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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.

In accordance with statistical data from 2018 and 2019, Latvia’s State Agency of Medicines concluded that there is a high risk of unavailability of state-reimbursed medicines in the Latvian pharmaceutical market, mainly as a consequence of the behavior of the wholesalers. The same conclusion was reached by the Competition Council of the Republic of Latvia which, in late 2018 and 2019, published two reports on the availability of medicines. Accordingly, it was concluded that the existing regulatory framework was unable to provide an effective market protection mechanism to reduce the risk that patients in Latvia might not have access to state-reimbursed medicines, because after these medicines are made available in Latvia by producers or importers, they are exported to third countries or other EU member states by other market participants.

Many commercial businesses are suffering under the current circumstances and are looking to re-negotiate the terms of their lease. Below is a short overview of the opportunities provided by Latvian law to assist tenants with this kind of negotiations.

Kronbergs Cukste Levin has advised environment management group Eco Baltia on the sale of a controlling stake in the company to INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund. Vilgerts and Primus Derling reportedly advised the buyers on the deal, which remains subject to regulatory approval from the Lithuanian Competition Council.

Although amendments to the Commercial Law regarding the possibility for shareholders to participate in meetings using electronic means of communication have been discussed for a long time, the state of emergency due to COVID-19 in Latvia and social distancing restrictions require the legislator to act immediately.

A new opportunity for Latvian entrepreneurs was presented on 5 March at The Nasdaq Riga bell ceremony – the European Union (EU) funding program to attract capital on the stock exchange. The new instrument offers a wide range of funding opportunities for the issuance of shares and corporate bonds by small and medium-sized enterprises.

Governments in each of Baltic countries has adopted a special temporary laws on measures for companies to manage the consequences of the spread of coronavirus. See summarized legislation amendments concerning support to enterprises and tax solutions which were implemented by Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

The same as the majority of the European countries, Latvia also, first of all, thinks about solidarity between the state and entrepreneurs on the prevention of the immediate unemployment situation. In order to motivate entrepreneurs affected by the crisis not to discharge employees, having idle-time, and to try to wait for the transfer from the crisis and restrictive measures, the state offers to pay out idle-time benefit for employees of the companies, temporarily not being able to employ and pay out a salary to them during the period of idle-time as a result of the crisis. Since the Cabinet of Ministers extended emergency situation until 9 June, idle-time benefit will be available until 30 June.

In August 2007 crime fiction admirers in Latvia were thrilled to read a book, Kitchen Justice, describing an influential litigation attorney, the trial cases his office handled, and his secret relationship with judges and public figures. The protagonist was immediately recognized by readers, and the legal community was able to identify heroes less known to the public: the judges in the legal proceedings, who were privately communicating with the prominent attorney about the cases they were working on. It was apparent that the disguised author had based his fictional novel on a real-life characters and cases, and without delay, Latvia’s Chief Justice convened an extraordinary session of Supreme Court judges to set up a special panel of five reputable judges with a mandate to investigate the novel’s plot. The commission interviewed dozens of judges who had been identified in Kitchen Justice.