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Business is good in Bulgaria at the moment, according to Ilko Stoyanov, Partner at Schoenherr in Sofia. He draws particular attention to the real estate market — especially the shopping mall segment, which has seen four Sofia malls change owners already this year. Stoyanov isn’t able to pinpoint a particular reason for the boom, but notes that two of the malls (The Mall and the Serdika Center) are expected to be sold to a "sizeable investor”  New Europe Property Investments. The price of real estate has increased in 2017, according to Stoyanov, “reaching levels close to before the financial crisis."

Wolf Theiss has provided advised FactSet on CEE matters related to its acquisition of BISAM Technologies for USD 205 million from Aquiline Capital Partners. Factset was also represented by Cravath Swaine & Moore in the United States and K&L Gates in Western Europe. Willkie Farr & Gallagher represented the Sellers and BISAM.

DGKV has successfully persuaded the Bulgarian courts to recognize and enforce an award in favor of Sandvik Bulgaria EOOD resulting from arbitration against Bulgaria's state-owned Montagi EAD arising from a contract for erection of coal and lime stone storage and handling systems at Bulgaria's Maritza East 1 power station.

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov (DGKV) has advised Mundus Services AD on the acquisition of 100% of the capital of VM Automation EOOD – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bulgaria’s VM Finance Group. The deal remains contingent on approval from Bulgaria's Commission for Protection of Competition. 

We are living in a digital age. The Snowden case has placed certain aspects of personal data processing and related threats in the spotlight. The ripple effects have been seen far beyond the USA, and Bulgaria has also been affected by discussions on how personal data is used. However, personal data protection is a post factum topic when problems and questions arise. Many Bulgarians have heard about personal data, but few are interested in finding out more. The protection of personal data is, generally, not taken seriously. 

Djingov, Gouginsky, Kyutchukov & Velichkov has advised the owners of the Pharmastore pharmacy chain in the sale of the business to Sopharma Trading. Boyanov & Partners advised Sopharma on the deal, which will result in Pharmastore's 19 pharmacies in the cities of Sofia and Bourgas operating under the SOpharmacy brand. The deal remains subject to approval by the Commission for Protection of Competition.

In November, the Bulgarian Parliament began debating the amendments to the Competition Protection Act (CPA) with respect to the implementation of the EU’s Directive 2014/104/EE on Damages Actions for Antitrust Infringements (the “Directive”). Interestingly, the main aim of the Directive and the proposed amendments to the CPA – facilitating the private enforcement of infringements of competition law – coincides with what is probably the biggest cartel investigation in the history of the Bulgarian Commission for Competition Protection (CCP).

In The Corner Office, we invite 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 the first major deal or client matter they generated themselves, and how they did it. 

It has always been considered to be the alpha and omega of the legal profession. The basic assumption that is so often repeated. The standing principle: “We (the lawyers) are just perfect – all we need is to find the clients.”

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Bulgaria Knowledge Partner

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe. With 13 offices located in Belgrade, Bratislava, Brussels, Budapest, Bucharest, Chisinau, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Prague, Sofia, Vienna, Warsaw and Zagreb, as well as country desks for Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Ukraine, Schoenherr provides its clients with comprehensive coverage of the CEE/SEE region. More than 300 legal professionals work across borders in both a centralized and de-centralized manner, according to the individual client’s needs and requirements. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practice-oriented solutions for complex assignments in the field of business law are at the core of the Schoenherr philosophy.

Firm's website can be found, here.

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