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The I East-Ukrainian legal forum of the UBA has gathered more than 100 lawyers

KHARKIV – November, 11, 2011. The Ukrainian Bar Association held the I East-Ukrainian legal forum, the event initiated for studying the regional legal markets and consolidation of lawyers from different regions of Ukraine.

The forum gathered  lawyers who mostly represent the eastern region of the country: Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye. Along with them the state of regional  legal markets was analyzed the lawyers from Kyiv, Lviv and Crimea. Earlier in May, 2011 the Ukrainian Bar Association successfully held the first event of such a kind for the Western region of the country – The I West-Ukrainian legal forum in Lviv.

Before the event opening there was a press conference with the local media during which the organizers of the Forum told about the purpose of the event and the main subjects which will be covered during the day. Answering the journalists' questions the member of the board of the UBA Denis Bugai explained the motivation of the choice of the place of the Forum. Kharkov is the legal capital of Ukraine, which has trained the large number of lawyers. Besides the branch of the UBA in Kharkiv region is one of the most active ones in the structure of the UBA. The head of the Forum Organizing Committee , the headof the branch of the UBA in Kharkiv region Olena Kibenko drew attention to the fact that the efforts put for the forum organization had been justified -  more than one hundred lawyers have registered as the participants of the event.

In his speech at the opening of the Forum the President of the UBA Valentyn Zagariya expressed his hope that the Forum would become a platform for the further communication and joining of lawyers as the aim of the event is to unite the layers of the region and to discuss the most pressing issues of law and profession.

The first session of the Forum was devoted to the analysis of the East-Ukrainian  regional market of legal services. Valentyn Zagariya (Law Firm “Spencer & Kaufmann”) set the humorous pace of the event by his presentation on the state of All-Ukrainian market of legal services. He has singled out the main trends – the division of the market at the expense of the creation of the new companies, the transfer of the leading lawyers to the civil service, the introduction of the strong players from abroad in the Ukrainian market.

The report about the feature of Kharkiv legal market has been presented by Olena Kibenko (Law Firm «Kibenko, Onika & Partners»). First of all she drew attention to the fact the currently about 130 law firms worked in Kharkiv, and this indicates the dynamic development of the legal services market comparing to the previous years. Thus, it can not be called provincial, in particular in the view of the large number of international projects conducted by the local specialists. Currently the law firms improve their own infrastructure,  purchase billing software, learn foreign languages, etc.. They also open offices and branch offices in the capital and abroad.

At the same time Kharkiv lawyers have to work several times harder in order to achieve the same results as metropolitan lawyers. Since the hourly rated for the services of specialists are on average 600 hryvnas per and hour, that is sometimes by several times less than comparable  rates for the legal services in Kyiv. On the other hand, such inequality stimulates lawyers to work harder and to self-improve.

Olena Kibenko noted that generally the characteristic feature of the regional legal markets was the indistinct division for specialization – the practices stayed mixed even in the large law firms. In addition the companies are reluctant to take cases of individuals, as a rule they remain the prerogative of private lawyers.

Volodymyr Zubar (Juridicial firm “Jurline”) has told about the legal market of Odesa. He is convinced that the legal market of Ukraine is young, so while we should not expect for the mature decisions. The law firms of Odesa region for a long time had performed the subscriber services of the companies and general questions. When the tendency of forming practices began to dominate, the most popular fields of manufacturing came apart, and the areas of legal services were attached to them. In Odessa these areas are maritime law and customs law, legal support of industrial companies, so-called, industrial law, winemaking and protection of intellectual property.

“Now we cannot speak about the existence of the single legal market of Dnipropetrovsk region. Our region consists of powerful industrial cities, which markets are self-contained and formed” - with these words Yevgen Smirnov (Law Firm “Legart”) started his report about legal market of Dnipropetrovsk region. The crucial thing for legal markets of this region is industry and the large number of banking institutions.

According to Yevgen Smirnov, recently the number of court cases connected with the compensation of losses and recognition of insolvency of the debtor has significantly increased (20%). However the number of corporate disputes has decreased.

The second session of the Forum was devoted to the issues of law firm management. Within the session the participants were provided with the reports  on strategic planning, efficient motivation of the staff, means of organization of effective relationship with a company and features of the correct marketing policy of the regional law firm.

In the afternoon the experts have reviewed the current issues of substantive law – legal issues of customs clearance of export and import, effects of the fictitious business activity, problem issues of protection of intellectual property, etc.

At the end of the Forum there was a discussion on the issues of reforming of the advocacy, with the participation of the president of the UBA Valentyn Zagariya, the managing partner of the law firm “Golovan and partners” Igor Golovan, the member of the board of the Ukrainian Attorney Association Dmytro Kukhnuk, the project manager of the law firm “ATAKA” Anatoliy Tarasenko and the director of the law company “Shkrebets and partners” Yevgen Shkrebets. On the issues of reforming of the advocacy the majority of participants and experts were against any changes , skeptically evaluating the success and effectiveness of the future reforms.

The reports and results of the I East-Ukrainian legal forum of the UBA were widely covered in the regional media – both in print  and on television. The Ukrainian Bar Association expresses their appreciation to the partners of the Forum – law firms “Kibenko, Onika and Partners”“Legart” and “Felix”, the coffee break partner  Legal Marketing Solutions, PR-partner Ostrogliad as well as the information partners of the event.

On materials of the UBA

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