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Back in 2007, the foundation for sustainable financing was set through the issuance of a green Climate Awareness Bond by the European Investment Bank. This was in part due to the increased awareness of climate change. By June 2022, Austria wants to issue its first Green Bond. Possible investments for the Green Bond are public transport and renewable energy. Aside from bonds, sustainable financing can be concluded in several other product forms, such as guarantee lines, as well as classic bank loans. The volume of sustainable syndicated bank loans reached EUR 200 billion for the first time, last year.

On October 7, six leading labor lawyers in Hungary sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea. The conversation focused on the current state of affairs of labor regulations in Hungary and their evolution over the pandemic-marked last few months.

On June 15, 2021, Hungary passed legislation that bans the dissemination of content in schools deemed to promote homosexuality and gender change. Dubbed by many as simply the “Anti-LGBTQ+ Law,” it has wide-ranging implications – even leaving social issues / social impact aside. CEE Legal Matters spoke with several Hungarian lawyers to discuss the law’s business implications and the impact it had on law firms’ work.

Recently published case law from Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition – the Hungarian acronym is OGYEI – deals with various aspects of pharmaceutical promotional activities and interactions with health care providers. The OGYEI investigated the commercial practices of Aramis Pharma Kft., Lilly Hungaria Kft., and Sager Pharma Kft., and imposed fines following the discovery of infringements.

On September 24, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Baker McKenzie’s Prague office had advised Worldline SA/NV on its acquisition of a 53% of stake in GoPay. JSK and Urban & Hejduk advised the sellers on the deal, Pavel Schwarz Jr. and BUDEX Direct.

The amendment to the Act on the Control of Certain Investments (the “Act”) that came into effect on July 24, 2020 has vested the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection – the UOKIK – with broad new powers. The new rules are temporary and will be in force for 24 months. On July 21, 2020, the UOKIK issued 50-page long, detailed procedural guidelines, which unfortunately are not available in English.

All European countries are now facing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and each state is undertaking different measures to limit the spread of the virus. Recently, the Polish government has extended the so-called “export ban list” – a list of, in particular, medicinal products and medical devices the export or sale of which abroad may be subject to the objection of the Chief Pharmaceutical Inspector. This list grew by over a thousand items in the past month and has changed from a list of products subject to parallel export due to price differences to a list of products that we want to keep in Poland. Also, the President of the Office for Registration has asked pharmaceutical companies to consider launching clinical trials in these unique circumstances.

A specific form of cooperation was introduced in Austria in 2018 and will become effective on January 1, 2019: Upon the taxpayer’s request, an enterprise may opt for a “horizontal monitoring” procedure. This new law was introduced after a pilot project in which internationally renowned enterprises such as Red Bull, Shell Austria, and Infineon Technologies participated (although whether these enterprises will also participate in the new “horizontal monitoring” procedure is not yet known).

On July 9, 2018, the German and Austrian competition authorities published joint guidelines regarding the transaction value thresholds of their respective merger regimes.

The commercial real estate market in Poland continues to be on a growth path. In 2017, the market recorded high demand in all major asset classes, breaking records in the hotel and warehouse sectors. The total value of transactions is growing consistently, and in 2017 it reached EUR 5.1 billion – the highest level in the history of the Polish market.

Against the backdrop of the many significant and at times highly controversial changes being made to Polish law at the moment, the country is close to enacting its first ever serious whistleblower protection laws. What will this protection look like, and what does its passage mean for Poland?

After a valuable and information-rich day of panel discussions on important business development and law firm management topics, participants reconvened that evening (and were joined by several dozen newcomers) at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Annual Banquet and Deal of the Year Awards Ceremony – a celebration of CEE’s legal markets and the lawyers who work within them. Awards were presented for 17 qualifying markets in CEE – plus a surprise award for overall CEE Deal of the Year – with many of the lawyers playing key roles in nominated deals joining the celebration.

In Western Europe, offshore wind farms have been successfully used for a long time. Meanwhile, no power-generating installation of this type is currently operating on the waters of the Baltic Sea under Polish control.

The Deal: On June 20, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Esin Attorney Partnership and Baker McKenzie had advised Turkven Private Equity, the Akarlilar Family, and Mavi Giyim Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S., the Turkish jeans and jeans-wear company, on Mavi’s IPO, with White & Case advising underwriters Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, and Is Yatirim. 

On August 17, a gathering of Dispute Resolution experts from many of the leading domestic and international law firms in Ukraine gathered in Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv offices for a Round Table conversation. 

Hungarian lawyer Peter Paroczi is the Director Counsel at Harman International, the US-based consumer electronics company. He joined Harman in Budapest earlier this year, after spending four years in private practice and then another seven in-house, first with Samsung Electronics, then at E.On. He agreed to answer some of our questions about his career.

Baker McKenzie at a Glance

Baker McKenzie brings insight and foresight to clients across more than 70 global offices. Our team of 13,000 people, including over 6,500 lawyers, works alongside our clients to drive growth that is both sustainable – and inclusive. The global business community is more interconnected than ever before. Opportunities and risks spill across different markets, sectors and areas of law, so a connected perspective is essential in delivering business objectives while mitigating risk. Our integrated client solutions provide seamless advice, underpinned by deep practice and sector expertise, as well as first-rate local market knowledge.

In the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, Baker McKenzie's expansion remains steadfast, with a thriving team of over legal professionals. Our footprint extends across six offices in Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Türkiye, and Ukraine. As part of our global network, coupled with well-established partnerships throughout the entire CEE landscape, we proudly stand as one of the foremost international law firms in this dynamic territory. Our reputation as a premier business law firm in CEE is a testament to our extensive experience in advising on a multitude of prestigious projects and nurturing enduring client relationships.

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