“Vienna is the gate to Eastern Europe” – Niki Lauda
“Clients are increasingly looking for diversity in terms of dispute resolution methods,” according to Anne-Karin Grill, Partner at Schoenherr in Vienna. Keen to learn more about this development, CEE Legal Matters spoke with Grill, Schoenherr’s Bucharest-based Partner Silvia Opris, and Natasa Lalatovic Djordjevic, Attorney at Law at Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr in Serbia.
The Bucharest office of Schoenherr has announced the arrival of Georgiana Badescu from Voicu & Filipescu as a new Partner in charge of the office's competition practice. The partnership ranks in the office has also been expanded by the promotion of Eva Hegedus-Brown to Partner in the real estate practice.
Schoenherr has advised UNIQA Insurance Group AG on a contract with IBM Oesterreich GmbH for the upgrade of UNIQA's business processes and IT infrastructure. Schoenherr describes the agreement as "one of the largest IT contracts ever to be signed in the German speaking region of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland."
Schoenherr has advised a group of investors led by Erwin Krause and Franz Kollitsch on the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with SIGNA, and on the JV's acquisition of BAI Bautrager Austria Immobilien GmbH from Immobilien Holding (a UniCredit Bank Austria company). Arnold Rechtsanwalte advised SIGNA on the deal, while Immobilien was advised by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners. The signing of the purchase agreement took place on January 25, 2017, and the transaction is subject to competition authority approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Schoenherr has announced the promotion of Bratislava-based Local Partner Sona Hekelova to Managing Partner of the Bratislava office and Banking & Finance Lawyer Gergely Szaloki to Local Partner in Budapest.
On the evening of February 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters hosted the first ever CEELM Budapest Law Firm Bowling Challenge: A competition of four-person teams from leading law firms in Hungary, with all proceeds to go to the winner’s charity of choice. A total of 13 law firms competed for the impressive trophy – and the glory that goes along with it.
Schoenherr and SCWP Schindhelm have advised a joint venture company formed by an investor group and Austrian property developer UBM Development AG on the acquisition of UniCredit Bank Austria subsidiary Ekazent Group. UniCredit Bank Austria was advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer on the deal, which closed on January 31, 2017.
CMS has advised long-standing client OTP Group on its acquisition of Societe Generale’s Croatian bank, Splitska Banka, and its leasing and insurance subsidiaries. Jones Day Paris was lead counsel to Societe Generale, with Schoenherr Zagreb advising on Croatian matters.
Schoenherr has promoted Austrian restructuring law expert Miriam Simsa to Contract Partner, effective as of February 1, 2017.
Dorda Brugger Jordis has advised the Czech SAZKA Group in increasing its indirect stake in Casinos Austria AG to 34% by its acquisition of the shares of UNIQA Beteiligungs-Holding GmbH and Leipnik-Lundenburger Invest Beteiligungs AG in Medial Beteiligungs GmbH. The transaction is subject to Austrian antimonopoly and international gaming approvals and will be completed as soon as such approvals are obtained. UNIQA was advised by Schoenherr on the deal, and LLI was advised by Wolf Theiss.
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.
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?
Greenberg Traurig, has advised Rentokil Initial plc on its joint venture agreement with Haniel & Cie. Holding Company, resulting in a unified provider of workwear and hygiene services in Europe with combined revenues of approximately EUR 1.1 billion. The Dusseldorf-based Glade Michel Wirtz law firm provided counsel to Haniel.
RTPR Allen & Overy has advised Raiffeisen Bank and Wood & Company Financial Services as managers on Medlife’s IPO, the biggest private IPO in Romania. Medlife was advised by Schoenherr. Allen & Overy reports that this is the largest private IPO in the history of the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Schoenherr has advised Redside Investicni Spolecnost, a.s. ("Redside"), the manager of the real estate open-ended investment fund NOVA Real Estate, on its acquisition of the Panorama Business Center building from Dutch closed private investment fund Mint Fund 8 B.V. The closing took place on December 1, 2016.