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It has been a challenging year for the Bulgarian M&A market, with limited activity, just like in 2019. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons for the slowdown is that business is overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic. Many acquirers abandoned expansion plans in order to focus on protecting both their financial stability and their employees, while waiting to assess the market environment and evaluate potential next steps. Many planned or already-started deals were cancelled at early stages (such as following a letter of intent or during preliminary due diligence) as uncertainty about the fulfilment of potential goals made the transactions risky.

One could argue that transparency and safeguard regulations in related-party transactions of companies should be well established and should not be an issue in M&As in the current environment. However, this is not the case with Section 59a of the Slovak Commercial Code, which found its way into the Code via the implementation of the Second Council Directive 77/91/EEC.

Czech corporate law has changed significantly over these past few years. In 2014, the Act on Corporations replaced the Commercial Code that had been in place since 1991. On January 1, 2021, an additional amendment to the Act on Corporations (the “Amendment”) will go into effect.

Foreign investors of all types were increasingly interested in Life Science (LS) companies even before COVID-19 emerged. It is no wonder that Slovenian LS companies are of particular appeal, since this highly innovative community significantly contributed to Slovenia being ranked 21st in this year’s Bloomberg Innovation Index. Some say COVID-19 catalyzed the new deals this year, but they were more likely fostered by the new investment opportunities that keep popping up with each innovative solution offered by the relatively small (and relatively inexpensive) companies in Slovenia. The race to acquire these innovative scale-ups and start-ups has become increasingly competitive.

Looking back at 2020, one can draw some conclusions and identify some trends in the Polish transactional market likely to stay with us in 2021.

Recently, in the second half of January 2021, a public debate was held with regards to the Draft of the Law on Amendments to the Bankruptcy Law (hereinafter: "the Amendments"). If all the changes proposed by the Amendments were to be summarized, what they altogether aim at in practice is to improve the efficiency and transparency of bankruptcy procedure as well as to reduce the costs of the entire process, which in practice has so far proved to be one of the largest problems for creditors and other interested parties in this procedure.

The expression “never a dull moment” could have been tailor-made to describe the ethics and compliance function and how it has evolved over the past decade or so. The well-publicized scandals that started to take place on the market (concerning, e.g., anti-money laundering or privacy incompliances) led the policy makers to pass sweeping legislation that called for increased regulation, greater transparency, and more rigorous scrutiny of corporations.

Hungarian National Tax and Customs Authority regularly publishes the list of major tax defaulters for failing to fulfil their tax obligations in Hungary. The list also contains private data of the defaulters, including, inter alia, information on tax arrears and debts and their home address. In a recent case (L.B. v. Hungary – 36345/16), European Court of Human Rights concluded no violation and confirmed the approach of Hungarian tax authority as justified.

The Turkish Data Protection Board (“Board”) has recently published summaries of several important decisions on certain matters, which may constitute precedents for future cases. All of the decisions below are published on the Data Protection Authority’s website on February 12, 2021.

First reports under DAC6 were due recently from those who are parties to a cross-border transactions. Concurrently, at the last possible moment, the Hungarian Ministry of Finance published a Guide on certain issues related to the fulfilment of the reporting obligation. It is advisable, in particular, for accountants, consultants, lawyers and banks to carefully study this 38-page document, as any of them could easily fall within the scope of the reporting obligation.

At the beginning of February 2021, a new decree of the Hungarian Minister of Finance (“Decree”) was published on the detailed rules of the execution of the Money Laundering Act for certain non-financial service providers and the development and the minimum requirements of the operation of the filtering system. The decree enters into force on 19 March 2021.

Allocation of liabilities between the parties in merger and acquisition (“M&A”) transactions is of utmost significance, in order to ensure that the buyer will be sufficiently protected, and the seller’s liabilities limited as much as possible. Under Turkish laws, the sellers` liabilities are subject to the provisions of the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6908 (“TCO”). Having said this, Turkish laws are not designed to save commercial parties from a bad bargain, thus the parties often resort to adding certain clauses to their share purchase agreements (“SPA”) such as representations and warranties, indemnities, amount-based restrictions such as de minimis and baskets clauses, setting forth specific procedures and time limits for claims, and so on. Accordingly, this article aims to provide a general understanding as to the sellers’ liabilities in M&A transactions, the general liability provisions most commonly used in SPAs, and how they are dealt with under the Turkish laws.

On 1 February 2021, the Slovak Ministry of Economy submitted an investment screening proposal to the government. This proposal was approved by the National Council (with amendments) on 5 February 2021 and is scheduled to enter in force on 1 March 2021.

In the last decade, the amount of minimum wage and the guaranteed minimum wage has been rising year by year. However, the process of determining the minimum wage in 2021 was different from previous years in two ways: firstly, the agreement on the wage, after 7 negotiation sessions, was not reached by the end of December 2020, therefore, after reaching agreement at the end of January 2021, the new minimum wage figures are in effect from 1 February 2021, and secondly, the increase was lower as seen before in the last years.

The crossroads upon which Serbia finds itself has always been a coveted trading route, and the cause of many conflicts throughout history. Being located at such an important junction, it is of the utmost importance to invest into a transportation network, to seek constant improvements in this field, and to keep up with modern European growth. The General Master Plan for Transport in Serbia was adopted in 2009. However, the original period the plan was designed to cover – until 2027 – has now been extended and divided into three phases: short term (2021), medium term (2027), and long term (2033). The General Master Plan still serves as the platform for both major future and ongoing transportation and transportation-related projects.

Although Romanian law established criminal liability of organisations in 2006, thus adopting a liability model very similar to that of France, Belgium and Portugal, there is still a lot of confusion when it comes to determining when an organisation is to be held criminally liable. From what we see in our day-to-day activity, the courts are still struggling to determine when offences committed by the management of an organisation can also trigger the criminal liability of the organisation itself.

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