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Gide Loyrette Nouel has advised Groupama Holding Filiales et Participations on the sale and transfer of its 10% stake in Turkish insurance company Gunes Sigorta A.S. to TVF Finansal Yatirimlar Anonim Sirketi, a subsidiary of the Turkey Wealth Fund. Baker McKenzie advised TVF on the transaction, which closed on February 14, 2020.

The Bucharest office of Kinstellar has advised Highlander Partners on its acquisition of Sano Vita. RTPR Allen & Overy advised the selling shareholders.

Ellex Valiunas has helped Lords LB Baltic Fund IV negotiate a lease agreement for a building in Vilnius with Northern Lyceum.

Debevoise & Plimpton has advised Norilsk Nickel on the upsizing and extension of its December 2017 syndicated facility agreement.

Schoenherr has advised Kommunalkredit Austria AG, the arranger and original lender, on Czech and Slovak acquisition financing provided to Enery Development for the acquisition of six 21 MW solar power plants in the Czech Republic and two 4 MW solar power plants in the Slovak Republic from Czech fund Green Horizon Renewables. CMS reportedly advised Enery and Badokh reportedly advised Green Horizon Renewables.

Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev and Partners has advised the Uralsoloto Group of Companies on its acquisition of securities of Petropavlovsk PLC.

Vasil Kisil and Partners has successfully represented Rost Agro, the Ukrainian-based seed producer and exporter, in an administrative appeal procedure with the State Tax Service of Ukraine.

Schoenherr, in cooperation with BonelliErede, advised Covivio on the acquisition of eight luxury hotels in Europe from Varde Partners, a global alternative investment firm, for EUR 573 million. Varde was reportedly advised by Italian firms Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli and Partners and Ludovici Piccone and Partners.

White & Case has advised VTB Capital as auction organizer and financial advisor to UTLC on its RUB 60.3 billion (around USD 968 million) auction sale of a controlling stake in Russian railway container operator TransContainer.

Former Prica & Partners Partner Milos Vulic has established a new firm in Belgrade – Vulic Law.

Former Stoica & Asociatii Managing Associate Daniel Alexandru Aragea has been promoted to Partner at the firm.

Danubia Legal has brought Viktor Luszcz, the former President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office, on board as a partner.

A new law firm — MPartners Legal — has opened its doors for business in Belgrade.

Barger Prekop has promoted Matus Lahky to Partner and Head of Compliance.

CMS Moscow's Head of Real Estate & Construction Artashes Oganov has been promoted to Partner at the firm.

Russian lawyer Vakhtang Fedorov has joined Art De Lex as Head of its Criminal Law practice.

Milos Gledovic has been promoted to Partner at Samardzic Oreski Grbovic.

Former Olesinsky & Partners' head of M&A Szymon Syp has joined Zieba & Partners as Head of the firm's Venture Capital practice and co-Head of M&A.

Sanctions imposed by the U.S.A, the EU, and other jurisdictions in relation to certain Russian individuals and legal entities have had a substantial impact on international arbitration involving Russian parties. There exist serious concerns as to the ability of sanctioned Russian parties and their contractual counterparts to realize their right to defend themselves in the course of arbitration proceedings. These concerns have led to changes in market practice regarding the choice of the arbitration forum and to some legislative proposals in Russia that, if implemented, would have a dramatic impact on international arbitration involving Russian parties.

Poland, which still produces 80% of power and 75% of district heating by coal-fired generation, is about to face an unavoidable and profound transformation of its energy market. The Best Available Techniques (BAT) conclusions for large combustion plants that will enter into force in 2021, the derogation mechanism that will end in 2023, and the medium combustion plant emission limits that will become effective in 2026 all require that enormous and economically questionable investments be made in new filters for coal generation units.

The key Polish legal act governing dispute resolution, the Civil Procedure Code of 1964, underwent major reform this year, again. The amended version, with almost 300 changes, including many revolutionary ones, became effective on November 7, 2019.

On January 1, 2016, Poland revamped its legal framework related to the restructuring of financially distressed businesses with a brand-new Restructuring Law and significantly-amended Bankruptcy Law. The Polish restructuring (and broadly speaking insolvency) framework is now governed by two separate legal acts: the Restructuring Law, which deals with the financial restructuring of indebted companies and businesses, and the Bankruptcy Law, which focuses on the orderly liquidation of the assets of companies and businesses without feasible options to restructure their debts and continue their operations.

On 31 January 2020, the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (“CMU”) “On Implementation of Competitive Conditions of Stimulating the Production of Electric Power from Alternative Energy Sources”, dated 27.12.2019, No. 1175 (“Resolution”), came into force. The Resolution has adopted, inter alia, the procedure on holding the support quota distribution auctions (“Procedure”).

The way technology is used has changed significantly in the past decade and continues to change at a rapid pace, disrupting the way people interact both within the private and the public sector.

The four-eyes principle is an effective way for companies to control management dealings. It is based on the idea that the company must be represented by two people acting jointly, usually two members of the statutory body.

The most relevant provisions of the act on the amendment of certain justice laws entered into force on 1 January 2020, affecting among others the Public Notary Act, the Company Registry Act and the Forensic Expert Act.

On February 7, 2020, the German federal competition authority prohibited Facebook from combining user data with data from its other services (WhatsApp, Instagram etc.) and third party webpages. The authority also questioned the legality of the consent to this processing, which is a condition to using Facebook. What impact will this have on Facebook and other companies, which based their business model on processing of their users’ personal data?

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Conflicts in the region and the ongoing political turbulence are increasing concerns in Turkey. "This is not good," sighs Cerrahoglu Partner Sezin Dundar. "Our clients, especially foreign investment companies are closely monitoring the situation. This could affect the economy in the long run."

Scott Senecal is an American lawyer with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Moscow. His practice focuses on financial and corporate law, and he has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, capital market transactions, and syndicated loans.