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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.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised arrangers Alantra Corporate Portfolio Advisors and Mediobanca – Banca di Credito Finanziario and security trustee, cash manager, and account bank Citibank London branch on the EUR 7.5 billion multi-asset NPE securitization of Eurobank Ergasias. Karatzas & Partners advised Eurobank Ergasias.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised Bain Capital Credit LP on the acquisition of a portfolio of approximately 2,800 primarily secured non-performing corporate loans with a total outstanding principal amount of EUR 1.6 billion, originated or otherwise owned by National Bank of Greece S.A. Karatzas & Partners advised the NBG.

The White Paper on Artificial Intelligence published on February 19th by the European Commission presents some important building block policy options to enable the trustworthy and secure development of artificial intelligence in the EU, fully respecting the presiding values and the fundamental rights of its citizens. The enormous volume of data which has already been generated and that yet to be generated constitutes an opportunity for Europe to position itself at the forefront of global AI policy. The use of AI brings both fears and uncertainties: on the one hand, citizens fear they will be left powerless against the information asymmetries of algorithmic decision-making, while on the other, companies are truly concerned with legal uncertainty.

Dracopoulos & Vassalakis, Your Legal Partners, and Alexiou-Kosmopoulos have been appointed as legal advisors to the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund on the privatization of regional ports of Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa, and Volos through the sale of majority stakes in the state-owned port operating companies.

Koutalidis has advised Aktor Concessions S.A. on its successful bid to own, use, administer, operate, and exploit the Marina of Alimos. The concession, which is good for 40 years, was granted by the Hellenic Asset Development Fund. The HADF was advised by Dracopoulos & Vassalakis and Your Legal Partners.

“I believe that Greece has become an example of how early response to COVID-19 works,“ says Yanos Gramatidis, Partner at Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners. “In particular, Greece’s response helped to stem the crisis of public health and has allowed the Government to undertake a minor digital revolution.”

In The Corner Office feature of CEE Legal Matters we ask Managing Partners at leading law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. In light of current events, the question for this online occurrence of the feature is: "What have been the top three most often asked COVID-19 related questions that you have gotten from clients in the last month?

“While the Greek government has responded well to the COVID-19 crisis, shutting down a lot of social hotspots very early on, there are some areas which remain troubled,“ says Virginia Murray, a Partner at Watson Farley & Williams Partner in Athens. “Tourism is a massive part of the Greek economy and the crisis stands to leave a huge impact, which is a real shame given that Greece has started to turn a corner, economically speaking, particularly since the start of the year."

In The Corner Office feature of CEE Legal Matters we ask Managing Partners at leading law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. In light of current events, the question for this online occurrence of the feature is: "How are you managing your team working remotely during this challenging period?"

White & Case and Zepos & Yannopoulos have advised Centerbridge Partners, L.P. and Elliott Advisors UK Limited on the acquisition of a EUR 900 million portfolio of secured non-performing small business lending and SME loans secured by Greek real estate from the National Bank of Greece. Karatzas & Partners reportedly advised the NBG on the deal.

The Buzz in Greece: Interview with Dimitris Assimakis of Norton Rose Fulbright

There's a high level of activity in the Greek energy sector, says Dimitris Assimakis, Partner at Norton Rose Fulbright in Athens. “Renewables are going to be huge in the near future,” he says, “mostly due to the fact that Greek authorities have put forward an ambitious plan to have the share of renewables in the final gross electricity consumption at 60% by 2030.“ According to Assimakis this doubling of the current 29% share will require “a very aggressive investment program – mostly from the private sector.”

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