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The Tirana office of Wolf Theiss has advised the European Investment Fund on its EUR 25 million loan to Albania's Alpha Bank.

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

“The political situation in Albania is currently overcharged,” says Wolf Theiss Partner Sokol Nako, commenting on the opposition’s decision to leave the parliament earlier this year, which led to widespread protests.

Wolf Theiss has advised Swiss logistics group Kuehne & Nagel on the takeover of Austrian freight forwarding and transportation company Joebstl. RPCK Rastegar reportedly advised Joebstl.

Schoenherr has advised the Tscherne family — the owners of Hotel Weismayr in Bad Gastein, Austria — on their entrance into a 20-year lease with the Selina hospitality group. DLA Piper advised Selina on the deal.

Former Schoenherr Partner Florian Kusznier will be joining the Corporate/M&A team of Wolf Theiss at the beginning of September 2019.

“Belarusian markets are abuzz with two things right now,” explains Arzinger & Partner’s Klim Stashevsky.“The new strategy for attracting FDI and the M10 highway reconstruction project.”

Dispute Resolution specialist Partner Andrei Vashkevich has left Stepanovski, Papkul & Partners to join the Lex Torre firm in Belarus, with Counsel Alexadner Lobaty taking over the firm's Litigation practice and Senior Attorney Dmitry Kovalchik taking over the Construction & Real Estate practice.

Sorainen has advised Sika on its acquisition of BelINECO, a company specializing in the production of polyurethane foams.

Acting on behalf of the Incab manufacturer and seller of fiber-optic cables, Arzinger has successfully protected the interests of it and six other producers of optical cables from Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus in an antidumping investigation initiated in 2018 by Rosnano's Optic Fiber Systems JSC in the Eurasian Economic Commission against US and Japanese producers of optical fiber.

Maric & Co has successfully prepared a joint notification of concentration between South Korea's LG Electronics Inc, and its client Lufthansa Technik AG and filed it to the Bosnian Competition Council.

Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners and the other members of the South East Legal Alliance have become official partners of Italy's Grimaldi Alliance.

On 27 June 2019 the Commission on the Protection of Competition (CPC) issued a decision in which it penalised funeral agency Elida MG EOOD (formerly Pokoy-1945 EOOD) for failing to comply with an earlier CPC decision. Such cases in which an undertaking fails to comply with a CPC decision and is therefore fined again are extremely rare due to the substantial pecuniary penalties which may be imposed on violators.

Former McGregor & Partners Partner Asya Vladimirova has joined the IP practice at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. in Sofia.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co has advised Gazprom Export LLC on the termination of employment contracts with some of the company's employees in Bulgaria.

By outsourcing production of major parts of car components, carmakers have also outsourced a substantial amount of their financing needs and associated risks to their suppliers. Still, despite rather slim margins, the prospect of a fairly stable cash flow over a number of years has made the automotive supplier business viable in the past. However, this viability is becoming questionable. This is visible in the number of struggling or even insolvent suppliers, the German group Eisenmann being a very recent example.

ODI has represented AIK Banka and Societe Generale's Slovenian entities on a EUR 36 million cross-border syndicated debt refinancing of the Don Don Group. Selih & Partnerji assisted Don Don on the deal.

Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners and the other members of the South East Legal Alliance have become official partners of Italy's Grimaldi Alliance.

BPV Braun Partners has advised Germany's Antaris group on the sale of two photovoltaic power plants with a total installed capacity of 4.2 MW to a German investment group. The purchase price was not disclosed.

BPV Braun Partners has advised Immofinanz on its acquisition of the Palmovka Open Park office complex in Prague from Metrostav Development for approximately EUR 76.4 million. Havel Partners advised Metrostav Development on the sale.

Clifford Chance has advised CBRE Global Investors on its EUR 55 million acquisition of the Praga Studios complex in Prague's Karlin district from Skanska.

Papapolitis & Papapolitis has advised lead underwriters Eurobank S.A. and Piraeus Bank S.A. on the EUR 175 million Attica Holdings bond issuance.

Zepos & Yannopoulos is advising a consortium of funds advised by affiliates of Centerbridge Partners and Elliott Advisors on their acquisition of a secured NPL portfolio of approximately 12,800 secured non-performing small business lending and SME loans with an outstanding principal amount of approximately EUR 0.9 billion from NBG SA.

Zepos & Yannopoulos has advised Orkla Food Ingredients AS on its takeover bid of all shares of Athens Exchange-listed Stelios Kanakis S.A.

The Schmidt Law Office has successfully represented the interests of Hungary's Tibor Trans Ltd. before the European Court of Justice in its demand for damages resulting from a purported cartel of six truck manufacturers that operated to fix prices of medium and heavy trucks between January 1997 and January 2011.

Former Cellum Group Legal Director Balazs Ferenczy has joined the Kapolyi Law Firm.

During a posting, the employee is bitten by a tick. He throws his back out while loading. He gets sunburnt while working outside. A common feature of these cases is that they are all accidents at work. Yet, if the employer does not pay attention to these, he can find himself at a serious disadvantage.

Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co has advised Lindstrom Oy on its acquisition of an unidentified textile service and laundry group in Estonia.

Pohla & Hallmagi has advised the Baltic Maritime Logistics Group on its acquisition of Stivis OU, a company operating in the Port of Muuga in Tallinn, Estonia. The sellers were reportedly represented by Laus & Partners.

Derling Primus has advised Nortal on its EUR 50 million bond issue.

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.

In summer 2017, after Sejdiu & Qerkini Partner Korab Sejdiu was elected to the Kosovo Parliament, he suspended his law license and left private practice. We checked in with Sejdiu to learn more about his new role and experience.

Sorainen has advised Capitalica Baltic Real Estate Fund I on its entrance to the alternative First North market in Lithuania.

Cobalt has advised M.M.M. Projektai, a real estate development and investment group operating in Central and Eastern Europe, on its acquisition of real estate at Brivibas Gatve 201 in Riga from RE Property SIA.

Dentons and Cobalt have advised Latvia's airBaltic airline on its July 23, 2019 placement of 200 million euro issue 6.75 percent 5-year bonds — the largest corporate bond issuance ever originating from Latvia. Linklaters advised J.P. Morgan as global coordinator and it andSEB as joint bookrunners.

The Vilnius office of TGS Baltic has advised the AB Avia Solutions Group on its merger with its subsidiary in Cyprus.

Walless provided Lithuanian counsel and Israel's Barnea Jaffa Lande & Co. was lead counsel to BLender P2P Israel Ltd on its generation of a total of USD 22 million in debt financing from Eiffel Investment Group SAS and equity investment by Asia Plus Group Holdings PCL, Blumberg Capital, and the Aviv Group. Glimstedt advised Eiffel on the debt financing.

Fort has advised EfTEN Real Estate Fund 4 on its acquisition of the shares of the company managing the River Mall shopping center and the newly-constructed River Hall business center in Kaunas, Lithuania, from a member of the Sirin group.

The Polenak Law Firm has advised the EBRD on its EUR 5 million loan to SME Aktiva, including transaction advice and security documentation in North Macedonia.

Boyanov & Co in Bulgaria, NNDKP in Romania, and the Polenak Law Firm in North Macedonia have advised Norway's LINK Mobility Group on its June 29, 2019 acquisition of all five of Allterco's telecommunications subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Romania, and North Macedonia. Bulgaria's Forlexa law firm reportedly advised Allterco on the deal.

Kinstellar has advised British steel-maker Liberty Steel on Romanian and Czech law aspects of its EUR 740 million acquisition of ArcelorMittal's European assets. 

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.

The landlocked former Soviet republic struggles to move beyond political division and geopolitical pressures to find a steady and reliable path to prosperity.

The Government of Montenegro, at the session of February 7, 2019, passed Decision about The Privatization Plan for 2019 which is published in the Official Gazette No. 013/19 of 01, March 2019 and it came into force on 9, April of the same year.

Even though Montenegro, located in Southeastern Europe on the Adriatic Coast and with a population of just over 600 thousand people, is a small country, its vast energy potential has been recognized by numerous international investors and by the Montenegrin Government.

While current affairs seem to be stable in Montenegro, according to Tripkovic & Raicevic Founding Partner Pavle Tripkovic, the recent bankruptcies of Invest Bank of Montenegro and Atlas Bank have alarmed the local banking market.

Former K&L Gates Partner Michal Petz has re-joined White & Case Warsaw as a Local Partner, bringing Senior Associates Wanda Kudrycka and Artur Kloc along with him.

Bird & Bird has assisted Siemens Mobility with its successful participation in a tender for the supply of an intelligent traffic management and control system in the Polish city of Tychy.

Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland has advised EEC Magenta on the PLN 13 million round B funding of Reliability Solutions, which was advised by Kondracki Celej. Icos Capital, reportedly advised by DWF, was also involved in investment in Reliability Solutions.

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen has successfully defended the interests of the Baylor Black Sea Foundation before the Court of Appeals in Romania in relation to a dispute with the fiscal authorities.

Filip & Company has advised Romania's Ministry of Public Finance on its issuance of EUR 2 billion in bonds.

Over 77% of the European Union’s territory is classified as rural (47% is agricultural land and 30% is forest). The numbers are little different in Romania, where around 81% of the territory is rural (approximately 50% is agricultural land and over 31% is forest cover).

Liniya Prava has advised Gazprombank on it joint role as "co-manager" (along with Otkritie FC Bank, Sovcombank, and the Eurasian Development Bank) and underwriter on the Republic of Belarus's August 7, 2019 placement of two bond issuances on the Moscow Stock Exchange.

Morgan Lewis has advised Internet company and search provider Yandex NV on the acquisition of the intellectual property and call-centers of the Vezet group in Russia by MLU B.V — Yandex’s ride-sharing and food delivery joint venture with Uber. Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner advised Vezet on the deal.

Herbert Smith Freehills has advised the China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Company, a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation, on its investment in a 10% stake in PAO Novatek's Arctic LNG 2 project. Baker Botts acted for PAO Novatek on the sale.

JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic has advised C.D Holding Internationale SAS on its entrance into a partnership with the current owners of Serbia's Emergo Sport d.o.o.

BIFIDEX (Business and Financial Data Exchange) is the service delivery platform of the Regional Business Registry Portal (RBRP) which, as of March 2019, has officially started operating. This portal offers transparent and easy access to information regarding the companies in the Western Balkan countries.

Zivkovic Samardzic has advised Serbia’s national commercial broadcaster Prva TV, a subsidiary of the Kopernikus Corporation, on its merger with Antenna Group Studios, its affiliated production and distribution company.

By outsourcing production of major parts of car components, carmakers have also outsourced a substantial amount of their financing needs and associated risks to their suppliers. Still, despite rather slim margins, the prospect of a fairly stable cash flow over a number of years has made the automotive supplier business viable in the past. However, this viability is becoming questionable. This is visible in the number of struggling or even insolvent suppliers, the German group Eisenmann being a very recent example.

On March 28, 2019 the Slovak parliament adopted Act No. 91/2019 Coll. on Unfair Conditions in Food Trade, which completely replaces previous legislation on the subject.

The Prague office of CEE Attorneys has advised the AGS Group on the establishment of a joint venture with Spuntik.cz s.r.o. which will operate as MMS Digital a.s. Havel & Partners reportedly advised Spuntik.cz.

Structural changes are being proposed to Slovenia’s agricultural land policy to incentivize young farmers to purchase and lease agricultural land and increase food self-sufficiency. Many companies strongly oppose some of these proposals.

ODI has represented AIK Banka and Societe Generale's Slovenian entities on a EUR 36 million cross-border syndicated debt refinancing of the Don Don Group. Selih & Partnerji assisted Don Don on the deal.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across CEE about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: How do you do performance reviews, and how important are they to the planning and management of the firm?”

The amendment to the Law on Radio and Television Broadcasts (“RT Law”), which was published in the Official Gazette of March 28, 2018, regulated broadcasting services (i.e. radio, television and on-demand broadcasts) provided through internet and required these services and their providers (media service providers and platform operators) to be under the supervision and authority of Radio and Television Supreme Council’s (“RTUK”). The Regulation provides detailed information regarding this process.

Egemenoglu has advised Derindere Turizm Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. on the restructuring of its syndicated loan from 45 national and international financial institutions.

In May 2019, Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) has published two reasoned decisions, namely Bfit Decision[1] and Minikoli Decision[2], in which it assesses the resale price maintenance (“RPM”) activities of the concerned undertakings. These decisions bear significance since they represent the TCA’s unstable approach towards RPM activities. In the aforementioned cases, the TCA adopted an effect-based analysis, as it generally did in the past. However, the TCA had displayed a deviation from the said approach in its previous two decisions; Sony Decision[3] and Henkel Decision[4] and adopted a by object analysis. Therefore, Bfit and MinikoliDecisions show this unstable approach.

Dentons has helped US-based multinational investment bank BCP Securities launch its commercial activity in Ukraine, where it will focus primarily on creating debt capital markets deals.

DLA Piper has advised Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH and the Energy Efficiency Fund on the EEF's agreement with the International Finance Corporation to provide funding to homeowners associations for the implementation of energy efficient measures in multi-family buildings. Baker McKenzie reportedly advised the IFC on the deal.

Avellum has provided Ukrainian counsel to Polish IT company Cornerstone Partners, the co-owner of IT Kontrakt, on its acquisition of CoreValue, a US-headquartered IT service provider with Ukrainian roots. Weil, Gotshal & Manges was lead counsel to Cornerstone Partners.