Who Is Who

Leading FIRMS

  1. Ilyashev & Partners
  2. ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar
  3. Ante Law Firm
  4. Asters
  5. Sayenko Kharenko

OTHER NOTABLE PRACTITIONERS

Listed in alphabetical order

  • Oleg BONDAR Oleg BONDAR (ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar )
  • Oleksiy DEMYANENKO Oleksiy DEMYANENKO (Asters)
  • Andriy GUCK Andriy GUCK (Ante Law Firm)
  • Roman MARCHENKO Roman MARCHENKO (Ilyashev & Partners)
  • Viktor MOROZ Viktor MOROZ (Suprema Lex)

Leading FIRMS

  1. Interlegal
  2. ANK Law Office
  3. Ilyashev & Partners
  4. Sergeyevs’ Law Office
  5. AGA Partners

OTHER NOTABLE PRACTITIONERS

Listed in alphabetical order

  • Ivan KASYNYUK Ivan KASYNYUK (AGA Partners)
  • Alexander KIFAK Alexander KIFAK (ANK Law Office)
  • Nikolay MELNYKOV Nikolay MELNYKOV (Interlegal )
  • Volodymyr MISECHKO Volodymyr MISECHKO (Misechko & Partners)
  • Arthur NITSEVYCH Arthur NITSEVYCH (Interlegal )
  • Artem SKOROBOGATOV Artem SKOROBOGATOV (Interlegal )
  • Yuriy SERGEYEV Yuriy SERGEYEV (Sergeyevs’ Law Office)
  • Mykhailo SOROKA Mykhailo SOROKA (Gramatskiy & Partners)
  • Artyom VOLKOV Artyom VOLKOV (ANK Law Office)

Transport: Aviation, Shipping & Maritime

Aviation
Oleksiy DEMYANENKO

Oleksiy DEMYANENKO,
Asters

In 2013, 15 million passengers passed through Ukrainian airports. The number of passengers decreased by 4 million and came to 11 million in 2014 and 2015. Ukraine has a unique geographic location to become an international hub for transit of foreign passengers, similar to Turkey and Germany. In order to attract new passengers, the Government of Ukraine has adopted a long-term plan for airport development. The fundamental idea of the plan is to transfer airports to management by private investors. Ataturk airport in Istanbul is a good example and a success story. It has quintupled traffic in one decade and last year served 60 million passengers.

Ticket prices continue to be the biggest barrier for development of local flights. Initiatives to reduce ticket price by eliminating VAT for aircraft fuel have not been implemented. Less than 5% of Ukrainians have ever purchased tickets for foreign flights and the prospects for market entry by low cost carriers are remote.

The Open Skies Agreement has been signed between Ukraine and the USA. It means two Ukrainian airports — Lviv and Odessa — unilaterally implemented the open skies principle and progress continues to establishing the open skies zone with the EU. The open sky assumes removal of government interference in commercial decisions of air carriers about routes and capacity of flights.

Typically, the clients request legal assistance in connection with lease of aircraft and engines, including preparation of legal opinions, receipt of IDERA and Cape Town registration, insurance claims and settlement of aviation disputes. Historically, the aviation market has been underestimated by many law firms, resulting in a lack of industry knowledge.

Shipping & Maritime
Oleksiy DEMYANENKO

Ivan KASYNYUK,
AGA Partners

The global shipping industry has faced significant changes in 2015 dealing with plummeting prices for freight rates, caused by the decrease of global demand for commodities. Along with the low prices for grains and oils crops, Ukraine’s export position No.1, it substantially effected market players and naturally influenced the shipping law practice by reducing the number of incoming requests.

Still, along with traditional client’s inquiries, dealing with charter-party and bill of lading disputes, as a laytime and demurrage, cargo contamination or delivery/withdrawal claims, we have noted a rise in the number of disputes related to Crimea and its earlier occupation. The number of vessel’s entries to Crimean ports, which are prohibited for navigation, caused a series of detentions and arrests, due to breach of international and domestic sanction regime. Also, the Ukrainian ports, which are luckily operating within the proximity distance to the war conflict zone, need legal advice on a daily basis.

Much time by shipping practice, as usual, is devoted to loopholes in Ukrainian legislation that substantially effects conducting of maritime business, both by Ukrainian and international companies. Recent adoption of the On Seaports Act of Ukraine and a number of related regulatory acts along with ratification of International Brussel Convention (1952) allowing justifiable detention of vessel within Ukrainian ports are obviously not enough. Many problems needs to be addressed to the Parliament and newly formed government; reforms are greatly required in order to conduct liberalization of local legislative acts, eliminate corruption and extract excessive bureaucracy influence. Decisive actions to this effect are expected to lead growth of the market and will obviously positively influence the shipping law practices.

Ilyashev & Partners has a formidable reputation of diverse transport expertise on the market working on aviation and maritime mandates. The firm represents State aircraft construction enterprise Antonov in numerous litigation cases. Amongst the highlights is litigation on damage recovery caused by an incident involving birds at Genoa Airport in 1997. The firm handles the representation of a vessel owner, Black Sea Shipping and Ship Repair Ltd, on repair fee recovery and vessel arrest in the Supreme Court of Turkey. Renowned for his litigation track history, Roman Marchenko, senior partner, acts as an arbitrator between Petrochemical Logistics Ltd and Unichart Ltd in a case of breach of charter contract under LMAA rules.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar Law Bureau is known for its standout niche in the aviation sector. A significant client, Ukraine International Airlines, forms a massive workflow, inter alia, debt restructuring before Zlatobank and Finance & Credit Bank; obtaining AMCU clearance for concerted actions related to cooperation with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. LLC Interavia was represented on Ukrainian competition law issues in connection with protection of its interests at Boryspil International Airport. Oleg Bondar, managing partner, is the core figure. Oleksandra Nikitina is a lead partner for competition-related projects.

The team of Ante Law Firm established its sharp market niche on the aviation market, getting  Atlasglobal, Lufthansa, Austrian, Emirates, British Airways, Alitalia, UMAir, Association of Aviation Entities of Ukraine and others on its list. The firm’s soundest case is its representation of Atlasjet Ukraine Airline (TM Atlasglobal) in a conflict with Ukraine International Airlines and the State Aviation Service on the former entering the Ukrainian market. The team rendered legal assistance in obtaining traffic rights airlines, establishing operational activity in Ukraine, and handled representation in courts. The team currently acts for more than 10 international airlines, providing legal support regarding the largest IATA clearing house (BSP System) agent default. Additionally, Ante won court cases in more than 20 passenger claims against 5 foreign airlines and rendered legal advice on the leasing of planes for a Ukrainian airline, advice for one large European airline on the scheme of sales for another European carrier in Ukraine. The aviation practice is headed by highly experienced partner Andriy Guck. Roman Storonskiy, senior lawyer, is experienced in maritime law and in 2015 provided consultations on the legal status of vessels stuck in the Crimean peninsula.

Asters is recognized for its expertise in finance deals, lease, corporate reorganization and restructuring mandates, as well as everyday advice on commercial, transport and contracts law issues for transportation and logistics services providers. The team has experience of the aviation and rail sectors. The firm is engaged in landmark representation of Container Terminal Ilyichevskin a dispute with state entities Sea Commercial Port of Illichivsk and Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority regarding termination of a joint venture agreement, repayment of interest in a joint venture and compensation of losses. The firm’s multi-faceted work is managed by partners Vadym Samoilenko, Tamara Lukanina, Svitlana Chepurna, Oleksiy Demyanenko.

In 2015 Sayenko Kharenko was busy with a raft of projects in the transport and infrastructure area, with the focus being on port infrastructure. The firm advised Soufflet Group in connection with the signing of a MoU between Soufflet Group and Illichivsk seaport with regard to USD 70 million investment in port infrastructure and construction of grain transshipment terminal. As an official legal counsel of the Ukrainian Grain Association, the team advised the Association on the legal aspects of various projects related to deepening the River Dnipro aimed at improving the transport infrastructure for shipping companies. In the aviation field the litigation team has been advising one of the largest air companies in Europe in a series of disputes, including in criminal proceedings aimed at challenging the decisions of the State Aviation Administration of Ukraine. The corporate practice acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to AerSale on the lease of aircraft engine to Ukraine International Airlines; the finance team acted on a number of debt restructurings of sovereign-guaranteed term loans of the State Road Agency of Ukraine (Ukravtodor). Partners Nazar Chernyavsky, Vladimir Sayenko and Sergey Pogrebnoy, as well as counsel Andrii Zablotskyi handle the firm’s projects.

Recognized maritime firm Interlegal, which is based in Odessa with an office in Istanbul, advises on maritime, shipping, transportation and logistics, including assignments intersecting with  international trade matters. The firm represents ship and cargo owners, insurers, freight forwarders, charterers, carrier lessees. The caseload of the firm includes vessel sale and purchase deals, high profile disputes including LMAA, and possesses niche yachting expertise. Arthur Nitsevych, Nikolay Melnykov, Natalia Myroshnychenko and Artem Skorobogatov are well known names in the sector. Other active practitioners are Karina Gorovaya, Andrey Perepelitsa, Alexey Remeslo.

The Odessa-based ANK Law Office is widely acknowledged as the premier legal counsel in large port infrastructure projects as well as for advising leading ship owners and P&I Clubs on shipping cases related to Ukraine. For example, the firm assisted Olimpex Coupe and Metalsukraine in execution of long-term (until 2025 and 2038, respectively) land lease agreements in Odessa port, which was the first experience in Ukrainian sea ports. Two land lease agreements were signed with Odessa State Regional Administration in December 2015. In Illychevsk Sea Port the team advised Kernel on a project to construct a grain terminal. As noted ANK advised the P&I Clubs on cases related to personal injury claims and loss of life compensation which took place with  Ukrainian seamen during their employment on foreign vessels. The key figures of the 7-lawyer shipping and maritime team are regarded by the market as managing partner Alexander Kifak, maritime law head Artyom Volkov, with substantial input from Sergey Nedelko and Vladyslav Brig.

Sergeyevs’ Law Office, a maritime boutique based in Odessa, specializing in select practice areas such as maritime, corporate and labor law with strong accent on international relations. The boutique commands noteworthy expertise in comprehensive legal support of crewing agencies belonging to the world’s largest shipowners and managers. The team also earned a reputation of remarkable marine insurance attorneys. Managing partner Yuriy Sergeyev is a highly recognized practitioner and main contact.

AGA Partners advises international traders and ship-owners in the course of sea transportation. With its sharp focus on international arbitration, the firm possesses experienced of fulfilling charter party contracts and resolving maritime disputes pertaining to cargo damage, demurrage, and freight. The team recently acted on recovery of damages under a charter party contract from one of the largest ship-owners in Black Sea Region at LMAA and advised on the arrest of vessels due to EU economic sanctions and an interim measure applied in Iran. Ivan Kasynyuk and Irina Moroz act as lead partners.

AEQUO is growing its presence across a variety of sub-sectors, including roads, ports, warehouses and other commercial logistics, and aviation, marine, railroad and automobile. In a recent period the firm handled advice on bankruptcy and liquidations, sanctions, corporate matters, debt restructuring. The firm advised TIS Group of Terminals, the Ukraine’s largest dry cargo port, on the acquisition and financing of the corporate investment fund and establishing an asset management company. The projects are run by partners Denis Lysenko and Yulia Kyrpa.

In 2015 Gramatskiy & Partners worked for a sizable pool of projects. For example, the team provided legal support to Investradeservice LLC in unloading using river transport; rendered a legal scheme for international expeditors Ruskon Ukraine; supported transit transportation. The firm also supports acquisition and registration of vessels by private individuals. The practice is coordinated by Mykhailo Soroka.

Redcliffe Partners (prior to 1 December 2015 — the Kiev office of Clifford Chance) is focused on transport infrastructure as well as PPP and concession legislation. The team is widely acknowledged for various finance matters. Notably, in 2015 it was mandated by the EBRD to advise on the amendment and restatement of a loan of up to USD 41.18 million to the Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise for the modernisation of a Ukrainian air navigation system. The firm advised on extending finance for the greenfield development of an oil and vegetable terminal at Yuzhny seaport in Ukraine. Managing partner Olexiy Soshenko and counsel Dmytro Orendarets are the leaders in the industry group.

Dentons advises manufacturers, distributors and investors in aviation and automotive industries on regulatory, commercial, competition and employment matters. Recent highlights include advising Wielton SA, the largest Polish manufacturer of trailers and semi-trailers with respect to merger control clearance from the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine for the acquisition of shares in Fruehauf, France’s leading trailer brand. Other clients include Fiat and Volvo Financial Services. Oleg Batyuk, managing partner, is the main figure.

Baker & McKenzie has a global legacy for being a premier infrastructure counsel with PPP expertise. The office regularly advises on financing and leasing, as well as pipeline transportation. The Kiev team acted as Ukrainian law counsel to the European Investment Bank in connection with its EUR 55 million loan to the State Administration of Railway Transport of Ukraine (Ukrzaliznytsia) and related sovereign guarantee. Serhiy Piontkovsky, managing partner, is the core contact.

CMS Cameron McKenna is a point of choice for numerous finance matters regarding infrastructure projects across various regions of the country. This firm is traditionally strong in a wide range of energy matters and handles corporate mandates from international investors. Respected senior partner Olexander Martinenko is noted for his general transport expertise.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is a prominent name for transport infrastructure advice and comprehensive support of sectoral players. Partner Oleg Alyoshin enjoys his legacy among peers.

Jurimex Law Firm showcases diverse practice with niche expertise in road transportation and the travel industry.Amongst the key highlight of the team guided by partner Marina Slobodnichenko is advising High-Point Rendel, an international consultant, as for enhancing institutional capacity consulting within the second project on improving highways and traffic safety in accordance with  lending commitments between Ukraine and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Tatiana Prychepa advises the Travel Professional Group on a range of matters, in particular, agency contracts on aviation transportation, freight and charter agreements, and represents the agency on its contractual arrangement with airlines. The State Agency of Automobile Roads of Ukraine is another important client, and receives advice on road infrastructure, land, construction, and other matters.

Attorneys Association PwC Legal is enlisted by high profile clients for corporate, tax, restructuring advice. In 2015 the team enriched its client portfolio with a number of sound names operating in the transport sector, namely UtAir Aviation Group, Antonov State Enterprise, Raben Group, CAT Cargo. The team is led by Alexey Katasonov, senior attorney, and was strengthened with the arrival of Vladimir Zabudskiy, an experienced practitionerfrom the Alliance Ratushnyak & Partners boutique.

Misechko & Partners demonstrates involvement in regulatory advice and contractual matters for transport and logistics sector, and recently became rather active on the dispute front. The firm represented Panalpina World Transport Ltd, a global leader in cargo forwarding in a series of disputes with Karpatygaz on collecting a debt for provision of transport services and in a dispute with the State Property Fund of Ukraine, and the State Enterprise Boryspil International Airport for extension of a state property lease contract. Managing partner Volodymyr Misechko is the main rainmaker at the firm.

Suprema Lex, a new compact law firm established in autumn 2015 has already proved the aviation sector as its major focus. The firm advises aviation companies on international contracts, IP protection, merger clearance for concentration. The team has already carried out litigation for a  large international transportation company and expeditor. Its client list contains the names of  Khoriv-avia, Ukrainian Helicopters, Ukrainian International Airlines, Imperator-avtotrans, The great bear (BM-TRANS). Viktor Moroz is the lead partner and main contact point of the new team.

In 2015 FCLEX acted as legal advisor for several shipbuilding companies. Clients include the Kyiv Shipbuilding Company, DDSG Shipping Ukraine, Noryards AS, AutoKrAZ, Azovmash and others. The firm advises on tax matters, international trade, corporate law and litigation. Another notable project is the Okean Shipyard bankruptcy case, where FCLEX represents the creditor, Dutch company Okean B.V. Vyacheslav Kraglevych and Oleg Malinevskiy are the lead partners.

WTS Tax Legal Consulting has a wealth of expertise in transport and port infrastructure investments. Apart from its traditional wide-ranging contractual work, the firm demonstrated solid dispute performance in cases regarding loss of cargo. Alexander Minin and Maxim Oleksiyuk are the lead partners.

With the representative office in Odessa IMG Partners considers legal support intransport and logistics among its core offerings. The main cases in the past year included resolving a case related to USD 30 million worth of damaged cargo in the interests of a large logistics operator and support in providing transport services on the territory of Ukraine for a large international company. Ihor Melnyk, managing partner, is the main point of contact.

Dmitrieva & Partners renders advice to transport and logistics companies, namely Infolt-Universal and Marine Company. Law Firm Dynasty is active in tax litigations.