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ODI Law has advised the Eta Invest Group on the refinancing of a development project encompassing 28 newly-constructed villas near Nova Gorica, Slovenia. The transaction included a transfer of claims held by various banking and non-banking entities to the Elements Capital Management investment fund, followed by the entrance into a Master Restructuring Agreement by Eta Invest Group and the investment fund. Karanovic & Partners advised Elements Capital Management.

Gessel has advised Black Forest, an investment fund controlled by Polish businessman and rally driver Michal Solowow, on its investment in Polish startup Tikrow.

Wolf Theiss Slovenia has advised Slovenia's Sava Re, d.d. reinsurance company on its issuance of a EUR 75 million subordinated bond. Linklaters advised Erste Group Bank AG, which served as sole structuring advisor and sole book-runner.

Sorainen has advised Baltic Mill, a Baltic grain processing group, on its issuance of a two-year bond with a total value of EUR 3 million that was organized by Siauliu Bankas.

Sorainen has successfully represented Valdas Sarunas, a former manager of Lithuania's Kedainiu Aruodai grain collecting company, in the Lithuanian Court of Appeal, which upheld a first instance ruling in a case concerning damages related to company losses.

Zepos & Yannopoulos is advising Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, a US gaming industry group, on its participation in an international tender for the concession of a casino operating license in the Hellinikon – Ag. Kosmas Metropolitan Pole, which was launched in February 2019 by the Hellenic Gaming Commission.

Sajic has successfully represented a photographer, Zivan Vanja Panic, in a copyright infringement case heard by the Sarajevo Municipal Court.

Walless has helped AS Inbank obtain authorization from the Bank of Lithuania to establish a bank branch and provide financial services in Lithuania.

Machas & Partners has advised Greece's EUROXX Securities S.A. on the delisting of its shares from the Alternative Market and its listing on the Main Market of the ATHEX Stock Exchange.

Budapest's HP Legal has announced that Reka Versics will be promoted to the firm's partnership on January 1, 2020.

Murat Caglar, the former Legal Director at FLO Merchandising in Turkey, has become the Chief Legal Counsel at the Participation Banks Association of Turkey.

Eversheds Sutherland has announced that Radek Vana, former General Counsel at the SAZKA Group, has joined the firm's M&A team in Prague as Principal Associate.

Oleh Beketov, Head of International Litigation at Eterna Law in Ukraine, has been appointed Senior Partner at the firm.

The Vienna office of Taylor Wessing has announced that it will be joined by current Benn-Ibler Partners Ivo Deskovic and Peter Solt, along with another five lawyers and three assistants, at the beginning of next year.

Elena Sokolovskaya, Head of Antitrust at the Pepeliaev Group, has been promoted to Partner.

Andersen Global has announced that it will collaborate with Miro Senica and Attorneys in Slovenia.

Dorda has launched a new Construction Group, co-led by Partner Stefan Artner and Counsel Gunnar Pickl.

Turkish lawyer Onur Celiker has been promoted to partner at Pekin & Pekin in Istanbul.

Ministry of Finance adopted the new Rulebook on 31 October 2019 related to the determination of Telecommunication and Electronic Services. The new rulebook will be applicable from 1 January 2020.

One does not simply walk into the courtroom and hope for the best. To win a civil case you will need to navigate through the strict formalities that were introduced by the new Hungarian civil procedure code. It closed many well-known paths of litigation tactics and antics but also opened up new possibilities.

Double taxation treaty between the Republic of Serbia and Israel has entered into force.

Under a non-compete agreement, the employer may restrict the ex-employee’s business activity for a period of maximum 2 years following the termination of employment and in exchange, the employer shall pay adequate compensation to the employee - the amount of which may not be less than 1/3 of the base wage due for the same period. The Hungarian Supreme Court (Curia) published in September 2019 a report on the judicial practice relating to non-compete agreements, which highlights the following findings:

I. Data breach under Turkish laws: There is no specific definition of “data breach” under the Turkish data protection law (“Turkish DP Law”). However in terms of notification obligations, “illegal seizure of or access to personal data” is considered as a data breach. Under the Turkish DP Law in case of a data breach (illegal seizure of or access to personal data), the data controller is obliged to notify the breach to (i) the data subjects (affected individuals) and (ii) the Turkish Personal Data Protection Authority (“Turkish DPA”), within the shortest time (“shortest time” applies to both notifications). There is no distinction as to eligibility of the data breach for notification and there are no exceptions provided under the legislation for the breach notification.

On 24 September 2019 the commencement of the electronical land registry (E-Land registry) project was announced aiming at the development of real estate and land issues. As a result of the E-Land registry, a safer, more transparent and faster system will be established, which would also enable automatic decision-making processes. This step follows the electronization of the administrative processes resulting in the decrease of the lead time and costs of the land registry procedures and the increase of the legal certainty.

There were more than 2.7 million vehicles in Bulgaria in 2018, 319,639 of which were newly registered. Yet it appears that such figures, even in a country with a population of less than seven million, don’t necessarily create an opportunity for the development of connected car services. Why aren’t connected cars more significant and widely-used in Bulgaria?

At the moment, there is no generally applicable obligation to report a personal data security breach in Serbia. This type of obligation is currently envisaged only by certain sector specific laws such as the Law on Electronic Communications.

In the last ten years, e-commerce has become the most important platform of today’s consumer habits, becoming a major competitor to both retailers and their suppliers. As a result, many giant retailers are now directing their investments towards e-commerce activities.

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“Our financial sector is the area that is developing the most rapidly,” says Aequo Partner Yulia Kyrpa of the situation in Ukraine, although she admits there are still challenges ahead.

In February 2019 CEE Legal Matters reported that Integrites and K&L Gates had advised Norwegian utility-scale wind power developer NBT and Paris-based renewable energy independent power producer Total Eren on their entrance into a framework agreement with a syndicate of foreign lenders, including the EBRD and the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, for the construction of the Syvash wind farm – one of the largest in Europe. Redcliffe Partners and Clifford Chance advised the lenders and J.P. Morgan Securities Plc as debt coordinator.

In the October 2015 issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine we spoke with Eleni Stakathi, the Head of Legal at Upstream in Greece. We decided to check in with her and see how things had changed in the last four years.

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.