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CMS has advised logistics company Fresh and Food Logistics on the acquisition of the logistics activities of Froneri, a joint venture of Nestle and R&R for production of ice-cream, frozen foods, and dairy products in Sofia and Varna, Bulgaria. Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov advised Froneri on this deal.

Bulgaria, along with the entire CEE region, has been experiencing a surge in investment and transactions over the past two to three years. Prior to that, hit by a late wave of the global recession, Bulgarian business faced problems with over-indebtedness, resulting in a large number of insolvencies, especially in the real estate sector. Since then, however, insolvencies have been decreasing. Thus, the recent uptick in the number of insolvency procedures being initiated in a particular sector – energy – deserves special focus and attention.

CMS has advised Shell International Exploration and Development Italia on the transfer of 30% of its exploration rights on Bulgarian offshore Block 1-14 Khan Kubrat to the local branch of Australia's Woodside Energy Limited. Herbert Smith and Schoenherr advised Woodside on the deal.

Two concentrations recently prohibited by the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition with limited analysis have been widely criticized for their lack of valid economic arguments. Because both decisions were highly publicized and concern the politically sensitive sectors of media and energy, they are worth special attention.

The particularly-challenging nature of CEE law firm marketing becomes especially relevant as we bid adieu to a good friend in Bulgaria, who, after more than four years doing law firm marketing and business development with several of Bulgaria’s leading law firms, is leaving the profession altogether. We asked her some final questions on her last day, honoring her request for anonymity in the process.

Companies have until 1 February 2019 to register their beneficial owners in the Bulgarian Commercial Register and Register for Non-profit Legal Persons (the "Commercial Register"). This obligation comes as a result of the adoption of a new Law on the measures against money laundering in March this year (the "AML Law").

Ever since the CEE market opened for private practice CEE lawyers have sought to work on international mandates in collaboration with international lead counsels. Apart from the obvious (we take an oath to serve justice, but it is no secret that we also in fact work for money), the benefits of this cooperation also include the opportunity to draw on the international counsel’s expertise, particularly in transactional work. Such cooperation has greatly influenced the work of local counsel. Those who seized the opportunity had a steep learning curve and developed their practices to a level that is generally referred to, mostly in lawyers’ own pitches, as reaching an “international standard.”

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: Who was your mentor, and what was the most important lesson you learned from him or her?

Bulgaria Knowledge Partner

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu

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