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Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised DEPA Commercial on its joint venture with GEK Terna and Gener 2 for the development of a thermal electricity production unit in Albania.

Albania is undergoing transformation, with a burgeoning focus on tourism and renewable energy, according to CMS Managing Partner Mirko Daidone. While the legal frameworks are aligning with EU standards and the IT sector is thriving, affordability is decreasing and the country faces talent drain challenges.

Albania is taking significant steps towards ending its five-year prohibition on sports betting, with a draft law recently passing for consideration in the Albanian Parliament. The initial Gambling Law of 2015 defined permissible games of chance, regulated industry conditions, and outlined oversight responsibilities. However, since 2018, Albania has strictly banned gambling activities, except for those within state-sanctioned casinos.

E+H, working alongside Latham & Watkins, has advised Carlyle investment firm on its majority investment in GBTEC Software and its affiliates.

CMS has advised Nordic private equity fund Alder Investment III on the acquisition of a majority stake in Austrian food industry optical sorting company Insort. Herbst Kinsky reportedly advised the sellers.

Baker McKenzie has successfully represented Google before the Court of Justice of the European Union in challenging the Austrian Communication Platforms Act, which it describes as "far-reaching content moderation legislation" aiming to regulate "large online platforms established in other EU member states."

Belarus's Revera law firm has teamed up with Adamante Management to open the firm's Cyprus office.

On July 9, 2021, substantial amendments to Belarusian currency legislation entered into force. We will briefly review the key amendments.

Economic optimism in the face of adversity, the introduction of English law instruments, and some new potential for growth are the highlights in Belarus, according to Aleinikov & Partners Senior Partner Denis Aleinikov.

Karanovic & Partners has advised Burger King on entering the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the opening of its first restaurant in Sarajevo.

In accordance with the Law on Foreign Direct Investment Policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, foreign investors are guaranteed the following:

Bosnia & Herzegovina has experienced a major government change leading to a focus on aligning with the EU, while a significant human rights ruling challenges the country’s ethnic-based voting system – potentially triggering constitutional reform and reshaping its political landscape – according to ODI Law Partner Mia Civic.

We're sending off 2023 with the news that by the beginning of next year at the latest we will finally have a new European regulation on artificial intelligence (AI) coming into force within two years (the EU AI Act). On 14 June 2023, the European Parliament approved its negotiating position on the EU AI Act and since then, the talks have begun with EU countries in the Council on the law's final form. The EU AI Act is intended as a fundamental and harmonizing legislative text. But is it really so and what do we read between the lines in the new regulation?

Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov has advised Sofia Airport operator SOF Connect on the expansion of the airport's open parking area and refurbishment of the covered parking.

Bulgaria's Dinova Rusev & Partners has recently announced the appointment of Ivelina Cherneva as the firm's new Managing Partner. Having been with the firm for the past 17 years, Cherneva succeeds founder Anelia Dinova in the MP role.

This year has seen a relative decrease in investment intensity in Croatia, particularly in the residential sector, amid relatively robust activity in M&A, real estate, and energy and notable court disruptions in the past few months, according to Savoric & Partners Partner Branko Bulat.

Allen & Overy has advised a syndicate of ten banks on Bina-Istra’s EUR 1.1 billion refinancing of the Istrian Epsilon project and the debt financing of the construction, management, and maintenance of the new phases of the Adriatic highway in Croatia.

Croatia's economic outlook has improved with the eurozone entry, energy market reforms, and new and exciting equity programs and legislative changes, while judiciary labor strikes have challenged the country's courts, according to Marohnic, Tomek & Gjoic Partner Tena Tomek.

Rowan Legal has advised Oriens Fund II on its acquisition of Sogos Fanam.

Kocian Solc Balastik has advised Jet Investment on its acquisition of building insulation producer Likov via the Jet 3 Qualified Investor Fund.

Kinstellar has advised S Immo on its acquisition of a property portfolio in the Czech Republic, valued at EUR 481 million, from the CPI Property Group.

Bernitsas Law has advised Helleniq Energy Holdings on the refinancing of a EUR 400 million common bond loan issued by its Hellenic Petroleum subsidiary.

Bernitsas Law has advised the European Investment Bank on its financing for the extension of the Northern Cyclades interconnection, a project conducted by Greece's Independent Power Transmission Operator.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised DEPA Commercial on its joint venture with GEK Terna and Gener 2 for the development of a thermal electricity production unit in Albania.

AegisLegal and Kalman & Partners have advised Biggeorge REIT Nyrt on the successful listing of its shares on the Budapest Stock Exchange. Duda & Csako reportedly also advised on the listing.

Deloitte Legal has advised Shopper Park Plus on its euro-denominated share issuance on the Budapest Stock Exchange. Huempfner & Associates and Allen & Overy reportedly advised on the matter as well.

Kinstellar, working with Veil Jourde, has advised Jacquet Metals on its acquisition of several distribution companies from the Swiss Steel Group. Niederer Kraft Frey and Roedl & Partner reportedly advised the Swiss Steel Group.

TGS Baltic has advised the Environmental Investment Center on developing a new support framework for the deployment of green hydrogen in the transport and industrial sectors in Estonia.

Pohla & Hallmagi has successfully advised SG Veteris in obtaining a virtual currency service provider license from the Estonian Financial Intelligence Unit.

From political gridlock to economic shifts, Estonia appears to be experiencing a number of challenges according to Triniti Managing Partner Ergo Blumfeldt, who reports unprecedented parliamentary obstructionism, a budgetary deficit prompting new tax laws, and a legal sector experiencing stagnant growth amid broader economic uncertainties.

Gecic Law, working with Deloitte Legal and RPHS Law, has advised MTS on a dispute with Pristina authorities stemming from the decision to revoke MTS’s operating license in Kosovo.

The recent establishment and practice of its Commercial Court – along with other legal developments and the government's push on energy – signify a shift towards impartiality, transparency, and investor-friendly policies in Kosovo, according to Sejdiu & Qerkini Managing Partner Korab Sejdiu.

On May 13, 2022, the Assembly of Kosovo passed Law No. 08/L-056 on Protection of Competition, replacing the previous law that had been in effect since October 2010. The new law aims to align the legal framework with EU rules and enhance the efficiency of the Kosovo Competition Authority (KCA). In the context of mergers, acquisitions, and other forms of concentration, the KCA aims to scrutinize concentration filings to assess potential threats to competition in the Kosovo market.

TGS Baltic has advised the INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund on the agreement to fully acquire the Galinta Group. Lewben advised Galinta.

Cobalt has advised Luxembourg-based investment fund Marguerite on the closed sale of its 28.97% stake in Latvijas Gaze to Energy Investments following the fund's successful divestments of the regulated assets of Latvijas Gaze.

Ellex, working alongside Baker McKenzie, has advised Culligan International on its acquisition of Primo Water Corporation’s European business in an all-cash transaction valued at up to USD 575 million.

Ellex Valiunas has advised E Energija group company Kogeneracija on the sale of 100% of shares in Miesto Energija and Pramones Energija and a 4,34% stake in Klaipedos Energija to Vilniaus Silumos Tinklai. TGS Baltic reportedly advised the buyer.

TGS Baltic has advised the INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund on the agreement to fully acquire the Galinta Group. Lewben advised Galinta.

TGS Baltic has advised the European Investment Bank on its EUR 25 million loan agreement with Klaipeda municipal water utility company Klaipedos Vanduo in Lithuania, to support its 2023-2026 investment program.

Recent months in North Macedonia have brought notable proposals and draft laws for legislative changes and have seen thriving energy and financial sectors – but also a concerning lack of progress on the rule of law, impacting businesses and investment – according to Law Office Lazarov Managing Partner Dragan Lazarov.

On Friday, 17 November, the Minister for transport and communications of North Macedonia, Mr Blagoj Bochvarski, and the Minister for construction, transport and infrastructure of Serbia, Mr Goran Vesić, signed a Memorandum for the Construction of a Fast Railway from Niš to Skopje.

The concept of a digital workplace, characterized as an employment environment allowing employees to complete tasks, collaborate, and function as part of a team, irrespective of location, has been around for some time but has gained significant traction in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. This surge in popularity can be substantially attributed to the measures enacted by the Macedonian Government to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

Moldova's legal and economic landscape is undergoing momentous transformations according to Efrim Rosca Asociatii Partner Oleg Efrim, from updates to the corporate sector and an ongoing digital transformation, to Moldova's path towards EU integration and the challenges and opportunities facing various business sectors amid geopolitical tensions.

Relevant legislative provisions in connection with the State of Exceptional Situation

BDK Advokati, Dentons, and Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen have advised Invenio Partners on the segmentation – together with Accession Capital Partners – of the vocational education division of the Link Group. The Antonic law firm in cooperation with Deloitte advised the Link Group and its two shareholders on the sale. Gladei & Partners reportedly advised Invenio as well. Schoenherr and Norton Rose Fulbright reportedly advised ACP.

JPM Partners has recently embarked on a transformative journey of both rebranding its operations and integrating with the law offices of Lana Vukmirovic Misic in Montenegro – a “long-time JPM friend and partner.” JPM Partners Senior Partners Nenad Popovic and Lana Vukmirovic Misic discuss the firm's recent rebranding, strategic expansion, and the motivations behind these as well as what comes next for the firm.

The world has seen a significant shift towards sustainable energy sources in recent years. One of the most promising and rapidly growing sectors in the renewable energy industry is offshore wind parks. These structures that use the power of wind over the open seas are quickly gaining popularity as part of the global effort to combat climate change. This article will explore the global trend of offshore wind parks and shed light on Montenegro's potential in this eco-friendly energy source with a special focus on fixed-bottom wind parks.

BDK Advokati has advised sustainable infrastructure fund Alcazar Energy on its acquisition of the 118-megawatt Bijela wind farm project in Montenegro. Karanovic & Partners advised project developers Simes Inzenjering and Sistem MNE on the sale.

MJH Moskwa Jarmul Halady has advised Best Capital Fizan on its EUR 4.2 million issuance of bonds maturing October 2027, to be listed on the Catalyst alternative trading system of the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

DWF has advised Polish private airline Enter Air on the establishment of a joint venture with TUI to provide aircraft rental and charter flight services to commercial customers.

WKB Lawyers has advised SAS Groupe Positive on its acquisition of User.com. Gessel advised founder Grzegorz Warzecha and investor Vercom on the sale.

DLA Piper has advised Seattle-based Washington Dental Service on its acquisition of a 50% stake in 8 West Consulting.

Stratulat Albulescu has advised the founders of Respira Verde on the sale of 50% of their stake in Respira to OMV Petrom.

Andronic x Partners has advised the shareholders of Kepler Management Systems on the sale of the company to the Bittnet Group. Pop & Partners advised the buyers.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. But in the case of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, it just might be. Russia breached Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. Russia's acts have prompted the EU, the UK and the US to impose economic sanctions, such as freezing assets and disconnecting Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments network. Whilst the number of private businesses that are halting their activities in Russia is steadily growing, Russia has adopted a law paving the way for expropriations of assets of foreign firms that leave the country following economic sanctions. But what can foreign companies do if Russia proceeds to take their assets, if they are unable to freely transfer returns from investments out of Russia or if their profits collapse?

Baker McKenzie and DLA Piper have joined the plethora of firms announcing their exit from the Russian market.

Debevoise & Plimpton, Dentons, Dechert, and CMS have announced they are closing their Russian offices and exiting the market.

NKO has advised Dr Max on its acquisition of Melem Pharmacy in Serbia from Vladimir Cupic. Bajic & Popovic reportedly advised the seller.

The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) is meant to make digital markets fairer and more competitive. How DMA does this is simple: the European Commission designates the “gatekeepers” (mostly the big tech companies), imposing on them new obligations such as mandatory interoperability of gatekeeper’s services and preventing the gatekeeper from favoring its products and services against similar services or products offered by third parties on the gatekeeper’s platform.

In the Official Gazette of RS no. 92/2023, dated October 27, 2023, amendments and supplements to the Law on Health Insurance were published, becoming effective on November 4, 2023 (“the Law“).

Kinstellar has advised Siemens Mobility on its acquisition of Slovak railway security solutions company HMH. Havel & Partners reportedly advised the seller.

Greenwashing is an umbrella term for misleading environmental claims. A claim is any promotional communication that can be communicated in advertisements, marketing materials, product manuals, prospectuses for investors, recruitments ads, annual reports, on packaging or brands themselves.

Kinstellar, working with Veil Jourde, has advised Jacquet Metals on its acquisition of several distribution companies from the Swiss Steel Group. Niederer Kraft Frey and Roedl & Partner reportedly advised the Swiss Steel Group.

ODI Law has advised Tus Holding and AH Invest 1 on the sale of Engrotus to Fortenova. Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners reportedly advised Fortenova subsidiary Mercator.

With the aftermath of the devastating floods that hit Slovenia this year still being felt across multiple sectors, the country is also facing legal challenges – from new taxation policies to upheavals in the healthcare system – according to Fatur Menard Partner Andrej Fatur.

On 7 November 2023, the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia adopted an amendment to the Employment Relationships Act (“ERA-1D“) that entered into force on 16 November 2023.

Aksan has advised PhiTech Bioinformatics on receiving an investment from the Maxis Arya venture capital fund.

Senior Associate Tolga Tezel and Associates Radek Kraus and David Wilhelm have been appointed as Local Partners at White & Case in Istanbul and Prague respectively. The appointments were part of a broader round – including 23 Local Partners and 22 Counsels – and followed the firm's earlier Global Partner round, which included Prague's Vaclav Zaloudek (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on November 20, 2023).

Egemenoglu has advised Italian international transport company Savino Del Bene on its acquisition of majority stakes in Turkyie's freight forwarding market players Trans Okyanus and Bogazici Ekspres.

Former Sayenko Kharenko Partner Yaroslav Ognevyuk – together with Tetiana Ohneviuk – has set up a new law firm in Ukraine: the Ambassadors law firm.

Sayenko Kharenko has advised GoIT on an investment from Horizon Capital.

Avellum and Hillmont Partners have successfully represented Argentem Creek Partners and Innovatus Capital Partners before Ukraine's Supreme Court in bankruptcy proceedings against GNT Group companies Olimpex Coupe International and MetalsUkraine.