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Since 2008 joint stock companies in Ukraine have functioned under a special corporate governance law (the “JSC Law”), which has improved through the course of its existence. Year after year, with the help of the SEC and the business community, Ukrainian legislators have introduced profound amendments to the law to bring corporate governance in JSCs in Ukraine closer to European standards, to attract foreign investments, and to insure adequate protection of rights of various stakeholders (minority shareholders, creditors, etc.) As a result, Ukraine has moved up in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking, and in 2020 the country ranks 64th in the ease of doing business and 45th in the minority shareholders protection component.

We decided to lighten the mood this time around by asking our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a non-law-firm related question: “What did you most want to be when you were little?”

Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

On January 1st, 2020, the Hungarian government adopted new legislation making continuing professional education compulsory for lawyers, post-qualification, along the lines of post-certification training and education that tax advisors and accountants had been forced to obtain for many years.

On 20 July 2020, laws governing the activities of financial marketplaces came into force, namely, Federal Law* No. 211-FZ “On Concluding Financial Transactions Using a Financial Platform” dated 20 July 2020 and Federal Law* No. 212-FZ “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation Concerning the Conclusion of Financial Transactions Using a Financial Platform” dated 20 July 2020 (the “Laws”).

Eurolex Bulgaria and CMS have advised Trace Group Holding and Balkantel — both members of the Plovdiv Railway Project Consortium — on their successful participation in a tender for a EUR 45 million railway public procurement project in Bulgaria.

There are currently multiple initiatives regarding the increase in rates for taxes retained at source under double taxation treaties (“DTTs”) between the Russian Federation and some foreign jurisdictions. The Ministry of Finance confirmed that it favours such increases. At the same time, the Russian State Duma reportedly favours maintaining reduced tax rates in DTTs for intragroup payments in order to mitigate any eventual adverse tax consequences by these new tax measures for foreign investors.

The Turunc Law Firm has advised a group of private investors led by Cetin Yilmaz on their acquisition of MCI's majority stake in online travel agency Tatilbudur from Polish private equity fund MCI. The Yalcin Babalioglu Kemahli Attorney Partnership advised MCI on the deal, while Akol Law advised shareholder Is Girisim. Tatilbudur was reportedly advised by Yondem Yigit Uclertopragi.

From 1 July 2020, an experimental legal regime is being introduced in Moscow for a five-year period. The Law is aimed at creating the necessary conditions for the development and introduction of artificial intelligence technologies, and the subsequent use of the results of their application.

On 11 May 2020, a new Bank of Russia Regulation* “On Standards for the Issuance of Securities” (the “Regulation on Issuance Standards”) came into force. The regulator updated this Regulation in line with amendments* to the Federal Law “On the Securities Market”, which came into force on 1 January 2020.

CMS at a Glance

Founded in 1999, CMS is a full-service top 10 international law firm, based on the number of lawyers (Am Law 2018 Global 100). With 70+ offices in 40+ countries across the world, employing over 4,800 lawyers, CMS has longstanding expertise both at advising in its local jurisdictions and across borders. CMS acts for a large number of Fortune 500 companies and the FT European 500 and for the majority of the DAX 30. Revenues totalled EUR 1.36bn in 2018.

In Russia, CMS has been supporting its clients since 1992. The Moscow office offers a full range of legal and tax services across 21 practice and sector groups. Over 50 lawyers qualified in Russian, English, French and German law advise international clients on all matters relating to doing business in Russia and CEE, and support Russian companies doing business in Europe and other countries.

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