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27 February 2009

Andriy Vishnevsky Speaks at a Round-Table Discussion on the Issues of Restructuring Business, Corporate Law and M&A

On 24 February 2009, Andriy Vishnevsky, a partner at Asters, was the keynote speaker at the regular round-table discussion entitled "Restructuring Business, Corporate Law and M&A. Legal Advice for Business" organised by the Ukrainian legal weekly Yurydychna Gazeta.

In his report, Andriy Vishnevsky focused his attention on the pressing issues of rendering legal services with respect to restructuring business, which is in significantly greater demand in light of the economic crisis. He also commented on the particularities of the internal organization of a law firm’s activity for serving clients’ demands in projects concerning the restructuring of their companies.

In particular, Mr. Vishnevsky distinguished two basic trends in restructuring a business – restructuring the legal entity and restructuring the business group. Furthermore, he emphasised that restructuring is a long and complex procedure, and therefore, as a general rule, it requires assigning lawyers of various practice groups of the firm for each individual case. As a result, it is unlikely that an individual practice group could be created in the firm, which provides the complex legal services, to support restructuring projects. Furthermore, Andriy Vishnevsky pointed out that the period of the crisis is the most optimal time for analysing the degree of business group structure – either in preparation for sale, or for issuing an IPO and simply improving the structure of corporate management – and thus demand for legal advice on issues of structuring and restructuring business will only grow.

Other topics of discussion were the current state and forecasts for the M&A market in Ukraine, bankruptcy as one of the means of restructuring a business, competition on the part of corporate lawyers, and the formation and promotion legal services during the crisis, including various approaches for establishing prices for such services.

In sum, the participants of the meeting were in agreement that in order to attract additional capital or to be sold – during the crisis or even after it – the majority of business groups and serious companies will need to structure and restructure their business, which for the most part operates under the principle of hands-on management and on the basis of personal connections. Furthermore, lawyers as well as financial consultants and auditors will be hired. The price and the range of legal services to be rendered, innovative methods for establishing prices and approaches for working with clients – these all depend on the individual firm, and there is no universal recipe for the national legal market as a whole.

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