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The European Union has initiated the world’s first carbon border tax, called the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). The CBAM Regulation was ratified by EU co-legislators on May 10, 2023, and became legally effective on May 16, 2023 following its publication in the EU Official Journal.

The sweeping digital transformation has significantly changed the economic and financial landscape, and at the heart of this change is the emerging phenomenon of cryptocurrencies. With this innovative fusion of finance and technology, the pertinent question of how to tax these new assets arises. Bulgaria, like its global counterparts, is grappling with the complexities of this issue. Dive in for an in-depth look at Bulgaria’s approach to taxing crypto assets.

It was another strong year for the leading law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, which, combined, worked on over a thousand deals and other client matters across the region reported on by CEE Legal Matters this year. According to the Activity Rankings function of the CEELMDirect website, Clifford Chance, which worked on an impressive 95 CEELM-reported CEE client matters in 2023, led the international firms in the region, with Schoenherr, which worked on 90, close behind. Dentons (82), CMS (71), Wolf Theiss (65), Cobalt (66), Kinstellar (50), White & Case (45), and Allen & Overy (42) took notable places on the leaderboard as well.

White & Case has advised CVC Capital Partners on its acquisition of the Packeta Group, alongside co-investor Emma Capital. Havel & Partners advised JSK Investments and its shareholders, Simona and Jaromir Kijonka, on the sale of Packeta.

CMS Bardek Lisac Musec Skoko and Partners has advised Global Offshore Engineering Group owner Matko Zuanic on the full acquisition of Adria Winch, including the indirect acquisition of Dalstroj. Ivkovic & Kruc advised Adria Winch Group shareholders Marin Srzentic, Milivoj Peruzovic, and Ivo Jercic on the sale.

With CMS’s recently published European M&A Outlook report taking the temperature of the M&A activity across the continent, CMS Romania Managing Partner Horea Popescu and CMS Vienna Partner Alexander Rakosi share their insights on M&A trends in the CEE region.

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. Shifting our focus to the financial aspects of legal work, we asked: What percentage of your issued bills end up being overdue, what percentage end up never paid, and what is your firm’s/office’s standard methodology to handle both cases?

Inflation rates, while high across Europe, have been particularly making headlines in Turkiye. Yalcin Babalioglu Kemahli in cooperation with CMS Managing Partner Done Yalcin, Ergun Law Firm Partner Lara Sezerler, Celepci Law in cooperation with Schoenherr Office Managing Partner Levent Celepci, KP Law Managing Partner Onur Kucuk, and Guleryuz & Partners Partner Zahide Altunbas Sancak discuss the current outlook.

Dentons has advised Modus Asset Management on obtaining EUR 58 million in debt financing from BNP Paribas Bank Polska and PKO Bank Polski to finance and refinance the acquisition of a 93-megawatt portfolio of photovoltaic projects in Poland. CMS advised BNP Paribas Bank Polska and PKO Bank Polski.

CMS has advised a syndicate of banks led by ING Bank on the adjustment to the loan repayment terms under the USD 450 million pre-export facility for Ukraine’s Kernel Group. Allen & Overy reportedly advised Natixis, one of Kernel Group's creditors. White & Case reportedly advised the Kernel Group.

Vlasceanu & Partners and Wolf Theiss have advised the Ratesti Solar Plant – an Econergy group and Nofar group subsidiary – on the EUR 60 million financing from Raiffeisen Bank International and Raiffeisen Bank Romania to finance part of its EUR 102 million 155-megawatt solar project in Ratesti, Romania. CMS reportedly advised Raiffeisen Bank.

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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