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Ellex Valiunas has advised US financial services firm Moody's on a lease agreement with the SBA Group for office space in the Green Hall 3, a class A building developed by Urban Inventors in Vilnius. The agreement is for approximately 1,600 square meters. Sorainen reportedly advised SBA on the deal.

Binder Groesswang has advised the Gilde Buy Out Partners private equity fund and 17 other sellers on the sale of the Austria-based Powerlines Group GmbH to French energy group ENGIE Ineo, following a bidding process. Allen & Overy and Eisenberger & Herzog reportedly advised ENGIE Ineo on the deal.

Filip & Company has advised Digi Romania, DIGI Communications N.V., and DIGI Hungary on two medium-term loan facilities for an equivalent aggregate value of EUR 150 million from Citibank Europe plc, Romanian Branch, ING Bank N.V. Amsterdam and Bucharest Branches, and Unicredit Bank S.A. Linklaters reportedly advised the lenders on the deal.

Ellex Raidla has advised the Estonian Lottery on its agreement with the Quality Group Lottery Solutions GmbH for system upgrades.

Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak has advised Portuguese Private Investment Ltd. in a Series B investment in Warsaw-based Tylko.

Integrites has successfully defended the interests of corrugated packaging manufacturer Dunapack in Ukraine's Fifth Administrative Court of Appeal in Odessa.

Wolf Theiss has advised Raiffeisen Bank International AG on the issue and listing of a EUR 750 million Green Bond. White & Case advised a syndicate consisting of Barclays Bank Ireland PLC, Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Societe Generale, and UniCredit Bank AG on the issuance.

Linklaters is advising Hines European Value Fund, acting through its subsidiary Gisla, on the acquisition of the Wola Center office building in Warsaw from Develia.

CMS has assisted Corinth Pipeworks S.A., a Greek producer of gas pipeline equipment, on its successful preparation, bid, and signing of a multi-million pipe delivery agreement with ICGB - the project company developing the Natural Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria.

Former Weinhold Legal Managing Attorney Ondrej Havlicek has joined Schoenherr Prague as Head of Banking, Finance, and Capital Markets.

Olena Sukmanova has joined Sayenko Kharenko as Partner and Head of Litigation.

Maria Koval, former Senior Associate at Ilyashev & Partners, has joined Redcliffe Partners as Counsel and Head of IP.

Kamila Seberova, Radka Nenickova, and Tereza Naucova have joined Wolf Theiss in Prague as Counsels, Dita Sulcova has joined as a Tax Consultant, and Filip Michalec has joined as a Senior Associate.

Monika Nacsa, the former Head of Litigation at Hungary's Competition Authority, has joined Kinstellar as an Associate in the firm’s Competition and Dispute Resolution practices in Budapest.

Former Sorainen Lithuania Head of Employment Jurgita Venckute and former Cobalt Senior Associate Lina Taletaviciute-Misiuniene have joined Averus as Partner in the firm's Corporate practice and Associate Partner in the firm's Banking/Finance practice, respectively.

Former Head of Legal at Novartis Oncology Barbora Dubanska has joined Taylor Wessing as Partner and CEE Co-Head of Life Sciences.

Former Zivkovic Samardzic Partner and Deputy Head of Dispute Resolution Marko Trisic has left the firm to establish his own.

CMS Prague-based Partner Lukas Hejduk has been made Head of CEE Real Estate at the firm, replacing Wojciech Koczara, who steps down after a five-year term.

I. Introduction

Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPAC”), which are incorporated to achieve the purpose of investing and merging with a non-public company, were first introduced in the United States in 1990s and recently increased its popularity globally. Unlike other countries, SPACs entered into Turkish legal system relatively late with the Communiqué on Common Principles Regarding Significant Transactions and Appraisal Right (Communiqué No. II-23.1) of the Capital Markets Board (“CMB”), published in the Official Gazette dated 24.12.2013 numbered 28861(“Appraisal Right Communiqué”). Currently, there is no SPAC listed under Borsa Istanbul (“BIST”) in Turkey. SPACs are very similar to venture capital structure and can be considered as a strong alternative for investors and shareholders in Turkey as well.

While the number of people employed in teleworking or home office is growing rapidly across the world, many firms are not aware of what this entails in legal terms. Yet, those employing workers outside of the office are often faced with unexpected risks.

At the Fifteenth extraordinary session in the Eleventh convocation, on July 26th, 2019, the National Parliament of the Republic of Serbia rendered the Act on amendments of and supplements to the Act on execution and ensuring settlement (“RS Official Journal”, No. 54/2019, hereinafter referred to as: „the Act“). The Act shall become effective as of the 8th (eighth) day following its publication in the Official Journal, and shall be applicable as of January 1st, 2020.

Every single business that trades with the UK, both in goods and services, will be affected by a “no-deal Brexit” scenario, i.e. the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without an agreement. On 4 September 2019 the Commission published a “Brexit preparedness checklist”, to provide information and to help enterprises conducting business in the EU and/or in the UK to double-check their state of preparedness.

On 10 September 2019 the newest edition of Incoterms rules, Incoterms 2020 was released by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The Incoterms rules serve as significant commercial provisions for the international sale of goods, including commonly accepted definitions and rules relating to the delivery of goods between trading partners. Since the first publication of Incoterms rules in 1936, ICC has revised regularly these rules to follow the changes in the worldwide trade system.

From 1 January 2020 a new European Union Directive (nicknamed „Quick Fixes”) will enter into force. Among several changes, rules that regulate the customer VAT numbers has been reformed. Under the new reform, obtaining a valid VAT number that the customer provides to the supplier will be regarded as a material requirement for applying the 0% VAT rate. If the supplier fails to include the customer’s VAT number on the invoice, it should not be possible to apply the 0% VAT rate. In addition, filing of a cumulative declaration is also required to invoke the 0% VAT rate. The Directive puts higher administrative burden on undertakings, since it expects a constant inspection mechanism for the validity of the customer’s VAT number at the time of sale.

By way of background, in January 2019, the Capital Markets Board (“CMB”) had issued an announcement on its website on the Draft Communiqué on Equity Crowdfunding . The CMB has now officially published the Communiqué on Crowdfunding No. III-35/A (“Communiqué”), on October 3, 2019. The Communiqué entered into force as of October 3, 2019.

The authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio, has been given from the Ministry of Economy to the Ministry of Trade (“Ministry”). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.

The challenge to mitigate climate change is now present in every industry, and not surprisingly in the construction sector as well. Yet the building regulations adopted for this purpose often give rise to controversy and, in many cases, pose a serious challenge to participants in the domestic real estate market.

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Austria’s political scene felt some tremors in the past few weeks following snap elections. Unsurprisingly, potential coalitions became a primary subject of discussion. “The Conservatives won in a landslide, with almost 38% of the vote, with Social Democrats taking a very distant second. with around 21%,” reports DLA Piper Country Managing Partner David Christian Bauer. Another notable result of the election is the low 16% vote for the far-right Freedom Party – the recent coalition partners of the conservatives – following insinuations of corruption. “The Conservatives will most certainly form the Government and any coalition that gets formed will have to go through them,” says Bauer, emphasizing that the Freedom Party will face strong challenges to return to rule, with the scandals and “internal turmoil they’re experiencing.”

Earlier this year, CEE Legal Matters reported that Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte had advised Marinomed Biotech AG on its February 1, 2019 debut on the Vienna Stock Exchance, with Weber & Co. advising Erste Group Bank AG (as sole global coordinator) and Goetzpartners Securities Ltd (as co-lead manager) on the IPO. Marinomed’s was the first successful IPO in Austria since BAWAG’s in 2017.

Igor Andries is the Head of Legal & Regulatory at Orange Moldova.

On July 25, 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that Competera, a Ukrainian pricing platform for e-commerce and omni-channel retailers, had established its headquarters in the United States. We reached out to Competera's Senior Legal Counsel Denis Boshko for details.