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Tatiana Kyselova

Pretenziia, a pre-action exchange of formal letters aimed at the settlement of disputes among businesses, used to be a prerequisite to filing a lawsuit under Soviet law. Although Ukrainian legislators have marginalized pretenziia by transforming it into a completely voluntary private dispute-resolution tool, this article—based on the findings of a five-year qualitative case study—demonstrates that Ukrainian businesses continue to use and, in fact, creatively have adjusted pretenziia to the accelerated speed of a market economy. We argue that further deregulation will damage this valuable dispute-resolution institution. Instead, it is proposed that pretenziia should be integrated into current debates on alternative dispute resolution (adr) in Ukraine and should serve as an on-the-ground foundation to support the introduction in the Ukrainian legal fabric of mediation and other adr mechanisms.