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The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

Unlike those of its neighbours to the East, Austria’s economy was allowed to operate free of communist interference, allowing the country to hit well above its weight, comparatively-speaking. Thus, although Austria is the 11th biggest country in CEE in population, with 8.7 million people, it has the third largest economy, behind only Russia and Poland. And these days, with the global financial crisis now firmly in the rearview mirror, the country is once again able to capitalize on its happy geographical positioning and historical relationship with the former members of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners at law firms across the region important questions about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was your favorite course in law school, and why?

Wolf Theiss, working with Italian offices of Dentons, has advised the shareholders of Lifebrain, an Italian laboratory diagnostics services operator, on the cross-border sale of its shares to an investment subsidiary of Investindustrial VI L.P.  Investindustria, which was advised by Italy's Chiomenti law firm, with CHSH acting as local counsel for Austria, now owns 96% of Lifebrain.

Wolf Theiss has advised Raiffeisen-Landesbank Steiermark AG on the issuance of EUR 500 million Mortgage Backed Bonds under its Bonds and Certificates offering program. The Joint Lead Managers were DZ BANK AG, Deutsche Zentral-Genossenschaftsbank Frankfurt am Main, Erste Group Bank AG, Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, and UniCredit Bank AGm and were advised by Weber Rechtsanwalte.

CMS Prague has announced that Libor Prokes was promoted to Partner on May 1, 2018. Prokes focuses on real estate transactional work, including property sales and acquisitions, as well as leasing and constructions matters.

Update on Hungary's solar boom – significant benefit to photovoltaic projects licensed under mandatory offtake system upon applications submitted before 2017.

The western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia share the desire to join the European Union. Two of these countries — Albania and Macedonia — are particularly close to accession. we spoke to several lawyers to learn more about how accession could affect the business landscape and the work of lawyers in the two countries.

Kosovo declared its independence on February 17, 2008, nine years after the 1999 conclusion of its conflict with Serbia, during which time it operated under the protection of the United Nation Mission in Kosovo. The post-war climate in the country was full of hopes for new beginnings, and in 2008 the newly sovereign state began the process of establishing effective and fair legislation, developing an independent economy, and building a protective environment for its citizens. 

Wolf Theiss has advised Bitpanda on the legal structuring of an Initial Coin Offering related to the company’s launch of its new open-source research project, Pantos.

Wolf Theiss at a Glance

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.

Firm's website: http://www.wolftheiss.com/