The acclaimed employment practice of Kyiv-based Baker McKenzie enjoys the loyalty of remarkable international clients and local industry leaders. The team is instructed for the conducting of employment law audits, negotiations with trade unions and resolution of strikes, reductions in work force (including mass layoffs), internal corporate investigations, employee privacy rights, data protection, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The firm regularly advises on the employment aspects of corporate restructuring and acquisitions, and also successfully handles labor disputes. Given its extensive following among international investors, embassies and non-governmental organizations, the firm possesses huge experience in obtaining work permits for foreign nationals employed in Ukraine. Mariana Marchuk, one of the leading employment lawyers on the market, boasts consistent and expertise on labor and migration law. Partner Lina Nemchenko heads the practice in the Kyiv office.

Sayenko Kharenko’s labor and employment practice comprises anti-corruption/anti-bribery and privacy and data protection experts, and is retained for complex compliance projects, employment matters as part of wider international business transactions and global HR policies. In 2019 the firm handled successful, amicable resolution of labor disputes, as well as litigation, including employee dismissals. Its recent portfolio included employee transfers, employing foreign nationals, personnel outstaffing, workforce restructuring, redundancies and dismissals. The team continued to act in relation to the implications of Ukrainian employment and personal data protection laws on internal investigations. The firm’s public clients include Coca-Cola, Greif, Kyivstar. The practice is led by Dr. Svitlana Kheda, who is also known for her extensive compliance and mediation experience.

With well-established global positions, the Kyiv office of Dentons represents management teams in connection with corporate and governmental investigations, executive compensation and counseling projects, cross-border acquisitions, complex HR instructions, litigating all employment-related claims. The practice often acts in the framework of cross-border projects, like M&A, restructuring and reorganizational initiatives, and provides seamless coverage of resulting employment law matters. The team particularly stands out for extensive compliance practice. The workload of late has, among other things, consisted of employment contracts, dismissals, transfer of employees, obtaining work permits. Selected clients are Nordex Group, COFCO Agri, Acciona Energia, Human Rights Watch Inc., The Salvation Army. Volodymyr Monastyrskyy, a versatile partner, combines deep knowledge of corporate, compliance and labor law.

Asters utilizes expertise in advising a premier client roster on a full spectrum of employment matters, both advisory and contentious instructions. The diverse practice includes structuring employment and termination, compensations and bonuses, development of incentive policies, outsourcing and outstaffing, communication with trade unions, transfer of employees, immigration law. Recent examples of work has taken in giving ongoing advice to Molson Coors Ukraine on a wide spectrum of employment issues, including occupational safety, data protection related to the company’s day-to-day business and ensuring it complies with employment law; advising Leroy Marlen on outsourcing and outstaffing of personnel. The firm acts regularly on employment aspects of M&A supported by Asters. Partners Armen Khachaturyan, Svitlana Chepurna and Vadym Samoilenko provide general supervision for projects. Inesa Letych, counsel, is directly involved in practice and is a highly visible figure on the market. Oleh Furmanchuk, senior associate, is another visible member of the executive team.

Ilyashev & Partners has recognized strength in complicated employment disputes, and also demonstrated a growing portfolio of advisory matters taking in trade unions and collective bargaining agreements, dismissals, labor safety matters. In 2019 the firm represented its clients in complicated precedent setting cases, including collective labor disputes, and acted on a number of dismissal disputes. On the advisory front the firm acted for Yael Software and Systems on the model for employing staff in Ukraine; Leap Gaming on employment-related matters within the scope of incorporation of business. Clients include Coca-Cola Beverages Ukraine, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Uniliver Ukraine, Hempel Ukraine, Suntech Innovation, Ukrainian Network of Integrity and Compliance and others. Two key performers of the firm’s labor practice, Valeriia Gudiy and Leonid ­Gilevich, were promoted to counsel. Mikhail Ilyashev, managing partner, supervises the team.

ADER HABER has a standalone labor and employment practice expanding its offering with queries from new incoming clients. Those included employment agreements, transfer and dismissal, assisting in international mobility of executive personnel, compliance, lay-offs and peaceful settlements, collective bargaining agreements, strikes and trade unions, labor disputes and disciplinary proceedings. The firm is expanding its legal expertise in labor matters in the financial sector, and advises Alfa-Bank on aspects arising out of employment relations. Among recent highlights is advising Technocom Ltd., a Ukrainian subsidiary of Nestle S.A., on medical examination of workers and establishment of occupational diseases as well as on termination of labor relations with employees and guarantees of trade union rights. In addition, the team demonstrated a busy caseload of labor disputes, including disputes with former employees and trade unions on collective bargaining. Tetyana Ivanovych, counsel, is highly active in practice development.

Given a constant presence in aviation and enhanced positions in pharma and healthcare sectors, Ante Law Firm provides both advisory and litigation on employment issues. In particular, the team renders constant assistance to various international airlines operating in Ukraine, including Qatar Airways, Lufthansa Group, British Airways and Ernest with labor law issues. On the dispute front the team deals with a number of labor disputes between top managers and employers. The previous year Ante resolved some complicated staff dismissal issues for a few global pharmaceutical companies. The team acted as representative of Mr. Zurab Alasania, the head of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine, in court regarding his dismissal. Non-aviation clients include Perrigo Ukraine, Sanofi-Aventis Ukraine, Ukrainian office of the Council of Europe, Zdravo LLC, etc. Andriy Guck, partner, is the main contact.

Arzinger has an established following of international clients supported by the firm’s employment practice. The firm advises on management and personnel employment, cooperation with trade unions, obtaining work permits for foreign employees, dismissal, outstaffing, outsourcing, change of essential work conditions, disciplinary liability, labor safety issues. This past year saw the firm acting as Ukrainian law counsel to LR Global Holding in connection with management changes; Telko OY (ASPO) on renovation of the corporate governance system and setting new corporate policies, change of local management and formalization of employment relations with top management; Alumni Fund Ukraine due to change of management at the Ukrainian charitable fund; Wienerberger LLC in establishing a new model for corporate management. The firm provides labor law support to the Porsche Group on a regular basis. Alesya Pavlynska, counsel, took on leadership in the practice after Pavlo Khodakovsky left to work in the public sector.

AVELLUM is well-versed in employment matters, being preferred in the main by international companies operating in Ukraine. Being the prominent legal counsel for large multijurisdictional deals, the firm advises on employment matters that arise, inter alia, the transfer of employees between subsidiaries in various jurisdictions. The wider offering includes hiring, mass redundancy, especially dismissal and appointment of top management, preparation of employment policies and procedures, employment disputes. The firm advises ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd on employment matters in connection with the global reorganization of ABB group and spin off of some of their operations to Hitachi, including transfer of employees, special outstaffing arrangements, and new employment contracts. Selected clients are ClinTec International, Luxoft, Drylock Technologies N.V., MTI. Bogdana Parkhomchuk (previously employed by one of the “Big Four” companies) joined the team as the key employment associate. Mykola Stetsenko is a lead partner.

СMS is represented through two offices in Ukraine: CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, both have extensive experience in advising clients on various aspects of labor and immigration law issues, including employment litigation.

Last year the office of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang continued to represent Scatec Solar on various employment and IP law matters in connection with planned M&A deals and employee transfer. The office is a point of choice for foreign business operating in Ukraine and seeking advice regarding the structuring of contractual relations with its Ukrainian personnel and top management, personnel transfer, immigration law matters, terminations, etc. Two partners, namely Olexander Martinenko and Olga Belyakova, oversee the practice.

The Kyiv team of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz supported PJSC Main Gas Pipelines of Ukraine, designed to become the new operator of the Ukrainian gas transmission system, in all matters relating to transfer of personnel. The office is historically chosen by German-speaking clients. Recent assignments involve the hiring and firing of employees, compliance, work and obtaining residence permits. Partners Maria Orlyk and Anna Pogrebna are in charge of the practice.

The Ukrainian office of DLA Piper renders employment matters coverage within the framework of firm’s transactional practices — M&A, as well as market entries and reorganizations and within the day-to-day activities of clients. The team advises on hire and termination strategies, employment due diligence, compliance, labor safety, employee transfers. In 2019 the employment team in Kyiv provided support to Perion Network on employment aspects related to acquisition of Septa Communications, a Ukrainian start-up; supported NEQSOL on employment aspects of the acquisition of VF Ukraine from a Russian telecommunications operator. Margarita Karpenko, managing partner, is focused on complex employment-related matters, including multijurisdictional related projects.

Eterna Law typically assists on employment matters as part of its corporate, regulatory, finance and tax advice. The firm regularly supports Ukrainian market entries and subsequent employment aspects, in particular, employment agreements, employment of foreigners, motivational systems for employees, transfer of employees from one enterprise to another. Selected clients include Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ukraine, Christian Dior Couture Ukraine, Auchan Ukraine. Oksana Kneychuk, partner, is the core practitioner. Karina Pavlyuk got promotion to the position of counsel.

EVERLEGAL renders both advisory and contentious employment offerings. The firm has a well-established corporate and M&A practice, and covers employment issues in terms of corporate reorganisations and after M&A transactions. Thus, the firm is particularly involved in personnel transfers and mass reductions of staff, law compliance, termination of employment, engagement of expats. The litigation team has experience in contentious matters associated with getting rid of senior management. Yevheniy Deyneko, managing partner, leads the employment practice. Andriy Olenyuk and Oleksandr Ruzhytskyi also act as lead partners across different projects.

In 2019 EY Ukraine provided legal advice on labor law matters related to risks of reclassification of civil relations into employment ones, structuring of assignments from Ukraine abroad, implementation of share plans, appointment of top executives, complex terminations. The office is known for its strong expertise in labor and tax compliance and business immigration practice. In addition, the practice team helped clients with implementation of anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies via training of top management. The workflow is led by Albert Sych, Olga Gorbanovskaya and Halyna Khomenko.

The employment practice of GOLAW is focused on disputes related to dismissals and transfers of employees; reinstatement, payment of salaries and compensation for non-pecuniary damage. The firm customarily has a strong litigation practice, and handled disputes related to the full material responsibility of employees and damage compensation. The firm is particularly referred to for its expertise in advising large retail companies on various employment issues and representing the interests of governmental institutions in disputes over defense of honor, dignity and business reputation, as well as protection of the interests of government and public figures. Kateryna Manoylenko, partner, is at the forefront of the most sophisticated cases.

Gramatskiy & Partners is known for its solid experience in employment, providing both an advisory and litigation service. The firm regularly supports its established clients on structuring employment and staff reduction, compensations, privacy, employment of foreigners, and is particularly proficient in handling comprehensive disputes. A recent highlight is advising Plant Quant to obtain compensation from the Social Security Fund; Yust Service with organization of outstaffing of workers in Poland; Linecore Studio on optimization of personnel records for a group of individuals who are entrepreneurs; Lavinia, Samurai Communications on structuring labor relations with top management, development of employment contracts and a system of conditional “golden parachutes”. Mykola Voitovich heads the practice.

ILF Law Firm, with offices in Kyiv and Kharkiv, is noted for an efficient track record of labor litigation, advising on regulation of employment relations, remuneration and evaluation, layoffs and related disputes, labor safety. Over the last couple of years the team has been active in comprehensive precedent labor disputes that established judicial practice in a number of cases. Being highly-focused on the healthcare sector, the firm supported the transformation of healthcare institutions in different regions of Ukraine, including development of specific motivation systems for employees. BASF, SPS, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee are on the firm’s client roster. Serhiy Silchenko is the practice-dedicated partner focused on such disputes.

In 2019 the employment department of INTEGRITES increased its portfolio and capacities with the arrival of a new partner, Illya Tkachuk. The workflow covered cases connected to social security matters and hiring/firing of employees, employment of foreigners, employment disputes, trade union matters, transfer of personnel, incentive schemes. The firm rendered employment advice in terms of expansion of foreign clients in Ukraine. This past year the firm developed a complex set of employment-related documents for several projects of Scatec Solar in Ukraine; acted for NBT on hiring new employees, dismissing top managers, obtaining work permits for foreign employees. Another highlight is legal assistance to Savencia regarding the inspection by the State Labor Safety Service of Ukraine. Illya Tkachuk splits his time between corporate and M&A and employment. Munich-based Dr. Julian Ries, managing partner, focuses on negotiating conflict situations within and between enterprises, particularly with intercultural aspects.

Marchenko Partners advises on employment and termination strategies, internal policies, confidentiality, intellectual property protection and non-compete matters for personnel of various seniority. The team is also mandated for labor due diligence assessment with the corresponding elaboration of compliance policies, advising on shares option schemes and on applicable trade union regulations. Recent assignments include advising British Airways on the appropriate procedure of staff reduction and representing the clients in negotiations. The firm’s client portfolio consists of significant names from pharmaceuticals, agriculture, infrastructure, IT, logistics. Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko is in charge of the employment practice.

One of the oldest market players, Salkom Law Firm, has extensive experience of labor and employment law. Among the standout projects from the previous year is advice on involvement of employees for Microsoft through outsourcing pursuant to outsourcing transactions with third party suppliers, implementation of relevant vendor agreements, and outsourced staff labor agreements in Ukraine. The offering also covered workforce transfer agreements, personal data protection, personal information and privacy, civil contracts, application of EU labor law. The list of clients includes prominent brand names like Accenture, Boeing, Avery Dennison, Microsoft, Soufflet Group, Sojitz Corporation, with new wins from the past year — Yazaki Corporation, Euronet Worldwide, Chubb, Manchester Airport Group, GoDaddy. Partner Andrii Kubko is the practice head.

The Kyiv office of Wolf Theiss regularly advises on employment matters related to senior management and personnel of the Ukrainian subsidiaries of foreign companies. Its client list consists of IT, telecom, life sciences, engineering, real estate and trading companies. The team typically assists on employment matters as part of its M&A and corporate restructuring projects, as well as on day-to-day issues. The recent offering included employment due diligence, transfer of employees, outsourcing matters, and employment of foreigners in Ukraine. This past year the team advised Johnson Controls International on the legal step plan for an M&A transaction, including steps for transfer of employees; provided legal support of Federal-Mogul Aftermarket GmbH on employment law issues, including the hiring and firing of employees, change of their material labor conditions. Olga Ivlyeva is in charge of the practice.

Attorneys’ Association Gestors, under the leadership of Andriy Tsvyetkov, enjoys a long row of clients seeking employment advice, including agreements, employment policies and procedures, reorganizations and redundancies. The firm renders advice to a number of solid names, including Monroe, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), McDonald’s Ukraine.

Renowned for its broad tax expertise, KM Partners is retained by clients for structuring of labor relations, staff reduction, transfer of employees, outsourcing, elaborating HR documentation, moonlighting, employment of foreigners, including tax aspects. The firm also handles labor disputes. Alexander Shemiatkin, partner, is the main contact.

Konnov & Sozanovsky advises on labor and employment issues within operational activity of its clients. For example, the firm advised Microsoft on management change, and Bechtel, the US engineering, construction and project management company, on finalization of its project of construction and servicing of the confinement at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and employees displacement. Alexey Pokotylo acts as a lead partner.

The practice of KPMG takes in labor law, tax, migration, accounting and other aspects. The office is retained by significant Ukrainian and international clients with issues of global mobility, personnel transfer, employment contracts with senior management, accounting of working time, remuneration structuring, confidentiality and non-competition agreements, outstaffing, compliance. Recent clients come from the IT, energy, transportation, manufacturing and machinery sectors. KPMG conducted legal due diligence of the European Commission, including analysis of internal labor regulations, compliance with the procedure for transferring employees, review of bonus payment policy, etc. Yuriy Katser and Ivan Demtso are the primary contacts.

Legal Alliance Company, a pharma and healthcare focused firm, renders sector specific employment advice. In 2019 the practice was driven by existing trends in corporate restructuring in the pharmaceutical market and healthcare reform, and entailed advising on changes in the work of medical institutions, particularly remuneration of employees of medical institutions. The firm advised on redundancy and layoffs, abuse of trade unions. Clients include Boehringer Ingelheim, Contrad Swiss, KRKA, Polfa (Adamed), Novartis, Servier, Alvogen, Astellas, Jadran, Glenmark, Meda, Audit firm ARKA. Illya Kostin is the lead partner.

Shkrebets & Partners, a Kharkiv-based law firm with a sharp focus on litigation, raised its portfolio of labor disputes regarding appealing decisions adopted by the regulator. These included challenging fines for violations of labor law, reinstatement to employment position, charging wages, etc. The clients include significant industrial enterprises in Kharkiv Region. Yuriy Artukh is the lead partner.

The high reputation of long-standing Ukrainian law firm Vasil Kisil & Partners is endorsed during reviews by peers. Oksana Voynarovska, partner, and Valeriya Savchuk, counsel, are respected for their performance on the Ukrainian labor law arena.[1]

Vdovychen & Partners advises on employment agreements and handles labor disputes. This past year the firm developed collective bargaining agreements, internal policies, and represented employers in disputes and employees in claims for reinstatement to positions they had held in the past. Oleg Vdovychen, managing partner, is the key contact.


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