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In April 2018 the Office for the Protection of Competition adopted new guidelines on the method of setting fines for competition law infringements,(1) noting that the need for a revision of the previous guidelines had emerged in the wake of developing case law, as well as amendments to the Act on the Protection of Competition.

The legal regulation of transactions with virtual currencies and Initial Coin Offerings / Initial Token Offerings is a topic of ever more frequent discussion in the Czech Republic. The ano-nymity of cryptocurrency transactions has been reduced by the introduction of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules, while the Czech regulator’s approach to the regulation of trading with virtual currencies is very liberal.

Ever since the CEE market opened for private practice CEE lawyers have sought to work on international mandates in collaboration with international lead counsels. Apart from the obvious (we take an oath to serve justice, but it is no secret that we also in fact work for money), the benefits of this cooperation also include the opportunity to draw on the international counsel’s expertise, particularly in transactional work. Such cooperation has greatly influenced the work of local counsel. Those who seized the opportunity had a steep learning curve and developed their practices to a level that is generally referred to, mostly in lawyers’ own pitches, as reaching an “international standard.”

The Austrian Insolvency Code provides for the possibility to challenge certain disadvantageous transactions carried out by the debtor after material insolvency has occurred, especially if the creditor knew or should have known of its debtor's material insolvency. This risk of legal actions being contested is of particularly high relevance for shareholders who are also creditors of the debtor company, as the Austrian Supreme Court recently decided that shareholders' information rights would result in an increased level of due diligence. The decision also imposes an additional risk for start-up equity incentive programmes.

To enable decisions to be passed efficiently, the Companies Law (31/1990) created flexible mechanisms and procedures allowing specific shareholder powers to be delegated to a company's management. Such mechanisms have been successfully implemented by a vast number of companies and have enabled them to expedite corporate changes concerning their main characteristics (eg, corporate seat, scope of business and share capital).

The Hungarian Government recently adopted Act no. LVII of 2018 on the Control of Investments Detrimental to the Interests of Hungarian National Security (the "Act"). Previously we wrote about a similar legislative proposal [see here] (the "Proposal") which aimed at establishing a similar control mechanism. However, the Act has a more sophisticated approach on the control and approval procedure than the earlier proposal had. Pursuant to the Act, investors from outside the EU, Switzerland and EEA countries who wish to invest in Hungary must obtain prior approval from the minister to be designated by a governmental decree ("Minister") which has not yet been adopted.

The internship contract is an alternative tool by which a company provides a student or trainee the opportunity to work in the company to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in a specific field, with a view to possible employment after the internship is complete. The template documents necessary to put into practice the recent rules introduced to Romanian legislation in August 2018, have been approved and can now be used by companies active in Romania.

With Decision No.1046 issued on 20 September 2018, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") gave the green light to the acquisition of Rapido Express and Logistics OOD by its competitor Speedy AD, in accordance with Article 26(1) of the Act for the Protection of Competition (the "APC").

If anyone needed a wakeup call as to how critical a functioning compliance system and culture is, look no further than the recent reports in the Austrian media about allegations of fraud launched against a surgeon working at one of Vienna's most renowned public-sector hospitals. Accusations surfaced in July that the surgeon had falsified operating room records: claiming to be in surgery at the respective hospital, while actually performing surgery in another, privately-held hospital.

“Over the past few months we have witnessed a serious decline in the number of arbitration cases in Romania,” reports Sebastian Gutiu, Managing Partner at Schoenherr Bucharest, who adds that the recent introduction of local arbitration rules and other legislative changes may help reverse the trend.

One year has passed since the Act on Counteracting the Unfair Use of Contractual Advantage in the Trade of Agricultural and Food Products entered into force. The act aimed to protect small farmers and grocery suppliers from the abuse of power by large supermarkets and chain stores. During the past year, the Office for Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP):

In recent years, the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) has seemingly aimed to foster cooperation between itself and market participants. Recent case law shows that the HCA strives for cooperation even when market participants allegedly commit grave infringements of the competition rules. Market participants are advised to harness this tendency and the HCA's willingness to reach decisions more efficiently. This article examines a number of recent cases and the lessons learned.

BDK Advokati and Kirkland & Ellis have advised BC Partners on its agreement to acquire a majority stake in United Group B.V. from KKR, which retains a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

Representatives of more than sixty law firms from across Central and Eastern Europe and from as far away as the United States, United Kingdom, and China came together in Prague on June 6, 2018, for the first ever Dealer’s Choice international law firm conference and CEE Deal of the Year Awards Banquet.

After a valuable and information-rich day of panel discussions on important business development and law firm management topics, participants reconvened that evening (and were joined by several dozen newcomers) at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Annual Banquet and Deal of the Year Awards Ceremony – a celebration of CEE’s legal markets and the lawyers who work within them. Awards were presented for 17 qualifying markets in CEE – plus a surprise award for overall CEE Deal of the Year – with many of the lawyers playing key roles in nominated deals joining the celebration.

We can only imagine how big the surprise must be when you find out that your Belgium-based office is being raided in an investigation by the Romanian Competition Authority. But it is a fact that the Romanian Competition Council (the "RCC") got a taste of cross-border raids.

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