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Allen & Overy has advised Czech Gas Networks Investments on its successful issuance and placement of EUR 600 million and CZK 6.75 billion notes with investors on international capital markets. Clifford Chance reportedly advised joint book-runners Citigroup Global Markets Europe AG, Societe Generale, UniCredit Bank AG, Ceska Sporitelna, a.s., Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka, a. s., and Komercni Banka, a.s., as well as trustee Citicorp Trustee Company Limited and the London branch of Citibank, which acted as the paying agent, transfer agent, and the agent bank.

Sorainen has advised Montonio on its generation of EUR 500,000 from both Estonian and international investors.

The Latvian office of Cobalt has advised AirBaltic on a EUR 250 million investment in its shares by the Latvian Government.

White & Case has advised the Moscow Exchange, Russia's largest securities exchange group, on its acquisition of a 17% stake in BierbaumPro AG and the right to acquire the rest from unidentified sellers.

Separate teams from Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski have advised both EnduroSat and Freigeist Capital on the latter's investment into the former. Lacore Rechtsanwalte was German counsel to Freigeist Capital. 

Boyanov & Co has successfully represented Organic Land Corporation EOOD, a Bulgarian subsidiary of Tradin Organic B.V., in litigation against an unidentified company operating in the agricultural business. 

SSW Pragmatic Solutions has advised Polish resin manufacturer LERG S.A. on the acquisition of CIECH Zywice, another Polish resin manufacturer. The value of the transaction, based on the purchase price of its shares, is approximately PLN 160 million (approximately EUR 36 million). 

Schoenherr has assisted Auer-Blaschke GmbH & Co KG with the registration of its new AUER brand design as a model brand at the Austrian Patent Office.

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Admie, the owner and operator of the Greek electricity transmission grid, on the concession for the Crete-Attica high-voltage direct current interconnection project, granted to Admie’s subsidiary Ariadne Interconnection.

A three-person Products & Health team led by Agnieszka Majka has moved from Hogan Lovells to NGL Legal in Warsaw.

The Tallinn office of Fort Legal has been joined by a three-person team from CORE Legal led by Partner Merit Lind and by Kristin Kamilla Kirss, the former Chief Legal Counsel and Head of Baltic Legal at Svenska Handelsbanken AB Estonian Branch.

Bora Kaya, the former Managing Legal Counsel at Gama Power Systems Engineering and Contracting, has become Chief Legal Officer of Gama Holding.

Iliana Byanova, the former Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at the First Investment Bank, has joined Sopharma Trading as its Chief Legal, Risk, and Compliance Officer in Sofia.

Eva Nikolic has become Senior Director Legal, Developed Markets at the Astellas pharmaceutical company, where she will head the company's commercial legal agenda and lead related legal support in 22 European markets, including Central Europe and the Adriatic and Baltic regions.

Aleksandra Krawczyk, Kinga Slomka, Dominika Szachniewicz, and Witold Slawinski have been promoted to Partner at SDZLegal Schindhelm in Poland.

Olena Kuchynska has been appointed the new Managing Partner of the Kinstellar’s Kyiv office.

Altug Ozgun, Astella Pharma's Ethics & Compliance Director in Turkey, is joining the recently established Cetinkaya Attorneys-at-Law firm as a Partner. 

Turkish lawyers Semih Metin and Seval Cicek have founded the MC Legal law firm in Istanbul.

Оn 10 July, 2020, just over two years after Bulgaria formally announced its intention to join the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) and the Banking Union, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) announced two very important decisions:

2019 was an outstanding year for Ukrainian gas sector, as the country managed to complete the most critical parts of the unbundling of the gas transmission system in a timely manner. The year was also remarkable because, in twelve months, we saw three different unbundling models proposed by the Government, forcing the participants of the unbundling process and the key stakeholders to quickly adapt to the new rules and scenarios. For most of the year the country planned to implement an ownership unbundling model. However, in September 2019, before the third round of trilateral Ukraine-Russia-EU talks on gas transit, the unbundling plan took a U-turn, when the newly appointed Ukrainian Government, in its Resolution 840 (the “New Unbundling Resolution”), decided to switch to the independent system operator (ISO) model.

Under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement of June 27, 2014, Ukraine undertook to harmonize its legislation with EU law by 2023, including the regulatory framework for IP. Subsequently, in February 2020, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted a long-awaited set of draft IP protection laws (the “Draft Laws”), which are likely to have a significant impact on companies doing business in Ukraine, as well as on the measures which may be taken by businesses in connection with IP commercialization.

Since 2008 joint stock companies in Ukraine have functioned under a special corporate governance law (the “JSC Law”), which has improved through the course of its existence. Year after year, with the help of the SEC and the business community, Ukrainian legislators have introduced profound amendments to the law to bring corporate governance in JSCs in Ukraine closer to European standards, to attract foreign investments, and to insure adequate protection of rights of various stakeholders (minority shareholders, creditors, etc.) As a result, Ukraine has moved up in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, and in 2020 the country ranks 64th in the ease of doing business and 45th in the minority shareholders protection component.

New legislation that affects investments in Polish entities by investors from outside the EEA and OECD will enter into force on 24 July 2020. The Act on Control of Certain Investments (the "Act"), recently amended by the so-called Anti-Crisis Shield Act, empowers the President of the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (the "OCCP") to review foreign investments on the grounds of public security, order and health. The new screening mechanism will apply over the next two years. 

The Hungarian Parliament passed a legislation on the ban of single-use plastic in Hungary on 7 July 2020 as part of the Climate and Nature Protection Action Plan. The legislation was meant to be accepted earlier this year, however then the proposal was withdrew because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an earlier press release from the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, the “Hungarian Government is committed to defend the created world”.

On 20 July 2020, laws governing the activities of financial marketplaces came into force, namely, Federal Law* No. 211-FZ “On Concluding Financial Transactions Using a Financial Platform” dated 20 July 2020 and Federal Law* No. 212-FZ “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Conclusion of Financial Transactions Using a Financial Platform” dated 20 July 2020 (the “Laws”).

Lawmakers have adopted new rules protecting consumers against faulty goods applicable as of 1 January 2021.

Investigations Into Price Hikes and Other Responses by the Ukrainian Competition Authority to the COVID-19 Crisis

Ukraine

Ukrainian renewable energy lawyer Svitlana Teush takes a look at the law which will define the cuts to be applied in Ukraine after extensive negotiation between government and the clean energy industry.

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“In terms of national politics, when it comes to Latvia, the word of the day is ‘stability,'“ says Raimonds Slaidins, Senior Partner at Ellex Klavins in Riga. “The current coalition government has been in power for about one and a half years now, and other than the COVID-19 crisis this has been a good, stable period of time for us — there aren’t any indications that something might change in the near future regarding the national government.“

Daniel Bilak is the former Managing Partner at CMS Kyiv, Chairman of UkraineInvest, and new Senior Counsel at Kinstellar, on his diverse background and fascinating career.

CEE Legal Matters first interviewed Ingo Steinwender in 2014, near the end of his first year as Group Head of Legal at CA Immobilien Anlagen AG, one of the largest real estate companies in Austria. Six years later, we check in.