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Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

A.R.S Legal & Financial Services has become the official "advisory office" of the French Embassy in Albania and will provide legal and financial assistance in matters related to the embassy.

During the last decade, Albania has undertaken several initiatives to liberalize the electric energy sector and increase local generation capacities. Such measures have created a lively market, especially in the renewal energy segment.

Herbst Kinsky and Cooley have advised Bitmovin GmbH, a subsidiary of Bitmovin Inc US, on its receipt of a loan of up to EUR 20 million from the European Investment Bank. Cooley served as the US law advisor to BItmovin. EIB was advised by Duane Morris and Schoenherr.

Cash pooling is a staple of corporate treasurers as an efficient way to allocate liquidity and reduce financing costs within a group of companies. Despite its commercial importance, neither Austrian statutory law nor the Austrian Supreme Court has provided any guidance as to whether cash pooling is permissible under Austrian law – in particular whether it is compatible with Austria’s strict capital maintenance laws.

It’s not easy to get to the top of a profession. Among lawyer in particular, there is fierce competition, great pressure, slim margins of error, and a number of people waiting to capitalize on mistakes. Making it to the top, and staying there, is a tightrope that must be walked over and over. And yet, the Hanslik family has not one but two such high achievers, in two different countries, as Austrian brothers Erwin and Guenther Hanslik have senior positions at offices of two of the most respected and successful international law firms in Europe.

Sorainen has advised Flex-n-Roll, a producer of self-adhesive labels, on its entrance into the China-Belarus “Great Stone” Industrial Park, a special economic zone located about 40 kilometers outside Minsk that was established by means of an intergovernmental agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Belarus.

Sorainen has advised Google on Belarusian aspects of its acquisition of San Francisco-based wearables brand Fitbit.

Aleinikov & Partners has advised the Development Bank of the Republic of Belarus on venture financing issues related to the Enhancing Access to Financing of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the Republic of Belarus project implemented with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Serbia's Doklestic Repic & Gajin has announced that it has established a correspondent law office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the form of that city's Karabdic Law Office.

Less than a month after entering Slovenia, Andersen Global has entered into a collaboration agreement with Banja Luka-based Sajic in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

Vassilev & Partners has helped Cyprus's JFD Group Limited register its branch in the Bulgarian Commercial Register and the Investment Intermediary Register kept by the Financial Supervision Commission.

In 2013, a wide range of changes were introduced in relation to the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate. A staple for a wide range of financial products, LIBOR has been the dominant rate for syndicated loans, bonds, and derivatives entered into on the Bulgarian, CEE, and wider European markets. However, following a series of problems over the past decade, the need to move away from LIBOR has become apparent. As panel banks would not be required to submit their references by the end of 2021, the question has become what the alternatives to LIBOR are and how they can be implemented.

Boyanov & Co. has advised Eurobank Bulgaria AD on the merger and absorption of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria AD.

“There haven’t been any large shifts in the legal landscape recently if we’re talking about legal offices, teams moving, exits, and so forth,” says Schoenherr Partner Miriam Simsa. “The general situation seems to be that established players have things pretty much in control and that there is not a lot of room for new entries. Yet it is fair to say that the spin-offs have been increasing their market share over the last few years.”

When investors think of attractive and developed capital markets, Croatia’s is probably not the first to come to mind. Can that be changed? 

Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

BPV Braun Partners has advised a fund managed by Aventicum Real Estate on renovations and the expansion of the Prague Marriott Hotel.

White & Case lawyers Jan Jakoubek, Karel Petrzela, Ida Kucerova, Jakub Wolkowicz, and Vladimir Ivanco have been promoted to Local Partner by the firm as part of its global promotion round, with those promotions becoming effective on January 1, 2020.

Bond financing has recently become quite popular in the Czech Republic and companies often finance their business needs by issuing corporate bonds instead of the more usual credit financing. Obviously, the popularity of corporate bonds is also associated with the greater willingness of investors to buy them. Bonds are perceived by the general public as a safe and conservative investment instrument. Nevertheless, recent market developments show that corporate bonds issued by private companies may not always be a safe investment, as evidenced, for example, by the insolvency of online fashion store Zoot, which funded its expansion by issuing bonds.

Ioannis Giannakakis, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of the G+P Law Firm, has become Group General Counsel at The Andromeda Group.

The KLC Law Firm has advised Forum S.A., a Greek company specialized in the field of trade show organizations and trade magazine publications, on the acquisition of an 80% stake in the NuernbergMesse Group.

Koutalidis has advised the Southbridge Europe Mezzanine investment fund and other unidentified sellers on the sale of the Arivia group to Upfield.

A new amendment to the Hungarian Anti-Money Laundering Act seeks to extend its scope to custodian wallet providers and virtual currency exchange platforms, in order to reduce the risks associated to cryptocurrencies. The proposal is currently before the Hungarian Parliament, and aims at fulfilling Hungary’s obligations deriving from the 5th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“Directive”).

Csaba Vari has joined Baker McKenzie Hungary to head up the Privacy division of the office's Intellectual Property and Technology group.

On 23 October 2019 the European Commission published a report on the third annual review on the functioning of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. The report states that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. Today approx. 5,000 companies are participating in this EU-U.S. data protection framework.

Earlier this year the Estonian parliament enacted long-awaited dedicated covered bond legislation, finally allowing local banks to enter both regional and European-wide covered bond markets and to gain access to a reasonably priced and stable source of long-term funding for their key banking businesses (most importantly for funding the issuance of mortgage loans). Additionally, under the new legislation, local covered bond issuers able to meet prudential requirements under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) will be able to benefit from certain forms of preferential treatment afforded to covered bonds. For the local banking sector that, at the moment, remains dominated by Scandinavian banking groups, the new legislation also creates a viable alternative to the parent funding.

Ellex Raidla has advised Auto-Bon Oy on the acquisition of Veho’s Estonian subsidiary, Veho Eesti AS. Veho was advised by TGS Baltic. Financial details were not disclosed, and the acquisition remains subject to approval by competition authorities.

Kinstellar, Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak, and Cobalt have advised Stada Arzneimittel on the acquisition of Walmark from Mid Europa Partners. White & Case and Weil, Gotshal & Manges reportedly advised the sellers on the deal.

Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

Sabina Lalaj, who has led Deloitte Legal in Albania and Kosovo since 2015, has been promoted to Local Legal Partner at the firm.

Law firm members of the SEE Legal Group, acting on behalf of Netlog Logistics, have completed a due diligence analysis of the Intereuropa group of companies, upon the announcement of a banking consortium that it is selling 72% share capital in Intereuropa d.d.

Njord Latvia has successfully represented Grovema BV, a Dutch seller of Liebherr parts and machines, in a dispute with SIA Mark Investa involving invoices for machines and parts that had been delivered but not paid for.

Kinstellar, Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak, and Cobalt have advised Stada Arzneimittel on the acquisition of Walmark from Mid Europa Partners. White & Case and Weil, Gotshal & Manges reportedly advised the sellers on the deal.

Ellex Klavins has successfully represented Deaflympics athlete Maris Grenins before the Supreme Court of the Republic of Latvia, which on November 5th ruled that the Latvian Cabinet of Ministers had acted improperly in making an unusually low cash award to Grenins following his success in the 2013 Summer Deaflympic Games.

After five and a half years, Lithuanian lawyers Vytautas Senavicius and Tomas Talutis have dissolved their Tvins law firm partnership and concluded the operations of the firm.

Fort Legal has advised Eika Real Estate Fund on its acquisition of Vilnius's Highway business center — an A+ class building with total leasable space of 5700 square meters.

Orrick has advised Sprint Capital on its investment in Vinted, a website marketplace for second-hand fashion. The entire investment round has a total value of EUR 128 million, with other backers including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Accel, and Burda Principal Investments. Taylor Wessing and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati advised Vinted and Cooley reportedly advised Lightspeed Venture Partners on the deal.

Former Polenak Partner Tatjana Popovski Buloski and several colleagues have left that firm to launch Popovski and Partners in North Macedonia.

The main characteristics of the Macedonian banking market are its small size and the relatively large number of players. According to the latest reports of the National Bank of North Macedonia, out of fifteen active banks, five have significantly higher market shares than the rest. The combined market share of these five biggest banks is 74.4%, with a significant discrepancy between the bank that owns the largest amount of assets (a market share of 22.7%) and the one with the lowest (a market share of 0.5%).

Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

Major developments in 2018 and 2019 have affected the growth of the agricultural industry and agribusiness in Moldova. Key among these developments was the March 1, 2019 adoption of the restated Moldovan Civil Code, which significantly affected the parts of the Moldovan legal framework relevant to businesses.

Igor Andries is the Head of Legal & Regulatory at Orange Moldova.

Serbia's Doklestic, Repic & Gajin has announced a new correspondent office in Montenegro, in cooperation with the four-person Danilo Radulovic Law Firm in Podgorica.

Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.

A recent report found that, in 2018, 72.2% of Montenegrin citizens had online access from home, with Internet access via mobile phones increasingly common as well. In terms of mobile and Internet service, Montenegro is not behind other countries from the region or Europe at large, but digital technologies are used far less in areas such as economy or education. Information technologies are most commonly used for Internet browsing and social network communication, but are rarely used for communication with public administrations, local governments, and other service providers, which indicates the society’s insufficient digital advancement.

Former Aon Head of Commercial Law Przemyslaw Karolak has joined Kondracki Celej Adwokaci as a Partner.

Anita Palukiewicz and Hubert Wysoczanski have been promoted to Partner at SSW Pragmatic Solutions.

Dentons has helped GPW Benchmark obtain permission from the Polish Financial Supervision Authority to administer all stock exchange indices, including the WIG20, mWIG40, sWIG80, and NCIndex, as well as the TBSP.Index.

RTPR Allen & Overy has advised Autonom Services S.A. on its issuance of corporate bonds. The bonds, which will be traded under the symbol AUT24E on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, have a nominal value of EUR 1,000, a maturity of five years and a fixed interest of 4.45% p.a., payable annually.

Wolf Theiss has advised the shareholders of Adeplast on the sale of 100% of its shares to the Sika Group. The buyers were advised by Eversheds Sutherland on the transaction, which remains subject to clearance by various anti-trust authorities.

Wolf Theiss has informed CEE Legal Matters that this past spring it worked alongside Jones Day and Kirkland & Ellis in advising Blackstone Tactical Opportunities on its EUR 175 million acquisition of a minority stake in Romania's Superbet Group. Romania's Bulboaca & Asociatii worked alongside global counsel Herzog, Fox & Neeman in advising the sellers.

The Pepeliaev Group has entered into an agreement of mutual understanding and cooperation with the Commercial Legal Service Center of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. The agreement was signed at the International Commercial and Legal Cooperation Forum in Changsha, China.

Debevoise & Plimpton has advised the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of Nasdaq-listed Yandex N.V. on a restructuring of the company's corporate governance. Kemperink Maarschalkerweerd Wouters acted as co-counsel.

DLA Piper has acted as lead tax advisor to several shareholders of Familia, Russia’s leading off-price apparel and home fashions retailer, on the USD 225 million sale of a 25% stake to the TJX Companies Inc.

BDK Advokati has advised Eldorado Gold on the sale of its two Serbian mining companies, Tara Gold and South Danube Metals, to Ibaera Capital, an Australian PE focused on exploration and project development. Ibaera Capital was advised by PWC Legal.

Serbia's Doklestic Repic & Gajin has announced that it has established a correspondent law office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the form of that city's Karabdic Law Office.

On October 10, 2019 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Alternative Investment Funds and Law on Open-Ended Investment Funds with a Public Offering, where both of the laws came into force on October 19, 2019 and will become applicable on April 20, 2020.

Cerha Hempel has advised Raiffeisen Property Holding International on its November 28, 2019 sale of Tatracentrum in Bratislava to an unnamed private foundation, which was advised by Jank Weiler Operenyi.

White & Case lawyers Jan Jakoubek, Karel Petrzela, Ida Kucerova, Jakub Wolkowicz, and Vladimir Ivanco have been promoted to Local Partner by the firm as part of its global promotion round, with those promotions becoming effective on January 1, 2020.

Peter Malovec is the Group Head of Legal at HB Reavis in Bratislava. He joined HB Reavis in 2010 after spending seven years in private practice with the BBH law firm. We reached out to him to learn more about his background, style, and strategies.

The wide usage of benchmark rates and their key role in the financial system requires that they be reliable and defiant to any manipulation. To ensure this, the EU undertook to reform the benchmark rate determination process and improve market confidence in them, resulting in the adoption of the EU Benchmarks Regulation (the BMR).

“Well, the legal market is pretty much stable – all firms stay firmly in their places, not a lot of tectonic shift …. all is quiet on the Western front," smiles Robert Prelesnik, Senior Partner at Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners in Ljubljana. “Our economy has been rather stable too, even as we approach a period of slight stagnation – we are quite far away from a recession, which is a good thing in this day and age of Europe," says Prelesnik.

In the light of the favourable economic climate and affordable financing sources, Slovenia has been facing a lively M&A market in the recent few years, especially in the area of commercial real estate. Further, companies are eager to refinance their existing debt or borrow new funds under the more favourable conditions currently available on the market.  Since the majority of financing is done via standard bank financing, every deal poses the same old question: “How will be the loan secured”?

The concept of financial restructuring was introduced in Turkey following the currency crisis of August 2018. Financial restructuring became the major item on the agenda of Turkish financial institutions, and regulators intervened immediately, working to create a useful legal framework for the process. The joint efforts of the Banking Regulatory and Supervisory Authority (the BRSA) and the Banks Association of Turkey (the BAT) resulted in the Framework Agreement. Nevertheless, restructurings commenced pursuant to the Framework Agreement are progressing very slowly, and in most cases have reached an impasse.

BTS & Partners has advised Biznet Bilisim Sistemleri ve Danismanlik Sanayi Ticaret and its former shareholder, FVD AS, on FTA Bilisim Hizmetleri’s investments in the company and SR Bilisim Yonetim Hizmetleri Ticaret Securrent.

Dentons and Balcioglu Selcuk Akman Keki Avukatlik Ortakligi have advised Czech-based hydroelectricity group Energo-Pro on securing EUR 175 million in financing for the development, construction, and operation of the Alpaslan 2 dam and hydropower plant in Turkey. The financing was arranged by MUFG Securities EMEA plc and Ceska Exportni Banka, and is partially backed by the Export Guarantee and Insurance Corporation, with HSBC acting as the security agent. Allen & Overy reportedly advised MUFG and HSBC on the deal.

Avellum has advised Kernel Holding S.A. in connection with an offering of USD 300 million 6.5% guaranteed notes due 2024. Joint lead managers ING Bank N.V., London Branch, and J.P. Morgan Securities plc were reportedly advised by Latham & Watkins and Sayenko Kharenko.

Asters has advised Green Genius, a renewable energy company that is part of Modus Group International, on the construction of 14 MW solar power plant in the village of Zalukva in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of Ukraine.

Ukraine is undergoing a period of structural reform throughout its financial and banking sectors that is unprecedented in its scale and complexity. The reform of the currency control regime culminated in the full cancellation of a 26-year old system and the introduction of a legislative road map for the gradual implementation of the free movement of capital. The reform gave a critical impetus to the development of the securities market and foreign investments, with Clearstream opening a direct securities account at the National Bank of Ukraine (the NBU) to provide easier access to hryvnia-denominated sovereign bonds. Ukrainian banks were authorized to grant short-term loans in local currency to foreign investors so they could invest in the bonds and hedge the FX risks of such transactions. The introduction of the IBAN standard is another example of the ongoing process of harmonizing the Ukrainian payment landscape.