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On June 30, 2022, CEE Legal Matters hosted the fifth edition of the CEELM Budapest Law Firm Bowling Challenge: A competition of four-person teams from leading law firms in Hungary, with all proceeds going to the previous winner’s charity of choice. A total of 13 law firms competed for the trophy – and the bragging rights that go along with it.

While the economy appears to have been doing better, on the back of infrastructural development, the internal judicial reorganization is leaving Albania in a bit of a bind, according to CMS Partner Besnik Duraj.

MPR Partners has advised GreenVolt subsidiaries V-Ridium Solar 45 and V-Ridium Renewables on their EUR 83 million acquisition of a photovoltaic project from the Samsung C&T Corporation. Schoenherr and, reportedly, Herbert Smith Freehills advised the seller. CMS reportedly advised a consortium of banks on financing the acquisition.

CMS has advised Porsche on a new EUR 500 million investment round into Rimac that also included, among others, Softbank and Goldman Sachs as new investors. Reportedly, Kunstek Halle & Simac, working with Latham & Watkins, advised Rimac on the deal.

In 2019, the EU introduced the European Green Deal with clear sustainability goals to become climate neutral by 2050. Across industries, investors increasingly accept the high value of more sustainable business practices. ESG sustainability is a central consideration in business decisions in almost all economic areas. ESG covers corporate governance, environment and climate change, social and human rights, and sustainable finance. The question for companies is how they can or even must implement this and use legal instruments. However, the lack of binding law provisions, greenwashing, and the alleged sustainability of investments have undermined the importance of this topic.

Real estate is responsible for around 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Given the industry’s high impact, a comprehensive decarbonization strategy is essential. As environmentally conscious investors and tenants focus on zero-carbon buildings, green building ecosystems and life-cycle assessments become necessary. Accordingly, green building certification processes are needed to ensure that habitats are environmentally sustainable. These certification processes assess many building components, from ventilation systems to insulation materials, for their impact on human and environmental health.

The rules in Hungary for guarantees of origin (GO) changed at the beginning of this year to ensure the ascension of the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (Hungarian Energy Authority) to the European Energy Certificate System, as a result of which Hungarian GOs will be accepted on international markets.

With the world slowly reaching what many scientists label “a point of no return” for climate change, countries worldwide are doing their best to combat environmental damage. To that end, the European Union has developed climate and energy targets for the upcoming decade, stating that it is “vital that we direct investments towards sustainable projects and activities.”

 CEE Legal Matters spoke with CMS Partners Agnieszka Skorupinska, Kostadin Sirleshtov, and Varinia Radu about the impact of ESG on the energy sector in CEE.

The trend towards ESG issues has increased markedly on the Slovakian commercial real estate market. More and more Slovak companies are behaving responsibly and sustainably – under pressure from tenants, employees, contractors, customers, regulators, and investors who involve ESG in their decision-making.

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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