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In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: Who was your mentor, and what was the most important lesson you learned from him or her?

With Decision No.1046 issued on 20 September 2018, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") gave the green light to the acquisition of Rapido Express and Logistics OOD by its competitor Speedy AD, in accordance with Article 26(1) of the Act for the Protection of Competition (the "APC").

Former Penkov, Markov & Partners Partner Svetlin Adrianov has joined EY Law as Associate Partner and Law Leader for EY Bulgaria, Albania, and Macedonia, in a move the firm claims "strengthens one of the firm’s core practice areas – corporate and transaction law, and adds further depth to the firm’s offering."

“It’s never boring in Bulgaria – we always have some hot topics to handle,” says Stefana Tsekova, Partner at Schoenherr Bulgaria, who reports that on August 10 the country’s trade registry collapsed and remained unavailable for 18 days, causing a “total nightmare for the business sector.”

On 19 July, 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") prohibited two concentrations. The first being the sale of the second largest media conglomerate in Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting Group AD ("Nova Broadcasting"), (owner of Nova TV), to PPF Bidco, (owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner), and secondly the sale of CEZ's assets in Bulgaria, which include its energy distribution business, trade business and some small renewable energy parks to a Bulgarian company, Inercom, which maintains three solar power stations in the country.

After years of anticipation, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) entered into force and took effect on May 25, 2018, bringing about several changes to Europe’s current data protection regime.

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.”

Last year was a good year for the Bulgarian economy, which registered 3.6% GDP growth. The Bulgarian Government plans to further boost the economy in 2018, and initial projections vary from 3% to 4% growth. The main trigger for this will be the continuation of spending public funds on strategic infrastructure projects.

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).

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.

“Generally, the Bulgarian economy is on an upward path, so law firms are busy,” reports Kinstellar Bulgaria Managing Partner Diana Dimova, who describes increased M&A activity, a strong demand for regulatory advice, and significant public sector opportunities.

Venture capital investments in Bulgarian start-ups are on the rise, and modern legal structures such as share option plans and convertible notes can, if local law peculiarities are taken into account, be applied in the country.

Bulgaria Knowledge Partner

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

Firm's website: www.schoenherr.eu

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