Tag Archives: Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine: what the international legal community can do to help


The webinar titled ‘The Russian invasion of Ukraine: How can the legal profession provide support to Ukraine?’ took place on 6 April 2022 and was expertly moderated by Joanna Weller of LexisNexis, who is also the Co-Chair of the IBA Rule of Law Forum.

The IBA Law Firm Management Committee spearheaded the creation of this webinar as part two of the Russian invasion of Ukraine series and the recording is available here. Part one can be viewed here.

Wayne Jordash QC, Managing Partner at Global Rights Compliance, said that in the future, there will be a need for people who can provide on-the-ground support. ‘People who know their way around the battlefield and search for the ugly truth whenever possible will be needed.’ It will be essential for them to study the local laws. He warned audience members not to go at this alone, but to coordinate with local agencies. ‘You don’t want multiple people interviewing multiple witnesses,’ said Jordash. He stressed that this was not a short-term project and that the international community will need to focus on this for the long term.

‘Even in war, international law has its own rules, but not for Russia. They have even managed to create new kinds of crimes,’ said Anna Ogrenchuk, President of the Ukrainian Bar Association, based in Kyiv. She pointed out, ‘this is one of the challenges we as international lawyers have to face.’ Ogrenchuk remarked how grateful her group was for the support of the various bar associations and lawyers worldwide. However, she pointed out the difficulty and intricacies that will still need to be sorted out from a legal standpoint.

Wendy Betts is Director of eyeWitness to Atrocities, an initiative of the IBA. The organisation works with human rights defenders worldwide and has been working in Ukraine since 2017. Their efforts have been made possible through advances in technology, particularly cell phone usage, to record crimes and related volatile situations. As footage and metadata of this type needs to be verified in order to be used for legal purposes, they have developed an app that helps create footage that cannot be edited or deleted, keeping the integrity of the data and saving it in a closed system. The validity is closely maintained through a chain of custody backed by technology donated by LexisNexis.

Jörg Menzer of Noerr leads the firm’s Bucharest office and is Chair of the IBA Section on Public and Professional Interest (SPPI). He asked the group specifically what could be done by private practice lawyers and what they should consider as the next steps.








https://fr.zone-secure.net/109394/1553047/?fbclid=IwAR1oWhsLx8eH0i-_wa69MOkDv_KPk55RBVZgl8Ci0KNBDjBiZ_heHyc4i8c#page=3 (FRANCAIS)




UK/Russia/Ukraine: Lawyer-bashing has a new target


Lawyer-bashing has long been a national pastime, with attacks regularly mounted by the press and politicians on ‘fat cat’ defence barristers and ‘activist’ legal aid lawyers for having the nerve to, er, do their job. 

But a new target has emerged – the alleged ‘enablers’ of oligarchs, whose cash was generally welcomed in London until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

So it was that a panel of eminent investigative journalists queued up at the Frontline Club in London on Tuesday evening to pour scorn on claimant media lawyers as the pressure continues to build.

Some firms are ‘becoming the servants of the super-rich’ and using litigation to try and ‘silence a journalist for years’, said Clare Rewcastle Brown, whose work exposing corruption in Malaysia led to her being sued in London and elsewhere.

Paul Caruana Galizia, a reporter at Tortoise Media whose mother Daphne Caruana Galizia was murdered in Malta in 2017, said London lawyers are offering a ‘one-stop oligarch shop’ and, in certain cases, effectively ‘acting for an organised crime group’.

Even an officer of the court joined in, with Adelaide Lopez – a senior associate at Wiggin who recently represented journalist Catherine Belton – saying that ‘naming and shaming … is probably going to be more effective than anything the SRA is going to do’. Ouch.

Asked whether the Solicitors Regulation Authority has the ‘capacity or the competence’ to enforce potential new measures to stop so-called ‘lawfare’, Lopez and fellow lawyer Charlie Holt – UK campaigns manager for English PEN – answered in unison: ‘No.’

Perhaps even Gazette readers who deplore the criticism of lawyers for the clients they represent can agree on that one. 







Ukraine: Meet the Dead Lawyers Society


Today we are moved to present a brand-new startup that is carrying out an amazing labour of recognition and visibility for the war against Russia. The initiative is a reference to the movie Dead Poets Society, conformed by over 8,000 Ukrainian lawyers that is constantly spreading and fighting nonstop for their values. 

For the past 5 years that have been mostly peaceful, they spent the time writing on media, hosting events and building a new platform for legal discussion concerning the insights of the legal business inside and outside Ukraine. However, after the invasion many lawyers decided to stop their legal practice to join the armed forces or help the army in any other way. 

Of course, since the members of the Dead Lawyers Society just became soldiers some weeks ago, they are not well equipped for the war and that is why they are raising donations (click the link in case you want to help donating). This way the society is providing drones, thermal imagers, medicines, cloths, flashlights, sleeping bags, etc. No weapons as those require licensing, but they can guarantee clear and transparent reports. Furthermore, Dima Gadomsky is managing the project, he is partner at Axon Partners, Aspen Institute fellow and Ambassador for Ukraine of the European Legaltech Association. 

The collective defends the following values: 

FREEDOM, and what it invokes in the forms of objectivity, independence, impartiality and self-regulation; 

IMPACT, in the senses of recognition and acceptance by the legal community, as well as at the level of authority, searching for determination of the criteria for market evaluation; 

COMMUNITY, where members are able to change, support, share and inspire others that are like-minded and provide a safe environment; 

DEVELOPMENT, to accelerate and encourage real change in the legal sphere and to determine the criteria for these changes; 

QUALITY, the content is meant to be exciting and expressive, promises integrity and emphasis on the higher standards of journalism and transparency.

Before the russian invasion, their day-to-day activities were financed by the community itself and by the following top-tier law firms: Vasil Kisil and Partners, Integrites, Asters, Axon Partners, Moris, and Engarde. They continue the donations, but they only cover the salaries of the newsroom. So now they require extra donations or, if not possible, you can also help this project by sharing information in social media, aiding lawyers evacuated from Ukraine to find a temporary job in law firms or other companies, Outsource some paid legal work to any Ukrainian law firm you know, or commit to giving a loan to the Ukrainian law firm you know well if it will require financial aid to save the team.








https://www.leprogres.fr/defense-guerre-conflit/2022/04/23/comment-les-avocats-peuvent-ils-se-mobiliser-pour-l-ukraine (FRANCAIS)

Resolute and relentless: the lawyers of Ukraine


The legal sector of Ukraine has been thrust into a war-torn whirlwind of an economic climate, bringing with it untold levels of hardship and uncertainty. Yet, in the face of Russian aggression, Ukraine’s lawyers and firms are doing everything they can to uphold their industry – and their nation.

After the first month of the war between Russia and Ukraine, the Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA) conducted a survey among law firms to measure the impact of military aggression on the Ukrainian legal market.

The impact has been profound: 100% of large law firms and 87% of medium-sized firms (16-45 lawyers) reported a “significant reduction” in revenues, with 13% stating income has fallen to 30% or lower. 100% of medium-sized firms have also reported a significant (over 30%) decline in workload.

The larger firms (45+ lawyers) – which the report suggests are taking on most of the pro bono and legal aid work – have larger reserve funds. A third of respondents can manage for a year or more, another third for 3-4 months, and the rest for 1-2 months. Medium-sized firms, however, have less reserves: a quarter have enough for 1-2 months, with the rest having enough for 3-4 months.

For small firms, the picture is mixed: their workload and income have increased in some cases but fallen in others. However, 17% have no reserve funds and only 10% have enough for over a year.

Yet, despite the financial difficulties faced by firms, they have made staff a priority. 86% of large firms have relocated staff, with 67% of medium firms and 39% of small firms doing the same. Of all relocated staff, 40% have moved abroad, with 60% remaining in Ukraine. Regarding the number of relocated employees:



Ukraine: Lidiya Izovitova took part in online meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee


Ukrainian National Bar Association President Lidiya Izovitova took part in an online meeting of the CCBE Standing Committee in Brussels. The event was joined by European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders.

The speech of the UNBA/BCU President was devoted to the situation in Ukraine and the peculiarities of the bar operating under martial law.

Internal consolidation, reliable support from advocates’ self-government, which we try to provide to every advocate, as well as maintaining public trust in the Bar are extremely important for the Ukrainian legal profession at this time. The issue of human rights is currently one of the most pressing issues on the agenda for our entire country, for thousands of our citizens. The role of advocates in ensuring the entirety of human rights, the role in protecting human rights cannot be exaggerated,” said Lydia Izovitova.

It is a great responsibility for our entire community to ensure that the parameters of the rule of law in our country do not deteriorate,” said the UNBA President.

Currently, the justice system in Ukraine operates under wartime rules.

We are entrusted with the constitutional function of protecting the rights of citizens, and the right to protection, according to the Constitution of Ukraine, is not subject to restrictions even during martial law. We understand this responsibility to all citizens of Ukraine, and we understand the responsibility to the entire professional community of advocates, “said Lidiya Izovitova. At the same time, advocates do not refuse to provide free legal aid via Free Legal Aid system, in which the payment of fees began to be delayed due to the status of unprotected budget expenditures.

The UNBA President stressed that the self-governing organization of the bar should work continuously and effectively during martial law.

The great resources of our organization – financial, organizational, human, logistical – are now used to help citizens, lawyers and their families. For the sake of transparency of this process, we have created the UNBA Board of Trustees of, which collectively decides on the provision of charitable assistance from the account of the UNBA Charitable Foundation. At this time, we feel the great support of our international partners. We are extremely grateful to all those who supported Ukrainian advocates during this difficult time, “said the UNBA/BCU President to representatives of European lawyers and leaders of the CCBE.

UNBA offices representative offices abroad are involved in providing assistance to all victims of hostilities, providing legal assistance to Ukrainians who are now forced to leave Ukraine free of charge.

Together with the Chairs of the Bar Councils of the regions, UNBA supports the western region’s aid chain for advocates and their families traveling from areas under the Russian invasion. Bar Councils of the regions provide free legal aid to displaced persons, the military and volunteers, working pro bono on a round-the-clock basis.




https://unba.org.ua/news/7384-za-obstavin-voennogo-stanu-vazhlivo-zberegti-misiyu-advokats-koi-profesii-golova-naau-rau.html (UKRAINIAN)



http://www.fbe.org/ (FRANCAIS)


http://www.fbe.org/pagina-principal/ (ESPANOL)

http://www.fbe.org/pagina-iniziale/ (ITALIANO)

http://www.fbe.org/homepage/ (DEUTSCH)

From one day to the next everything is at stake. Lawyer Iurii Grygorenko tells what is happening in Ukraine


“Excuse me, I’m still a little sleepy. Lots of air raid sirens last night.” Iurii Grygorenko, lawyer and member of the Ukrainian National Bar Association’s Committee for Lawyers Rights, shows up at 9 a.m. on 18 March 2022 for an online interview with the Advocatenblad. Twenty-three days ago, Russia invaded Ukraine, which left Grygorenko “perplexed and confused.” It’s not that people didn’t know about the troop buildup. “We just couldn’t imagine that a state that calls us ‘brother people’ would come and kill us.” But the unimaginable happened, and nothing is the same anymore.


Grygorenko had a lawyer’s practice in the capital Kiev, which mainly focused on corporate criminal law. That work has come to a complete standstill, as Kiev is nearly encircled and being bombarded. Grygorenko left for his hometown of Odessa, the southern Black Sea port city where his parents live.

Ukrainian Dean

For the time being, and despite the frequently blaring sirens, Odessa seems safer than Kiev, or Kharkiv, the city where the Ukrainian National Bar Association’s President Lydia Izovitova comes from and partly lives. At the end of last year she gave an interview to the Advocatenblad in which she talked about the challenges of an independent legal profession in Ukraine, rather than the Russian threat. How is she doing now? Grygorenko: ‘She’s been deeply affected by the terrible bombing of her city, but as a leader she cannot show that. She occupies herself by managing the financial support of lawyers.”


Grygorenko has hope for a good outcome. “Honestly, we didn’t think the Ukrainian military would hold up so well. And the population too. We hear the Russian army doesn’t have enough people and equipment, that they aren’t motivated. If the West gives us the tools, we’ll do the work. We will not only protect ourselves, but also the other countries in Eastern Europe. Putin’s ultimate goal is to revive the Warsaw Pact. Including countries like Poland, the Baltic States, Hungary, even the GDR. We want to be Europeans, we respect human rights. Now that Russia is out of the Council of Europe, they’ll reintroduce the death penalty. Please help us protect ourselves and Europe from this aggression.”

Donations to the Ukrainian National Bar Association can be made through:


Contributions will only be used for financial support of lawyers.

This interview was originally published in Dutch in the Advocatenblad and written by Trudeke Sillevis Smitt. Lawyers for Lawyers received permission to post the English version of the interview on our website.


Ukraine: Lawyer Syvova Yana kidnapped by Russian forces


Шановні колеги!

Військова агресія російської федерації проти України 🇺🇦 триває!

Нажаль жертвами військових злочинів стають і наші колеги!

Жахливі події відбуваються на тимчасово окупованих територіях Запорізької області!!!

“Русский мир” несе людям тільки горе та страждання. 10 квітня 2022 року окупаційною комендатурою міста Мелітополя було викрадено прекрасну жінку – адвоката, члена Кваліфікаційно-дисциплінарної комісії адвокатури Запорізької області СИВОВУ ЯНУ ВІТАЛІЇВНУ. “Новою владою” вона утримується без жодних підстав. Її доля невідома ні рідним, ні колегам, ні близьким. Таке “освобождєніє” уготоване жителям окупованих територій!? Вимагаємо від загарбників – Припиніть терор!!!

(Рада адвокатів та КДКА Запорізької області Facebook, 14/04/22)


Refugee lawyer describes harrowing invasion of Ukraine


A Ukrainian lawyer described the harrowing scenes she witnessed after the Russian invasion, telling an ABA panel on April 7 that she was forced to flee her country with her three young children and leave behind her husband.

Alesya Pavlynska, an employment lawyer at the Ukrainian firm Arzinger Law, described her shock as the first missiles shook Kyiv in the early hours of Feb. 24.

Her husband, Vitalii Shestak, told her and their three kids—Maria, Ivan and Oles—that they would need to take shelter. Pavlynska showed the panel a picture of her children bundled up in a frigid cellar and huddled around their phones.

“It seemed to be unreal and not possible in the modern world—in modern Europe,” Pavlynska said of the moment it dawned on her the invasion was happening.

More than 4.6 million Ukrainians have fled into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldava and Romania. The ABA convened the webinar, “Ukraine’s Refugee Crisis: The Faces of War,” to discuss the ongoing crisis and how its members can help.


ABA President Reginald M. Turner Jr. echoed Pavlynska’s message about the rule of law in remarks prerecorded for the webinar audience, saying the war and crisis had to be viewed through the lens of the “fundamental premise to advance liberty and justice for all.”

“Lawyers believe not in the rule of force, but in the rule of law. We believe that human rights are the bedrock of life and liberty. Our stake in the rule of law compels us to denounce the Russian invasion and rededicate our support of international institutions that promote peace and security,” Turner said.

Advocates urge fast action

Speaking from London, Ukrainian Bar Association President Anna Ogrenchuk said she wants the international community to form a special tribunal to investigate war crimes after documented atrocities in Bucha. Ogrenchuk says it’s likely war crimes have been committed in other parts of the country where the Russian military is present. She urged the American legal community to use its clout to support the tribunal and gather evidence.

“We need your expertise. We need your help in investigating and documenting all war crimes —when the crimes are still been committed,” Ogrenchuk said.

More should also be done to cripple the Russian economy, she added. The UBA has released several open letters, including ones to international companies and businesses operating in Russia and international law firms, legal associations and regulators.

“Every day of war costs Russia about $20 billion, and this money comes from companies who pay taxes in Russia,” Ogrenchuk said. “A full economic embargo is the only alternative to a very long and damaging war in Ukraine.”

There are approximately 60,000 attorneys in Ukraine, and about half of them are women, Ogrenchuk added. She said her bar association estimates that two-thirds of female lawyers have left the country, but women are currently doing the bulk of legal work because many male lawyers have enlisted in the military.



WEBINAR – Lawyers assist Ukraine – 20 April 2022 at 9.30 CET



Webinar Lawyers Assist Ukraine, 20 April 9:30am CET

https://redon.maville.com/actu/actudet_-saint-malo.-les-gens-de-justice-expriment-leur-solidarite-envers-le-peuple-ukrainien-_dep-5176474_actu.Htm (FRANCAIS)

Ukrainian lawyer describes his life in the war zone


Taras Tertychnyi, an international business partner at Marushko Law Office in Kyiv, and his fellow Ukrainians have lived in the shadow of war since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014. “Even after the fighting was reduced in early 2015 to limited clashes on the frontline with a small number of casualties, it was obvious that the war could escalate at any given moment,” he writes in an email.

While preparing for a potential war in Ukraine, Tertychnyi spent time with his family examining potential risks and the preparation needed for each. Possibilities included an escalation in the far east of the country, an attack from Crimea in the south, or a full-scale invasion involving the bombing of the whole country.

His family did not have the resources to relocate abroad comfortably, so they focused on how to survive the war in Ukraine. They thought about moving to their summer house 60 kilometres to the south of Kyiv. “It was not very comfortable for winter living, but at least there was a choice. I also spoke with my friends living in the west of Ukraine so that we could spend a few days in their home in case we were going to flee Kyiv. 


Thousands of Ukrainians immediately shifted to war mode in response to the invasion. Some joined territorial defence units and others, including Tertychnyi, began helping with military and civilian supplies and logistics. 

Lawyers are among the Ukrainians killed and wounded during this war. Many lawyers have volunteered to do civilian work, such as logistics or procurement, or have become members of the army or the territorial defence units. Their stories are recounted in the legal community blog Dead Lawyers Society. “As lawyers, we all understand that Russia has violated – and keeps violating – the basic principles of international law, as well as the laws of war. We all know that there are no international courts or international police to stop this violation now, except for the members of the international community – other countries and their governments.” 







https://unba.org.ua/news/7372-rodini-zagibloi-kolegi-z-dnipra-alini-molchanovij-opikuns-ka-rada-vidilila-100-tis-grn.html (UKRAINIAN)