Key Ukrainian lawyers and top US experts discussed in Washington the recent developments taking place in the legal and business environment in Ukraine. The panel featured: Armen Khachaturyan (Asters Law Firm), Irina Paliashvili (RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group), Andrew Mac (Asters Law Firm), Anders Aslund (Atlantic Council) and Amb. Eric Schults (Asters Law Firm). Attended by over 50 participants, this roundtable luncheon took place in the offices of USUBC member – BGR Group on Thursday, January 31.

In the picture left to right Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, Asters; Amb. Eric Schults, Asters; Irina Paliashvili, RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group; Armen Khachaturyan, Asters

During the discussion speakers of the panel named key achievements and steps in legal reform that move Ukraine forward as an attractive country for business, including the LLC Law, improvements in electronic governance and decision making, privatization law, currency regulation and others.  “This is a new country”, Armen Khachaturyan, Senior Partner of Asters Law Firm said.

According to Andrew Mac, Partner and Head, Washington DC Office of Asters Law Firm, Ukrainian Courts are still lacking transparency that deteriorates the system and worsens business climate in general.

Ambassador Eric Schults who serves as Senior Policy Advisor at Asters agreed that foreign companies value stability, and it comes from democracy.  

In the picture left to right: Anders Aslund, Atlantic Council; Andrew Mac, Asters; Olga  Khoroshylova, Asters

Anders Aslund, Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council also stressed that Ukraine could show much better economic result if judicial reform moved faster. “The economic growth of 3 percent should have been at least 7 percent in 2018”, he said. “The key demand in the presidential race should be the establishment of truly independent and impartial courts to endow Ukraine with reliable property rights”, Mr. Aslund repeated.

Irina Paliashvili, President and Senior Counsel of RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group emphasized several positive signs that helped Ukraine show relatively good results in terms of foreign investment in 2018: establishing of Anticorruption Court, much more progress in compliance with the EU legislation, Free Trade Agreement with the EU (DCFTA); signing of multiple agreements and treaties with European Union, active work of Business Ombudsman Office, introduction of IT solutions for government institutions that minimize corruption – just to name a few.

In the picture left to right: Boris Chumak, U.S. department of Commerce; Morgan Williams, USUBC; Betsy Hafner, USTR; Chris Simeon, BGR Group; Alison Case; USAID;

Ukrainian lawyers make a huge impact on reform process in Ukraine. They serve on supervisory boards at Government institutions and bring their expertise and quality knowledge to decision makers on pro bono basis. U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC) was pleased to welcome Asters partners in Washington, including Olga Khoroshylova, Partner and Head of London Office, Asters Law Firm and Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, Partner, Asters.

Today Asters is the largest law firm in Ukraine with offices in Kyiv, Washington, Brussels, London that include 147 lawyers and 27 partners.


In the picture left to right: Douglas Frye, U.S. EXIM Bank; Morgan Williams, USUBC; Betsy Hafner, USTR. 

In tThis roundtable was moderated by Morgan Williams, President and CEO of U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC). In his opening remarks Mr. Williams said that improving the legal environment in Ukraine is critical for business success in 2019, for dramatically increasing international investment, especially in the area of the protection of private property rights. 

The following companies participated in the discussion: Asters; BGR Group; Dinsmore & Shohl LLP; Open World Program; NGO Crimea SOS; Association of International Political Sciences; USAID; U.S. Department of Commerce; Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union; Armada Ammunition, Inc.; American Councils for International Education; U.S. Department of State; Export-Import Bank of the United States; Culhane Meadows PLLC; Summit Strategies; White & Case; USTR; First Wall Street Capital Corp; APCO Worldwide; CRDF Global; Embassy of Ukraine in the U.S.; “Vostok-SOS”; RULG-Ukrainian Legal Group; The Peoples Group Ltd; Verkhovna (Parliament) Rada of Ukraine; US Foundation People of Ukraine; Astana Law Partners; Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine and others.

Our special Thank You to BGR Group for hosting this meeting!