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CEE Legal Matters spoke with CMS Partners Alexander Rakosi, Horea Popescu, Philipp Mark, and Tetyana Dovgan about the impact the rise of ESG is having on the M&A landscape.

According to the CEE Legal Matters CEE By The Numbers report, between 2019 and 2021, Ukraine saw a large decrease in the number of ranked law firms and lawyers at ranked firms. While in 2019 the number of Ukrainian law firms ranked by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 was 95, in 2021 the same number decreased to 69. Similarly, the number of ranked-firm lawyers decreased from 1,579 in 2019 to 1,338 in 2021. The decreasing trend is particularly visible in comparison to other CEE countries.

In 2021 the renewable energy market in Ukraine has been in a crisis mode compared to the booming years of 2018 and 2019. Following the legislative changes in 2020, which decreased the feed-in tariff (FiT), the market for solar projects has been very low, except for small solar projects for households and solar projects implemented by industrial consumers to produce electricity for their own use. Primarily, such industrial consumers are aiming to reduce costs for electricity and improve their market position before the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism. Notwithstanding the weakening of the market for solar projects, we have observed a steady growth of wind projects. The 2020 FiT changes have decreased the wind tariff moderately and provided a cut-off day for wind projects under the FiT on December 31, 2022. This has boosted the construction of several large wind projects in 2021 and 2022. In 2022 we anticipate commissioning of almost 1 gigawatt of wind capacity, which is much higher than in 2021.

Relatively high inflation and lowering deposit interest rates became characteristic for Ukraine in recent years, thus heating investors’ demand for yields. Savings have been growing continuously, boosting the segments with a higher risk appetite and propelling the development of new investment opportunities. At the same time, the domestic financial sector is undercapitalized and has few financial instruments to offer. The market, therefore, attracts the attention of various non-resident providers of financial services – from the most diversified investment banking groups to single product enthusiasts, who are asked by Ukrainian corporations and high-net-worth individuals to offer a service or specifically target potential customers.

With the ambitious plan to create in Ukraine the most powerful IT hub in Central and Eastern Europe, the Government of Ukraine has established Diia City – a special legal framework for the IT industry, in summer 2021. Currently, the legal and organizational basis for the operation of Diia City is being developed and improved. It is expected that the project will be fully launched already in the first quarter of 2022.

This year marks the start of a new era for all Ukrainian taxpayers – both corporate and individuals. Ukraine lawmakers up to – and especially in – 2021 made unprecedented efforts to implement into local law and the network of double tax treaties major recommendations and principles which went far beyond the minimum base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) action plan Ukraine committed to in 2017.

In 2021, the President of Ukraine had signed two laws establishing a special legal and tax regime for the digital economy called Diia City. It has become effective from January 1, 2022, after the law shaping the taxation regime of Diia City has become effective.

On April 5, 2022, the Law of Ukraine “On Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and Other Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Improving Legislation for the Period of Martial Law” No. 2142-IX dated March 24, 2022 (“Law No. 2142”) came into force.​

2021 was indeed an active year for the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (AMCU). It seems that antitrust enforcement did not slow down during another pandemic year but even, in fact, accelerated. The agency closed a number of investigations, having imposed million-dollar fines on players from a variety of markets. Below you may find the top trends in Ukrainian antitrust enforcement. They are worth keeping an eye on, especially for companies having or planning a business presence in Ukraine.

On 07 March 2022 two vital laws regulating tax and reporting obligations during martial law in Ukraine became effective: 

The owner’s rights are guaranteed by the Constitution. However, a person can still be restricted or stripped of enjoying its title to the property if so provided by the statutory law passed by Verkhovna Rada. Mandatory transfer of property for the needs of defence or other public emergencies is called requisition and such transfer must be subject to prior and fair compensation, except “where extraordinary circumstances require otherwise”.

CEE Legal Matters readers will likely be familiar with Patricia Gannon as one of the founders of Karanovic & Partners. Since her withdrawal from the firm (reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2020), Gannon ran her own "holistic strategic advisory business" (as reported on October 12, 2020) and, recently, she announced she is working on a new social media app for lawyers – Platforum 9. We caught up with her to learn more about her new project.

On March 30, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine (the AMCU) adopted Recommendations on some issues related to submission and consideration of applications for permission for concerted actions, mergers of economic entities during martial law (Recommendations). 

From February 24, 2022, under martial law, the banking system operates in a special mode.

Ukraine Knowledge Partner

AVELLUM is a leading Ukrainian full service law firm with a key focus on Finance, Corporate, Dispute Resolution, Tax, and Antitrust.

Our aim is to be the firm of choice for large businesses and financial institutions in respect of their most important and challenging transactions.

We build lasting relationships with our clients and make them feel secure in new uncertain economic and legal realities.

We incorporate the most advanced Western legal techniques and practices into our work. By adding our first-hand knowledge, broad industry experience, and unparalleled level of service we deliver the best results to our clients in their business endeavours. Our partners are taking an active role in every transaction and ensure smooth teamwork.

AVELLUM is recognised as one of the leading law firms in Ukraine by various international and Ukrainian legal editions (Chambers, The Legal500, IFLR1000, The Ukrainian Law Firms, and others).

Firm's website: www.avellum.com

 

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