IT & Communications / Media & Entertainment
IT practice of CMS Cameron McKenna counts among the client portfolio in both domestic and international outfits. The areas of expertise often include corporate, M&A, employment, due diligence, tax and IP matters. The team maintains the prominent position in the field and includes Olexander Martinenko, Olga Belyakova, Ruslan Ostapenko (corporate), Andriy Buzhor (tax), Nataliya Kushniruk (real estate) and Nataliya Nakonechna (competition). Senior partner Olexander Martinenko receives strong market feedback for his universal experience.
Sayenko Kharenko keeps abreast of issues in the fast-growing IT and communication market. The firm advises the largest IT outsourcing and product companies on various regulatory issues, tax structuring and tax incentives for IT industry, sophisticated commercial agreements including licensing agreements and agreements with publishers. Other highlights of the team in 2013 included advising joint bookrunning managers on the IPO by Luxoft, a leading CEE IT service provider. The international arbitration team, headed by Tatyana Slipachuk, successfully acted for a leading Ukrainian telecommunications company in several UNCITRAL arbitrations vs. subsidiaries of one of the leading Asian telecom vendors as well as in SCC arbitration in a multi-contract trade finance dispute. The IP team represented an international gaming industry player on fighting copyright and trademark infringement; acted for a major Ukrainian developer and publisher of mobile games on the transfer of IP rights during a proposed sale to a US company. The firm is active on the media front and assisted sector clients with competition law implications, in particular, related to merger clearance in Ukraine for the acquisition of Emarket Ukraine. The firm also advised a consumer intelligence network for artists on setting up and structuring of the First Fund of Rock — the first ever segregated portfolio company dedicated to investing into the development of new and established artists. Nazar Chernyavsky is widely referred to as one of the most active practitioners in the IT field.
Asters, the full-service Ukrainian heavyweight,has a long lasting experience of counseling telecoms and IT corporations, as well as entertainment companies. Clients range from domestic to international players, seeking advice on corporate, contract, labor, investments, IP, due diligence, finance, broadcasting, data protection, export and import control, tax matters. The recent projects required the expertise of partners Oleksandr Padalka1, Vadym Samoilenko and Oleksiy Didkovskiy. In 2013 the firm rendered advice to VimpelCom Holdings B.V., a leading international telecommunication company and parent of Ukrainian mobile telecom operator Kyivstar, on USD 2 billion Eurobond financing. Some other assignments covered advising a software company on various aspects of IP law in connection with preparation of a software development contracts with foreign and local services providers; supporting promotional verification serviceon legal aspects of conducting on-line promo contests in Ukraine.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners (EPA&P) enjoys crossover with the IP practice, impressive client roster and long term presence on the market. The recent mandates included advising Cisco Systems Inc. on software distribution model; Microsoft on Xbox distribution model; Adamed on data protection issues. Alongside IT, the firm has also been busy advising Viacom on various matters related to enforcement of rights deriving from entertainment programs. Taras Kyslyy leads the technology, media, telecommunications (TMT) practice at EPA&P Ukraine.
Juscutum Attorneys Association, is a visible player on the Ukrainian IT market. The team serves a mixture of local and international clients, like Ciklum, ISM Ukraine, Smile, EX.UA, Jelastic, Onyx, Camo-IT, HERE, Ingate, INLINE GROUP, Innovecs, IT Group 5, System Integration, ArtSoft. In 2013 the team of 6 lawyers performed around 70 various engagements in the IT sphere. The team handled a variety of matters in areas including corporate restructuring, contractual work, obtaining WiFi licenses and specific permits, sale of software, tax and legal consulting. Recently the firm acted on the sale of a media platform and supporting development services to one of the biggest media groups. In February 2013 Dmytro Gadomsky (previously employed as a counsel of Arzinger) joined the team as a partner and headed the IT & media practice, while Mikhail Pergamenshik strengthened the team as a senior associate. Artem Afian, managing partner, received peers references as a vivid market figure.
Vasil Kisil & Partners is known for substantial contentious and non-contentious workload across IT, media and telecoms. The full-service law firm is able to lead a wide range of mandates. The competition team guided by partner Mariya Nizhnik represented Syniverse and MACH in the course of acquisition of MACH by Syniverse. The IP team headed by partners Oleksiy Filatov and Oleksandr Mamunya accomplished a representation of Mobile TeleSystems OJSC, the biggest mobile telecom company in CIS, in a complex litigation matter defending against a claim for cancellation of a number of the client’s key trademarks; represented Google Inc. in two cases regarding termination of unauthorized use of its trademarks in domain names and in content of respective web-sites. The firm continues to be the top legal counsel for leading media and entertainment groups. The dispute resolution team of reputed Oleksiy Filatov, known for long standing representations of sectoral clients, is very active in pre-arbitration and arbitration matters. Ukrainian Media Holding instructed the team led by Anna Babych and Oleksiy Filatovto represent its interest in establishing of a joint venture in media and IT business TRK Ukraine (SCM Group) and advised the holding on its sale of the controlling stake to VETEK Group.*
* In July 2014 Oleksiy Filatov has been appointed deputy head of the Administration of the President of Ukraine.
In August 2014 five partners – Denis Lysenko, Mariya Nizhnik, Anna Babych, Oleksandr Mamunya and Yulia Kyrpa left Vasil Kisil & Partners and established Aequo law firm.
Jurimex Law Firm is a resident in TMT regularly picking up copyright, licensing, litigation work. Yuriy Krainiak, managing partner, represented TVi Channel in a court dispute regarding the distribution of frequencies for digital terrestrial television. IQ Production instructed the firm to draft a contractual base in the production of TV programs and broadcasting on major Ukrainian and Russian TV channels. Oksana Efimchuk, senior associate, advises on relevant issues.
Konnov & Sozanovsky continues to enjoy tremendous market recognition across TMT area. The firm benefits from its fertile crossover with strong IP expertise. Recently the firm consulted Microsoft on issues of use of copyright objects and transfer of rights on them as well as issues of licensing. For many years the team holds positions in the television sphere. IP practice head Julia Semeniy is a prominent name who also comes recommended by respondents. She guided projects on legal support of Film.ua, one of the leading national media companies, namely executing agreement work as to film and TV production and consulting on issues of IP and licensing.**
** In May 2014 Julia Semeniy joined Asters as a partner.
The full service coverage of AstapovLawyers international law group enabled enjoyment of corporate/M&A, taxation, litigation, antimonopoly, regulatory and commercial mandates. Under the guidance of partner Oleh Malskyy the team of 10 professionals increased the practice with an impressive array of Ukrainian and international companies as Vodafone, Huawei, MultiNet, Le Boutique, Dobovo.com, Airbnb, Earthport, MoneXy, JUMP Ukraine, UNICALL, Client Zet Ukraina and others. Notable projects include consulting NVision and Sitronics IT on M&A; representing Sony Electronics in a tax dispute. Owing to its presence in Russia, the team represents Canon in a litigation in the Russian Federation. Renowned IP partner Natalia Meshcheriakova advised Kommersant Daily, a leading business publication in the CIS.
DLA Piper provides legal support on technology, e-commerce, domain names, data protection, and outsourcing issues, in particular for software development, global media clients in the acquisition of businesses in Ukraine. In 2013 the Kiev team advised a number of international IT and software development companies on outsourcing of IT services from Ukraine. This team also constantly advises a number of IT giants ad hoc on their arising IT issues regarding their client services activities in Ukraine. Recently the office advised an American media company on protection of trademark and copyright in Ukraine and supported one of its global media clients in the acquisition of businesses in Ukraine. Natalia Pakhomovska, partner, as well as Natalia Kirichenko, senior associate, are the prime practitioners.
In December 2013 Danevych Law Firm merged with Ulysses to become Marchenko Danevych. Key types of transactions in the IT and communications sphere directed by the specialists of the firms in 2013 were copyright and related rights, trademarks, data protection, data exclusivity and inventions. Vadym Shestakov, senior associate, was afforded as a practice head. In 2013 the firm’s advice was sought by Innoware, Itera Consulting, Propeople and other major players. For instance, Itera Consulting was provided with acomplex of tasks advising on opening and functioning of an affiliated company in Ukraine.
In 2013 Integrites demonstrated considerable enhancement of its capacities in TMT. The recent highlights include advising Nikon Europe B.V., one of the world’s leading optical manufacturers, on compliance of terms and conditions of its application for Facebook with local laws; advising Infinservice, a media resource, on various legal issues arising in its day-to-day operations. Cisco Ukraine, OCS Distribution, Games Workshop Plc are on the firm’s clients list. Yevgen Blok, senior associate, rendered legal support and has been overseen by Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko, partner. Vyacheslav Korchev, senior partner, and Denys Kytsenko, counsel, represented Iryna Bilyk, one of the most famous Ukrainian singers, in the state-enforcement bodies against one of the largest Ukrainian television companies TV channel Studio “1+1” with regard to violation of personal privacy.
For many years Varlamov & Partners has provided legal support to motion picture and TV production, legal support of publishing activity, mass media and commercial activity of show business, legal services in advertising. Maxim Varlamov, managing partner, is a known name on the market.
Transactional and contentious matters, IP and regulatory constituted multidisciplinary expertise of Baker & McKenzie. The top-tier Kiev IP team as led by partner Ruslan Drobyazko, regularly advisesinternational clients. Partner Viacheslav Yakymchuk, head of corporate and M&A, advised on the sale of 5.995% of shares in a Netherlands-based telecom company VimpelCom Ltd to a Russian telecom company Altimo by EastOne Group.
The full-service law firm Arzinger centered its recent performance to IT field. The firm advised on establishment of an IT-lab in Ukraine and business model development. Pavlo Khodakovsky and Markian Malskyy are the lead partners.
VB PARTNERS entered media sector with supporting landmark deals of the past year as well as handling regulatory instructions. The team was taken on to complete subsequent assignments of the Ukrainian business group, in particular, change of licensee of Forbes and licensee of Condé Nast and Vogue in connection with change of owner of media holding UMH Group. Denys Bugay and Aleksandr Lukyanenko are the core practitioners.
International Legal Center EUCON actively extended its dispute resolution credentials. Tatiana Samsina, senior partner, managed the representation of Golden Telecom, in courts regarding acknowledgement as illegal and disaffirmation of resolution of National Commission for the State Regulation of Communications and Informatization on prolongation of license; and represented Kyivstar in courts regarding acknowledgement as illegal and disaffirmation of prescription on imposition of a fine for breaking the law on urban planning. Maria Lipina and Aleksandr Melnyk represented interests of clients in courts.
Established in 2013 Vox Legum law firm advised Ukrainian IT companies on IP matters regarding IT inventions projects and on the launch of an IT project covering surveillance systems. Mykhailo Spasov, managing partner, handled the mandates of Ukrainian Figure Skating Federation in connection with organization of international figure skating tournament Ukrainian Open 2013.
ILF, Ukrainian law firm with office in Kiev andKharkov, broadened its IT expertise over the past year. The firm recently provided legal support to Technique Partners Ukraine LLC on development of software for administration of copyrights and allied rights to classical music pieces; Mir Znakomstv LLC in software development for social networks and mobile phone OSs. Moreover, ILF derived a unique experience advising EchoStar on an agreement on scientific research in quantum physics, i.e. new data transferring technologies. Anton Zinchuk and Artem Naumov acted as key practitioners in this field. Ivanna Pogrebniak, associate partner, received peers plaudits for tax expertise in the IT sector.
Gramatskiy & Partners is active in many areas of TMT, and arranged legal support of delivery and installation of media equipment of Media-Trade Ukraine for the judicial system. In terms of IT projects, the firm handled due diligence of Ukrainian companies, transfer of information technologies abroad and acquisition of rights on software, elaborated by Ukrainian developers. The team entered the entertainment sphere with the representation of interests of the winner of the Golos Krainy singing contest in concluding a producer contract. Ernest Gramatskiy and Mykola Dovgusha arethe main practitioners of this team.
The IP boutique Doubinsky & Osharova is well-regarded for its IP capabilities. In 2013 partner Yaroslav Ognevyuk defended the rights of Hachette Filipacchi Presse regarding invalidation of a Ukrainian trademark certificate.
КМ Partners is experienced in handling comprehensive support of M&A in the IT sector. The firm enjoys its customarily strong tax positions and includes well-known partners Alexander Minin, Maxim Oleksiyuk and Alexander Shemiatkin.
The Law Offices of OMP provided complex support to Teleperformance, a worldwide leader in multichannel customer experience, in Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus for start-up of new projects in these countries. Simcorp Ukraine and Infopulse are also among the clients of the firm.
Olena Vardamatska handles TMT instructions of Wolf Theiss office in Ukraine. Recently the team acted as legal adviser to the IT company on launching a software development business in Ukraine and advised Monster Beverage Corporation on an advertising campaign in Ukraine. Its clients include the SITA Information Networking Computing USA Inc., Invensys, TDE Group.
Well versed in healthcare and pharmaceuticals areas, Legal Alliance Company granted legal support to two of its clients, FreeHost and Boehringer Ingelheim, in conclusion of a sub-license agreement granting rights to use the software and information system. Andriy Gorbatenko, associated partner, is the main contact.
Kharkov-based Kibenko, Onika & Partners acts on transactional and contentious matters. The firm has been attracted as the legal advisor for the preparation of complex transaction, concerning the transfer of unique technology that can be applied in telecommunications, railways, defense, etc. The dispute team represented the interests of Kronverk Cinema in the Higher Administrative Court of Ukraine in a tax dispute and handled representation of a major media holding in the economic dispute with the Kiev Metro. Olena Kibenko, managing partner, is a team leader.
Lviv-based Soldatenko, Lukashyk & Partners is seen in the entertainment sector. Last year the firm supported the vocal group Mirami in concluding a contract with Universal Music Polska. Andrii Soldatenko is the primary contact.
In 2013 the Odessa-based Lexcellence Law Firm expanded the range of its services in the new for this firm practice area. The team is a legal advisor of CPA UA, one of the companies working according to model of advertising with payment for action Cost-Per-Action.Associate Victoria Konograi is the primary contact.
The strong litigation expertise of Pavlenko & Poberezhnyuk Law Group afforded the firm permanently to deep its presence in the telecoms industry. KPMG Ukraine provided comprehensive tax advisory support to a multinational internet service provider on its activities in Ukraine. Patent Law Agency Synergy was mentioned by market participants as an active law counsel on the IT market. The litigation oriented LCF Law Group acted as legal adviser of LIRA Soft on the files of exemption of IT companies from tax payment on operations of delivery of software on basis of new tax rules. The Kiev office of Peterka & Partners advised ICZ a.s., a significant Czech supplier of integrated software and network solutions operating in the Central European region, on corporate, employment and tax issues. Dmytro Kukhnyuk, Melnyk, Kukhnyuk & Partners, is known for his many years in-house work in the telecom industry. Borys Baturinets, Baturinets & Partners has been mentioned for innovative solutions for legal work.
1 In early March 2014 Oleksandr Padalka left Asters and joined Sayenko Kharenko.