AVELLUM has for many years commanded a cutting edge corporate and M&A practice mandated for elite work, often alongside big international law firms. Thus, the team is hired on a regular basis for landmark deals reshaping certain industries in Ukraine, outbound investment, strategic joint ventures, and Ukrainian corporate matters related to global transactions. The firm consistently expands its practice, acquiring new clients and growing its presence in various industries, namely technology, media and telecoms (TMT), FMCG and retail, agriculture, real estate, energy, healthcare, banking. Most recently the firm advised Epicentr K in connection with the acquisition of Svarog Group, a high-tech agricultural company; advised UDP, a leading Ukrainian development company, on the acquisition of a 33.35% stake in Ocean Plaza, one of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in Ukraine and Europe; advised Prostor, a Ukrainian retailer of cosmetics, in connection with the acquisition of KOSMO, one of the largest cosmetics and house care retail chains. The team is among the busiest in handling deals involving alternative energy projects. In 2020 the team boasted a breadth of practice in structuring private equity investments, joint ventures and shareholding, corporate governance matters and advising on distressed M&A. Prominent Mykola ­Stetsenko is the premier M&A lawyer, shifting his major focus on foreign clients working with international counsel. Yuriy Nechayev is one of the busiest hands-on professionals endorsed for his combination of knowledge and impressive practical experience. Another key figure is Andriy Romanchuk, who fronted a series of challenging projects over the past year.

The Kyiv office of prestigious Baker McKenzie is retained by multinational companies and Ukrainian industry leaders for high-profile corporate and M&A assignments, large-scale joint ventures and private equity deals. Sector-wise transactional experience spans agribusiness, life science, energy, infrastructure, TMT (technology, media and telecoms). The firm advised Glencore Agriculture Limited, an agricultural commodities giant, on its acquisition of LLC Everi port terminal from the Orexim Group of companies; acted as lead legal counsel to Remington Seeds with respect to a strategic agreement with MAIS to purchase its seed plant and farming operations in Ukraine. The team regularly acts as Ukrainian law counsel in global deals. For example, it advised Flügger group A/S on the acquisition of a 70% shareholding in Eskaro Group AB, an international paint group with operations in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia and Finland; advised Nielsen, the media research firm, split into two independent publicly-traded companies by the spin off its Global Connect business. Another example is advising Polenergia International on the structuring of a joint venture to participate in a PPP project in the power sector. The team is led by two partners — strong transaction professional Olha Demianiuk, who heads the healthcare industry group, and Viacheslav ­Yakymchuk, who leads the agriculture industry group, and is praised for his unparalleled experience, quality of work and personal involvement in negotiations. Counsel Andrii Moskalyk is highly experienced in the oil and gas sector.

The formidable corporate and M&A practice of Sayenko ­Kharenko is one of the busiest in the country, performing domestic and international M&A, joint ventures and strategic alliances that are the most landmark in scope and complexity. Given substantial transactional activity in the infrastructure sector in 2020 the team acted as legal counsel to the Orexim Group of companies on the sale of a port terminal Everi to Renaisco B.V., a subsidiary of Glencore Agriculture Limited; acted as legal counsel to a successful international consortium in relation to participation in both pilot tenders for the concession of Kherson and Olvia sea ports; advised Myrwayton Holding Limited in relation to the sale of a railway operator to Renaisco B.V. Another landmark representation was rendered to OH Holding Limited in relation to the sale of a 51% stake in the Luxottica Group of companies and the creation of a joint venture with Essilor Nederland Holding B.V., a subsidiary of EssilorLuxottica, the world’s largest manufacturer of eyewear products. The team’s sectoral expertise extends to financial services, transport, infrastructure, IT and technology, FMCG, and energy industries. In the banking and finance sector, the firm advised DCH on the acquisition of Bank Credit Dnipro; and advised the Treeum group, the leading online financial supermarket in Ukraine, on the sale of the group’s controlling stake to Dragon Capital. Further expertise extends to corporate governance matters in the public sector and squeeze-out. Three partners of the firm lead practice projects. Oleksandr ­Nikolaichyk is in front of the majority of M&A assignments, and is observed as a well-trained leader of this practice. Alina Plyushch fronts multijurisdictional deals and deals governed by English law. Vladimir Sayenko splits his time between M&A and competition matters, and plays strategic role for the firm. June 2020, US-qualified partner ­Peter Teluk joined the firm. The senior executive team includes ­Sergiy ­Kazmirchuk and Dmytro Korbut. Associate Ilhar Hakhramanov received positive comments in feedback from peers in the market.

AEQUO consistently earns top M&A and JV mandates in a range of key economic sectors — agribusiness, pharmaceuticals, TMT, oil and gas, retail, real estate. Among the big-ticket deals was advising a large Ukrainian food retail chain, Novus Ukraine, on the acquisition of its competitor Billa Ukraine from REWE Group. The team also acts for significant retail actors, inter alia, Inditex Group on a corporate restructuring and in setting up an online shop. The team spent a ground-breaking year in terms of transactions in the TMT sector. The firm acted as a Ukrainian law counsel to NetApp, an American hybrid cloud data services and data management company, on the USD 450 million acquisition of Spot, a leader in compute management and cost optimization on public clouds; acted for a group of investors led by Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors in investing in CreatorIQ, an influencer marketing company with R&D in Ukraine. Another benchmark deal concerned the Ukrainian legal tech sector, included representation of Onit, a leading provider of enterprise legal management in its acquisition of AXDRAFT, a document automation company. The team stands out for its extensive track record in private equity deals, and consistently receives instructions from a range of local and foreign funds. Dragon Capital instructed the firm to represent its interests during acquisition of Treeum group, the leading online financial supermarket in Ukraine, the Industrial Park Ryasne-2, the business center for the Kyiv School of Economics and other investments. With the two partners on board, the firm cemented its positions on the market. Anna Babych is endorsed for handling the most challenging projects and her involvement in policy-making. Splitting his time between competition and tax practices, Denis ­Lysenko guides the team in such sectors as oil and gas, mineral resources and retail. The firm has a recognized senior executive team. ­Michael Lukashenko is referred as the most recognized executive within M&A deals. Oksana Krasnokutska received the appreciation of the corporate sector for her strong performance in retail. Mykyta Polatayko demonstrated notable activity advising the IT sector.

СMS is represented through two offices in Ukraine.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro ­Olswang reaffirms its position as a go-to international counsel for big-ticket transactions with English-law capability in Kyiv. The firm is highly active in the infrastructure sector, being a legal counsel for large-scale deals and major joint ventures transactions. In 2020 the firm advised TIS Group on the English and Ukrainian law aspects of a landmark joint venture transaction, when DP World acquired control of TIS Container Terminal Ukraine, the deepest and most technologically advanced container terminal in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Yuzhniy. The firm continued advising MV Cargo on all aspects on the ongoing establishment of a joint venture with Cargill, a leading international agricultural company, and its construction of a new grain terminal in the port of Yuzhniy. The firm is exceptionally well-presented in the energy sector, advising Scatec Solar ASA, a large Norway-based solar power developer, on its continuous expansion of the solar portfolio in Ukraine; and represented Acciona Energia on all aspects of its joint venture projects. The firm advised the EBRD on the acquisition of a minority stake in a leading food retailer Korzinka. Private equity deals are also in the pipeline of the M&A team. In the past year the Kyiv team was strengthened by the arrival of English-qualified lawyer Louise Cakar. ­Graham Conlon, an English-qualified corporate and private equity partner, was noted as a numerical lawyer possessing broad experience in CEE and knowledge of various market practices, who adds value to the team. ­Tetyana Dovgan is highly esteemed for being an exceptionally strong negotiator and handing complex M&A in infrastructure.

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz is called upon for corporate governance, reorganizations, M&A. In conjunction with its international network, the team is also mandated for global restructuring. Industry-wise the office is present in energy, IT, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. The Kyiv team continued to handle complex and comprehensive corporate governance matters for the Gas Transmission System ­Operator. The landmark M&A project was advising Quadient on the acquisition of YayPay Inc., an IP start-up. Following completion of a complex multijurisdictional transaction on acquisition by MANE Group of the distributor chain, the team continues to provide regular support and legal advice to the client and its subsidiary in Ukraine in connection with their day-to-day business activities. Maria Orlyk is a visible and well-regarded corporate partner. Johannes Trenkwalder is another key contact.

With its strong global footprint, DLA Piper[1] earns elite corporate and M&A work from sound multinational corporations, including support on cross-border M&A and complex joint ventures, corporate restructurings and an extensive roster of commercial matters. The practice’s recent pipeline took in large-scale M&A mandates covering such sectors as telecommunications, IT, media, aerospace and defense, manufacturing. Over the past year, the Kyiv office advised Brockwell Capital Limited on provision of a warranty and indemnity insurance to a buyer in a transaction on acquisition of a major Ukrainian telecom provider. Another example of the firm’s work was advising Ecolab Inc. on the global separation of its upstream energy business. Clients include AON, Mondelez, Perion, Pfizer, NEQSOL. Anastasiya Bolkhovitinova is in charge of unique representations in the aerospace and defense sector. Alla Kozachenko is focused on M&A transactions, acting as lead partner. Galyna Zagorodniuk works on complex corporate mandates and splits her time with the competition practice. She gained praise for her detailed work approach and solid regulatory knowledge.

The sizeable corporate and M&A team of Asters is historically preferred by prominent multinational companies. The wide-ranging engagements span establishment of local subsidiaries and termination, corporate structuring and governance, JVs and M&A, including Ukrainian parts of global mandates, and shareholder issues. Given the firm’s extensive presence in oil and gas, as well as the renewable energy market, this past year the practice portfolio maintained a chunk of subsequent transactions. For example, the firm advised Enwell Energy plc, a British oil and gas company, on its acquisition of Arkona Gas-Energy, valued at up to USD 8.63 million, a Ukrainian company holding the license to explore, develop and produce hydrocarbons; acted for Volterra Energy Group on the sale of a minority stake to VR Capital in 10 solar power plant projects in Ukraine. Another strong industrial focus of Asters is IT and telecommunications. The recent transactional highlight was advising Intersections Inc. d/b/a Aura, a technology company dedicated to simplifying digital security for consumers, on the purchase of a software business. The scope of its industrial presence is divided between four partners. ­Armen Khachaturyan guides the team in energy and projects involving public companies, and is recognized for its important role in the strategic development of the firm. Oleg Boichuk is historically active in transactions in the real estate sector. Oleksiy Demyanenko demonstrates notable activity in transportation and gambling. Vadym Samoilenko is active in advising healthcare, FMCG and technology clients and guiding general corporate work. Olena Radko and Oles Kvyat are seen as key executives across project work.

Dentons uses its exceptional network across the CEE and CIS regions, and is a go-to firm for big multinationals seeking support in cross-border M&A, joint ventures, corporate governance, and general corporate and regulatory matters pertaining to market entry and operating in Ukraine. The firm acted on a landmark transaction on the Ukrainian retail market, and represented REWE Group, a German diversified retail and tourism cooperative group, on the sale of the Billa supermarket chain in Ukraine. Renewable energy continued to be at the center of transactional activity, where the Kyiv office is particularly active on the side of buyers. Other areas of the firm’s presence include agriculture, life sciences, financial services, technology, hardware and electronics, and chemicals. Adam Mycyk, a US-qualified partner, enjoys a legacy as a prominent transactional lawyer. Counsel Anna Tkachenko was noted for her hard-working M&A performance. Oleg Batyuk plays a strategic role for complex corporate mandates and has been for many years the  inevitable point of contact for many international clients of this global firm.

INTEGRITES demonstrates a growing client portfolio, volume and complexity of transactions. The practice team is retained by sound multinational companies for cross-border M&A and multijurisdictional joint venture projects, corporate governance issues, corporate restructurings and reorganizations. In a recent highlight the team advised Sibelco, a global material solutions company, on the acquisition of a group of companies specializing in the extraction of mineral resources in Ukraine. Another ongoing project is advising BGS Rail, a Ukraine-based company established by Baltic Ground Services providing long-term renting of railcars, on the acquisition of a Ukrainian company specializing in the lease of different types of wagons. Most recently the team assisted the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine and state-owned Ukrgasbank on the inclusion of the International Finance Corporation into the bank’s share capital; advised Savencia Group on corporate restructuring aimed at simplifying corporate governance. In the team’s pipeline are a series of high-profile M&A transactions in the renewable energy, heavy industry and mineral resources, agribusiness, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, banking and finance sectors. The practice head, Kyiv-based partner Illya Tkachuk, had a busy year and received extremely positive  appraisal from peers for his exceptional legal and commercial knowledge. The senior team includes Anton Babak, transactional practitioner, and Inna Kostrytska, who focuses on corporate restructuring. Vasyl Yurmanovych and Yuliya Bleshmudt focused on the projects of German-speaking clients. Munich-based partner Dr. ­Julian Ries focuses on developing international offices.

Renowned for its multidisciplinary capabilities, the legal team at EY continues to grow its volume on the Ukrainian M&A landscape, expanding its track record of private equity and venture capital transactions. The legal team lately advised Horizon Capital on its investment in MAKEUP and Liki24; acted for Project Partners on acquisition of a Ukrainian company holding, Azor Business Center, in Kyiv from Basenj LLC. The firm’s M&A profile also features representation of sellers, and mandates from large Ukrainian business groups and local businesses seeking equity investments. Landmark projects of 2020 included EY’s involvement in a pilot concession transaction in Olvia and Kherson sea ports, and completion of the long-lasting Naftogaz of Ukraine unbundling project. Furthermore, EY handled ongoing corporate support to a roster of local players and subsidiaries of multinationals, and is called upon in projects with state-owned and municipally-owned companies on reforming their corporate structures, system of corporate governance and control. In 2020, the team provided assistance to Ukroboronprom in defining its governance strategy. Bogdan Malniev maintains high involvement in M&A work endorsed by market participants. The practice was further ­reinforced by the return of Borys ­Lobovyk, partner, who became head of the EY law practice in Ukraine. ­Albert Sych is continually present in complex corporate mandates.

Eterna Law boasts lengthy experience for corporate engagements mandated by renowned businessmen and corporates, encompassing ownership structuring, multijurisdictional reorganizations, cross-border dividends distribution, corporate rights purchase and sale. In addition to Ukraine, and given its presence in Russia and Kazakhstan, the firm is hired as a counsel on subsequent national laws. For example, the firm acted as legal advisor to Global Spirits on issues related to acquisition of an alcoholic beverage plant in Kazakhstan. This past year the firm was active in M&A deals involving alternative energy projects, and advising investment structuring and entry into the Ukrainian gambling market. The practice has two partners on board. Oleh Malskyy is focused on pure M&A. Artem Kuzmenko leads corporate work for clients from the gambling, IT, infrastructure and ­construction sectors. ­Konstantin Derbyshev and Margarita Tatarova are present across many of the firm’s projects.

Given offices in Kyiv and Warsaw, EUCON Legal Group cemented its position as a go-to counsel for Polish and CEE companies doing market entries and investment activities in Ukraine, as well as for Ukrainian companies seeking corporate structuring in Poland. The expertise of the group encompassed international corporate structuring, corporate governance, acquisition of corporate rights and intra-group deals. In a recent highlight the firm advised Lagako LLC, a company involved in the cultivation and processing of flax plant, in acquisition of the corporate rights of Linen of Desna from Ukren Agri. This past year the group was extensively instructed on relocation of Belarusian IT companies to Ukraine and Poland. The Warsaw office increased the number of assignments on corporate governance and structure, including clients like Nord Farm Sp. z o.o., Farmak International Sp. z o.o., Roshen EUROPE Sp. z o.o.; and maintained its well-established service — corporate business structuring throughout Poland for Ukrainian and CIS investors (e.g., TGL Polska, TranSoftGroup, Restauracja Baczewski, Agrocenter Poland, Online Radio Box, G3C Engineering). Yaroslav Romanchuk and ­Andrii ­Romanchuk lead the projects in Ukraine and Poland, respectively. Counsel Mariia Lipina is another important executive.

EVERLEGAL is a preferred Ukrainian counsel for renewable energy developers and investors, large and mid-size energy companies, investment funds, IT companies, agrarian businesses. In light of the firm’s robust renewable energy practice, its team represents anchor clients — UDP Renewables and Main Group Ukraine on a wide range of transactions. For example, the team supports UDP Renewables with regard to the sale of a 50% stake in a number of wind solar power plants under development, and sale of a 75% stake in a number of operating solar power plants. In addition, the firm assisted an oil and gas technology company with negotiating and structuring JVs with public and private oil and gas companies in Ukraine. The firm continued to enhance its presence in the IT and innovations sector, being retained for M&A and JVs, as well as supporting operational matters. In a recent highlight the team advised a German private equity fund on the acquisition of a group of companies in IT business with significant R&D presence in Ukraine. In addition, the team was retained to support projects connected with construction and development of industrial parks, and was active in representation of agrarian companies in expanding land banks and their asset deals. The sizeable team is led by two partners — Yevheniy Deyneko, endorsed for extensive transactional path in 2020, and Andriy Olenyuk acclaimed for his accurate performance in renewable energy.

Gramatskiy & Partners is a highly-recognized domestic counsel with an established client following from real estate and construction, commercial property, IT, investment, transportation, engineering, logistics HoReCa sectors. The firm has exceptional standing in real estate, and recently supported the sale of the Arsenal Plaza Business Center to Tarantino Family group; advised Global Space Management on the sale of a controlling stake in Zhytlobudinvest LLC, one of the largest development companies in Kyiv. Noteworthy, throughout 2020 the firm supported a series of share deals aimed at the acquisition of land plots and acted on privatization projects. For example, the firm represented Bastion Group LLC on the acquisition of PJSC Kyivpasservice during privatization. Another significant focus of the practice team is support of investment in start-ups, including angel investments. A consistent flow of instructions of mid-market deals, restructuring of ownership and corporate control, intra-group restructuring. Ernest Gramatskiy leads M&A work, and performs both strategic guidance and personal leadership in the negotiation process. Yegor Ignatichev leads the corporate practice.

In 2020 Ukrainian law firm GOLAW was called on to advise on the purchase and sale of corporate rights, shareholder agreements, distribution of dividends, conversion of debt into share capital, corporate governance. The firm is consistently preferred by significant actors from energy, retail, FMCG, IT and agribusiness. The firm advised Skyline on the exclusion of a participant from the company by a decision of the majority of participants, which became the first precedent in Kyiv for the exclusion procedure provided for by new legislation. PPP is another area of the firm’s expertise. Most recently the team rendered support to Software Solutions & Technologies AG on structuring foreign investments and corporate governance. The firm’s client roster takes in TIU Canada, Ubisoft Ukraine, GAP Ukraine, Marka Ukraine, Oriflame. Max Lebedev acts as lead partner, supported by Taras ­Lytovchenko and Oleksandr Melnyk.

Ilyashev & Partners maintains its reputation as a go-to firm for high-stake shareholder disputes and resolution of multijurisdictional corporate conflicts, in parallel enhancing its portfolio of corporate structuring, M&A and shareholding agreements instructions. The team is consistently retained by Ukrainian business groups, owners and private investors, as well as foreign companies entering the market. Most recently the corporate practice advised a US investment company on the sale of its Ukrainian IT branch company and conducted due diligence in SLR Ukraine, a subsidiary of Selerant, in terms of potential acquisition of Selerant by the private equity fund Symphony AI. The track record of recent conflicts encompasses protection of the interests of LU Invest (Latvia) in a corporate conflict regarding the management of the agricultural holding Golden Sunrise, and acting for Vnesheconombank in connection with the actions of raiders against eight leasing companies, namely the bank’s Ukrainian subsidiaries. Yevgen ­Solovyov is lead partner, supported by the firm’s counsel ­Leonid ­Gilevich.

Jurline, a domestic law firm based in Odesa, is preferred by major industrial leaders in Southern Ukraine for handling corporate rights transactions, corporate structuring, privatization  and other forms of public-private partnership. The firm has especially well-established positions in infrastructure, transshipment and transportation services, wineries, real estate and commercial property. Jurline represented Fedcominvest Monaco SAM and Alekszej Fedoricsev (together holding 37.5% shares in TIS-Container Terminal) in the course of changes in the corporate structure in connection with the entry of a new participant — DP World (UAE) into TIS-Container Terminal. Further expertise includes development of investment schemes and alienation of corporate rights. The firm’s representative clients include TIS-Grain, TIS-Mindobryva, PJSC Odesawinprom, PTK Shabo, Kadorr Group, PJSC Severtrans, PJSC Odesavtotrans, SK Petroleum, Teka (Sarmont group holding). The practice has two partners on board, namely ­Volodymyr Zubar and Maxim Kapelist.

Kinstellar provides a solid offering on the Ukrainian corporate arena, and was noted for the office’s expertise handling M&A and JVs deals, privatization, corporate governance, regulatory and compliance issues. The office is consistently mandated for advising on corporate governance reform related to state-owned enterprises in Ukraine — Naftogaz of Ukraine, the national oil and gas company, Ukrposhta, the national postal operator, Ukroboronprom, the national state-owned defence company, Ukrenergo, the national transmission system operator for energy. Kinstellar Kyiv advised Vesco Limited, one of the leading clay manufacturers and exporters in the world, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Public Joint Stock Company Chasov-Yar Refractory Plant, a Ukrainian clay manufacturer; represented QTerminals WLL in the largest port concession project in Ukraine — concession of the Black Sea Port of Olvia. The M&A team’s deals were seen in the automotive, pharmaceuticals, energy, TMT and real estate sectors, as well as instructions of multijurisdictional corporate restructurings and reorganizations. For example, the firm advised GTT Communications, Inc., a global leader in cloud networking services, on the sale of its infrastructure business to I Squared Capital, an independent global infrastructure investment management firm, for USD 2.15 billion, and assists with divestment of the infrastructure business in Ukraine. The practice has two partners on board. Iryna Nikolayevska heads the corporate/M&A and compliance practices. With her focus on energy, oil and gas and environmental sectors, Olena Kuchynska handles complex corporate and corporate governance matters, privatization projects and investment activities. She received references as a well-rounded lawyer with sharp judgment.

KPMG Law regularly handles due diligence of investment targets for international clients and corporate restructuring affecting multiple jurisdictions. The extensive client base spans IT, real estate and construction, equipment manufacturing, food and beverages, investment industries. The team provided CTP Invest with the sell-side legal support during the acquisition of an Industrial Park in Ukraine by Dragon Capital. KPMG stands out for its vivid privatization experience. For example, it leads a consortium of advisers to the State Property Fund of Ukraine in the course of privatization of First Kyiv Machine-Building Plant (formerly known as Bilshovyk) and supports the Fund in privatization of the State Enterprise Plant Eleсtrotyazhmash. Among landmark projects is advising on the unbundling of gas transmission system activities in Ukraine from Naftogaz, as part of the country’s energy market reform towards implementing the provisions of the EU Third Energy Package. ­Yuriy ­Katser, director, heads the work of projects with key involvement from ­Maksym Zavalnyy, Ivan Demtso, Bogdan ­Shyshkovskyi.

Ukrainian firm Marchenko Partners rapidly reaffirmed its market position with the team that came from Nobles in 2019 and with the growing track record of corporate and M&A work. The team is experienced in complex cross-border deals, including those in highly-regulated industries, post-completion matters regarding multi-million M&A, corporate reorganizations, including Ukrainian parts of global projects, and general corporate support. The team closed one of the biggest transactions in 2020, having represented DP World, a Dubai-based provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics, in a multi-million dollar acquisition of a controlling stake in the major Ukrainian stevedoring operator TIS Container Terminal. The firm also advised EnergoGroup on post-completion matters regarding the sale in 2018 of EnergoGroup’s Ukrainian coal business to a group of buyers, including Metinvest B.V. Other clients serviced by the team include Ecosoft, LafargeHolcim, Subway. Roman Shulyar is a hands-on team leader with solid market praise and recognition from peers.

Ukrainian law firm MORIS GROUP is getting more visible for its corporate work, and its recent scope spans corporate restructuring, including across multiple jurisdictions, corporate governance, acquisition of corporate rights, shareholder agreements. The practice team grants Ivano-Frankivskcement PJSC complex legal support regarding the restructuring of its group of companies in Ukraine; supported the Ukrainian Association of Football in concluding a share management agreement. Another highlight is representing the Teple Misto Charitable Organization in the process of preparing the corporate structure of Promprylad, a renovation project with the involvement of a plethora of companies, and prepared legal algorithm for investing in the project. Among the firm’s landmark ongoing representations is the creation and due operation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which includes more than 7,000 legal entities. Maryan Martynyuk is lead partner.

Ukrainian law firm Nobles possesses an extensive international client base seeking both general advice and corporate housekeeping in the country and representation in M&A. The portfolio also contains significant JVs projects in a range of industries, and support of investments of private equity and venture funds. The firm advised the Swiss private equity investor Evoco AG buyer on Ukrainian law issues on the acquisition of subsidiaries of Gesco AG (Germany); advised an Eastern European hostel operator Dreamgroup Management on the sale of its hostels in Warsaw, Prague and Bratislava to Safestay plc, operator of an international brand of contemporary hostels. The team is active in IT, e-commerce, media, retail, real estate, healthcare sectors. Clients include H&M Hennes and Mauritz, Auto1 Group GmbH, KIA Motors, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Spacebit Global Ltd, Viatrans and others. The practice is jointly led by a Ukrainian corporate partner, ­Volodymyr Yakubovskyy, and a German-qualified partner, Alexander Weigelt.

Pavlenko Legal Group is enlisted for incorporation and corporate structuring, M&A, JVs, shareholders agreements, and handled general support in corporate matters. The M&A practice focuses on representing domestic clients. Recent public highlights include representation of the Odesa Film Studio JSC in the course of sale by former head of 1+1 Media, Oleksandr Tkachenko, of a 25% stake to Oleksandr ­Morozov, a Ukrainian banker. The team also acted for PJSC Halychpharm and PJSC Kievmedpreparat in procedures of mandatory acquisition of minority stakes on the stock exchange. Since 2020 the firm has worked on share deals involving land and real estate purchases, as well as transactions in such sectors as wholesale trade, construction, agrarian equipment, IT, financial services. Denys Maistrenko heads the practice.

Redcliffe Partners was called upon for M&A support in agribusiness, financial services, pharmaceuticals, energy, IT, transport. The firm often acts as a Ukrainian law counsel in global transactions alongside international law firms. In 2020 the firm was traditionally active in the renewable energy sector, and currently advises Aragon Capital/Clear Energy, acting as a seller of a several renewable energy projects located in Ukraine. Another transactional highlight is representation of a FinTech company called YayPay, specialized in accounts receivable management software during the EUR 17 million acquisition by Quadient, a leading manufacturer of mailing equipment and provider of mailing-related services. The firm advises the founder of a Ukraine-based tech start-up called Hurma System in connection with round A financing, including advising on the establishment of a joint venture company and negotiating a shareholders’ agreement. SALIC has been advised on regulatory, corporate and contractual matters, such as potential investment in infrastructure and land reform. Zoryana ­Sozanska-Matviychuk, partner and head of M&A practice, is qualified to give advice on matters of English law. Corporate and compliance practices are led by US-qualified partner Rob Shantz. Dmytro Fedoruk is known for representing oil and gas companies.

The Kyiv office of Wolf Theiss acts regularly in unison with its CEE network of offices on multijurisdictional transactions, and is a traditional point of choice for European companies seeking entry to the Ukrainian market. In particular, the team advised Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition, health and sustainable living, as part of a global M&A project, on the acquisition of Biomin and ROMER LABS divisions of Erber Group; handled the Ukrainian part of the disposal by the global, privately-owned pharmaceutical company Alvogen of its CEE business to Zentiva. This past year was notable for the office’s advice on privatization, inter alia, counseling a joint venture between Ukrainian and Israeli investors on the privatization tender of the ­Dnipro Hotel. Other areas of established expertise include corporate governance, corporate reorganization and internal processes re-structuring. Taras Dumych, managing partner, possesses further experience in corporate governance matters and private equity deals.

Alstellar Law Firm develops its core focus on international corporate structuring and is mandated for concurrent regulatory and tax matters. The team extended its projects portfolio with corporate structure clearances, business relocation, share sales, restructuring and dividend payments. The team added further experience of resolution of corporate conflicts. 1+1 Media, Evo Play, Fishing Company S.A., GP GLOBAL SUISSE S.A are on the firm’s client list. The practice is led by the firm’s managing partner Olga Vinglovska.

Ukrainian firm Andriy Kravets & Partners advised Aitheon Ukraine, Astarta Group, Konecranes, Bio Hlib, Dilkorn Trade, Muztorg, Lybid, Sophia, Optical Design, Ukrainian Agro-Insurance Company on a range of corporate and corporate governance matters, preparing documents for general shareholders/participants meetings of companies.

Ante Law Firm has a remarkable following of clients from the aviation and pharmaceutical sectors. The corporate practice spans day-to-day support for representative offices, including their registration and liquidation, opening branches, changes in management and corporate structuring. Clients include the Lufthansa group (Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels Airlines), Ernest S.p.A., British Airways, Air France — KLM, Alitalia, Qatar Airways and other international airlines, operating flights to/from Ukraine; Aviaholidays LLC, the representative office of the Turkish construction company DOĞUSAN İNŞAAT, Sanofi-Aventis. Andriy Guck is the main contact.

ANTIKA Law Firm is experienced in the field of commercial, corporate law and M&A. This past year the firm assisted Magnusson International Verein on a debt-to-swap transaction that was carried out by the Ukrainian subsidiary; handed restructuring of the existing system of corporate management of a group of Ukrainian companies managed by AWT Bavaria and introduced the unified and vertically-integrated system of corporate management. The team renders support for the commercial activities of Zoo 12 Months LLC. Alexander ­Burtovoy, Dr. Alexey Kot and Andrey Kuznetsov are lead partners.

Ario Law Firm advises on the protection of property rights, acquisition of corporate rights, resolution of corporate disputes, corporate matters related to business expansion. Among the landmark projects of the firm in 2020 was development of customs reform in terms of the corporate structure of the State Customs Service, that was conducted in cooperation with the IMF. The firm also continued long-lasting representation of Hotel Lybid in a corporate dispute due to a raider attack on the hotel’s corporate rights. The practice has three partners on board — Julian Khorunzhyi, Ruslan Sydorovich and Andriy Fylyk.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar renders corporate advice in the aviation sector. The firm is experienced in corporate structuring and PPP. Ukraine International Airlines, Interavia, Aerohandling are on its client list. Oleg Bondar and Oleksandra Nikitina are the main contacts.

Ukrainian law firm ESQUIRES is enlisted to handle general corporate work, including business establishment, day-to-day support of business activities, restructuring and liquidation. Notable expertise consists of multinational corporate structuring and outbound investment. Viktoria Kovalchuk and Bogdan Prysyazhnyuk are lead partners.

Ukrainian law firm Hillmont Partners, with a representative office in London, has experience which takes in establishment of JV and acquisitions, PPP and concession, corporate law disputes with respect to hostile takeovers. The firm is particularly focused in the areas of mining and natural resources, infrastructure and retail. The client portfolio, among others, include the US consultancy group AlixPartners, Black Iron Inc., and the leading Spanish start-up Glovo. The practice is supported by a well-established regulatory affairs practice and strong positions in GR. James Hart, founding partner, heads the practice and is the key client relationship figure.

The Kyiv office of the French law firm Jeantet is customarily preferred by foreign names, especially francophone clients on their corporate and commercial issues from doing business in Ukraine. This past year the office rendered legal assistance to a French multinational technology consulting and engineering company with respect to ­acquisition of assets of a Ukrainian engineering company. The firm advised AmSpec, a professional group working in inspection and testing services in energy, on transfer of a minority shareholding, share capital increases, corporate management. Bertrand Barrier is lead partner.

KM Partners acts on general corporate and commercial matters, providing seamless tax advisory, that is a renowned strength of the firm. Among other assignments, the firm advised on payment of dividends, entrance of new participants, disclosure about beneficiaries, joint stock companies’ spin-off. Alexander Minin and Maxim Oleksiuk are lead partners.

Krolevetskyi & Partners, a Kharkiv-based law firm, is a vivid regional counsel, being enlisted for business structuring, reorganizations and share deals. In 2020 the firm acted in a series of corporate rights sales representing local domestic clients, Khelso LLC, Metalobaza Metalan, Cuprum Capital Group. The practice is headed by Olexii ­Zaitsev.

LCF Law Group added corporate practice to its offering with its merger with Evris Law Firm in the past year. The firm advises on corporate structuring, ownership control from the perspective of corporate conflicts, capital increases, investment support and structuring. Amongst publishable clients are Ostchem Holding Limited, Alros Holding Limited, Finance Real, Fozzy Group, Grawe Ukraine, SCATEC Solar Solutions Ukraine, Greenteco SES, Chysta Enerhiia 2011. Sergiy ­Benedysiuk is lead partner.

Legal House Group was established by a group of lawyers from Juscutum Law Firm in 2019. The dynamic team rapidly grows its client base, and offers corporate structuring and transactional support. In 2020 the firm advised a production service company called Radioaktivefilm LTD in the course of its merger with TF7-TV S.L., specializing in producing creatively-driven content for brands, advertising agencies, studios and production companies worldwide; supported structuring the Miratech holding; advised on choosing a model for structuring and scaling the business of Uma And Umi Group to EU markets. Another highlight was structuring corporate relationships for Budynok Ihrashok. Among publishable clients are Kryla, Biznes-Konstruktor, Glovo (­Hlovoapp Ukraine LLC), Harten-KONSALTYNH LLC, Polar HPC, B-pro, GMS, Wirex, Studio 53, Onyx, Pragmatic Play, Cronwest, Salvi. The ­projects are led by two partners, namely Ruslan Redka and Lana Golian.

MK Legal Service handles general corporate support to domestic clients with a distinctive focus on HoReCa and telecommunication industries. The firm arranges comprehensive legal support to Ukrainian restaurant chains, and supports transactions in the TMT sector. In particular, the firm advised on investment business models of the Ukrainian restaurant chain Chernomorka and burger network Yudgin Burger; supported IFPharm in attracting investment from Azerbaijan to open an online pharmacy. Another notable project was support of GigaGroup, a player on the Ukrainian telecommunications and technology market, on establishment of IAAS, an operator of cloud services. Selected clients of the firm are Gastrofamily — Dmitry Borisov’s family of restaurants, a start-up called Trustee Wallet, Medical Data Management. Maksym Kurochko, managing partner, is the key contact.

The Kyiv office of the Czech law firm Peterka & Partners is a port of call for many CEE clients doing business in Ukraine. In particular, the firm provided full-range legal support to PEKM Kabeltechnik, a renowned Czech manufacturer of electrical equipment and electronics, on the corporate issues of transfer of participatory interest and debt to equity swap; Mammoet Ukraine, a global market leader in engineered heavy lifting and transport services, on development of a multilevel structure of corporate governance; KPB INTRA, a Czech-based company specializing in the development, production and sale of electrical appliances, with regard to corporate issues related to its joint venture in Ukraine. The team is approached for corporate advice on market entries and exits, internal corporate procedures. Other clients include World Courier, Polpharma, Nutreco, Czech Center, Algol, HSH Chemie, Steelcase. Kyiv-based partner Taras Utiralov is the main contact.

The Kyiv branch of SBH Law Offices, a Belarusian firm, became visible in supporting clients in the organization of their business in Ukraine, including various corporate issues. Among notable projects in 2020 was advising Santa Impex Brest, the largest Belarusian food holding and the third largest distributor in the CIS, on its purchase of a power station. The team has vivid focus on the IT sector that conducted relocation to Ukraine, and experience in advising venture capital actors. For example, the firm advised the venture capital funds ­Adventure Lab and Kolos Ventures on issues of investment in Ukrainian IT start-ups; advised Belarusian IT start-ups Simplerity and Fanaticka on corporate structure issues before the seed round of investments. SBH acted as a legal counsel for Mogotel Hotel Group on its entry into the Ukrainian market. Semyon Astapov, senior associate, handled the respective work.

Stron Legal Services has a narrow industry niche centered on ­e-commerce, fintech and the wider IT sector. The team offers seamless international tax and corporate structuring. The recent representative experience includes legal support of acquisition of a 100% shareholding in R&D company and incorporation of R&D office in Ukraine; corporate structuring of an online music platform in Europe for the purpose of attracting crowd investors. Gambling is an area of recent growth, inter alia, Stron handled legal support in the acquisition of an international gambling business with Maltese licenses and total client base of more than 100,000 users. Oleg Derlyuk, managing partner, is the practice head.

Sytnyk & Partners is constantly present in cross-border transactions and supports the market entries of international names to the Ukrainian market, especially in IT and gaming industries. In a recent highlight the firm represented 4A Games in the sale of its gaming business to Embracer Group; acted for Schneider Electric, a global leader in digital transformation of automation and energy management, in the Ukrainian aspects of the global acquisition of ProLeiT, a developer of technological solutions. The practice is headed by Artem Sokurov.

The full-service Ukrainian law firm Arzinger* is a notable market player with a very well-organized corporate and M&A team. The market recognizes the active role of its managing partner, Timur Bondaryev, as a rainmaker. Anna Zorya has strong market feedback, especially for her transactional work in the IT sector[2].

Volodymyr Igonin, partner of Vasil Kisil & Partners*, received praise from peers for his scrupulous approach and good knowledge of commercial issues, especially profound analysis of the potential risks and opportunities from a client’s perspective.


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

[2] The firms marked with * have not submitted information for the current research.