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According to the CEE Legal Matters CEE By The Numbers report, between 2019 and 2021, Ukraine saw a large decrease in the number of ranked law firms and lawyers at ranked firms. While in 2019 the number of Ukrainian law firms ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 was 95, in 2021 the same number decreased to 69. Similarly, the number of ranked-firm lawyers decreased from 1,579 in 2019 to 1,338 in 2021. The decreasing trend is particularly visible in comparison to other CEE countries.

Relatively high inflation and lowering deposit interest rates became characteristic for Ukraine in recent years, thus heating investors’ demand for yields. Savings have been growing continuously, boosting the segments with a higher risk appetite and propelling the development of new investment opportunities. At the same time, the domestic financial sector is undercapitalized and has few financial instruments to offer. The market, therefore, attracts the attention of various non-resident providers of financial services – from the most diversified investment banking groups to single product enthusiasts, who are asked by Ukrainian corporations and high-net-worth individuals to offer a service or specifically target potential customers.

On April 5, 2022, the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and Other Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Improving Legislation for the Period of Martial Law” No. 2142-IX dated March 24, 2022 (“Law No. 2142”) came into force.​

On 07 March 2022 two vital laws regulating tax and reporting obligations during martial law in Ukraine became effective: 

The owner’s rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. However, a person can still be restricted or stripped of enjoying its title to the property if so provided by the statutory law passed by Verkhovna Rada. Mandatory transfer of property for the needs of defence or other public emergencies is called requisition and such transfer must be subject to prior and fair compensation, except “where extraordinary circumstances require otherwise”.

On March 30, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the AMCU) adopted Recommendations on some issues related to submission and consideration of applications for permission for concerted actions, mergers of economic entities during martial law (Recommendations). 

From February 24, 2022, under martial law, the banking system operates in a special mode.

On 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation launched a military aggression against Ukraine. This became the basis for the imposition of the martial law in Ukraine from 24 February 2022, with further extension until 26 April 2022.

Two laws of 15 July 2021 on amending transitional provisions of the Tax Code and the Customs Code of Ukraine "to promote the development of ecological transport in Ukraine" (Nos. 1660-ix, 1661-ix) will introduce some tax and customs facilitations with effect from 1 January 2022.

Like the rest of the world, the Ukrainian M&A market was dramatically hit by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Indeed, the number of M&A deals decreased in 2020, for the first time since 2014. However, the fourth quarter of 2020 saw a positive surge in the number of M&A deals, and although most of those deals started before the pandemic, the fact that they still happened sent a clear signal: investors are ready to buy in the new reality.

The Ukrainian legal services market has been buzzing with work in the first half of 2021. CEE Legal Matters hosted a round table conversation in which Partners at Asters, Avellum, Integrites, Kinstellar, and Sayenko Kharenko discussed the driving forces behind the workload and their outlook for the months to come.

CMS' Malgorzata Surdek-Janicka has been appointed as Vice-President of the International Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Aside from Surdek-Janicka, 33 lawyers from CEE were appointed as members and alternate members of the court.

The Government of Ukraine has recently implemented additional measures to prevent and counteract the legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Thus, Ukraine made one more step towards implementing 4th Money Laundering EU Directive.

11 June 2021 saw the published form of disclosing the legal entity’s ownership structure approved by Order 163 of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine dated 19.03.2021 (hereinafter – the Order) pursuant to Law of Ukraine No. 361-ІХ “On Prevention and Counteraction to Legalization (Laundering) of Proceeds of Crime or Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” dated 06.12.2019. New requirements to the disclosure of the legal entity's ownership structure will apply from 11 July 2021. All legal entities incorporated in Ukraine must submit their ownership structures to the state registrar till 11 October 2021 in compliance with new requirements.

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Integrites at a Glance

INTEGRITES is a full-service law firm with the head office in Ukraine, office in Kazakhstan, and representative offices in Germany and the UK.

We provide legal services to companies seeking comprehensive advice on large deals and major disputes, as well as day-to-day operation. INTEGRITES is highly recommended for its cross-border work (whether sophisticated transactions or complex dispute resolution) and for the projects in energy, in particular, renewable.

Our mission is to help companies concentrate on development of their business while we take care of the legal issues. With profound industry-focused expertise, we deliver legal solutions that add value to the business of our clients and help them successfully handle legal challenges.

In 15 years INTEGRITES has served more than 1000 clients from around the globe, including Fortune 500 companies and international financial institutions. Clients in our portfolio are recognized leaders in various industries: from manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, and retail to agriculture, logistics, and renewables. Currently 80% of the companies we serve are international.

INTEGRITES has been consistently recognized by the leading international legal directories and rankings: Chambers Global/Europe, The Legal 500 EMEA, Who’s Who Legal, IFLR 1000, Best Lawyers, FT Innovative Lawyers.

All News about, and Legal Analysis by, Integrites can be found here.

Firm's website: www.integrites.com