On October 24, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that Mellanox Technologies, a software developer headquartered in Israel, would be opening an R&D center in Kyiv. We reached out to Gideon Rosenberg, Deputy General Counsel & Vice President of Legal Affairs at Mellanox, for more information.
CEELM: According to Vasil Kisil & Partners, the firm's lawyers "provided advice on corporate issues of doing IT business in Ukraine.” What sorts of issues does that encompass?
G.R: As with any instance where we are investigating the entrance to a new market for us we received guidance from the law firm relating to various matters, including corporate structure, employment, compliance, and general advice on how to do business in Ukraine and other areas.
CEELM: Vasil Kisil & Partners provided “support for engaging Ukrainian personnel for the new R&D center.” Does that refer to employment law advice, or something else? What sort of support did the firm provide?
G.R: This was one of the key areas of advice we received from the firm and it covered the area of how best to engage Ukrainian work force (i.e. employees as compared to private entrepreneurs (in terms of tax considerations, Ukrainian work force expectations, and other matters), drafting of the appropriate templates, and an explanation of the various social and other benefits common in Ukraine so that we are assured of building a compliant and well-integrated culture.
CEELM: What sort of R&D projects will be conducted at the new center? Will that work necessitate additional outsources legal assistance, perhaps in the form of patent assistance or regulatory guidance? Has Vasil Kisil & Partners been retained going forward and on an ongoing basis as well, or will you look for external counsel on an ad hoc basis?
G.R: We anticipate continuing to develop the site to support our software development efforts and expect to further engage Vasil Kisil & Partners as our needs develop.
CEELM: What system do you usually apply at Mellanox to outsource legal work? Was the process in any way different regarding the R&D center in Kyiv?
G.R: As a general rule, we prefer to minimize our outsourced legal services; however when entering a new market, we always use the services of a local law firm. We used the same approach in Ukraine as we have in all new geographies.
CEELM: Why did you turn specifically to Vasil Kisil & Partners for advice?
G.R: We decided to engage Vasil Kisil & Partners based on a recommendation we received from one of our other legal service providers and after speaking with VKP and other firms in Ukraine decided that Vasil Kisil & Partners would be the best fit for us.