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With the war in Ukraine raging for more than six months, law firms across the region have reported increased workloads in corporate and M&A, tax, employment, immigration law, and inquiries on the sanctions regimes in relevant jurisdictions, noting that companies from Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus are variously looking for a new home. Whether to avoid sanctions or escape the war, those companies consider a variety of factors in determining where to go.

One might have hoped that, with the pandemic fading, the real estate market was bound to bounce back in 2022, despite interest rates rising since October 2021. And bounce back it did, at least in the first quarter, when investments in commercial real estate reached EUR 1.7 billion, including Google’s landmark acquisition of a Warsaw office building for nearly EUR 600 million. The Russian aggression against Ukraine, coupled with growing cost pressures, created the current market conditions that will continue to shape the CEE real estate market for the foreseeable future.

On January 1, 2022, a “historic tax reform” – as referred to by the Polish government – came into force, with major changes implemented into Poland’s tax system. Just a few months later, another tax reform package, now known as the Polish Deal 2.0, was introduced. We spoke with Penteris Head of Tax Artur Plutowski and PwC Legal Partner Katarzyna Komorowska to learn what was the driving force behind the update and how it will impact the business sector in Poland.

The sixth package of European Union sanctions imposed on Russia is a widely discussed topic, yet the overall levels of preparedness to adopt the associated energy import ban varies from one country to another. Indeed, with Russian oil and gas exports being such a dominant source of energy for a number of European countries, it remains to be seen how all of them adapt to the change. To gain insight into how certain EU member states and non-EU countries are (likely) to fare in the immediate wake of the ban, we reached out to legal professionals from Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Moldova.

On July 12, four leading lawyers from Croatia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea to discuss the latest in ESG developments with a focus on green financing, its regional and local drivers and roadblocks, its impact on non-financial reporting, and what it all means for the legal profession.

Entering into force on February 19, 2021, the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility aimed, according to the European Commission, “to mitigate the economic and social impact of the coronavirus pandemic and make European economies and societies more sustainable, resilient, and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions.” CEE Legal Matters spoke with lawyers from Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, and Romania to learn what each country focused on, with its Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP), and what difficulties lie ahead, now that these plans have been submitted to the EC.

Energy prices have been a salient issue in CEE for the past year. Part 1 of this article covered just how high the energy prices had climbed in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, and Turkey, the impact of those prices on people, businesses, and governments, as well as the reasons why some countries fared better than others. Then Russia’s war against Ukraine changed everything, making a new energy pricing normal seem more distant than ever. In Part 2 we look at what energy experts believe could alleviate the situation and whether the war has impacted those plans.

Had we been writing this piece mid-February, our description of the Polish real estate market would have been consistent with the trends encompassing the past two years: despite the pandemic, two sectors continue to boom – logistics and residential, including the still relatively new professional rented sector, with many big players moving into Poland over the past few months.

In the past twelve months, energy prices seem to have taken a life of their own. Their continued and, at times, shocking growth has raised concerns across the region and prompted differing responses and policy changes in each country. To get a more accurate picture of recent developments, we reached out to experts in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, and Turkey and asked them about the current energy prices, their impact on local economies, the drivers behind their growth, and whether any plans were in place to address the issue.

Three of the world’s most influential institutions have established expert teams to gather as much data as possible in order to make sense of the nature of the changes currently affecting the global labor market. Many law firms are already on board and are implementing strategies that will meet these changes head-on.

REITs first appeared in the US in the 1960s, and the American REIT market has enjoyed considerable growth over the last quarter of a century. From there, REITs have spread to most developed economies, including many EU member states, and can presently be found in approximately 40 countries. In the US, the total return on investment in REITs making up the FTSE Nareit All Equity REITs Index reached 1,225% over the last 25 years, which translates into an average annual return of 10.9%. This, coupled with the good performance of REITs in other countries, contributes to an increased interest in this type of legal structure in jurisdictions where such solutions have yet to be introduced.

Penteris at a Glance

Penteris is a law firm combining in-depth expertise, robust advice, and a pan-regional reach.

We provide full-service business law advice within five sector lines: Energy & natural resources, Financial institutions, Private equity, Real estate, and Retail.

On the market since 2001, we were originally part of a Scandinavian law firm and then a founding office of a pan-Baltic organisation.

Our attorneys will work closely with you, providing you with the hard skills, service-minded know-how, and legal expertise that will keep you secure while you lead the market.

Our skills are at your disposal:

  • Expertise and passion wrapped up in a personal service
  • Close-knit team providing a multidisciplinary approach
  • Ability to listen, understand, and deliver for the tangible benefit of the client.

The team continues to be internationally recognised year on year, most recently by Chambers Global 2020, Chambers Europe 2020, and The Legal 500 EMEA 2020.

Firm's website: https://penteris.com