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The Act on the termination of the state of emergency declared by Government Decree No. 40/2020 and on the transitional provisions in connection with the termination of the state of emergency were was adopted on 16 June 2020, meaning that the special provisions introduced during the state of emergency will not be applicable or may be of limited application subsequently. Dr. Nóra Óváry-Papp, lead attorney and dr. Helga Lieszkovszky, associate of Baker McKenzie Budapest summarize the expected changes in the legislative environment regarding the termination of the state of emergency. 

In Hungary, the defense against the epidemic has entered into a phase in which measures set out by the government for reducing or preventing the spread of the epidemic are gradually relaxed. The curfew has been lifted, all stores may open and may be visited by customers under certain conditions. However, the rules for maintaining social distance - keeping a distance of 1.5 meters from one another, wearing mask, scarf or shawl when shopping or traveling by public transport - still apply.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has advised Kopy Goldfields AB on Russian matters related to its acquisition of authorized capital of the Russian gold mining company Amur Gold from HC Alliance Mining Group Ltd. and Lexor Group SA. Baker McKenzie advised the sellers.

CMS has advised Grupa Azoty Polyolefins on financing it received from Grupa Lotos SA and South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation for the Police Polimery polypropylene project in Poland, as well as on the implementation of the project. Baker McKenzie advised Grupa Lotos and DLA Piper advised Hyundai and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development on the deal.

White & Case and its associated Turkish firm, GKC Partners, have advised interactive entertainment company Zynga Inc. on its USD 1.8 billion acquisition of Istanbul-based Peak Oyun Yazilim ve Pazarlama, A.S. Baker McKenzie, working with its Turkish affiliate, the Esin Attorney Partnership, advised Peak on the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

All European countries are now facing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and each state is undertaking different measures to limit the spread of the virus. Recently, the Polish government has extended the so-called “export ban list” – a list of, in particular, medicinal products and medical devices the export or sale of which abroad may be subject to the objection of the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector. This list grew by over a thousand items in the past month and has changed from a list of products subject to parallel export due to price differences to a list of products that we want to keep in Poland. Also, the President of the Office for Registration has asked pharmaceutical companies to consider launching clinical trials in these unique circumstances.

Just a few days after the entry into force of the special tax on retailers (effective as of 1 May 2020), which may amount to as much as 2.5% of their annual turnover, the Hungarian Government further tightened the rules on the distribution of food products by significantly restricting  traders' freedom to negotiate purchase prices.

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?

The Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie assisted with drafting new regulations of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine for the issuance of UAH-denominated bonds by international financial institutions in Ukraine.

Lawyers in Baker McKenzie's Moscow office were part of the firm's multi-jurisdictional team advising arrangers and dealers Citi and J.P. Morgan and dealers Barclays, BofA Securities, and HSBC on the establishment of a USD 6.5 billion Global Medium Term Note program by VEON, a global provider of connectivity and Internet services.

Dentons has advised Hines Poland Sustainable Income Fund on the sale of a portfolio of six Polish distribution parks and the Nord Point office building in Warsaw to Chinese investor CGL Investment Holdings Corporation Limited, which was advised by Baker McKenzie.

Gide Loyrette Nouel has advised Groupama Holding Filiales et Participations on the sale and transfer of its 10% stake in Turkish insurance company Gunes Sigorta A.S. to TVF Finansal Yatirimlar Anonim Sirketi, a subsidiary of the Turkey Wealth Fund. Baker McKenzie advised TVF on the transaction, which closed on February 14, 2020.

Baker McKenzie at a Glance

At Baker McKenzie, we are innovators. In an age of increased demands and complexity, we pledge to bring our clients fully integrated services to help them successfully manage their operations, overcome uncertainty and protect their interests. As one of the largest law firms globally and in the Central Eastern European region, we combine a unique understanding of local business environments and global companies’ needs with creative thinking, in-depth legal knowledge and cutting edge technology, while remaining cost efficient in representing our clients. For ten years running, Baker McKenzie has been recognised by the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index as the strongest law firm brand in the world, and the top law firm in the world for multinational M&A transactions.

With the opening of the Budapest office in 1987, Baker McKenzie became the first Western law firm to establish a representative office in Central and Eastern Europe. Over thirty years later, Baker McKenzie also has offices in Vienna, Warsaw, Prague, Istanbul, Kyiv, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Almaty. We have extensive experience in regional and global cross-border transactions as well as foreign direct investments, in industries such as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, energy, food and automotive. This makes us perfectly placed to provide commercially appropriate solutions to all our clients' legal needs, from the routine to the complex.

Firm's website: https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/