A team from Squire Patton Boggs - Salkom International Association has successfully represented Imperovo Foods on a case before the Ukrainian Supreme Court which, with its conclusion, ended a 10-year dispute with the State South Western Railway in Ukraine over the ownership of an eight story office building in central Kyiv.
Imperovo Foods is a subsidiary of Avandgarco IPL, which publicly trades on the London Stock Exchange and is owned by Ukrlandfarming Group.
According to Squire Patton Boggs - Salkom, “the building at the center of the dispute was originally contributed by the State to the charter capital of an open joint stock company in 2002, and subsequently purchased and redeveloped by Imperovo Foods to be used as executive offices for the Ukrlandfarming Group. The State then challenged the ownership of the building, claiming that its contribution was an abuse of power and in breach of privatization law, and that ownership should revert back to the State.” The firm explained that it successfully argued that Imperovo Foods, as a third party bona fide purchaser, acquired the office building and that the transaction carried out by the State authorities was in accordance with the law."
Court cases and appeals concerning the ownership of the building continued for almost ten years, with the plaintiffs including the Deputy Prosecutor General, Cabinet of Ministers, and the State South-Western Railway. In addition to Imperovo Foods, the defendants included the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the State Property Fund of Ukraine, the Open Joint Stock Company “Leasing Company – Ukrtransleasing”, and the State Administrative Railway Transport – Ukrzaliznytsa.
This dispute culminated in the Ukrainian Supreme Court where State requests to review the case were dismissed, leaving the issue of property ownership settled in favor of Imperovo Foods.
The Squire Patton Boggs – Salkom team that represented Imperovo Foods included Yuri Dzera, Pavlo Lukomskyi, Victoria Klymiuk, and Peter Teluk.
“It has been a hectic couple of weeks preparing for these cases, but we are very happy with the result for our client,” said Teluk. "Just as importantly, I believe that a verdict against our client would have had a negative effect on the investment environment here in Ukraine. Our client is a subsidiary of a London Stock Exchange listed company who had nothing to do with the initial transfer of the building which was questioned by the State. Our client purchased, remodeled and occupied the building, then was forced to defend itself as a bona fide purchaser. If the court had ruled against our client, it would have established a very bad precedent.”
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