Ante Law Firm retains the most diverse practice and high caliber aviation clients. The firm is the primary choice for major airlines in all their activities in Ukraine, including litigation, taxation, competition, labor, regulatory, etc. The scope of aviation law advice also covers cargo, handling and warehouse services operations. Clients encompass Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Alitalia, Lufthansa group, Air France-KLM, Bees Airline and others. This past year Ante advised head offices of air carriers regarding regulations introduced due to the pandemic; acted for a representative office of Qatar Airways in a court case against the State Aviation Service of Ukraine regarding the applicability of Ukrainian aviation rules to foreign air carriers, which is a precedent case.Ticket sales agents and tour operators also form a strong niche of the practice.In addition, the firm supported airlines in their restructuring processes, and demonstrated huge progress in aviation finance. For example, the team advised Bees Airline, a new Ukrainian air carrier, on the lease of planes and Lviv Airport on various regulatory issues. Advising start-ups in aviation and NDC aggregators is a new practice domain. Andriy Guck is the leading aviation lawyer in Ukraine, with an exceptionally multifaceted practice. Over the past two years the team’s members have become vivid experts in specific fields of aviation, inter alia, Maria Tereshchenko was involved in passenger claims and court cases, and Anna Iliashenko advised on drones and regulatory matters, including aircrafts registration and permits.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar is an aviation industry focused firm. The firm is a long-standing legal counsel to Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA), the biggest domestic air carrier. The firm represents UIA in connection with resolving the consequences of the Boeing 737-800 accident near Tehran, Iran in January 2020, advising on negotiating with the government authorities of Iran, Ukraine, insurers, etc. regarding the provision of compensation to relatives of victims in Ukraine, representing the client’s interests in investigations, criminal/civil proceedings in Ukraine. The firm currently represents UIA in a number of litigation cases against the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise (­UKSATSE) with regard to the UKSATSE’s abuse of its monopoly position on the market by establishing an overrate for air navigation services, and on restructuring UIA’s debt owed to UKSATSE. Other ­areas of recent focus encompassed labor law, corporate and restructuring issues related to significant staff reductions due to the crisis in aviation industry caused by the COVID-19 lockdown and border closure. Oleg Bondar is known as an UIA lawyer for many years. ­Oleksandr Povar is another key executive.

Ilyashev & Partners has a strong reputation in aviation and aerospace disputes, as well as competition, aircraft safety and product liability concerns. The firm continues to represent long-lasting client State Enterprise Antonov, a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and service company, in a dispute regarding a Ilyushin USD 80 million contract with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency. The firm recently advised Black Swift Leasing 32681 DAC on compliance with Ukrainian aviation law of an Aircraft Engine Lease Agreement project concluded by UIA. The firm has expertise in the defense field, and represents the interests of State Enterprise Ukrspetsexport in an arbitration case against the Ministry of Defense of Northern Macedonia on debt recovery for technical support of helicopters, equipment supply and professional training. The aviation practice team is headed by Roman ­Marchenko. The firm has its own office in Odesa, and spent the year of 2020 representing shipowners and P&I clubs on various shipping disputes related to cargo claims, crew claims and port claims. Ukrrichflot is consistently represented in a variety of disputes, particularly in a dispute with the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority and captain of the Mykolaiv Sea Port regarding recognition of refusing entry into cargo handling as illegal and material damage recovery; dispute on damage recovery due paid channel duty; recovery of paid vessel duty. The firm advised the shipowner of m/v New Challenge — Challenge Shipping Ltd and British Marine (P&I club) in the course of an incident in Mykolaiv sea port, when the firm established itself as the first practice in Ukraine to ensure acceptance by the state ecological inspectorate of the Letter of Guarantee and Undertaking issued by owners P&I club as security.  Sergey Nedelko, Odesa office head, is at the forefront of the maritime practice. Mykola Skvortsov joined the team this past year.

Ukrainian law firm Asters has an impressive bench of aviation clients, including Ukrainian and international cargo and passenger airlines, airports, aviation insurers and other aviation industry enterprises. The firm is consistently retained by air carriers for advice on corporate, competition and commercial law, employment, operations in Ukraine. The firm handles ongoing representation of Silk Way ­Airlines, a cargo airline with its head office and flight operations at Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku (Azerbaijan) on labor, insurance and social security law and with respect to disputes over reimbursement of damages to relatives of a deceased Ukrainian crew member, reimbursement of damages to injured crewmembers, and on disputes over plane damages.The firm has unique expertise in aviation insurance. For example, Asters advised Hansa Reinsurance Brokers AG, an aircraft reinsurance company, on Ukrainian aviation and reimbursement of damages law and practice with respect to disputes over the reimbursement of damages caused by an aircraft crash that was successfully settled within mediation proceedings. The multidisciplinary practice is led by three partners — Gleb Bialyi, Oleksiy Demyanenko and Vadym Samoilenko.

The Kyiv office of Kinstellar acted on regulatory assignments in the aviation sector, competition and litigation. In particular, the firm provided antitrust legal advice to Pegasus Hava Taşımacılığı A.Ş. (­Turkey) in relation to its discount campaigns, compliance with general requirements for avoiding unfair competition and false advertising in Ukraine.The firm is representing Wizz Hungary’s Representative Office at the Antimonopoly Committee in connection with the authority’s recommendations to major Ukrainian carriers alleging unfair competition practices during COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.Aviation practice head Oleksiy Burchevskyy left the firm in November. Vincent Morand, a senior consultant based in the Prague office, is the new practice head.

INTEGRITES is called upon to advise on specific tax and customs matters arising in the aviation industry and day-to-day operations, as well as quarantine restrictions, employment and compliance. In addition to advising big international airlines, the firm is retained by aviation services providers, ground handling, cargo and full-freight handling providers on a variety of services agreements and sanction law issues. Over the last couple of years the firm extended its presence in the railway sector and, in particular, supported several sale and purchase and lease agreements. Automotive is another area seeing a growing client following. Managing partner Dr. Oleksiy Feliv leads sector-related work.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro ­Olswang is known for its expertise in aviation finance, aircraft leasing and transfer, and also assists aviation industry players with their operations in Ukraine, including ­employment ­issues. The firm helps with structuring contractual relations with stakeholders and local personnel. Ihor Olekhov and Olga Belyakova are the main partners for contact.

The Kyiv office of DLA Piper[1] renders legal support with the acquisition, disposition, leasing and financing of aircraft (both fixed wing and helicopters), aviation equipment, flight simulators and related assets. The firm is traditionally preferred by large aircraft lessors for representation in leasing deals. Another area of focus is handling aviation regulatory and government compliance matters, navigating international aviation laws, regulations and government policies. Pegasus Aviation is among disclosable clients. The practice is led by Oleksandr Kurdydyk and Dmytro Pshenychniuk.

The Kyiv office of Dentons has standing expertise in aircraft leasing matters, and also established an offering in service agreements between aircraft maintenance and engineering companies and industry players. Given its extensive employment practice the firm is retained to assist with labor law and the employment of foreigners, as well as with corporate and competition issues. Oleg Batyuk, Kyiv managing partner, is the main contact.

Jurvneshservice, headed by Dr. Ganna Tsirat, is a vivid market expert in aircraft financing and lease matters.

Long-standing Ukrainian firm Interlegal, which is headquartered in Odesa and has six offices across the Black Sea Region, houses a deep bench of practitioners with wide-ranging capabilities across maritime and shipping. The firm advises shipowners, charterers and shipping agents in maritime disputes, including vessels arrests, lay time and demurrages, cargo claims, penalties appeal. In 2020 the firm demonstrated extensive practice of ship repair cases, and acted on behalf of the P&I club in a case on the collision of vessels at a ship repair plant. The firm is a traditional port of choice for legal support in the purchase and sale of vessels, sailing yachts, barges, and other maritime issues. This formidable practice is led by Nikolay Melnykov and Irina Voyevodina (yachting and corporate matters); Arthur Nitsevych and Artem Skorobogatov (transport and logistics); Alexey Remeslo (shipping). Among other visible team members are Karyna Gorovaya and Vitalii Tolstik. Natalya Myroshnychenko has left the firm.

Preeminent Odesa-based ANK Law Office is customarily called upon by the world’s leading P&I clubs and insurers under issues connected with the payment of compensation for loss of life, disability compensation and personal injury claims of Ukrainian seafarers during their employment on board foreign vessels and other marine perils. The firm rendered legal support to Brooklyn-Kiev LLC during a project on wreck removal of bunkering vessel DELFI, which sank in the water area of Odesa port on 22 November 2019; represented Agro-Reni in the process to sell a merchant vessel. In addition, ANK was selected as legal counsel to the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and assisted shipowners (MACN members) whose vessels called Ukrainian ports in 2020. The firm also provides legal support to NORDEX Energy GmbH on arbitration in the German Association of Maritime Arbitrators (GMAA) under the court claim of BBC Chartering Carriers on recovery of losses caused by maritime accident with m/v LOUIS, which took place in Mykolaiv on 18 October 2019. In addition, the firm successfully protected the interests of the owners of m/v BW ACORN (BW Dry Cargo) in the Supreme Court of Ukraine in a landmark case related to the control of segregated ballast, which become the precedent for similar cases. The practice team is led by prominent maritime lawyers Artem Volkov,with the support of Kostiantyn Moriakov, who successfully represented shipowners in so-called “ecological claims”. Nina Kostiuk is another key member of the team. Oleksandr Kyfak, the top respected lawyer and founder, continues to play a strategic role in its development.

Jurline, one of the leading law firms in southern Ukraine, is focused primarily on supporting investment in port infrastructure facilities and pure maritime law. The firm is experienced in supporting the entire chain of the logistics and transportation market, including customs clearance, disputes with customs and tax authorities, supporting the activities of forwarders, brokers, carriers (including passenger transportation), working with permits. The firm assists with formalizing relationships and settling disputes related to the carriage of goods by rail, road and sea transport, including full legal support of transport and forwarding activities and customs clearance. In addition, expertise in this industry is complemented by the practice of registering sea-going vessels under foreign flags, formalising the purchase and sale and mortgage of a fleet, and support for large loans secured by vehicles.Recently, the firm successfully represented its client, TIS-Mindobryva Ltd, in the claim of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority for the recovery of debt for the use of berth №17 in the port of Yuzhniy. Being closed to sea ports and terminals, the firm is called upon by enterprises belonging to the maritime complex including, among others, PJSC Severtrans, PJSC Odesavtotrans, LLC Vesta, SK Petroleum, LLC Teka (­Sarmont Group Holding), MV Cargo,Atlas Crewing, Baltic Control Ukraine. The most recognized partners of the firm are ­Volodymyr Zubar and Oleg ­Kutateladze. The sizeable team includes Maxim Kapelist, Vitaliy Cherkes, Vitaliy Kutateladze.

Legrant, an Odesa-based law firm, is proficient in matters pertaining to maritime litigation. The firm is especially known for representing shipowners and shipping agents as well as port operators in various disputes with the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority regarding appealing port duties, administrative, sanitary and vessel duties, as well as recovery of payments for imposed services. Another strength of the litigation team includes successful cases in challenging ecological control requests entailing keeping vessels in ports, and competition advice in the sector. Tatyana Titarenko, managing partner, is known for her strong involvement in business development. The maritime law community singled out Liudmila Sizonenko as a competent litigator with industry knowledge.

AGA Partners has an accomplished shipping practice integrated into the firm’s international trade and arbitration offering. The team frequently handles disputes that arise in the course of transportation of goods by sea, inter alia, charterparty claims, demurrage compensations, cargo claims. Highlights include representing an agri-trading company at LMAA (London) arbitration, where the shipowner exercised duress against the client to obtain payment of alleged damages at a loading port for which the client was not responsible. Ivan ­Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz are the main contacts.

Eterna Law traditionally acts on a variety of arbitration disputes arising out of breach of charter parties, shipping arrangements, contractual agreements, default of payment, misappropriation of cargo and non-delivery of goods.The firm acts on behalf of state rail monopoly Ukrainian Railways JSC in a dispute that arose in relation to the breach of a services contract by the client’s counterparty, namely by its actions and/or inaction and/or goods of improper quality caused significant damage and, furthermore, it refused to pay the penalty provided by the contract. Other areas of legal services for the transport industry include tax, sanctions advice and litigation. International arbitration partner Eugene Blinov is the main point of contact.

Sergeyevs’ Law Office, an Odesa-based boutique, possesses a wide legal offering of maritime, labor, corporate, tax, business consulting, compliance and dispute resolution, including mediation. The firm has a focus on representation of seafarers and the rights of their families, and also acts for manning/crewing agents, shipowners and ship management companies. This past year the firm reached full settlement of the claim of crew members of the vessel Ginger in a maritime claim for unpaid wages; defended the interests of the Sea Port Trade Union in litigation against Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi Sea Port. The firm is experienced in the settlement of marine insurance cases, and most recently acted on settlement negotiations and litigation, inter alia, compensation by P&I clubs in connection with the loss of seafarers’ work capacity and loss of life. The core figure is Yuriy Sergeyev, who is a renowned maritime professional. Svetlana Sergeyeva is another key figure.

International law firm Fortior Law has an office in Kyiv, with its key focus being on arbitration and dispute resolution in shipping and international trade. The firm is active in handling disputes under charter parties and bills of ladings and representation in LMAA in other arbitrations. Danil Hristich and Sergey Platonov are recognized among dedicated practitioners, especially for their involvement in challenging the USPA’s actions on the collection of port dues at Ukrainian ports (channel due, tonnage due, administrative due and others).

Gramatskiy & Partners regularly advises on the formation of a contractual set for transportation, logistic and forwarding services, and transport regulation, inter alia, permits and licensing for cross-border auto transportation. The firm assists with the purchase and lease of transportation vehicles, as well as with insurance agreements. ­Ernest Gramatskiy supervises the practice.


[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.

Established practices
Listed in alphabetical order