The Ukrainian firm helped win a billion-dollar award against Russia over its annexation of Crimea
|People in Who's Who Legal||2|
|Pending cases as counsel||23|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$2.2 billion|
|Third-party funded cases||0|
|Current arbitrator appointments||2 (0 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||1|
Asters is a familiar name in Ukraine, where it was founded in 1995. But it is 2018 merger with the (former) local branch of Russian firm and GAR 100 regular Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners that leads to its being included.
The Ukrainian practice of Egorov Puginsky used to be known as Magisters, and was itself a GAR 100 firm. Egorov Puginsky took control of Magisters in 2011.
The merger has made Asters Ukraine’s largest firm with 26 partners and more than 140 associates. Although the firm’s arbitration team is based solely in Kiev for the moment, it also has offices in Brussels and Washington, DC.
The co-managing partners of the new practice are Asters’ former head of dispute resolution Oleksiy Didkovskiy and his former counterpart at Egorov Puginsky in Ukraine, Serhii Sviriba. The firm’s three other partners, Svitlana Chepurna, Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi and Yaroslav Petrov, are also all well known.
While at Egorov Puginsky, Sviriba and Kliuchkovskyi, working with White & Case, successfully defended Ukraine against an ICSID claim brought by a US construction company over the development of a university project.
Earlier in their careers, the duo also helped defeat a claim against Ukraine brought by two poultry investors, by making the first successful use of ICSIDs (then quite new) summary dismissal procedure at ICSID. Again, they were co-counsel on the case.
Before the merger, Asters teamed up with Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan to represent the Ukrainian state-owned bank JSC Oschadbank in a claim against Russia over the expropriation of its Crimean banking operations following the Russian annexation of the territory in 2014. A tribunal awarded the client US$1.1 billion plus interests and costs in November 2018 – the largest award to date in the various treaty cases relating to Crimea.
Asters is also acting for the Ukrainian co-owner of a scrap metal company in an ICSID claim against Latvia over a bankrupt metallurgical plant. The firm is working alongside Jones Day on that matter.