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While the number of people employed in teleworking or home office is growing rapidly across the world, many firms are not aware of what this entails in legal terms. Yet, those employing workers outside of the office are often faced with unexpected risks.

Every single business that trades with the UK, both in goods and services, will be affected by a “no-deal Brexit” scenario, i.e. the withdrawal of the UK from the EU without an agreement. On 4 September 2019 the Commission published a “Brexit preparedness checklist”, to provide information and to help enterprises conducting business in the EU and/or in the UK to double-check their state of preparedness.

On 10 September 2019 the newest edition of Incoterms rules, Incoterms 2020 was released by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The Incoterms rules serve as significant commercial provisions for the international sale of goods, including commonly accepted definitions and rules relating to the delivery of goods between trading partners. Since the first publication of Incoterms rules in 1936, ICC has revised regularly these rules to follow the changes in the worldwide trade system.

From 1 January 2020 a new European Union Directive (nicknamed „Quick Fixes”) will enter into force. Among several changes, rules that regulate the customer VAT numbers has been reformed. Under the new reform, obtaining a valid VAT number that the customer provides to the supplier will be regarded as a material requirement for applying the 0% VAT rate. If the supplier fails to include the customer’s VAT number on the invoice, it should not be possible to apply the 0% VAT rate. In addition, filing of a cumulative declaration is also required to invoke the 0% VAT rate. The Directive puts higher administrative burden on undertakings, since it expects a constant inspection mechanism for the validity of the customer’s VAT number at the time of sale.

The challenge to mitigate climate change is now present in every industry, and not surprisingly in the construction sector as well. Yet the building regulations adopted for this purpose often give rise to controversy and, in many cases, pose a serious challenge to participants in the domestic real estate market.

CMS Hungary has advised OTP Bank Plc., the arranger of Pannonia Bio's issuance of the first Hungarian forint bond in line with the Bond Funding for Growth Scheme announced by the Central Bank of Hungary in July, 2019 which involves the bank's purchase of bonds with good ratings issued by non-financial corporations as well as securities backed by corporate loans from a HUF 300 billion funding pool. Solo practitioner Gabor Kovacs represented Pannonia Bio.

CMS Hungary has advised Balbec Capital and Momentum Credit Zrt, a Hungarian joint venture owned by Balbec Capital and the APS Group, on the purchase of MKB Bank Nyrt’s non-performing retail mortgage loan portfolio, secured mostly by residential mortgages. MKB Bank was advised by HBK Partners on the transaction.

It has been clear for some time that Hungary is in breach of EU law by not allowing the refunding of VAT on bad debts. The fact that cases of Hungarian taxpayers have now been brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has forced Hungarian lawmakers to move on the issue. While the package of tax amendments submitted last week provides an opportunity to reclaim such VAT, in certain cases – due to the planned administrative restrictions – it will still only be possible to enjoy this right with reference to EU law.

DLA Piper Poland, Oppenheim, and PRK Partners have advised Metro Properties on the more-than-EUR 250 million sale and lease-back of 11 Cash & Carry stores in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic to FLE GmbH, an Austrian subsidiary of French LFPI Group, investing on behalf of the AIF regulated fund. Allen & Overy, Novalia, and DLA Piper Hungary advised FLE on the transaction, which was finalized in August 2019.

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Established in 1957, Wolf Theiss is one of the leading European law firms in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe with a focus on international business law. With 300 lawyers in 13 offices located in Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine, Wolf Theiss represents local and international industrial, trade and service companies, as well as banks and insurance companies. Combining law and business, Wolf Theiss develops comprehensive and constructive solutions on the basis of legal, fiscal and business know-how.

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