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After an initial wave of euphoria at the prospect of seeing autonomous vehicles (AVs) on our streets and the associated opportunities and new business models that AVs could create, there is now more realism as to what will actually be possible in the short term. One of the main reasons for this shift is the immensely high cost of making self-driving technology ready for the market and for mass production. There are also no internationally recognised, uniform rules or regulations currently governing the circumstances for using AVs on public streets. This adds further complexity to their development and roll out. So while self-driving technology promises a range of benefits for business and society as a whole, significant challenges remain to be overcome on the road to mass adoption. At the very least, legislators need to make sure that the existing regulatory framework does not act as a barrier to technological development in this area.

The COVID-19 lockdown will not last forever. Some of the Russian regions have already lifted the lockdown regime. Operating both during and beyond the lockdown could throw up novel and unexpected corporate crime and liability risks for businesses. Resuming or increasing business operations as restrictions ease will entail risk.  A resumption plan addressing logistical and operational complexities will be essential, but this should also take account of legal risks as part of overall risk mitigation measures.

CMS has advised Grupa Azoty Polyolefins on financing it received from Grupa Lotos SA and South Korea's Hyundai Engineering and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation for the Police Polimery polypropylene project in Poland, as well as on the implementation of the project. Baker McKenzie advised Grupa Lotos and DLA Piper advised Hyundai and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development on the deal.

In the European Commission’s January 8 Report on the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in third countries, Ukraine was identified as a Priority 2 country. This category includes countries with systematic problems in the area of intellectual property protection and enforcement, causing significant harm to EU countries.

The Hungarian banking sector enjoyed a banner year in 2019, but still faces challenges. Legislative changes are creating more aggressive competition between banks, which in turn are cutting fees and demanding flexible financing structures in order to survive. Although some banks are unwilling to take part in these practices, one thing is certain: All banks must adapt to the new regulatory environment. I’ve outlined some of the major challenges that Hungarian banks face in the near future.

On September 20 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that BLS had advised Pannonia Bio Zrt. – a company operating a biorefinery in Tolna County, Hungary, that is the largest ethanol plant in Europe – and that CMS Hungary had advised OTP Bank Plc. on Pannonia Bio’s issuance of the first Hungarian forint bond in line with the Central Bank of Hungary’s Bond Funding for Growth Scheme.

Before being elected President of Ukraine last May, Volodymyr Zelensky had virtually no experience in public office. Despite his inexperience – or perhaps because of it – over 73% of the electorate concluded that the comedian and entertainer was the right man to replace Petro Poroshenko, the previous President, and now Zelensky finds himself, at 41, leading an entire nation.