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Latest News By Country

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.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

Herguner Bilgen Ozeke (HBO) has promoted senior lawyers Nazim Olcay Kurt, Mert Oguzulgen, Deniz Tuncel, Bige Yucel, and Ismet Bozoglu to the firm's Partnership.

Austrian dispute resolution firm Knoetzl has announced the addition of three new lawyers, including new Partner Teresa Bogensberger, who joins from Eversheds International.

Partos & Noblet, the associated Budapest office of Hogan Lovells, working with Grama Schwaighofer Vondrak Rechtsanwalte in Austria and Rowan Legal in Slovakia, has advised South Africa's JSE-listed Accelerate Property Fund on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of nine retail warehouse properties tenanted by OBI subsidiaries from the Supernova Privatstiftung group. Supernova was advised by Dorda Brugger Jordis with Slovak law advice provided by Cechova & Partners.

Wolf Theiss has provided Austrian assistance to Gleiss Lutz, lead counsel to Enterex International Limited, a Taiwan listed company, on its takeover of the AVA Group from Haugg-Kuhlerfabrik GmbH.

Aleinikov & Partners has advised AIMatter on a wide range of issues, including in intellectual property, corporate, and commercial law.

Belarus's Revera has advised the US-based OWHealth startup on the USD 1 million investment the company received from the Haxus venture capital fund and Flint Capital.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

The past half year has been a tumultuous one for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH). Labor reforms, which strike at the very heart of the socio-economic structure of every nation, are under way in both entities of BH – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBH) and Republika Srpska (RS). The adoption of new labor legislation was prompted by the Reform Agenda for BH 2015-2018, the implementation of which is an imperative in BH’s search for EU integration. 

Karanovic & Nikolic has announced that it has begun cooperating with Goran Babic, a lawyer qualified in Bosnia & Herzegovina, who joins the firm as a Partner and will be positioned in Banja Luka. 

Kinstellar, working alongside Linklaters, has advised the Belgian KBC Group on its EUR 610 million acquisition of the United Bulgarian Bank and Bulgaria's Interlease leasing company from the National Bank of Greece.

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov Law Firm has advised Bulpros Consulting AD on acquisition financing it received from Unicredit Bulbank AD for an acquisition by its German subsidiary of a majority interest in a global software business held by GROUP Business Software Europa GmbH, GBS Pavone Groupware GmbH, and GROUP Business Software (UK). CMS advised UniCredit on the financing. According to DGKV, "the transaction creates one of the largest Bulgarian IT services and solutions suppliers."

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov (DGKV) has advised LaunchHub Advisors OOD and the European Investment Fund (EIF) on the setting up of two new seed stage venture capital funds to invest in early stage startups in Bulgaria and across Southeastern Europe.

On December 24, 2016, Dechert secured a victory for MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas Plc in what Dechert describes as "a bet-the-company, multi-billion dollar arbitration."

In Croatia, acquiring a company’s own shares is often a useful tool for the implementation of management and employee reward plans, employee stock ownership plans (ESOP), and various bonus policies of joint stock companies. The company would normally acquire a desired number of its own shares and distribute them to selected employees according to a reward program. EU legislation describes these programs as “buy-back programs.”

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Inter Cars S.A. and its group companies on a PLN 1.1 billion loan facility. Clifford Chance, working with Tark Grunte Sutkiene (TGS), Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic (DTB) and Montanios & Montanios, advised Bank Pekao S.A. (agent), mBank S.A. (security agent), and  Bank Handlowy w Warszawie S.A. (Citi Handlowy), ING Bank Slaski S.A., Bank BGZ BNP Paribas S.A., DNB Bank, and Caixa Bank as mandated lead arrangers on the facility.

PRK Partners has announced that it advised SABMiller group on Czech and Slovak issues related to its sale of its CEE businesses — including Czech brewery Plzensky Prazdroj and Slovak brewery Pivovary Topvar — to the Japanese Asahi Group.

Martin Vlcek has joined Deutsche Bank as its new Head of Compliance & Country AFC Officer in the Czech Republic.

Mergers & Acquisitions are meant to strengthen a company’s position on the market. But success is not always assured. Neglecting to address HR issues until too late is not unusual. So how can you make sure you get it right?

Ince & Co has advised longstanding client GasLog Ltd., an international owner, operator, and manager of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, on a sale and purchase agreement to acquire a 20% shareholding in Gastrade S.A. A.S. Papadimitriou in Athens provided Greek law advice to GasLog, and Norton Rose Fulbright advised Gastrade.

Potamitis Vekris has represented the LBRI Group on financing for its acquisition of a hotel in the island of Kos from Club Med. Thessaloniki-based sole practitioner George Goulielmos advised the LBRI group on the underlying acquisition itself, with Zepos & Yannopoulos advising Club Med. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

Potamitis Vekris has advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Develoment Fund on the EUR 400 million sale of the Astir Palace hotel complex in Athens by it and the National Bank of Greece to Apollo Investment ΗoldCo, a subsidiary of Jermyn Street Real Estate Fund IV LP. The National Bank of Greece was advised by the Alexiou-Kosmopoulos Law Firm, while M&P Bernitsas advised Apollo Investment HoldCo.

The Hungarian Parliament has recently adopted an amendment to the Hungarian Competition Act and to the Hungarian Consumer Protection Act. The amendment implements the rules of Directive 2014/104/EU issued by the European Parliament and the Council, which includes the rules of the actions for damages arising from infringements of the competition law provisions.

Oppenheim has announced that IP/IT specialist Aron Laszlo has become a Partner at the firm.

On December 24, 2016, Dechert secured a victory for MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas Plc in what Dechert describes as "a bet-the-company, multi-billion dollar arbitration."

Cobalt has assisted a syndicate of banks with Nordea Bank Finland Plc as the arranger in a EUR 280 million financing to AS Tallink Grupp for the refinancing of the Group's existing loans.

Leadell Pilv has advised the Tartu Ulikooli Kliinikum foundation and Valga Haigla AS hospital on the former's acquisition of 51% of the shares of the latter from the Estonian Town of Valga.

Cobalt has advised the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange-listed investment fund Baltic Horizon Fund on its EUR 12.2 million acquisition of the newly reconstructed Piirita shopping center in Pirita, Tallinn, from Matching Holding OU. The Pohla & Hallmagi firm advised the sellers on the deal.

Schoenherr has led Kosovar mobile operator Dardafon.net LLC ("Z-Mobile") to victory in its dispute against state-owned Telecom Kosovo ("PTK") in Kosovo's largest commercial arbitration to date.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

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.

Sorainen is announcing that Lelde Lavina, the head of the Latvian Real Estate & Construction Team, has become the 29th Partner of the firm, and that Partner Tomas Kontautas, current head of the Sorainen Banking, Finance & Insurance practice group, has been appointed the office Managing Partner of Sorainen Lithuania.

In the latest development in the ever-changing Baltic law firm landscape, Klavins Ellex has announced that it will be merging with Glimstedt's Riga office to "form the largest law firm in Latvia." The two firms will operate under the Klavins Ellex brand.

Eversheds Bitans has advised Latvia's AS Citadele Banka on the emission, public offering, and listing of subordinated bonds on the Nasdaq Baltic Bond List.

Sorainen Lithuania gas advised Finnish energy company Gasum on the sale of its shares in GET Baltic to Amber Grid, a Lithuanian gas transmission system operator. The transaction closed at the end of 2016.

Sorainen is announcing that Lelde Lavina, the head of the Latvian Real Estate & Construction Team, has become the 29th Partner of the firm, and that Partner Tomas Kontautas, current head of the Sorainen Banking, Finance & Insurance practice group, has been appointed the office Managing Partner of Sorainen Lithuania.

Competition expert Andrius Ivanauskas has been promoted to Partner in the Vilnius office of Glimstedt, making him the office's eighth.

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.

Macedonian law firm Apostolska & Aleksandrovski has announced that it officially joined the South East Legal Alliance (SELA) in the second half of November 2016.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

Turcan Cazac has assisted the shareholders of the Moldovan cable and pay TV operator Sun Communications in their sale of 100% of shares in the company to Orange Moldova SA, a unit of France Telecom's Internet and mobile arm Orange. Baker Botts advised the sellers as English counsel, while Orange was advised by Trevors Smith as English counsel and Schoenherr and Vernon | David as local counsel.

Kinstellar’s team in Bucharest has advised Alpha Bank Romania on the divestiture of its shares in the Chisinau-listed Moldavian bank, Victoriabank S.A., to the EBRD.

One-day networking forum addressing crucial issues covering a variety of asset classes and markets with respect to restructuring, CRE, private equity, special situations, bank deleveraging, NPL portfolio purchase and co-investment.

It is no secret that Montenegro is a country heavily oriented towards tourism, and its macro-economic activity is primarily based on services related to hotels, restaurants, and other similar tourist facilities. Generally speaking, one of the main characteristics of the tourism industry is expressed in its seasonal nature.

Montenegrin Parliament adopted the amendments to the Corporate Income Tax Law ("CIT Law") and Value Added Tax Law ("VAT Law"). Below is a brief description of the main amendments.

Christopher Rose has joined Dentons as Head of the Europe Venture Technology group and Partner in the Corporate and M&A and Private Equity practices. He will split his time between London, Warsaw, and Moscow.

WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr has promoted Competition specialist Bartosz Turno to Partner.

BSWW Legal & Tax has advised Rank Progress on the EUR 26.7 million sale of Galeria Swidnicka to the Catalyst Capital Fund (an SPV of Calioppe Investments). The Solivan firm advised the seller on the deal.

Mergers & Acquisitions are meant to strengthen a company’s position on the market. But success is not always assured. Neglecting to address HR issues until too late is not unusual. So how can you make sure you get it right?

Musat & Asociatii has assisted Emerson S.R.L., the Romanian subsidiary of Emerson Electric, with the separation of Emerson Network Power for the purpose of its transfer to the American investment fund Platinum Equity. The transaction was made at global level and amounted to approximately USD 4 billion.

In 2016, the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has continued to harmonize the standards of integrity, transparency, and prudent management applicable to all the entities under its supervision: capital market entities (i.e., investment firms, asset management companies, undertakings for collective investment, central depositories, market operators, clearing houses, and central counterparties), insurance/reinsurance companies, and private pension fund managers.

Goltsblat BLP has advised Russian billionaire Roman Avdeev's Rossium group of companies on their acquisition of a 90.99% stake in Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim group's PJSС OPIN development group. Onexim was advised by Herbert Smith Freehills on the deal.

Christopher Rose has joined Dentons as Head of the Europe Venture Technology group and Partner in the Corporate and M&A and Private Equity practices. He will split his time between London, Warsaw, and Moscow.

Baker McKenzie Moscow Partner Alexey Trusov has been appointed the new Head of the firm's EMEA Healthcare Group Steering Committee.

The Serbian Parliament has recently adopted amendments to the Criminal Code. The amendments include a significant overhaul of the legal framework for white collar crimes, touching upon the rules relevant for antitrust enforcement as well.

The new Serbian Housing Act is a long-awaited codification of all the statutes pertaining to housing. The Building Maintenance Act and Housing Act were passed in its original texts more than two decades ago, and were rendered obsolete by the changes in society and economics climate. But the big question is – will there be enough funds for carrying out all the ideas laid out by the legislators?

Karanovic & Nikolic has announced that Senior Partner Rastko Petakovic has been elected as firm Managing Partner, taking over from Dejan Nikolic.

PRK Partners has announced that it advised SABMiller group on Czech and Slovak issues related to its sale of its CEE businesses — including Czech brewery Plzensky Prazdroj and Slovak brewery Pivovary Topvar — to the Japanese Asahi Group.

Partos & Noblet, the associated Budapest office of Hogan Lovells, working with Grama Schwaighofer Vondrak Rechtsanwalte in Austria and Rowan Legal in Slovakia, has advised South Africa's JSE-listed Accelerate Property Fund on the acquisition and financing of a portfolio of nine retail warehouse properties tenanted by OBI subsidiaries from the Supernova Privatstiftung group. Supernova was advised by Dorda Brugger Jordis with Slovak law advice provided by Cechova & Partners.

In our new Marketing Marketing feature, introduced in this issue, we ask our law firm marketing and business development friends across CEE to share their experience and perspectives on their profession. The premier question is a simple one: If you had three more hours in the day at work, what one part of your job would you prioritize in that extra time?

CEE Equity Partners, the Investment Advisor to the China Central and Eastern Europe Investment Co-operation Fund, has announced the completion of an investment by the Fund in Javna Razsvetljava d.d. and JRS d.d., which it describes as "market leaders in design and implementation of public lighting and signaling solutions, including Energy Service Company-based contracting, in Slovenia."

Contrary to initial negative expectations, the post-Brexit shockwaves hardly brushed upon the Slovenian capital markets, which seem to be slowly gaining momentum.

Selih & Partnerji is reporting that it advised Slovenia's Paloma d.d. on the equity capital increase into the company by ECO-Investment, a.s., (Czech Republic) in the amount of EUR 18.2 million at the price of EUR 4.01 per share. The equity capital increase procedure was conducted by Erste Group Bank AG and P&S CAPITAL, which served as financial advisors to Paloma.

Turkey’s main regulation regarding advertisements, the Regulation on Commercial Advertisement and Unfair Commercial Practices (“Regulation”) was amended with another regulation published on the Official Gazette of 4 January 2017, effective immediately. Those who advertise their products and services, advertisement agencies and the media that publishes such advertisement should abide by the Regulation. 

The General Annunciation on Law on Restructuring of Some Receivables numbered 6736 Serial No: 1 has explained the article 7 titled “Acquiring Some Assets to National Economy” of “Law on Restructuring of Some Receivables” (“Law”).

Balcioglu Selcuk Akman Keki Attorney Partnership has succesfully advised Pera Capital on its acquisition of 45% of the shares of Asset Medikal from the Teknoloji Yatirim A.S. venture capital firm and founding Asset Medikal shareholders Mehmet Tuysuz, Fusun Tuysuz, and Filiz Bayindir. The Akol Ozok Namli Attorney Partnership advised Teknoloji Yatirim and the Yasaman Law Firm advised the shareholders.

Ilyashev and Partners has represented PJSC KuibyshevAzot in an anti-dumping investigation related to import of nitrogen fertilizers of Russian origin into Ukraine. 

Mergers & Acquisitions are meant to strengthen a company’s position on the market. But success is not always assured. Neglecting to address HR issues until too late is not unusual. So how can you make sure you get it right?

Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv office has advised Eurobank Ergasias S.A., one of the largest banks in Greece, on the sale of its Ukrainian subsidiary, Universal Bank, to Ukraine's TAS Group industrial group, which owned by Ukrainian businessman Sergiy Tigipko.