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Latest News By Practice

TGS Baltic has represented Bigbank subsidiary Ruutli Majad OU before the Estonian Competition Authority in merger control proceedings related to the acquisition of two agricultural holdings.

RTPR has advised Rodbun Grup on a RON 278 million syndicated loan from Banca Comerciala Romana, CEC Bank, Raiffeisen Bank, Banca Transilvania, and Banca Romaneasca. Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen advised the bank syndicate.

CMS has advised the Export-Import Bank of Korea on a USD 36 million financing extension deal with Grain Terminal Holdings.

European Directive no. 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment was transposed into Romanian law as of 2 September 2021 by Ordinance no. 6/2021 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment (the “Ordinance”).

The amendments of the Act on the Prohibition of Unfair Trading Practices in the Food Supply Chain (the “Amended Act”) shall enter into force on 1 September 2021, with a few exceptions. The main reason for adopting these amendments was transposition of the Directive (EU) 2019/633 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on unfair trading practices in business-to-business relationships in the agricultural and food supply chain (the “Directive”) into the local legal regime. The Directive aims to set out the minimum Union standard of protection by harmonizing Member States’ diverging measures relating to unfair trading practices. With these amendments, the Amended Act is further harmonized with EU acquis.

Previously Yugoslav (JUS), and now Serbian (SRPS) standards for tobacco and tobacco products, dating back from the sixties and eighties of the 20th century, are no longer mandatory. Starting from 10 July 2021, manufacturers of tobacco and tobacco products, including cigarettes, are not obliged to place products in the market that meet the requirements established by these standards.

Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr has advised BNP Paribas Bank Polska on financing the construction of a residential building in Wroclaw by Okre Development. Barylski, Olszewski, Brzozowski reportedly advised Okre Development on the deal.

White & Case has advised Elga Coal LLC on a USD 1.66 billion syndicated financing deal with a pool of lenders led by Gazprombank. Linklaters reportedly advised the lenders on the transaction.

Dentons has advised UniCredit Bank AO Russia on a sustainability-linked CHF 585 million (approximately EUR 545 million) seven-year facility for Russian Railways. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton reportedly advised Russian Railways on the deal.

Allen & Overy has advised Czech Gas Networks Investments S.a r.l on its first-ever green issuance and placement of EUR 500 million green notes with investors on international capital markets. Clifford Chance advised the joint bookrunners Citigroup Global Markets Limited, ING Bank N.V., Societe Generale, and UniCredit Bank AG.

TGS Baltic and Dentons have advised the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania on its EUR 750 million Eurobond issuance. Sorainen advised the lead managers Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan on the deal. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer reportedly also advised the banks.

Gide’s Warsaw office Head of Capital Markets Robert Dulewicz has left the firm and the legal services sector, the law firm announced.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on 6 August 2021 the Hungarian Government issued Decree No. 474/2021 on the different application of the Patent Act (Act XXXIII of 1995). According to the decree, patent applications filed after the entry into force of this decree will not be subject to a maintenance fee for the first three years of patent protection. The decree was promulgated on 6 August 2021 and will remain in force until the end of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.

TGS Baltic has represented Bigbank subsidiary Ruutli Majad OU before the Estonian Competition Authority in merger control proceedings related to the acquisition of two agricultural holdings.

An unregistered community design is established merely by the disclosure of a design and triggers protection for three years from the date of disclosure. This informal right was created to satisfy the demands of the industry and creatives for a design protection right providing broad-ranging territorial protection and safety for short-lived products without an elaborate and costly registration procedure.

Former Turkish Competition Authority Chief Legal Counsel Harun Gunduz has moved into private practice by joining ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law.

In a recent article for CEE Legal Matters, Schoenherr Attorney at Law Alexandra Bognar wrote that Hungary adopted a UBO Register Act this year. We spoke to Bognar to learn more about the new piece of legislation.

Data controllers and data processors had until 24 August 2021 to align with the new Law on Personal Data Protection in North Macedonia (“Law”), which introduced the GDPR in the local legislation at the beginning of 2020. Non-compliance with the new obligations for personal data protection can lead to severe penalties, such as fines of up to 2% and up to 4% of the total annual turnover from the previous financial year, per misdemeanor.

Turunc has advised Bogazici Ventures on leading a TRY 7.8 million investment round into Acrome coding platform Riders. Ak Portfoy participated in the round. Erturan Sit Kosgeroglu reportedly advised Acrome and Riders on the deal.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised technology venture capital fund Nabtesco Technology Ventures on leading a EUR 5 million investment round into maritime technology start-up DeepSea Technologies. The Signal Group and existing investor ETF Partners participated in the round.

Clifford Chance has advised Coca-Cola HBC Poland & Baltics on the acquisition of Costa Express in Poland from Costa Coffee. Eversheds Sutherland has reportedly advised the seller.

White & Case has advised Elga Coal LLC on a USD 1.66 billion syndicated financing deal with a pool of lenders led by Gazprombank. Linklaters reportedly advised the lenders on the transaction.

Allen & Overy has advised Czech Gas Networks Investments S.a r.l on its first-ever green issuance and placement of EUR 500 million green notes with investors on international capital markets. Clifford Chance advised the joint bookrunners Citigroup Global Markets Limited, ING Bank N.V., Societe Generale, and UniCredit Bank AG.

Volciuc-Ionescu, working with EY Law, has advised Mytilineos S.A. on the sale of two Romanian solar farms totaling 90 megawatts to Enel Group's Enel Green Power Romania. Clifford Chance advised Enel Group on the deal.

Inga Kostogriz-Vaitkiene, Partner at CEE Attorneys in Lithuania, reports that her country’s economy is doing quite well at the moment and that additional regulation ensures the public procurement system will become greener. She also notes that there are two controversial laws in the pipeline related to cannabis use and LGBTQ+ rights.

By ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights in 1992, Hungary has committed itself to ensure the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time and to guarantee the right to an effective remedy for any violation of this right. In its judgment in Gazso v. Hungary, the European Court of Human Rights called on Hungary to establish a domestic remedy capable to handle the structural deficiencies identified in the judgment. As a result, at the end of June 2021, a new Act on the Enforcement of Material Compensation for Delay in Civil Proceedings was published in the Hungarian Official Gazette, which will enter into force on 1 January 2022. The Act establishes a new legal remedy for compensation for fundamental rights violations, called ‘material compensation’ which is different from the general compensation (in Hungarian: “kartalanitas”), indemnification or non-pecuniary compensation (in Hungarian: “serelemdij”).

On 20 April 2021, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia enacted the Law on Gender Equality and amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Both laws are published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 52 of 24 May 2021 and will enter into force on 1 June 2021. The Law on Gender Equality will repeal the Law on Equality of Genders (Official Gazette of RS no. 104/09).

In 2020, Ukraine’s government awarded the first two concessions in the history of Ukraine – 35-year concessions of the assets of Kherson and Olvia, two significant ports on the Black Sea. Building on this success, in October 2020, the government made a media splash by releasing a roadmap for further public private partnership (PPP) projects and held various promotion events since then.

KLC has advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund on the privatization of Egnatia Motorway.

CMS has advised a consortium of Polish and foreign institutions, which included facility agent and security agent Bank Pekao and mandated lead arrangers, sole bookrunners, and underwriters European Investment Bank, mBank, Bank Ochrony Srodowiska, Erste Group Bank AG, Standard Chartered Bank, and Kommunalkredit Austria, on a waste-to-energy PPP project in Olsztyn, Poland. 

In the ordinary course of commercial life, “bankruptcy” may be inevitable for financially distressed companies. In such case, the question arises with respect to the status of receivables from the bankrupt entity and how they will be collected.

The July 17, 2021 deadline for implementing Directive (EU) 2019/1023 of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 20, 2019, on preventive restructuring frameworks, on discharge of debt and disqualifications, and on measures to increase the efficiency of procedures concerning restructuring, insolvency, and discharge of debt, and amending Directive (EU) 2017/1132 is quickly approaching, leaving little time for EU Member States to adjust their national legislations to its requirements.

The Czech Ministry of Justice recently published a bill on preventive restructurings (the "Bill") implementing the directive on preventive restructuring frameworks which will introduce a brand-new legal tool preventing the insolvency of viable enterprises in temporary financial difficulties.

During the summer, the Assembly in North Macedonia adopted relevant amendments to the Labour Law concerning the conditions for retirement. According to the estimations by the proposers of the amendment, around 6000 employees from the public and the private sector already reached 64 years of age by the end of 2020.

Technological progress has a magnificent impact on everyday business life, and one of the things made possible by it is creating the opportunity for employees to perform work outside their business premises. But although technological progress gave employers the means to operate their business through remote work, the rigidity in incorporating this work model in practice was shaken only after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, making the expansion of remote work models a result of practical necessity. The sudden spread of remote work in companies also brought concerns of legal nature, and questions like what are the best ways to regulate contracts, safety measures etc.

Legislation concerning remote work is once again in the spotlight, as Government Decree 487/2020. (XI. 11.) on the application of teleworking rules during the state of emergency modified the provisions of telework as of 3 July 2021. According to the Decree, home office should be considered as remote work during the state of emergency and the provisions of the Decree are applicable instead of the provisions of the Labour Code on remote work.

Turunc has advised Bogazici Ventures on its TRY 4 million investment in the online therapy platform Hiwell. Tevetoglu advised Hiwell on the deal.

Moral & Partners has advised Turkish private equity fund Taxim Capital on its investment in Moltek A.S. through Luxembourg subsidiary LuxTheranostics. Acar & Ergonen advised Moltek’s shareholders.

Krzysztof Mazurek has joined the Precision Medicine Group as its Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal Europe. In his new role, he's also acting as Managing Director for CEE Precision Medicine Group Affiliates.

Turkish litigation-focused law firm Bozkurt Bozkurt has opened an office in New York. The new office will be headed by the firm’s US resident Partner Gokhan Bozkurt. The firm's Istanbul office will continue to be managed by Partner Mustafa Bozkurt.

Vulic Law has advised Italian Serie B football club Lecce in a Falco Case filed against Red Star Belgrade, which was resolved before FIFA’s Football Tribunal.

Ijdelea Mihailescu has successfully represented Velikov and Co on a community trademark and community design dispute before the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

Ellex has advised Tallink Grupp on the public offering of new company shares in Estonia and Finland.

Sorainen has advised Nordic food company HKScan on the development of their new pan-Baltic logistics center in Estonia.

According to Barbara Kusak, Partner at Noerr in Prague, the Czech Republic is currently preparing for its upcoming general elections. She also notes that the Czech economy shows no signs of contraction, despite the country’s abysmal COVID-19 infection rates, and that the infrastructure, IT, and e-commerce sectors are on the rise.

On May 21, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ellex Valiunas had successfully represented Western Baltija Shipbuilding in its appeal of a public procurement award to a consortium of Finnish companies to provide a specialized vessel for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to eliminate pollution incidents and carry out rescue operations in the Baltic Sea. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Andrius Digrys, General Legal Counsel at Western Baltija Shipbuilding, to learn more about the deal.

Despite a bit of political uncertainty, Lucian Danilescu, Partner at Danilescu Hulub & Partners, is excited over Romania's macro-economic indicators and its potential upcoming infrastructure projects.

GKC Partners in association with White & Case has advised joint bookrunners UBS and Bank of America Securities on LimakPort’s issuance of USD 370 million senior secured bonds, under Rule 144A / Regulation S due 2036, at a coupon rate of 9.50%. Paksoy advised the issuer.

Turunc has advised Bogazici Ventures on leading a TRY 7.8 million investment round into Acrome coding platform Riders. Ak Portfoy participated in the round. Erturan Sit Kosgeroglu reportedly advised Acrome and Riders on the deal.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised technology venture capital fund Nabtesco Technology Ventures on leading a EUR 5 million investment round into maritime technology start-up DeepSea Technologies. The Signal Group and existing investor ETF Partners participated in the round.

SPC Legal has advised Startup Wise Guys on leading a USD 1 million pre-seed financing round for Lithuanian technology start-up Watalook.

On a pro bono basis, Sorainen has represented victims of the Lihula shooting incident, by submitting a civil claim for damages.

Alliance Legal CG has successfully represented the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, on a pro bono basis, in a RUB 4 million dispute with the Ekaterinburg City Administration over the diocese’s subsidiary liability for the obligations of its Orthodox Kindergarten. The case was brought before the Arbitration Court of the Sverdlovsk Region.

Dentons, working pro bono, has successfully obtained a favorable ruling from the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic on behalf of Jozef Andrej, who had been previously convicted of the manslaughter of his severely disabled son. The decision of the Constitutional Court sends his case back to the SlovakSupreme Court.

PwC Legal has advised Ensto Ensek on the sale of its Taevakivi industrial property to LHV Pension Funds.

Kinstellar has advised the joint venture of Romania's Element Industrial and Dedeman on the sale of Eli Park 1 to South African real estate investment trust Fortress. Dentons advised the buyer on the transaction.

Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr has advised BNP Paribas Bank Polska on financing the construction of a residential building in Wroclaw by Okre Development. Barylski, Olszewski, Brzozowski reportedly advised Okre Development on the deal.

On 31 August 2021, Government Ordinances nos. 8/2021 and 11/2021, amending the Fiscal Code and the Fiscal Procedure Code, were published in the Official Gazette no. 832/31.08.2021.

In a recent article for CEE Legal Matters, Schoenherr Attorney at Law Alexandra Bognar wrote that Hungary adopted a UBO Register Act this year. We spoke to Bognar to learn more about the new piece of legislation.

Starting this August, the fiscal unity system concerning the corporate income tax becomes functional in Romania, further to the enactment of the procedure for the implementation and management of such system through Order no. 1191 issued on August 6, 2021 by the National Agency for Fiscal Administration.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on 6 August 2021 the Hungarian Government issued Decree No. 474/2021 on the different application of the Patent Act (Act XXXIII of 1995). According to the decree, patent applications filed after the entry into force of this decree will not be subject to a maintenance fee for the first three years of patent protection. The decree was promulgated on 6 August 2021 and will remain in force until the end of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.

Turunc has advised Bogazici Ventures on leading a TRY 7.8 million investment round into Acrome coding platform Riders. Ak Portfoy participated in the round. Erturan Sit Kosgeroglu reportedly advised Acrome and Riders on the deal.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised technology venture capital fund Nabtesco Technology Ventures on leading a EUR 5 million investment round into maritime technology start-up DeepSea Technologies. The Signal Group and existing investor ETF Partners participated in the round.

Iurii Sukhov has joined Arzinger as a Partner and will lead the firm’s White Collar Crime practice together with Kateryna Gupalo and Oleksander Plotnikov. 

The Government of Ukraine has recently implemented additional measures to prevent and counteract the legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Thus, Ukraine made one more step towards implementing 4th Money Laundering EU Directive.

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the financial institutions involved on the EUR 500 million revolving facilities made available to companies from the Synthos Group incorporated in Poland and the Czech Republic. White & Case and Clifford Chance advised Synthos on the deal, with McDermott Will & Emery advising the security agent, Citibank Europe.