number of concentrations due to the course in the further sale of shares of Rostok Agroinvest Ltd. It is worth noting that the team advised the European Business Association on the establishment in Ukraine of the first container management system for disposal of empty pesticide containers. The firm boasts knowledge of sector-related finance matters, and acted for Posco International on secured USD 36 million financing from KEXIM to Grain Terminal Holdings, which controls the grain terminal in Mykolaiv; advised Alma Strong in connection with a loan to GNT, a grain supply chain and export logistics group that operates in Odesa port. The firm is also addressed by agroholdings for representation in GAFTA arbitrations. The big team is led by Anna Babych (M&A, corporate and commercial), Yulia Kyrpa (financing, debt restructuring), Denis Lysenko (tax, investment), Sergey ­Denisenko (competition).

Full-service law firm Sayenko Kharenko commands a broad spectrum of work in the field of agribusiness and agrarian infrastructure, including M&A, finance, intellectual property, litigation, international arbitration and trade, tax, etc. The firm supported Ukrainian impact-investment initiatives by providing structuring advice to the Family Dairy Investments project, which provides financing to small Ukrainian dairy businesses and also invests in the education of family milk producers and in the quality and safety of dairy food products. The firm is regularly mandated by international lenders in capital market deals of agrarian issuers. It advised on the USD 300 million Eurobond issue by Kernel. The firm’s litigation successfully represented Selektsiya LLC, a part of the Monstera group of companies, in the second round of court proceedings on invalidation of a decision of the local authority to terminate its right of permanent use of land. Client instructions are led by various partners, namely Oleksandr Nikolaichyk (corporate and M&A), Igor Lozenko (finance, capital markets), Olexander Droug (­international arbitration), Svitlana Musienko (tax).

AVELLUM, a full-service Ukrainian law firm, advises on major corporate deals involving agricultural assets, including M&A, corporate restructurings, and takes in a broad range of finance mandates. The team historically worked on all major capital markets deals in agrarian sector and acted on significant acquisition financing. Thus, the previous year the firm acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Kernel Holding S.A. on its USD 300 million Eurobond offering; advised BSTDB in connection with financing to the Prometey Group used for the acquisition of a new silo in Mykolaiv Region. The tax team demonstrated strong performance representing sector clients in a set of disputes with Ukrainian tax authorities. For example, the practice team represented LLC Urozhaina Kraina at the Supreme Court regarding cancellation of tax assessment notices. Other areas of industry-related expertise span competition, intellectual property, insolvency. The team’s client roster includes Kernel, MHP, Mriya Agro Holding and variety of lenders and investors. The admired multidisciplinary team is led by Mykola ­Stetsenko and Yuriy Nechayev (corporate and M&A), Glib Bondar (finance and capital markets), Vadim Medvedev (tax and litigation), Anton ­Polikarpov (intellectual property).

Domestic law firm ADER HABER draws upon its strong regulatory expertise in land law, including property protection and management, sector transactions and litigation. The firm assists with M&A in the agrarian sector, advising on extension of land banks. Another area of standing demand from agroholdings is their representation in tax disputes. Recent highlights include advising an agricultural holding company that unites agricultural and sugar industry enterprises on the risks of registering the majority of employees as sole proprietors. Lead partner Aleksandra Fedotova is known for her sector specific advice in land regulations.

AGA Partners has long-standing experience in supporting the world’s largest agrarian holdings across a wide range of issues, in particular, commodities trade and arbitration, shipping, etc. This past year the team advised Astarta Holding on its trading model and developed a sale contract template governed by English law for the sale of agricultural commodities; EFKO Group, one of the biggest Russian trading companies, regarding trade contracts with Egyptian buyers; represented the State Food and Grain Corporation of Ukraine in the GAFTA arbitration in a dispute on the recovery of the price for delivered goods under English law; JSK Novosibirskkhlebproduct in a complex quality dispute, which arose out of the supply of goods from Russia to Kazakhstan. The firm has three partners on board — Aminat ­Suleymanova, Ivan Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz.

Renowned for its strong performance in international arbitration, ARBITRADE is sought after for assisting projects in agricultural commodities trade, which encompassed arbitration cases under the auspices of such rules as GAFTA and ICAC at the UCCI, as well as consulting and pre-arbitral settlement negotiations in disputes arising out of international contracts for the sale and purchase of agricultural commodities. In a recent highlight the team advised Agrotrade AG, a German cattle and crops exporter, on the consequences of its non-delivery of soybean meal of Argentinian origin to a Turkish counterparty; represented Bunge SA in a dispute with the subsidiary companies of Agroprosperis Group on the late delivery of soybeans; provided legal advice at the pre-arbitration stage and has initiated arbitration under the GAFTA arbitration rules on behalf of the client Grainfor Trade Ltd, an international trader, supplier of agricultural commodities from the Black Sea region to global customers. Dr. Ivan Vashchynets took over the leading role in this practice.

Asters, the largest Ukrainian law firm, is instructed by key agribusiness industry players and financial institutions across the entire range of sector-related issues, acting on transactions and regulatory assignments, corporate and contractual matters related to operations in Ukraine. The firm is a long-lasting legal counsel to international financial institutions in providing finance to Ukrainian agrarian and food enterprises. This past year the firm advised the IFC in connection with a loan of up to USD 20 million to Nyva Pereyaslavshchyny, a leading Ukrainian pork producer; and the EBRD with regard to its financing to Grain Alliance Group and leading yeast producer Enzym. The firm advises on contracts for the purchase and sale of agricultural products, and is preferred by players from the sugar industry. The firm’s industry work is managed by Vadym Samoilenko, Gleb Bialyi, Anzhelika Livitska and Anton Sintsov.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang is sought after to handle sector-related transactional matters, such as M&A, joint ventures, financing, as well as on regulatory matters in Ukraine. Over the last couple of years the office has been active in the area of infrastructure, extending the capacities of agrarian corporates. The firm is a point of choice for Ukrainian agricultural pre-export, commodities and trade finance. Among recent highlights is advising long-standing key client ING Bank N.V. on various aspects of financing ViOil, a significant vegetable oil producer and exporter; KEXIM on refinancing for a Ukrainian grain port terminal. The firm continues to act for MV Cargo on all aspects on the ongoing establishment of a joint venture with Cargill, and acted for the EBRD in the acquisition of a minority stake in Korzinka, a leading food retailer. Industrial expertise was strengthened with the English-qualified senior hire of Orest Matviychuk. The partners involved across their core practice areas are Ihor Olekhov, Graham Conlon, Tetyana Dovgan, Natalia Kushniruk.

Eterna Law is historically followed for its expertise in international commercial and commodities arbitrations, especially GAFTA, FOSFA, LMAA, having producers and traders in its client roster. In a recent highlight the firm acted for ALCODIS SA in international arbitration in connection with the default of the debtor and waiver of its monetary obligation; acted for a client in a USD 20 million India-seated arbitration matter arising from fraudulent misappropriation of cargo. The firm maintains an active role in corporate and M&A areas, resolution of corporate conflicts and tax. The client list includes EFKO, Ukrenergy Trade, Barbara Krom, Soufflet ­Negoce SA. The practice is headed by the arbitration partner Eugene Blinov.

EUCON Legal Group utilizes the wide-scope practice for the agricultural sector, including land law regulations, operations with land and other real estate, sectoral construction, corporate and M&A, taxation. The firm enjoys an established project history of supporting investors on entering the agricultural markets of Ukraine and Poland, formation of land banks and their management (property, lease, emphyteusis), receipt of state and communal land plots for ownership. The group is sought after for comprehensive legal support of farm enterprises. For example, the firm provided legal support for the establishment and operational activity of a goat dairy farm in Volyn Region. Another notable project is advising Louis Dreyfus Commodities Ukraine on the construction of an elevator. The list of clients includes Greenyard Ukraine, Agricultural company Dobrobut, Agricultural company Dovzhenko. Anatolii ­Miroshnychenko, senior partner and practice head, was appointed first deputy head of the State Service of Ukraine for Geodesy, Cartography and Cadastre. Yaroslav Romanchuk took in the role of practice head.

The agricultural and land law practice at EVERLEGAL is made up of multiple practice areas, inter alia, corporate and M&A, banking and finance, commercial and dispute resolution practices. The strong side of the team is protection of property rights on land plots. The team continued to provide legal support for Agromino in a complex dispute regarding the restoration of lease rights on 800 hectares of land illegally taken from the client as a result of resonant raider attacks in 2018. The Louis Dreyfus Company Ukraine enlisted the team to resolve disputes with several unscrupulous suppliers. This past year the firm launched legal support of financing agricultural products’ suppliers through the mechanism of crop receipts. Svitlana Teteria heads the practice. ­Andriy Porayko supervises the practice.

Gramatskiy & Partners represents the interests of all participants in the agricultural market, from agricultural producers to logistics companies, traders and financial institutions. The firm’s expertise includes crop farming, production of agrochemicals, logistics, processing and agricultural export, certification, joint activity, taxation of agrarian sector. The previous year the firm was sought after by Ukrainian agrarian exporters for structuring their cross-border export contracts. Other areas of advice are agrarian land regulation, land and production facilities lease. Among the main clients are Samurai LLC, Sunrise Agro, Lavinia LLC, AgroTechnologies, Shenzhen Ruiben Import and Export Service Co., AgroAlliance Group, Ufrain, VPG Agro Trade, United Landing, Boros, Agriconsulting, Technomontazh LLC, Green Farm, Selkhozmechanizatsia PJSC, Interagrostandart, Fly Harvest LLC, NewGen ­Organic, United Grains, Zaporizhzhya Land, Kendo Plus, Krem K LLC, Vigro Trade Ukraine LLC and others. Mykola Voitovich is the core force of this practice.

Ilyashev & Partners performs a wide offering for agricultural companies related to property rights, asset protection, insolvency, lands plots and production facilities, tax, sectoral competition. This past year the team advised TAS AGRO on the restoration of property rights to land plots; assisted CHS Ukraine on collection of penalties from Agroalliance LLC in connection with non-fulfillment of a supply contract; supported bankruptcy proceedings of Group Creative. The team also advised CLAAS, one of the largest German producers of agricultural equipment, on termination of its agreement with a dealer in Ukraine. Other public clients include  GrainCorp, Bunge Ukraine, Myronivsky Hliboproduct, Al Ghurair Investment, COFCO Agri Ukraine, RONLY, Ascania Group of Companies, Agrotrade, LU Invest. Mikhail Ilyashev heads the multidisciplinary team.

INTEGRITES provides an extensive legal offering, being particular sought after for international arbitration and litigation support, corporate, competition and M&A, tax consulting and litigation. The firm’s clients include agroholdings, grain exporters and traders, sunflower oil and grain producers, and processors of milk and dairy products. The recent project portfolio of the firm’s dispute resolution practice included multijurisdictional debt recovery, enforcement of a GAFTA arbitral award in Ukraine, litigation due to breach of supply agreements and settlement negotiations in respect of prospective disputes. The corporate team acted for foreign investors on the acquisition of farms in Ukraine, and advised Savencia Group, one of the world’s leading milk processors, on various corporate restructuring matters. The competition practice represented Gals Agro in the investigation related to the abuse of dominant position initiated by the AMCU against the Gals Agro sugar refinery. Notably, the firm represented the large Ukrainian sunflower oil producer Dniprooliya and its Turkish majority shareholders in a multimillion corporate dispute with a local partner. The multidisciplinary team is led by several partners, namely Olena ­Perepelynska (CIS arbitration practice), Dmytro Marchukov (cross-border litigation), Viktoriya Fomenko (tax and customs practice), Illya Tkachuk (corporate and M&A).

Odesa-based law firm Jurline renders legal assistance to agricultural business and food industry enterprises, the largest grain traders in Ukraine, as well as grain terminals, agro-industrial enterprises and enterprises providing custody services and transportation of grain. The main focus lies on land issues; taxation; complex support of agro-industrial enterprises; consumer protection legislation, legislation on food safety and quality, antitrust. The unique niche of the firm is providing services to the largest wineries in southern Ukraine. Among the major clients in 2020 are TIS-Grain Ltd, TIS-Mindobryva Ltd, Illichivsk Grain Terminal, Glencore Agriculture Ukraine, PJSC ­Odesawinprom (Frantsuzky Boulevard TM), LLC PTK Shabo, Arus Trade LLC. ­Volodymyr Zubar runs the practice.

KM Partners is primarily known for sector specific advice in land relations and taxation in the agrarian sector. The firm has a wide practice of representation in disputes with tax authorities on cancellation of tax notices, including challenging the amounts of VAT refunds. The recent offering includes due diligence before acquisition, debt collection, employment matters. Alexander Minin, Maxim ­Oleksiyuk, ­Alexander Shemiatkin lead the projects.

ANK Law Office, one of the largest firms in Odesa, traditionally provides legal support to grain traders, whose major part represented in Ukraine through the world leading agricultural holdings like ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO, Glencore, Louis Dreyfus Commodities. The firm is known for its capacities in handling significant infrastructure ­projects on construction, reconstruction and modernization of internal and port silos and grain terminals. Oleksandr Kyfak is the main contact.

Krolevetskyi & Partners, one of the most vivid law firms in Kharkiv, provides comprehensive legal assistance to agricultural producers, particularly with settlement of land and tax disputes, commercial agreements, sector M&A, representation in relations with public authorities and local governments, litigation. The firm also assists with the purchase and sale of agrarian equipment. Clients include farming enterprises Vidrodzhennia, Astarta, Nove Zhyttia, farming enterprise Nyva 2013. Viktoriia Zaitseva is the key figure.

Market players single out Law Offices of OMP for its experience in assisting agroholdings and separate landowners.