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Czabanski & Galuszynski has advised Yawal S.A. and Final S.A. on a syndicated loan of over PLN 90 million by Santander Bank Polska S.A. and mBank S.A.

Brandl & Talos has advises aws Grunderfonds on its entry into Viennese start-up ToolSense GmbH.

Weber & Co. has advised OMV Aktiengesellschaft in connection with the issue of a corporate bond in an aggregate volume of EUR 1 billion. White & Case advised the Joint Lead Managers on the bond issue.

Gessel has advised Polish Enterprise Fund VIII, a private equity fund managed by Enterprise Investors, on the acquisition of a minority stake in Anwim SA, an independent operator of fuel stations in Poland, trading under the Moya brand.

Dentons has advised a syndicate of four banks, consisting of Bank Pekao S.A., Ceska Sporitelna, a.s., PKO BP, and ING Bank Slaski on the financing of AmRest Group.

Avellum acted as Ukrainian legal counsel to Slobozhanska Budivelna Keramika in connection with the restructuring and refinancing of SBK’s debt, valued at approximately EUR 20 million. Wolf Theiss advised the EBRD, one of the lenders, on the matter.

Maple & Fish has successfully represented the Slovak Republic in a state aid case involving EUR 125 million in investment aid to Jaguar Land Rover before the European Commission.

Sorainen has advised Inchcape International Holdings Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Inchcape plc, on the acquisition of BMW's distribution business in Lithuania from UAB Modus Group, which was advised by Ellex Valiunas.

CMS Budapest has advised the Futureal Group on the sale of its six existing office buildings and two office buildings currently under construction, together referred to as the Corvin Office Portfolio, to OTP Real Estate Investment Fund Management. DLA Piper reportedly represented the OTP Group on the acquisition.

Milena Jaksic Papac has become a Partner at Karanovic & Partners in Belgrade.

Dvorak Hager & Partners is joining Eversheds Sutherland, one of the 40 largest law firms in the world.

Czech law firm UEPA has opened an office in Bratislava, led by Partner Marcel Macai, a recent addition to the firm's team.

Former Magnusson Partner and Head of Energy and Infrastructure Magdalena Mitas has joined DLA Piper Warsaw as Counsel and Head of Energy.

Ewa Lachowska-Brol and Ewa Szlachetka have assumed the role of Co-Managing Partners of Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland in Warsaw, replacing Tomasz Zalewski, who has decided to end his association with the firm.

Arkadiusz Krasnodębski has been reelected to his third term as Dentons Managing Partner in Poland, beginning on January 1, 2019.

Dana Dunel-Stancu has returned to Biris Goran to head the firm's Energy and Natural Resources practice after two years heading the legal department at Romanian power generator Hidroelectrica S.A.

Former Hogans Lovells attorney Artur Bilski has left that firm to join Ramp as General Counsel.

Former Kocian Solc Balastik Partner Christian Blatchford has accepted an offer to become the first General Counsel of KSB client Energo-Pro a.s.

As in all EU member states, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in Austria on 25 May 2018. The centrepiece of Austria's GDPR implementing legislation was the Data Protection Amendment Act 2018 (for further details please see "Draft Data Protection Amendment Act 2018 in appraisal" and "Proposals to alter national Data Protection Act").

Trademark owners and unconventional trademark enthusiasts should pay close attention to a new amendment to the Czech Act on Trademarks, which is expected to come into force on 1 January 2019. The new law implementing the EU's Trademark Directive 2015/2436 will enable registration of marks that are identical with an earlier trademark. This may prove upsetting for unwary trademark owners. At the same time, the new legislation might inspire greater creativity, as it will open doors for non-traditional trademarks.

On 26 October 2018 the Law on the Amendments and Supplements to the Air Transport Law ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", no. 83/2018) (hereinafter: the "Law") was adopted and entered into force on 6 November 2018.

The Serbian Parliament adopted the Law on Financial Collaterals on 8 June 2018, which will become effective as of 1 January 2019. To implement the solutions from the Law on Financial Collaterals, the Serbian Parliament also adopted amendments to the Bankruptcy Law, which will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

On 30 November 2018, a new law implementing several changes to existing legislation (1), notably to the Civil Code and the Commercial Companies Code, as well as to tax laws, was announced. The new law, which will enter into force at the beginning of 2019 (with respect to matters commented on below, mostly as of 1 March 2019).

“Just cause” is a term that is used frequently under the Turkish Commercial Code No. 6102 (“TCC”). In broad terms, “just cause” may be defined as a situation in which the relationship between a shareholder and the company and/or between a shareholder and other shareholders becomes unbearable or untenable for valid legal reasons. Although the term “just cause” is frequently employed under the TCC, Turkish lawmakers did not opt to provide an explicit definition of this term under the TCC and instead delegated this duty to the doctrine and the courts.

The new element introduced by this Bill relates to the establishment of a Games of Chance Administration, and defining the tasks and competences of this Administration; no changes or amendments of the present Law with regard to material regulations are envisaged.

Business corporations have been criminally liable in the Czech Republic since January 2012. A December 2016 amendment has introduced the possibility to exculpate oneself from criminal liability if the company "has applied all efforts that could be reasonably expected from it" to avert an offence. Nowadays, in practice this means setting up a suitable compliance management system ("CMS"). But what should a CMS look like to effectively exculpate a company? To answer this question, the new, second methodology devoted to this topic of the Czech General Prosecutor's Office of August 2018 should be of assistance (the "Methodology").

From January 2019 the VAT exemption threshold for individuals will be increased to HUF 12 million from the current limit of HUF 8 million. During the summer 2018 the Hungarian Parliament had already adopted the tax rules applicable in 2019, however, some adjustments had to be made in autumn to fully comply with the EU law.

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Recently-introduced reforms to the Czech Code of Civil Procedure, the country’s new Act on Insurance Distribution, and the Istanbul Convention on Domestic Violence are among the topics Czech lawyers are most commonly discussing at the moment, according to Kocian Solc Balastik Partner Sylvie Sobolova.

The Deal: In July 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Warsaw office of Linklaters had advised Polish rolling stock manufacturer PESA Bydgoszcz and its shareholders on the sale of 100% of the company to the Polish Development Fund. Weil, Gotshal & Manges advised the Polish Development Fund on the acquisition.

Miljan Malovic is the Head of the Business Legal Advisory Office of Banca Intesa Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Belgrade in 2001, and joined Banca Intesa in 2006.

On May 7, 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that DTEK Renewables is developing the Nikopol solar power plant project in Ukraine, which will be the most powerful in the country. We reached out to Ivan Lyakh, General Counsel for DTEK Renewables, for comment.