Who Is Who

Leading FIRMS

  1. Sayenko Kharenko
  2. ILF
  3. Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Ukraine
  4. Arzinger
  5. Asters


Listed in alphabetical order

  • Artem AFIAN
Artem AFIAN (Juscutum)
  • Olha BARANOVA Olha BARANOVA (Arzinger)
  • Nazar CHERNYAVSKY Nazar CHERNYAVSKY (Sayenko Kharenko)
  • Ruslan DROBYAZKO Ruslan DROBYAZKO (Baker & McKenzie)
  • Dmytro GADOMSKY Dmytro GADOMSKY (Axon Partners)
  • Anna KRAVCHUK Anna KRAVCHUK (Patent Law Agency Synergy)
  • Taras KYSLYY Taras KYSLYY (Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Ukraine)
  • Olexander MARTINENKO Olexander MARTINENKO (CMS Cameron McKenna)
  • Viktoriya OSTAPCHUK Viktoriya OSTAPCHUK (Patent Law Agency Synergy)
  • Oleksandr PADALKA Oleksandr PADALKA (Sayenko Kharenko)
  • Mykyta POLATAYKO Mykyta POLATAYKO (Sayenko Kharenko)
  • Julia SEMENIY Julia SEMENIY (Asters)
  • Olena VARDAMATSKA Olena VARDAMATSKA (Wolf Theiss )
  • Anton ZINCHUK</br>


Leading FIRMS

  1. AEQUO
  2. Sayenko Kharenko
  3. Jurimex Law Firm
  5. Asters


Listed in alphabetical order

  • Nazar CHERNYAVSKY Nazar CHERNYAVSKY (Sayenko Kharenko)
  • Yuriy KRAINIAK Yuriy KRAINIAK (Jurimex Law Firm)
  • Oleksandr MAMUNYA Oleksandr MAMUNYA (AEQUO)
  • Adam MYCYK Adam MYCYK (Dentons)
  • Oleksandr PADALKA Oleksandr PADALKA (Sayenko Kharenko)
  • Nazar POLYVKA Nazar POLYVKA (Axon Partners)
  • Julia SEMENIY Julia SEMENIY (Asters)

IT / Telecommunications & Media


Axon Partners

Ukrainian hi-tech industry is anti-fragile. It consists of hundreds of large and small companies, and thousands of freelancers. 2014 was shocking for those, who oriented on the local market — mostly integrators — these guys are almost dead now. Outsourcers who service foreign customers, and product companies oriented on US and European markets kept growing this year.

Still, things are not good. The market waits for complete deregulation. Neither PayPal, nor Netflix, Uber seriously look at Ukraine as a potential market. Strict (and mostly silly) currency regulations, ancient corporate laws, weak courts and the very specific approach of Ukrainian police make our country a completely bad idea for investments.

The good news is that many state owned databases (i.e. companies registrar, legal database, etc.) have opened APIs. Auctions on sale of state owned property seem to be built using blockchain. Some government bodies are testing agile methodology for project management. Some police and prosecution offices are investigating holacracy (seriously!). Not big wins, but at least something.

Any client appreciates lawyers who deeply understand the business they work in. Hi-tech clients have a very interesting specific: they do not like when lawyers bill them higher rates, than they bill it to their own clients. The largest piece of Ukrainian hi-tech business is IT outsourcing and this business sells hours, the same as lawyers do. It is really hard to explain to the programmer why a lawyer’s cost is three or four times higher than his. Anyway, legal work becomes less and less expensive. Law firms need to decrease costs to be able to compete. The only way to do that is to employ hi-tech solutions. At the end of the day, if the law firm wants to practice IT law, it has to be technology driven.

Telecommunications & Media
Illarion TOMAROV

Illarion TOMAROV,
Eterna Law

Due to economic prospects in Ukraine we estimate that the proportion of litigation work in 2016 will be higher than in 2015. As to judicial practice for 2016, the “Oschadbank vs Sberbank” case on trade mark infringement and commercial name promises to be a landmark one in the IP sphere, as was the “Auditor vs Inspector” case in 2015.

It is worth noting that cases on copyright infringement in litigation work as well as in general legal consulting are lined up with cases on trademark protection. The Supreme Commercial Court of Ukraine makes more and more comments and outlines hints in its decisions aimed at uniformity of judicial practice in IP.

In addition to litigation work, there is a clear trend in pre-trial dispute resolution. The popularity of this remedy is down to clients’ interest in a quick and money-saving way of protecting their IP assets.

As for the non-litigation sphere, a significant part of contractual work comes from the IT market, which previously didn’t pay attention to protecting IP in the IT business (e.g. software licenses and patents, assignment agreements).

As to the role of a legal counsel, attention should be paid to the skill of effective pre-trial dispute resolution in order to stop IP infringement and recover damages from an infringer without a court. Another important aspect of counsel work is to give sound advice to a client by evaluating his/her situation from the prospective of possible risks and suggest an unusual, effective and economic solution.

With a growing portfolio of technological clients, Sayenko Kharenko’s IT practice group arranges legal support across a broad spectrum of cross-sector technology trends. In 2015, the firm rendered top-notch specialised IT-advice to both corporate clients as well as IT-companies to properly structure their IT-developments in Ukraine. For example, the firm advised Vodafone on the conclusion of a Ukraine-related branding agreement with MTS Ukraine; and acted for multinational e-commerce giant Nasperson the transfer of the domain name ‘torg.ua’ and changing the owner of the domain name registrar. The practice group is increasingly active advising in start-ups with respect to investments, privacy and licensing. The corporate practice advised TE Connectivity on the sale of its broadband network solutions business unit, including the Ukrainian subsidiary of CommScope. Partners Nazar Chernyavsky and Oleksandr Padalka are the firm’s point of reference for sectoral clients. The IT practice is coordinated by the highly active in IT legal communities associate Mykyta Polatayko. The IP/media work is coordinated by senior associate Oleg Klymchuk.

Ukrainian law firm with offices in Kiev and Kharkov ILF (Inyurpolis Law Firm) is a rapidly growing force in the IT market picking up work from a wide range of foreign and Ukrainian IT players. The team advises on a wide scope of IT outsourcing matters, corporate structuring and compliance, restructuring, tax and employment, market access. The team advised SPS Ukraine on the introduction of a local compliance program for the Ukrainian subsidiary of a US IT firm and supported American IT company iPiccy in its entry on the Ukrainian market. ILF is known for support in establishing an IT cluster in Kharkov. Anton Zinchuk, IT partner, is widely recognized by IT peers and is noted for his vast business structuring expertise.

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners Ukraine focuses on the legal assignments encountered by international and local IT/TMT companies. The scope of practice covers registration, transfer, and use of IP rights, as well as trademarks, inventions, copyright, domain names assets transfer, restructuring, employment, etc. In particular, the IP team assisted Pixafy on the transfer of key IP assets to the client from its Ukrainian subsidiary and acted for a Benelux investor in an IP dispute with a team of Ukrainian software developers, successfully negotiating an out-of-court settlement. The firm’s employment team advises a worldwide leader in networking on various labor, commercial law and compliance issues with respect to its business activities in Ukraine. Counsel Taras Kyslyy leads the IP andthe technology, media, telecommunications (TMT) practices.

Reputable full service domestic firm Arzinger is settled in IT, advising on contractual issues, tax, currency control, employment, IP. The firm acted for Tarsheed, which operates on the Canadian media market, on supporting development of software by a Ukrainian IT company. Another client of the firm, Softline Group Ukraine, instructed the firm to support contractual agreements with a Chinese telecom player. Olha Baranova, senior associate, is visible for her tax advice, while Kateryna Oliinyk, who joined as a head of IP, is noted for her strong knowledge in domain disputes. Pavlo Khodakovsky, partner, is the main contact for clients.

Asters’ wide-ranging work across IT, telecom and media stands out for a particular strong performance in corporate, M&A and finance. Clients seek advice on establishing presence in Ukraine, IP rights assignments, copyright, tax, investments. The firm is often attracted for handling merger clearance work in connection with global transactions in the sector, and recently acted for acquisition by Technicolor S.A. of control over the Cisco Systems, Inc.’s assets related to activity in the field of Internet devices. Renowned in the legal community for supporting media production clients, partner Julia Semeniy focuses on a wide range of IP issues across the TMT sector.

Juscutum Attorneys Association showcased a strong focus on IT industry and attempted to cover its core segments, in particular outsourcing and product companies, Internet and startups. In 2015 the firm kept working as a legal team for a prominent client, EX.UA, reviewing notices on takedown of content from Ukrainian and foreign right holders, where among the claimants were Apple, Sony and MPAA. The technology integration company Egar provides Juscutum with ongoing flow of IT contractual work, while US-based technology corporation ANSYS enlisted them as its legal representative for negotiations regarding unlicensed software. The practice has been based in its Kiev and Lviv offices, and was headed by partner Dmytro Gadomsky till March 2016. 1 He is named among the key trend-makers on the legal services market for IT companies in Ukraine and is known for supporting agile development. Artem Afian, managing partner, is the main contact and the new practice head.

The industrial expertise of AEQUO is distributed across the key strength of the firm — corporate and M&A matters and a fully-fledged diverse IP practice. In this past year the firm was present in a number of notable deals on the market. For instance, AEQUO advised George Soros’s Ukrainian Redevelopment Fund on its acquisition of a significant equity stake in Ciklum Holding Limited. On the telecom front, the firm acted for MTS in relation to extension of the strategic partner market agreement with Vodafone and expanding its scope in Ukraine; and advised Baring Vostok Capital Partners Limited on the acquisition of the Modern Times Group (MTG), a Swedish digital entertainment company. The practice is led by corporate and M&A partner Anna Babych and IP and dispute resolution partner Oleksandr Mamunya.

Jurimex Law Firm commands an established strong position in the Ukrainian telecommunications and media sector. The firm is regularly attracted for regulatory assignments in a heavily regulated telecom area, servicing TV channels, broadcasters and related providers. In a recent highlight Jurimex supported Espreso.tv on contractual arrangement to operate a satellite and advised on licensing agreements, trademarks and out-of-court settlements. The TV operator Baltora instructed the firm for a variety of IP, licensing, regulatory, tax and high profile contentious matters; and MSL LLC, an operator of state lotteries, on sponsorship issues on TV channels and launch of a new state lottery. The team of renowned TMT expert Yuriy Krainiak has been highly active in drafting legislative initiatives covering broadcasting, cinematography, publishing, copyright.

AstapovLawyers2 international law group commands transactional and litigation offering, with well-versed IP coverage and solid clients in its portfolio. The firm consistently advises STB Channel on trademarks and copyrights, and delivers on-going corporate advice to Nvision. The group recently handled a complex project for Show4Me including contractual relations, trademarks, license agreements, agreements between the shareholders in the British startup. Other significant clients are CarPrice, AllSet, Sitronics IT, Vodafone, Huawei, Multinet, Le Boutique, Dobovo, Airbnb, Earthport, MoneXy, Djamp Ukraine/beeper, Unicall, Client Zet Ukraina. The head of IP, senior associate, Ilarion Tomarov received the praise of peers for his innovative solutions.

DLA Piper is known for handling legal support on technology, e-commerce, data protection, employment, tax and outsourcing issues, and supporting M&A, inbound investment corporate integration. The team recently provided legal support to a multinational media and digital marketing communications company with its acquisition of a number of companies in Ukraine and advised an Israeli IT company on structuring its business in Ukraine. The firm is active in software development agreements, licensing, and compliance. Natalia Pakhomovska, partner, seasoned practitioner, is the practice head.

Baker & McKenzie has a strong team with notable capacity to advise on transactional and seamless IP mandates. The Kiev team assists sound international technology clients, naming a few Pioneer Corporation, Sharp Corporation, LG Technology, Symantec Corporation, Universal Music, etc. A big portion of work was centered around personal data protection, anti-counterfeiting and enforcement. Ruslan Drobyazko, IP partner, leads the Kiev team on securing the intellectual property rights of its clients in Ukraine. Viacheslav Yakymchuk, corporate/M&A partner, private equity and head IT and communication practice groups, is in charge of transactional work.

The Kiev team of Dentons advises foreign and domestic TMT companies on a wide range of regulatory, employment, tax and corporate matters, including licenses, IP protection, establishment of presence and investments. The past year was notable for advising Turkcell on its acquisition of Astelit shares for USD 100 million and advising an international engineering company, BIIR, on IT licensing issues in Ukraine. Adam Mycyk is the responsible partner.

Gramatskiy & Partners acted as advisor to foreign investors on buy outs of Ukrainian IT companies, including IT transfer abroad, development of new IT products and acquisitions of software of local IT developers. The firm advised PTS UA Services, Video B Holdings Limited and Skywind Tech.UA,Viaden Enterprises Limited, Sea Services Ukraine, Clickmein Technologies on software development. The practice group draws expertise from other departments and was also engaged in structuring an international holding, Internet adverts financing, taxation and employment, protection in search and seizure. Olexii Gryshko is the IT industry coordinator.

CMS Cameron McKenna is a popular choice for big multinationals for transactional mandates and complex litigation. Other areas of expertise include IP, regulatory, employment. Olexander Martinenko, senior partner and renowned general practitioner on the market, is commended for his broad experience.

Redcliffe Partners (prior to 1 December 2015 — the Kiev office of Clifford Chance) possesses a solid base of international clients and investors. In 2015 the team was visible on several M&A and private equity projects involving IT sector companies, and advised Permira, a private equity fund, on its acquisition of X.Commerce. The firm has a sector-focused group also involved in advising on the sale of shares in a Ukrainian online car sales business to a venture capital firm. Dmytro Fedoruk, partner and Zoryana Sozanska-Matviychuk, counsel, are the main contacts.

Law Offices of OMP has a broad client list with notable names across the sector, including international brands. The office advises on relocation of individual employees abroad and handled international structuring of online tutoring portal; advise on sale of software and IP matters. Given the team’s strong dedication it delivers tax aspects for IT clientele, including transfer pricing. The overall project management is handled by Dmitry Mikhailenko, while Olga Simson covers IP work.

Patent Law Agency Synergy, is a highly active IP boutique with premier focus across TMT industries. Amongst notable cases of the team is representation of Internet shop Rozetka.ua and domain names registrar FreeHost in respect of trademark violations. The agency advises 1C-Bitrix LLC on tax, contractual arrangements, IP rights, including software. The firm has clients from media and entertainment industries, inter alia, Tavr Media, A.R.MUSIC, YARMAK MUSIC. Anna Kravchuk is referred for extensive IP knowledge, while Viktoriya Ostapchuk is praised for tax issues involving software transactions.

Vasil Kisil & Partners is primarily centered on corporate and M&A assignments, covering IP right protection advice, employment and taxation advice. The team led by Volodymyr Igonin, counsel, acts for a private investor as to establishing a corporate holding for the new project in the field of TMT and representing an international group in a transaction on disposal of a media business in Ukraine.

Ilyashev & Partners demonstrates a strong following of telecom clients that are represented in court proceedings and before regulators. For example, the firm represents Kyivstar in an extensive list of disputes. Another significant client, TV Channel Inter, is represented in a number of litigations regarding sanctions and licensing. Milkhail Ilyashev and Maksym Kopeychykov are the lead partners. Andriy Konoplya, Dmytro Shemelin and Irina Kirichenko.

Olena Vardamatska, head of the Kiev IP/IT practice of Wolf Theiss, is recommended by peers for leading the M&A team on IT-related deals of companies with R&D centers in Ukraine. A deep understanding of business needs, profound expertise in domain rules and e-commerce are referred to as her personal strengths.

Konnov & Sozanovsky enjoys the legacy of its presence in the media and entertainment industry. This past year the firm, as led by corporate partner Helen Yaremchuk, supported the entry of a foreign telecom company to the Ukrainian market and covered regulatory assignment within the project.

Attorneys Association PwC Legal supported global technology corporations in tax litigation, advised on IP rights protection, currency control matters and reviewed intra-group agreements. The team advised Oracle Corporationon transfer of IP rights to the software developed in UA. The firm enjoys impressive client portfolio of global industry heavyweights, and, among others include Cogniance, Google Inc. The practice isledby Zhanna Brazhnyk.

FCLEX represented the interests of the SOTA Cinema Group owned by film producer Oleg Kohan in its dispute with the Ukrainian State Film Agency. The firm represented the producer in a series of other disputes with respect to different movies and advises SOTA Cinema Group on contractual support of filming and brand placement. Oleg Malinevskiy is the main contact.

The members of the recently-established Axon Partners (which previously belonged to the IT practice of Juscutum) were noted by peers, in particular, Denys Beregovyi is cited for IT business structuring in Ukraine, and Nazar Polyvka for his expertise on digital media.

Dnepropetrovsk-based Adviser has a sharp focus on IT clientele, arranging legal support in taxation, IP, employement and general commercial matters. The biggest clients are Maxymiser Ukraine, Sitecore, Anadea, Mobiindastry, Webzilla. Leonid Viktorov is the main contact.

Avellum advises on data protection issues, taxation and competition issues. Dmytro Ovcharenko (SBT Systems) and Vyacheslav Ustimenko (LawBoot) are named during the poll.

1 In the middle of March 2016 the IT practice of Juscutum spinned off and established Axon Partners.

2In May 2016 AstapovLawyers merged with European Law Firm Baltic Business Group to operate under the new joint brand of Eterna Law.