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Andrew Kozlowski is Counsel (and former Managing Partner) at CMS in Warsaw, where he specializes in energy and project finance, corporate/M&A, privatizations, and international capital markets. He has been involved in numerous infrastructure projects in Poland and across CEE and various project finance transactions in the energy and transportation sectors, from motorways, railways, and waste, to energy utilities.

The news that many of the legal markets in CEE impose stricter rules on law firm advertising and marketing than many of their Western counterparts comes as no surprise. Still, to explore this concept just a bit, for this issue, we asked law firm marketing and BD experts around CEE: “What, in your opinion, is the biggest difference between law firm marketing in your market and law firm marketing in London or New York?

Against the backdrop of the many significant and at times highly controversial changes being made to Polish law at the moment, the country is close to enacting its first ever serious whistleblower protection laws. What will this protection look like, and what does its passage mean for Poland?

Companies in financial difficulties are regularly faced with challenges in seeking fresh financing – an injection necessary for financial consolidation and to overcome financial difficulties. Such challenges become even greater when a company formally enters pre-bankruptcy or bankruptcy proceedings. In a large number of cases, the companies are in such difficult and irreversible circumstances that potential creditors are usually discouraged from providing new financing, which is sought by the companies unable to provide any indication of success. However, there are situations in which creditors may be willing to provide fresh capital despite the debtor’s difficult situation – most commonly, because they already have an outstanding exposure against the debtor. Existing creditors considering new financing may see an opportunity to exit the existing creditor-debtor relationship less “harmed.” In such cases, the main questions involve the position the creditors can obtain by granting fresh financing and whether the legislative framework regulating pre-bankruptcy proceedings is sufficiently sensitized to their specific position.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) consists of two distinct administrative entities – the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) – and the special administrative unit Brcko District of BiH (BD). In accordance with the constitutional division of competences, factoring activities – a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount  – fall under the competence of individual parts, resulting in several sets of legislation but two regulators: the Federal Banking Agency (FBA) in FBiH and the Banking Agency in Republika Srpska (BARS), with BD able to choose either of the two.

Guidance No. 12/2018 (II.27) of the Hungarian National Bank entered into effect on July 1, 2018 (the “Guidance”). Although the Guidance is non-binding, financial institutions are expected to comply with its provisions. In this article, we provide a list of the most important points of the Guidance and predict market reactions based on our ongoing mandates and information obtained from our clients.

The Deal: In September 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Moscow offices of Clifford Chance and CMS had advised on USD 850 million pre-export financing provided by 11 international banks for Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash producers. On July 27, 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that the two firms had advised on another Uralkali financing, this time involving a USD 825 million facility provided by 14 Russian and international banks.We reached out to both firms for more information about this most recent deal.

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?

CMS and Karatzas & Partners have advised ALPLA, a global provider of plastic packaging, on the acquisition of Argo S.A. Binder Groesswang in Austria and Kyriakides Georgopoulos in Greece advised the the sellers on the deal. The transaction closed on October 1, 2018, after obtaining regulatory and competition approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gladei & Partners has advised the EBRD and private equity firms AB Invalda INVL and Horizon Capital on Moldovan law matters related to their acquisition of a 41.09% stake in B.C. Moldova Agroindbank S.A. at an auction held by Moldova’s Public Property Agency. The EBRD was advised on English-law matters by CMS. Moldova Agroindbank and Moldova’s Government was represented by Efrim, Rosca & Associates.