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Sorainen has advised real estate management and development company MG Valda on the sale of the Verslo Trikampis business complex. The buyer, real estate fund LIM Verslo Trikampio NT Fondas, controlled by fund management company Lewben Investment Management (which in turn is owned by the Lewben Group), was represented by Cobalt.

Schoenherr, working alongside lead counsel Gessel, has advised Adria Tehnika on the establishment of a strategic partnership with Czech investment firm Hartenberg Holding. The transaction was announced in November 2017.

BPV Braun Partners has assisted PREmereni, a subsidiary of Prazske Energetika, on the purchase of family-owned Solarinvest-Green Energy.

Noerr has advised Germany's Messer group on its take-over of the Buse Gaz company, which provides delivery services for industrial gases in Romania. Buse Gaz reportedly was represented by CMS Romania.

Karatzas & Partners has advised B2Holding on its acquisition of a portfolio worth EUR 3.6 billion from Alpha Bank in its first sale of under-performing and non-performing consumer and small business loans.

Clifford Chance has advised an investment fund managed real estate investment company Europa Capital on the sale of Hadovka Office Park, an office building in Prague, to Wood & Company, a regional investment bank headquartered in the city. Dentons advised Wood & Company on the acquisition.

CEE Attorneys has advised Czech consumer credit provider LeaderFin s.r.o on obtaining a non-bank consumer credit provider license and a listing in the Czech National Bank register of non-bank consumer credit providers.

CMS has advised insurance company Generali on the acquisition of entities from the Concordia Ubezpieczenia Group, which reportedly was represented by DLA Piper.

Aequo has advised the EBRD on Ukrainian law matters associated with the acquisition of its borrower, Ergopack LLC, by the Sarantis Group.

Former Dentons Partner Milan Kohlrusz has joined forces with Csaba Bittera and Peter Toth, long-time legal advisors to Budapest Airport, to launch Budapest's new Bittera, Kohlrusz & Toth law firm.

Daryna Sydorenko has joined Sayenko Kharenko as the coordinator of its Technology and Cybersecurity Group.

Senior Counsel Edwin Tham and Counsel Peter Khokhlov have been promoted to Partner at the former Danilov & Konradi law firm in Moscow, which now changes its name to Danilov & Partners.

Andras Daniel Laszlo, a former partner at Szecskay, has teamed up with Zoltan Titusz Fekete, who previously worked at RSM Hungary and for ten years with the Hungarian tax authority, and with Gaspar Bagamery, who worked with DLA Piper and Szecskay, to establish a new boutique in Budapest under the brand of LFB.

Romanian lawyer Iulian Cioienaru has been promoted to Partner at the Suciu Popa law firm.

Litigator Erdem Atilla has been promoted to Partner at Pekin & Pekin in Istanbul.

Estonian firm Jesse & Kalaus has announced that it has dissolved after three years, with Partner Piret Jesse bringing two members of her team to Sorainen as of June 1 and Tanel Kalaus bringing a separate team to Triniti.

Julija Sausa has joined Vilgerts Latvia to lead its new Tax practice.

Ioana Roman, Eliza Baias, and Mihnea Sararu have been promoted to partner at PeliFilip.

The Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) has recently published its reasoned decision  with respect to its ex officio preliminary investigation on (i) the validity of the non-compete obligation in the articles of association (“AoA”) of a joint venture company, namely WKS Istanbul Tekstil Kalite Kontrol Hiz. Ltd. Şti. (“WKS Istanbul”), which is active in quality control of textiles and (ii) the parties’ request for negative clearance of the relevant non-compete obligation.

It seems not only companies but also many Member States were so busy preparing for the GDPR that they lost sight of the Trade Secrets Directive that should have been transposed into national laws by June 9. That's regrettable, because it is important legislation between "privacy", unfair competition and IP, establishing a modern and for the first time EU-wide regime for the protection of trade secrets.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

Implementation of large-scale real estate development projects almost always requires the simultaneous development of new or upgrades to existing public infrastructure necessary for the unimpeded use of the main project. Back in the old days, real estate development projects suffered, from time to time, from slow public infrastructure development since the relevant public authorities either had no interest in or had no available funds to develop the missing infrastructure.

Public private partnerships and concessions are effective tools to allow governments to partner with the private sector to develop and finance key infrastructure projects. These forms of collaboration are particularly relevant in Russia, where infrastructure investment needs are estimated by the World Bank to be about USD 1 trillion.

In December 2017, CMS published the latest edition of its annual “Infrastructure Index” report, which compares the political, economic, and legal environments for investors in infrastructure in 40 countries and constitutes a guide to the world’s most attractive destinations for infrastructure investment. According to the report, the five most attractive destinations for infrastructure investment are the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The new Lithuanian Concessions Law came into force on January 1, 2018. With the new legislation, Lithuania has adopted European Parliament and Council Directive 2014/23/EU on the award of Concession Contracts, which establishes a balanced and flexible legal framework for the award of concessions and ensures effective and non-discriminatory access to the market for all economic operators. The new Lithuanian legislation aims to ensure transparency and fair competition in the development of infrastructure and the provision of services of general economic interest, as well as the attraction of national and EU-wide private investors to the public sector.

The plans to regulate public-private partnerships have been in the program of the Montenegrin Government for at least ten years now. Despite its central importance to both the public and private sectors, a specific legislative and institutional framework in the area of PPPs is still not in place. Instead, PPPs are regulated by laws from several sectors and by the Law on Concessions. The main authoritative bodies in charge of implementing PPP projects are the Privatization and Capital Investment Council and the Concession Commission.

It’s been quite a wait, but the D4 Motorway PPP project should be coming to market in April. The project will involve the design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of a 36 km stretch of motorway between Pribram and Pisek in the south west of the Czech Republic, with operation and maintenance of an adjacent 16 km of existing motorway.

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Although Moldova is not part of the European Union, the country strives to stay in-line with EU regulations, Andrei Caciurenco, Partner at ACI Partners says, so the GDPR is as hot a topic there as it is elsewhere.

On January 4, 2018 CEE Legal Matters reported that Schoenherr had advised BUWOG AG and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had advised Vonovia SE on Vonovia’s voluntary public takeover bid of BUWOG. The takeover offer placed the enterprise value of BUWOG at around EUR 5.2 billion. We reached out to several of the individuals involved in the deal for information: Christian Herbst, Partner, Schoenherr and Thomas Zottl, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 

Jovan Velkovski is the Head of Legal at JAT (Yugoslav Airlines) Tehnika, an Aircraft Maintenance Repair & Overhaul Center in Belgrade. Prior to joining the company, he worked as a Senior Legal Advisor at Privredna Banka Beograd, where he gained professional experience in bankruptcy cases.

On October 30, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that South African investment fund Coast2Coast had acquired Polish soup and pate manufacturer Profi — one of several recent CEE investments. Coast2Coast's Regional Counsel CEE Anna Wawrzynczak agreed to answer our questions about the recent acquisitions.