DLA Piper shuts shop in Ukraine as it handover business to Kinstellar
Kingstellar acquires DLF Piper's office in Kyiv, 38 lawyers including its ex-Ukraine managing partner Margarita Karpenko move to the leading CEE independent firm
Multinational law firm DLA Piper has decided to pull down the shutters in Ukraine and hand over its Ukrainian business to the independent Central and Eastern European (CEE) law firm Kinstellar in Kyiv.
The merger results in 38 DLA Piper lawyers, including its Ukraine managing partner Margarita Karpenko joining Kinstellar, bringing the firm's headcount up to 60 lawyers, including 10 partners.
The move expands Kinstellar's existing practice and now also covers tax and intellectual property. Kinstellar already has a strong presence in corporate, M&A, banking and finance, employment, litigation and real estate practices.
The Kyiv office will now be led by a management committee composed of senior counsel Daniel Bilak, alongside co-managing partners Margarita Karpenko and Olena Kuchynska.
Karpenko has been with DLA Piper in Kyiv for two decades while Kuchynska was the managing partner of Kinstellar's pre-merger Kyiv office. Karpenko is an M&A and employment specialist, while Kuchnyska focuses her practice on energy law.
Bilak had joined the firm last year from his position as chairman of the Ukrainian government's investment promotion office. Before that, he spent a decade as a partner in CMS's Kyiv office advising clients in the infrastructure, agribusiness, IT and energy sectors.
Patrik Bolf, managing partner of Kinstellar, said the move enhances the firm's scale by adding complementary practices to its existing core offerings in the region. "This merger is a major step in our growth strategy, the core of which is attracting and retaining top talent to support our clients in meeting their commercial objectives across all of our jurisdictions," Bolf said.
According to Jan Geert Meents, joint managing director for DLA Piper in the UK and Europe, the decision to exit Ukraine followed a review that concluded its presence in the country's legal market was not required any longer and was a part of its global strategy.
"Kinstellar is a highly regarded firm and we are confident that the Kyiv team will be happy in their new home," Jan Geert Meents said.
Founded in 1992, Kinstellar became fully independent in 2008 when it spun off from parent firm Linklaters. Kinstellar presently has offices in Kazakhstan, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine, Turkey, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Uzbekistan.