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The Deal:

On February 18, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach and Baker & McKenzie Diwok Hermann Petsche had advised on Wiener Privatbank’s acquisition of the Austrian business of the private bank Valartis. The transaction was described by DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach as “the largest banking transaction in Austria in the year 2015.”

Rob Irving is an M&A and private equity Partner and Co-Chair of Denton’s global Private Equity group. He has worked on landmark transactions throughout Central and Eastern Europe and South-Eastern Europe as well as Turkey since 1991. He started his legal career with White & Case, where he worked until May 2015, when, together with the entire White & Case Budapest office, he joined Dentons.

Richard Clegg is a Partner at Wolf Theiss, based in Sofia, working throughout CEE/SEE.

A corporate and regulatory lawyer, he has particular specialization in the telecommunications, technology, and regulated industries and advises on transaction, regulatory, and compliance matters, often in sensitive or challenging circumstances.

In May, 2015, Vasil Kisil & Partners announced that disputes specialist Andriy Stelmashchuk had been elected the firm’s new Managing Partner – becoming the first Managing Partner who was not among the venerable firm’s founders. The change coincided with the introduction of what the firm described as “a new corporate identity,” which the firm claimed reflects “the firm’s development strategy and key values of the brand: a national law firm operating to Western standards and leading the changes and innovative solutions.”

English solicitor and Scottish national Marie Kelly is a Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright in Athens, where she heads the firm’s Greek Dispute Resolution Practice. She specializes in shipping litigation and shipping contracts including ship-building contracts, and also has a great deal of experience in arbitration and in commercial litigation in the high court. 

Kelly got her law degree from the University of Glasgow in 1982 and subsequently studied at the College of Europe in Bruges and the University of Edinburgh. She has been with Norton Rose Fulbright since 1998, when she moved with her husband to Athens.

Luiza Oprisan is the Head of Legal of the Kanal D television station in Romania, which is owned by Dogan Media International S.A. – a subsidiary of Dogan Yayin Holding, the biggest media group in Turkey. 

Oprisan’s experience includes working as the Deputy Legal Director of Vimetco Management, as a Deputy Manager, Tax and Legal with PwC, the Head of International Law Office with BANCOREX, and as a Judge with the Bucharest Sectors 1 and 2 and Tulcea Courts. She also spent a couple of years in Montreal, Canada, working as an Assistant Manager/Human Resources with B.E.S.T. Security.

In an exclusive conversation with CEE Legal Matters, Meltem Akol — the Executive Partner of the Akol Law Firm, which until very recently was White & Case’s associated firm in Istanbul — has explained her reasons for leaving W&C and her excitement at her plans going forward.

On May 24 the Bucharest Bar – the largest of the Bar Associations in Romania – elected a new Dean: Ion Dragne, the Managing Partner of Dragne & Asociatii. The position has traditionally been held by independent litigators, so the election of a lawyer from the “consulting side” – as Dragne calls it – was a first in the Bar’s history. CEE Legal Matters talked with the new Dean of the Bucharest Bar about what drove his election and his initial plans in the new role. 

We took the opportunity of the presence in Prague this month of Eduardo Leite, Chairman of Baker & McKenzie's Executive Committee, and Gary Senior, the firm's Chair for EMEA, for Baker & McKenzie's EMEA Partners' Conference, to sit down with both of them. These conversations provided a rare opportunity to explore Baker & McKenzie's expectations and plans for CEE, the ways the firm handles the political and financial crises in the region, and the possibility of expansion into new CEE markets.

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Nataliya Cowen is a Special Counsel with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where she reviews rules of U.S. stock exchanges to ensure that they protect investors and works on various rulemakings, in particular, those related to the Dodd-Frank Act. 

In mid-July it was reported that Partner Perry Zizzi would be leaving Badea Clifford Chance in Bucharest to return to Dentons, where he had worked (under the Salans brand) before leaving 7 years before. On August 4 the news broke that long-time Ukrainian expert Adam Mycyk had joined Dentons as well. Mycyk moved over from Chadbourne & Parke, as that firm winds down its operations in KievWe reached out to Zizzi and Mycyk to ask them about their decisions to join Dentons.

Considering the current situation in Crimea, in particular circumstances influenced on doing business there, it is clear that there are more questions than answers despite legislative settlements undertaken from both the Ukrainian and Russian sides. At present only the optimists retain confidence in doing business in the territory of the Crimean peninsula in line with the usual civilized rules. Perhaps, for the Ukrainian side the incurring of damages and reservation of right of ownership and other rights of property are the most pressing issues. And the range of pitfalls grows all the time…. 

CEE Legal Matters is excited to attend the first in its series of Asset Yield panel discussions, hosted by Richards Kibbe & Orbe in London this Thursday. In preparation for the event, we sat down with one of the guest panelists at the event, Pawel Halwa, the Managing Partner of the Schoenherr Warsaw office.

Kiev.Victor/Shutterstock.com

CEE Legal Matters has asked a number of Ukrainian lawyers who were personally involved in the events on Maidan Nezalezhnosti ("Independence Square") in Kiev to describe both their reasons for being there and the dramatic events they witnessed. This, the first such account, was sent to us by Dmytro Ivanusa, the Head of Legal at Donoway Assurance (Ukraine), a Member of Crowe Horwath International. We want to thank Dmytro for taking the time to write this exclusive account for our readers. 

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