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Clifford Chance

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While we have had an office in Ukraine for over five years, we started working on Ukrainian projects shortly after the country became independent in 1991. Our local and international clients value the way we combine on the ground experience with the resources of our international network.

A top-tier international firm with Ukrainian know-how

We opened our Kyiv office in 2008 but have advised local, regional, and international clients in Ukraine since 1991. Our team includes Ukrainian and English qualified lawyers. This is an important factor in many international transactions as English law is widely used in cross-border transactions involving Ukraine.

We are the only UK magic circle firm in Ukraine and clients tell us that what they value most is the way we combine local market knowledge, technical excellence and international reach. One client’s summary is that we have “excellent client focus and responsiveness, and a good commercial approach linked with the pragmatism needed to operate successfully in Ukraine”.

Local knowledge and international reach

Our work is often multi-jurisdictional so we regularly collaberate with our European colleagues and with lawyers in key financial markets across our international network.

This means that our lawyers are used to complex deals, innovative ideas, and working in extended teams. And they have first-hand experience of the practicalities of the Ukrainian market. We use this combination of skills, experience and resources to advise clients in a wide range of areas.

We often work on the most significant and complex projects taking place in Ukraine. Recent examples include advising major international oil and gas companies in connection with the entry into production-sharing agreements with the State of Ukraine, where the total area of the subsoil blocks exceeds the area of Montenegro; Valinor Group on the 2013 sale of the Ukrainian part of the business, one of the largest agricultural companies in the CIS; and an oil and gas development joint venture between subsidiaries of Vitol and East One.

We have advised on Ukrainian government notes and bonds, includinga US$1 billion Eurobond placement in 2012, and the offering of US$568 million of guaranteed notes to finance infrastructure for the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.

Sophisticated restructuring, insolvency and financing

Many banks, financial institutions, and corporates have found that Ukraine’s legal regime for restructuring and insolvency is rather uncertain. We use our team’s experience and our firm-wide financial capability to help clients with high-profile transactions.

Recent highlights

Recent work includes advising:

  • Donetsksteel on a US$820 million debt restructuring in 2011, a two-year project that involved 30 Ukrainian and international financial institutions.

In addition, we have acted on most of the large financings in Ukraine including advising on the: 

  • US$2 billion financing of National Ukraine Joint-Stock Company Naftogaz 
  • US$600 million financing of major Ukrainian agricultural company, Ukrlandfarming 
  • US$48.8 million financing of Novoazovskiy wind farm
  • US$500 million financing of Ukrainian sunflower oil and grain producer Kernel
  • US$46 million financing of HPC Ukraina, one of the leading port and sea transport sectors operator 
  • US$250 million financing of Ukrtelecom.

Recent assignments

Examples of work include advising:

  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on US$70 million financing to Coal Energy S.A., a listed mining company in 2012 
  • VTB Capital as a lead manager in the US$1 billion Eurobond placement by the State of Ukraine. The proceeds of the loan were used to restructure Ukraine's obligation to VTB Capital with respect to an outstanding credit facility. The notes were issued for the period of two years, with the interest rate of 7.95 % and settlement in US dollars. Application has been made to the Irish Stock Exchange
  • the lead manager in placement of notes by the State Enterprise ‘Financing of Infrastructural Projects’ US$550 million guaranteed by the state of Ukraine in 2012. The notes were issued with the coupon of 9 % and are due in 2017
  • the committee of creditors on the US$820 million debt restructuring of Public Joint Stock Company Donetsksteel – Iron and Steel Works in 2012, Ukraine's largest producer of hard coking coal
  • Arawak Energy Ukraine, a member of Vitol Group, on establishing a strategic partnership with Geo-Alliance Oil-Gas Public Limited in 2012. The strategic partnership includes joint holding, management and investment in the further development of a number of oil and gas fields throughout Ukraine.

Directory listings and client comments

Directory listings

Chambers Europe: Ukraine, 2013

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance
  • Tier One in Restructuring/Insolvency
  • Tier Two in Capital Markets
  • Tier Two in Energy & Natural Resources
  • Tier Three in Corporate/M&A

IFLR 1000, 2013

  • Tier Two in Banking & Finance in Ukraine
  • Tier Three in Mergers & Acquisitions in the Czech Republic

The Legal 500: Ukraine, 2013

  • Tier One in Banking & Finance and Capital Markets
  • Tier Three in Corporate and M&A

Client comments

  • "The only magic circle firm in the market, Clifford Chance moves up the rankings on the back of excellent market feedback and high-profile instructions over the past year. The firm offers both English and local law expertise on the ground, and predominantly advises creditors. The practice has seen an impressive increase in instructions related to new loans, and remains highly active in restructuring."
    Chambers Europe: Ukraine, 2013- Banking & Finance 
  • "Since its inception in 2008, Clifford Chance's Kyiv office has become a key actor in restructuring, principally representing international creditors..." Sources say: "The firm is involved and visible in restructuring. The team is strong technically"."
    Chambers Europe:Ukraine, 2012- Restructuring/Insolvency 
  • "Clifford Chance LLC’s "attention to detail and delivery times are excellent, and advice is sensible". Jared Grubb is "very hands-on and always available", and Olexiy Soshenko is "one of the leading legal professionals in Ukraine"."
    Legal 500: Ukraine, 2013 - Banking, Finance and Capital Markets 
  • "Clifford Chance LLC has "a young and highly energised team of lawyers" including Nick Fletcher and Jared Grubb, "whose response times, creative solution-finding and industry knowledge are outstanding". Dmytro Fedoruk is "client-focused and hardworking"."
    Legal 500: Ukraine, 2013 - Corporate and M&A