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Georgiev, Todorov & Co has successfully defended the rights of concessionaire BMF Port Burgas – Burgas East 2 and Burgas West port terminals – in an administrative proceeding appealing against the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission’s decision under Art. 22 of Bulgaria's Energy Act in a dispute concerning direct connection to electricity grids.

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?

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What major initiative or new plan does your office (or firm) plan – if any – for 2020?

The “order for payment procedure” was initially introduced in Bulgaria with the adoption of the new Civil Procedural Code in 2007 as an accelerated enforcement procedure for debt collection. This procedure provides creditors with a relatively fast and easy way to obtain an enforcement order against debtors. In general, the order for payment procedure is like a closed administrative procedure and requires only the submission of a standard application form and payment of a state fee of 2% of the amount claimed.

During the COVID-19 outbreak businesses are facing the dilemma of whether to seek state aid or survive the crisis using their own resources. Every company should assess if meeting certain criteria for state aid is justifiable financially and in terms of timing. The state has the tool while the business has the option to use it. State aid is a sensitive topic, since it distorts competition by favouring certain undertakings, but this is allowed to take place when its compatibility with the single market is confirmed by the European Commission (the "EC"). Thus, the EC sets the parameters for the implementation of state aid while the Member States align the incentives with the needs of local business.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly spread across Europe, more and more companies have been forced to implement remote working arrangements for their employees. Logistical difficulties aside, businesses are now facing very real risks associated with information leaks due to human error, use of vulnerable equipment or software, or deliberate external misappropriation of sensitive data (both of the employer and its contractual counterparties). Immediate actions may need to be taken to adapt to this new environment.

“The main topic of all discussions in Bulgaria now is of course the COVID-19 crisis,“ says Diana Dimova, Managing Partner of Kinstellar’s Sofia office. “The good news is that the epidemic situation is under control with some 700 active cases, largely due to decisive measures taken early.“

Bulgaria has been in a state of emergency since 13 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. On 23 March the Parliament voted on a special State of Emergency Act (COVID-19 Act) which suspended all court, arbitration and enforcement terms and proceedings during the state of emergency, currently in force until 13 April.

Dentons, DGKV, Karanovic & Partners, and Ilej & Partners in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners advised Hungary's Optima Befektesi Alapkezelo on its acquisition of a 61.49% share in Globe Trade Centre S.A. from Lone Star Funds. Schoenherr advised the sellers on the deal.

The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to impact the process, timeline and documentation of M&A transactions in the turbulent times ahead of us. Below are some techniques for parties to protect themselves in the current crisis.

On January 7, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Tokushev & Partners had helped the Fund of Funds in Bulgaria make arrangements with two financial intermediaries to create several alternative investment funds for equity investments. We asked Lazar Petrov, Director of Financial Instruments and Operational Programmes of the Fund of Funds, to walk us through the set-up of the alternative funds. 

Healthcare and life sciences have a special status as a type of legal practice. The debate about what this specialisation entails, and to what extent it even qualifies as legal work, is endless. However, as a crisis is also an opportunity, the coronavirus pandemic has defined the areas where law, healthcare and the life sciences overlap.

As everyone in Bulgaria has felt on a number of levels, the country has been in a state of emergency as of 13 March 2020, declared by a decision of the National Assembly. A number of orders from the Minister of Health have introduced and continue to introduce a number of anti-epidemic measures and restrictions. Some of these measures have also already been implemented in the form of a law, being included in the text of the new act on measures and actions during the emergency state, announced by the decision of the National Assembly from 13 March 2020 ("Act").

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.

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