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The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners, and Allen & Overy (together with Consultant Hugh Owen of Go2Law), have advised insurer Generali CEE Holding BV, a part of Italy's Generali Group, on its EUR 245 million acquisition of Adriatic Slovenica Zavarovalna Druzba d.d from financial group KD Group d.d. Ulcar & Partnerji and solo-practitioner Simon Gabrijelcic advised the buyers on Slovenian law matters, and Mayer Brown advised on English law matters.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners at law firms across the region important questions about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was your favorite course in law school, and why?

The European Commission has just published its comprehensive proposal for the so-called "New Deal for Consumers", which aims to strengthen EU consumer rights and enforcement. This includes the proposal for a new Directive enabling certain qualified entities to seek redress on behalf of consumers who have been harmed by an unlawful commercial practice.

Slovenia: Fine-Tuning of the Tax System

In the beginning of 2018, Slovenia introduced several minor and mainly administrative changes to its tax legislation, mostly addressing and resolving inconsistencies in the legislation that had been detected in practice. 

The first recorded energy performance contracting project in Slovenia was carried out in 2002, and was soon followed by a number of other similar projects, notably in the public sector. Thus, energy performance contracts are not a new concept in the Slovenian business sphere, although it was not until 2014 that the country’s newly adopted Energy Act transposed Directive 2012/27/EC on energy efficiency and introduced a comprehensive definition of an energy performance contract. 

For the past five years the financial market in Slovenia has been characterized by a process involving the selling of non-performing loan and leasing receivables (“Receivables”), mostly to foreign investors. According to information published by the Bank of Slovenia, Slovenian banks still have approximately EUR 1.5 billion of non-performing loans on their balance sheets, and we expect to see more of these loans being sold in the next two years. 

Of the former Yugoslavian countries, Slovenia was the least penetrated by Russian businesses – a result of mutual caution on both sides. 

“Like everywhere else, there is a lot of talk about the GDPR right now in the market, and about blockchain, because Slovenians are very blockchain-conscious people,” says Partner Gregor Famira from CMS Ljubljana, who adds that he believes the country has the most bitcoin owners among all European countries.

The EU has always acknowledged the positive effects of foreign investments into member states and thus has one of the most open regimes in this regard. But in light of recent security issues in Western countries, the EU’s view on foreign investments has slightly changed, and out of concerns for both security and public order direct foreign investments could soon become subject to a so-called “screening mechanism,” in which they would be reviewed by the member state where the investment is planned, by the European Commission, and by other member states.

In The Corner Office, we invite Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. Our question this time: “What mistake do young associates commonly make that is most frustrating for you?”

In The Corner Office we invite Managing Partners at law firms across the region to share information about their unique roles. The question this time around: What is your favorite question when interviewing a job applicant, and why?

On December 20th, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Slovenian metal-processing company UNIOR had completed a syndicated debt refinancing process with a group of six banks. We interviewed Darko Hrastnik, the Chairman of the Board and CEO at UNIOR, who was directly responsible for handling the transaction and managing the external counsel.