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McDermott Will & Emery has advised German automotive supplier Borges on its restructuring. Latham & Watkins acts as coordinating counsel to the bank syndicate on the restructuring, with the Prague and Warsaw offices of Clifford Chance advising the syndicate and Dentons lawyers in Frankfurt and Berlin advising Bank Ceska Sporitelna.

DGKV has advised Patisha AD, a Bulgarian infrastructure construction company, on the sale of a 90% stake in the company to Zavodski Stroeji PS Pazardzhik EAD, a construction company in the Pazardzhik region of Southern Bulgaria.

JPM has advised C.D Holding Internationale SAS, Groupe UP on its entrance into a partnership with the current owners of Serbian company Emergo Sport, which operates under the FitPass brand. Emergo Sport was advised by Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners.

SSW Pragmatic Solutions has advised Unilink Group on the acquisition of the Consultia group. Warsaw's Doktor Jerszynski Pietras law firm advised Consultia on the deal.

ODI has advised Turkish aircraft management and rental company Rey Airlines on the winding up of its Rey Airlines Europe LLC JV, which it established in partnership with a private individual in Skopje in 2016.

Alrud has advised Russia's state-owned VTB bank on the acquisition of more than 70% of shares in grain trading company Mirogroup Resources.

Estonia's Coop Pank has selected Ellex Raidla to assist with it preparations for its upcoming IPO.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner, working with Linklaters, Wolf Theiss, and Gleiss Lutz, achieved the successful implementation of a "Company Voluntary Agreement," paving the way for the financial restructuring of the Steinhoff Group. Binder Groesswang and Allen & Overy advised the international creditor coordinating committee consisting of banks and funds. Latham & Watkins and Dorda advised the Secondary creditor committee, while Eisenberger & Herzog and Kirkland & Ellis advised the convertible bondholder.

BPV Huegel has worked with lead counsels Herbert Smith Freehills and Proskauer Rose in advising AnaCap Financial Partners on the sale of its majority shareholding in its German fintech business, the Heidelpay Group, to US investment firm KKR.

Dominik Geyer has been promoted to Partner at bpv Huegel and will co-head its Real Estate division with Partner Michaela Pelinka.

Former K&L Gates Partner Michal Petz has re-joined White & Case Warsaw as a Local Partner, bringing Senior Associates Wanda Kudrycka and Artur Kloc along with him.

Former Schoenherr Partner Florian Kusznier will be joining the Corporate/M&A team of Wolf Theiss at the beginning of September 2019.

Former McGregor & Partners Partner Asya Vladimirova has joined the IP practice at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. in Sofia.

Former Cellum Group Legal Director Balazs Ferenczy has joined the Kapolyi Law Firm.

Dorda has established a multidisciplinary Digital Industries Group, led by Partner Axel Anderl.

Corporate/M&A lawyer Magdalena Nasilowska has made Partner at Baker McKenzie Poland.

Tax and Disputes specialist Anna Peczyk-Tofel and Transfer Pricing expert Michal Szwed have been promoted to partner at Crido.

Attorney Ilya Dedkovskiy has been appointed Head of the Bankruptcy practice at the KIAP law firm in Moscow.

Turkish Constitutional Court granted a decision on April 17, 2019 regarding an applicant’s claims on violation of his freedom of expression and press due to access ban of a news article (which is taken from a newspaper) posted by his social media account with the comment “Interesting confession from the judge of the July 22th investigation”. The decision was published on the Official Gazette on May 15, 2019. The Constitutional Court accepted the applicant’s claim by stating that the access ban of the news article violated the applicant’s right to freedom of expression and press.

A common solution to the chronic workforce shortage seen in the entire region nowadays is that one company provides labour to another. However, one should be careful with these agreements: depending on the circumstances, the tax authority (NAV) may reclassify these contracts, which could result in major tax expenses.

BIFIDEX (Business and Financial Data Exchange) is the service delivery platform of the Regional Business Registry Portal (RBRP) which, as of March 2019, has officially started operating. This portal offers transparent and easy access to information regarding the companies in the Western Balkan countries.

By outsourcing production of major parts of car components, carmakers have also outsourced a substantial amount of their financing needs and associated risks to their suppliers. Still, despite rather slim margins, the prospect of a fairly stable cash flow over a number of years has made the automotive supplier business viable in the past. However, this viability is becoming questionable. This is visible in the number of struggling or even insolvent suppliers, the German group Eisenmann being a very recent example.

The draft of the new Act on Trademarks will be on public debate until August 13, 2019. The need for enacting the new Trademark Act is twofold. Firstly, the problems and experiences in the day to day appliance of the provisions of the current Trademark Act need to be implemented in the new text. Additionally, the trademark system in Serbia needs to be made compliant with the EU Directive 2004/48/EZ.

On 27 June 2019 the Commission on the Protection of Competition (CPC) issued a decision in which it penalised funeral agency Elida MG EOOD (formerly Pokoy-1945 EOOD) for failing to comply with an earlier CPC decision. Such cases in which an undertaking fails to comply with a CPC decision and is therefore fined again are extremely rare due to the substantial pecuniary penalties which may be imposed on violators.

The amendment to the Law on Radio and Television Broadcasts (“RT Law”), which was published in the Official Gazette of March 28, 2018, regulated broadcasting services (i.e. radio, television and on-demand broadcasts) provided through internet and required these services and their providers (media service providers and platform operators) to be under the supervision and authority of Radio and Television Supreme Council’s (“RTUK”). The Regulation provides detailed information regarding this process.

In the shadow of Brexit negotiations, the European Parliament agreed on 14 February 2019 to set up an EU level tool to screen FDIs on grounds of security or public order to protect sectors. The new "Regulation (EU) 2019/452 establishing a framework for screening of foreign direct investments into the European Union" (EU-FDI Regulation) shall apply from 11 October 2020 and be binding in its entirety as well as directly applicable in all member states.

The Government of Montenegro, at the session of February 7, 2019, passed Decision about The Privatization Plan for 2019 which is published in the Official Gazette No. 013/19 of 01, March 2019 and it came into force on 9, April of the same year.

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According to JPM Senior Partner Jelena Gazivoda, Serbian law firms are doing well these days. "We are all very busy these past few months, which is good,” she says. "Notwithstanding the fact that there are different comments in newspapers, we are not really feeling any bad signs. In fact, we are all participating in some significant transactions, making us really busy.”

Simona Marin is an English- and New York-qualified partner in CMS’s International Finance team in Bucharest, where she focuses on project finance, real estate finance and other financing structures, both syndicated and bilateral, secured and unsecured. Simona has over ten years’ experience advising on a broad range of high-profile financings and projects throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

Igor Andries is the Head of Legal & Regulatory at Orange Moldova.

On July 25, 2019, CEE Legal Matters reported that Competera, a Ukrainian pricing platform for e-commerce and omni-channel retailers, had established its headquarters in the United States. We reached out to Competera's Senior Legal Counsel Denis Boshko for details.