- Covid-19 Guidance New
- Editor's Preface
- League Tables New
- Ukrainian Legal Market
Practice Areas and Industries Review
- Aircraft and Airports Finance
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Anti-Money Laundering
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Who Is Who Rankings
- Antitrust and Competition
- Banking & Finance, Debt Restructuring
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- Law Firms Profiles
- Lawyers Profiles
In 2019 Sayenko Kharenko kept providing IT & TMT advice to corporate clients and assisting large IT outsourcing and product companies, start-ups and sector investors, including private equity funds and telecommunication majors. The firm is traditionally strong in software development matters, mobile applications and gaming, investments, corporate and tax structuring; various regulatory issues, setting-up technology R&D centres in Ukraine. In a recent highlight the firm assisted in setting up R&D centers of aerospace and video equipment product companies in Ukraine; advised on the licensing scheme related to IoT solutions; tax matters on delivering SaaS solutions to corporate customers in Ukraine; providing regulatory advice on m2m communication systems and on intelligent transport systems. The team acted for various high-profile investors in the acquisition of product and outsourcing IT companies, in particular, comprehensive IP due diligence, IP (copyright) assignment and IP provisions of the agreements with developers. The team is traditionally retained by key telecom clients on strategic corporate and commercial transactions, antitrust matters and dispute work. The firm represents a leading mobile operator in Ukraine in an unfair competition probe carried out by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine. This past year the firm expanded its presence in the TV and media sector, advising on specific Ukrainian TV law regulation, broadcasting and advertising. The key practitioners of the multidisciplinary team are partner Nazar Chernyavsky known for his activity as a vice chair of the Technology Law Committee of the International Bar Association and exceptional market reputation; counsel Oleg Klymchuk managed IT and media-related IP work. Oleksandr Nikolaichyk led the majority of corporate and M&A work in the sector. Daryna Sydorenko, associate, is focused on regulatory matters.
Supported by international recognition of Baker McKenzie, the IT/TMT practice group in Kyiv is constantly chosen by global tech leaders investing in Ukraine and entering the Ukrainian market with their innovative products and services as well as local tech companies entering foreign markets and expanding operations overseas. The team is in the mainstream of cross-border M&A activity, joint ventures, investment and finance based on venture capital, employment issues, tax and customs. The office represented the sellers of Septa Communications (trading as Captain Growth), a Ukrainian AI start-up, in its acquisition by Perion Network Ltd, an Israeli adtech company. The team also assists international tech companies in negotiating contracts with local outsourcing firms, acquiring Ukrainian teams of software developers, technologies or both. The office has an established pipeline of client queries on data privacy and GDPR advice, and acts for its corporate clients on implementation of IT solutions. Other areas of focus include e-commerce, fintech and payment systems, gaming. This past year the firm also advised on highly regulatory telecom matters, media regulation, TV laws, cybersecurity and encryption. Counsel Oleksiy Stolyarenko heads the IT/TMT industry group at the Kyiv office. Senior associate Maksym Hlotov coordinates fintech and digitalization sub-practice. The projects are led by the firm’s partners across their core specializations, namely Viacheslav Yakymchuk (M&A and private equity), Ruslan Drobyazko (IP), Hennadiy Voytsitskyi (tax).
Ukrainian law firm AEQUO advises on an impressive diverse roster of international tech leaders, large outsourcing companies, game developers and product companies, online services, hosting providers, telecom operators, investors, corporate customers with IT-related transactions. In 2019 the team supported Google, an established client, on compliance with Ukrainian data protection, advertising and competition law in connection with updating the terms and promo websites of Google Ads; advised on the launch of Google Flights and YouTube Kids in Ukraine; provides ongoing legal support in the advertising of high-risk services (including lotteries), requirements to contracting with kids, use of VPN, contracts with Ukrainian service providers, etc. The firm is traditionally present in significant M&A, and most recently advised Dragon Capital on the acquisition of a stake in Ciklum and MTS Group on the sale of Vodafone Ukraine. The acclaimed IP team advised the developer of the fastest mobile game, Color Switch Phoenix, on assignment of IP rights from Ukrainian developers. The firm rendered legal support on the setup of an IT resource center of the Naftogaz Group — Naftogaz Digital Technologies; advised Zara Ukraine regarding e-commerce regulations, customer rights, remote contracting, advertisement, accounting and tax issues in relation to setting up an Internet shop. The firm offers experience of fintech, data protection, data centers, corporate and tax structuring, contractual issues, labor and GR. Other solid clients of the firm include AI Factory, ABBYY, Intellias, Limpid Armor, Microsoft, OLX, Quipu, RIA, SPD Ukraine, Uklon, VRenetic, Business Logic Group, Unity Technologies. Mykyta Polatayko, the head of the IT industry group, spent a busy year working on complex instructions from the IT sector. Anna Babych, corporate and M&A partner, is noted for her good leadership and growing sector specific knowledge. Oksana Krasnokutska, counsel, is referred as a M&A lawyer with good knowledge of the telecom market. Oleksandr Mamunya, IP partner, regularly advises on assignment of IP rights and portfolio management.
DLA Piper is constantly preferred by major international software outsourcing and technology leaders, telecom and media groups. The integrated TMT/IP practice group runs due diligence, IP clean-up, IP structuring and transfer, personal data protection, privacy matters. The firm has an established workflow from international IT companies tied to entering the Ukrainian market, setting up R&D centers, establishing contractual relations, including software development, assignment, licensing and R&D agreements. Being a vivid international legal counsel of multijurisdictional M&A, the office covers related IP, regulatory, tax and employment aspects in Ukraine. The team also advised on the regulation of gambling in Ukraine. The practice team enjoys a sustainable following of big telecom players, seeking advice on market entry, introduction of new telecom technologies, compliance, 4G network state regulation, tax and IP. The firm represented NEQSOL Holding in the acquisition of one of the biggest telecom operators in Ukraine — VF Ukraine, and conducted IP due diligence, IP and telecom regulatory matters. Clients include significant names like Mohawk, Webhelp, Aristocrat Leisure, Payoneer, CEB, Adobe, PDFfiller, Perion Network, Sun Microsystems, Kyivstar, Tele-Fonica Kable, Vocera Communications Inc., ZeniMax, Discovery, Naspers. Natalia Pakhomovska, partner, heads the practice group. Legal director Natalia Kirichenko is noted for her in-depth knowledge of the telecom industry.
Throughout 2019 AVELLUM broadened its IT, telecommunication and media industry expertise, adding regulatory advice and services to span intellectual property clearance and IP rights transfer, data protection and subsequent compliance, telecom data, broadcasting and rebroadcasting of TV channels in Ukraine, media regulation and copyright. The firm is sought after for handling challenging technology transactions and cross-practice market-entry advice, as well as tax, corporate and contractual matters. In a recent highlight the team advised Cornerstone Partners on IP matters in the course of acquisition of Ukrainian companies of the CoreValue group, a US-based software and technology services company with development labs across Ukraine and Poland; advised on the transfer of IP rights to the software and compliance with copyright law being the Ukrainian legal counsel to CHG Healthcare on the acquisition of Modio Health, a provider of technology solutions for the healthcare industry. The firm advised Uber Eats on all tax aspects of the operation of marketplace generating leads for food delivery couriers in Ukraine, and developed full-scope tax advice for Uber Shuttle regarding the operation of innovative service in Ukraine. Other clients of the practice include Viasat, Luxoft, UFUTURE, the Ukrainian Energy Exchange. Counsel Anton Polikarpov heads the IT and IP practice teams. Dmytro Symbiryov is the key senior associate focused on technology transactions, regulatory matters and personal data protection.
The full-service law firm Arzinger has a notable following among international clients. The firm assists clients in the structuring of their contractual relations with IT-developers from both IP and tax standpoints, provides legal audit and risk mitigation, handles procurement and licensing. The client base embraces IT, TMT and electronics producers, such as Giga-Byte Technology Co., ASBIS Ukraine, SolarGaps Inc., Mobiltek, Ajax, AltexSoft, AC Global Risk, Inc., Vertalab, Reelpeakfilms (Netflix), Huuuge, Ward Howell. In a recent highlight the team acted for a commercial bank and developed a contractual structure aimed at purchasing a complex digital platform consisting of software, web-interface, APIs, databases and running services from Middleware Inc., a Delaware company focusing on the development of turn-key IT-solutions for the banking, fintech and retail sectors. Kateryna Oliinyk, IP partner, is endorsed to be the best expert on domain names disputes in Ukraine. Mykola Rekhlytskyi, who is known for spending many years in-house, is noted for his strong knowledge of advertising and content distribution, and was appointed a copyright and media managing associate.
Ukrainian full-service law firm Asters is acclaimed for supporting high profile regulatory work and GR, and is traditionally present on corporate and M&A mandates as well as litigation. The firm is regularly called upon to handle tax and legal structuring of IT-business, advising complex cross-border data transfers, data storage issues, GDPR and privacy requirements, software development and technology transfer, clearance of intellectual property rights, domain names and anti-cybersquatting. Cryptocurrency transactions and blockchain technology are also areas of recent focus. Consistently advising mobile and fixed network operator and telecom services providers, the firm is known for its deep regulatory expertise in telecommunications, broadcasting rights matters, cybersecurity and related infrastructure. The practice is led by two partners. Yuriy Kotliarov is in charge of technology and communications, and Julia Semeniy runs media and advertising.
The Kyiv office of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang enjoys a following of leading players in the IT industry with global trademark portfolios and operations in Ukraine. The recent workflow of the Kyiv office spans data transfer, personal data protection, data access, regulation of e-commerce, copyright issues, structuring IT outsourcing. The firm also covers regulatory, tax, IP and commercial matters in the course of M&A transactions supported by it, and advises international technology leaders in structuring their commercial relations with Ukrainian partners. Telecom companies sought the team’s advice in terms of transactional mandates. Olga Belyakova, partner, heads TMT sector group.
Ukrainian law firm EVERLEGAL expands its presence in the IT sector. It particularly grew the portfolio of sectoral M&A, including Ukrainian aspects of multijurisdictional deals. Furthermore, the team regularly advises on independent contractor agreements, commercial contracts with third party service providers; data privacy and data protection, employment law matters, procurement procedures. The notable following among IT clients included online services, service management companies, outsources, software and application developers, computer games production, as well as various Ukrainian start-ups. The firm is also experienced in various start-up set up matters, including employment, IP rights, shareholders’ agreement, corporate structuring and taxation. The practice is led by IT business development partner Oleksandr Ruzhytskiy.
The legal team of EY Ukraine handles ongoing legal support of IT companies and advised on personal data protection, regularly supporting foreign investments in the IT sector, being especially often hired by foreign investment funds. Being customarily active on the M&A front, the team acted as a lead legal counsel and tax advisor to Horizon Capital in connection with the acquisition of a minority stake in Ajax Systems from SMRK, a Ukrainian venture fund, and the management of Ajax Systems; acted as a lead legal counsel to a European IT distributor in connection with a divestment from Ukraine and the sale of its Ukrainian subsidiary to a local investor. The projects were led by Albert Sych, Borys Lobovyk and Bogdan Malniev.
Gramatskiy & Partners maintains a focus on advising start-ups, software developers, investors, server and cloud technologies providers. The firm advised foreign investors on legal due diligence and the buying out of Ukrainian IT companies, supported cross-border technology transfer, development of new IT products, Ukrainian software rights purchase. Labs Technology Services enlisted the firm to arrange legal support for the arrangement of centers of software development and establishment of sustainable outsourcing IT infrastructure for Nuvo Group (Israel) and Starry, Inc. (USA). The firm advises Leadingworld Investments Ltd on its software development and use of cloud technologies contracts order by Vision TV (Viasat). The significant workflow for legal support of software development in the gaming and entertainment areas has grown over the last few years. In addition, the firm regularly acts on structuring holding companies and attracting finance for Internet development projects, tax and employment structuring. Selected clients include Playtech Software Limited, Clickmein, Skywind Tech UA, PTS UA Services, Morpheus Games, Yuromash, Vidmind, Smarttender. Igor Reutov leads the practice. The firm’s founder, Ernest Gramatskiy, contributes on the most sophisticated matters.
Being close to the Ukrainian IT sector via its ties with the Kharkiv IT community, ILF Law Firm is a point of choice for both market segments — product and outsourcing. Corporate structuring of IT companies that enter foreign markets, especially the USA, UK and Germany, and contractual arrangements with customers, contractors and employees, remain the firm’s mainstay. In 2019 the firm increased the number of instructions from product companies seeking the sale of their IT products abroad and those focused on the local Ukrainian market. The firm advised Spotglass Invest on attracting investment into a product start-up that develops a marketplace for sports areas with subsequent sale of corporate rights; advised Scarb Soft, a product IT company involved in accounting and management systems in the pharmaceutical business, on structuring the contractual base for release of new products throughout supply, subscription and license. The firm’s clients include Dish Network, SPS Ukraine, Disquire, Sciforce, PPM Express, TroomTroom, IT Craft. The projects are run by Arsen Buchkovskii, innovation officer, who was promoted to junior partner.
Ilyashev & Partners commands the increasing portfolio of IT advisory in its project portfolio, and preserves dispute work, especially among telecom players. This past year the firm gained loyalty among business and gaming software developers and operators of the crypto-currency market. The firm continued advising licensed Estonian platform for virtual currencies exchange Cryptagio on its operation and development; advised Coinbase, one of the largest crypto-currencies exchanges, on subsequent regulation in Ukraine. Within the framework of complex legal support of Suntech Innovation, a developer of software for supporting the sport betting industry, the team advised on regulatory field, IP rights protection, confidentiality and data protection, taxation, employment structuring; advised Yael Software and Systems, a leading Israeli developer of custom software for businesses, on the model for employing staff in Ukraine. Other areas of recent advice are taxation and sale of mobile applications, implementation of the new GDPR rules. The office in Estonia took on projects involving multi-jurisdiction instructions. The firm has established clients from telecom industry companies, and is particularly noted for its ability to resolve debt collection for supplied telecommunication services. The clients include Xiaomi, Wargaming Group Limited, Inter Media Group, International Air Transport Association, Niel Natural Resources Investments S.A. The practice is overseen by Milkhail Ilyashev, managing partner, and includes Vitali Galitskihh, Dmytro Nikulesko, Leonid Gilevich and Oleskandr Padalka, who joined in 2019 as a counsel.
Juscutum Law Firm reaffirmed its IT practice, maintaining expertise in the areas of legal tech, blockchain, technology and R&D. Landmark projects in 2019 included advising BitFury on legislative regulations applicable to integrating blockchain technology into managing state registries in Ukraine, including the State Registry of Farm Land — Land Cadastre, State Real Estate Registry and State Property Auctions. The firm also assisted the State Agency for E-Governance on developing five new regulations governing the functioning of state registries upon their transfer to blockchain technology. Juscutum assisted a video production studio, Radioaktivefilm, on developing and launching a technology solution to manage personal data protection issues with actors in crowd scenes. The firm has recently advised a US-Indian start-up with the R&D function in Ukraine on IP rights for programming codes and full transfer of IP rights from Ukrainian developers to start-up owners. In addition to advising legal tech projects, the team also developed its own legal tech product, which is called PatentBot. The firm’s clients also take in ADA Productions, a video bank of food-related footages, FishPay, a Ukrainian online payment system, Solve.care, a US-Indian healthcare platform with the R&D function in Ukraine; as well as IT services and consulting companies, movie production studios, online game developers. Artem Afian, managing partner, is the central figure at the firm and practice head.
The good combination of IP and tax knowledge is the core reference for Synergy IP Law Agency. The team handles support to online businesses, advises on software development and services contracts and IP clearance. The firm rendered legal advice to Menu.ua on developing the contractual base for its work model functioning with restaurants, customers and couriers. This past year the firm handled copyright registration of software platform WhiteDoc, Internet service for electronic document flow EDI NETWORK, software called Automatic image processing utility OLEXA and the CubiMiner System. Well-known clients of the agency include Rozetka Limited, BITRIX24, AJAX, Innover Ukraine, BKT Solutions. The agency extended its track record of IT business acquisitions undertaken by foreign purchasers, and runs IP due diligence, deal structuring including tax implications. Anna Kravchuk has a wealth of experience and praise from the market.
Ukrainian law firm Konnov & Sozanovsky is a noted counsel in TV production and the media industry, continually advising filmmaking production companies and media groups. Last year the firm advised Foundland Pictures Limited and WTF Film Limited on the sale of rights for the broadcasting of TV series and other television products, including licensing agreements. Other clients of note are Booking.com, Microsoft Ukraine, Film.ua, Censor.net, SI-eCommerce Sp Zo.o. Sergei Konnov, senior partner, supervises the practice.
Long-standing market resident Salkom Law Firm developed its IT and telecom practice by demonstrating the loyalty of leading companies in the sector. The firm assisted American company Projector Inc. in developing contracts with Ukrainian software developers; advised Microsoft on data protection, background checks, outsourcing; advised Amazon on Ukrainian labor legislation. The firm represented Vodafone Ukraine in court cases on connection charge rates of telecommunication networks against the National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatisation; and represented a client in other litigations with respect to sector specific issues. The team had earlier gained experience in the area of competition on the market of services for mobile operators. The firm’s client list also takes in Premier Global Service, Inc. (PGi), MemSQL, Inc., Euromedia Company, Accenture Global Services Limited. Eduard Tregubov, managing partner, is the practice head.
Dentons is constantly approached by technology companies for support to market entry and the launch of commercial activities in Ukraine, promoting products and services on the market. The office is traditionally retained to render legal advice on fintech and currency control issues, as well as e-commerce matters, copyright, competition, specific regulations in the telecom and broadcasting field. Dentons advised Competera Ukraine, a next generation pricing platform for e-commerce and omnichannel retailers, on corporate and tax matters, including setting up its US headquarters and establishing an additional operating entity in the US for direct cooperation with customers, advised on the transfer of existing IP rights to its headquarters, as well as the acquisition of Ukrainian and Singaporean entities by US headquarters. The team currently acts on a complex mandate advising SMIS on corporate, competition and regulatory matter relating to the implementation of an e-health system in Ukraine. Oleg Batyuk, managing partner, is the main point of contact.
The IT practice of Eterna Law spans corporate restructuring support, investment matters, tax planning, copyright and disputes. The transactional highlight of 2019 was representing CoreValue group, a US-based software and technology services company with development labs across Ukraine and Poland, during the sale of its Ukrainian companies to the investment fund Cornerstone Partners. The firm acted for WEFUTURE Ltd on the assignment of exclusive property copyrights on computer programs. Its client roster takes in software integration companies, gambling and online gambling business, online search services. Maksym Uslystyi and Artem Kuzmenko are responsible for transactional and day-to-day corporate issues for IT companies. Aleksandr Lugovskyi is in charge of IT-related disputes involving gambling and gaming companies, software development, hacking and unauthorized access to data.
Kinstellar rapidly expanded its TMT practice in Kyiv, being instructed for software development and service contracts, data transfer, licensing, data protection, e-commerce, Internet of Things. This past year the office extended its client list with major mobile and telecom companies, rendering advisory and litigation advice. The team worked on challenging a decision of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine in Ukrainian courts for Lifecell, one of the largest mobile operators in Ukraine. Andriy Nikiforov, counsel of banking and finance, is the practice head.
Sokolovskyi & Partners develops its IT practice in a consistent manner, gaining industry-related clients. The firm represented an IT company in a dispute with software developers, supported software purchase and licensing agreement, in cooperation with corporate and tax practices supported the market entry of new IT products. The firm remains active in advising IT start-ups using blockchain, structuring investment, and advising providers of cybersecurity services. Legal tech is another of the firm’s established niches. Ihor Shevchenko, counsel, leads the practice. Serhii Tanchyn is another key member of the firm’s team.
The primary focus of Stron Legal Services is on fintech, e-commerce, and IT solutions for business. The firm handled corporate and tax structuring of an IT holding, online platforms engaged in educational, entertainment and dating platforms which provide services b2b and b2c in the EU. The firm also participated in the development of the legal basis of online video streaming platforms in the USA and EU. Oleg Derlyuk is the main contact.
The young Ukrainian firm Quantum Attorneys has a strong focus on fintech, and advises companies working on digital technologies and e-commerce, as well as payment systems. The team accumulated expertise on data storage protection, data processing, compliance and GDPR, software development, contractual arrangements with customers and developers, block chain technologies, fundraising. Volodymyr Vorobiov, managing partner, is the main contact.
Axon Partners, a Ukrainian law firm with a sharp IT industry focus, is regularly referred as a vivid legal counsel, especially for product companies and start-ups. Avitar was noted as a reliable counsel on GDPR compliance on the US and EU markets. Nataliia Vasylechko, a partner from Lviv-based BK Partners, was noted for her good knowledge of commercial issues surrounding IT companies.
During March-May 2020 Oleg Klymchuk left the firm and co-founded BRANDSFIELD law firm.
In June 2020 Maksym Uslystyi left the firm and launched ACQUIS Law Firm.
The firm hasn’t provided a submission for the research period.
- Artem Afian (Juscutum Law Firm)
- Anna Babych (AEQUO)
- Nazar Chernyavsky (Sayenko Kharenko)
- Oleg Klymchuk (BRANDSFIELD)
- Anna Kravchuk (Synergy IP Law Agency)
- Kateryna Oliinyk (Arzinger)
- Natalia Pakhomovska (DLA Piper Ukraine)
- Mykyta Polatayko (AEQUO)
- Anton Polikarpov (AVELLUM)
- Mykola Rekhlytskyi (Arzinger)
- Julia Semeniy (Asters)
- Oleksiy Stolyarenko (Baker McKenzie)