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For several decades, it was prohibited in Ukraine to alienate, or change the designated use of, certain types of the privately owned agricultural land plots used for the farming and commercial agricultural production, which impaired the rights of private landowners and affected the efficiency, liquidity and transparency of the market.

Sayenko Kharenko, Turcan Cazac, Linklaters, and Homburger have advised joint lead managers and bookrunners Citigroup, ING, and Renaissance Capital on the USD 400 million issuance of 8.45% secured notes due 2026 by the Trans-Oil Group of Companies. Gladei & Partners, Baker McKenzie, Arthur Cox, and Harneys Aristodemou Loizides Yiolitis advised the issuer and the guarantors.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy of North Macedonia (“Ministry”) recently pointed out that 577,662 ha are classified as arable land in North Macedonia, while 41% of this land is state-owned. It also noted that the current applicable Law on Sale of State – Owned Agricultural Land (“Law”) has many ambiguities and systemic weaknesses, which prevent its full implementation.

CMS Kyiv has helped Stakelogic obtain a B2B supplier license from the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries in Ukraine.

With entry into force of the "Law on the Amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Some Other Codes" ["Amendment Law"] published in the Official Gazette dated July 14, 2021, the terms in the Administrative Procedural Law No. 2577 [“APL”] regulating the silence of the administration against the applications filed are shortened by half. In addition, some crucial changes were introduced to the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 ["TPC"] and the Criminal Procedural Law No. 5271.

The Supreme Administrative Court is gradually granting more rights to environmental organisations (EOs) in nature conservation procedures. Following a December 2020 ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court regarding the party status of EOs (for further details please see "New ruling expands environmental organisations' rights in nature conservation procedures"), the Supreme Administrative Court remains on course with its pro-EO case law. In recent months, the court has issued several more interesting rulings that seem to strengthen EOs' position in nature conservation proceedings.

Dentons has advised the EuroChem Group on a project financing for the construction of an ammonia plant in Kingisepp, Russia, from a bank syndicate consisting of VEB.RF, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, and Otkritie FC Bank. Linklaters Moscow advised the banks.

Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka has advised the IFC on its EUR 75 million investment in bonds issued by the Erste & Steiermarkische Bank.

TGS Baltic has advised Konstantinas Karosas, Western Petroleum Limited, and UAB MB Valdymas on obtaining approval from the European Central Bank for the acquisition of the qualifying shareholding and voting rights in UAB Medicinos Bankas.

Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka has advised the IFC on its EUR 75 million investment in bonds issued by the Erste & Steiermarkische Bank.

Greenberg Traurig has advised Onde S.A. on its IPO and shares admission to trading on the regulated market operated by the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Filip & Company, working with Linklaters, has advised the Ministry of Public Finance of Romania on a two-tranche Eurobond issue that drew over EUR 3.5 billion from the international markets.

BWHS Wojciechowski Springer i Wspolnicy has successfully represented Magna Polonia S.A. in an eight-year competition court dispute with Emitel S.A.

The European Commission has issued a decision finding that Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche colluded in an agreement to infringe EU competition rules and fining them a total of €875 million.

TGS Baltic has advised Konstantinas Karosas, Western Petroleum Limited, and UAB MB Valdymas on obtaining approval from the European Central Bank for the acquisition of the qualifying shareholding and voting rights in UAB Medicinos Bankas.

The close relationship between data protection and cyber security results from Art. 5 of the European Union’s (EU) General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) which outlines one of the most important principles relating to processing of personal data: “integrity and confidentiality”.

Boyanov & Co has assisted Econt Financial Services in acquiring an e-money institution license from the Governing Council of the Bulgarian National Bank.

PR Legal Partner Ivana Ruzicic has been appointed Serbian data protection representative by Coca-Cola Services N.V. of Belgium.

Mihaela Gherghe has been promoted to Partner with Rizoiu & Poenaru.

Alliott Global Alliance members Woloszanski & Partners and Ellisons Solicitors have advised Web Shield on the sale of its shares in the Web Shield Group to Swedish ZignSec AB. Eversheds Sutherland advised the buyer.

TGS Baltic has advised Greituolis on the sale of 67% of the shares of its online grocery retail platform LastMile to Iki. Walless advised the buyer on the deal.

Dentons has advised the EuroChem Group on a project financing for the construction of an ammonia plant in Kingisepp, Russia, from a bank syndicate consisting of VEB.RF, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, and Otkritie FC Bank. Linklaters Moscow advised the banks.

Cobalt has advised the BaltCap Infrastructure Fund on the sale of its Energia Verde to Gren.

DWF has advised Elektrownia Ostroleka and CCGT Ostroleka on an EPC contract for a 745 megawatt CCGT power plant in Ostroleka and a long-term service agreement with companies from the General Electric group. 

By ratifying the European Convention on Human Rights in 1992, Hungary has committed itself to ensure the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time and to guarantee the right to an effective remedy for any violation of this right. In its judgment in Gazso v. Hungary, the European Court of Human Rights called on Hungary to establish a domestic remedy capable to handle the structural deficiencies identified in the judgment. As a result, at the end of June 2021, a new Act on the Enforcement of Material Compensation for Delay in Civil Proceedings was published in the Hungarian Official Gazette, which will enter into force on 1 January 2022. The Act establishes a new legal remedy for compensation for fundamental rights violations, called ‘material compensation’ which is different from the general compensation (in Hungarian: “kartalanitas”), indemnification or non-pecuniary compensation (in Hungarian: “serelemdij”).

On 20 April 2021, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia enacted the Law on Gender Equality and amendments to the Law on Prohibition of Discrimination. Both laws are published in the Official Gazette of RS no. 52 of 24 May 2021 and will enter into force on 1 June 2021. The Law on Gender Equality will repeal the Law on Equality of Genders (Official Gazette of RS no. 104/09).

Any COVID-19 vaccine related questions addressed to a candidate during a job interview may cause serious legal problems, since the answers can influence the employer’s judgement of the applicant positively or negatively, which can potentially lead to discrimination. Moreover, the refusal of the vaccination cannot serve as a basis for the termination of the employment relationship by notice – indicates act Ban & Karika Attorneys at Law.

Kyriakides Georgopoulos has advised Alpha Bank on a PPP project refinancing for the Attica Schools project.

Domanski Zakrzewski Palinka has advised the consortium of Aldesa Construcciones Polska, Aldesa Construcciones, and Aeronaval de Construcciones Instalaciones on a PLN 178 million contract with Poland's General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways for a traffic control system.

Cobalt, acting pro bono, has successfully assisted a Belarusian journalist seeking asylum in obtaining refugee status in Latvia.

International trade has grown exponentially, and international trade undoubtedly means international debt collection. Especially, while the number of financially distressed companies is rapidly increasing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, international debt collection has become more important than ever. Debt collection proceedings are in general similar for both Turkish and foreign companies and individuals. Accordingly, this article highlights the significant points on how a foreign company or individual can collect its receivables in Turkey.

Interim attachment is a provisional remedy under the Enforcement and Bankruptcy Law No. 2004 [the “EBL”] which individuals or legal entities can request for their monetary claims. Thanks to this institution, the debtor’s assets could be frozen to secure due yet unsecured debts, and as a result, the debtor would be forced to pay its debt.

On June 19, 2021, the Law No. 7327 Amending the Execution and Bankruptcy Law and Some Other Laws [“Amendment Law”] was published in the Official Gazette, and accordingly, significant amendments have been introduced to the Execution and Bankruptcy Law [“EBL”]. This client alert aims to outline these amendments.

The Health Ministry and the Ministry of Internal Affairs have issued Order no. 1204/99/09.07.2021 to supplement Order no. 874/81/2020, which established an obligation to wear a protective mask, epidemiological triage and mandatory hand disinfection to prevent contamination with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the state of alert (the “Order”) and have published it in the Official Gazette no. 683 dated 9 July 2021.

Sertac Kokenek has been promoted to Partner at Esin Attorney Partnership, Baker McKenzie’s Turkish affiliated firm.

Head of the Labor and Employment Practice at the Greenberg Traurig Warsaw Office Anna Halas-Krawczyk has become a shareholder of the firm. 

Former Senior Associate Agnieszka Starzynska has been promoted to Counsel at CMS’s Polish office and will head the firm’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Practice.

The Health Ministry and the Ministry of Internal Affairs have issued Order no. 1204/99/09.07.2021 to supplement Order no. 874/81/2020, which established an obligation to wear a protective mask, epidemiological triage and mandatory hand disinfection to prevent contamination with the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the state of alert (the “Order”) and have published it in the Official Gazette no. 683 dated 9 July 2021.

Gessel has advised the Lux Med Group on its investment in Swiss entrepreneur Bruno Hangartner's Swissmed Centrum Zdrowia.

BWHS Wojciechowski Springer i Wspolnicy has successfully represented Magna Polonia S.A. in an eight-year competition court dispute with Emitel S.A.

Former Managing Associates Liliana Deaconescu and Corina Tanase have been promoted to Partner at Leaua Damcali Deaconu Paunescu.

Former Baker McKenzie Senior Counsel Georg Krakow joins DLA Piper’s white-collar crime, compliance, and internal investigations team in Vienna as Partner, alongside a team of four.

Lakatos, Koves & Partners has advised GLP on the lease of a 43,000 square meters warehouse and office space within the Sziget Logistics Center to Germany-based Fiege Group.

Greenberg Traurig has advised Canadian Dream Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust on the acquisition of a corporate group holding a portfolio of 31 logistics properties in Europe, from Clarion Europe for EUR 882 million. Goodwin's London office advised the seller.

Deputy Director of JSC Ukrainian Railway’s Legal Affairs branch, Oleksandr Diuhovskyi, has moved to BGS Rail as Head of Legal Department.

GKC Partners in association with White & Case has advised joint bookrunners UBS and Bank of America Securities on LimakPort’s issuance of USD 370 million senior secured bonds, under Rule 144A / Regulation S due 2036, at a coupon rate of 9.50%. Paksoy advised the issuer.

Ellex Valiunas has successfully represented the Vakaru Baltijos shipyard in its appeal of a public procurement award to a consortium of Finnish companies to provide a specialized vessel for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to eliminate pollution incidents and carry out rescue operations in the Baltic Sea.

Sorainen has advised the Estonian Ministry of the Environment on matters related to the management of hazardous substances at sea.

Ellex Raidla has advised Superangel on investing in Estonian startup FleetGuru.

Herbst Kinsky has advised Berlin-based VC firm Project A and Munich-based Senovo Capital and Schoenherr has advised Digital+ Partners on the USD 20 million financing round of Anyline. Brandl Talos advised Anyline on the deal.

Latham & Watkins has advised Russian investment company Sistema on VTB Capital’s RUB 7 billion minority investment in Binnopharm.

On a pro bono basis, Sorainen has represented victims of the Lihula shooting incident, by submitting a civil claim for damages.

Alliance Legal CG has successfully represented the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, on a pro bono basis, in a RUB 4 million dispute with the Ekaterinburg City Administration over the diocese’s subsidiary liability for the obligations of its Orthodox Kindergarten. The case was brought before the Arbitration Court of the Sverdlovsk Region.

Dentons, working pro bono, has successfully obtained a favorable ruling from the Constitutional Court of the Slovak Republic on behalf of Jozef Andrej, who had been previously convicted of the manslaughter of his severely disabled son. The decision of the Constitutional Court sends his case back to the SlovakSupreme Court.

Dentons has advised the EuroChem Group on a project financing for the construction of an ammonia plant in Kingisepp, Russia, from a bank syndicate consisting of VEB.RF, Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, and Otkritie FC Bank. Linklaters Moscow advised the banks.

Allen & Overy has advised M7 on its acquisition of two warehouse buildings in Mogilenska Street, Poznan.

On 24 May 2021, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the amendments to the Law on Planning and Construction (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 52/2021), which entered into force on 25 May 2021.

Latest tax reliefs aim to support tourism and travel industry in Hungary, as tourism was one of the most affected sectors by COVID pandemic. In order to boost the restart of domestic tourism, the latest governmental decree of 381/2021 introduced several new tax measures, mainly for this sector. As a result, tourism development contribution of 4% is still not payable by the end of 2021.

On 2 July 2021, Law of Ukraine “On Amending the Tax Code of Ukraine on Abolition of Taxation of Income Received by Non-Residents in the Form of Payment for Production and/or Distribution of Advertisements and Improvement of Value-Added Taxation of Transactions Involving the Supply of Electronic Services by Non-Residents to Individuals” No. 1525-ІХ (the “Law”) entered into force. The Law introduces VAT on digital services supplied by non-residents to Ukrainian individual customers and abolishes 20% withholding tax on advertising services.

Aleksandra Bankowska and Andrzej Zubik have been promoted to Partner in PwC's Legal & Tax Litigation cluster in Poland. 

Alliott Global Alliance members Woloszanski & Partners and Ellisons Solicitors have advised Web Shield on the sale of its shares in the Web Shield Group to Swedish ZignSec AB. Eversheds Sutherland advised the buyer.

TGS Baltic has advised Greituolis on the sale of 67% of the shares of its online grocery retail platform LastMile to Iki. Walless advised the buyer on the deal.

Havel & Partners and Sorainen have advised PriceHubble on its acquisition of Realtify. Sparring advised Realtify on the transaction.

The Government of Ukraine has recently implemented additional measures to prevent and counteract the legalization (laundering) of proceeds of crime, terrorist financing and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Thus, Ukraine made one more step towards implementing 4th Money Laundering EU Directive.

Norton Rose Fulbright has advised the financial institutions involved on the EUR 500 million revolving facilities made available to companies from the Synthos Group incorporated in Poland and the Czech Republic. White & Case and Clifford Chance advised Synthos on the deal, with McDermott Will & Emery advising the security agent, Citibank Europe.

Criminal Law expert Violeta Zeppa-Priedite has moved from TGS Baltic to Sorainen in Latvia.