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We have recently started a research initiative dedicated to the quality assessment of the legal assistance in the area of criminal law in the Baltic and CIS region.

Based on the peer review process we will define the most competitive and experienced lawyers to be put in a special ICBA rating. The selected professionals and their clients will get immediate access to our contact database and support of ICBA in any matters regarding interjurisdictional collaboration with foreign colleagues.

If you are interested in our project and would like to increase your customer base and expand international business opportunities please fill in the attached form. We guarantee complete confidentiality and public non-disclosure.

If you require any further information regarding our study or ICBA and its activities, feel free to contact us.

Send the questionnaire to choice@icba.legal until the 6th of November 2019.

Questionnaire:

Contact Details

Name Job Title Email Telephone Number

Team information

Name Job Title Email, Telephone Number Landmark cases in 2018-2019

Select Practice Area

White collar crime /
Dispute resolution /
Private clients
Introduce with brief bullet points, highlighting the key points, clients and projects in 2018-2019; then expand on factors including what the practice is best known for, significant matters, innovative solutions and services you provide for clients, with substantive evidence.

ICBA supports the development of independent journalism in Eastern Europe (10.01.2020)

Within the framework of the recently announced study of the legal market in Eastern Europe with a particular focus on the criminal law and white-collar crime practices, ICBA has decided to examine the current state of and support independent court journalism in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

Professional, fair and accurate court reporting is a vital part of reforms undertaken in the judicial systems of post-Soviet countries. However, there are several factors that limit the prospects of independent court journalism both in the short- and long-run. First, many of the existing media outlets are severely understaffed with journalists possessing in-depth specialized knowledge of criminal law and the criminal justice system. Therefore, it is often the case that biased (unwillingly or not) coverage of courts influences the final outcome and manipulates the public opinion. Second, this issue is exacerbated by the fact that the state educational systems of these countries continue to pay little attention to the legal training of would-be journalists. Third, there is a significant lack of funding and development programmes for the existing news organizations specializing in court reporting and investigative journalism. As a consequence, the local legal community and civil society actors are relied upon in an attempt to at least partially solve these issues.

Based on the received applications as well as within the framework of the mentioned above study, we would like to highlight and recommend to our clients and partners the following projects in the area of court reporting and independent investigative journalism in the CIS and Baltic countries:

The results of ICBA Choice 2020 (30.01.2020)

Russia
As in all post-Soviet counties, Russian criminal process can be characterized by significant accusatory bias (low percentage of cases resulting in acquittals), courts ignoring the defense and high corruption risks in the work work of public sector lawyers.

International law firms have traditionally had the leading positions in the Russian legal services market since the collapse of the USSR. They usually operate in the segment of commercial practices with a focus on highly capitalized branches, such as, for instance, company law, land law and investment management. The niche of criminal law belongs mainly to the local law firms and individual lawyers.

The criminal law segment of the Russian legal services market has the following structure: white collar crimes, personal and property crimes, cases against the justice system, public security or the constitutional system.

Based on the results of the ICBA Choice survey, Henri Reznik (“Reznik, Gagarin and Partners” law firm) and Henrikh Padva (“Padva and Partners” law firm) are among the top-rated experts representing the local legal community.

As far as the rating of law firms is concerned, our experts highlight such large and well-known companies as “Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners” (which is also the largest law firm in Russia), “Barshchevsky & Partners” (the founder Mikhail Barshchevsky is now the plenipotentiary representative of the Government of the Russian Federation in the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation) [see also: http://archive.government.ru/eng/staff/struct/172/], “Koblev and Partners” and “KIAP” law firm.

A separate category of criminal cases is represented by political trials, where political activities of the defendant constitute the major issue. Lawyers Mark Feigin and Ilia Novikov are widely known in this field in Russia.

Ukraine
Ukrainian legal services market is precisely defined by deep links among such practices as criminal law, economic crimes (the so-called white-collar crime), private client practice and business protection services. The demand for the corresponding legal services in Ukraine is pretty much conditioned upon pressure on businesses and private individuals who own capital, exerted by the state fiscal and law enforcement authorities to replenish the country’s budget.

Nevertheless, constraints and difficulties associated with pressure on business in Ukraine contribute to the above-mentioned practice areas' development, providing employment to Ukrainian lawyers.

Even though white-collar crime has been formerly considered a predominantly niche practice for private lawyers, the continuously growing demand for these services from large businesses and wealthy individuals has contributed to the fact that it is now becoming a vital part in the portfolio of the largest law companies.

A complete Ukrainian political reset after the presidential election in 2019 resulted in a series of reforms in Criminal Matters, creating a promising of new more transparent and fair legal rules for Ukrainian business and its viable defense.

This year, Ukrainian forensic lawyers have indicated the most fundamental changes, namely, the start of the activities of the Supreme Anticorruption Court, the corruption whistle-blower law, criminal liability for illicit enrichment coming into effect and a full reassessment of the suitability for Ukrainian prosecutors.

In the meantime, the elections in Ukraine traditionally resulted in a series of high-profile public criminal proceedings related to persons holding positions designated as "senior positions" in the former government. Mostly, the fact of the start of such high-profile criminal proceedings in Ukraine can be heard in the course of press conferences and interviews of law enforcement officials, who stick “suspected” labels on a defendant in the case unless a relevant status of the latter in their statements, violating the presumption of innocence.

Thus, it is imperative for Ukrainian business representatives and former officials to have an experienced lawyer specializing in white-collar crime.

Leading Ukrainian lawyers specializing in white-collar crime industry according to the ICBA:

Yevhen Solodko, the partner of one of the “Sayenko Kharenko” biggest law firm in Ukraine. He joined the firm with his “Solodko & Partners” team, which was one of the leading white-collar crime boutique law firms in Ukraine, in 2019 as a result of the merging. Still, he is recognized as a Ukrainian leader in the field of criminal law and procedure. In a poll undertaken by the ICBA, his colleagues in the Ukrainian legal market call Mr. Solodko an “unquestioned opinion leader” among lawyers in the sphere of White-collar crime, as well as an attorney who “never afraid to take on even the most difficult cases with a negative political context.”

He defended the interests of famous politicians, businessmen and civil servants. Among them there are: Oleksandr Yefremov, the Party of Regions' leader, the largest political fraction in Europe, the People’s Deputy of Ukraine, the head of the Luhansk Regional Organization of the Party of Regions.

Oleksandr Lavrynovych, political expert and former Minister of Justice of Ukraine; Pavlo Grechkovskyi, member of the High Council of Justice of Ukraine; Denys Buhai, the co-founder of the VB Partners boutique law firm specializing in White-Collar Crime and Dispute Resolution. Mr. Buhai is also the current president of the Ukrainian Bar Association. He is an expert in the areas of White-collar crime, government relations and corporate law. He has considerable experience in conducting projects in the banking, among them there are: “Delta Bank Ukraine”, “Delta Bank Belarus”, “Khreshchatyk Bank”, “Commercial Bank Premium”, “Classic Bank”, “Terra Bank”, “Omega Bank”, “Expobank”.

Mr. Buhai also represents the interests of senior officials in anti-corruption bodies (National Anti-Corruption Bureau and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office). His colleagues also characterize Mr. Buhai as an expert on cross-border investigations, extradition and Interpol cases.

Oleksii Shevchuk, the co-managing partner of the “Barristers” Lawyers Association. Mr. Shevchuk became widely known in Ukraine as a criminal process specialist after his participation in the Korban’s case (famous Ukrainian businessman Hennadii Korban). Oleksii Shevchuk was appointed as a state lawyer from the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision, but he became one of the main defenders in the case.

The “Barristers” Lawyers Association is the result of a successful collaboration of professional lawyers specializing in White-collar crime from the biggest Ukrainian cities - Odesa, Kyiv, Kharkiv and Lviv. The “Barristers” attorneys are involved in sensitive political trials related to the criminal prosecution of top government officials and former politicians. The “Barristers” Lawyers Association´s portfolio includes lawsuits related to such clients as the former President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, incumbent mayor of Kyiv Vitalii Klitschko, politicians and businessmen Yaroslav Dubnevych, Oleksandr Onyshchenko and Boryslav Rosenblat. The “Barristers” LA has also managed to attract Ilia Novikov, one of the most respected Russian lawyers.