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SSW Pragmatic Solutions has advised Dirlango Trading & Investments Limited, a shareholder of Virgin Mobile Polska, on new January 15, 2018 shareholders’ agreements with Virgin Mobile Polska and Play Communications S.A, represented by Weil.

Nove has advised the shareholders of electricity and communication networks construction company Corle on the company's BPM Mezzanine Fund-financed sale to Network Assets. BPM Capital was represented by Cobalt Estonia. 

Avellum has advised Deere & Company on Ukrainian employment matters related to its USD 5.2 billion acquisition of the Wirtgen Group.

JPM has advised Constellation Software Inc. on the acquisition by its Vela Operating Group division and subsidiary Aquila Software of the IN2 Group.

Clifford Chance Moscow has advised a consortium of banks on a EUR 150 million syndicated facility for PJSC Chelyabinsk Pipe, a Russian manufacturer of tubular goods and the provider of integrated solutions for fuel and energy companies. The ChelPipe group was advised by Dentons.

TGS Baltic has assisted KnowledgePrice with the sale of 100% of its shares to Sapiens International Corporation. Israel's Meitar law firm advised Sapiens on the deal.

SSW Pragmatic Solutions has advised a company from the Holiday Park & Resort capital group, one of the largest owners of recreation complexes in Poland, to obtain PLN 60 million in financing from the Credit Value Investment group for construction of new holiday and recreation facilities.

Weinhold Legal has advised the Sarantis Group on its EUR 8.5 million acquisition of Slovak and Czech cosmetic brand Indulona. The sellers were reportedly advised by Kinstellar Bratislava.

Vlasova, Mikheel & Partners has advised bookrunners JP Morgan, Sberbank CIB, and Renaissance Capital on Eurotorg LLC's issuance of the first ever Belarusian corporate Eurobonds — five-year Loan Participation Notes (USD 350 million) with an annual coupon rate of 8.75%.

Senior Associates Tanel Kuun and Tauno Tark have been promoted to partner at Tark.

Former Bulboaca si Asociatii lawyer Cosmin Stavaru has joined Bondoc si Asociatii as Partner.

Ludvik Juricka has become an equity partner and Marketing Director Veronika Rysavkova was promoted to partner at Havel & Partners in the Czech Republic.

Yaroslav Petrov has been promoted to Partner at Asters in Ukraine.

On January 9, 2018, Dubinski Fabrycki Jelenski appointed Tomasz Masiarz as one of its three Managing Partners, changing its name in the process to Dubinski Masiarz Jelenski.

WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr has promoted lawyers Anna Flaga-Martynek, Anna Wojciechowska, and Anna Wyrzykowska to partner, in the Infrastructure & PPP, Company Law & Corporate Governance, and Real Estate & Property Development practices, respectively.

Tomas Slaby has been promoted to Partner at Randa Havel, the Prague member of the Act Legal network. 

Dispute resolution lawyer Raluca Petrescu, Competition lawyer Mihaela Ion and Real Estate lawyer Ioana Sampek have joined the Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii partnership as of January 1, 2018.

Former Wolf Theiss Partner Benjamin Twardosz and two associates have moved to CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati in Vienna. 

The Ministry of Energy introduced guidelines for a new support mechanism for cogeneration (technological process of simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heat in CHP plants). All existent cogeneration installations will be allowed to benefit from the support system, based on a premium paid extra in the electricity price. For new units, an auction mechanism will be introduced. A “feed-in-premium” (FiP) mechanism will be provided for those installations with total installed capacity lower than 1MW.

Based on the recently modified Hungarian VAT Act, in case of invoices issued in connection with transactions between resident taxpayers, the issuer of the invoice is obliged to report data from the invoice to the tax authority if the output tax is equal or above HUF 100,000. The goal of this obligation is the reduction of tax evasion and the whitening of the economy. 

According to a recent proposal submitted to the Hungarian Parliament, the Hungarian Government intends to launch the electronic procurement system in April 2018.

The Working Party on the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data (“Working Party”) which is established as per the Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of October 24, 1995 (“EU Directive”) updated their opinion on consent under General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) which will be effective on May 28, 2018.

Starting May 25, 2018, all companies, irrespective of their field of activity, have to comply with the stricter rules on personal data processing introduced by General Data Protection Regulation No. 679/2016 (the GDPR) or face significantly larger fines. The gap between the current maximum fines, which cannot exceed EUR 22,000, and the fines under the GDPR, which can go as high as EUR 20,000,000 or 4% of the annual worldwide turnover, have drawn a significant amount of attention to the topic. 

On December 5th, 2017, with the Omnibus Bill No. 7061 published on the Official Gazette, the Capital Markets Law No. 6362 (“Law”) is amended in a way to pave the way for the financing tool “crowdfunding” in Turkey.

Recent market dynamics lead its participants to run innovation-focused projects. “Pop-Up Shops or Flash Retailing” can be shown as an example of these innovative approaches.

Offering of securities to company employees through some form of employee profit sharing plan is a common way for companies around the world to reward their top managers and employees.

As of 1 January 2018, the minimum gross base salary at national level for the full monthly average working time of 166.666 hours is set at Lei 1,900 (approx. EUR 410), which is the equivalent of 11.40 Lei/hour. This is an increase of Lei 450 over the minimum gross basic salary of Lei 1,450 (approx. EUR 313), which is applicable until the end of the year.

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According to Ilko Stoyanov, Partner at Schoenherr in Bulgaria, although his country has a very small legal market, which means that it is difficult to identify trends and to forecast the future, non-performing loans, the GDPR, and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence are topics that will definitely keep lawyers wired throughout 2018.

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.