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“The team was recently visible advising on a number of pharmaceutical cases. Sources agree that the team is “moving in the right direction” and are particularly impressed by its work in the pharmaceutical sector”.


No Place for Lawyers?


Source:  The Lawyer

The Ukraine crisis has raised questions over which rule of law to follow, but the flight of international investors is giving local firms an advantage

In April 2013, pro-Russian activists seized control of government build­ings in eastern Ukraine, sparking a revolution that tore the country apart.

One year later, eastern Ukraine is a war-torn no-man’s land and Crimea has taken on its own rule of law, leaving local businesses little choice but to adapt in order to sur­vive. With a revolution on their doorstep and a new government promising hard-hitting reforms, Ukraine’s law firms are contemplat­ing the potentially lasting repercus­sions to the legal market.

Ilyashev & Partners managing partner Mikhail Ilyashev says that decisions adopted in Ukraine are impossible to enforce in Crimea. “They are ignoring the decisions of the Supreme Court in Ukraine. Most things arc controlled by force. That is the reality of Ukraine,” he explains.

“We can’t combine these two re­gions [Crimea and eastern Ukraine] under one umbrella. They are now completely different. In Crimea you have the rule of law, though it’s not Ukranian law or international law but Russian law. It isn’t dangerous for a person to go there. But in Donetsk and Luhansk there is no law.”

Ilyashev refuses to send any of his lawyers to the front line. “There is no place for lawyers there,” he says. “Nobody is working there.”

Those businesses that do decide to maintain operations in Donetsk and Luhansk are facing a legal di­lemma.

Some firms have been ramping up their Russian ties to be able to improve their offering to clients and prepare for possible collabora­tions that require Russian law knowledge. A good example is Ilyashev & Partners, which has adopted a strategy that includes a new office opening in September 2014, with two lawyers from St Petersburg and Crimea.

“If all Ukrainian investment goes out, then our office will not have any future,” Ilyashev explains. “But on the other hand, the situation could stabilise and this office could be great.”

In the last year, the firm has grown from 25 to 33 lawyers and Ilyashev believes that next year it will grow by 10 to 15 people. “It’s only a question of how fast we’ll grow.”

Full version of the article in PDF The Lawyer 8 Dec

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