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Despite beginning the conversation by asserting that “there are not many new things to report in Bulgaria in terms of legislative amendments or legal market changes," in fact Borislav Boyanov, the Managing Partner of Boyanov & Co., is fairly optimistic, pointing out that the Bulgarian economy is “relatively ok, reporting 3.4% growth in 2016, which for Europe is very good.”

"Let me start with administrative reform,” says Juri Raidla, the Senior Partner of Raidla Ellex in Estonia. “Now the state is in good shape, with no substantial problem at all — but the country has an aging population, and we need to figure out how to make the government more efficient and less costly.”

Speaking on vacation from the beach in Mauritius, Rustam Aliev says he and his colleagues at Goltsblat BLP in Moscow are “looking forward to 2017.”

Czech lawyer Ivan Nechvatal has spent the past five years at CEZ, becoming a Corporate Governance Advisor - Turkey in July of this year. Based in Istanbul, Nechvatal participated in the 2016 General Counsel Summit in the city and was kind enough to share his thoughts on working in the Queen of Cities.

On July 15, 2016, the streets of Istanbul and Ankara erupted in violence during a surprise – and ultimately unsuccessful – coup d’etat attempt against the Turkish government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. By the time the coup had been put down, over 300 people had been killed and more than 2,100 were injured. 

On October 5, 2016, representatives from the Ukrainian and Turkish business communities, from the Ukrainian Consulate-General in Istanbul, and from the co-hosting Gun + Partners and Vasil Kisil & Partners law firms met at the Gun + Partners office in Istanbul for a round table discussion, moderated by CEE Legal Matters, on the opportunities in Ukraine for Turkish investors.

Despite beginning the conversation by asserting that “there are not many new things to report in Bulgaria in terms of legislative amendments or legal market changes," in fact Borislav Boyanov, the Managing Partner of Boyanov & Co., is fairly optimistic, pointing out that the Bulgarian economy is “relatively ok, reporting 3.4% growth in 2016, which for Europe is very good.”

"Let me start with administrative reform,” says Juri Raidla, the Senior Partner of Raidla Ellex in Estonia. “Now the state is in good shape, with no substantial problem at all — but the country has an aging population, and we need to figure out how to make the government more efficient and less costly.”

Speaking on vacation from the beach in Mauritius, Rustam Aliev says he and his colleagues at Goltsblat BLP in Moscow are “looking forward to 2017.”

In “The Buzz” we interview experts on the legal industry living and working in Central and Eastern Europe to find out what’s happening in the region and what legislative/professional/cultural trends and developments they’re following closely. Because the interviews are carried out and published on the CEE Legal Matters website on a rolling basis, we’ve marked the dates on which the interviews were originally published.

"The general feeling is that the reforms promised by the new government are proceeding … but slowly," says Serhiy Piontkovsky, Partner at Baker McKenzie in Kyiv.

Schoenherr Slovenia Partner Eva Skufca says Slovenia currently has two major issues on its Competition agenda.

Czech lawyer Ivan Nechvatal has spent the past five years at CEZ, becoming a Corporate Governance Advisor - Turkey in July of this year. Based in Istanbul, Nechvatal participated in the 2016 General Counsel Summit in the city and was kind enough to share his thoughts on working in the Queen of Cities.

On July 15, 2016, the streets of Istanbul and Ankara erupted in violence during a surprise – and ultimately unsuccessful – coup d’etat attempt against the Turkish government and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. By the time the coup had been put down, over 300 people had been killed and more than 2,100 were injured. 

The Deal:

On August 15, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Esin Attorney Partnership (a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International), Hogan Lovells, and Paksoy had advised on Burgan Bank’s USD 87 million and EUR 57 million syndicated multi-tranche term loan agreement with 13 banks from 8 countries. The banks were led by HSBC, acting as coordinator, Arab Banking Corporation (B.S.C.), acting as agent, and Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Filiale Luxemburg, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, and Mashreqbank PSC acting as initial mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners.

Michael Malloy, the Head of Intellectual Property and Technology for Russia at DLA Piper, first came to Russia in 1990, and he moved there for good in 1994. At DLA, where Malloy has been since 2008, he specializes in intellectual property and technology issues, and his work includes franchising, corporate law, media law, and technology transfers.

The Deal:

On June 27, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Orrick had advised Sberbank and VTB on RUB 70 billion in financing for Telmamskaya HPP LLC (a subsidiary of EuroSibEnergo Group, which itself is part of the En+ Group energy and natural resources industrial conglomerate). Baker Botts advised Telmamskaya HPP on the deal.

The Deal:

On March 8, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sayenko & Kharenko had advised Sberbank on the restructuring of a sovereign-guaranteed loan to Yuzhnoya’s State Design Office and the Road Agency of Ukraine (Ukravtodor) with an outstanding principal balance of approximately USD 367 million and had advised Sberbank and Citibank on the restructuring of another loan to Ukravtodor with an outstanding principal balance of EUR 37.3 million. Linklaters advised the banks on matters of English law, and Avellum acted as Ukrainian counsel to the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine on both matters.

On October 5, 2016, representatives from the Ukrainian and Turkish business communities, from the Ukrainian Consulate-General in Istanbul, and from the co-hosting Gun + Partners and Vasil Kisil & Partners law firms met at the Gun + Partners office in Istanbul for a round table discussion, moderated by CEE Legal Matters, on the opportunities in Ukraine for Turkish investors.

On July 26, 2016, a cross-section of eminent lawyers from leading law firms in Ukraine gathered at DLA Piper’s Kyiv office for a wide ranging Round Table conversation about the state of the Ukrainian economy and legal market and their expectations for both going forward.  

On Tuesday, July 11, 2016, ten senior Romanian lawyers gathered at the Bucharest office of Wolf Theiss for a CEE Legal Matters Round Table to discuss the state of the Romanian economy, the Romanian legal market, and their expectations for the future.

The Serbian Market

There was some disagreement about the state of the Serbian economy, perhaps based on the report by Tijana Kojovic, Managing Partner of BDK Advokati, that, in Serbia, “it is risky to make economic projections” since the market is not always fully transparent and, as a result, it is not always easy to see trends developing.

Experts from top tier local and international firms gathered on July 26 at the DLA Piper office in Kyiv to discuss the current state of the Ukrainian legal landscape.

On March 26, 2015, CEE Legal Matters brought Senior Partners from the leading international, regional, and local law firms in Ukraine to Wolf Theiss’s office in Kyiv for a management-level Round Table conversation on the state of the Ukrainian legal market. 

For the last couple of years the issue of attracting foreign investments into Ukraine has loomed large. However, attracting such investment is hardly possible without creating the proper investment climate and implementing necessary reforms. One necessary step is transforming Ukrainian corporate law.