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On 23 October 2019, a new directive of the European Parliament and the Council of the EU on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (the "Directive") was signed. It requires Member States to adopt laws, among other things, obliging companies to establish reporting channels and to ensure sufficient protection of whistleblowers. The Directive also provides for penalties applicable to both individuals and legal entities. Such national regulations and related whistleblowing measures shall come into force in less than two years. Please find below a brief summary of the legal aspects, the new obligations and the possible penalties in relation to the new whistleblowing Directive.

It has been roughly a year since the somewhat controversial DSM Directive entered into force on June 7, 2019. The clock is ticking as the EU member states are required to transpose the Directive into national law within 24 months—a half of which is already gone. The most discussed provisions of the DSM Directive are included in its Articles 15 and 17.

On June 26, 2020, a significant amendment to the Czech Labor Code, (which we informed you about in our newsletter back in February 2020), was published in the Collection of Laws as the Act No. 285/2020 Coll. Adoption of the amendment was originally planned with an earlier date, but was delayed due to extraordinary circumstances caused by the coronavirus. Nevertheless, apart from this delay, the adoption procedure was smooth and the amendment (particularly as a result of the previous tripartite consensus) did not undergo any significant changes during the legislative procedure.

BBH has announced that long-time Partner Jiri Nemec has left the firm "to apply his talents to the business of financial investment."

“The measures taken by the Czech Republic’s government during the pandemic were good and quick, but the discipline people have shown helped with the situation as well,” says Jan Spacil, Managing Partner at Deloitte Legal in Prague. “Various other countries that didn’t work as quickly later had to impose much stricter measures.”

Kinstellar has advised Max Aicher GmbH & Co. KG on the acquisition of the enterprises of the bankrupt Czech companies, Pilsen Steel s.r.o. and Pilsen Estates s.r.o., from insolvency administrator Jaroslav Broz. Tarpan Partners were on the insolvency administrator’s team, while Roedl & Partner served as tax advisors to the Max Aicher group.

Clifford Chance has advised Vseobecna Uverova Banka a.s., the Slovak subsidiary of Intesa Sanpaolo, on the update of its EUR 5 billion covered bond program and another syndicated EUR 500 million issuance via the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Allen & Overy reportedly advised joint lead managers Banca IMI S.p.A., Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Danske Bank A/S, Erste Group Bank AG, and Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2019 CEE Deal of the Year Award winners – the most important, complicated, significant, and valuable deals across Central and Eastern Europe.

CMS has advised Arkance on its acquisition of CAD Studio, a company involved in the digitalization of Manufacturing and Construction industries in the Czech and Slovak Republics and Hungary, from Autocont, a member of the Aricoma Group. Dunovska & Partners advised the sellers on the deal.

Masek, Koci, Aujezdsky has advised sports platform Livesport on the acquisition of film portal Kinobox.cz from entrepreneur Peter Vachler, who will remain on as a consultant. Vyskocil, Kroslak a Partneri advised Vachler on the deal.

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 220 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, and almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,000 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 world languages in more than 90 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious British rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a three-time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). In Slovakia, it also won the prestigious global M&A Today Awards (2013–2018) for Mergers & Acquisitions six times in a row, and repeatedly won first place in the ranking by Lawyer International Legal 100 (2017, 2018). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the entire CEE region since 2009. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

Firm's website: https://www.havelpartners.cz/en/

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