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In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and stay up to date with the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas. 

For many years, we have witnessed how the laws of England and Wales were introduced in the Montenegrin financial legal system by the application of Loan and Market Association (LMA) templates in financing transactions. It was usually the lenders insisting on having the LMA standards in the loan agreement and for the laws of England and Wales to govern the loan agreement.

Before the introduction of the latest amendments to the Company Law of the Republic of North Macedonia (Company Law) on April 29, 2022, it stipulated that only loans provided by sole shareholders to their companies may be converted into share capital.  The practice of conversion overseen by the Central Registry of North Macedonia (CRM) was strict. For example, loans taken over by the shareholder from the companies of the same group were considered ineligible for conversion. 

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. With the first quarter of 2023 wrapped up, we turned to the future and asked: In which practice area do you expect the most growth – in terms of work volume – in the next 12 months?

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz has established a dedicated, separate competence center for English law – to serve its operations across CEE and SEE countries – with members including Vienna-based Partners Marcell Clark, Alexander Rakosi, and David Kohl and Solicitor Anna Freund.

Did You Know that a total of 11 law firms have worked on four or more reported Energy/Natural Resources deals in CEE so far this year? According to the Activity Rankings function of the CEELMDirect website, the leaderboard is led by Norton Rose Fulbright, which has worked on ten Energy/Natural Resources deals reported since January 1, 2023.

Former DWF Partner Rafal Morek has joined CMS's dispute resolution team in Poland as Partner, along with Jan Markiewicz as Counsel and Andrzej Girdwoyn as Associate.

The political turbulence within and beyond Bulgaria has not only caused unpredictability in the regulatory environment but also drastic changes in the national energy sector. Following the Russian invasion in Ukraine, Bulgaria took steady steps to break its dependence on Russia as a single supplier of natural resources.

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. Keeping in mind last year’s complexities and the uncertainties ahead, this time we asked: Has your team shrunk or increased in the last 12 months and what are your expectations for 2023?

Did You Know that a total of 15 partners have worked on multiple reported Hungarian Banking/Finance client matters in the ten years that CEE Legal Matters has been covering the market? The Banking/Finance leaderboard over the past decade is led by CMS Budapest Partner Erika Papp, who has worked on 14 reported Banking/Finance client matters in that time.

Clifford Chance has advised lenders Santander Bank Polska, Alior Bank, Bank Millennium, Bank Polska Kasa Opieki, and the EBRD on their financing for Gemini Polska. E+H advised Santander Bank Polska. CMS reportedly advised Gemini Polska. 

CMS at a Glance

CMS Sofia is a full-service law firm, the largest international law firm in Bulgaria and one of the largest providers of legal services in the local market as a whole. The breadth and depth of our practice means that our lawyers are specialised, with a level of specialisation that few of our competitors can match.

CMS Sofia is the Bulgarian branch of CMS, a top ten global legal and tax services provider with over 5000 lawyers in 43 countries and 78 offices across the world.

CMS entered the Bulgarian market as one of the first internationally active law firms in 2005 and is now among the most respected legal advisors in the country. We have 7 partners, 4 counsel and over 30 lawyers in our office in Sofia.

Our legal experts, who are rooted in Bulgaria’s local culture, can also draw on years of experience in foreign countries and are at home in several legal systems at once. We know the particularities of the local market just as well as the needs of our clients and combine both to achieve optimum solutions. Our lawyers are Bulgarian qualified and we also have English qualified experts – all of them regularly working on cross-border mandates.

In our work, we focus on M&A, Energy, Projects and Construction, Banking and Finance, Real Estate, Media, IP and IT law, Tax, Employment law, Competition, Procurement and any kind of Dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. What’s more, we also take care of the entire legal management of our clients’ projects.

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