Date of publication: 21 January 2019
Olena Omelchenko, Partner, Head of International Trade Practice
Source: Yurydychna Gazeta
Recently, the number of partners of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm has increased. Olena Omelchenko, the Lawyer, PhD in Law, the Head of International Trade Practice, became a new partner. This is the first increase in the number of partners of Ilyashev & Partners Law Firm since 2006. Mrs Omelchenko told about the appointment and plans in more detail in her interview to Yurydychna Gazetа.
– Olena, have you pursued the goal of becoming a partner when you joined the company in 2014?
– I have long believed that it does not matter what position you are holding; what really matters is what exactly you can do and how you influence the processes. From my first day in this company I had an opportunity to influence the processes, and I have also received an overwhelming support from the firm and partners.
The composition of partners at our company remained unchanged for a decade. Nonetheless, I was confident that I would eventually become a partner. However, I did not expect it to happen so fast.
Within a short period of time we formed a strong professional team, run many interesting projects in Ukraine and abroad, managed to become market leaders in the international trade practice in Ukraine, and were included to the international rating Who’s Who Legal.
– Is the path to becoming a partner difficult and challenging?
– One of my friends (a managing partner of another law firm) once said: “Olena, you have a ‘boutique’ direction. If you develop it as a personal small business within this firm, you will succeed, and your business value will significantly increase”. He was right.
Having joining the firm, I realized that I have complete freedom in decision making and unlimited opportunities for the professional development. As compared with the civil service, – no restrictions, no editing, and no warnings that all decisions should be taken by the management, but the responsibility should be borne together. You make your own decisions, put them into practice and take personal responsibility for your actions. The ingenious is simple.
There is no point in regularly changing the law firms to find the best one. Just concentrate on your goal in one place. You need to perceive the firm you work at as a part of your own business. And the dream will probably come true.
– Olena, what is partnership for you – the goal or the instrument?
– Undoubtedly, the partnership is a huge motivation for professional growth, this is a certain recognition, new opportunities, new functions and strong support from the firm.
First of all, being a partner is an opportunity to build my own business by taking over the priceless 20-year experience from my partners. I’m a team player, so getting a professional team I feel myself comfortable to work with is a great piece of luck.
– In your opinion, how will your professional life change (schedule, work with clients)?
– I have never treated my work as the hired employees do; my work is a part of my life. That is why my professional life will remain my daily routine (like sports and family affairs). However, with one difference: from now on I will devote more time to advancing legal services of the firm in general, not just those of international trade practice.
– What are your goals for 2019?
– Last year, several law firms in Ukraine claimed to launch similar practices, which means that the competition is increasing. However, due to the economic downturn and the lack of industry development in Ukraine, the market for trade protection services is significantly narrowing. This means that we have to move twice or even thrice faster.
We have recently expanded our international trade practice with new fields, – sanctions and export control. This year we plan to expand the customs regulation practice. In addition, we seek to strengthen our cooperation with international companies, expand the list of partners by international law firms, and devote time to raise the awareness on the possibilities of business protection in the middle of sanctions and trade wars.