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IT & Media
Artem Afian
  • Abuse-team for big web-resources
  • Fiscal and legal structurization of IT business
  • Tax record keeping and accounting for IT companies
  • Legal support of M&A deals
  • Legal services for startups
  • Protection of business reputation online
  • Protection and defense of intellectual property rightsts

This year has finally come to its end; and that’s good to know. No, it’s not that we should bury the outgoing year in oblivion. Sure enough, it has brought about a number of great news: Looksery, DepositPhotos, Ciklum, Prepl. Yet, I bet that one third of Ukrainian programmers wistfully think that it is better to get really smashed and fall asleep at the festive table than to fall on the floor upon the facedown command during the search.

It has been a harsh year. The government’s actions toward IT companies have nothing to do with the smart state policy. Numerous raiding parties, including searches and seizures of servers, hit the IT business like a ton of bricks. Let it go hang, and take the mythical ministry of IT along.

Instead, the New Year will bring about the new fluctuations on NYSE, new IPOs, new major customers, new R&D offices, jaw-dropping market-value appraisal, gigantic cash-ins and cash-outs, exits and mergers, and the new tax codes therewith. I hope that the latter will turn out to be great rather than grave news.

Description of practice

We realized that some technology companies have faced the challenge of finding a combination of legal services on their own. For instance, there is an expert in intellectual property, and there is a different lawyer specializing in tax regulations in the state of Delaware. How then does one organize product development in Ukraine and its marketing through the AppStore? How many lawyers does one need, and what are their qualifications? We then started to work on these issues in our IT practice.

Many employees of our companies did programming at some point (for instance, I was expelled from Pascal course in high school), as well as directed films or played music. Therefore, we have always been sincere. It is also a hobby for many of us.

Over the past decades, the Ukrainian IT market has not received much attention from the state. Therefore, IT experts come to us solely because of the need to consider the legal aspect of their business. Consequently, lawyers did not look at this field previously. One can often hear that lawyers are the deal breakers, i.e. those finding extra problems instead of solutions. We work in accordance with a different principle. Our lawyers become advisors who understand the client’s business and guide it in the most legally efficient direction.

We help companies come to a clear legal form, create the necessary contractual framework, as well as secure their property rights in products. We also defend IT companies in disputes with the law enforcement authorities, the tax inspection, as well as other, less aggressive, state bodies.

Our strength is in the need to be global like our clients. We are following legislative developments and landmark court cases abroad. We have a network of IT lawyers all over Europe (we call them “the network of our best friends”), as well as in the Valley. This allows us to be competent in any local or transnational deals.

Our field is relatively young, and we spend quite some time developing legislative initiatives. A lawyer is lucky if s/he gets to draft laws and then consult people on these laws. We apply all efforts to develop the market.