“It’s not that laws don’t exist – it’s the faith in the law, courts, and lawyers that is missing,” says Zoryana Sozanska-Matviychuk, Partner at Redcliffe Partners in Kiev. “What I hope we see from the new government is not any particular legislation; it is much better implementation. This will hopefully lead to more trust in the country’s legal system as a whole.”
As the country entered the 21st century, Ukraine’s Soviet-era judicial system was widely condemned as corrupt, incompetent, and inefficient. Committed to rectifying the situation, in 2015 the Ukrainian government introduced plans to reform the entire system. That transformation, which was the focus of an August 2017 CEE Legal Matters Round Table, continues today. We reached out to several of the Ukrainian dispute resolution specialists we spoke to several years ago for an update.
Ukraine continues to bring its legislation in line with EU legislation, fulfilling its obligations under the Association Agreement between the EU and Ukraine. One of the ways to improve the laws of Ukraine is to establish a relationship between the consumers, producers, and sellers of goods – especially of non-industrial use goods.
Halfway through 2019 Ukraine has already seen major changes in its energy sector’s legal framework, including the effect of the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine involving the legal status and decision-making authority of the Ukrainian energy market regulator (the “Regulator”). The shockwaves are likely to go far beyond 2019.
Cross-border commercial disputes often raise a number of issues concerning the treatment of foreign litigants in domestic proceedings. A complete overhaul of Ukraine’s procedural rules back in 2017 included a number of specific rules for foreign litigants that they must consider, especially when they have no local presence or assets in Ukraine.
In February 2019 CEE Legal Matters reported that Integrites and K&L Gates had advised Norwegian utility-scale wind power developer NBT and Paris-based renewable energy independent power producer Total Eren on their entrance into a framework agreement with a syndicate of foreign lenders, including the EBRD and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, for the construction of the Syvash wind farm – one of the largest in Europe. Redcliffe Partners and Clifford Chance advised the lenders and J.P. Morgan Securities Plc as debt coordinator.