Fri, May
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Just a few days after the entry into force of the special tax on retailers (effective as of 1 May 2020), which may amount to as much as 2.5% of their annual turnover, the Hungarian Government further tightened the rules on the distribution of food products by significantly restricting  traders' freedom to negotiate purchase prices.

In The Corner Office feature of CEE Legal Matters we ask Managing Partners at leading law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. In light of current events, the question for this online occurrence of the feature is: "What have been the top three most often asked COVID-19 related questions that you have gotten from clients in the last month?

The Kyiv office of Baker McKenzie assisted with drafting new regulations of the National Securities and Stock Market Commission of Ukraine for the issuance of UAH-denominated bonds by international financial institutions in Ukraine.

Lawyers in Baker McKenzie's Moscow office were part of the firm's multi-jurisdictional team advising arrangers and dealers Citi and J.P. Morgan and dealers Barclays, BofA Securities, and HSBC on the establishment of a USD 6.5 billion Global Medium Term Note program by VEON, a global provider of connectivity and Internet services.

Dentons has advised Hines Poland Sustainable Income Fund on the sale of a portfolio of six Polish distribution parks and the Nord Point office building in Warsaw to Chinese investor CGL Investment Holdings Corporation Limited, which was advised by Baker McKenzie.

Gide Loyrette Nouel has advised Groupama Holding Filiales et Participations on the sale and transfer of its 10% stake in Turkish insurance company Gunes Sigorta A.S. to TVF Finansal Yatirimlar Anonim Sirketi, a subsidiary of the Turkey Wealth Fund. Baker McKenzie advised TVF on the transaction, which closed on February 14, 2020.

Baker McKenzie has advised the shareholders of Biopharma, a Ukrainian manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and healthcare products, on the carve-out of its non-plasma business and its sale to Stada AG, a global manufacturer of pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare products. Arzinger reportedly advised Stada on the deal.

On December 18, 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that Scandinavia's Flugger group A/S acquired a 60% shareholding in Unicell, a paint manufacturer based in Poland. We reached out to Flugger’s Group General Counsel and Vice President, Torben Schwaner Dehlholm, for more details.

Baker McKenzie has advised the World Bank and provided legal assistance to the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine on the latter's development of legislation relevant to the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gases emissions data, procedures for accreditation of verifiers, and verification of greenhouse gases emissions reports.

China's Global Law Office has advised a consortium consisting of  China Merchants Expressway Network & Technology Holdings Co., Ltd., China Merchants Union Limited, Zhejiang Expressway Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Expressway Company Limited, Sichuan Expressway Company Limited, and Anhui Expressway Company Limited on its acquisition of 51% of the project company of Istanbul's Third Bridge and Northern Marmara Motorway project.

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Baker McKenzie at a Glance

At Baker McKenzie, we are innovators. In an age of increased demands and complexity, we pledge to bring our clients fully integrated services to help them successfully manage their operations, overcome uncertainty and protect their interests. As one of the largest law firms globally and in the Central Eastern European region, we combine a unique understanding of local business environments and global companies’ needs with creative thinking, in-depth legal knowledge and cutting edge technology, while remaining cost efficient in representing our clients. For ten years running, Baker McKenzie has been recognised by the Acritas Global Elite Law Firm Brand Index as the strongest law firm brand in the world, and the top law firm in the world for multinational M&A transactions.

With the opening of the Budapest office in 1987, Baker McKenzie became the first Western law firm to establish a representative office in Central and Eastern Europe. Over thirty years later, Baker McKenzie also has offices in Vienna, Warsaw, Prague, Istanbul, Kyiv, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Almaty. We have extensive experience in regional and global cross-border transactions as well as foreign direct investments, in industries such as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, energy, food and automotive. This makes us perfectly placed to provide commercially appropriate solutions to all our clients' legal needs, from the routine to the complex.

Firm's website: https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/