The Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie is called upon by global and Ukrainian companies from various industries, including agriculture and transportation, retail and consumer goods, banking and financial institutions, embassies and non-governmental organizations, healthcare and pharmaceuticals. The firm provides a complete offering, acting on a wide range of labor and HR compliance issues, hiring and termination of staff, change in management, appointment of foreign nationals, negotiations with trade unions. The dedicated team is instructed for conducting employment law audits, internal corporate investigations, transfer of employees, and due diligence reviews of employment law liabilities in corporate acquisitions. Employee privacy rights and data protection is another area of focus. Long-standing expert Mariana Marchuk is known for her extensive experience in this practice and contribution with legislative amendments. Partner Lina Nemchenko heads the office’s employment and migration group.

The full-service firm Sayenko Kharenko commands a sizeable ­labor and compliance practice spanning multijurisdictional ­employees’ transfers (as part of major M&A transactions), employee incentive plans, stock options and other employee benefits issues, employment reclassification risks associated with foreign companies engaging Ukrainian independent contractors, teleworking and other COVID-19 related employment issues. The practice stands out for the dedicated team, which conducts amicable (alternative) dispute settlement. The practice recently advised Eurofins Agro Testing on employment-related matters in connection with the liquidation of a Ukrainian subsidiary. Other recent instructions include redundancies, out-staffing issues, labor disputes, internal policy compliance. The firm’s client roster includes Agroscope, Coca-Cola, Greif, Kyivstar, Creatio. The employment team is co-led by Iryna Bakina and Dr. Svitlana Kheda. The key executive team includes Olga Kyriusha and Kuzma Pozychaniuk.

The full-service Ukrainian law firm Asters has a formidable standalone practice commanding a full range of labor and employment issues, and is regularly instructed by leading multinationals and domestic companies. The firm is retained for structuring employment relations, employee compensation matters, staff redundancy and termination, immigration, implementation of flexible and remote work time arrangements, employment compliance. Given the firm’s sizeable corporate and M&A practice, it advises major corporates on the employment aspects of acquisitions and management of complex employment reorganizations. The firm actively expands its experience of representation with trade unions, including collective negotiations and development of collective agreements. In a recent highlight the practice team boosted its litigation engagement and was sought after for legal support in resolution of conflict situation and collective labor disputes, litigations related to disciplinary measures and reinstatement. Of late the team supported a private individual, a former top-manager of several local subsidiaries of international businesses, in employment and pension law matters related to development of a personal pension plan and successful litigation against the state Pension Fund. Inesa Letych, is highly active in practice development. Vadym Samoilenko, partner, provides general supervision of the practice.

The well-versed employment practice of Ilyashev & Partners is called upon by big domestic industrial leaders and Ukrainian branches of multinational corporates, as well as private individuals. The team renders representation in dismissal disputes, regulatory claims, negotiates labor conflicts and handles ongoing advisory support. The firm has extensive experience in representation with labor unions and in collective bargaining, developing benefits system, employees transfer and relocation, employment compliance. The firm acted for subsidiary company Messer Ukraine in an employment dispute with a former commercial director; represented the interests of the rector of the National Aviation University in its dispute with the Ministry of Science on cancelling its decision on his dismissal and appointment of a replacement. In the research period the team advised JSC Concern Titan-2 on the employment of Ukrainian citizens by a foreign person in Ukraine; Suntech Innovation on the specifics of labor relations during quarantine. State Enterpise Antonov and various companies in the ­Antonov Group, Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine, Unilever Ukraine, Wargaming and others are clients. Leonid Gilevich specializes in employment, compliance, and splits his time with the corporate and M&A practice. Valeriia Gudiy possesses unique experience of interaction and dispute resolution with trade unions, support during inspections by the state regulatory authorities and handling administrative disputes.

The Kyiv employment team of Dentons is known for its remarkable international clients following, seeking consistent advisory and international assignments which frequently relates to M&A, restructuring and reorganizational initiatives and resulting employment law matters. The firm has extensive practice in connection with replacement of top executives and management, transfer of employees, redundancies, compensations, maternity leaves, immigration, labor rules and work permits, employment and benefits related litigation. The office recently advised an international software developer on COVID-19 quarantine implications on the work process of its employees, including personal data protection in connection with home video violence matters. The office also conducts internal corporate investigations and performs various compliance trainings. Partner Volodymyr ­Monastyrskyy has a strong standing and is renowned for consistent corporate and compliance practice and assisting with employment disputes.

Ukrainian law firm ADER HABER has a well-regarded team with a solid advisory practice and employment disputes track record. The offering covers the complete spectrum regarding the hiring, transfer and dismissal of personnel, international mobility of executive personnel, collective bargaining agreements, strikes and trade unions. The firm lately advised Chanel LLC on obtaining work permits for 32 posted foreign workers, and Coca-Cola Ukraine Limited on labor issues. The firm is an exclusive advisor of the whole group of Nestle S.A. companies, and represents the interests of its Ukrainian subsidiary, Technokom Ltd, in a dispute with a trade union on collective bargaining. The past year was notable for the team in establishing a completely new judicial practice since the court equated a labor council to a trade union. Another notable dispute is representing AVK Confectionery LLC, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian confectionery market, in a lawsuit with a former employee for recognition of discrimination in labor rights. The client portfolio includes such names as Inditex Group, Fresco Decorative Arts, L`Elite Group Srl. With her long-standing commitment to employment matters, practice head Tetyana Ivanovych is known for her extensive experience in sophisticated disputes involving trade unions.

Ante Law Firm has a solid practice of representing clients from aviation, pharma and healthcare sectors. The team renders constant legal assistance to many international airlines operating in Ukraine with their labor law issues. For example, as the representative office of Ernest S.p.A. was closed in early 2020, the firm dealt with termination of all employment agreements acting as the internal HR and legal department. On the dispute front Ante dealt with a number of labor disputes between top managers and employers. In 2020 the firm resolved some complicated staff dismissal issues for a few global pharmaceutical companies. The firm’s clients include Perrigo Ukraine, Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, Servier, Ukrainian office of the Council of Europe, Zdravo, Beko Ukraine. Andriy Guck is lead partner.

AVELLUM acts for major multinational corporations on the employment implications of large multijurisdictional deals, including corporate reorganizations and business spin-offs. The firm often covers employment matters in terms of supported M&A deals, and develops step-plans for the transfer of employees. The scope of advisory spans sensitive matters related to the dismissal and appointment of top management, launching and terminating business operations in Ukraine, policies on management board and management remuneration. The firm has a growing following of IT clients seeking sector specific advice on employment structuring. Among recent highlights is advising ClinTec International on employment issues related to structuring of employment relationships; Atlantic Group with replacement of management in a Ukrainian subsidiary; Spectrum Equity in relation to the creation of a co-working hub. ­Clients encompass ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd, Drylock Technologies N.V., MTI, ­Euromoney. Bogdana Parkhomchuk is the key employment practitioner. Mykola ­Stetsenko supervises the practice as lead partner.

СMS is represented through two offices in Ukraine and their employment practices are part of a big CEE employment network.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro ­Olswang handles the employment aspects of its complex mandates, multijurisdictional ­employment matters, being traditionally active in the energy and natural resources, IT and technology, transport, professional services sectors. The firm acts on redundancies and individual terminations, immigration, employment aspects of corporate deals, employees transfer, employment due diligence and the restructuring of employment relations. For example, the office advised Scatec Solar on employment law matters relevant to the change of the country manager in Ukraine; Acciona Energia on restructuring the upper-management structure and implementing it. Olga ­Belyakova acts as lead partner.

The practice of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, as led by Maria Orlyk, advised on the mass transfer of employees, labor issues rising from complex corporate governance issues and compliance matters, management appointment.

The employment practice of DLA Piper Ukraine[1] is a part of the cross-border group, and is retained on employment issues by Ukrainian subsidiaries of its big multinational clients as well as by their headquarters. The office customarily covers employment aspects within M&A global transactions and outsourcings, sustainable termination strategies, legal aspects of labor safety audits, trade unions and collective bargaining agreements, and became more involved in advising on downtime, partial unemployment benefit and redundancy. The firm advises global technology leaders, and the leading names from pharmaceuticals, healthcare, manufacturing, FMCG and other sectors. Among disclosable names are Adobe, Pfizer, Jabil, Dialog Semiconductor, NEQSOL, Perion Network, Marriott International. Managing partner Margarita Karpenko heads the employment practice group. Another key executive is Maksym Tesliar, who has a special focus on conducting labor law audits and advisory.

Eterna Law assists on employment matters as part of its corporate, regulatory, finance and tax advice for clients from IT, telecommunications, FMCG, pharma, NGOs and other sectors. This wide-ranging offering spans employment agreements, termination, transfer of employees, development of motivation systems, benefits, immigration compliance. Recent highlights include advising an array of Chinese companies on registration of legal entities in Ukraine and obtaining residence permits for their personnel. Selected clients include Dufry Ukraine, Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ukraine LLC, Christian Dior Couture Ukraine, Auchan Ukraine. The practice is led by Oksana Kneychuk.

EVERLEGAL advises on employment matters a rising out of corporate reorganizations, and on a standalone basis. The scope of work includes employment law compliance, termination, engagement of expats, migration rules, appointing top management, engagement of outstaffed personnel, reductions and top management separations, personnel transfer. The team advised a large European private equity fund, and an innovative technology company in the area of e-commerce and B2B payments, in connection with employment matters of their recently acquired Ukrainian subsidiaries. Employment disputes are another area of practice focus. Yevheniy Deyneko acts as lead partner. Andriy Olenyuk and Oleksandr Ruzhytskyi are also actively involved in employment projects.

EY Ukraine is a point of choice for big multinationals seeking advice on employment measures connected with COVID-19 in Ukraine, implementation of long-term incentive plans (including share-based and cash-based plans), appointment of high executives, complex terminations, pension strategies, headcount reduction, etc. The team carried out several labor law due diligence projects, advised on the structuring of working arrangements and employment of foreign individuals in Ukraine, introduction of remote work, amendment of the companies’ employment related policies and documents. The key practitioners in this practice are Olga Gorbanovskaya and Halyna Khomenko.

The GOLAW employment practice is focused on resolution of disputes related to the dismissals and transfers of employees, reinstatement, payment of salaries and compensation for non-pecuniary damage, disputes related to the full material responsibility of employees and damage compensation. The firm utilizes a strong combination of labor and tax expertise, often retained for advising on incentive systems. The firm quite recently advised Ubisoft Ukraine on the drafting of option agreements for the purchase of corporate rights for the company’s top employees. The firm has a historically well-established following of retail companies. Another strong side of the practice is representing government institutions in disputes over the protection of honor, dignity and business reputation, namely the abolition of inaccurate information that has been published. Kateryna ­Manoylenko acts as lead partner.

Gramatskiy & Partners has a long-term and diverse expertise in the field of employment and labor dispute resolution. The workflow comes mainly from the domestic clientele, and spans labor due diligence and compliance, structuring of labor relations with top management and independent contractors, development of labor contracts, a system to develop conditional “golden parachutes”, redundancies, compensation policies, data protection and privacy, outstaffing. The firm is keen to handle employment litigation. Clients include companies from the real estate, engineering, transport and logistics, ­HoReCa, IT sectors, such as City Capital Group, Seven Hills, ­Finrostorg Group, Celentano, Danfoss Group, Plant Quant, Playtech Software ­Limited, Clickmein, SKYWIND Tech UA, Ulma Opalubka Ukraine and others. The unchangeable practice leader is Mykola Voitovich.

ILF has a broad breadth of expertise in advisory, taking in challenging matters, and precedent-setting labor disputes. This past year the firm was sought after for legal assistance with introduction of remote work, development of specific motivation systems for employees, development of a material liability system, developing collective bargaining agreements and civil contracts. The firm is a point of choice for advising on redundancies, and is regularly mandated by employers for representation on dismissal claims. Serhiy Silchenko has a strong reputation for his experience handling complex disputes[2].

Throughout 2020, INTEGRITES enjoyed an upsweep in its labor and employment portfolio, with special requests for complex social security projects and redundancy dismissals, contingency planning, compliance investigations, labor safety, employment of foreigners, assistance with inspections of relevant regulatory authorities and litigation. The firm also maintains assignments from supported corporate deals and business restructuring, in particular, advised Sibelco Group on employment matters, including the changing of top managers, which arose due to the acquisition of companies in Ukraine. Leroy ­Merlin, a French headquartered home improvement and gardening equipment retailer, enlisted the team to conduct compliance investigation, dismissal and assisting in dispute mediation. Among other significant areas of focus are distance work, conflict situations, data protection and GDPR requirements, personnel policies, change of working conditions. The solid client portfolio includes, among others, Verallia, Scatec Solar, NBT AS, Air Products, Servier, MAI CEE Insurance Brokers, BGS Rail, COMMUNISIS. Corporate and M&A partner ­Illya Tkachuk heads the practice, and is highly active across complex mandates of big corporate clients. Dr. Julian Ries, partner, leads the instructions of German clients, and concentrates on mediation and compliance. Inna Kostrytska (advisory) and Yurii Sivovna (litigation) are also key practice figures.

KPD Consulting renders employment support to its established clients on an ongoing basis, including change of top managers, developing of hiring and firing options, work permits for foreigners for managerial positions, development of compliant labor policies and procedures, inspections of supervisory bodies. The firm also handles representation in dismissal and reinstatement appeals by acting for both sides — employers and employees. The firm’s client portfolio takes in Business Center Illinsky, ZED-Ukraine LLC, MOS International, Diebold Nixdorf (ex-Winсor Nixdorf) LLC, Artemis Ukraine. Partner ­Kyrylo Kazak heads the employment, labor law and white-collar crime practices.

Legal Alliance Company advises pharmaceutical and healthcare market players. Its scope includes labor agreements, development of corporate labor policies and documentation, restructuring of labor relations, layoffs and employers’ liability, work conditions, outsourcing and outstaffing, trade union activities, labor disputes in mediation and in courts. In a recent highlight the firm advised an international non-governmental organization on downsizing procedures in one of its branches in Ukraine due to its liquidation. Other recent workflow, among others, included communication with trade union options, implementation of outstaffing work models, regulation on wages and collective agreements. Publishable clients include Adamed, Alcon, Astellas, Berlin Chemie, Boris Medical Clinic, Contrad Swiss, Delta Medical, Glenmark, Lekhim, Jadran Galenski laboratorij d.d., Orion Corporation, Reckitt Benckiser, Takeda, Teva. Illya Kostin is lead partner.

Marchenko Partners possesses notable expertise in developing termination strategies, employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including non-compete and non-solicitation aspects, corporate governance policies, confidentiality matters. Most recently the firm advised British Airways on the appropriate procedure of staff reduction carried out in its representative offices; provided Ferring Pharmaceuticals with general advice on legal issues pertaining to labor relations with management. DP World and SALIC UK are among its clients. Versatile practitioner Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko,[3] who also acts on antitrust and IP projects, leads the employment practice.

Wolf Theiss is consistently preferred by Ukrainian subsidiaries of foreign companies. During the pandemic the office has assisted clients to arrange distance work and work from an office, different possibilities of labor restructuring, labor compliance. Recent assignments include advising the Ukrainian subsidiary of a large IT company, Snap Inc., on employment matters with respect to the company’s employees and executives; advising Federal-Mogul Aftermarket GmbH on the hiring and firing of employees, change of their financial labor conditions, as well as obtaining temporary and permanent residence permits for foreign employees. The team is experienced in advising on the employment aspects of corporate and M&A transactions, in particular, it conducted due diligence of employment matters for Ukrainian companies which DSM Nutritional Products Ltd was aiming to acquire in the course of a global M&A transaction. The practice is headed by Olga Ivlyeva.

Being highly-focused on the IT sector, Alcor provides a wide-ranging offering for R&D offices in Ukraine, including employment. The firm supports the migration processes of foreign IT specialists and their families in Ukraine, and further advises on stock incentive plans. ­Dmytro Ovcharenko is the key contact.

The labor and employment practice of ESQUIRES includes drafting contracts and other documents governing labor relations, protecting the legal rights and interests of employees and employers, advising on the late payment of wages and other violations. The firm also handles employment disputes, in particular regarding dismissal and reinstatement. Public clients are the Pirogovo Museum, U online technologies LLC. Viktoria Kovalchuk is the responsible partner.

EXPATPRO law firm is focused on migration issues, especially on IT staff relocation from overseas to Ukraine. This past year the practice was loaded by urgent relocation of IT specialists from Belarus, and assisted clients in obtaining work permits, residence permits, tax ID numbers, address registrations, official employment. Among other things, the firm advises on the legal aspects of recruiting during market entries, and implementing remote work in compliance with labor regulation. Vasyl Cherednichenko heads the migration team.

KM Partners advises on contentious and non-contentious matters, including employment agreements, collective agreements, obtaining job permits for foreign citizens, redundancies, support in audits on labor issues conducted by state authorities, transfer of employees. The firm handles representation of the interests of employers in court disputes with former employees. The firm has of late advised on the transition to new wage systems. Alexander Shemiatkin is the main contact.

KPMG Law advises on global mobility, employment contracts with senior management, remuneration structuring, confidentiality and non-competition agreements, outstaffing. The recognized advantage is multidisciplinary expertise in payroll and tax compliance. The clients come from IT, energy, transportation, manufacturing and machinery sectors. Yuriy Katser and Ivan Demtso are the key contacts.

Nobles assists, in the main, Ukrainian subsidiaries of multinational corporations with their employment matters on the ground, including choosing the form of employment, drafting of employment contracts and the contracts of managing directors, structuring salaries and work schedules, obtaining work permits for non-Ukrainian employees, etc. This past year the firm was called upon to advise on working conditions during the pandemic and safety responsibilities. Clients include H&M Hennes and Mauritz AB, Gap Inc, GE Healthcare, Xantis Pharma, BayWa, Spacebit Global Ltd, Zooplus AG, Fr Meyer’s Sohn (GmbH & Co.) KG, Auto1 Group AG, Intelity Inc. Volodymyr Yakubovskyy and Alexander Weigelt are lead partners.

Peterka & Partners, headed by Taras Utiralov, provides labor and employment advisory services to the Ukrainian branches of the firm’s international clients. The scope of assignments included advice on hiring and dismissal, obtaining and prolongation of work and residence permits for management and employees, indexation of salaries, compliance. Of late the office performed complex human resources due diligence for the Ukrainian subsidiary of World Courier, one of the largest specialty logistics groups in the world. The list of clients includes World Courier, HSH Chemie, KRKA, Mammoet (SHV Holdings), ­Mekoprint, Polpharma, Bioveta, Algol, Acer, ACO Industries, Loupedeck.

Redcliffe Partners established a standalone employment practice that currently encompasses both advisory and litigation. In the period under research the firm advised on the hiring of executive and non-executive directors, non-compete and non-solicitation matters, personal data transfer, hiring policies, transfer of employees, personnel redundancies, regulation on wages and collective agreements, trade union legislation, hiring of foreigners and immigration matters. Among recent highlights is advising the European Investment Bank on all employment matters that arise in connection with its operations in Ukraine; Ukrainian Energy in connection with the proposed hiring of workers and other personnel; UiPath on the hiring of top management and IT professionals for its StepShot project. Zoryana ­Sozanska-Matviychuk is lead partner.

The Kyiv branch of Belarusian firm SBH Law Offices is called upon by IT companies seeking relocation of their employees and family members from Belarus to Ukraine, employment and registration of employees in Ukraine. This past year the relevant support was rendered to document automation software Panda Doc, software solutions provider Oxagile, mobile games publisher SayGames, Belarusian IT-companies Yellow and SoftTeco and others. It is noteworthy that the firm advised EPAM on labor issues arising from its current business activities in Ukraine.

Vdovychen & Partners advises on employment agreements and labor disputes. The previous year the firm participated in a dispute regarding the dismissal of an employee and the use of trade secrets; provided support in a dispute over the theft of property by employees; appeal of disciplinary suspension from duties. The advisory practice covered development of collective agreements and orders during the quarantine period. Oleg Vdovychen is lead partner.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is traditionally endorsed by the market for strong performance in high-profile employment matters, including disputes. Oksana Voynarovska and Valeriya Savchuk are the key ­figures[4].


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

[2] In March 2021 he established Roland Law Firm.

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

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