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It's hard to believe, but some cybercriminals are trying to take advantage of the coronavirus crisis. They seek to exploit IT weaknesses and use our fears and insecurities to obtain passwords, infiltrate company networks or launch cyberattacks. We have therefore put together a short overview of measures to decrease cybercrime risks in the current extraordinary situation.

On 25 March 2020, the Government of Slovenia announced a EUR 2bln rescue package intended to mitigate the adverse and diverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The package primarily seeks to maintain jobs by providing pay check support and tax relief to employers and introducing additional mechanisms to reduce the liquidity shock on businesses.

Bulgaria has been in a state of emergency since 13 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On 23 March the Parliament voted on a special State of Emergency Act (COVID-19 Act) which suspended all court, arbitration and enforcement terms and proceedings during the state of emergency, currently in force until 13 April.

Dentons, DGKV, Karanovic & Partners, and Ilej & Partners in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners advised Hungary's Optima Befektesi Alapkezelo on its acquisition of a 61.49% share in Globe Trade Centre S.A. from Lone Star Funds. Schoenherr advised the sellers on the deal.

Cerha Hempel and Schoenherr advised OMV on the acquisition of a 39% stake in Borealis AG from Mubadala for USD 4.68 billion. Allen & Overy, Eisenberger & Herzog, and Binder Groesswang advised Mubadala on the transaction, which remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.

On March 11, 2020, the Government of Hungary declared a state of emergency for the entire territory of Hungary in connection with the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, and at the same time a special legal order. The new type of coronavirus and some related precautionary measures have completely overturned the market in a number of markets: in some sectors (e.g. aviation, event management, other tourism-related services, automotive, etc.) production of goods/provision of services has almost completely stopped, while in other areas, the sudden and extreme increase in consumer demand is causing disruptions (e.g. mouth masks, hand sanitizers, durable foods, toilet paper, medicines / vitamins).

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact the process, timeline and documentation of M&A transactions in the turbulent times ahead of us. Below are some techniques for parties to protect themselves in the current crisis.

Healthcare and life sciences have a special status as a type of legal practice. The debate about what this specialisation entails, and to what extent it even qualifies as legal work, is endless. However, as a crisis is also an opportunity, the coronavirus pandemic has defined the areas where law, healthcare and the life sciences overlap.

As everyone in Bulgaria has felt on a number of levels, the country has been in a state of emergency as of 13 March 2020, declared by a decision of the National Assembly. A number of orders from the Minister of Health have introduced and continue to introduce a number of anti-epidemic measures and restrictions. Some of these measures have also already been implemented in the form of a law, being included in the text of the new act on measures and actions during the emergency state, announced by the decision of the National Assembly from 13 March 2020 ("Act").

On 14 March 2020, the Croatian Ministry of Justice issued recommendations to prevent the transmission of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and control the pandemic ("Measures"). The Measures are applicable until 1 April 2020. The Measures advise temporary adjustments to legal requirements in civil, insolvency and criminal procedure law to avoid hardship that would otherwise arise as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Many employers currently find themselves in a precarious position, faced with deciding how to deal with the obstacles to work arising from the coronavirus crisis, irrespective of whether these obstacles are the result of government measures (total or partial restrictions on operations) or due to real operational reasons (difficulties in the supply of materials for production, drop in sales). The Labour Code does not take into account obstacles to work caused by the pandemic, and employers are thus faced with issues in the interpretation of the relevant provisions of the Labour Code. In the text below we will attempt to clarify the issue of obstacles on the part of the employer, at least in part.

On 18 March the Hungarian prime minister announced extraordinary measures to be taken as a result of the national emergency caused by COVID-19. Most of these measures have a strong impact on the Hungarian economy; in particular, the banking sector.

A new Act No. 39/2020 Coll., on Real Estate Brokerage, came into effect in the Czech Republic on 3 March 2020. The Act tightens the requirements on real estate brokers (including real estate agencies) and implements new elements of protection for those using real estate brokerage services.

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.

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