2018 to 2020: the largest Ukrainian law firm and the market leader
- the purchase of a new mechanical ventilation device for Kyiv City Clinical Hospital No. 4;
- the purchase of individual protection devices and the delivery of hot meals to the medical staff of Ukrainian hospitals;
- the provision of finance to purchase and deliver food packages to vulnerable senior citizens in Kyiv and Odesa;
- the launch of the Coronavirus Legal Support Hub to address key business issues in Ukraine in connection with the spread of the coronavirus and to consider possible solutions.
"The legal profession implies high social obligations. As for any successful business, it is natural for a leading law firm to necessitate contributions for the benefit of society. Asters patronage, sponsorship, pro bono support and charity projects pursue exactly this goal."
Oleksiy Didkovskiy, Asters Co-Managing Partner
The largest-ever merger in the Ukrainian legal market between the team of Kyiv Office of EPAP Ukraine* and Asters. The newly established firm with offices in Kyiv and Washington becomes the largest player in the Ukrainian legal market. The firm is run by the Management Committee composed of Oleksiy Didkovskiy, Serhii Sviriba and Armen Khachaturyan.
also formerly known as the Magisters Law Firm — one of the leaders in the Ukrainian legal market in the mid-2000s
“The merger decision was based on the mutual willingness to consolidate, strengthen and complement our leading practice areas in the best interests of our clients. It took just 53 days to complete all the key processes related to the merger. We managed to do this with both teams having shared values and partners demonstrating high confidence in, and mutual understanding of, each other.”
Serhii Sviriba, Asters Co-Managing Partner
2009 to 2017: one of the key market players
Asters is named as the Law Firm #1 in Ukraine for 6 years in a row, according to the national ‘50 Top Law Firms of Ukraine’ rating. In 2016, the firm is recognised as ‘the Law Firm of the Decade’ in Ukraine.
Asters is acknowledged as ‘the Law Firm of the Year’ in Ukraine for two years in a row (2014 and 2015) by The Lawyer magazine (The Lawyer European Award), a reputable legal weekly in the United Kingdom.
Asters and the European Business Association launch the Legal School — a free educational platform for Ukrainian legal and business communities, which is designated for exchange of experience and best practice examples in defending businesses and providing legal assistance to them.
Asters wins the ‘Client Service Law Firm of the Year (Ukraine)’ award at the Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence 2012.
The Firm launches ArtAsters – a charity project intended to support, exhibit, and create awareness of Ukrainian arts.
“As part of this project, the Firm welcomes Ukrainian artists to show their paintings at the Firm’s corporate gallery, while its employees, clients, and guests are offered an opportunity to become acquainted with modern authors and get inspiration from their oeuvres."
Armen Khachaturyan, Asters Senior Partner
2008: the flagship of changes
The Firm changes its name to the current – Asters – and updates its partnership structure and corporate governance principles.
The new concept is logically complemented by the Firm’s mission statement: “Reaching the stars for our clients”.
“Our team grew up quantitatively and also qualitatively. It should therefore come as no surprise that there has been a need for bringing the new content of the Firm into line with its internal structure. The new name of the Firm embodies its new concept and strategy, which rest on the partnership based on the principles of equal opportunities, togetherness, justice, professional versatility, internationality, transborderness and the highest quality standards.
All this was unusual, completely new and, accordingly, quite risky. On the other hand, it was very visible, caught attention and raised adrenaline levels for partners who understood that they were writing, with their own hands, an interesting page in the history of the Ukrainian legal market. Being different from others and having our own professional identity and style — all this shaped the new features of the Firm and its refined reputation."
2002 to 2007: the path to success
Asters provides legal advice on landmark projects in the market, including the first-ever purchase of a large business centre in Kyiv, the issuance of the first of a kind corporate, banking and municipal Eurobonds, the first sale of a Ukrainian bank to foreign investors, and, later, the first sale of a bank for a price of more than USD 1 billion.
The Firm becomes the first Ukrainian law firm winning the ‘Client Choice’ award from the International law Office (ILO). In 2010, the Firm receives this award for the second time.
Shevchenko Didkovskyi & Partners is named as ‘the Law Firm of the Year’ in Ukraine for the first time ever, according to ‘the Top 50 Law Firms of Ukraine’ research by the Legal Practice newspaper.
“The legal profession, like no other, requires daily training and mastering new knowledge. In Asters history, there were many first of a kind projects, but we managed to set the trends for practice areas and the market — all things are difficult before they are easy.”
1995 to 2001: the first steps
Shevchenko Didkovskiy & Partners becomes one of the first western-style law firms in Ukraine.
“We relied on our knowledge of languages, international courtesy and Ukrainian reality, which was difficult for foreign investors to understand without qualified legal advice 25 years ago and remains so today. From the first days, we acted as a "bridge" between foreign businesses and investors and Ukrainian business community. Our first clients were well-known global brands.”
In autumn 1995, the course mates of the Institute of International Relations of the Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv — Ihor Shevchenko* and Oleksiy Didkovskiy set up Shevchenko Didkovskyi & Partners law firm.
In 2007, I. Shevchenko sold his shareholding in the firm and focused on public activities and charity work
“Foreign clients entered the Ukrainian market mainly through international law firms, with which they cooperated around the world or in certain jurisdictions.
One of our advantages was that we spoke English. Lawyers able to communicate with a client in a language they understood were rare at that time. In addition, in my student days there were few law firms as such — Yurvneshservice, Vasyl Kisil & Partners, Proxen, Salkom — and the partners of these law firms were available. You could easily approach and talk to Vasyl Ivanovych Kisil or Oleksandr Viktorovych Zadorozhnyi and say that you want something more than just attending their lectures. Vasyl Ivanovych engaged us for certain projects of his firm, and we, although being students, worked there as “freelancers.” At some point, Vasyl Kysil suggested that we set up our own firm. ‘I see the prospect, the time and market conditions are favourable,’ he said. There was a great deal of persistence and even some reasonable insolence in what we did with support from Vasyl Ivanovych at that time. We had neither family connections nor any backing.”