Ukraine’s Vasil Kisil splits in two as five partners launch new firm

Ukrainian firm Vasil Kisil & Partners has split in two, after five of its 11 partners quit to launch a new firm.

Aequo – Latin for ‘equal’ – launched this week. The new firm is led by managing partner Denys Lysenko, who focuses on corporate and tax law.

Lysenko is joined in the new venture by corporate and capital markets partner Anna Babych, finance and capital markets partner Yulia Kyrpa, competition partner Mariya Nizhnik and IP and litigation partner Oleksandr Mamunya.

In a statement announcing the launch, Aequo said the entirety of Vasil Kisil’s corporate and M&A team was moving to the new firm.

According to the firm, the launch was the “result of significant transformation in the market and difference of opinions regarding the firm’s further business development”.

It added: “We believe that the establishment of the new firm is a logical continuation of the professional development of the team contributing to the improvement of our customer service.”

Vasil Kisil senior partner Vasil Kisil thanked the departing partners for their cooperation.

“We are confident that their decision to pursue their vocation in a new format shall contribute to the development of the legal services market in Ukraine. We believe in their professionalism and wish them all the success in reaching the desired objectives,” he said.

Vasil Kisil said the split would have “no impact” on the services provided by the firm. As well as the six remaining partners, the firm continues to employ around 45 other lawyers.

The past week has seen a number of changes in the Ukranian legal market, after confirmation that US firm Chadbourne & Parke is closing its office in the country (6 August 2014). Dentons then announced it was hiring Chadbourne partner Adam Mycyk (6 August 2014).

Other firms to have pulled out of the jurisdiction recently are Germany’s Beiten Burkhardt (2 December 2013) and Noerr (26 July 2013) to hive off their Ukrainian offices. Noerr’s former Ukranian team is now operating as independent firm Nobles, while the Beiten lawyers joined Gide Loyrette Nouel’s Kiev office.

The legal market in the country continues to be unstable following the ‘Euromaidan’ revolution earlier this year and Russia’s subsequent annexation of the Crimea peninsula (Lawyers on the edge, 7 April 2014).