LAW FIRM DIRECTORY

Legal Market

Burden of opportunities

The Ukrainian legal business has adapted so much to the turbulence of economics that it prefers to speak not about difficulties, but about the op-portunities of crisis time. And in the list of business calls, the economic and political factor is gradually being forced out by prompt development of the IT sphere in the legal market. It’s another matter as to who how well from the law firms and will be able to grab the opportunities available

OLEKSIY NASADYUK

The classical practices, such as judicial, corporate and tax held the priority on distribution in the legal market. They form a triad of the most highly profitable segments of the market. The next are the no less formed practices of intellectual property, land law and real estate, banking and financial law. Compared with the previous year the popularity of services connected with compliance is growing, the practice of supporting projects in PPP is developing, and a pool of law firms engaged in GR is being formed.

Increased activity in transactional practices has not acquired a systematic nature yet, but gives rise to cautiously optimistic forecasts. The industrial specialization trend will be considered as adaptation to the changing demands of customers. At the same time, we can observe two completely different trends in the development of law firms on the market: going into a narrow specialization with increased examination in a clearly defined niche and development of universal competences with a focus on the prospects of customer service in accordance with the single window principle. It seems as if the first option allows a firm to identify itself quickly with the chosen practice and become recognizable on the market — leaders of practices such as criminal and legal, intellectual property, taxation, and industrial, the law firms with a pronounced boutique specialization are called participants of the market. Moreover, they have become recognized in quite a short space of time. At the same time, the systematic development of interrelated practices can provide a law firm with a competitive advantage in the long term: it is difficult to remain in a top list, the competition is tough both from grandees and boutiques, though such firms are more tolerant to changes in the market situation and can redistribute existing resources in an effective manner.

There is a trend towards sectoral specialization of law firms. The most profitable practices include the agricultural market, power engineering, pharmaceuticals and, obviously, the IT sphere. In addition to highly-specialized boutiques, large diverse law firms also operate in these practices. While the agrarian and energy specializations were formed long ago, the IT practice is a current trend. Moreover, people speak about Legal Tech in the context of modernization of classical practices more than ever — bots carry out a patent search, write draft contracts, select judicial precedents…

The vast majority of players on the legal market at least realize the futility of ignoring the technical process, and the most forward-looking of them initiate innovative developments, including the introduction of artificial intelligence and "employment" of bot lawyers. The example of ROSS is not the only one. Let's at least remember Russia’s Sberbank, which has announced plans to replace a substantial part of its lawyers with bots or NextLawLabs practices.

"Legal consulting in IT and FinTech looks to have rather good prospects both in 2018 and in the long-term. Considering the level of business digitalization and its rates of development, today we can to call it one of the most prospective business areas, including for lawyers" — Aleksey Kot, the managing partner at Antika Law Firm, believes.

"There is demand for support of transactions with ICO elements and IT solutions with blockchain technologies, followed by demand for resolving conflicts and investigation of fraud in these fields" — Vladimir Sayenko, partner at Sayenko Kharenko, notes.

According to Maksym Lavrynovych, managing partner of Lavrynovych & Partners Law Firm, in the next two or three years the judicial practice, especially when it comes to issues of protecting the rights of miners in Ukraine, will become more active. "The prerequisite for such growth of the legal services market is the absence of a legal response to issues related to mining and cryptocurrency", — the lawyer explains.

However, IT practice is not the only direction which law firms are developing or want to develop. According to the results of the 50 Ukrainian leading law firms of 2017 research, market participants are interested in judicial and criminal practices, and many of them already have declared their entry into these niches, specialization in transfer pricing is increasing, the share held by the intellectual property practice has increased considerably. Even those law firms, which are recognized as leaders of practices and of the market in general, are committed to the extensive development model, implementing it through the introduction of new services to the market in those segments where their positions are especially strong, and with an obvious focus on those niches occupied by competitors.

In any case, the decision to open a new practice or service should be considered thoroughly (it is necessary to evaluate whether there is demand for certain types of legal services in the market, whether a law firm has sufficient competence and human resources, whether it has the funds to develop a new direction) and as quickly as possible (as "long harnessing", even in a promising area, makes it hard to be at the forefront of innovating law firms) at the same time.

Reputational Ranking of the Law Firms by Practice Areas

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rank

 

law firm

 

mark

 

rank

 

law firm

 

mark

 

rank

 

law firm

 

mark

 

rank

 

law firm

 

mark

 

banking & finance

 

restructuring

 

coporate

 

M&A

 

1

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

207

 

1

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

144

 

1

 

ASTERS

 

199

 

1

 

AVELLUM

 

173

 

2

 

ASTERS

 

202

 

2

 

AVELLUM

 

120

 

2

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

183

 

2

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

168

 

3

 

AVELLUM

 

162

 

3

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

99

 

3

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

139

 

3

 

ASTERS

 

159

 

4

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

154

 

4

 

SPENSER & KAUFFMANN

 

85

 

4

 

AEQUO

 

129

 

4

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

144

 

5

 

AEQUO

 

104

 

5

 

ASTERS

 

83

 

5

 

vasil kisil & partners

 

107

 

5

 

AEQUO

 

127

 

litigation

 

international arbitration

 

bankruptcy

 

criminal law

 

1

 

EQUITY

 

212

 

1

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

206

 

1

 

EQUITY

 

122

 

1

 

AVER LEX

 

275

 

2

 

LCF

 

176

 

2

 

ENGARDE

 

126

 

2

 

ilyashev & partners

 

91

 

2

 

VB PARTNERS

 

112

 

3

 

vasil kisil & partners

 

148

 

3

 

ETERNA LAW

 

100

 

3

 

LCF

 

82

 

3

 

GOLAW

 

105

 

4

 

ilyashev & partners

 

92

 

4

 

INTEGRITES

 

86

 

4

 

TRUSTED ADVISОRS

 

76

 

4

 

solodko & partners

 

103

 

5

 

TRUSTED ADVISORS

 

78

 

5

 

AGA PARTNERS

 

69

 

5

 

alekseev, boyarchukov & partners

 

76

 

5

 

EQUITY

 

73

 

tax

 

transfer pricing

 

competition

 

intellectual property

 

1

 

km partners

 

214

 

1

 

KPMG LAW

 

132

 

1

 

ASTERS

 

244

 

1

 

doubinsky & osharova

 

246

 

2

 

EUCON

 

120

 

2

 

EUCON

 

87

 

2

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

209

 

2

 

pakharenko & partners

 

155

 

3

 

GOLAW

 

105

 

3

 

km partners

 

62

 

3

 

AEQUO

 

105

 

3

 

AEQUO

 

98

 

4

 

sokolovskiy & partners

 

99

 

4

 

PWC LEGAL

 

50

 

4

 

antika

 

74

 

4

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

72

 

5

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

73

 

5

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

44

 

5

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

70

 

5

 

ASTERS

 

71

 

energy

 

agribusines

 

it

 

madicine & pharmaceuticals

 

1

 

ASTERS

 

147

 

1

 

ALEXANDROV & PARTNERS

 

147

 

1

 

JUSCUTUM

 

251

 

1

 

legal alliance

 

202

 

2

 

CMS

 

143

 

2

 

IMG PARTNERS

 

127

 

2

 

AXON PARTNERS

 

197

 

2

 

ARZINGER

 

170

 

3

 

antika

 

96

 

3

 

ASTERS

 

114

 

3

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

101

 

3

 

MARCHENKO DANEVYCH

 

107

 

4

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

69

 

4

 

omp

 

87

 

4

 

AEQUO

 

61

 

4

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

83

 

5

 

GOLAW

 

68

 

5

 

AGA PARTNERS

 

61

 

5

 

ASTERS

 

59

 

5

 

ILF

 

50

 

aviation

 

maritime

 

labor

 

land

 

1

 

«ECOVIS bondar & bondar»

 

105

 

1

 

ANK

 

179

 

1

 

vasil kisil & partners

 

250

 

1

 

vasil kisil & partners

 

74

 

2

 

ilyashev & partners

 

74

 

2

 

INTERLEGAL

 

140

 

2

 

SPENSER & KAUFFMANN

 

98

 

2

 

ALEXANDROV & PARTNERS

 

70

 

3

 

ASTERS

 

72

 

3

 

Sergeyevs’ Law office

 

42

 

3

 

ASTERS

 

95

 

3

 

ASTERS

 

63

 

4

 

ANTE

 

47

 

4

 

ilyashev & partners

 

40

 

4

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

72

 

4

 

SPENSER & KAUFFMANN

 

57

 

5

 

«ЮРИДИЧЕСКОЕ БЮРО РЫЖЕГО»

 

31

 

5

 

jurline

 

37

 

5

 

ILF

 

57

 

5

 

ARZINGER

 

56

 

compliance

 

real estate & construction

 

busines protection

 

ppp & GR

 

1

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

103

 

1

 

DLA PIPER

 

110

 

1

 

AVER LEX

 

148

 

1

 

PAVLENKO LEGAL GROUP

 

77

 

2

 

GOLAW

 

76

 

2

 

BAKER MCKENZIE

 

105

 

2

 

EQUITY

 

86

 

2

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

60

 

3

 

PWC LEGAL

 

53

 

3

 

ARZINGER

 

85

 

3

 

JUSCUTUM

 

81

 

3

 

vasil kisil & partners

 

54

 

4

 

KPMG LAW

 

49

 

4

 

ASTERS

 

85

 

4

 

SAYENKO KHARENKO

 

68

 

4

 

ASTERS

 

51

 

5

 

REDCLIFFE PARTNERS

 

48

 

5

 

AEQUO

 

80

 

5

 

GOLAW

 

63

 

5

 

AEQUO

 

42