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The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

Tax Advisory Regulatory Situation

Historically Belarus has had a dual system of regulated legal services market, with one side populated by attorneys-at-law who served individuals and worked either individually or under the roof of territorial Bar Associations, and the other populated by licensed “business lawyers,” working both on their own and within law firms.

At 30 years old, the Belarusian legal market is still relatively young. The end of the 1980s and early 1990s was a time of new economic relations; the first non-state companies appeared and the first foreign investors entered the market. These new economic conditions required lawyers focused on economic law, and soon the first Belarusian private law firms and individual practitioners appeared. Some of them (including the Law Laboratory, which was founded in 1990 by me and my colleague Natalia Kozyrenko and which later transformed into Vlasova and Partners) remain the “top dogs” on the Belarusian market today.  

As a prominent IT-hub in CEE, Belarus gave life to quite a few players in the international IT arena, including EPAM, Wargaming.net, Viber, MAPS.ME, MSQRD, Prisma, and many, many others. More and more Western software and hardware companies are entering into long-term partnerships or other contractual relationships with Belarusian talent. In this context, the basic principles of Belarusian legal regulations that govern the protection and transfer of IP rights related to software are increasingly important. 

The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.

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