Managing Partner at Antika Law Firm
We expect real activation of the legal market in some areas this year, since all the necessary prerequisites have already been created for this.
As for other practices that, in our opinion, look rather promising both in 2018 and in the longer term, we believe this will be legal consulting in IT and FinTech. Considering the level of business digitalization and its development rates, today we can call this area one of the most prospective business areas, including for lawyers.
The agricultural business will be a popular practice. We are putting rather big expectations on projects in energy and energy efficiency.
Moreover, development and improvement of legislation in the corporate sphere, especially in regulation of activities of joint-stock companies, enables us to speak with optimism about development of this direction in the legal business. Introduction of procedures such as squeeze-out and sale-out into economic circulation, can become quite a good prerequisite for increasing demand for services of external lawyers in corporate management.
Managing Partner at ILF Law Firm
The legal market will change in the next three years, and we will see a qualitatively new review of players and products.
First of all, the following global trends will affect the market: visa-free regime, transparency, deoffshorization and anti-corruption policy (these are requirements of international donors). Control over financial transactions of business owners and public figures is tightening; Ukraine is gradually joining BEPS plan and automatic exchange of information, as well as introduction of a tax on the withdrawn capital in one form or another is coming up. Tuition fee for the child in a foreign college, purchase of the apartment on the seashore – all this will be not the same as it used to be. This will change the structure of Ukrainian companies and structure of their transactions in the next two years; we will hear about trusts more often, the practices of corporate, tax and marriage and family law, as well as anti-corruption compliance will develop. We can already observe this from the clients' requests and news on the market.
Partner at Sayenko Kharenko
My main forecast: everything will be fine! At least, competent lawyers will be demanded in any event, and robots will definitely not replace them in 2018. The teams of dispute resolution practices were on the move in 2017, and now we can see signs of the market’s revival in transactional spheres. We can see this on a peak in the labor market, in addition to communication with colleagues and public information analysis. Headhunters are becoming more active in their search for the best lawyers and began to entice people, offering them bigger remuneration. Conclusion: there is more work, the internal resources of a number of firms are exhausted, and they are increasing their staff in a pragmatic way. Many firms, which are good at counting money, take this path, and we remember that they were at the forefront of reductions when the market was crashing. Today, the market is obviously growing and is rejuvenated, responding to the demand of dynamically developing industries like IT and the agricultural sector. For example, there is demand for support of transactions with ICO elements and IT solutions with blockchain technologies, demand for resolution of conflicts and investigation of fraud in these spheres is on the rise. This market is still small and there is no place for everyone yet, but such a niche can be a gold mine for market leaders who already have experience from the first deals. Generally, for active lawyers ready to invest time and money in their own development, now is the best period to press the relaxed "dinosaurs" of the legal market!
Managing Partner at Aequo Law Firm
The prospect for further development of the legal market centers around digitalization and Legal Tech. In particular, we launched a number of initiatives in 2017. The most significant projects include the Aequo Friends unique outsourcing platform and competition between innovations in legal business of the Aequo Legal Tech Challenge. Both projects attracted considerable media attention; a large number of applications were received from young talented people. We also carry out a program for online services introduction— Aequo Hub, whose advantages were appreciated by our clients.
We expect continued growth of the legal market. The regular research conducted with Mergermarket shows positive dynamics of the M&A market development in Ukraine, including, due to legislative reforms and improvement of Ukrainian positions in the Ease of Doing Business rating. The demand for the Private Clients practice will increase.
As usual, we expect high demand in the dispute resolution practice in the context of cross-border legal cases and a number of significant arbitrations.
Managing Partner at Asters Law Firm
Certainly, significant changes in legislation will affect the Ukrainian legal market next year. In particular, transformation of the Ukrainian judiciary structure and principles of its functioning, as well as introduction of the lawyer monopoly will have an impact on the legal market.
It is expected that the policy of deregulation in economy, as declared by the Government, will simplify doing business in the country, which from the theoretical point of view can lead to a reduction in the volume of work for lawyers. But real, frequent and not always consistent changes will in the short term only complicate the life for business agents, making them rely on external legal advisors to solve new problems and business challenges.
Regulatory practices will play an important role in 2018; we can expect further increase in the yield of support for criminal proceedings, judicial and arbitration practices. A rise in work volumes is expected for clients in the economy’s agricultural sector, since it remains one of the most attractive for foreign investors, especially if the Government does introduce long-awaited land reform in Ukraine.
Managing Partner at AVER LEX Attorneys at law
Certainly, it is hoped that foreign investors will begin to come back to the country with gradual stabilization of the macroeconomic situation. However, this should be supported by positive results from judicial reform.
But it is a fact of life that there is serious redistribution of property taking place, and the demand for services in the protection of businesses and individuals in criminal proceedings is growing in our country. Despite a number of positive signals for the outside world, the practice of illegal pressure on business by the authorities or law-enforcement agencies through criminal prosecution, unfortunately, continues to grow. Criminal cases are more often of a political nature and even made to special order. The objects of pressure are former or current objectionable officials and big business. Based on the working methods of the authorities, we can say that, unfortunately, it is not worth count on rapid change.
Systemic law firms will feel more competition from the Big Four companies. Many firms will continue to transform themselves into highly- specialized boutiques, turning away from unviable practices, or will increase their focus on specific industries, offering clients not only legal, but also some business solutions.