Asters, the largest internationally renowned Ukrainian law firm, has a distinguished full-circle antitrust and competition team with the largest capacities on the market and an office in Brussels. The firm has unrivalled capabilities in merger control work sought after by blue-chip companies, advising on concerted practices, abuse of dominance, conducting antitrust investigations, representation in courts. Furthermore, the firm is approached for matters on state aid and public procurement review instructions, and bid rigging cases. The firm has recognized strength in handling multijurisdictional merger filings, inter alia, obtained merger clearance for concentration from the European Commission and the Turkish Competition Board, in connection with the creation by Natixis and La Banque Postale of a fully-functional joint venture that will carry out activities in the field of asset management and administration of funds; obtained merger clearance for the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Peugeot S.A., which involved merger filings in many jurisdictions, including the EU. The firm is present in the majority of resonant investigations conducted by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU), in all sensitive markets — pharmaceuticals, tobacco, energy, retail and FMCG, agrochemicals, automotive and transportation sectors. Among notable public clients of Asters are Acino, Allergan Plc, Bayer, General Electric Company, Iveco, L’Oréal, Mironivsky Hliboproduct, Microsoft Corporation, Robert Bosch GmbH, Philip Morris, Sanofi, Siemens AG, State Savings Bank, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Visa, and many others. The big team has three partners on board. Leading market figure Igor Svechkar is known for his extremely broad experience in merger filings and strategic role in practice development. Oleksandr Voznyuk is one of the most experienced practitioners in Ukraine, with prowess in sophisticated investigations. Alexey Pustovit is involved extensively in competition and international trade matters. Pavlo Verbolyuk, senior associate, is praised by the market as a rising professional. Sergiy Glushchenko, Tetyana Subbotina and Tetiana Vovk are senior members of the strong executive team.

The seasoned antitrust and competition team of Sayenko ­Kharenko is highly sought after by big multinational clients and domestic industry leaders on the antitrust aspects of international M&A and landmark Ukrainian transactions, and handling antitrust investigations. Among the highlights of merger control work is advising Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) in obtaining merger clearance for its USD  69.1 billion acquisition of a 70% stake in Saudi Basic Industries Corporation; AbbVie Inc. in obtaining merger clearance for its acquisition of Allergan plc; Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for combination of FCA and PSA to create a leader in sustainable mobility; Creatio in obtaining Ukrainian merger clearance for raising investment from private equity funds; ADM, Bunge, Cargill, COFCO, Louis Dreyfus Company and Glencore Agriculture in formation of a joint venture, and other solid matters. The firm is currently representing several multinational corporations in relation to unfair competition and anticompetitive concerted practices investigations before the Antimonopoly Committee. Among notable ongoing representations is acting for Japan Tobacco International in the course of a case probe by the AMCU on anticompetitive concerted practices between tobacco product manufacturers and their Ukrainian distributor. The firm also received clearance from the AMCU for an advertising campaign. The sizeable team is led by three partners. Praised for his proficient performance, Maksym Nazarenko is active in merger control and abuse of dominance matters. ­Valentyna Hvozd, recently promoted to partner, is noted for her long-term experience in handling merger clearances work. The founding partner, Vladimir Sayenko, is highlighted for being an incumbent professional, and plays an important role in competition and corporate and M&A practices.

The reputable full-service competition law practices of AEQUO are retained by an impressive roster of clients featuring well-known companies from energy, retail, agriculture, pharmaceutical and real estate sectors. The firm has a strong portfolio of merger clearance instructions, including multijurisdictional and domestic transactions; abuse of dominance, anticompetitive concerted actions and unfair competition investigations; vertical agreements, regulatory and compliance advice. Among recent areas of practice growth is handling competition compliance training for large industrial enterprises. This past year the team represented Agartha Fund (UAE) at the AMCU in connection with acquisition of 13 agro companies, holding a significant agricultural land bank and active in Chernihiv and Sumy Regions from Kernel Group; represented Dragon Capital in obtaining merger clearances for a number of transactions related to acquisition of real estate objects; acted for Novus in a landmark case on acquisition of Billa, and merger clearance regarding establishing of an “alliance” for the joint purchase of products along with two other regional retail chains. The team has recognized strength in unfair competition cases, most recently representing Darnitsa against one of its competitors, Zdorovye, in a complex case regarding illegal use of Citramon’s packaging design. The firm navigates clients throughout implementation of discount and rebate schemes, pricing and advertising. The practice was strengthened in 2020 by the return of Mariya Nizhnik following four years of service at the AMCU. Her recent focus includes regulatory investigations. Acclaimed for his strong knowledge of highly-regulated industries, ­Sergey Denisenko led the firm’s antitrust and competition law projects, including merger clearance, unfair commercial practices, and competition compliance. Denis Lysenko preserves his strategic guidance in competition law practice. Yevgen Blok, senior associate, is highly active across projects, and confirmed his position as a well-established practitioner.

DLA Piper Ukraine[1] has solid expertise in handling merger control cases in high value national and multijurisdictional mergers and joint venture arrangements. The practice team enjoys a remarkable following of international brand names, advising on the antitrust aspects of commercial agreements and trade practices, competition compliance matters, pricing regulations and marketing strategies, dawn raid regulations, assistance in investigations. Industry knowledge spans key sectors within the IT, telecom, consumer goods, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, manufacturing, aerospace and defense, as well as energy sectors. The latest disclosable mandates include advice to VFU Funding PLC on competition law matters during preparation of a prospectus for its debut USD 500 million loan participation notes listed on Euronext Dublin and funded through proceeds from the Ukrainian telecom business of NEQSOL; advising ALD S.A., a French fleet management and operational car leasing company on obtaining merger control clearance for establishing a joint venture with Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Company Limited. It is noteworthy that the team is taking part in the development of a new law on the screening of foreign investment. The practice is headed by Galyna Zagorodniuk, partner, navigating clients throughout competition law matters within a variety of complex landmark deals, and significant mandates in the aerospace and pharmaceutical sectors. Danylo ­Rudyk is the key executive practitioner focused on merger clearances and general competition law advice.

Baker McKenzie has unrivalled capabilities in handling competition law advice in terms of international transactions, as well as competition compliance programs for the offices of big multinationals in Ukraine. The team’s sectoral experience provides clients from various industries, including pharma, agribusiness, consumer goods, IT services, pumping equipment, tobacco, heavy industry and automotive companies, with advice on the implications of vertical arrangements with Ukrainian customers, as well as regulatory investigations. Most recently the Kyiv practice team advised Sumitomo Corporation in connection with a merger control filing relating to the establishment of a new JV with AAR Corp., a provider of aviation and expeditionary services to the global commercial, government and defense aviation industries; represented ADM and Marfrig Foods S.A. in connection with several merger control and concerted actions in relation to the establishment of a joint venture in the USA; Bayer AG on merger control filing relating to the disposal of its Animal Health Business to Elanco; Hitachi, Ltd with regards to merger control and concerted actions relating to acquisition of power grids division of ABB Ltd. The practice group in Kyiv is led by partner Oksana Simonova, with extensive expertise in merger control work. Another key figure is Olga Mikheieva, who is recognized by peers for her long-term commitment in competition practice.

ANTIKA Law Firm is retained for antitrust audit; risk assessment, competition compliance, unfair competition, promotion and advertising, investigations, public procurement and antitrust litigation. The firm has a consistent following of significant market players from FMCG, tobacco, automotive and construction industries. The firm recently assisted clients in compliance policies, advertiSement and marketing programs, and handles representation in AMCU investigations in sensitive industries. Managing partner Dr. Alexey Kot has antitrust among his core specializations. Senior associate Alexander Tretiakov is another important figure in this practice.

Ukrainian law firm AVELLUM exhibits a notable track record in connection with merger clearance instructions, being constantly mandated by blue-chip clients. In addition, the firm also advises on unfair competition and respective investigations by the competition authority, anticompetitive concerted practices, compliance and audits, state aid, litigation. The firm benefits from its market leading M&A and corporate practice, also advising on merger clearance issues. In particular, the firm acted on the first merger control clearance in the course of privatization of alcohol production facilities in Ukraine, having advised LLC LVN Limited, a part of the Nemiroff Group, on obtaining merger control clearance for privatization of a part of the assets of Ukrspyrt. Among the recent highlights is advising Mr. Sergei Probylov on obtaining merger control clearance and on further AMCU approval for the acquisition of Riverside Energy Kft; advised Diligent Capital, an independent mid-market private equity firm, on obtaining merger control clearance for the acquisition of control over a Ukrainian producer of animal feed. This past year the firm diversified its practice portfolio with antitrust litigation. For example, it acted for British American ­Tobacco in connection with challenging a EUR 245 million fine imposed on the Ukrainian subsidiaries of four leading international tobacco producers and their distributor in Ukraine for alleged anti-competitive concerted practices. The team was strengthened with arrivals from Kinstellar: Mykyta Nota has rejoined as antitrust counsel, and ­Valeriia Lepska joined as mid-level associate. Mykola ­Stetsenko is lead partner.

CLACIS, a Ukrainian competition law boutique-firm, is mandated for high-profile assignments, including merger clearance matters, abuse of dominance, unfair competition, investigations of the AMCU and follow up litigation, regulatory and compliance. Notable highlights include merger control approval for acquisition by COSCO of shares in Terminales Portuarios Chancay from Glencore Group. The firm boasts an impressive client roster of international companies, among others, British American Tobacco, MasterCard and T.B. Fruit. Founding and managing partner Antonina Yaholnyk is a recognized professional. Anastasiia Zeleniuk, who focuses on antitrust investigations and litigation, is another key figure.

CMS is represented through two offices in Kyiv.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang is among top legal counsel in M&A and joint ventures transactions, and regularly assists clients with merger control and concerted actions approvals. Further expertise of the firm covers advisory on unfair competition practice and public procurement matters. The firm represented Primo Collect Group on regulatory matters of the Financial Services Commission and the AMCU to obtain its approval for the acquisition of a substantial shareholding in a financial institution, and advised shareholders of Primo Collect Group in connection with a potential transaction with a new group of investors and obtaining financing for expansion of an NPL portfolio in Ukraine; obtained merger control approvals regarding setting up a joint venture between TIS Group and DP World. Olga ­Belyakova is lead partner.

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz handles merger control work alongside its corporate and M&A practice, and provides competition advice related to vertical distribution agreements. The office advised ­Quadient, Inc. on obtaining merger clearance for acquisition of YayPay Inc., an IT start-up in Ukraine; advised ALPLA-Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH & Co KG, a global leader in the development and production of plastic packaging solutions in connection with launching a joint venture to develop a fully biobased and recyclable paper bottle. The team also supported a high-profile EBRD project aimed at capacity building of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. Maria Orlyk is lead partner.

Dentons advises on competition aspects of M&A, joint ventures and combination transactions, including Ukrainian and EU merger control advice, and enjoys a proven track record in dealing with agreements and long-standing business relations terminations as well as unfair competition, misleading advertising and distribution. The firm is particularly followed by players in the pharma, retail, energy and tobacco industries. The firm has a well-versed compliance offering, including multi-level training and testing, drafting of internal policies, and conducting mock dawn raids. This past year the firm advised VLC ­Renewables on competition law matters in connection with its investment in the first phase of an onshore wind farm in Zaporizhzhya. Volodymyr Monastyrskyy is lead partner. Evgenia Prudko joined as a legal advisor from CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz.

The solid antitrust and competition practice of Ilyashev & ­Partners gained an impressive following among big domestic industry leaders and business groups, and handling instructions for obtaining merger and concerted clearances; unfair competition and abuse of dominance cases. The firm is well-known for its work in transport, pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors, and extended presence in agrarian, energy and real estate. Most recently the firm represented the interests of OmniFarma Kyiv in the case on termination of unfair competition by Bovios Farm, manufacturer of the OLISID bio-additive; advised Ukrrichflot in the case of abuse of the dominant position by rail operator Ukrzaliznytsia in connection with the provision of services for raising railway bridges across the River Dnipro. The team currently advises Bunge Ukraine on the settlement of legal relations pertaining to the use of berths in Mykolaiv Sea Port. Being a dispute resolution leader on the market, the firm also offers litigation support to clients. For example, the firm represents Biopharma in litigation with the Antimonopoly Committee in challenging imposed fines. Oleksandr ­Fefelov, practice head and lead partner, guides the workflow of the practice. Olga Samoilenko is another active practitioner.

The antitrust and competition team of INTEGRITES has a well-versed practice portfolio, with notable focus on competition enforcement, including concerted practices and abuse of dominance investigations, merger clearances, unfair competition and litigation. Being fueled by corporate and M&A mandates, the firm maintains a steady pipeline of merger control assignments. This past year the team obtained a merger clearance for the acquisition by Sibelco Group of two Ukrainian clay producers — Euromineral LLC and Kurdyumovsky plant PrJSC. The highlights of the firm is ongoing representation of Ostchem, a part of DF Group, on challenging the forced separation of the Group by the AMCU and a significant fine that was  imposed; represented AKW Ukrainian Kaolin Company, a part of the global Quarzwerke Group, in a case on abuse of dominant position by the KyivDniprovske MPPZT PJSC. Among other cases, the practice team advised the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine, which acted as the majority stakeholder in Ukrgasbank, which obtained financing from the International Finance Corporation, on state aid issues. Well-rounded partner Serhiy Shershun is praised for representing clients in investigations. Vyacheslav Korchev took over the role of the relationship partner in this practice.

Kinstellar is mandated to handle merger control, commercial practices, abuse of dominance, unfair practices and competition litigation. The client profile of the Kyiv team consists of such sectors as agriculture, aviation, defense, financial institutions, food and beverages, energy, industrials, real estate, telecommunications, tobacco. The firm represented Turkey Wealth Fund on obtaining merger control approval for acquisition of a controlling interest in Turkcell Iletisim Hizmetleri A.S.; provided antitrust legal advice to Pegasus Hava Taşımacılığı A.Ş. in relation to its discount campaigns, advising on compliance with the general requirements for avoiding unfair competition and false advertising. The firm also represented the Wizz Hungary Representative ­Office at the Antimonopoly Committee in connection with the authority’s recommendations to major Ukrainian carriers alleging unfair competition practices during pandemic restrictions. Olexander ­Martinenko, a renowned market old-timer, joined as a partner and head of dispute resolution and commercial. Mykyta Nota, counsel and practice head, left for AVELLUM.

Marchenko Partners possesses a depth of expertise on state aid, unfair competition, abuse of dominance and compliance, as well as antitrust risks related to marketing arrangements. In terms of merger clearance proceedings in Ukraine, the team advised DP World, a Dubai-based provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, on merger clearance and various other competition-related aspects of the deal in connection with acquisition of TIS Container Terminal in Odesa Region. State aid proceedings, where the firm acts for both complainers and defenders, is its standout feature. The firm continues to represent Ukrainian express delivery operator Nova Poshta in a pioneering state aid case against state-owned Ukrposhta. Recent projects involved conducting a competition compliance spot check at the request of Carlsberg’s headquarters. The recent portfolio was extended by a number of unfair competition cases. Clients include ­Ecosoft Group, Ferring, NEXT Retail, ISTIL Group and others. ­Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko[2] leads the practice, deepening the team’s experience along core competences of the practice.

The antitrust team of Redcliffe Partners has a vivid presence in large-scale multijurisdictional M&A, widening the portfolio of its merger control work, and notable presence in unfair competition and misleading advertising issues, non-compete obligations and competition compliance. The team assisted Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), one of the world’s largest petrochemicals manufacturers, and Clariant AG in obtaining merger clearance in Ukraine for the acquisition of a minority stake in Clariant, a leading company in specialty chemicals. With regard to sectors, clients come from agribusiness, chemicals, energy, financial institutions, FMCG, pharmaceuticals, IT and telecommunications. Competition practice is led by Anastasia Usova, who was promoted to partner in 2020. The key executive team includes Denys Medvediev and Nataliya Kovalyova.

In 2020 the core activity of AMBER Law Company was centered on the tobacco market. The firm rendered comprehensive legal support to three players of the tobacco market of Ukraine with the AMCU in protecting their rights from abuse of dominance and anticompetitive concerted actions. Furthermore, the firm prepared legal analysis of the pilot project National operation on the tobacco market, adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Veronika Zarubytska runs the practice.

Ante Law Firm has a distinctive industry focus, advising aviation and pharmaceutical markets. The firm offers unique antitrust expertise in aviation as it represents the vast majority of international airlines, which operate in Ukraine. The team currently represents Qatar Airways, British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines with regard to an AMCU investigation into airport fees and discounts at Boryspil Airport. The firm is also active in unfair competition cases and in filing claims to the AMCU. In 2020 the firm advised Sanofi regarding unfair competition practice when another Ukrainian company used the brand “­Sanofi” as a part of its registered name (Sanofi Pharm); supported Zdravo with legal issues, arising in connection with its participation in public procurement, including claims proceedings at the AMCU. Managing partner Andriy Guck is the main contact.

With a booming M&A track record in the renewable energy sector, EVERLEGAL obtains merger clearances for supported transactions. Another area of recent focus is transactions for the sale of real estate projects. Other expertise of the firm encompasses unfair competition practices and public tenders. The practice is co-led by Yevheniy Deyneko and Andriy Olenyuk.

Gramatskiy & Partners handles merger control filings in the course of M&A transactions, investments and joint ventures, advises on the compliance and competition aspects of agency and distribution. Among recent highlights is advising City Capital Group in connection with obtaining merger clearances for acquisitions of Selin Trade LLC and Stroymetalengineering LLC; advising LLC Ditrans with regards to acquisition of 100% of PE Agricom-Invest. Competition aspects of procurement are another area of advisory. Ernest Gramatskiy is the main point of contact.

Being dedicated to the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector, Legal Alliance Company is particularly sought after for its advice on vertical agreements on the supply of pharmaceutical products and legal support of pharmaceutical companies within investigations undertaken by the AMCU. Other notable expertise includes unfair competition, public procurement and competition compliance. The firm rendered legal support to the agreement on the provision of services related to the promotion of products in 55 leading pharmacy chains of Ukraine; supported with distribution agreements and promotion of products in retail chains; advised on pricing policy and advertising that could mislead consumers. The practice is led by Andrii Gorbatenko, endorsed for his experience in the sector.

Being focused on maritime and shipping, port infrastructure and dispute resolution, Odesa-based law firm Legrant stands out for disputes with the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority. The firm has an established track record of protecting clients in the territorial branches of the AMCU against the actions of the USPA, as well as in administrative courts. In particular, the firm protected the interests of the largest stevedores of Mykolaiv in a case of abuse of monopoly position by the USPA. Liudmila Sizonenko is visible on the market. Tatyana ­Titarenko, managing partner, is the main contact.

Lexwell & Partners acts as a legal advisor to the CRH group on issues related to a conflict that arose with one of the CRH group’s cement dealers in Ukraine, and assisted with minimization of risks of ungrounded complaints on abuse of a monopoly position on the Ukrainian cement market. Merger control work is another area of focus. ­Andriy Kolupaev is the main contact.

L.I. Group launched its antitrust practice with the arrival of Yurii Moiseiev as a counsel. The recent expertise includes merger control and litigation with the regulator. This past year the team won a case for mobile operator Lifecell which was accused of mistaken information on tariffication of outgoing calls.

In 2020 Pavlenko Legal Group extended its merger control workload, and also represented clients in investigations, advised on unfair competition and drafted agreements in compliance with competition law, as well as appealed decisions of the regulator in courts. The firm obtained merger clearance recently, having represented PAEK Group in connection with the purchase of a land plot owned by LLC Active-bud; advised TAS Group on acquisition of a share in the authorized capital of LLC Fortify; assisted Kernel Group on merger control issues by acquiring shares in JV Agrodim. Anna Hryshchenko and Veronica Shyrman are the core practitioners.

Peterka & Partners advises on obtaining merger control clearances, including elaboration of merger control strategy in cases involving multijurisdictional filings. Furthermore, the Kyiv office advises on vertical and horizontal agreements. In 2020 the firm advised ­Euralis Semences Holding in connection with acquisition of shares in Caussade Semences Group; represented Theeuwes Holding in obtaining permission for concentration for acquisition of assets in the integral property complex belonging to the Ukrainian Elevator Company LLC. Taras Utiralov is the main contact.

As part of an international law firm, the Kyiv office of Wolf Theiss is a point of choice for clients seeking assistance in obtaining merger clearances and concerted actions approvals in Ukraine. Among the clients of the office are market players in the retail, oil and gas, chemicals, business and financial services, agriculture and IT industries. Selected highlights include advising Gebr. Heinemann, the world’s leading travel retailer, on Ukrainian antitrust law issues related to establishment of a joint venture together with Casualfood, a subsidiary of Orior Group, to operate duty free shops, catering facilities and convenience stores at small and medium-sized airports in the EU and the EEA as well as in Switzerland and the UK; conducting due diligence, including competition matters, of Ukrainian companies which DSM Nutritional Products Ltd was aiming to acquire in the course of a global M&A transaction. Another area of expertise includes vertical restraints and abuse of dominance. The team advised a global operating automotive supplier from Japan on competition law framework regarding distribution arrangements in Ukraine. Olga Ivlyeva is in charge of the practice.

Arzinger has a prominent antitrust and competition practice especially endorsed for its work on regulatory investigations and litigation. The firm’s counsel, Oleksander Dyakulych, was noted for prominence in litigation arising in the competition field, especially representation of clients from the tobacco industry.[3]


[1] Effective 14 June 2021, the Kyiv office of DLA Piper was acquired by Kinstellar.

[2] In September 2021 he joined Nobles as a partner.

[3] The firm has not submitted information for the current research.