The Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie is customarily preferred as a legal counsel to multinational retail operators for designing market entry strategies and expansions. The extensive offering includes M&A, competition, regulation, tax and customs, intellectual property protection and data privacy issues, compliance, dispute resolution. The firm has a market leading real estate practice constantly loaded with mandates on matters of commercial leasing, lease renewals and ongoing leasehold management issues, reconstruction and extensions. Recent highlights include advising IKEA on launching an offline business in Ukraine. The IP practice team proliferates its presence in anti-counterfeiting actions and online and offline enforcement matters. The team also represents banks and other lenders on financing for retail companies and operators of shopping malls. Clients include Auchan Ukraine, Flügger group A/S, McDonald’s Ukraine. Retail and FMCG ­clients are serviced by different practice groups, as led by ­Vyacheslav ­Yakymchuk (corporate and M&A), Ruslan Drobyazko (IP), Serhiy ­Piontkovsky and Lina Nemchenko (real estate, employment).

The full-service Ukrainian law firm AEQUO is equally well-versed to advise on corporate transactions, competition, tax, regulatory matters and litigation. The M&A team, as led by Anna Babych, acted on a benchmark deal in the Ukrainian retail market when it advised Novus Ukraine in connection with the acquisition of Billa Ukraine. The firm further advises on franchising and distribution schemes, implementation of discounts and rebates, dissemination of misleading information. The firm is consistently instructed by its long-standing client, ­Epicentr K, the largest DIY retailer and distributor, most recently defending its rights in claims of misleading advertising in the course of an investigation by the AMCU; represented Mandarin Group at the AMCU in connection with the divestment of the Blockbuster mall. The team also possesses a wealth of expertise in e-commerce, and advised USAID on the development of e-commerce in Ukraine, inter alia, customs clearance, export controls, complex regulatory matters, product compliance, certification, etc. This past year the firm advised Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, on a corporate restructuring and in setting up an online shop. The dispute practice was boosted by representations in regulatory, tax and commercial litigations, guided by Denis Lysenko and Olena Pertsova. The consumer and retail group in the firm is led by competition partner Sergey Denisenko. Recognized competition expert Mariya Nizhnik re-joined as a partner.

The full-service law firm Asters is preferred by major international retailers including, consumer goods and household appliances, food, beverage, fashion, pharmacies and gasoline retail, luxury brands, consumer goods manufacturers and distributors. The multi-practice offering includes antitrust, corporate, tax, employment, IP, criminal law, real estate. The market-leading competition team advises retail companies on investigations, joint arrangements, dealership and competition compliance. The firm is also enlisted for Ukrainian law aspects of corporate restructuring and business operation matters. Expansions and project development is another area of recent mandates. The firm assists PRADA Group, a long-standing client, on all day-to-day legal issues and the operation of its first mono-brand boutique in Ukraine, including issues related to operations during the quarantine; provides ongoing legal advice to Irish Bank Resolution Corporation Limited (IBRC), including on a range of corporate matters in relation to a major shopping mall (Univermag Ukraina), in which IBRC holds an interest. Partners Oleg Boichuk (real estate, M&A) and Alexey Pustovit (competition), and counsel Olena Radko (corporate, commercial) are among key figures.

The Kyiv office of DLA Piper[1] commands multidisciplinary experience representing retailers and consumer product manufacturers, including supermarkets, cosmetics retail chains and luxury apparel brands in Ukraine. The office traditionally acts as a legal counsel on lease matters and, in addition, advised on adjustments caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. Another area of work is franchising and distribution, including localization from the Ukrainian law perspective. The client roster includes Billa, Bomond Group, Burberry, Mondelez, GAP, Wendy’s. Natalia Kochergina advises on real estate matters. ­Natalia Kirichenko took over instructions on the intellectual property and commercial practices.

ADER HABER, a dynamic domestic law firm, draws on a strong real estate offering, employment, health and safety issues affecting the sector, as well as dispute resolution practices. In addition to retail supermarket chains, clothing brands and landlords, as well as clients operating in the food and beverages sector, the client portfolio was extended with luxury brands. The team, as led by Tetyana Ivanovych, handles representation of Technocom Ltd and Nestle Ukraine LLC, Ukrainian subsidiaries of Nestle S.A., Coca-Cola Ukraine Limited, AVK Confectionery on a wide scope of employment matters. Tax partner Tatiana Daniltseva represents Fudmerezha (ТМ Velyka Kyshenya), a Ukrainian retail chain, in tax disputes, and Inditex Group in appealing against a fine imposed due to violations in regulations on the recruitment of disabled persons. Aleksandra Fedotova runs real estate workflow.

GOLAW has notable clients among international clothes and fashion, food, cosmetics and FMCG retailers. The firm handles corporate matters, including governance issues, as well as regulatory work, employment and competition. Another area of traditional focus is its tax advisory, representation in regulatory and tax disputes. The firm advised GAP Ukraine, an international leader in fashion retail, on the payment of dividends and reduction of the authorized capital of a subsidiary in Ukraine. The practice is led by Max Lebedev (corporate), Iryna Kalnytska (tax), Kateryna Manoylenko (­employment).

Given an extensive presence on the real estate market and many years of experience in commercial property advisory, ­Gramatskiy & Partners is particularly preferred for real estate and commercial leasing matters, advising developers and landlords. Other strong fields of work are structuring distribution and supply chains, regulatory, inspection support and representation of retailers before state authorities. The firm handles legal support on the reconstruction of the Trade and Entertainment Center Chocolate and manages subsequent leasing to retailers; assisted New Complex & General Construction on the launch of the entertainment zone in a trade center. PJSC Dniprovskyi Rynok and City Capital Group (Darynok trade center) are among other sound clients. The practice team is led by Yurii Gorda.

Ukrainian law firm Nobles is retained by global clothing and food retailers, advising both conventional and web-based businesses. The firm is particularly keen to support market entries, and structuring of operations for operating businesses in Ukraine. The team’s offering spans corporate, confidentiality, commercial, currency control, antitrust, regulatory, IP, tax law issues. In addition, this past year the team was especially busy giving advice on lease obligations, re-opening of stores, safety requirements, distributorship agreements with Ukrainian distributors. GAP Inc, H&M Hennes & Mauritz AB, Zooplus AG, Eterna shirts are among the firm’s clients. The main contacts are Volodymyr Yakubovskyy and Alexander Weigelt.

Sayenko Kharenko has a multidisciplinary team approach for the most required services from the sector, including real estate, tax and dispute resolution. In a recent highlight the firm represents Reckitt Benckiser Household and Healthcare in a number of tax disputes related to a refusal by tax authorities to give a VAT refund. Another established client, Auchan Ukraine, instructs the firm for various Ukrainian law issues, including real estate investment issues, regulatory, land matters. The firm strengthened its real estate expertise with two experts from the retail sector — Svitlana Gurieieva joined as partner and Olena Denisova as senior associate, both from Auchan Retail Ukraine.

Dentons advises large retailers, including supermarkets, luxury brands, on corporate transactions, competition, encompassing lease and real estate, employment, tax. This past year the firm acted on a landmark M&A deal, representing REWE Group, a German diversified retail and tourism co-operative group, on the sale of the Billa supermarket chain in Ukraine. Another area of recent activity was employment advice, including the legal implications of COVID-19 quarantine on the work process of employees. Oleg Batyuk, managing partner, is the main contact.

Ilyashev & Partners is mostly known as a dispute resolution heavyweight that addresses a wide range of litigation work sector wise. The firm represents retail clients in regulatory and commercial disputes, as well as shareholders matters, competition and pricing, land. The dedicated attorneys represented the Allo Group of Companies in refuting information published on YouTube by one of the journalists of the 1+1 TV channel. Wine Bureau (Good Wine network) hired the firm to advise on land issues. Mikhail Ilyashev is the lead partner.

INTEGRITES advises clients on corporate restructuring, tax and customs, competition, intellectual property, personal data protection. The firm continued advising European retailers on employment and compliance, additionally assisting on remote work and peculiarities of work under COVID-19 regulations. In particular, the team advises Leroy Merlin on various employment-related issues in Ukraine and conducting of compliance investigation. Another sound client, KFC, enlisted the firm for advice on franchise agreements in Ukraine, particularly on maintenance of retail prices. Viktoriya Fomenko, tax partner, and Serhiy Shershun, competition partner, are the key contacts.

Odesa-based law firm Jurline is a legal counsel to distributors, suppliers, manufacturers, shopping and entertainment centers. The offering for the sector includes franchising, distribution, lease and sublease, advertising and compliance with legal requirements for consumer protection. Fontan Sky Shopping Center, Bastion are among the clients. Daria Minchenko is the main contact.

Vdovychen & Partners entered the market with investment advisory and structuring supply chains for hypermarkets. In 2020 it supported greenfield investment in launching the childhood nutrition retail chain. Tax advisory is another important service. Oleg Vdovychen is the key contact.


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

Other established practices
Listed in alphabetical order

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