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Cobalt has successfully acted for UAB Haltex in proceedings regarding the dismissal of a mid-level executive.

SPCG has won a dispute before the Court of Appeal in Wroclaw, Poland, for Tesco Polska concerning the admissibility and effects of the parties’ conclusion of an agreement on the negative recognition of debt.

Kocian Solc Balastik has advised Energo-Pro on matters of Czech law related to its December 8, 2017, EUR 370 million debut Eurobond issue in London. Energo-Pro was advised as to English law by lead counsel Herbert Smith Freehills, as to Bulgarian law by Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski, and to Georgian law by the BLC Law Office. The Joint Bookrunners (Citigroup Global Markets Limited and J.P. Morgan Securities plc) and Joint Lead Managers (Citigroup and J.P. Morgan, as well as Banca IMI S.p.A, Komercni banka, a.s., and UniCredit Bank AG), and Trustee (Citibank, N.A London Branch) were advised by Allen & Overy on Czech and English law and by Spasov & Bratanov on matters of Bulgarian law.

Penkov, Markov & Partners, working alongside Weil, Gotshal & Manges, has advised CEZ on the sale of Bulgaria's hard coal-fired thermal power plant in Varna to Bulgarian company SIGDA OOD.

Act BSWW has advised a consortium made up of Polish General Aviation Services Sp. z o.o. and Dutch Heli Holland Air Service B.V. on its entrance into a three-year air transport services agreement with Lotos Petrobaltic S.A.

Sorainen has advised Via Payments, part of the VIA SMS Group, on obtaining an e-money institution license from the Bank of Lithuania.

On December 6, 2017 the Siberian Concession Company (consortium of the VIS Group and Gazprombank), with support from Capital Legal Services, signed an agreement with the Novosibirsk Region government on the constructional and operational procedures of the fourth bridge over the Ob river in the city of Novosibirsk.

Greenberg Traurig has represented Cyfrowy Polsat Group in the acquisition of 100% of shares in companies owning the Eska TV, Eska TV Extra, Eska Rock, Polo TV, and Vox Music TV channels from ZPR Media Group, and 34% of the shares in the company owning the Fokus TV and Nova TV stations, as well as in connection with the preliminary agreement to purchase a further 15% of shares in the company in the future. The total value of the transaction is approximately PLN 103 million and will be financed from the group’s own funds.

Hogan Lovells has advised Sberbank on its acquisition of a 25% stake in facial recognition startup VisionLabs. Financial details of the deal, made via Sberbank's Digital Business Development Administration fintech venture fund, were not disclosed.

Former Bird & Bird Counsel Ida Komorowska-Moj has joined Kochanski, Zieba & Partners as a Partner and Head of M&A.

Zivkovic Samardzic has announced the promotion of two partners, both effective January 1, 2018.

Corporate law firms Nobles and Phenomena have joined forces in Ukraine. 

Ciurtin & Associates has become the exclusive partner of Ecovis in Romania, and it will now be offering its services in the country as Ecovis Ciurtin & Associates.

Arzinger has announced that Klim Stashevsky, the head of the firm’s International Trade practice group, has been invited to become a partner of the firm, effective December 1st, 2017. 

Turkish lawyer Denel Balci Kirali has joined the ASC Law Office as a Partner.

The Trubor Law Office has announced the strengthening of its Dispute Resolution Practice through the accession of new partners Varvara Knutova, Dmitry Savochkin, and Vadim Kodol.

CEE Attorneys has expanded into two new markets, with the December 1, 2017 addition of the Stadler & Bellak Law Office in Hungary and Semper Legal Attorneys at Law in Ukraine.

The Nazali Tax & Legal firm in Istanbul has announced that it will officially adopt the Andersen Global name in January 2018 and will operate henceforth as a full-fledged member firm of Andersen Global.

The Hungarian Government submitted a bill on environmental protection product charges to the Hungarian Parliament in September 2017. The bill implements the changes of Directive 2012/19/EU on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, which targets to make easier the payment of the charge and to reduce the administrative burden of the undertakings.

The US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) had announced a pilot program1 (“Pilot Program”) on April 5, 2016, which created new mitigation opportunities for companies that (i) voluntarily self-disclosed, (ii) cooperated fully, and (iii) took timely and appropriate remedial actions in FCPA matters that fell within the Fraud Section’s mandate.

The Law on Protection of Consumers No. 6502 (the “Law”) is published in the Official Gazette on November 28, 2013 and entered into force on May 28, 2014. Article 1 of the Law specifies the purpose of the Law as “to take measures that protect the health, safety and the economic interests of the consumer … in order to inform and educate the consumers in accordance with public interest”. Regulation and supervision of advertisements are considered as necessary tools to protect consumers. Therefore the Law includes detailed provisions on advertisements, which are supported by the secondary legislation, i.e. the Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices (the “Regulation”). 

In 2016, Russian law enforcement authorities had some success in investigating and combatting bribery. For the first time in several years, the majority of cases involved bribe-taking, rather than bribe-giving, and involved significant bribe amounts. The number of cases against bribe-takers increased by 19.7% from 2015, while the number of cases against bribe-givers increased by only 4.4%. This trend continued in the first half of 2017; the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs and law enforcement authorities registered 3,362 cases of bribery, of which 2015 cases concerned bribe-taking and 1,347 cases concerned bribe-giving. 

Money laundering and corruption are closely related; therefore, they should be tackled systemically. Lithuania’s setting in these areas is rather ambiguous – it is ranked among the top performers when it comes to an anti-money laundering regime and its effectiveness, but it performs worse than EU average when it comes to the perception of corruption (Lithuania was ranked 38th in the Global Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International in 2016).

Combatting corruption has been declared a primary goal in Ukraine following the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. Slowly, but steadily, Ukraine’s reputation as a country with a serious corruption problem is improving.

Foreign investors willing to invest in Turkey and Turkish companies listed on foreign stock exchanges or which have a business relationship with foreign companies are under the obligation to comply with high-level international compliance requirements. As a result, these investors and Turkish companies are required to implement compliance programs which assist them and their employees to conduct transactions and actions in conformity with ethical principles, legislation, and regulatory provisions. 

Latvia is gradually improving its score in the corruption perception index. According to the international anti-corruption organization Transparency International, Latvia took 44th place in the corruption perception index in 2016, with 57 out of 100 points – after scoring 55 in both 2015 and 2014 (it scored 53 points in 2013 and 49 in 2012). This represents Latvia’s best score so far, and it appears to be a sign that tolerance of corruption in our country is continuing to decrease. By contrast, Lithuania fell from 34th place in 2015 to 38th place in 2016 (with 59 points in 2016, compared to 61 in 2015), and Estonia moved up to 22nd in 2016 from 23rd the year before, though it had the same 70-point score both years. 

According to TRACE Matrix 2016 results, Estonia is the third least corruption prone country in the world, minimizing the risk of liability under anti-corruption regulations. To date, there is no case law under FCPA rules concerning Estonia. Nevertheless, the legal framework set by the FCPA gives rise to theoretical problems of definition which may hinder its enforcement.

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Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner, Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, says that no significant laws or regulations have been passed in Bosnia & Herzegovina recently that could influence the work of lawyers or the business sector, although they are much needed.

A steadily increasing number of lawyers from Central and Eastern Europe travel overseas to obtain graduate degrees from prominent law schools in the United States and United Kingdom. To learn a bit about how a successful graduate program works we reached out to Polly Lawson, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at the top-tier University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Hungarian lawyer Peter Paroczi is the Director Counsel at Harman International, the US-based consumer electronics company. He joined Harman in Budapest earlier this year, after spending four years in private practice and then another seven in-house, first with Samsung Electronics, then at E.On. He agreed to answer some of our questions about his career.

On October 9, 2017, CEELM reported that the Globalworth real estate company had invested outside Romania for the first time by acquiring Griffin Premium Real Estate in Poland. Catalin Tirziu, Head of Legal at Globalworth, agreed to share his insight on the transaction.