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CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang Ukraine

2017 Calendar Year in Review

5 February 2018

Celebrating 10 years in Ukraine

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang in Ukraine has had a fruitful year, working on a number of high-level mandates, and continuing to entrench itself as one of the leading law firms in the market. Some of our key highlights and recent updates are set out below.

Client matters

During 2017 we advised our clients on over 160 projects and matters in key sectors, a selection of some of those matters including the following:

  • Advised M.V.Cargo in respect of two parallel loans made available to it by the EBRD and the IFC in connection with the construction of a grain-terminal in the Port of Yuzhniy. Read more.
  • Advised EBRD on a €25 million equity investment in Żabka, one of Poland’s leading food retailers acquired by funds managed by CVC Capital Partners. Read more.
  • Advised Deutsche Bank and other creditors, including a group of US-based emerging markets hedge funds, on the restructuring of the bank debt of DTEK, the largest vertically integrated and privately-owned energy group in Ukraine. The total amount of restructured bank debt was $1.1bn, making it one of the largest restructurings to have taken place in the region. Read more.
  • Successfully assisted an international investor in winning a circa $800 million commercial dispute in an international commercial arbitration claim.
  • Represented a major global provider of in-flight high-speed internet connection services in bringing in the respective technology in Ukraine and rooting it into the applicable Ukrainian legislation.
  • Secured a crucial win in a complicated cross-border life insurance case, which lasted for almost seven years. Read more.
  • Successfully represented a global reinsurance company in a complicated cross-border arbitration arising out of a fraudulent reinsurance claim.


In May 2017, CMS Cameron McKenna LLP merged globally with Nabarro LLP and Olswang – the largest legal merger in UK history – creating a new London powerhouse and the 6th largest law firm globally by headcount. Globally, CMS now has over 1,000 partners and more than 4,500 lawyers in 74 offices across 42 countries.
The Kyiv office of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang has a full-service offering, with a total of 4 partners, and over 25 domestic and internationally qualified lawyers, who combine their understanding of the Ukrainian market with the requirements and expectations of global organizations and investors. Our energy, corporate/M&A, banking, dispute resolution, competition and property lawyers specialize in key sectors of the Ukrainian economy, including Energy, Agribusiness, and Technology. With the expertise and experience to deal with transactions and matters of all sizes, CMS handles local, national and multi-jurisdictional projects.

Our team key news

Daniel Bilak has been on secondment for the last year, working hard to promote investment into Ukraine as Director of UkraineInvest, and the Prime Minister’s chief investment advisor. Graham Conlon has been holding the reins in Daniel’s absence as Acting Managing Partner. Given Daniel’s success, he has been asked by the Ukrainian government to continue in that role, and hence will formally retire from the CMS partnership with effect from 31st December of this year. Graham Conlon will take his place as Managing Partner as of 1 January 2018. CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang wishes Daniel the very best of luck in his important role and expresses its sincere gratitude for all that he has done for the firm over the years.

Having initially trained at Linklaters in London, Graham Conlon joined our Kyiv office in 2011. In addition to being the only English-qualified and trained M&A lawyer (at partner level) in Ukraine, Graham holds a Masters in Finance from the London Business School (with a principal focus on corporate finance and M&A/private equity) and clients have remarked that this translates into getting deals done in a "very pragmatic" and "commercial" manner. 

Graham has a regional role and advises on private equity and M&A transactions throughout Europe, and beyond, and significant transactions on which he has advised in recent years includes the $100 million joint venture with Cargill (for the construction of a new grain terminal in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Yuzhni), the sale by Horizon Capital of Ciklum to George Soros’s Ukrainian Redevelopment Fund LP., and Advent International on the sale of ISIDA (Ukraine), as well as on the acquisition and subsequent €315 million sale of Partner in Pet Food (a transaction involving over 100 lawyers in 7 countries).

We are also happy to announce the arrival of Viktoriia Stavchuk to our Tax team. Viktoriia has extensive experience advising large Ukrainian and international companies on domestic and international tax issues. Her work includes assisting clients with direct and indirect tax planning, tax structuring and compliance, as well as transfer pricing matters and customs regulations. Viktoriia actively supports clients in tax disputes before the tax authorities and courts.

The following lawyers have also been promoted this year: Volodymyr Kolvakh to senior associate in Energy & Projects; Oleksandr Frolov to Associate in Disputes; Vladyslav Kurylko to Associate in Commercial, Regulatory and Disputes. Khrystyna Korpan and Igor Pavliukov joined our Banking and Finance and Real Estate practices as junior lawyers this year.

Further investment in Ukraine

Commencing as from February 2018, we shall also be carrying out a major refurbishment of our office and IT infrastructure, bringing us into line with our super modern award-winning London office.


This year, apart from top rankings in various directories our lawyers and their work have been recognised in the M&A League Tables, the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards and won the prestigious Private Equity Legal Advisor of the Year title at the MergerMarket European M&A Awards in London.

list of people working in Ukraine

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Delivered an IT/technology module for Lviv Business School as a part of its MBA programme. This course navigated participants through some key legal issues which are essential to the effective running of IT/Technology business in Ukraine.
  • Supported the Philip C. Jessup summer school, helping to grow, train and develop aspiring young lawyers.
  • Supported the Summer Camp for orphaned children and children suffered from the ATO, organised by International Charity Fund ‘Nove Pokolinnya’.
  • Submitted a relay-team to the Kyiv Wizz Air 2017 marathon, with each of Graham Conlon, Olga Stetsenko, Sergiy Timofeev and Oleksandr Frolov running on a cold and rainy day under CMS’s inspirational coach Vyacheslav Ovechkin.

Other initiatives

  • Launched a series of practical workshops (with guest speakers) for HR specialists as part of our CMS HR Academy. Read more.
  • Launched the Empowered Women Project, an initiative aimed at top-level woman executives intended to act as a forum for sharing career development experiences through top-quality events, all as part of CMS’s wider Diversity & Inclusion program. Read more.

If you would like to participate in future such events, then please contact [email protected].

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Graham Conlon
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Vitaliy Radchenko
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