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The rights and obligations of virtual asset market participants, as well as the principles of state policy for virtual assets circulation recently came close to being set out in Ukrainian law. On September 8, 2021, the Ukrainian parliament, the Verkhovna Rada (the “Rada”) adopted the Law “On Virtual Assets” (the “Law”). The Law is designed to regulate legal relations arising in connection with the circulation of virtual assets in Ukraine.

 In “The Corner Office” we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. With summer having just passed, the question this time: What is your one favorite yearly activity to disconnect?

On October 6, 2021, the Grand Chamber of the of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its decision in Case C-882/19 Sumal SL v Mercedes Benz Trucks España, clarifying certain issues related to the imputability of anticompetitive conduct within a group of companies and the related private law consequences.

In April 2018, the European Commission imposed a fine of €124.5 million on French multinational telecommunications and mass media company Altice, for implementing its acquisition of PT Portugal before the Commission had approved the transaction and before the acquisition had even been notified to the Commission in some respects. In its judgment in Altice Europe v Commission, issued on September 22, 2021 (Case T-425/18), the European General Court (EGC), as the first instance EU court, dismissed Altice’s appeal against the Commission’s decision in its entirety, although it did reduce the original fine by €6.2 million, to €118.6 million, given that Altice had eventually notified the transaction.

The pandemic has been devastating for Ukraine, with underfunded health services struggling to contain COVID-19 contagion. Scenes of hospitals overwhelmed with patients and lacking staff, equipment, and medication will haunt us even as cases drop and vaccinations rise. It has been a traumatic time for our team at the Kyiv Dentons office. We have been working hard to support and guide each other towards the glimmer of light at the end of this long and, at times scary, tunnel.

Konstantin Kroll, Partner and Head of Russian Corporate and M&A Practice at Dentons in Moscow, reports that the Russian economy has experienced a rise in M&A transactions and that the government has taken steps to curb offshoring, regulate convertible loans, and increase the number of international arbitration tribunals in the country.

According to its recently published annual report, the Office for the Protection of Competition of the Czech Republic (the "Office") plans a thorough investigation of the pharmaceutical sector, in terms of compliance with both competition and public procurement rules.

“In the past year or so, we have been very focused on transactional work in the renewables sector,” says Dentons Warsaw Partner Agnieszka Kulinska. “In addition to that, together with our banking and finance colleagues, my department has also handled a number of financing deals in the sector.”

The legal market in Europe is ever-changing, but now, as we approach the turn of the year, there is no doubt we are at a pivotal moment. One could say that the tide has risen and the world of legal services as we know it is gone. While it would be easy to blame everything on the pandemic, the COVID-19 crisis has merely accelerated certain processes that have been swelling up and ready to burst for quite some time. The trends we have been observing have just gained momentum. It is essential that law firms accept the challenges and prudently navigate the dangers.

Over the course of our seven years, CEE Legal Matters has interviewed most of the British lawyers working on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe as part of our recurring “Expat on the Market” feature. We reached out to them recently and asked them to bring us up to speed on what they’re doing and/or share their thoughts on the ramifications of Brexit or the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Slovak Competition Act (No. 136/2001 Coll. as amended) has been the cornerstone of Slovak competition law for almost two decades and has seen its share of major amendments. The Slovak Competition Authority has now decided to table a new Competition Act and has submitted a draft for preliminary consultation. The draft transposes the ECN+ Directive (Directive (EU) 2019/1) and addresses a number of competition law issues that have been debated for years in Slovakia.

Dentons at a Glance

Dentons is the world's largest law firm, connecting talent to the world's challenges and opportunities in more than 75 countries. Dentons' legal and business solutions benefit from deep roots in our communities and award-winning advancements in client service, including Nextlaw, Dentons’ innovation and strategic advisory services. Dentons' polycentric and purpose-driven approach, commitment to inclusion and diversity, and world-class talent challenge the status quo to advance client and community interests in the New Dynamic.

Dentons is one of the leading law firms in CEE/CIS, with offices in Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Moscow, Bucharest, Bratislava, Kyiv, Baku, Almaty, Astana, Tbilisi and Tashkent. With a legacy of supporting local and international clients in Central and Eastern Europe since the early 1990s, we have the experience and market insight to help clients close deals, resolve disputes and do business in the key markets across the region.

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