Highly-specialized Ante Law Firm is on top of aviation law, possessing exceptionally diverse experience and a huge clientele in and around the industry and other areas of transport. The team successfully represents airlines in all their activities in Ukraine, including litigation, taxation, antimonopoly/competition, labor, regulatory, and assisted the “Big Four” companies with aviation law issues. The firm provides full legal support in Ukraine to Qatar Airways, Emirates, British Airways, Alitalia, Lufthansa group, Air France-KLM, Ernest and others. The highlights of 2019 include representing the representative office of Qatar Airways in a court case against the State Aviation Service regarding the applicability of Ukrainian aviation rules to foreign air carriers, which is a precedent case. The team successfully resolved a number of passenger claims when representing major airlines. In addition, the scope of aviation law advice covers cargo, handling and warehouse services operations. The firm continues advising ticket sales agents and tour operators, particularly with regard to the sale of tickets to/from Crimea as such sale is a subject of investigation by the Security Service of Ukraine. Another recent noteworthy case is representing Danylo Halytskyi Lviv International Airport in the course of the investigation by the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine regarding access to the ground services market, initiated by several ground handling companies. Andriy Guck, managing partner, is a top aviation expert in Ukraine, who often publicly advises on existing challenges before the sector. The key senior practitioners are Kateryna Ishchenko and Roman Storonskiy.

ECOVIS Bondar & Bondar Law Bureau is an aviation-focused firm renowned primarily for being the permanent legal counsel to Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA), the biggest domestic air carrier, Interavia and Aerohandling. The firm has a wealth of expertise in sector specific litigation, including regulatory disputes regarding rates and charges. Other areas of focus include antimonopoly and corporate law. The practice team is also involved in legislative initiatives in the Ukrainian aviation industry. Being a long-standing market player, the firm’s managing partner, Oleg Bondar, is noted for constant representation of UIA in high-profile instructions. Oleksandr Povar, senior associate, is another key name, seen vividly on the market.

Long-standing dispute resolution heavyweight Ilyashev & Partners is traditionally called upon to represent airlines and aircraft makers, as well as various stakeholders from the maritime, shipping and port infrastructure industries. The aviation practice combines specific litigation, as well as competition, complicated aircraft safety cases and international sanctions regime. The firm represents State Enterprise Antonov, the Ukrainian aircraft manufacturing and service company, in a dispute regarding a USD 80 million contract with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency, as well as in litigation acting against the Ministry of Defense over two An-70 aircraft. Another noteworthy representation is acting for Aksariya LLC, a supplier of accessory equipment and spare parts for aircraft, on challenging the results of public bidding of the State Enterprise Mykolaiv Aircraft Repair Plant. Clients from the aviation sector also include the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Master-Avia Ltd, CAVOK Air, Air Anastasia. Senior partner Roman Marchenko inevitably heads the practice. The firm rapidly develops its maritime and shipping practice, expanding its scope, capacity and geographical reach. The team represented Optima Shipping Limited in a dispute with Horndom Limited regarding non-fulfillment of a charter party according to LMAA regulations; acted on behalf of Atlantic Palaemon Shipping AG on the arrest of marine bunker fuel to secure claims in support of LMAA arbitration. In addition, the firm advised InterTransportLogistics, an Estonian logistic company, on the acquisition of a general cargo vessel. Among the clients are Ukrrichflot, Nika Tera Specialized Seaport, Port of Vitino, Arenka Makina Sanayi ve Ticaret Ltd. In October 2019 the firm opened an office in Odesa, which is focused primarily on maritime issues and support in transshipment of cargo in sea ports. Sergey Nedelko, who previously worked at ANK Law Office, heads this branch of the firm, and was endorsed as a talented attorney in maritime disputes. Andrey Bychkov is a promising team member.

With an active role in a few jurisdictions, the Kyiv office of Kinstellar rapidly expanded its aviation practice and increased involvement in the transport and logistics sector. The aviation team renders general regulatory advice, acts on passenger claims, settlement agreements, litigation, and advises on aircraft leasing. The firm renders legal advice to Wizz Air Hungary Kft in a number of mandates pertaining to its operations in Ukraine. Over the past year the firm rapidly added airlines to its client list. Among ongoing disputes is representing Plaske S.A. before the Supreme Court in proceedings related to challenging the decision of the State Railway Administration. Oleksiy Burchevskyy, head of aviation, is at the front of developing this dynamic practice. The dispute resolution practice is led by Kostiantyn Likarchuk, managing partner.

Asters, the largest Ukrainian law firm, has a multidisciplinary offering to the aviation sector industry, including international passenger and cargo airlines, aircraft and aircraft part manufacturers, aviation insurers and leasing operators. In addition to corporate governance, regulatory and compliance issues, the firm was sought after in insurance aviation practice and on the dispute front. The team guided by Gleb Bialyi, partner, advises 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 crew members, and on disputes over plane damages. Other partners advising aviation clients are Oleksiy Demyanenko and Vadym Samoilenko.

INTEGRITES extended the pool of clients in the aviation and railway sectors. The firm enjoys the loyalty of big international airlines that instruct the firm on specific tax and customs issues in Ukraine and the peculiarities of the local aviation industry. The firm is also mandated for joint projects in the aircraft production industry between foreign and Ukrainian companies. In 2019 the firm received many instructions on issues related to the acquisition and leasing of wagons, public procurement and competition in the railway sector. Oleksiy Feliv, managing partner, is the main point of contact.

SDM Partners unveiled its aviation practice in 2019. The firm advised the international operators of civil and cargo aircraft regarding entering the Ukrainian air transportation market, establishment of appropriate airport infrastructure and supported investment projects in Ukrainian airports. Dmytro Syrota, managing partner, is the main contact.

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang possesses expertise in aviation finance. In 2019 the office advised on aircraft leasing and transfer. Clients include airlines and leading international leasing companies. Ihor Olekhov, who joined as a banking and finance partner from Baker McKenzie, handled subsequent projects.

DLA Piper Ukraine is sought after for representation in antitrust matters and sophisticated financing mandates in the aviation sector. Recent areas of focus include aircraft lease matters, where the office acts for lessors on their large-stake lease agreements with Ukrainian counterparties. For example, the firm advised Aviation Capital Group on the lease of two aircraft (Boeing 737-8 MAX). The Kyiv team has unique expertise in supporting projects in the defense and aerospace industry. Oleksandr Kurdydyk, partner, is responsible for aviation finance work.

Jurvneshservice, a Ukrainian law firm with niche expertise in aircraft financing, was retained for lease and sophisticated financing mechanisms, added to its wealth of experience in aircraft sale and repossession. The firm has an established workflow from lessors in aircraft lease transactions. In particular, the firm acted for Vallair Solutions S.A.R.L. on the leasing of two Airbus 321 and Boeing 737 to Windrose and Jonika; advised GECAS on the leasing of five aircraft to SkyUp Airlines. In 2019 the firm handled ABS transactions[1] involving aircraft owners and lessors. For example, the team advised Carlyle Aviation Partners and BOC Aviation as originators and service agents on ABS transactions with a pool of aircraft, some of which are leased to UIA. Long-standing professional Dr. ­Ganna Tsirat is a lead partner to aircraft finance practice.

Dentons advised on aircraft purchase and leasing as well as service agreements between aircraft maintenance and engineering companies and industry players. Oleg Batyuk, Kyiv managing partner, is the main contact.

Anna Sisetska, partner at Vasil Kisil & Partners, is referred to as an expert in aviation finance and aircraft lease matters.[2]

As the largest Ukrainian law firm in the Black Sea Region, Interlegal possesses diverse and versatile maritime and shipping practice. The team is well-rounded in the shipping area, dealing with ship arrest, claims handling on the side of shipowners or charterers, litigating disputes on issues of laytime and demurrages, damages suffered by a carrier as a result of force majeure, settlements upon cargo, charter parties and bills of lading. Shipping clients sought legal advice on H&M and P&I insurance, subrogation, ice clauses, dangerous cargo carriage, bunkering, sea towing services. In a recent highlight, the firm succeeded in the representation of a shipbuilding enterprise in debt recovery for ship repair, via the Maritime Arbitration Commission at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Another notable deal was legal support and closing a second hand vessel purchase on the EU aftermarket. The firm is instructed by a roster of solid names, like Chornomorsk Ship Repair Yard, Smart Maritime Group, Omega Bunker, Monjasa, CEY Petrol, Maersk Ukraine, Maersk Tankers, Thyssenkrupp, ZASS International GmbH and others. The firm’s partners lead different domains: Nikolay Melnykov, Natalya Myroshnychenko and Alexey Remeslo are active in shipping work; Arthur Nitsevych and Artem Skorobogatov provide advice on transport and logistics; Irina Voyevodina and Nikolay Melnykov are in charge of yachting and corporate matters.

ANK Law Office possesses robust experience in complex administrative litigation and non-contentious mandates in maritime law. The firm has won a few significant court cases related to so-called “ecological control” of vessels, proved the unlawful actions of ecological inspectors and recovered charged fines from the state budget. The team represented Bulgarian Shipping Company Navibulgar in court proceedings against the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority on recovering losses, which resulted in a settlement agreement. During 2019 the Odesa-based firm traditionally acted as a legal counsel to world-leading P&I clubs and insurers on issues connected with payment of compensation for loss of life, ­disability compensation and personal injury claims of Ukrainian seafarers during their employment on board of foreign vessels and other marine perils. Another long-term highlight is legal support of Platano Eesti (Latvia) on construction of three ARCTICMAX vessels under a USD 101.7 million contract with Shanghai Shipyard. Clients in 2019 include American P&I Club, British Marine, BRITANIA P&I, Columbia Shipmanagement, London P&I, MSC Shipmanagement, NORTH P&I, Oldendorff Carriers, SKULD, West of England P&I, Transship, TT Club, The Standard P&I Club and UK P&I Club. Artem Volkov, who is the practice head, is known for his lengthy track record of marine litigations and investment in port infrastructure. Other important team members are Nina Kostyuk and Vladyslav Brig. The firm’s founder, Oleksandr Kyfak, is historically the central figure, and provides strategic guidance.

Jurline, the Odesa-based full service law firm, is customarily strong in maritime law. The firm renders long-term support to various enterprises operating in the ports of Ukraine, in particular, transport enterprises, marine terminals, freight forwarders, brokerage services, ship agency services, ship repair facilities, etc. The firm is regularly sought for drawing up relationships and settlement of disputes related to the carriage of goods by rail, road and sea, including legal support for freight forwarding and customs clearance. The firm’s long-lasting position in the whole region has resulted in an extensive client base of enterprises in the marine business, including transport enterprises, marine terminals, freight forwarders, brokerage services, ship agency services, ship repair facilities. Dispute highlights include representing Illichivsk Grain Terminal in the port of Chornomorsk in a dispute regarding recovery of losses for alleged loss of grain; support to TIS-Mindobryva Ltd, located in the port of Yuzhniy, in a dispute initiated by the claim of the Yuzhnenskaya branch of the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority regarding recovery of charges for the use of a berth. The passenger and public road transport sector is another area that the firm focuses on. Among others, clients of the firm include PJSC Severtrans, PJSC Odesavtotrans, LLC Vesta, SK Petroleum, LLC Teka (Sarmont Group Holding). The big team is led by recognized partners Volodymyr Zubar, Oleg Kutateladze and Maxim Kapelist.

The Odesa-based boutique Sergeyevs’ Law Office has a well-established following of domestic and foreign companies, manning/crewing agents, shipowners and ship management companies. This past year the firm increased its workload of labor, corporate, litigation and marine insurance. Throughout 2019 the firm handled representation of the interests of clients in negotiations and litigation with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine and Maritime Administration of Ukraine on implementation of international norms to national legislation. The defense of seafarers and the rights of their families is a standout focus. The firm reached full settlements in the maritime claims of crew members of the Leonid Khotkin vessel for unpaid wages and of relatives of deceased crew members of the lost (sunken) vessel VOLGO-BALT 214 for death compensation. In addition, the team rendered legal support of entry into the Ukrainian market of a new foreign shipowner; and constantly advises and negotiates international commercial contracts for the biggest shipowners — V.GROUP, V.SHIPS UK, CMA Ships Singapore PTE. Yuriy Sergeyev leads the maritime law practice, and is a recognized figure among the legal community. Svetlana Sergeyeva leads the practice of mediation and arbitration.

Ukrainian law firm Legrant is based in Odesa and focuses on maritime since its establishment. The team is known for successful performance in a dispute resolution versus the Ukrainian Sea Port Authority and other administrative disputes. The highlight of 2019 is successful representation of a foreign shipowner and proving the illegality of the decision adopted by the State Ecological Inspection regarding prohibiting a vessel to leave a port and challenging the subsequent complaint. The firm is attracted for representation in disputes that arise in the course of transportation of goods by sea, including collection of marine dispatch, demurrage charges and contractual disputes. The firm’s client list takes in Black Sea Commodities Ltd, Global Ocean Link, Graincom Shipping, Inchcape Shipping Services, Overseas Transport Ukraine, United Marin Group, Polaris, Phaeton, Maxgrain, Savoy Trading L.P., Asket Shipping, Stark Shipping. Tatyana Titarenko, managing partner, provides guidance to the practice. Team members Sergey Platonov and Danil Hristich (joined Fortior Law S.A. in November 2019) were noted by peers for their recent visibility in maritime cases.

Shipping is an integral part of the international trade and arbitration practice at
AVELLUM[3]. The dedicated team is called upon to handle disputes that arise in the course of transportation of goods by sea, inter alia, charter party claims, demurrage compensations, arrest and damage of cargo. The firm is a primary choice for agrarian companies involved in international trade and shipping operators. The firm advises Lithuanian agricultural company UAB Alfagra on a maritime claim due to its dispute with a shipowner (Estonia), which arose due to the shipowner’s failure to provide the vessel within the agreed time. The firm’s partners Ivan Kasynyuk and Iryna Moroz are at the forefront of the practice.

Given the established workflow of the arbitration practice at Eterna Law, it regularly represents clients in disputes arising out of breach of charter parties, shipping arrangements, contractual agreements, misappropriation of cargo, non-delivery of goods. Other experience covers advice to companies from the aerospace and aircraft engineering industries. Eugene Blinov, international arbitration partner, is in charge of the majority of cases in maritime and shipping.

Gramatskiy & Partners ensures its established clientele, especially from transportation, logistics and forwarding services, construction and engineering, real estate developers, equipment manufacturers and distributors, with complex legal support of contractual arrangements on auto and rail transportation, provision of logistic and forwarding services, and specific regulations in the sector. The purchase and lease of transportation vehicles is another significant part of the firm’s workload. Founder Ernest Gramatskiy supervises the practice.


[1]The ABS transaction is attraction of financing through the issue of notes secured with certain assets that generate permanent income — aircraft and their leases.

[2]There is no public information about the firm’s projects in 2019.

[3]In late May 2020 the firm announced that it continues to cooperate as an alliance of two

firms — AVELLUM and AGA Partners.