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The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

On January 1, 2018, a new taxation act will enter into force in Estonia – the Entrepreneurial Income Simplified Taxation Act (hereinafter the “Act”). From an IT point of view, the Act will create a new and innovative automatic mechanism for natural persons in the calculation and payment of taxes. The main concept of the Act is that natural persons can set up an entrepreneurial income bank account, where the taxation amount is calculated automatically and transferred to the Tax Authority without the natural person having to physically make or authorize any transfers. However, use of this new account may be limited in practice. 

According to TRACE Matrix 2016 results, Estonia is the third least corruption prone country in the world, minimizing the risk of liability under anti-corruption regulations. To date, there is no case law under FCPA rules concerning Estonia. Nevertheless, the legal framework set by the FCPA gives rise to theoretical problems of definition which may hinder its enforcement.

On Thursday, November 30th, leading legal practitioners from across Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Prague to help CEE Legal Matters celebrate its fourth successful year as the leading chronicle of the legal industry in the region, participating in an expert Round Table conversation about the year just concluded and enjoying an evening of dinner, drinks, and bonhomie. 

The Deal:  On March 20, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that Primus’s Tallinn office had advised BaltCap on its acquisition of 100% of Sanoma Baltics AS – the operator of the Estonian online classified sites auto24 and Kuldne Bors – from Sanoma Media Finland Oy. Sorainen advised Sanoma Media Finland, and Cobalt advised the management of Sanoma Baltics on the transaction, with Ellex Raidla advising AS LHV Varahaldus on its provision of financing for the transaction.

On July 18, 2017, an elite selection of Baltic legal experts from both the private practice and in-house worlds gathered at Cobalt’s Riga office for an in-depth discussion about the Baltic legal markets.

In The Corner Office, we invite Senior and Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. For this issue, we asked them to describe their least favorite part of their jobs. 

Some time ago the Supreme Court of Estonia issued Decision No 3-2-1-167-14 in a cancellation action involving the substantial question of determination of an interested party. This decision expanded the rights of the trademark owners. However, even though the decision provides some insight on which interested parties may file a cancellation action based on non-use of a trademark, the term “an interested party” still remains vague in Estonia.

The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.