1. Maritime (Admiralty) Law
Recovery of damage suffered due to the maritime accident. Acting in the interests of a US-registered cargo owner
A USA-registered company, owner of damaged cargo, addressed to the MBLS with the request to recover damage suffered as a result of a maritime accident. During transportation of soap in containers from Port Mersin, Turkey to Port Kherson, Ukraine, a vessel took a list, resulting in some containers falling in water and damaging the cargo. The amount of losses was more than 900,000 US dollars. The MBLS lawyers prepared a claim to the ship-owner, a law-suit was filed with the Commercial Court of the Kherson Oblast, and also assisted in obtaining a legal opinion of an English lawyer with regard to the procedure of application for payment of insurance compensation under the rules of relevant P&I club.
Ship arrest in a Ukrainian port as a provisional remedy for a claim submitted in a foreign court
At the request of the Greek law firm, our lawyers conducted an arrest of a merchant ship flying under a flag of DPR Korea in Port Mariupol as an interim measure to secure a claim of compensation payment after a seaman’s death on board. As a result of a prompt and effective ship arrest, the dispute had been settled shortly afterwards. The ship-owner had paid compensation to the relatives of the deceased sailor. While working on this case, our lawyers managed to obtain a court arrest as an interim measure to secure a claim was being considered with a foreign court, which is a very rare practice in Ukraine.
Ship arrest in Ukrainian port as a provisional remedy for a seamen’s claim for wages
A ship under the flag of Cambodia was arrested in Port Mykolaiv (Ukraine) according to a ruling of the competent Ukrainian court as an interim measure to secure a claim for wages filed by a group of crew members. In course of further court proceedings, the arrest had been lifted by the court. Our lawyers, however, appealed the lifting of the arrest in the court of appeals and obtained, and, further, executed a repeated arrest of the vessel, which by that time fled to Port Mariupol (Ukraine). Since then the arrest had been kept till the end of the court proceedings, which led to a settlement on favorable to the sailor terms. The ship-owner has paid the debt.
Release of a dredging convoy from arrest in Port Mariupol
The MBLS’ lawyers protected interests of a Russian ship-owner and released from arrest in Port Mariupol the dredging convoy consisting of 4 vessels flying under the flag of the Russian Federation. Ships had been arrested as a security measure for a maritime claim. Lawyers of the firm prepared the petition for cancellation of applied provisional remedies and represented client’s interests in Mariupol district court. The MBLS’ lawyers managed to demonstrate the absence of due legal grounds for the dredging convoy detention, and also ensured safe leave of the convoy from the port.
Release of the ship from arrest in Ukrainian port
A Liberian ship operator who freighted a vessel under the flag of the Russian Federation addressed to the MBLS with the request to release the ship detained by the order of Port Mariupol Harbor Master. The ship had been detained to secure a maritime claim against the owner of the ship arisen of returning the vessel and replacement of a crew. The MBLS lawyers prepared and submitted an application demonstrating the lack of due legal grounds for arrest, and assisted in further release of the ship.
Recovery of the additional damages in connection with death of a seaman
At the request of relatives of the deceased, our firm collected from a Greek ship-owner the additional compensation sum for the death of a seaman. The recovered amount had been received in addition to the sum already paid under the seaman’s employment contract. The MBLS’ lawyers prepared documents were being filed with a Greek court and, together with the Greek colleagues, represented client’s interests in courts and participated in the settlement of the dispute. As a result, the client has obtained an additional compensation based on the Greek seamen salary level.
Recovery of damages for a seaman’s injury on board
A client addressed to our company with the request to recover a compensation for an injury received on a vessel flying under the Panamanian flag and belonging to the ship-owner registered in Nevis. The MBLS lawyers legally established the fact of accident through a court ruling, prepared a letter of demand to the ship-owner, and further submitted a lawsuit for compensation of the harm caused to health, simultaneously applying for and receiving a court order for arrest of the ship as an interim remedy. The ship-owner filed a counterclaim against the seaman for collection of damages allegedly caused by the latter, and a separate claim disputing the results of medical examination of the seaman. Our lawyers represented interests of the client in Mariupol district court, Donetsk Oblast (region) Court of Appeal, Donetsk Administrative Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court of Ukraine. In the end the court decided in favor of the client-the sailor and ordered to collect the sum of compensation for caused to sailor injury. All of counterclaims of the ship-owner were rejected.
Recovery of the crewmen's salary from the Greek ship-owner
Our company represented interests of a merchant vessel crew in dispute with the Greek ship-owner regarding recovery of non-paid seamen’s salary. Acting together with our partners from a Greek law firm, our lawyers arrested, and subsequently sold, a debtor’s vessel in Port Piraeus. The creditors’ rights were transferred to one of the Greek banks, thus enabling the crewmen to receive the outstanding debt before official distribution of the funds received after the vessel’s sale from auction. As a result of settlement, our clients received about 360,000 US dollars.
2. International Litigation and Arbitration
Protection of interests of Ukrainian companies in international commercial arbitration
Our lawyers possess considerable experience in representing our Ukrainian clients’ interests in international commercial arbitration proceedings took place in England, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine under the rules of UNCITRAL, London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC Arbitration Institute), and International Commercial Arbitration Court (MKAS) at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Disputes handled by our lawyers covered a wide range of legal and commercial issues, such as delivery of goods and of various equipment, contracts on ships construction at the Ukrainian shipyards, provision of consulting services, issuance of a bank guarantee, and protection of foreign investments in Ukraine.
Our lawyers participated in development of a legal position in the case, selection and appointment of arbitrators, conducted the search and gathering of written evidence, search and preparation of witnesses, obtaining of expert opinions, involvement of foreign lawyers and coordination of their work, preparation and filing procedural documents. Also, within the scope of arbitration work we have regularly analyzed the possibilities for appeal (challenge) of arbitral awards at the place of their issuance, as well as possibilities for recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards in Ukraine and abroad.
Collection of offshore company debts through litigation in Greece
The client requested legal assistance in collection of crewmen’s salary debts from the company registered in Marshall Islands. The MBLS’ lawyers, together with the Greek colleagues, prepared a complaint against the founders of the shipping company demanding payment of the salary debt, overtime work charges, and differences between salaries provided by the employment contract and the Greek collective employment agreement, and filed the complaint to the Greek court. Further, our lawyers represented the client’s interests during proceedings in the Piraeus court. In addition to the civil lawsuit, our lawyers have initiated criminal charges against the founders of shipping company.
Protection of Ukrainian nationals suspected in committing of crimes abroad
The MBLS organized legal protection of the citizens of Ukraine arrested in Sri-Lanka accused of committing of grave crimes in that country. Relatives of the accused addressed to our firm after they had learned about the arrests. The MBLS promptly provided the accused with assistance of the Embassy of Ukraine in India and of the Honorable Consul of Ukraine in Sri-Lanka. We have also engaged a qualified local attorney to advocate the accused persons. Our lawyer attended the country of detention several times, gathered additional information on the case, inspected detention conditions, state of health of detained Ukrainian citizens, investigated progress and prospects of the case.
The enforcement of Ukrainian court decision and collection of the debt in Estonia
We have acted on the instruction of Ukrainian client who wished to recover a debt from Estonian company. With the use of special jurisdiction rules for such type of cases, MBLS lawyers filed a claim with Ukrainian court. In course of the proceedings, we have also obtained an order of the Ukrainian court requesting the competent court of Tallinn to question the respondent’s officers. Despite objections of the respondent, the Ukrainian court issued a decision ordering the respondent to pay the debt. After obtaining the decision, our lawyers, together with Estonian colleagues, prepared relevant procedural documents and procured the full and complete enforcement of the Ukrainian court decision in Estonia. The decision was executed forcibly. The debt was recovered in full.
Enforcement of Ukrainian court decisions on recovery of the unpaid crewmen’s salary in Russian Federation
The MBLS has been instructed by a group of Ukrainian citizens to enforce 22 Ukrainian court judgments delivered against the Liberian ship-owner regarding the payment of salary debt to the crew of m/v «Star Lite» flying under the flag of Saint Vincent. The vessel had been arrested in Port Novorossiysk (Russian Federation) as an interim measure in this case. MBLS lawyers used the Convention on Legal Assistance and Cooperation signed by the countries members to the CIS, employing a simplified procedure for recognition and enforcement of court decisions, and also agreed with other creditors on assignment of claims. As a result, the debt had been effectively collected even before the sale of the vessel.
3. Litigation in Ukraine
Protection of a state enterprise interests against the Port of Kerch claims for payment of port services
Our lawyers have represented a state-owned sea agency in a dispute with Port Kerch over payment of port charges and penalties for payment delay. MBLS prepared necessary procedural documents and represented interests of the client in the Commercial Court of Donetsk Oblast (Region), Donetsk Commercial Court of Appeals, the High Commercial Court of Ukraine and the Supreme Court of Ukraine. The courts finally dismissed all claims against our client.
Representation of a Mariupol gas supply and gasification company interests in dispute with PrivatBank being the one of the largest commercial banks of Ukraine
MBLS lawyers led over ten separate cases in the interests of the large Mariupol gas supply and gasification enterprise for return of the money from deposit accounts, compensation for the use of client’s money and penalties for a total amount of about 900,000 US dollars, with PrivatBank being the one of the largest banks of Ukraine. The case was very intense in terms of various procedural actions; in particular, our lawyers regularly had to neutralize illegal court rulings and decisions, issued by courts acting out of their competence and with manifest breach of jurisdictional and procedural rules. MBLS lawyers appeared on behalf of the client before the Commercial Court of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Commercial Court of Donetsk Oblast, Dnipropetrovsk Commercial Court of Appeals, the High Commercial Court, and the Supreme Court of Ukraine, and also successfully managed the enforcement of court decisions up to the money transaction to the client’s bank account.
Protection of an investor in a dispute over the contract of joint activity on construction of an apartment house in the Greater Yalta
The client addressed to our firm after his contract for a joint financing of an apartment house construction had been terminated by Yalta City Court of Autonomous Republic of Crimea under the claim of the former partner of the client, one of the largest construction companies in Crimea “Konsol”. The construction company subsequently refused to perform its obligations on transfer to the investor of the property title to a part of premises in the apartment building erected in Masandra Village of a Greater Yalta of Crimea. In order to defend the client’s interests, our lawyers submitted a new claim to the Yalta City Court. The respondent filed a counterclaim, and also initiated a number of parallel proceedings to hinder the main proceedings. As a result, our lawyers had to appear on behalf of the client in the Yalta City Court, Skadovsk District Court (Kherson Region), Primorsky District Court of Mariupol (Donetsk Region), Appeal Court of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the Supreme Court of Ukraine. The litigation finished after the construction company signed a settlement agreement with the investor by means of which the investors rights to receive the property have been restored.
Protection of the land holder’s interests in a dispute with a construction company being HC Kyivmiskbud
Our lawyers represented a holder of a land plot in Kyiv in a dispute with the largest contraction holdings in Kyiv being the Kyivmiskbud Holding. The disputable land plot was awarded by the Kyiv City Council to the construction company for the purpose of construction of a block of multistoried houses. MBLS lawyers appealed against the city council award and represented the land user’s interests in the Kyiv Commercial Court in dispute on the construction company’s counterclaim for vacation of the land plot by the client. As a result of our work, the client continues to use the land plot.
Representing the industrial company in disputes with tax and customs authorities of Ukraine such as Mariupol Tax Office and Zaporizhia Customs Office.
Lawyers of the MBLS were conducted litigation in the administrative courts of Donetsk and Zaporizhia regions of all levels in claims filed against the Mariupol Joint State Tax Office and the Customs of Zaporozhie. Subjects matter were: abolition of tax notices-decisions on refusal to provide the company the budget refund of value added tax; revoke of tax notices-decisions on reduction of the amount of budgetary compensation of the VAT and on the imposition on the company of financial sanctions. Claims to Zaporozhie Customs were of the cancellation of its decisions on increase of the customs value of goods imported by the company. The MBLS lawyers have represented also the company's interests in the case of violation of customs rules which was commenced with regard to the protocol drawn up with Zaporozhie Customs Office. The shipment was seized by the Customs. The sanction of an article of the Code of Administrative Offences of Ukraine, the violation of which was incriminated to the company, was the confiscation of the goods and imposing on the company a fine of the cost of the goods. As a result of litigation all of mentioned decisions of tax and customs authorities were recognized by the court as illegal and were cancelled. The seized goods have been returned to the company. The VAT had been refunded. The total amount of claims was about 500,000 US dollars.
Representation of the creditor’s interests in the bankruptcy proceedings
Our lawyers presented a large Mariupol steel trading company as the creditor in the case regarding the insolvency of the one of the largest Ukrainian manufacturers and dealers of professional flooring and metal tiling. The Kyiv Commercial Court allowed the creditor’s claims and included the client to the register of creditors. The amount of client’s claim was about USD 100,000.
Search of company assets in Ukraine
A liquidator of the British company addressed MBLS with the request to search the information about the company’s assets in Ukraine. Our staff conducted a comprehensive search of property and funds of the enterprise and provided the client with a detailed report.
4. Commercial law
Our lawyers have a vast experience in the sphere of drafting and examination of various contracts, including international commercial contracts, in particular, in the field of international trade (sale and delivery contracts), transportation (shipping and carriage contracts, chartering etc.), finance sphere (loan agreements, in particular, of loans from foreign lenders to Ukrainian companies).
Our lawyers are always ready to take an active part in negotiations and to develop a legal mechanism which will meet and satisfy the client’s business needs and goals.
Legal assistance during negotiations about the delivery of crane equipment from China to Russia
Our lawyers participated in and facilitated negotiations between the main supplier of crane equipment to Russian Railways and Chinese machine-building Corporation. These negotiations took place in Shanghai, China and resulted in signing of a preliminary agreement on manufacturing the equipment in China and delivery thereof to Russian Federation. Parties also agreed on establishment of a Russian–Chinese joint venture. MBLS lawyers provided as well a legal advice with regard to the possibilities to establish the Russian company’s branch in Hong Kong.
5. Business and Investment Legal Services
Consulting on the issues related to foreign investment into Ukrainian ports
At the request of one of the leading world logistic companies, our lawyers researched and analyzed different ways, possibilities, and procedures for creation of a processing zone in a form of technopark on the territory of the one of the largest Ukrainian ports, including issues of construction of terminals for cargo storage on the territory of the port, as well as customs’ licensed warehouses and warehouses of temporary storage.
Representation of an employer in a dispute on reinstatement a dismissed employee in his job
We represented a Russian Joint Stock Company’s subsidiary in Ukraine in a dispute on re-hiring an employee dismissed due to a single gross violation of the labor discipline and recovery of compensation for the period of dismissal. MBLS lawyers examined the materials of internal investigation, prepared a response to employee’s claim, and represented the client in relevant district court in Mariupol and further in the Donetsk Region Court of Appeal. The employee’s claim was dismissed.
Legal assistance in provision of financing from a Cypriot company to Ukrainian logistic company
Our lawyers assisted in provision of a foreign currency loan by a Cypriot holding company to its Ukrainian subsidiary, a logistic company. MBLS drafted and agreed with the parties the text of the loan agreement, and further prepared the relevant documents submission and represented the Ukrainian borrower during the obligatory registration of the agreement with the National Bank of Ukraine.
Representing an industrial company in its relations with Tax Authorities of Ukraine and with a bank institution. Protection of company’s interest.
Tax authorities notified the company about the violation of currency legislation of Ukraine in connection with short shipment paid for imported goods. In accordance with the norms of Ukrainian legislation tax authorities have the right to charge the company a penalty for each day exceeding the fixed in the Law period of delivery of goods prepaid by the resident of Ukraine. The amount of financial sanctions reaches the value of undelivered goods. After the negotiation conducted by the MBLS held with the serving the enterprise Bank, the international commercial operation had been withdrawn by the Bank from the currency control. As a result of lawyer’s work, the danger of imposing the financial sanctions was averted.
6. Immigration Law
Our firm provides regular support to foreigners in obtaining visas of Ukraine, in obtaining employment and residence permits. As well we assist in registration of the foreign citizens in a place of its temporary residence in Ukraine. We provide as well a legal advice with regard to obtaining a permanent residence in Ukraine, and also regarding obtaining the Ukrainian citizenship. In certain cases we can assist our clients with obtaining a foreign citizenship, in particular in labor or business emigration to countries of the European Union and to other countries worldwide.
We can also assist in official translation, legalization, or apostillisation of documents issued in Ukraine for the purposes of use abroad, as well as of documents issued in a foreign country to be used in Ukraine.