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On 1 January 2024, an amendment to the Labour Code came into force that introduces final liability of the construction contractor for wage claims filed by third parties against its subcontractors. This includes wage claims from any employment agencies, up to the amount of the statutory minimum wage for each employee engaged in activities for the subcontractor.

Schoenherr has advised the OTP Real Estate Investment Fund on its purchase of a land plot in Ullo, Hungary, from Rossmann, the development agreement for a BTS logistic center on the site with development manager Panattoni, and a long-term lease agreement for the facility with Rossmann as tenant. CMS and Noerr advised Panattoni. PwC Legal reportedly advised Rossmann.

The Czech Competition Authority (CCA) recently announced that it prepared a proposal to update the Czech Competition Act (the "Act"). While at present the proposal is just a set of ideas, it indicates how Czech competition enforcement may evolve in the years to come. Crucially, the CCA suggests deploying a "new competition tool" that will allow it to intervene even without proof of anticompetitive agreements or abuse of dominance. In addition, it wants to have call-in powers for under-threshold mergers.

In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.

From personal income tax to compulsory social insurance and punitive measures for tax return submission failures, there is a plethora of tax legislation updates that are critical to stay apprised of in Serbia. Tax novelties are, as usual, numerous and perhaps complex to comprehend for someone who is not well versed in tax issues. However, those devoted to running a successful business can greatly benefit by keeping track of tax updates.

It was another strong year for the leading law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, which, combined, worked on over a thousand deals and other client matters across the region reported on by CEE Legal Matters this year. According to the Activity Rankings function of the CEELMDirect website, Clifford Chance, which worked on an impressive 95 CEELM-reported CEE client matters in 2023, led the international firms in the region, with Schoenherr, which worked on 90, close behind. Dentons (82), CMS (71), Wolf Theiss (65), Cobalt (66), Kinstellar (50), White & Case (45), and Allen & Overy (42) took notable places on the leaderboard as well.

The sale of popular drinks containing taurine and caffeine, commonly referred to as "energy drinks", has been limited from 1 January 2024 in accordance with provisions introduced in the Act of 17 August 2023 amending the Public Health Act and certain other acts (Journal of Laws of 2023, item 1718).

Schoenherr and sole practitioner Mihaela Aliman have advised Renovatio on its two-pronged transaction with OMV Petrom concerning the sale of a 50% stake in 1-gigawatt renewable projects company Electrocentrale Borzesti and the sale of Renovatio Asset Management, operating more than 400 electric-vehicle charging points in Romania. Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii advised OMV Petrom.

Schoenherr has advised Kommunalkredit Austria on a EUR 25 million loan to the INVL Renewable Energy Fund I to finance the construction of solar power plants with a total capacity of 51 megawatts in Romania. Glodeanu & Partners advised the INVL fund. Sorainen reportedly advised Kommunalkredit as well.

Schoenherr has advised the Montenegro Chamber of Commerce on its eKomora digitalization project, including the execution of the partnership agreement – following a successful public procurement tender – with a consortium comprising Axians Crna Gora, Crnogorski Telekom, Montex Elektronika, Cikom, and WinSoft.

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