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As Europe begins a tentative re-opening following several difficult months of quarantining, social distancing, and working-from-home, we spoke to CMS’s Warsaw-based Employment Partner Katarzyna Dulewicz and Vienna-based Dispute Resolution Partner Daniela Karollus-Bruner for their perspective on the process.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of supply chains worldwide, creating an increased awareness of the need to protect critical domestic infrastructure. On April 3, 2020, the Austrian Parliament adopted a motion encouraging the Minister for Digital and Economic Affairs to put forward (“as soon as possible”) a government bill designed to protect companies in key industries from takeovers by third country entities. Eight weeks later the resulting bill was presented to the public.

The General Court (GC) of the European Union ruled in favour of Apple in the state aid case regarding Apple's Irish tax structure, annulling the 2016 decision of the European Commission (EC). As a result, Ireland is at present not obliged to reclaim the amount of EUR 13 billion from Apple. The decision is not yet final due to the EC's right to appeal.

In Austria, like in many other countries, the current restrictions due to the COVID-19 situation are causing extensive and opaque changes in social life and related legal issues. Although home office has become well established, it is still associated with limited opportunities for personal interaction. The situation raises many legal questions, one of which is how people can pragmatically conclude or sign a legally effective contract.

On March 11, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar had advised Austria’s European City Estates – a group of companies owned by the Austrian Humer Private Foundation – on its acquisition of the 22,000-square-meter Rosum office complex in Bratislava from Penta Real Estate, which was advised by Skubla & Partneri.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner has advised a consortium of UniCredit Bank Austria, BAWAG P.S.K, Commerzbank, Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberoesterreich, and HYPO Vorarlberg on the reorganization proceedings of the Huber Group, an Austrian lingerie manufacturer.

Wolf Theiss and Linklaters have advised Raiffeisen Bank International AG on the issuance of EUR 500 million worth of additional Tier 1 capital. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised joint lead managers Barclays Bank plc, Goldman Sachs International, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, and UBS Europe SE.

DLA Piper and Bulgaria's Sabev & Partners law firm have advised the Government of Bulgaria on the concession agreement and the tender procedure for the Sofia Airport in Bulgaria. As previously reported, Kinstellar advised the winning SOF Connect Consortium, which was led by Meridiam and included Munich Airport and Strabag.

Stay informed about the latest developments in competition law in Central and Eastern Europe with Schoenherr's multi-jurisdictional newsletter. Each issue offers insight into developments in merger control, anti-trust, as well as public and private enforcement in the region.

BPV Huegel worked with the Frankfurt office of Herbert Smith Freehills in advising the Heidelpay Group, a German technology company for international payments, on the acquisition of the Paysafe Group’s Pay Later business. Binder Groesswang advised the Paysafe group.

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