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Latest News By Country

Contributed by Deloitte Legal.

The Albanian energy market is experiencing several developments reflective of regional and global events. Local and foreign investors’ interest in renewable energy projects is surging. However, some questions remain open as to whether the government will be able to fully satisfy their expectations.

Schoenherr, working with Pinsent Masons and Wenger Vieli, has advised Kontron on selling parts of Kontron Group’s IT services business to Vinci Energies during a competitive auction process, for approximately EUR 400 million. Reportedly, Baker McKenzie’s German office advised Vinci Energies. Loloci & Associates advised Kontron on Albanian matters.

Binder Groesswang has advised Linde Verlag on the establishment of its digital subsidiary Linde Digital with the participation of Venionaire Capital.

On 14 September 2022 the European Commission ("EC") published a proposal for a Regulation on an emergency intervention to address high energy prices ("Emergency Intervention Regulation" or "EIR"). The EIR requires EU Member states to implement three different measures: (i) Reduction in demand for electricity, (ii) Capping market revenues for the generation of electricity from inframarginal technologies (renewables, nuclear and lignite), and (iii) Collection of a monetary solidarity contribution from the fossil fuel industry. The EC says that the intervention measures can be based on Art 122 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union ("TFEU") which establishes a competence for crisis intervention in the energy sector. However, it is questionable if the EC's view is going to withstand a judicial review since Art 122 TFEU has a very limited scope of application and some of the proposed intervention measures appear to go far beyond that scope.

Wolf Theiss has advised the Aramis Group on its acquisition of Onlinecars.

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.

Contributed by Maric & Co.

“Coal still matters” has been the predominant energy policy in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past decades. It sounds very old-fashioned these days in Europe, but lignite (brown coal) is the most important energy resource in the country. The fact that almost 60% of the electricity generated in the country originates from coal-fired thermal power plants leads to the conclusion that Bosnia and Herzegovina heavily relies on coal.

A lull in the markets and legislative activity, due to political and global concerns, is offset by high foreign finance confidence and high foreign investor interest in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with client-driven ESG projects a particularly bright spot, according to Attorney-at-Law Andrea Zubovic-Devedzic, a Partner of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz.

CMS has advised Vier Gas Transport on its successful participation in a tender for selecting a consultant for monitoring and control of the implementation of a commercial dispatcher center for the Interconnection Greece-Bulgaria project held by ICGB AD.

Imagine receiving a letter that your real estate located in Bulgaria will, in fact, “change” its location within the neighborhood. This can come up as a shock to any international investor in Bulgaria. Such companies might wish to finance certain entrepreneurial construction activity in Bulgaria, and therefore, acquire one or more plots of land. This sort of legal conundrum is indeed possible in Bulgaria and this article will look into its intricacies.

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov has successfully represented the interests of KTB shareholders before the European Court of Human Rights in a dispute regarding their right to appeal the bank's license revocation. 

Clifford Chance and Dominkovic & Osrecak have advised Taaleri Energia and Encro on the EUR 126 million senior debt financing package for the construction of the Zadar wind farm in Croatia. CMS reportedly advised the lending consortium.

We can probably all agree that no one likes bad surprises, and the same especially holds truth with respect to unexpected outcomes of legal proceedings. When it comes to civil proceedings before Croatian courts, so-called “surprise” decisions were recently introduced into Croatian legislation by Articles 5 and 367a of the new Croatian Civil Proceedings Act which entered into force on 19 July 2022.

Kinstellar’s Croatian affiliate Zuric i Partneri has advised on the incorporation of two employer associations in Croatia: the Association of Trade and Logistics and the Association of the Processing Industry and Technology.

PRK Partners Advises Ceska Sporitelna, Komercni Banka, and UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia in the sale of bonds issued by EPH Financing.

Penteris, HKV, and Oppenheim have advised Immofinanz on the acquisition of a retail property portfolio from the CPI Property Group for EUR 324.2 million. Reportedly, BPV Braun Partners advised Immofinanz as well.

With instability and uncertainty both in the political and economic spheres, the Czech Republic is preparing for a new wave of restructuring and insolvency procedures, according to Dentons Partner Jiri Tomola.

The highlight of Drakopoulos’ work this year would be corporate and M&A, according to Managing Partner Panagiotis Drakopoulos, as a result of the overall Greek business climate and the country’s good position geopolitically, making it particularly attractive for foreign direct investments.

Kyriakides Georgopoulos has advised the Quest Group on its acquisition of G.E. Dimitriou through a court-ratified rehabilitation agreement contemplating a EUR 5 million participation of Athex-listed Quest Holdings in a share capital increase of the target company.

Lambadarios has advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund and Hellenic Petroleum on the sale of Depa Infrastructure to Italgas for EUR 733 million.

Penteris, HKV, and Oppenheim have advised Immofinanz on the acquisition of a retail property portfolio from the CPI Property Group for EUR 324.2 million. Reportedly, BPV Braun Partners advised Immofinanz as well.

The very vibrant levels of work in Provaris’ Digital and Technology practice are being driven by the latest ECJ decisions, legislative changes, and a rising tide of privacy awareness, according to Partner Adam Liber, Co-Head of the firm's Digital and Technology practice.

Former CMS Senior Counsel Csongor Tompa has joined Bird & Bird’s Budapest office as Head of the Banking & Finance and Capital Markets practices.

Mari Manniko has joined PwC Legal in Estonia as Head of Data Protection and Media Disputes.

Sorainen has advised Estonia's Fontes Palgakonsultatsioonid on its acquisition of the remuneration system development and remuneration survey business in Latvia and Lithuania from Fontes Vadibas Konsultacijas.

Ellex has advised Toi Toi & Dixi Handels und Verwaltungs on the acquisition of portable toilet rental company Kemmerling.

Last year, more precisely in December, Kosovo endured a deepening crisis considered one of the worst in the last decade.

The long-awaited Commercial Court finally being functional and the anticipated reforms on minimum wages and the verification and confiscation of unjustified assets are the key talking points in Kosovo, according to Deloitte Kosova Legal Manager Ardian Rexha.

Another milestone towards the approximation of the legislation with the EU Acquis has been completed by Kosovo. The new Law No. 08/L-056 “On the Protection of Competition”, entered into force on 22 June 2022. The Kosovan legislators in the drafting of the new law benefited from the technical assistance of EU funded project “EU support for the Kosovo Competition Authority and State Aid Commission.

High levels of market activity despite regional tensions and rising uncertainty relating to the war in Ukraine, an ever-more inclusive financial regulatory framework, and a blossoming energy sector are the hot topics in Latvia, according to TGS Baltic Partner Inese Hazenfusa.

Sorainen has advised Estonia's Fontes Palgakonsultatsioonid on its acquisition of the remuneration system development and remuneration survey business in Latvia and Lithuania from Fontes Vadibas Konsultacijas.

Cobalt has successfully represented Martins Jansons before the European Court of Human Rights in a case regarding his arbitrary eviction during a legal dispute over apartment tenancy.

Sorainen has represented Nigerian state-owned company Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria in an oral hearing before the CJEU in a case against aviation company Lufthansa.

Sorainen, working with Norton Rose Fulbright, has advised Oxlylabs on its acquisition of the Webshare Software Company. Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe reportedly advised the seller.

UBO register changes and an overall companies law overhaul to protect shareholder rights are on the agenda in Lithuania, according to Sorainen Partner Evaldas Dudonis.

Back in February 2020, the new Personal Protection Data Law was published in the official gazette, which meant that North Macedonia was catching up with the European Union on personal data protection.

Dentons has advised a syndicate of banks led by Ceska Sporitelna, and including Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka and Komercni Banka, on the financing of KKCG Group and Aricoma Group’s acquisition of Musala Soft. Polenak, Boyanov & Co, and, reportedly, Andric and TM & Partners advised the banks as well. Clifford Chance advised Aricoma Group on the deal.

ODI Law has advised Makedonski Telekom on the collective bargaining negotiations with two representative trade unions.

Contributed by Dolea & Co.

On 19 May 2022, the Moldovan Parliament voted on the new Law on Electronic Identification and Trust Services ("Law 124/2022"). Law 124/2022 will enter into force on 10 December 2022 and replaces the currently existing Law on Electronic Signature and Electronic Document ("Law 91/2014"). This replacement seeks to align the national legislation in the field of electronic signature with European norms, namely the harmonisation with Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC.

Romanian firm Stratulat Albulescu has opened a new office in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, with Sabina Cerbu joining as a Partner.

Contributed by Jovovic, Mugosa & Vukovic.

PLK Advokati has advised Montenegrin media companies Daily Press and Televizija Vijesti on the sale of a 51% stake to United Media. Schoenherr reportedly advised United Media.

On August 9, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Vukovic & Partners had advised ODM Collections on obtaining a purchase of receivables work license from the Central Bank of Montenegro. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Drazen Stevanovic, CEO at ODM Collections, to learn more about the matter.

Gessel has advised BNP Paribas Bank Polska on its capital investment in Autenti. Kondracki Celej reportedly advised Autenti on the deal.

CMS has advised the Saint-Gobain Group on the conclusion of a 15-year virtual power purchase agreement for the acquisition of renewable energy from Tion Renewables' onshore wind farms in Poland. Dentons advised Tion Renewables.

Penteris, HKV, and Oppenheim have advised Immofinanz on the acquisition of a retail property portfolio from the CPI Property Group for EUR 324.2 million. Reportedly, BPV Braun Partners advised Immofinanz as well.

Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu has advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on its EUR 25 million loan granted to Banca Transilvania. 

Former Filip & Company Of Counsel Oana Voda has joined Dentons’ Bucharest office as Head of Public Procurement.

Clifford Chance has advised Actis on the launch of its portfolio business Rezolv Energy and on Rezolv's acquisition of the Romanian Vis Viva onshore wind project from Low Carbon.

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.

Radovanovic Stojanovic & Partners, working with Advant Beiten, has advised the shareholders of Hedwell Group Germany on the sale of the Hedwell Group to SAP Fioneer. Reportedly, Germany's Poellath advised SAP Fioneer on the deal.

Zivkovic Samardzic has advised both companies on the Titan Cementara Kosjeric merger with its affiliate Stari Silo Company.

One of the questions that is often risen in practice is whether there is an obligation to conclude a contract with an individual who is registered as a legal representative, i.e., director of a company, and who does not establish an employment relationship in that company. In relation thereto, there are also inquiries whether it is mandatory to provide for a compensation for the work of a director who is not employed with the company, as well as what are the tax obligations of the company regarding the compensation that a director receives for performing the respective capacity.

PRK Partners Advises Ceska Sporitelna, Komercni Banka, and UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia in the sale of bonds issued by EPH Financing.

Penteris, HKV, and Oppenheim have advised Immofinanz on the acquisition of a retail property portfolio from the CPI Property Group for EUR 324.2 million. Reportedly, BPV Braun Partners advised Immofinanz as well.

Political upheaval has been shaking Slovakia, halting legislative efforts and endangering the country's readiness to face the energy and other crises, according to Havel & Partners Partner Stepan Starha. 

The upcoming tax reform, legislation on FDI control measures, and skyrocketing investments in business premises are the key updates for Slovenia, alongside major mergers in the banking sector, according to ODI Law Partner Branko Ilic.

Contributed by Senica & Partners.

Following the recent addition of Roxana Dudau in Romania (reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 6, 2022), Wolf Theis has announced it hired Tomasz Siembida in Poland as a Partner, and the further promotion of Austria-based Nikolaus Loudon and Venus Valentina Wong, Poland-based Konrad Kosicki, and Slovenia-based Teja Balazic Jerovsek to Partners.

Keco Legal has advised Getmobil on its TRY 27 million seed funding round with a valuation of TRY 180 million. Urer Law advised the investors on the deal. Gungor Law reportedly advised Getmobil as well.

GEMS Legal Schindhelm has advised TUV Austria Holding's subsidiary TUV Austria Turk on its acquisition of a 51% stake in the Mavi Akademi Group.

Paksoy has advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a EUR 50 million loan to Yapi Kredi Leasing.

The Parliament of Ukraine has adopted in its entirety draft law “On Joint Stock Companies” No. 2493, dated 25 November 2019 (“Draft Law”). The Draft Law is designated to align the regulation of joint stock companies (“JSC”) operation with EU corporate governance standards.

Avellum has advised the Managing Partners of the American University Kyiv on its launch in Ukraine.

On July 19, 2022, Law of Ukraine No. 2352-IX On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine, Governing Optimization of Labor Relations entered into full force and effect and amended the Code of Labor Laws of Ukraine (the Labor Code), the Laws of Ukraine On the Organization of Labor Relations under Martial Law, On Leaves, and others.