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If one is an example, two is a coincidence, and three is a trend, the three major law firm mergers in Ukraine this past summer demand closer scrutiny.

On July 9, 2018, the CEE Legal Matters website reported the merger of the Avellum and A.G.A. Partners law firms in Ukraine. A month later, the website reported on a second merger, this time between Asters and EPAP, the Ukrainian office of Russia’s Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners. And in September the website reported on yet another merger, between Integrites and Pravochyn. To explore these significant changes in the market, on October 26, 2018, CEE Legal Matters sat down with a collection of prominent Ukrainian lawyers — including several from firms directly involved in the summer’s mergers — at the Kyiv office of DLA Piper.

Sayenko Kharenko has acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and J.P. Morgan Securities on Ukraine's USD 2 billion Eurobond issue. Avellum advised the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on the issue.

Currency regulations in Ukraine have always been among the most significant impediments to foreign investments and access of Ukrainian businesses to foreign markets. In 2014, substantial external imbalances, capital flight risks, and panic in the foreign exchange market prompted the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) to adopt tight capital controls, a number of which remain in effect. Notwithstanding the alleged soundness of such temporary measures, both foreign investors and Ukrainian businesses have long called for clearer and more predictable currency regulations, as well as safeguards to protect their interests. In July 2018, Ukraine finally adopted the long-awaited “On Currency and Currency Transactions” law (the “Currency Law”) which is intended to replace the archaic currency control legislation. The effectiveness of the new legal framework, however, can only be assessed once the NBU lays out detailed rules in its regulations.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: Who was your mentor, and what was the most important lesson you learned from him or her?

Avellum has advised FMO (the Dutch development bank) and Diligent Capital Partners on their joint acquisition of a 16% equity stake in Allseeds SA and on the successful application for Competition Authority approval.  Hugh Owen, acting through Go2Law, advised FMO/DCP on matters of English law. Allen & Overy advised Allseeds on the deal.

Asters has advised VR Capital Group on its acquisition of 50% of shares in PVK Energy Investments from ICU, an independent asset management, private equity, and investment advisory firm specializing in the emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe. ICU was represented by Avellum.

Representatives of more than sixty law firms from across Central and Eastern Europe and from as far away as the United States, United Kingdom, and China came together in Prague on June 6, 2018, for the first ever Dealer’s Choice international law firm conference and CEE Deal of the Year Awards Banquet.

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Avellum at a Glance

AVELLUM is a leading Ukrainian full service law firm with a key focus on Finance, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Tax, and Antitrust.

Our aim is to be the firm of choice for large businesses and financial institutions in respect of their most important and challenging transactions.

We build lasting relationships with our clients and make them feel secure in new uncertain economic and legal realities.

We incorporate the most advanced Western legal techniques and practices into our work. By adding our first-hand knowledge, broad industry experience, and unparalleled level of service we deliver the best results to our clients in their business endeavours. Our partners are taking an active role in every transaction and ensure smooth teamwork.

AVELLUM is recognised as one of the leading law firms in Ukraine by various international and Ukrainian legal editions (Chambers, The Legal500, IFLR1000, The Ukrainian Law Firms, and others).

Firm's website: www.avellum.com