Irina Nazarova, managing Partner of Engadre, told about results of the legal business in Ukraine.
1) How would you describe the year 2016 in terms of results and activities of the Ukrainian law firms?
The outgoing year 2016 was challenging for the Ukrainian legal business. We have seen the market fall and needed to react accordingly. However, the challenges were accompanied by opportunities. The firms able to specialize and cut costs have outperformed competitors on the market.
2) What has the year been like for your firm?
ENGARDE have worked hard on new projects as well as those, which we started back in 2015 and even earlier. The success in these projects made us more self-assured and brought us client recognition. I would also like to mention ENGARDE’s recognition by the expert community, the legal media in particular. Thus, the Market Leaders project by Yurydychna Gazeta recognized ENGARDE as the Ukrainian law firm number one in the sphere of international arbitration. We highly value this achievement in the firm. As a true team we multiply the sweetness of victory!
3) Please name three major events/achievements of your firm in 2016.
Here I would like to concentrate on the work of ENGARDE directed towards development of the legal profession. Thus, last November the Ukrainian Bar Association held the sixth consecutive edition of the international conference Kiev Arbitration Days: think big! This event is always a great achievement for ENGARDE, as well. It especially concerns the program of the event for which I am responsible as Programme Coordinator. We start working on the conference a year in advance. While preparing the event we brainstorm on the topics of the future programme, discuss who to invite as a special guest, and other questions essential for the success of the conference. We fully understand that it is the careful preparation and planning of the event, which guarantee its success.
Jointly with the UBA and colleagues from other law firms we have held a number of international seminars for Ukrainian judges. The seminars were devoted to enforcement and recognition of international arbitration awards and foreign court judgments in Ukraine.
My colleague Iryna Shevchuk has presented with her co-authors an educational human rights course in the aspect of labour issues. The presentation took place in the office of Council of Europe in Strasbourg.
4) What do you expect from the coming year 2017?
From the point of view of development, Ukraine will just start its recovery (stabilization of the economic and political life). Thus, we will see the first signs of economic growth after the crisis. Privatization projects of medium and large enterprises become more likely. Brave investors will come forth with their initiatives in Ukraine. Those investors must be in the centre of attention of Ukrainian law firms. Legal advice to ambitious economic actors (both national and foreign) will help Ukrainian law firms be self-reliant and lead more Ukrainian businesses to success.
5) What are your New Year wishes for the colleagues on the market?
Dear colleagues, I wish you optimism for the future and braveness for planning successful professional growth and development of your firms. Of course, the realities will correct our plans. But the most important thing is that we will create our own futures!