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.”
With Decision No.1046 issued on 20 September 2018, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") gave the green light to the acquisition of Rapido Express and Logistics OOD by its competitor Speedy AD, in accordance with Article 26(1) of the Act for the Protection of Competition (the "APC").
Former Penkov, Markov & Partners Partner Svetlin Adrianov has joined EY Law as Associate Partner and Law Leader for EY Bulgaria, Albania, and Macedonia, in a move the firm claims "strengthens one of the firm’s core practice areas – corporate and transaction law, and adds further depth to the firm’s offering."
CMS has acted with lead counsel Jones Day in advising the OTP Bank Group on its acquisition of Societe Generale subsidiaries SG Expressbank Group, Sogelife Insurance Company, and SG Banka Albania, for over EUR 600 million. Schoenherr's Sofia office and Kalo & Associates in Tirana advised Societe Generale on the sale.
On 19 July, 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") prohibited two concentrations. The first being the sale of the second largest media conglomerate in Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting Group AD ("Nova Broadcasting"), (owner of Nova TV), to PPF Bidco, (owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner), and secondly the sale of CEZ's assets in Bulgaria, which include its energy distribution business, trade business and some small renewable energy parks to a Bulgarian company, Inercom, which maintains three solar power stations in the country.