In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What major initiative or new plan does your office (or firm) plan – if any – for 2020?
The “order for payment procedure” was initially introduced in Bulgaria with the adoption of the new Civil Procedural Code in 2007 as an accelerated enforcement procedure for debt collection. This procedure provides creditors with a relatively fast and easy way to obtain an enforcement order against debtors. In general, the order for payment procedure is like a closed administrative procedure and requires only the submission of a standard application form and payment of a state fee of 2% of the amount claimed.
During the COVID-19 outbreak businesses are facing the dilemma of whether to seek state aid or survive the crisis using their own resources. Every company should assess if meeting certain criteria for state aid is justifiable financially and in terms of timing. The state has the tool while the business has the option to use it. State aid is a sensitive topic, since it distorts competition by favouring certain undertakings, but this is allowed to take place when its compatibility with the single market is confirmed by the European Commission (the "EC"). Thus, the EC sets the parameters for the implementation of state aid while the Member States align the incentives with the needs of local business.
As the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread across Europe, more and more companies have been forced to implement remote working arrangements for their employees. Logistical difficulties aside, businesses are now facing very real risks associated with information leaks due to human error, use of vulnerable equipment or software, or deliberate external misappropriation of sensitive data (both of the employer and its contractual counterparties). Immediate actions may need to be taken to adapt to this new environment.
Bulgaria has been in a state of emergency since 13 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On 23 March the Parliament voted on a special State of Emergency Act (COVID-19 Act) which suspended all court, arbitration and enforcement terms and proceedings during the state of emergency, currently in force until 13 April.
On January 7, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Tokushev & Partners had helped the Fund of Funds in Bulgaria make arrangements with two financial intermediaries to create several alternative investment funds for equity investments. We asked Lazar Petrov, Director of Financial Instruments and Operational Programmes of the Fund of Funds, to walk us through the set-up of the alternative funds.
Healthcare and life sciences have a special status as a type of legal practice. The debate about what this specialisation entails, and to what extent it even qualifies as legal work, is endless. However, as a crisis is also an opportunity, the coronavirus pandemic has defined the areas where law, healthcare and the life sciences overlap.
As everyone in Bulgaria has felt on a number of levels, the country has been in a state of emergency as of 13 March 2020, declared by a decision of the National Assembly. A number of orders from the Minister of Health have introduced and continue to introduce a number of anti-epidemic measures and restrictions. Some of these measures have also already been implemented in the form of a law, being included in the text of the new act on measures and actions during the emergency state, announced by the decision of the National Assembly from 13 March 2020 ("Act").