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Latham & Watkins, Avellum, and Sayenko Kharenko Advise on Ukraine’s USD 2 Billion Eurobond

Ukraine

Latham & Watkins and Sayenko Kharenko have advised JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs as the joint lead managers and joint dealer-managers on Ukraine’s successful completion of the settlement of its new USD 2 billion 7.253% Eurobond due 2033, as well as on its first-ever intra-day switch tender offer in relation to its outstanding USD-denominated 7.75% senior notes due 2021 and USS-denominated 7.75% senior notes due 2022. Avellum and White & Case advised the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine.

Advancing Avellum

Ukraine

In 2009, deep in the throes of the global financial crisis, Mykola Stetsenko, a partner at Baker & McKenzie in Kyiv, stepped away from that secure position to start his own law firm. His ambitious move paid off, and now, eleven years later, the firm he launched – Avellum – is among the most successful and highly regarded in Ukraine.

IP Reform in Ukraine and its Impact on Business

Ukraine

Under the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement of June 27, 2014, Ukraine undertook to harmonize its legislation with EU law by 2023, including the regulatory framework for IP. Subsequently, in February 2020, the Parliament of Ukraine adopted a long-awaited set of draft IP protection laws (the “Draft Laws”), which are likely to have a significant impact on companies doing business in Ukraine, as well as on the measures which may be taken by businesses in connection with IP commercialization.

Go2Law, BDV, Wolf Theiss, and Babic & Partners Advise on Rohatyn Group's Acquisition of Optimapharm

Croatia

Go2Law and BDV advised Optimapharm founders Igor and Gordana Cicak and Wolf Theiss advised investor Mezzanine Management on the sale of Optimapharm to the Rohatyn Group. Babic & Partners, Taylor Wessing, and Nauta Dutilh advised the Rohatyn Group on the deal.

Croatian Implementation and Enforcement of GDPR: State of Play as at December 2019

Croatia

Following the adoption of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC („GDPR“) on April 27, 2016, the Croatian GDPR Implementing Act („GDPR Act“) entered into force on May 25, 2018, simultaneously with the start of application of the GDPR.

Baker McKenzie Defends Interests of Oleh Dubyna-Owned Prandicle Limited in English Commercial Court

Ukraine

Baker McKenzie has successfully defended the interests of Prandicle Limited, a company owned by former Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister and former Naftogaz CEO Oleh Dubyna, in the English Commercial Court, against proprietary and unjust enrichment claims.

DLA Piper and Baker McKenzie Advise on Resource Partners' Sale of Golpasz

Poland

DLA Piper has advised private equity investor Resource Partners on the sale of a majority stake in Golpasz to De Heus, an international animal feed manufacturer. Baker McKenzie advised De Heus on the deal.

DTB and Baker McKenzie Advise Playrix on Acquisition of Cateia Games

Croatia

Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka and Baker McKenzie have advised mobile game developer Playrix on the acquisition of Croatian gaming studio Cateia Games.

Negotiation of Commercial Leases During the COVID-19 Crisis

Latvia

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.

Shareholders’ Meetings in E-environment

Latvia

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.

Support Mechanism to Attract Financing for SMEs in Capital Markets

Latvia

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.

Lessons (Re)Learned from the New ECHR Case Vladimir Kharitonov V. Russia on Blocking Access to a Website and the Freedom of Expression

Romania

Earlier on 23 June 2020, the European Court of Human Rights (the „Court”) issued a decision in the case Vladimir Kharitonov v. Russia (Application no. 10795/14), in which the Court reiterated that blocking access to a website may constitute a violation of freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the „Convention”).  Prior to this, the Court had ruled on this matter in other relevant cases, i.e. Ahmet Yıldırım v. Turkey (no. 3111/10, ECHR 2012) and Cengiz and Others v. Turkey, nos. 48226/10 and 14027/11, ECHR 2015) and the Court’s new decision reminds us of some of the principles stated before. The decision was issued along with other three cases, OOO Flavus and Others v. Russia (application nos. 12468/15, 23489/15, and 19074/16), Bulgakov v. Russia (no. 20159/15), and Engels v. Russia (no. 61919/16) all of which concern various forms of website blocking.

2019 CEE Deals Of The Year

Legal Markets

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.

Romania: Contracts for Difference – a New Green Horizon?

Romania

On 11 June 2020, the Romanian Government approved the Memorandum “General principles concerning the implementation of a support mechanism such as Contracts for Difference for the production of low-carbon electricity”. While a mere memorandum aimed at outlining an intention, the document is a milestone in the process of discussing a new support mechanism for investors in low-carbon technologies, initiated a few years ago.

What Makes a Good Conference Great?

Legal Markets

Love them or hate them, conferences are a fundamental part of the successful commercial lawyer’s calendar. But time is precious. Those calendars are full. It’s vital for conference organizers to get them right, and critical for lawyers to choose wisely in determining which events to attend and which to skip.

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates Announces Launch of Pro Bono Covid-19 + Zagreb Earthquake Offering

Croatia

Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates has announced the launch of "Covid-19 + Zagreb Earthquake" pro bono project to help those affected by Covid-19 and/or the earthquake that rocked the Croatian capital on March 22, 2020.

CEELM Covid-19 Comparative Legal Guide: Contracts in Croatia

Covid-19 and Contracts in Croatia

Contributed by Cipcic-Bragadin Mesic & Associates

NKO Partners Advises CTP on Financing from EBRD

Serbia

NKO Partners has advised CTP on financing of EUR 13.5 million from the EBRD for real estate project development in Serbia. CMS advised the EBRD on the transaction.

United Group's Acquisition of Vivacom Closes

Bulgaria

Schoenherr is reporting that the United Group's EUR 1.2 billion acquisition of Vivacom (Bulgarian Telecommunications Company EAD), the largest telecom operator in Bulgaria — the deal that was signed in November 2019 and won CEE Legal Matters' 2019 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria — has closed. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison acted as lead English counsel to the United Group, while CMS and Kambourov & Partners were, respectively, English and Bulgarian counsel to the sellers.

Ukrainian Gas Transmission System Unbundling – Mission Possible and Completed

Ukraine

2019 was an outstanding year for Ukrainian gas sector, as the country managed to complete the most critical parts of the unbundling of the gas transmission system in a timely manner. The year was also remarkable because, in twelve months, we saw three different unbundling models proposed by the Government, forcing the participants of the unbundling process and the key stakeholders to quickly adapt to the new rules and scenarios. For most of the year the country planned to implement an ownership unbundling model. However, in September 2019, before the third round of trilateral Ukraine-Russia-EU talks on gas transit, the unbundling plan took a U-turn, when the newly appointed Ukrainian Government, in its Resolution 840 (the “New Unbundling Resolution”), decided to switch to the independent system operator (ISO) model.

Cobalt Advises AirBaltic on Investment by Latvian Government

Latvia

The Latvian office of Cobalt has advised AirBaltic on a EUR 250 million investment in its shares by the Latvian Government.

Cobalt Advises Banks on Syndicated Loan for Development of Vakaru Medienos Grupe

Lithuania

Cobalt has advised the EBRD, Swedbank, and Citadele Bank on their provision of a EUR 86 million syndicated loan to UAB Vakaru Medienos Grupe in Lithuania.

Cobalt Advises UAB Kedainiai Free Economic Zone Prepare Agreements for Kormotech

Lithuania

Cobalt has helped Lithuania's UAB Kedainiai Free Economic Zone draft establishment and operation agreements for Kormotech.

The Buzz in Macedonia: Interview with Dragan Dameski of Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska

North Macedonia

“Unfortunately the situation in Macedonia is not bright” says Dragan Dameski, Partner at Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska in Skopje, referring to the prolonged political instability in Macedonia, and the “selective implementation of rule of law by the official institutions and bodies in power.”

New Changes in Macedonia’s Law on Construction Land to Ease the Sale of Land

North Macedonia

The Government of the Republic of Macedonia, in its program for the period 2014-2018, incorporated a project that shall enable electronic concluding of real estate purchase agreements.

Amendments in Macedonia’s Notary Public Regulations to Bring Procedural Efficiency

North Macedonia

It is expected that the new Law on Notary Public will overcome the weaknesses identified in the existing Law and will also lead to higher efficiency in the notary public operation.

METAR Auction Opening in September

Hungary

After the successful first METAR tender last year, on July 15, 2020 the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority launched the second METAR tender to support renewable electricity producers under the green premium scheme.

BASEAK and Dentons Advise Anatolia on Sale of Stake in Sunrise Foods International to Hassad Holdings Canada

Turkey

Balcioglu Selcuk Ardiyok Keki Attorney Partnership has advised Anatolia B.V., a subsidiary of agricultural exporter Tiryaki Agro Foods Industry, on the sale of 25.58% shareholding in Sunrise Foods International Inc. to Hassad Holdings Canada. Dentons advised Tiryaki on English law matters, while Herguner Bilgen Ozeke advised Hassad on the deal.

Private Equity Trends Monitor: Central and Eastern Europe

Briefings

The following Q&A is an extract of the Private Equity Trends Monitor, which provides you with an up-to-date overview of the latest and anticipated trends across the European private equity sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report on trends and developments will be issued every two months as the situation continues to evolve. This extract covers private equity deal activity in Central and Eastern Europe.

EPAM Advises VIS Group on Refinancing of Yakutsk PPP

Russia

Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners has advised the VIS Group on the refinancing of a public-private partnership project involving the construction of 12 social infrastructure facilities in Yakutsk through the placing of secured social bonds worth over RUB 5.6 billion. The refinancing was arranged by BKS, Otkritie Bank, DOM.RF Bank, and Sovcombank.

Sorainen and EPAP Advise on DEG Acquisition of Stake in Belgips

Belarus

Sorainen has advised DEG on the acquisition of a stake in Belgips, a Belarusian manufacturer of gypsum-based building materials. Belgips was reportedly advised by Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners.

English Barrister Andrew Lomas Joins EPAM in Moscow

Russia

Andrew Lomas, a barrister and member of London's One Essex Court chambers, has joined the International Arbitration and Litigation Practice of Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners as Co-Head of International Arbitration and Litigation.

ELIG Gurkaynak's Brief Report on New Proposal of Law on Social Networks - Turkey

Turkey

A recent law proposal which provides significant changes to the Law on Regulation of Broadcasts via Internet and Prevention of Crimes Committed through Such Broadcasts ("Law No. 5651") has been published on Grand National Assembly of Turkey's ("TBMM") website yesterday ("Proposal"). The Proposal mainly introduces obligations on social network providers with over 1 million daily access from Turkey.

Amendments Passed on Turkish Competition Law

Turkey

After rounds of revisions and failed attempts of enactment over a span of several years, the proposal for an amendment to the Law No. 4054 on Protection of Competition (“Law no. 4054”) (“Amendment Proposal”) has finally been approved by the Turkish parliament, namely the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, yesterday.

Guest Editorial: Notes from A Regional Legal Hub: Turkey

Turkey

I can pinpoint the exact moment when my interest in the law first flourished: I was 13 years old and my mother had given me a book called The Courage of their Convictions by Peter H. Irons, about 16 Americans who had fought for their rights and taken their cases all the way to the Supreme Court, and what I read resonated deeply within me. It later turned out that my mother had only given me the book to improve my English. But it opened the door to so much more.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co. Successful for Sofia Hospital in Dispute with Bulgarian National Health Insurance Fund

Bulgaria

Georgiev, Todorov & Co. has successfully represented Sofia's Acibadem City Clinic Multidisciplinary Hospital for Active Treatment Tokuda EAD in a claim against Bulgaria's National Health Insurance Fund for payment for medical care provided by the hospital to health-insured persons above the limits set by the NHIF.

New Lower VAT Rate of 9% for Restaurants and Catering Services – How Are the Specifics Applied

Bulgaria

The team of Georgiev, Todorov & Co. Law Offices is constantly monitoring the measures to deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Our legal adviser Vili Datsov prepared detailed information in connection with the latest amendments to the Value Added Tax Act.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co Successful for Port Burgas in Electric Grid Connection Dispute

Bulgaria

Georgiev, Todorov & Co has successfully represented the Port of Burgas on appeal of a decision of the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission in an administrative dispute regarding a connection to Bulgaria's national electricity transmission grid.

The Foreign Investor in Ukrainian Large-scale Privatization

Ukraine

In recent years, privatization has risen as a priority for the government of Ukraine. Fundamental to these efforts was the enactment of a law abolishing a list of over 1,000 state-owned enterprises that were not permitted to be privatized. This has removed the last major barriers for launching full-scale privatization.

BEPS Implementation in the Tax Code of Ukraine

Ukraine

The widely discussed draft law 1210 has finally been signed by the President of Ukraine and come into effect on May 23 (Law No. 466). This is why business will have to adjust to new rules of the game. The Law mostly aims to implement the main measures under the BEPS Project, which our state undertook to do as early as in December 2019 by ratifying the MLI Convention.

Corporate Reorganization in Ukraine: Consolidations and Liquidation

Ukraine

The global financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting businesses all over the world so badly that many operations have stopped, exports have fallen and imports are being replaced by domestic consumption, and international corporations had to put on hold any expansion plans and their forays into other markets.

Payment and Electronic Money Organisations Association

Turkey

On 28 June 2020 issue of official gazette Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association Statute is published and with that Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association is formed. Pursuant to Article 7 of this statute, “All payment and electronic money institutions are obliged to become a member of the association within one month after obtaining an operating license. Organizations that do not fulfill this obligation by the association shall be notified to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey."

Announcement for the Articles of The Turkish Code of Obligations Related to Workplaces Lease Agreements

Turkey

The articles of the Turkish Code of Obligations No.6098 (‘’TCO’’) had been postponed for workplaces lease agreements. It will be entering into force on July 1,2020 for office leases. The articles of the TCO will come into effect if not postponed again. This is known to cause considerable effects to the ongoing office lease agreements.

Mehtap Payne Joins Guden Law Firm as Head of Maritime Law

Turkey

Mehtap Payne has joined Turkey's Guden Law Firm as its new Senior Legal Counsel and Head of Maritime Law.

Integrites Helps Metro Cash and Carry Ukraine on Change of Energy Supplier Dispute

Ukraine

Integrites has represented Metro Cash & Carry Ukraine in a dispute with a former energy supplier who filed a claim against one of the company's stores demanding that it be fined for changing its electricity supplier.

Employment and Migration Rules for Foreigners in Ukraine During the Quarantine

Ukraine

COVID-19 has severely impacted the economy and labour migration. Many foreign citizens employed in Ukraine had to leave the country and work from their homes abroad.

The BEPS Law: Major Changes in Corporate Profit Tax

Ukraine

The so-called BEPS Law (No. 466-IX) changed corporate profit taxation rules in Ukraine. The majority of its provisions entered into force on May 23, 2020. Others will become effective later on.

Another Milestone in VAT Recovery on Bad Debt

Hungary

Recently, a Hungarian court accepted the right of a taxpayer to recover VAT on a bad debt where the VAT claim has already elapsed. The court made it clear that the statute of limitations does not count from the day of the original invoice but from the date when the debt became definitively irrecoverable. This decision may give hope to taxpayers in many pending cases.

Enforcement Has Finally Arrived in the 21st Century

Hungary

The healthcare emergency situation has accelerated the digitisation of tasks and processes in a wide range of areas. Enforcement proceedings based on notarial deeds are no exception, where an electronic procedure became mandatory a few months ago. The only question is how long the signature itself will still need to be in writing.

Jalsovszky Announces New Capital Markets & Regulatory Practice

Hungary

Hungary's Jalsovszky law firm has announced that, going forward, its Capital Markets & Regulatory Group will operate as an independent practice.

Clifford Chance Badea and Schoenherr Advise on Kingspan Group's Acquisition of TeraPlast's Steel Division

Romania

Clifford Chance Badea has advised the Kingspan Group, a company specialized in high-performance insulation and building envelope solutions, on the acquisition of TeraSteel SA, TeraSteel DOO Serbia, and Wetterbest SA. Schoenherr advised TeraPlast on the deal.

New Obligations in Regard to Measures Preventing the Occurrence and Spread of the Infectious Disease Epidemic

Serbia

The Rulebook on Preventive Measures for Safe and Healthy Work to Prevent the Occurrence and Spread of the Infectious Disease Epidemic (“the Rulebook”) has been adopted and it will enter into force on July 11th 2020.

Serbia is Step Closer Towards Regulating Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrencies

Serbia

Serbian Chamber of Commerce has announced that the working group for drafting a proposal for legal framework to govern blockchain technology and trading with cryptocurrencies has been established.

Marketing Law Firm Marketing: Childhood Dreams

Legal Markets

We decided to lighten the mood this time around by asking our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a non-law-firm related question: “What did you most want to be when you were little?”

The Buzz in Czech Republic: Interview with Roman Kramarik of JSK

Czech Republic

Roman Kramarik, Partner at JSK in Prague, is making every effort to distance himself from politics, although he reports that “you can’t even call it politics anymore, but rather a showing off of the state’s executive power.”

JSK and Mavericks Advise on Investments in Dot Glasses

Czech Republic

JSK has advised Tilia Impact Ventures and Nation 1 on their investment in Dot Glasses, a provider of a radical new concept for prescription eyeglasses for people in need. The Mavericks law firm advised Dot Glasses on the deal.

Milena Pejovic Makes Partner at Karanovic & Partners

Montenegro

Milena Pejovic, the Head of the Montenegro practice at Karanovic & Partners, has been promoted to Partner at the firm.

New Regulation on Preventive Measures for Safe and Healthy Work

Serbia

The Rulebook on preventive measures for safe and healthy work to prevent the occurrence and spread of an epidemic of infectious diseases (the “Rulebook”) was adopted on 29 June 2020. The Rulebook closely regulates preventive measures that employers are obliged to apply in order to prevent the occurrence and spread of infectious diseases and eliminate the risks for safe and healthy work of employees, as well as persons found in the work environment, when the competent authority declares an epidemic of infectious diseases.

2019 CEE Deals Of The Year

Legal Markets

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.

Parliament Bans Single-use Plastic

Hungary

The Hungarian Parliament passed a legislation on the ban of single-use plastic in Hungary on 7 July 2020 as part of the Climate and Nature Protection Action Plan. The legislation was meant to be accepted earlier this year, however then the proposal was withdrew because of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an earlier press release from the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, the “Hungarian Government is committed to defend the created world”.

Amendments of the Bankruptcy and Liquidation Proceedings

Hungary

The amendments to the Hungarian Bankruptcy Act enter into force on 1 August 2020, aiming at modernizing the rules of the insolvency law, maintaining employment and facilitating the agreement between the creditors and the debtor in the course of the bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings.

Employment Law Provisions After the Pandemic

Hungary

Since the state of emergency was terminated on 18 June 2020, the special employment law provisions introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic are no longer applicable. In particular, the employer is no longer entitled to unilaterally request the employee to work from home.

The Buzz in Montenegro: Interview with Sasa Vujacic of Vujacic Law Offices

The Buzz

“Things are moving in cycles [in Montenegro], as in most parts of the Balkans,“ says Partner Sasa Vujacic of Vujacic Law Offices. “This is an election year in Montenegro and that will be reflected on the business sector for sure, as we approach election day.“ Vujacic reports that the election date “should be no later than October of this year“ and says that, although more political influence will be felt in all sectors of business as it approaches, “not a lot of changes in Montenegro's political structure are to be expected."

New Restrictions on Opening Bank Accounts for Companies Founded by Legal Entities from Offshore Destinations

Montenegro

In Montenegro, it is not possible to open any corporate bank account for companies registered in Montenegro if the founder of such company is a legal entity / company from an offshore destination as it is for example British Virgin Islands etc.

Decision on Privatization Plan for 2019 has been published in the Official Gazette No. 013/19 of 01 March 2019

Montenegro

The Government of Montenegro, at the session of February 7, 2019, passed Decision about The Privatization Plan for 2019 which is published in the Official Gazette No. 013/19 of 01, March 2019 and it came into force on 9, April of the same year.

New Legal Updates: Annual Visa for Environmental Authorisation and Integrated Environmental Authorisation

Romania

New provisions regarding environmental studies

Amendments to the PPA Regime

Romania

In 2012, Romania banned the execution of power purchase agreements (the “PPAs”) by direct negotiations, imposing that all wholesale transactions be concluded on the centralized market operated by the Operator of the Electricity and Gas Market Opcom S.A. (“OPCOM”). The measure was imposed through article 23 of the Electricity and Gas Law no. 123/2012 (the “Energy Law”), law newly adopted at that time.

Romania - Long – Awaited Simplifications for the Corporate and Business Environment

Romania

After a long and drawn out legislative process commenced in 2017, Law no. 102/2020 amending and supplementing the Companies Law no. 31/1990 (“Law 102/2020”) has finally entered into force on July 5, 2020, setting in place major changes to the corporate regulatory framework.

The Buzz in Hungary: Interview with Peter Berethalmi of Nagy es Trocsanyi

Hungary

“The most important thing right now is that the state of emergency was terminated,“ says Peter Berethalmi, Partner at Nagy es Trocsanyi in Budapest.

Summary of the Special Rules Regarding the Operation of Legal Persons During the State of Danger

Hungary

With respect to the declared state of danger and in order to alleviate the economic difficulties resulting from the Covid-19 epidemic, the government has taken several measures, the following document summarizes the most significant provisions of governmental decrees in the field of labour law and related to the operation of legal persons.

Summary of the Effects of the Coronavirus Epidemic on Labour Matters

Hungary

With respect to the declared state of danger and in order to alleviate the economic difficulties resulting from the Covid-19 epidemic, the government has taken several measures, the following document summarizes the most significant provisions of governmental decrees in the field of labour law effective as of and related to the operation of legal persons.

The Evidential Value of WhatsApp Conversations under the Turkish Competition Law Practice: Burdur LPG Case

Turkey

Antitrust authorities follow closely the transformation in communication technologies with the intent to preserve the efficiency of their investigative practices and evidence search, during handling their cases. Otherwise the authorities will be on the verge of losing their operability in detecting and proving infringements. A fresh amendment on Turkish Competition Act clarifies Turkish Competition Authority’s (TCA) powers associated with down-raid regarding digital documents. In this brief article, we authored TCA’s recent Burdur LPG Case, TCA imposed fine on LPG retailers of the city of Burdur, based on the evidence extracted from WhatsApp communication between executives of the undertakings.

Amendment of Turkish Competition Act

Turkey

The long-lasting bill of Law on The Act on the Protection of Competition (The Competition Act) was ratified by Turkish Parliement on 06.16.2020. This amendment is the most extensive reform of antitrust enforcement system since the enactment of the Competition Act in 1994. The most significant changes are explained below:

FinTech Merger Cleared by Turkish Competition Authority

Turkey

Fintech is described by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) as “technology-enabled innovation in financial services that could result in new business models, applications, processes or products with an associated material effect on the provision of financial services”. Fintech companies of all sort, have so far triggered a remarkable transformation in the provision of financial services. The impacts of this ongoing transformation on market structure is inevitable, as these companies are growing as new market players.

Noerr and Rapela Advise on Telekom Innovation's Equity Investment in RemoteMyApp

Poland

Noerr has advised Telekom Innovation, a strategic investment fund of Deutsche Telekom, on an unspecified equity investment in Poland's RemoteMyApp technology company. The Rapala Law Firm advised RemoteMyApp.

Russian Data Localisation and Whistleblowing Systems – the Most Important Q&A

Russia

Even though data localisation requirements were already introduced in Russia back in 2015, their effects on cross-border reporting channels in the whistleblowing systems of multinational companies have so far received relatively little attention. Due to the recent increase in the fines for violations, we have compiled the most important questions and answers below:

Romania: New Deadline for Reporting Cross-border Transactions under DAC6 Rules

Romania

Following the formal adoption by the European Council of the directive to postpone the initial reporting deadlines for “DAC6” by six months, on 1 July 2020 the Romanian Government adopted Emergency Ordinance no. 107/2020 by which it extends the deadline for submission of reports regarding cross-border transactions under DAC6 rules.

Bojana Tkalcic-Dulic Retirest from Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina's Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Law Firm has announced that Senior Partner Bojana Tkalcic-Dulic retired at the end of 2018. 

The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, Partner of Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner, Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, says that no significant laws or regulations have been passed in Bosnia & Herzegovina recently that could influence the work of lawyers or the business sector, although they are much needed.

The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Adela Rizvic of Advokatski Ured Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic i Jusufbasic-Goloman

The Buzz

"There are certain developments influencing our day-to-day business,” says Adela Rizvic, Partner at Advokatski Ured Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic i Jusufbasic-Goloman in Sarajevo.

New Rules for Online Intermediation Services

Romania

On 12 July 2020 Regulation (EU) 2019/1150 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services (Regulation 2019/1150) became applicable. The aim of the Regulation is to ensure the fair and transparent treatment of business users by online platforms.

2019 CEE Deals Of The Year

Legal Markets

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.

Stratulat Albulescu Advises World Class on New Fitness Club in Bucharest's Expo Business Park

Romania

Stratulat Albulescu has advised Romanian health & fitness chain World Class Romania on its lease of a 1500 square meter space in Bucharest's Expo Business Park for a new fitness club. The lessor was reportedly advised by Peli Partners.

Schrems II: Transfer of Data to USA Now Blocked?

Poland

On 16 July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJUE) issued a landmark judgment in case C-311/18 (Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook Ireland Limited, Maximillian Schrems), in which it concluded that Decision 2016/1250 on the adequacy of protection provided by the EU-US Privacy Shield is invalid.

Dentons and Penteris Advise on Cavatina Holding's Sale of Office Complex in Krakow

Poland

Dentons has advised commercial real estate developer Cavatina Holding on the sale of three A-class office buildings in the Equal Business Park office complex in Krakow to a consortium managed by Apollo-Rida Poland. Penteris advised Apollo-Rida on the deal.

Piotr Zawadzki Joins Penteris as Head of IP & DP

Poland

Piotr Zawadzki has joined Penteris as the new Head of IP & DP.

Changes to the Judicial Activities of the Romanian Courts of Law as a Result of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Romania

Like any other state in the world, Romania has been confronted in recent months and is still confronting with the atrocity of the pandemic caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19. Since the outburst of the rapidly spreading virus, all resources available were mobilized to effectively contain it and to repair the economic and social damage brought by the pandemic.

Former Judge Constantin Branzan Joins Popescu & Asociatii

Romania

Long-time Romanian Magistrate Constantin Branzan has joined Popescu & Asociatii's Litigation and Arbitration Department in Bucharest.

Derogations Applicable in Relation to Personal Data Transfer to Third Countries or International Organisations

Romania

According to Art. 44 of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), ˝Any transfer of personal data which are undergoing processing or are intended for processing after transfer to a third country or to an international organization shall take place only if, subject to the other provisions of this Regulation, the conditions laid down in this Chapter are complied with by the controller and processor, including for onward transfers of personal data from the third country or an international organization to another third country or to another international organization

Obligation for Employers to Update the Data in the Central Register of Mandatory Social Insurance

Serbia

The Law on Central Register of Mandatory Social Insurance (“ZOCROSO”) was amended at the end of 2019 and the most important novelty was the extension of deadline for employers to adjust to the Decision on single codebook for entry and codification of information in databases in the field of labour, enacted in 2018 (“the Decision“).

PR Legal Successful for Strauss Adriatic in Dispute Over “C Kafa” Trademark

Serbia

PR Legal has successfully defended the interests of coffee producer and manufacturer Strauss Adriatic in a dispute over the alleged infringement of the "C Kafa" trademark.

Deadline for Application for the Establishment of Fee for Protection and Improvement of the Environment

Serbia

The Law on fees for the use of public goods (“the Law“) prescribes an obligation for legal entities and entrepreneurs that are deemed to have negative environmental impact to pay the fees for protection and improvement of the environment (“Eco-fee“).

Ukraine’s Law on Fit Restructuring Has Passed: The Expert View

Ukraine

Ukrainian renewable energy lawyer Svitlana Teush takes a look at the law which will define the cuts to be applied in Ukraine after extensive negotiation between government and the clean energy industry.

Redcliffe Helps SABIC Obtain Ukrainian Merger Clearance for Sale of Shares to Saudi AramCo

Ukraine

Redcliffe Partners has helped Saudi Basic Industries Corporation obtain merger clearance from the Ukrainian competition authority for the USD 69.1 billion sale of 70% of its shares by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia – the sovereign wealth fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – to the Saudi Arabian Oil Company. 

Redcliffe Partners Advises EBRD on EUR 25 Million Term Loan to UkSATSE

Ukraine

Redcliffe Partners has advised the EBRD on an up to EUR 25 million term loan to be provided to Ukrainian State Air Traffic Services Enterprise for working capital needs.

Selih & Partnerji and RPPP Advise on Supernova's Acquisition of Shopping Centers in Slovenia

Slovenia

Selih & Partnerji has advised Supernova on its EUR 220 million acquisition of seven shopping malls and five smaller shopping centers from Centrice Real Estate GmbH, a member of America's Lone Star fund. The sellers were advised by Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partnerji.

The Buzz in Slovenia with Robert Prelesnik of Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners

Slovenia

“Well, the legal market is pretty much stable – all firms stay firmly in their places, not a lot of tectonic shift …. all is quiet on the Western front," smiles Robert Prelesnik, Senior Partner at Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners in Ljubljana. “Our economy has been rather stable too, even as we approach a period of slight stagnation – we are quite far away from a recession, which is a good thing in this day and age of Europe," says Prelesnik.

Financial Assistance Under Slovenian Law – Major Points Worth Considering in Structuring Your Deal

Slovenia

In the light of the favourable economic climate and affordable financing sources, Slovenia has been facing a lively M&A market in the recent few years, especially in the area of commercial real estate. Further, companies are eager to refinance their existing debt or borrow new funds under the more favourable conditions currently available on the market.  Since the majority of financing is done via standard bank financing, every deal poses the same old question: “How will be the loan secured”?

Schrems II Decision Consequences and Possible Data Protection Skeleton in the EU Cupboard

Czech Republic

The exchange of personal data between the European Union and the United States have suffered a further setback as the EU Court of Justice ruled against the Commission’s Privacy Shield Decision in the Schrems II case. The consequences could be far-reaching, and impact data flows not only to the United States. While the Court upheld the Commission’s decision regarding Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs), any data flow to a third country must respect the GDPR principles and protect the fundamental freedoms of European citizens. The Court made clear that any jurisdiction, into which personal data are transferred, must offer an essentially equivalent level of personal data protection assessed considering both contractual clauses agreed between transferring parties and the relevant aspects of third country’s legal system. Consequently, not only big companies, such as Facebook, Microsoft, or Google, but also small and medium-sized businesses, must evaluate all data transfers to non-EU countries and assess the potential risks for the data in question.

Foreign Investment Protection During COVID-19

Czech Republic

The state of emergency is over, government measures are slowly easing up and we are entering the unknown as regards further developments in the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (but let’s leave that to the experts). The time is now here to calculate the current and future damage. The measures taken by the government have had an enormous impact on the economy as a whole, as well as on practically every legal and natural person individually: freedom of movement has been restricted, shops and restaurants have been ordered to shut, a ban has been placed on the provision of services and the borders have been closed (all subject to only a few minor exceptions primarily aimed at ensuring basic needs and supplies are satisfied). Furthermore, the government has adopted a number of measures to provide relief to persons affected by the coronavirus pandemic and by the government’s restrictive measures.

Online Aggregators Under the New Digital Single Market’s Rules

Czech Republic

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.

Procedures Before Notaries Just Became Simpler

Serbia

On 26 June 2020, the Government of Serbia adopted a decree* allowing citizens to obtain cadastre excerpts at the notary public office or at a geodetic organisation. Hence, when citizens are in need of the public notary services or of services provided by the geodetic organisation, it will be possible from now on to finalize the procedure in the public notary’s or geodetic organization’s office.

Electronic Signatures – Doing Business Remotely in Serbia

Serbia

Recently we have received many inquiries from our clients regarding the e-signature regulations applicable in Serbia. The possibility of using an electronic signature has been especially explored since the outbreak of COVID 19 pandemic, due to the fact that working from home and social distancing have become a part of our everyday life. Below you will find some key considerations regarding the use of electronic signatures in Serbia.

Preparing for the Worst, Hoping for the Best – Can You Insure Your Business for GDPR Fines?

Serbia

Ever since General Data Protection Regulation (Regulation (EU) 2016/679, “GDPR”) entered into force in 2018, companies around the world have put their best effort in achieving full compliance. Despite their best efforts, some companies have found themselves on the receiving end of enormous fines imposed by their national Data Protection Authorities.

The Corner Office: How Do You Manage Your Team Working Remotely?

Legal Markets

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?"

CMS and DLA Piper Advise Erste Group Immorent on Sale of Croatian Hotel Resort

Croatia

CMS (on M&A) and DLA Piper (on financing) have advised Erste Group Immorent on the sale of the five-star hotel and apartment complex Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Dubrovnik Sun Gardens to Chinese investor ADC GmbH. Savoric & Partner advised the buyer on the deal.

The Buzz in Croatia: Interview with Boris Savoric of Savoric & Partners

The Buzz

The relative success of the center-right Croatian Democratic Union in the September 11th extraordinary parliamentary election in Croatia “should be good for Croatia and good for business" reports Boris Savoric, Senior Partner at Savoric & Partners in Zagreb, if the party succeeds in forming a government with one of the minority parties in the country.

United Group's Acquisition of Vivacom Closes

Bulgaria

Schoenherr is reporting that the United Group's EUR 1.2 billion acquisition of Vivacom (Bulgarian Telecommunications Company EAD), the largest telecom operator in Bulgaria — the deal that was signed in November 2019 and won CEE Legal Matters' 2019 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria — has closed. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison acted as lead English counsel to the United Group, while CMS and Kambourov & Partners were, respectively, English and Bulgarian counsel to the sellers.

Marketing Law Firm Marketing: Childhood Dreams

Legal Markets

We decided to lighten the mood this time around by asking our Law Firm Marketing experts from across the region a non-law-firm related question: “What did you most want to be when you were little?”

Schoenherr Helps Auer-Blaschke Register New Brand Design with Austrian Patent Office

Austria

Schoenherr has assisted Auer-Blaschke GmbH & Co KG with the registration of its new AUER brand design as a model brand at the Austrian Patent Office.

Frankly, this question has to be determined by the acting court as and when it arises with reference to particular facts and circumstances of each individual case.

It Takes Two to Tango - Antitrust Investigation over Suspected RPM Terms

Serbia

In January 2020, the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (“Commission”) initiated investigations against Imlek and Apatinska Pivara which are two leading national dairy and beer producers, and against a number of retailers, including Metro Cash & Carry and Veropoulos, for allegedly employing resale price maintenance (“RPM”) agreements to restrict intra-brand competition.

The New Rulebook on Preventive Measures for Health and Safety at Work in Order to Prevent the Occurrence and Spread of an Infectious Disease Epidemic

Serbia

On July 11, 2020. the new Rulebook on preventive measures for health and safety at work in order to prevent the occurrence and spread of an infectious disease epidemic entered into force.

Roman Ivanov and Sergiu Bivol Make Partner at Vernon David in Moldova

Moldova

Roman Ivanov and Sergiu Bivol have been promoted to Partner at Vernon⎮David in Moldova.

Filip & Company, Vernon David & Associates and Turcan Cazac Advise on Banca Transilvania's Acquisition of Microinvest

Deals and Cases

Filip & Company, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, and Vernon David & Associates have advised Banca Transilvania on the acquisition of 100% of the share capital of Microinvest. Osborne Clarke and Turcan Cazac advised the sellers on the transaction, which remains contingent on regulatory approval.

Vernon David & Associates Advises Banca Transylvania on Integration Following Bancpost Merger

Romania

Vernon David & Associates has advised Banca Transylvania SA on labor and employment law issues relating to the integration of Bancpost SA with Banca Transylvania.

“The current political situation in Montenegro could be described as turbulent,” begins Jelena Bogetic, Associate at BDK Advokati, as “the recent amendments to the country's Freedom of Religion act have spurred a lot of controversy and backlash from the public."

BDK Advokati Announces New Employment Template Database Service

BDK Advokati has announced the launch of a new service – blinkdraft| – a database of employment law-based templates which the firm says can be converted into “custom-made, ready-to-use, legal documents through an easy and highly intuitive process.”

“The main thing, politically, is the upcoming Parliamentary elections set for this April,“ says Dragoljub Cibulic, Partner at BDK Advokati in Belgrade. “We’re entering a period of increased political instability, especially given the announced boycott of the elections by the major opposition block. The boycott is rooted in the imbalance on the Serbian political scene, which is heavily dominated by the ruling party. Opposition parties are cut-off from the mainstream media, the ruling party wields tremendous financial power from close ties with the privileged local business caste, and state institutions crucial for a functioning democracy have been hijacked and submitted to the interests of the ruling party.“

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