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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.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.

November 7th 2017

Brandl & Talos has advised Ring International Holding AG on the sale of its proOffice Group, to the Hamelin Group, a manufacturer of paper and office products based in Caen, France. Brandl & Talos was supported by Willkie Farr & Gallagher on questions of French and German law, while the Hamelin Group was represented by the Gordon S. Blair law firm.

BPV Hugel has advised Immofinanz AG in review proceedings of the exchange ratio to be applied in its 2010 merger with Immoeast AG.

In May 2018, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which will be directly applicable in all member states – will come into force, harmonizing the data protection regime to a major extent. However, several of the GDPR’s opening clauses delegate responsibility for further regulation to national legislators. International companies will thus still have to consider local laws when preparing for GDRP-compliance. 

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.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.

Stepanovski, Papakul & Partners has provided legal support for the incorporation in Belarus of four companies from Guangdong in China -- three of which have become residents of the Great Stone Industrial Park. 

In the era of modern business, where strengthening of existing businesses and encouraging startups is a GDP must, improving the investment environment is common sense, and compliance should serve the benefit of it all, one should stop and wonder at the sight of what we call “twisted compliance.”

Partners at Serbian Law Firms Discuss the Growing Number of Legal Alliances Appearing Across the Former Yugoslavia 

The Law Firm Sajic is representing the Lithuanian company AB Ukio Bankas as a bankruptcy creditor in the bankruptcy proceedings against Banka Srpske a.d. Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

DLA Piper has advised Hungary-based Egis Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of the D-Panthenol brand, the second largest brand in the dexpanthenol market in Russia, and of a Russian gynaecology portfolio consisting of Vagilac, Feminal and Folacin brands, from Jadran-Galenski Laboratorij. CMS advised the sellers on  the deal.

As a result of several mid-sized acquisitions in 2016, many foreign companies interested in buying shares in limited liability companies in Bulgaria have faced questions about how the management of such business entities are controlled and what the risks are of detection, after the acquisition, of “hidden liabilities” due to the potentially non-compliant behavior of those companies’ statutory representatives with good corporate standards.

On May 3, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that facility management company Mundus Services – a joint venture of EMPower Capital and KJK Capital – had acquired engineering solutions and services company VM Automation from VM Finance Group in Bulgaria. Stanislav Nikolaev, Operating Partner for EMPower Capital, agreed to answer our questions about the deal.

DLA Piper has advised Hungary-based Egis Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of the D-Panthenol brand, the second largest brand in the dexpanthenol market in Russia, and of a Russian gynaecology portfolio consisting of Vagilac, Feminal and Folacin brands, from Jadran-Galenski Laboratorij. CMS advised the sellers on  the deal.

With Croatia joining the European Union and assuming the obligation to implement EU law, compliance became the key word in the country’s legal market. At first, the complicated regulatory environment produced legal uncertainty in entire industries.

Partners at Serbian Law Firms Discuss the Growing Number of Legal Alliances Appearing Across the Former Yugoslavia 

The Corporations Act provides that the venue, date and time of a general meeting must be set in such a manner that shareholders’ rights to attend (and vote) are not unreasonably limited. Would this statutory requirement be met if the general meeting were held in a foreign country? If so, under what circumstances?

Due to the increasing activities of state authorities concerning the liability of juridical persons in general, but especially regarding corporate criminal liability, the topic of compliance is no longer seen only as a formal requirement but is becoming more and more important in the Czech Republic in almost all areas of law.

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. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

Kyriakides Georgopoulos has advised the National Bank of Greece on a Public Private Partnership project for the development, design, financing, construction, and operation of a solid waste treatment plant at Serres, in Northern Greece, awarded to the consortium of Archirodon Group NV, Intrakat Constructions S.A., and Envitec S.A. The consortium was advised by Bernitsas.

Prior to building up or transplanting their advertising campaigns in Greece, businesses wishing to acquire a share in the local media market, besides familiarizing themselves with their industry sector through review and analysis of the industry economics, participants, and main competitors, should immerse themselves into the regulatory framework for advertising that will enable them to develop their business plan and marketing strategies most efficiently.

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. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

Jeantet Budapest has advised Accor-Pannonia Hotels Zrt. on its EUR 42.25 million acquisition of the company holding the real estate on which the Sofitel Budapest Chain Bridge hotel is located from Universale International Realitaten GmbH. Reti, Antall & Partners advised the sellers.

Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC has transferred its business and operations to a new firm, Elias Neocleous & Co LLC.

The Hungarian Parliament modified the provisions on the implementation of the Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) system according to the 2016/1164 EU directive. These changes relate to the obligation of the transfer pricing documentation for multinational enterprises.

Primus has advised AS Lauma International on its acquisition of Felina International AG, the parent company of the German-based lingerie group, from the Palero investment fund. White & Case Frankfurt advised the sellers on the deal.

Ellex Raidla and Ellex Valiunas has advised United Partners in preparation for its EUR 4.7 million bond issuance.

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. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

November 7th 2017

Acting on a contract with the Policy and Management Consulting Group, Nove Partner Urmas Volens has reviewed the Draft Law on Business Organizations of the Republic of Kosovo, which was prepared by the Government of Kosovo through a working group led by the Kosovo Ministry of Trade and Industry (with support from USAID Partnerships for Development).

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.

Primus has advised AS Lauma International on its acquisition of Felina International AG, the parent company of the German-based lingerie group, from the Palero investment fund. White & Case Frankfurt advised the sellers on the deal.

Cobalt has advised Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs International, and Societe Generale in relation to a dual-tranche Eurobond transaction by the Republic of Latvia in an aggregate amount of EUR 350 million. The transaction completed Latvia’s financing requirement for 2017 in the international capital markets.

"First of all this spring we re-elected the governing body and another institutions for attorneys," says Agris Bitans, the Managing Partner of Eversheds Bitans in Latvia, when asked for the Buzz in his country.

Motieka & Audzevicius has represented AB Kauno Grudai, one of the largest agriculture companies in Lithuania, in an investigation initiated by the Lithuanian Competition Council.

Sorainen has assisted Contrarian Ventures on its successful tender to become manager of a venture capital fund established by Lietuvos Energija.

Sorainen has represented Alfa Bank in a dispute over loans personally granted by Lithuanian businessman Vidmantas Kucinskas to Arvi NKP, which operates a fertilizer factory in Kaliningrad.

Restrictive agreements and practices in Macedonia are governed by the Protection of Competition Act (2010) (the “Competition Act”), which entered into force on November 13, 2010.

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.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.

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.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.

Partners at Serbian Law Firms Discuss the Growing Number of Legal Alliances Appearing Across the Former Yugoslavia 

“You cannot really start with the legal industry before you understand the political moment in the country” says Vladimir Radonjic, the Managing Partner of Radonjic / Associates in Montenegro, when asked for the Buzz in his country. “Politics has been the main subject of conversation in the country for the last 12 months.”

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.

Edyta Krukowska has been appointed Head of the Legal Department at GEO Renewables S.A., a company which develops, constructs, and operates wind parks in Poland.

KKLW has advised a consortium of Turkish construction firm Gulermak and Poland's Przedsiebiorstwo Budowy Drog i Mostow on its selection via tender to construct Part B of the Warsaw bypass road -- a 6.45 km long section to include a new bridge on the Vistula river. The value of the contract is EUR 178.1 million.

Polish lawyers Piotr Siezieniewski and Przemyslaw Stobinski have joined Deloitte Legal in Warsaw — Siezieniewski as a Partner and Stobinski as a Partner Associate.

Kinstellar has promotions Iustinian Captariu and Remus Codreanu in Bucharest and Akos Nagy in Budapest to Partner.

The Bucharest office of Schoenherr has provided legal assistance on the creation of a 50/50 partnership between the Iulius Group, the developer and operator of the Iulius network of shopping malls, with Atterbury Romania.

NNDKP has successfully represented Search Corporation SRL in a dispute involving a claim for damages of approximately RON 62 million related to the public procurement contract concluded in 2006 for design works for the building of the Agigea Bridge near the Port of Constanta.

DLA Piper has advised Hungary-based Egis Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of the D-Panthenol brand, the second largest brand in the dexpanthenol market in Russia, and of a Russian gynaecology portfolio consisting of Vagilac, Feminal and Folacin brands, from Jadran-Galenski Laboratorij. CMS advised the sellers on  the deal.

Herbert Smith Freehills has announced that finance lawyer Dmitry Gubarev will join the firm's Moscow office as a partner. Gubarev joins from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Moscow where he is a partner and head of the Russian Banking & Finance practice. 

CMS Russia has announced that Artashes Oganov has moved from Dentons to join the firm as Counsel and Head of Real Estate.

In recent times, more and more international companies are outsourcing their call centres and data processing facilities to Serbia.

The Deal:  On December 8, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Wolf Theiss had advised the EBRD on its issuance of RSD 2.5 trillion Floating Rate Bonds due December 2019. AP Legal advised Raiffeisen Banka A.D., Beograd, acting as underwriter for the issuance, and Harrisons advised marketing agent Citigroup Global Markets Limited. 

The Serbian Constitutional Court Rejects Voting Limitations Adopted by Belgrade Bar Association

In recent years suspicions regarding massive conflicts of interest, corruption, and the favoritism of creditors have created the political will to mandate the disclosure of ownership backgrounds of companies dealing with public finances. Attorneys from Taylor Wessing Bratislava have participated in the preparation of the so-called Anti-Letterbox Companies Act, which entered into force on February 1, 2017.

Schoenherr has advised AG Foods Group and Cooperatief Avallon MBO U.A. on settlement of minority shareholders' disputes and on a subsequent management buyout.

Dvorak Hager & Partners has provided legal assistance to Czech Republic Sotheby's International Realty in connection with its entry into the Czech and Slovak markets.

Partners at Serbian Law Firms Discuss the Growing Number of Legal Alliances Appearing Across the Former Yugoslavia 

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. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

ODI Law has advised the seller -- a private individual -- on the sale of a 42.1218 % stake in Iskra to Taxgroup Gmbh, one of the existing shareholders of the company. The deal also involved the purchase by the firm's client of a share in Caveat Romanae, a Croatian subsidiary of Iskra.

The Moral Law Firm has advised Borusan EnBW Enerji Yatirimlari ve Uretim A.S. — a joint venture of Borusan Holding A.S. and EnBW Energie Baden-Wurttemberg AG — on its USD 38.5 million acquisition of the Kiyikoy Wind Power Plant from Aksa Energy. The Cakmak Law Firm, Cakmak-Gokce Law firm, and White & Case advised Aksa Energy on the deal, which is contingent on approval from Turkey's EMRA and Competition Authority.

Yegin Ciftci Attorney Partnership and Clifford Chance have advised Citi, the sole bookrunner of the accelerated bookbuild process, in connection with the USD 485 million sale of shares in Koc Holding by members of the Koc family.

The Esin Attorney Partnership and Baker McKenzie have advised Turkven Private Equity, the Akarlilar Family, and Mavi Giyim Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.on Mavi's IPO. White & Case advised underwriters Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Is Yatirim on the IPO, which, with a market capitalization of TRY 2,135,300,000 (TRY 43 per share) and an offering of 27,311,350 shares, is the largest in Turkey since 2013.

Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv office has advised the International Finance Corporation, on its provision of an eight-year loan worth around UAH 400 million (about USD 15 million) to Auchan Retail to finance the food retail chain's long-term investments in Ukraine.

ILC Eucon has successfully defended the Vostok LLC international oil trading company in a tax dispute before the Kyiv Administrative Court of Appeal.

Gestors has assisted Belarus's Dobrush Porcelain Factory in Ukraine's official review of "special safeguard measures" related to the import of cutlery and porcelain dishes to Ukraine.