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As of tomorrow, the traditional Austrian bakery Aida, which is known for its staff dressed in baby pink, will sell brownies containing CBD. The price will be EUR 4.20 – an inside joke, since "four-twenty" is code for the consumption of cannabis. The fact that an old-school, stuffy bakery like Aida is now jumping on the cannabis bandwagon is a clear sign that CBD products have arrived in the mainstream. In fact, there is a growing interest in CBD-containing products made from hemp throughout Europe.

“This fall Moldova is facing parliamentary elections and so, for the moment, we are just coping with the current political reality and trying to keep a record of all the new legislation – which the Parliament is passing at quite a fast pace,” reports Vladimir Iurkovski, Managing Attorney at Law at Schoenherr Moldova.

“It’s never boring in Bulgaria – we always have some hot topics to handle,” says Stefana Tsekova, Partner at Schoenherr Bulgaria, who reports that on August 10 the country’s trade registry collapsed and remained unavailable for 18 days, causing a “total nightmare for the business sector.”

Eisenberger & Herzog, in cooperation with the London office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, has advised a group of creditors of Steinhoff Holdings’ subsidiary Hemisphere Properties on its sale of Kika/Leiner property assets in Austria and several other CEE countries to the Signa Group. Steinhoff was counseled by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner and Gleiss Lutz, and Hemisphere was advised by Clifford Chance and Wolf Theiss. The Signa Group was advised by Arnold, while Kika/Leiner was represented by Schoenherr, Urbanek Lind Schmied Reisch, and Preslmayr.

In July 2017 the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency initiated proceedings against Renault (which operates as RENAULT NISSAN SLOVENIJA doo). The company was suspected of treating authorised mechanics and independent mechanics differently, which gave the agency grounds to believe that Renault had abused its dominant position (for further details please see "Automotive industry again under scrutiny by Competition Protection Agency"). In response, Renault proposed remedies in an attempt to address the agency's concerns and eliminate the alleged anti-competitive effects on the market. In November 2017 the agency published Renault's proposed commitments online and invited third parties to comment and make suggestions.

Until recently, Romanian companies could distribute dividends to shareholders only on an annual basis and on approval of their annual financial statements at the end of each financial year. This paradigm has changed and companies can now opt to distribute their dividends annually or quarterly.

When acquiring a company owning real estate or an independent property, a check of the seller’s title to the real estate is an integral part of the due diligence process. The scope of the due diligence that is necessary is about to be narrowed.

Start-Ups represent a unique subset of clients for major law firms, as they are often unable to pay the fees those firms generally require, but – particularly in the tech sector – hold out the potential of significant profitability down the road. Intrigued by the unique challenges and opportunities for law firms offering their services to these cash-poor but potential-high clients, we invited partners from four prominent law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to share their strategies and experiences with Start-ups with us in the offices of Kocian Solc Balastik in Prague. KSB Partner Christian Blatchford moderated the conversation. 

Generally, foreigners in Moldova have the same rights and freedoms as Moldovan citizens. This general rule applies, inter alia, to acquisitions by foreigners of immovable assets. In other words, Moldovan legislation does not require that foreign individuals or legal entities obtain any permits to acquire land plots in the country beyond those required for Moldovan citizens. However, certain exceptions and requirements apply when it comes to land acquisition.

According to the latest statistics, Romanian tax authorities rank transfer pricing ("TP") high on their agenda. Companies are increasingly aware of the risks they face unless they have the TP documentation ready when asked by the tax inspectors, yet many fail to take action in due time.

Shortly after the expiry of the 9 June 2018 deadline, the Hungarian parliament has finally adopted the new act on the protection of trade secrets ("Trade Secrets Act") which will transpose the Trade Secrets Directive EU 2016/943 into national law.

End of July, the Austrian Data Protection Authority ('DPA') published its first decision on retention periods applying the General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR'; DSB-D216.471/0001-DSB/2018). The decision is final. The DPA had to decide for which period a provider of telecommunications services (hereinafter: the 'controller') may (respectively must) retain so called master data, required for the controller's legal relationship with the user of its services (hereinafter: the 'applicant').

The Hungarian Parliament has recently adopted legislation with the aim of harmonising the national data protection rules with the rules of the GDPR, and supplementing the national rules in areas not regulated by the GDPR. The Parliament adopted Act XXXVIII of 2018 ("Amendment") in an extraordinary session and the new regulations entered into force on 26 July 2018.

Following up on Efficient Arbitration – Part 2: Launching an Efficient Arbitration, where we addressed efficiency tools available at the early stages, we now provide an overview of options to save time and costs up until the award. As we continue our efficiency series, we will zone in on a selection of efficiency tools and discuss our experience using them.

On 19 July, 2018 the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition (the "CPC") prohibited two concentrations. The first being the sale of the second largest media conglomerate in Bulgaria, Nova Broadcasting Group AD ("Nova Broadcasting"), (owner of Nova TV), to PPF Bidco, (owned by Czech businessman Petr Kellner), and secondly the sale of CEZ's assets in Bulgaria, which include its energy distribution business, trade business and some small renewable energy parks to a Bulgarian company, Inercom, which maintains three solar power stations in the country.

Fighting against cartels has always been crucial to protecting fair competition and fostering economic growth. A proper leniency program is an important instrument for the competition authorities, allowing them to uncover and penalize such anticompetitive conduct.

Schoenherr at a Glance

Schoenherr is a leading full-service law firm providing local and international companies stellar advice that is straight to the point. With 15 offices and 4 country desks Schoenherr has a firm footprint in Central and Eastern Europe. Our lawyers are recognised leaders in their specialised areas and have a track record of getting deals done with a can-do, solution-oriented approach. Quality, flexibility, innovation and practical problem-solving in complex commercial mandates are at the core of our philosophy.

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