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Can one or more of a company's shareholders claim that a transfer of shares to third parties by other shareholders is null, even if the claimants were not interested in acquiring those shares? And when faced with such a claim, would Romanian courts rule in favour of the claimant? A recent court ruling has answered both questions with a resounding "yes", opening new horizons in M&A-related matters in Romania.

Did You Know that the ten firms that have worked on the most client matters reported by CEE Legal Matters through Q3 of 2023 are equally divided between international and regional powerhouses? According to the Activity Rankings function of the CEELMDirect website, Magic Circle-member Clifford Chance, which has worked on a remarkable 66 deals reported by CEE Legal Matters in the first nine months of 2023, leads the pack, but Vienna-based Schoenherr is close behind with 64.

Schoenherr has advised Wienerberger on its EUR 350 million issuance of 4.875% sustainability-linked 2023-2028 bonds. Wolf Theiss advised joint lead managers and bookrunners Commerzbank, Danske Bank, Erste Group Bank, and UniCredit Bank.

Schoenherr has advised the BHS Private Equity Fund on participating in the acquisition of Altran alongside BHS's general partner Versute Investments and Altran managers Petr Havlik, Jaromir Kejval, and Milan Krovina. CMS advised the Capgemini group on the sale. Arrows reportedly advised the managers on the deal.

Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii Partner Gabriela Anton, Gecic Law Counsel Miodrag Jevtic, ACI Partners Head of Banking/Finance Marina Zanoga, Avellum Managing Partner Mykola Stetsenko, NazaIi Tax & Legal Partner Nilay Goker Duran, PRK Partners Senior Attorney-at-Law Norbert Hink, and Schoenherr Bulgaria Local Partner Tsvetan Krumov look at how the financial services landscape in the CEE region has been shifting, as local non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) are gradually gaining ground in an area historically dominated by the banking sector.

The CEELM Top 10 series looks back over the past ten years and celebrates the milestones we have achieved together. The list below highlights the most-read interviews, with a short description of each.

After several unsuccessful attempts, the Czech Republic has finally adopted a law that introduces institutional protection for whistleblowers in accordance with European legislation. The Whistleblower Protection Act (Act) will come into force on August 1, 2023.

Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr has advised the shareholders of Maxbet on the sale of a 51% stake in the company to Flutter Entertainment for a cash consideration of EUR 141 million. Karanovic & Partners, working with Arthur Cox, advised Flutter Entertainment.

After a delay of more than a year, an act on preventive restructuring (the "Act") implementing the EU directive on preventive restructuring frameworks finally became effective in the Czech Republic on 23 September 2023. The long-awaited Act introduces a brand-new legal tool preventing the insolvency of viable enterprises in temporary financial distress.

The German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act is a major advancement in the supply chain network, improving international human rights and environmental standards across the board. It focuses on issues of child labour, health and safety standards, and the role of trade unions, and will have substantial effects on all relevant parties concerned due to its scope and importance. For instance, the Act bans all sorts of conduct from discrimination to forced labour. Serbia in particular will be considerably impacted, since Germany is the country's largest trade partner.

M&A in the CEE region has been a captivating theater of evolving trends and geopolitical dynamics of late. Schoenherr Partner Markus Piuk shares his insights on the current market trends and delves into the influence of the US-China relationship, the status of Russian-based transactions, the resilience of the CEE M&A market, and the prospects of industry consolidation and growth.

Schoenherr at a Glance

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu