Igor Svechkar, Asters partner, moderated the Ukrainian Hour during the 5th Balkan Legal Forum held on 5-7 November 2008 in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Ukrainian Hour, along with other 'National' Hours (Russian, Ukrainian, Turkish, and Greek) prefaced the conference to give its guests the idea of the legal services business in these countries.
In his presentation Igor Svechkar gave a general overview of the Ukrainian legal services market, main trends in M&A, capital markets, corporate and other areas, outlined the prospects and challenges of legal profession in Ukraine. He specifically focused on the impact of the global financial instability on the local market and the exposure the Ukrainian law firms now experience. Mr. Svechkar also addressed EURO 2012 Football Championship in the context of legal needs of the Ukrainian Government and the companies involved in preparation for the Championship.
Mr. Svechkar's co-speakers Georgiy Makedonsky of ANK (Odessa) and Olena Kibenko of Inyurpolis (Kharkiv) offered a local outlook of the market and focused on a number of region-specific programs and initiatives involving extensive legal advice.
Speaking about the Forum Mr. Svechkar commented: "It was a very good opportunity to share thoughts with colleagues from Balkans and other European countries. In these unstable times we should unite our efforts to resist the turmoil and keep the legal profession at a decent level. I believe we have very much in common with Balkans and there are lots of possibilities to cooperate".
The Balkan Legal Forum is an initiative of the European Forum of the International Bar Association and the Legal Development Foundation established in the year 2000, for the purpose of fostering the collaboration between legal professionals from South East Europe and abroad and strengthening the rule of law for political stability and economical and social prosperity. All the editions of the Balkan Legal Forum were a great success, as each of them gathered together above 200 legal practitioners and business people from around in average 27 countries in Europe, Asia and America. The Forum was evaluated by the participants as "the best legal event in South East Europe".