Ukrainian litigation environment becomes more demanding due to time limits and growing competition

In the Ukraine the major commercial arbitration institutions are the International Commercial Arbitration Court and the Maritime Arbitration Commission both at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI). In fact the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the UCCI of Ukraine enjoys monopoly as the arbitration forum deciding upon the disputes between the residents and non-residents.

There are also a significant number of courts of arbitration (non-state independent body for settlement of civil and commercial disputes). Such courts may permanently function with stock exchanges, associations of entrepreneurs, non-government organisations etc.

According to the Law of Ukraine “On judicial system and status of judges” as of 7th June 2010 the Supreme Court of Ukraine lost its powers to decide cases as court of cassation, explained Irina Nazarova, Managing Partner of EnGarde Attorneys at Law. “Respective changes were introduced to procedural codes of Ukraine. The Supreme Court now only revises cases if courts of cassation applied differently the same provisions of law or if an international court recognised by Ukraine decided that a violation of international commitments of Ukraine took place during the proceedings.”

The lack of trust to arbitration in Ukraine influences among other things the limitations to the arbitrable disputes; e. g., the Parliament of Ukraine made corporate disputes non-arbitrable in March 2009 by introducing changes to Article 12 of the Commercial Procedural Code of Ukraine. This issue, as well as obtaining of anti-suit injunctions, concealment of assets by a respondent diminishes the trust to arbitration and judicial system in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the international commercial arbitration becomes more common for Ukrainian businesses as it is highly promoted by the local legal community.

As Ukraine is a politically volatile country it is extremely difficult to make predictions based on the litigation environment, explained Ms Nazarova. “But as a general trend, the Ukrainian litigation environment becomes more demanding for attorneys due to recent shortening of the time-limits for appeal and growing competition. Thus, it is reasonable to deal with attorneys that have already proven their qualifications and ENGARDE is one such firm.”

ENGARDE’s main focus is litigation, arbitration and business law. Their attorneys possess in-depth local knowledge and are experienced in overriding the bureaucracy of the Ukrainian judicial system. ENGARDE’s attorneys act as counsels before arbitral institutions in Ukraine and overseas. Ms Nazarova also acts as an arbitrator of choice for disputes at international level. ”

Besides litigation, we specialise in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, real estate and development, intellectual property, international trade law and investments, insolvency and restructuring, competition and antitrust, banking and finance. Among our recent and successful projects are the takeover of British oil and gas company – Regal Petroleum Plc at AIM of the London Stock Exchange and the private acquisition of the Amstor retail chain (Ukraine) with the estimated value of assets in the amount of US$500 million,” said Ms Nazarova.