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Allen & Overy has advised Oesterreichische Kontrollbank on its USD 1.75 billion issuance of 0.5% guaranteed global notes due 2024.

Clifford Chance has advised a consortium of banks consisting of BNP Paribas Bank Polska, Bank Pekao, and mBank on their EUR 140 million financing for Clip Group subsidiary Clip Logistyka. Allen & Overy advised Clip on the deal.

Karanovic & Partners has announced it entered into an agreement with Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats to provide ongoing pro bono legal support on contracts, scholarships, and copyright matters.

SPCG has advised Enterprise Investors' private equity fund on the acquisition of a 36.3% stake in Polish utility container manufacturer Modular System. Gessel advised the seller on the transaction.

TGS Baltic has advised Lithuanian Aid for Business Fund investor UAB Valstybes Investicinis Kapitalas on establishing its EUR 400 million state-guaranteed note program and placing the inaugural EUR 30 million issuance. Luminor bank covered the issuance.

Sorainen, working with Herbert Smith Freehills, has advised Certares on its EUR 300 million structured equity investment into the Avia Solutions Group. Magnusson, working with White & Case and Cyprus-based Antis Triantafyllides & Sons, advised ASG on the deal.

PPG Lawyers has advised HeleCloud on its sale to SoftwareOne. Fieldfisher also advised HeleCloud on the deal, while Wolf Theiss and Pinsent Masons reportedly advised SoftwareOne.

Grant Thornton has advised Unifoil Corporation on its acquisition of Achilles Polska. 

Harrisons has advised the EBRD on two loans to Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad – one for EUR 25 million under the Resilience Framework and one for EUR 5 million under the SME Competitiveness Support Programme.

Morgan Lewis has advised Kazakh investment company Pioneer Capital Invest on the acquisition of JSC Asian-Pacific Bank from the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

Dentons has successfully represented Koleje Mazowieckie before the Warsaw Regional Court in a dispute with Stadler Polska.

Allen & Overy has advised Accolade Fund SICAV on the up to EUR 120 million refinancing of its entire Czech real estate portfolio provided by Ceskoslovenska Obchodni Banka and UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia. Dentons advised the lenders on the transaction.

Petr Soucek has joined Kinstellar's Prague office as a Managing Associate and Head of the local Dispute Resolution practice.

EY Romania affiliated law firm Radu si Asociatii has become Bancila, Diaconu si Asociatii, with two Partners at the helm: Radu Diaconu and Emanuel Bancila.

Former ARC Avukatlik Burosu Managing Partner Cemal Araalan has joined Bezen & Partners as a Partner and Head of Litigation.

Dmitry Kuptsov has been promoted to Partner with Alrud's Dispute Resolution and Restructuring and Insolvency practices.

Przemyslaw Furmaga has joined Crido Legal as Partner and will head the firm’s M&A Practice. Also joining with Furmaga are Senior Associates Aleksandra Czarnecka and Andrzej Dunikowski.

Natalie Hahn will join the Employment practice of Eisenberger + Herzog as a Partner starting October 1, 2021.

Turkish litigation-focused law firm Bozkurt Bozkurt has opened an office in New York. The new office will be headed by the firm’s US resident Partner Gokhan Bozkurt. The firm's Istanbul office will continue to be managed by Partner Mustafa Bozkurt.

Gide’s Warsaw office Head of Capital Markets Robert Dulewicz has left the firm and the legal services sector, the law firm announced.

Mihaela Nyerges has joined Romanian firm Vlasceanu, Ene & Partners as a Partner.

Norton Rose Fulbright has announced it is forming a new alliance with Turkish firm Pekin Bayar Mizrahi. The international firm's former affiliated law firm in Turkey will continue to be part of its enlarged team.

Rafal Zakrzewski has joined CMS as a Partner in Poland, accompanied by a team of three lawyers.

As of September 1, 2021, Hugh Owen joined PwC as Of Counsel, M&A.

With respect to the evaluation of the success of the incorporation of certain provisions of the Hungarian Civil Code in the practice and the regulatory proposals developed by the case law, the amendment of the Civil Code has become necessary, therefore, at the end of June 2021, an act amending the Hungarian Civil Code has been published.

The NFT market is still relatively new and volatile, but its potential is huge. Christie's managed to auction an NFT linked to an artwork for over USD 69 million this March, proving that NFTs are a new asset class that can carry significant value. A value, that needs protection just like any other asset class.

On 2 September 2021 Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) announced a 225 million euro fine for WhatsApp and ordered the company to amend its practices within three months. It is the largest fine ever from the DPC, and the second-highest under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The European Commission approved the creation of a new synthetic securitisation product under the EU State aid regulation. The new product is in the form of guarantees on synthetic securitisation tranches to help companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in the 22 participating Member States (i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden). The product is under the European Guarantee Fund and managed by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB Group). The dedicated budget is EUR 1.4 billion, however, it is expected to mobilise at least EUR 13 billion of new lending to companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Employees may have access to important and confidential information related to the employer, including the company’s operations, clientele and trade secrets. Use of such information without employer’s knowledge may harm the legitimate interests of the employer. In this respect, an employee should not compete with his/her employer according to the duty of fidelity during the term of the employment agreement. As this is a statutory duty imposed on the employee, there is no need for such non-compete obligation to be explicitly set out in the employment agreement.

COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly brought significant changes not only to the everyday life of citizens but also to the operations of business entities, i.e. to the way of establishing and conducting the work process.

With the implementation deadline for the EU Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law (17 December 2021) approaching, here is a summary of the current state of the respective national measures in the Czech Republic and Slovakia and an introduction to our own whistleblowing solution: FairWhistle.

The Austrian Cartel and Competition Law Amendment Act 2021 (KaWeRÄG 2021) will introduce – in part substantial – amendments to the Austrian merger control regime as of 1 January 2022. The amendment originated in the context of the implementation of the ECN+ Directive. However, the Austrian legislator seized the opportunity to, among other things, refine the Austrian merger control regime by introducing a second domestic turnover threshold and implementing the SIEC test, as well as to strengthen the FDI screening mechanism.

Let me start with a provocative statement: it is really easy and safe to do business in Ukraine today. As discussed in the article below, this is not a naive view of a Ukrainian lawyer but pure facts and statistics. Moreover, if you compare Ukraine with its neighbors, the contrast is startling: information transparency of companies coupled with super-fast registration procedures and special regime for IT companies are astonishing.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, on 6 August 2021 the Hungarian Government issued Decree No. 474/2021 on the different application of the Patent Act (Act XXXIII of 1995). According to the decree, patent applications filed after the entry into force of this decree will not be subject to a maintenance fee for the first three years of patent protection. The decree was promulgated on 6 August 2021 and will remain in force until the end of the state of emergency related to COVID-19.

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Law on Consumer Protection (“Law”) on 09 September 2021. The main reason for adopting the amendments to the current law lies in providing a higher level of consumer protection and trying to apply it more actively, in relation to the Law from 2014 and its subsequent amendments from 2016 and 2018. The most prominent novelty concerns direct marketing by telephone, ie the introduction of the “do not call” register. The “do not call” register is a list of landline and mobile telephone numbers of consumers who do not want to receive calls and / or messages as part of the promotion, marketing and / or sale by telephone.

In 2020, Ukraine’s government awarded the first two concessions in the history of Ukraine – 35-year concessions of the assets of Kherson and Olvia, two significant ports on the Black Sea. Building on this success, in October 2020, the government made a media splash by releasing a roadmap for further public private partnership (PPP) projects and held various promotion events since then.

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The Czech Republic is experiencing strong positive winds, irrespective of the severity with which the pandemic struck, and there are things aplenty to be happy about, according to Kocian Solc Balastik Partner Dagmar Dubecka.

On June 14, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the former DLA Piper office in Ukraine had merged with Kinstellar. We spoke with Co-Managing Partners Olena Kuchynska, Margarita Karpenko, and Senior Counsel Daniel Bilak – the Management Committee of the combined team – to learn more about the merger and their plans going forward.

On August 19, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised Montonio on raising EUR 2.5 million from Tera Ventures, as well as ffVC, Superangel, Practica, 365.fintech, Startup Wise Guys, and a number of business angels. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Rasmus Oisma, Director at Montonio Finance, to learn more about the matter.