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4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

October 20, 2017 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

Karl Juhan Paadam has been appointed Managing Partner of PwC Legal in Central and Eastern Europe, responsible for coordinating the network’s activity in seventeen European countries.

Dorda has advised Austria's TTTech group on a strategic partnership with Samsung regarding the development of technologies for automated driving. Eisenberger & Herzog advised Samsung on the deal, which is subject to the approval of competition authorities and is expected to be implemented in 2018.

Wolf Theiss has advised the largest Chinese producer of SUVs, the Great Wall Motor Company, on its creation of an Austrian subsidiary.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner has advised BAWAG P.S.K and Easybank AG on their acquisition of the commercial prepaid and credit card issuing business operating under the “PayLife” brand.

4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

As a prominent IT-hub in CEE, Belarus gave life to quite a few players in the international IT arena, including EPAM, Wargaming.net, Viber, MAPS.ME, MSQRD, Prisma, and many, many others. More and more Western software and hardware companies are entering into long-term partnerships or other contractual relationships with Belarusian talent. In this context, the basic principles of Belarusian legal regulations that govern the protection and transfer of IP rights related to software are increasingly important. 

Revera’s lawyers have advised DIY retail giant Mile on the construction of the biggest do-it-yourself hypermarket in Belarus. 

4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

Dimitrijevic & Partners has advised Altima UK Value Investments Limited on the restructuring of its indirect shareholding interest in Banjalucka Pivara ad Banjaluka. 

The Bosnian practice of BDK Advokati in cooperation with attorney-at-law Dijana Pejic has advised British American Tobacco on its acquisition of the assets of the Bosnian tobacco products manufacturer Fabrika Duhana Sarajevo. The transaction closed on August 7, 2017, following merger clearance by the Bosnian competition authority and internal approvals in FDS.

DGKV has acted as local counsel to the Export-Import Bank of China with regard to a EUR 50 million loan facility extended to the Bulgarian Development Bank for on-lending to customers in the form of mid or short-term trade financing transactions.

DGKV has advised Fund Manager of Financial Instruments in Bulgaria EAD on the structuring and launching of a EUR 100 million public procurement procedure to select financial intermediaries for equity and quasi-equity investments in Bulgarian seed and start-up companies.

CMS has successfully defended renewable energy client Astronergy (part of the Chinese energy group Chint) against a commercial claim brought by a former developer over the acquisition of the photovoltaic plant Cherveniakovo-4MWp in Bulgaria.

K&L Gates has advised OT Logistics S.A. on the acquisition of 11.75% of shares in Luka Rijeka d.d., as well as on the conclusion of a joint policy agreement with Allianz ZB and Erste funds. Krajinovic and Partners advised OT Logistics on Croatian law.

4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

Wolf Theiss has advised Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego on the financing of OT Logistics' expansion in Croatia. OT Logistics was advised by Wiewiorski Legal on the deal.

Kinstellar and White & Case have advised BMO Real Estate Partners on the acquisition of the high end department store in Prague occupied by Van Graaf on behalf of investors in its pan-European retail property investment fund. BMO Real Estate Partners acquired the building from Vienna-based MTK Developments. PRK Partners reportedly advised the sellers on the deal.

Schoenherr has advised Austrian Post on its acquisition of a share of In Time Spedice. CEE Attorneys advised the selling shareholder on the deal. The transaction closed in August 2017, and financial terms were not disclosed.

Baker McKenzie has advised Sika, a manufacturer of speciality chemicals, on its acquisition of Prague-based KVK Holding from private equity firm Arx Equity Partners. White & Case advised the sellers on the deal.

DLA Piper has announced the establishment of a Brussels-based EU-Greek Practice.

In The Corner Office, we invite Senior and Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. For this issue, we asked them to describe their least favorite part of their jobs. 

4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

A bill on the amendment of the Public Notaries Act and certain judicial acts is currently under administrative discussions. 

The Sarhegyi and Partners law firm has successfully represented the Hungarian State on appeal to the Metropolitan Regional Court against claims brought against it by the Hungarian town of Budaors involving challenges to aspects of the country's Budget Act. In addition to the immediate dispute, the case represents the first time that the issue of liability for damages caused by legislation was considered since the new Hungarian Civil Code entered into force in 2014.

Partos & Noblet Hogan Lovells has advised the Vajda Papir Group on its HUF 22 billion syndicated loan arrangement with a Hungarian bank syndicate consisting of OTP Bank, UniCredit Bank Hungary, Eximbank, and the Hungarian Development Bank for project finance and general corporate purposes. The lenders were advised by CMS Budapest.

Martin Simovart, Partner and Head of Global Relations at Cobalt in Estonia, is fairly confident about the state of affairs in his country at the moment. “For the first half of the year we saw what we actually predicted — about a five percent rise in GDP — and I hope it’s going to continue. The momentum is there, and I don’t see any indicators that it’s going to slow down. And the overall feeling is fairly positive.”

Cobalt has advised DNB on the merger of its existing banking, leasing, and pensions businesses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with those of Nordea to create Luminor, which the firm describes as "the largest ever transaction in the Baltic banking market."

Sorainen has advised Nordea on the October 1, 2017 combination of its Baltic operations with those of DNB to create Luminor. The firm describes the deal as "the largest transaction of combination of operations in the history of the Baltic financial markets."

The primary Buzz in Kosovo at the moment, according to Kujtim Kervishi, Managing Partner at the Judex Law Firm in Pristina, relates to the increasing prospect of a new “vetting” of judges and prosecutors in the country.

4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

October 20, 2017 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

Ellex Klavins has successfully represented JCDecaux Latvia before the Latvian Competition Council in a matter regarding the placement of outdoor advertising on public transportation stops.

Cobalt has advised DNB on the merger of its existing banking, leasing, and pensions businesses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with those of Nordea to create Luminor, which the firm describes as "the largest ever transaction in the Baltic banking market."

Cobalt has advised Latvian investor Hansalink SIA on its acquisition of a direct qualifying holding in Bank M2M Europe.

TGS Baltic has represented BaltCap Infrastructure Fund on the entrance into a EUR 16 million engineering, procurement and construction contract with Axis Technologies to develop a biomass plant in Vilnius.

Motieka & Audzevicius has successfully defended the interests of public non-profit deposit system administration institution Uzstato Sistemos Administratorius in contractual litigation.

Acting upon the request of Mano Unija, the largest credit union in Lithuania, the Bank of Lithuania has issued authorization for it to start transforming into a public company with a bank license. Ellex Valiunas is advising Mano Unija on the process.

“A lost year” is how Gjorgji Georgievski, Partner at ODI in Macedonia, describes the current state of deal-making in his country. “From April onwards things got really slow because of the culmination of the ongoing political crisis,” he explains, adding: “Since the formation of the new Government in June it was normal for things to calm down but soon after we got into a state of waiting for the local elections which eventually took place on October 15, 2017. 

Biljana Joanidis, the Managing Partner of the Law Firm Joanidis in Macedonia, is hesitantly encouraged by recent developments in her country — many of which, in her opinion, can be tracked back to the election at the end of May, by slim majority in Parliament, of a government led by Zoran Zaev of the center-left Social Democrats.

October 20, 2017 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

October 20, 2017 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

The Yegin Ciftci Attorney Partnership has advised Turkiye Is Bankasi (Isbank) and Turkiye Sinai Kalkinma Bankasi (TSKB), Turkey’s first privately-owned development and investment bank, on financing provided to Turkuaz Petrol Urunleri A.S. for its acquisition of TP Petrol Dagitim, the fuel retailing branch of Turkiye Petrolleri, Turkey´s state-owned oil and gas firm. The Ak Law Firm represented Turkuaz Petrol Urunleri (a subsidiary of Zulfikarlar Holding A.S.) on its successful bid for TP Petrol Dagitim.

The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.

The development of intellectual property rights in Montenegro started when Montenegro became independent in 2006 and since the Intellectual Property Office of Montenegro – which deals with industrial property rights – started operations in 2008.

October 20, 2017 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

Karl Juhan Paadam has been appointed Managing Partner of PwC Legal in Central and Eastern Europe, responsible for coordinating the network’s activity in seventeen European countries.

Dentons and King & Spalding have advised Triuva Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaft mbH on its approximately EUR 48.5 million acquisition of the new Green Day office building in Wroclaw. The seller, a Luxembourg fund advised jointly by GLL Real Estate Partners and Investec Bank PLC, was advised by Hogan Lovells.

WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr has assisted Nokia Solutions and Networks sp. z o.o. in negotiating and entering into an agreement with PHN Capital Group for the lease of new office space. The agreement was executed on October 2, 2017.

Arcliffe Warsaw has advised Bank Polska Kasa Opieki S.A. on approximately PLN 24,500,000 in financing provided to the Napolo Group for the development of the Nowy Punkt 3 residential complex in Warsaw.

PeliFilip, working alongside Linklaters, has assisted Romania's Ministry of Public Finance in a Eurobonds issue which attracted EUR 1 billion from international markets, through the re-opening of an April 2017 issue, with a maturity of 10 years and a coupon of 2.375%.

Oana Ijdelea and Anca Mihailescu are joining forces to launch a new full-service law firm in Bucharest — Ijdelea Mihailescu, Attorneys & Advisors — with a particular focus on energy & natural resources, M&A, environmental law, and real estate & construction.

NAFA issued the order 23/2017 published in the Official Gazette no. 706 of 31.08.2017 regulating the split payment of VAT. 

Goltsblat BLP has advised PJSC MTS, a prominent telecommunications provider in Russia, on its acquisition of a controlling stake (50.82%) in the Russian retail software developer Oblachny Retail LLC, which operated under the LiteBox brand.

Linklaters has announced the appointment of former Herbert Smith Freehills Partner Vladimir Melnikov as Partner and Head of the Moscow Dispute Resolution practice. 

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has defended Total in a multi-billion-dollar dispute with the administrations of Russia's Volgograd and Saratov regions before ad hoc arbitrators in accordance with the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.

Zivkovic Samardzic has advised Radenska, the Slovenian member of the Kofola CeskoSlovensko Group, on the winding up of its subsidiary in Belgrade.

One of the new possibilities introduced by the new Serbian General Administrative Procedure Act is an administrative guarantee.  It is a statement issued by an authority that it will issue an administrative act at the request of a party.  By issuing an administrative guarantee, the authority guarantees that the act issued will have a precisely defined content.

On 22 September 2017 the public debate on the proposed amendments to the Serbian Companies Act (hereinafter: the “Act“) was initiated.  The changes of the Act are expected to create conditions for further development of the concept of e-government, and are mainly focused on expediting the process of company registration and creating space for further europeanization of business environment in Serbia upon accession to the EU.

Slovakian lawyer Juraj Fuska has been promoted to Partner at White & Case — the only CEE lawyer among the 31 joining the firm's partnership as part of its global promotion round.

Taylor Wessing Bratislava has advised GA Drilling on its recently-closed investment round that saw new significant investors enter the company, including a strong local private equity group (ARKON, a.s.), a venture capital fund (Slovak Venture Fund S.C.A.), and a global multi-asset class fund (InfraPartners Management). Majernik & Mihalikova advised ARKON, AKF Lawyers represented Slovak Venture Fund S.C.A., and Havel, Holasek & Partners represented existing GA Drilling shareholder Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment AG.

Dentons’ Bratislava office has advised CNIC Corporation Ltd., an investment company owned by the Chinese government, on its acquisition of Prologis Park Galanta-Gan in Slovakia from Prologis. Kinstellar advised Prologis on the deal.

The Slovenian National Assembly adopted the Class Action Law, which will implement an important institute to the Slovenian legal system, i.e. mechanism of class action.

Zivkovic Samardzic has advised Radenska, the Slovenian member of the Kofola CeskoSlovensko Group, on the winding up of its subsidiary in Belgrade.

ODI has advised SKB Banka D.D. Ljubljana as a financial creditor on the court-sanctioned procedure of preventive restructuring of approximately EUR 200 million of financial debt of the DZS Group companies Delo Prodaja, d.d., Terme Catez d.d., and DZS d.d.

Early this year, on February 6th, 2017, the Ministerial Cabinet has published its decision on Pricing of Human Medicinal Products (“Decision”) and announced that the requirements of the Communiqué on Pricing of Human Medicinal Products (published in 2015) that do not conflict with the Decision, shall remain applicable. 

Nilufer Turkcu Hıra has become the new Head Legal Counsel at Calik Holding in Turkey.

Paksoy has advised Gentex Corporation on its entrance into a joint venture with Norbo Savunma Sanayi ve Dıs Tic. Ltd. Sti. involving the manufacture and distribution of Gentex products.

Ilyashev & Partners is representing the Ukrainian State Strategic Enterprise “Antonov,” which on October 12, 2017, filed a motion in the Sviatoshynskyi District Court of Kyiv for enforcement of a judgment delivered by the International Commercial Arbitration Court at the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry awarding more than UAH 32 million to Antonov from the Libyan Executive Authority for Special Flights.  

Vasil Kisil & Partners has successfully represented the interests of Imperial Tobacco Production Ukraine in a dispute with Ukrainian tax authorities.

On October 12, Olga Balytska joined PwC Legal in Ukraine as Head of the firm’s Real Estate practice.