Former BekesPartners lawyer Stella Simon and Perger Law attorney Gabor Perger have founded the AegisLegal law firm in Budapest.
More than a year has elapsed since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a devastating impact on our economy. Due to the extraordinary measures of the Hungarian government to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, numerous services were suspended, many shops were closed, and travel is still restricted. Companies affected by these restrictions suffered huge losses, which may result in their insolvency.
Kinstellar’s Budapest office has advised mandated arranger and facility and security agent Bank of China on an approximately USD 75 million loan to sponsor China National Machinery Import and Export for the construction and operation of a 100 MW photovoltaic power plant in Hungary. Allen & Overy reportedly advised the sponsor.
On 20 April 2021 the Hungarian Government submitted a bill on the Land Register to the Hungarian Parliament. The Government decided on the implementation of the electronic land register project, which requires a new Act on the Land Register, as well as a related execution decree. The purpose of the new system is in particular to develop the land register to an electronic database, completely electronize the land register procedures, connect the land register with other public electronic registers of the state and decrease the time and costs of these proceedings.
According to an information letter issued by the Hungarian National Authority for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (NAIH) on 1 April 2021, employers can only request proof of protection against COVID-19 (e.g. proof of having the vaccine or recovered from COVID19) in certain jobs and after an appropriate risk analysis. If the employer has an appropriate legal basis to process the immunity data, he is obliged to put appropriate measures in place in order to protect its employees against COVID-19 infection. According to the NAIH, the legislator should further precise the requirements for justifying the immunity against COVID-19 in employment relationships.
The chain of general contractor and subcontractors behind large-scale construction and the occasional failure of certain subcontractors to obtain proper payment gave birth to the institution of construction payment agent, a form of collateral management. It was typical in the construction industry that subcontractors were exposed to circle debt. The construction payment agent is a unique statutory solution to eliminate such debts.
On 4 May, the detailed debate has been closed in the Hungarian Parliament in relation to the legislative proposal, which aims to implement Directive 2019/1023, also known as the restructuring directive, providing debtors with a pre-insolvency tool to rescue their viable but struggling enterprises. Restructuring proceedings fill a gap in the Hungarian legal environment and may also help enterprises recover financially from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hungarian government launched Government Decree 47/2020 (III. 18.), introducing a moratorium on the payment of principal, interest, and fees arising from facility, loan, and financial lease contracts until December 31, 2020. This moratorium, which we will call the “2020 Payment Moratorium,” was automatically available to both natural person and business entity borrowers, although they could opt out of if they wished.
The current backbone of the EU’s e-Commerce Directive was adopted 20 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the digital economy has changed significantly, as most online platforms in use today did not exist in 2000. As a result, many digital experts claim that competition enforcers have failed to tackle some of the specific challenges created by the new digital platforms.
Recently published case law from Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition – the Hungarian acronym is OGYEI – deals with various aspects of pharmaceutical promotional activities and interactions with health care providers. The OGYEI investigated the commercial practices of Aramis Pharma Kft., Lilly Hungaria Kft., and Sager Pharma Kft., and imposed fines following the discovery of infringements.
Almost a year ago, in March 2020, the Hungarian regulator – the NMHH – announced that 5G frequency licenses had been auctioned for a term of 15 years with a 5-year extension option to Magyar Telekom, Vodafone, and Telenor (a fourth operator, Digi, did not acquire a 5G license). These three operators spent a total of HUF 125.8 billion on these 5G licenses, enabling them to provide next generation mobile broadband services. Vodafone started 5G services in downtown Budapest in 2019 on previously-acquired frequencies, using the newly acquired frequencies to improve coverage in other cities and certain rural areas. The 5G services – as well as related applications and technology products – are expected to fundamentally change the industry, as demand for broadband services has increased exponentially due the widespread introduction of home office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The original foreign direct investment screening regime was adopted in Hungary pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council and became effective on January 1, 2019. Instead of amending the original regime, a new parallel FDI screening regime was introduced in late May 2020 to protect Hungarian strategic sectors during the COVID-19 period. This second regime was fine-tuned in the middle of June, 2020 and then again at the end of October, 2020. The notification obligation under the second regime is applicable to relevant transactions made before June 30, 2021.