>Iryna Nazarova, a partner at Asters, took part in a roundtable discussion "Results of the Activity of Law Firms in the sphere of Dispute Resolution 2008. Possibilities for ADR in 2009" organized by the Ukrainian legal weekly Yurydychna Gazeta on 27 January 2008.
The roundtable became a sort of information and discussion forum, at which the participants revealed the current state of the dispute resolution market in comparison with the past, presented their own prognoses concerning its development for 2009, discussed the advantages and disadvantages, issues of concern and the state of mediation practice in Ukraine, as well as situations, in which it is expedient to utilize amicable dispute settlement procedures.
As it turned out, the global financial crisis has shifted the focus of Ukrainian judicial practice toward resolving disputes concerning failure to repay loans and nonpayment of deposits, labour disputes, restructuring, divestiture and demerger of companies, and bankruptcy. Iryna Nazarova, in turn, added that in 2009 there could be a wave of lawsuits against the government of Ukraine in connection with its non-fulfillment of a series of treaties, including state procurement treaties. Furthermore, there has been an increase in the number of claims filed at ICSID – the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. Mrs. Nazarova also underscored that the economic crisis has changed the previous conditions for signing a majority of contracts. Thus, in resolving conflicts arising in connection with the given economic situation, it is better to use mediation mechanisms rather than taking the conflict to court.
During the discussion, the participants also came to the conclusion that lawyers are resorting more and more to international arbitration tribunals, whereas the clients themselves often choose the country of arbitration. The question of whether there is genuine mediation in Ukraine remained open, but all agreed that mediations are becoming more and more urgent in building a strategy of dispute resolution during the crisis.