UBA held XV Annual Legal Forum


KYIV - March 22, 2019. For the fifteenth year in a row, the Ukrainian Bar Association holds the Annual Legal Forum "Development of the Legal Services Market in Ukraine" - the largest and most authoritative event on the market.

This event offers valuable and up-to-date information on the development of the legal market of the country and serves as an excellent platform for establishing useful business contacts.

The forum gathered management and partners of law firms - from young companies to renowned market leaders, successful lawyers and practitioners, business development directors - everyone interested in the development of the Ukrainian legal market.

Andriy Stelmashchuk, the UBA President, greeted the participants and stressed on the key topics of this Forum  - Ukraine's role on the global legal market, mergers of law firms, advocacy, and, in general, the future of the legal profession. He cordially thanked general partner of the event Alekseev, Boyarchukov & Partners, partners of the event - Baker McKenzie, LCF and MORIS GROUP.

In the Keynote speech format, Oleksandr Khvoshchinsky, a senior expert at the LS Institute, Centre for the Study of Professional Legal Services and Advanced Legal Studies, managing partner at Legal Stratagency, reflected upon the future of the legal profession. The speaker also raised the important question whether Ukraine keeps pace with world legal services market and shared with the participants the secrets of survival in the face of fierce competition in the legal market.

"You should understand that even if you work within the national market, you at any time may receive a request, which will require from you the knowledge of trends of today's global legal market", - said Mr. Khvoshchinsky.

The first session was held in the Q&A format and was devoted to the topic of mergers on the legal market, under the moderation of Andriy Stelmashchuk.

Sergiy Boyarchukov, managing partner at "Alekseev, Boyarchukov & Partners" explained why they drifted apart with Trusted Advisors after a short time of being one law firm: "I keep saying that the idea of ​​my team is to create a strong team-work, because we all know the proverb: "One in the field but without shield". As for our merger, it is worth noting that our two companies were two different worlds. With Trusted Advisors, we have different approaches, different values. The lesson I made for myself: I am quite old, and they are young, so our different worldviews did not match. Although I emphasize that sometimes these different views, on the contrary, help, because people complement each other. Unfortunately, this did not happen in our case."

"Personally, we did not follow the trends. We just wanted to grow up and for several years went to this goal. Indeed, Asters passed through a number of such associations, but each had its own history and context. One thing I can say for sure is a priceless experience!"- Markian Klyuchkovsky, Partner at Asters, remarked.

Igor Svechkar, partner of Asters, Aminat Suleymanova, co-managing partner of AVELLUM, and Gleb Bondar, senior partner of AVELLUM, also shared their views on this topic.

Moderated by Volodymyr Sayenko, partner of Sayenko Kharenko, the second panel of the event was held. Its key theme was the ethics and anti-aesthetics of legal business.

Iryna Paliashvili, Managing Partner of RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group, touched upon the topic of Rule of Law, its connection with professional ethics and values ​​in the era of the technical revolution.

She took as example the case with Martin Scholz, who finished his term of office as the IBA president at the end of last year (by the way, Martin - Czech, the first IBA president from our region of Central Europe). He considered Rule of Law, one of the main priorities over the two years of his activity: at the last annual IBA meeting in Rome, he announced a new campaign to promote and protect the Rule of Law under the slogan: "Look after Rule of Law, and it will look after you Take care of the rule of law, and it will take care of you". IBA has produced several videos on this topic and published them, offering all members to spread them in their countries. "

Iryna Paliashvili emphasized that Rule of Law is not a repressive mechanism, indeed it is the very embodiment of democracy that the international legal market so requires.

Dariya Kalenyuk, Executive Director of the Center for Combating Corruption, spoke about gross violations of legal ethics by lawyers (in particular, in the field of corruption), cited examples of "corruption cases" from the immediate circle of the American president, that the other day fumbled around the world.

During the discussion, the expert suggested to reflect on the question of where the boundary lies between client protection and complicity in the crime.

"I have an outside perspective - I am not a part of the legal profession. At the same time, this gives me the opportunity to see many examples when lawyers, and first and foremost, advocates enjoying certain immunities, simply abuse their professional rights to cover the criminal actions of their clients," - said Dariya Kalenyuk.

Margaryta Karpenko, managing partner of the DLA Piper Kyiv office, and Igor Olekhov, partner of the Baker McKenzie's Kyiv Office, also shared their thoughts on this topic.

The legal market and the Bar reform were the topics of the third session, which moderated Andriy Kostin, director of the law firm "Pravo", deputy chair of the Bar Council of the Odessa region.

Andriy Vyshnevsky, a member of the Board of the Ukrainian Bar Association and Transparency International Ukraine, talked about the future of the Bar in Ukraine and the shadow report "The Advocacy of Ukraine: Lessons of the First Years of Self-Government."

"There are three possible options for solving problems described in the Shadow Report:

- Leadership in the field of ethical standards shall undertake the highest league of legal business;

- New attorneys with new values;

- The UBA, as All-Ukrainian public organization, could have a soft, positive pressure on the NUBA, encouraging the problems solution," the speaker said.

Denys Bugay, the President of the Ukrainian Bar Association (2013-2017), partner at VB PARTNERS, told about the expectations of the new Ukrainian Bar, and analysed the potential of the draft law No 9055.

Zoya Yarosh, President of the Association of Advocates of Ukraine, Managing Partner of Marshaller & Partners, also joined the discussion and shared her thoughts on the matter.

The highlight of the event was the intellectual lunch with the participation of special guests - Oksana Zabuzhko, writer, poet, essayist and public intellectual, and Larysa Denisenko, Ukrainian writer, lawyer, presenter at Hromadske Radio. The conversation was about society and the country as a whole, and manipulation of art and history.

The potential of the regional market of legal services was discussed during the fourth session. Its moderator was Artyom Stoyanov, senior partner of LCF Legal Group.

Speakers Taras Bachinsky, managing partner of Bachinsky & Partners, Serhiy Matviyiv, managing partner of Matviyiv & Partners, Oleksandr Riabets, managing partner at Legal Partner, chair of the Board of the Odessa Union of Advocates, and Tetyana Tytarenko, Managing Director at Legrant, told in detail about the best practices of building relations with clients. The lawyers discussed how to succeed in rooting in the capital and challenges the law firms will face in the future.

One of the main attractions of the forum was a hard talk with the leading players in the legal market - co-managing partners of Asters Oleksiy Didkovsky and Serhiy Sviriba - led by Iryna Nikitina, a strategy and development consultant, an ideologist and researcher at LegalTalents.Report.

Legal Tech between Luddism and Hype was debated at the fifth session, moderated by Dima Gadomsky, CEO of Axon Partners and Denis Ivanov, co-founder of Kyiv Legal Hackers, guest lecturer/innovation advisor at the School of Law of the Ukrainian Catholic University.

During this session, the speakers talked about how social media influence the judiciary and whether we are witnessing the creation of a quasi justice, as well as rules of law ethics affecting Legal Tech.

Among the experts there were Igor Golovan, Managing Partner of Golovan & Partners, Lyubomyr Kuzyutkin, Managing Partner of EXPATPRO, and Oleksandr Martynenko, Senior Partner of CMS Cameron McKenna, Nabarro Olswang.

With the support of Axon Partners, there was a pitch of legal startups, presenting their ideas. The winner of the online voting was WOODPCKR. This is a platform for coping with copyright infringement on the Internet, which will enable you to detect violations and automatically report allegations to all offenders at the same time. The team received 500 euros from the sponsor for further development.

In the end, participants learned how to protect data and valuable information. The final session was moderated by Andriy Romanchuk, Managing Partner of MORIS GROUP.

Vitaly Yakushev, Operations Director of 10Guards, assured that cyber security concerns everyone, and cyber hygiene is a mandatory course for a lawyer in nowadays circumstances. Igor Kotsuba, Partner/R&D and technology at CyberDesk, spoke about lawyers who are key stakeholders in powerful and complex cybersecurity projects. Yegor Aushev, a co-founder of Hacken and cyberschool.tech, spoke about Bug Bounty Platforms as a modern cyber defence method with "ethical hackers." In turn, Egor Papyshev, head of the cyber security department at Datas Technology, compared the wild Bug Bounty and Ukrainian business.

The UBA is grateful to all participants for joining the event and hoping to see you next year!