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While the economy appears to have been doing better, on the back of infrastructural development, the internal judicial reorganization is leaving Albania in a bit of a bind, according to CMS Partner Besnik Duraj.

Wolf Theiss and Yavuz & Uyanik & Akalin have advised 4iG Nyrt on the acquisition of an 80.27% stake in AlbTelecom from a subsidiary of Turkey's Calik Holding. Tashko Pustina reportedly advised the sellers. The deal was cleared by the Albanian Competition Authority on March 4, 2022.

CEE Legal Matters readers will likely be familiar with Patricia Gannon as one of the founders of Karanovic & Partners. Since her withdrawal from the firm (reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2020), Gannon ran her own "holistic strategic advisory business" (as reported on October 12, 2020) and, recently, she announced she is working on a new social media app for lawyers – Platforum 9. We caught up with her to learn more about her new project.

Cerha Hempel has advised Red-Stars.com Data AG company Freeeway on a financing round leading to the closure of its pre-series A round.

Brandl Talos has advised Austrian battery diagnostics start-up Aviloo on an equity investment by the European Innovation Council Fund and Raiffeisen's Invest Unternehmensbeteiligungs AG. Binder Groesswang advised the EIC Fund and PHH advised Invest AG.

CMS has advised a group of investors on a Sofina-led EUR 220 million series D financing round for the Rohlik Group. White & Case advised the Rohlik Group. Linklaters reportedly advised Sofina. Pierstone reportedly advised some of the investors.

Belarus's Revera law firm has teamed up with Adamante Management to open the firm's Cyprus office.

On July 9, 2021, substantial amendments to Belarusian currency legislation entered into force. We will briefly review the key amendments.

Economic optimism in the face of adversity, the introduction of English law instruments, and some new potential for growth are the highlights in Belarus, according to Aleinikov & Partners Senior Partner Denis Aleinikov.

Feeling the repercussions of global economic issues, Bosnia & Herzegovina finds itself in a more or less usual position in unusual times – with an upcoming general election this fall and swaths of legislative developments seeking to reshuffle the landscape in which lawyers operate, according to Dimitrijevic & Partners Partner Stevan Dimitrijevic.

Sajic has successfully represented the interests of Elektroprenos BiH in a commercial dispute worth over BAM 30.5 million with Elektroprivreda Hrvatske Zajednice Herceg Bosne before the Republika Srpska Supreme Court.

Sajic has advised M-Energetika on its EUR 3 million acquisition of the Energo Company in Republika Srpska, BiH.

Eversheds Sutherland has announced it is combining with Sofia-based "long-standing relationship firm" Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners, as of June 22, 2022.

Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners has advised on the preparation of the new Bulgarian Covered Bonds Act. 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Savoric & Partners, and Filip & Company have advised Borealis on a binding offer for its nitrogen business from the Agrofert group. Wolf Theiss advised Agrofert. Oppenheim, Boyanov & Co, and PRK Partners reportedly advised Borealis as well.

Schoenherr has announced that Croatian cooperating firm Mandaric & Einwalter's Partners Vice Mandaric and Ivan Einwalter have been appointed as Local Partners with Schoenherr’s Croatian office.

Croatia's business landscape and GDP remain quite unaffected by the war-related crises, with the country's energy market and tech sectors growing, according to Batarelo Dvojkovic Vuchetich Partner Laurenz Vuchetich.

A topic that has recently been the subject of discussion and reflection is the position of trademarks –protected brands used in trade to mark products and services in the Metaverse, with the question of whether such existing trademarks have protection in this new digital market.

Bryan Wilson has stepped down from his firm to join Dual Asset as Head of CEE.

Clifford Chance has advised Europa Capital on the acquisition of the D2 Logistics Park project together with partner White Star Real Estate. Dentons advised the undisclosed seller.

Schoenherr has advised Ondrej Zita on his sale of OptimNet Solutions and OptimNet Solutions SK to the Hellmann Worldwide Logistics group. BDO Legal reportedly advised the buyer.

Kyriakides Georgopoulos has advised Danone SA and Numil Hellas SA on their corporate restructuring, with Numil Hellas absorbing Danone's business in Greece.

A number of jurisdictions provide residency or even citizenship options against certain investments. Greece was one of the last countries to introduce a similar offering. An EU member state as well as a country of the Schengen area, Greece embodies the rule of law and the democratic principles of Western democracies, all in idyllic surroundings.

Lambadarios Law Firm has advised Athens Water Supply and Sewerage Company (Eydap) on an international tender procedure for the award of a five-year services agreement regarding the operation and maintenance of Psyttalia Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP).

A new tax regime and extended price cap regulations are aimed at addressing Hungary's high inflation rates and growing energy prices, while the economic prognosis for the autumn and winter seems gloomy, according to Nagy & Trocsanyi Managing Partner Peter Berethalmi.

CMS has advised a group of investors on a Sofina-led EUR 220 million series D financing round for the Rohlik Group. White & Case advised the Rohlik Group. Linklaters reportedly advised Sofina. Pierstone reportedly advised some of the investors.

The Budapest Chamber of Commerce (“BCC”) in May 2022 proposed the change of the system of the itemised tax of small businesses (“KATA”). The main goals of the change are to keep the advantages of the system, but also to prevent and eliminate unlawful tax avoidance.

Pohla & Hallmagi has successfully represented Estonian official distributor of Electrolux professional industrial kitchen appliances Farwell Kaubandus before the Estonian Public Procurement Dispute Board.

PwC Legal has advised certification service provider SK ID Solutions on a five-year concession contract with the Estonian Information System Authority to continue the Mobile-ID service.

Sorainen has advised Livonia Partners and their joint venture with the target’s management on the acquisition of Stebby.

CEE Legal Matters readers will likely be familiar with Patricia Gannon as one of the founders of Karanovic & Partners. Since her withdrawal from the firm (reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2020), Gannon ran her own "holistic strategic advisory business" (as reported on October 12, 2020) and, recently, she announced she is working on a new social media app for lawyers – Platforum 9. We caught up with her to learn more about her new project.

The recent legislative amendments regulating commercial courts, e-signatures, intellectual property, and oil products trading are the major updates in Kosovo, according to RPHS Law Managing Partner Kushtrim Palushi.

On April 5, 2022, leading lawyers from across all of CEE will be coming together for the Dealer's Choice Conference and Deals of the Years Awards Banquet. Leading up to the event, we spoke with Vladimir Rangeloff of Kambourov & Partners to learn what they are looking forward to the most.

The pandemic-related consequences and the reluctance of Scandinavian funds to invest in the Baltic states, with Latvia being considered a potential war zone, led to the re-evaluation of the country's most active sectors, according to Triniti Latvia Director of Business Development Eriks Blumbergs.

Skrastins & Dzenis has successfully represented the insolvent PNB Banka in five arbitration proceedings at the London Court of International Arbitration, with the bank's claims against its shareholders amounting to about EUR 50 million.

Sorainen’s Latvian office has successfully represented Sia Prolux in challenging the negotiation procedure for the “Delivery and installation of kitchen equipment at the Jelgava state municipality educational institution Jelgava Technology Secondary School” at Meiju Road 9, Jelgava, organized by the Jelgava city municipality and held at the Procurement Monitoring Bureau.

Motieka & Audzevicius, working with Osborne Clarke, has advised the Orion Private Equity Debt Fund I on the EUR 7 million acquisition of secured mezzanine bonds issued by Austrian real estate developer Soini Asset to finance its real estate projects in Germany. Fieldfisher reportedly advised Soini Asset.

Stable markets and an increase in start-up and tech sector professionals are looking good for Lithuania right now, but there are some standing hurdles within competition regulations that could stifle the free movement and growth of business, according to Cobalt Partner Elijus Burgis.

Sorainen has successfully represented basketball club Zalgiris in a case against the Lithuanian Competition Council before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.

ODI Law has advised NeoGames on the acquisition of Aspire Global through a recommended public offer. Reportedly, Latham & Watkins, Herzog Fox & Neeman, Hannes Snellman, Allen & Overy, and Camilleri Preziosi advised NeoGames as well. Baker McKenzie reportedly advised Aspire Global.

Contributed by Law Office Emil Miftari.

Some signs of political instability on the path to European Union accession for North Macedonia, rising inflation, and several interesting upcoming legislative changes are on the ticket for the Balkan country, according to Lalicic & Boskoski Partner Martin Boskoski.

Contributed by Dolea & Co.

Energy prices have been a salient issue in CEE for the past year. Part 1 of this article covered just how high the energy prices had climbed in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, and Turkey, the impact of those prices on people, businesses, and governments, as well as the reasons why some countries fared better than others. Then Russia’s war against Ukraine changed everything, making a new energy pricing normal seem more distant than ever. In Part 2 we look at what energy experts believe could alleviate the situation and whether the war has impacted those plans.

Current geopolitical events might revolutionize Moldova’s energy industry, with progress being made on both legal and technical mechanisms, according to Dolea & Co Managing Attorney Sorin Dolea.

Montenegro is a popular destination these days for IT businesses seeking to relocate primarily from the countries currently at war, with its tourism and real estate sectors growing again, according to Radonjic/Associates Managing Partner Vladimir Radonjic.

Dentons' Rob Irving Talks About The Deal of the Year in Montenegro – 4iG PLC’sAcquisition of Telenor Montenegro from PPF Group.

Energy prices have been a salient issue in CEE for the past year. Part 1 of this article covered just how high the energy prices had climbed in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, and Turkey, the impact of those prices on people, businesses, and governments, as well as the reasons why some countries fared better than others. Then Russia’s war against Ukraine changed everything, making a new energy pricing normal seem more distant than ever. In Part 2 we look at what energy experts believe could alleviate the situation and whether the war has impacted those plans.

Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak, working with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, has advised Xior Student Housing on the Polish leg of its EUR 939 million acquisition of 5,341 residential units from the Basecamp Group and European Student Housing Funds I and II. Paul Hastings advised Basecamp. Denmark's Moalem Weitemeyer and Sweden's Vinge reportedly advised Xior as well, while Germany's FPS Fritze Wicke Seelig reportedly advised Basecamp.

Clifford Chance has advised a consortium of lenders including DNB Bank, PZU, and Santander Bank Polska on a facilities agreement with DIF Capital Partners-owned SPVs for the construction and operation of a 108-megawatt wind portfolio consisting of four wind farms. Allen & Overy reportedly advised the borrowers.

DLA Piper has advised the Avallon MBO Fund II and the Genesis Private Equity Fund III on their sale of Stangl Technik Holding to Spie Central Europe. Baker McKenzie advised the buyer.

CMS has advised a group of investors on a Sofina-led EUR 220 million series D financing round for the Rohlik Group. White & Case advised the Rohlik Group. Linklaters reportedly advised Sofina. Pierstone reportedly advised some of the investors.

Ijdelea & Associates has provided legal assistance to Black Sea Oil & Gas and its co-venture partners in obtaining the Upstream Pipeline Operating License for the Midia Gas Development Project (MDG) from the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE).

Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu has advised the Engie Group on its sale of an 80% stake in Flashnet to the Lucy Group. Dentons advised the buyer.

The truth is rarely pure and never simple. But in the case of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, it just might be. Russia breached Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, which prohibits the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. Russia's acts have prompted the EU, the UK and the US to impose economic sanctions, such as freezing assets and disconnecting Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments network. Whilst the number of private businesses that are halting their activities in Russia is steadily growing, Russia has adopted a law paving the way for expropriations of assets of foreign firms that leave the country following economic sanctions. But what can foreign companies do if Russia proceeds to take their assets, if they are unable to freely transfer returns from investments out of Russia or if their profits collapse?

Baker McKenzie and DLA Piper have joined the plethora of firms announcing their exit from the Russian market.

Debevoise & Plimpton, Dentons, Dechert, and CMS have announced they are closing their Russian offices and exiting the market.

Ulcar & Partners and Zivkovic Samardzic have advised the TCH Industrial Group on the sale of Cimos and its subsidiaries to Mutares. CMS and Luther reportedly advised the buyer.

The Walt Disney Company and Disney DTC EM Limited have appointed Petrikic & Partneri in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz as their Serbian Data Protection Representative.

Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Regulation on Criteria for Granting Incentives to the Employers who Employ Newly Inhabited Persons in the Republic of Serbia (hereinafter referred to as the “Regulation”),  published in the Official Gazette of the RS no. 67/22 and entered into force on 18 June 2022. 

Schoenherr has advised Ondrej Zita on his sale of OptimNet Solutions and OptimNet Solutions SK to the Hellmann Worldwide Logistics group. BDO Legal reportedly advised the buyer.

Clifford Chance has advised Atrium European Real Estate on its divestment of the Optima shopping center in Kosice to the joint venture of two Slovak shopping center investors for EUR 118 million. Taylor Wessing and Krnac Koncok & Partners reportedly advised the buyers.

Contributed by Dentons.

Ulcar & Partners and Zivkovic Samardzic have advised the TCH Industrial Group on the sale of Cimos and its subsidiaries to Mutares. CMS and Luther reportedly advised the buyer.

ODI Law has advised Slovenian real estate developer Eta Invest on refinancing its financial debt owed to Elements Capital Management with a new loan obtained from a commercial bank. Ketler & Partners, a member of Karanovic, advised ECM.

Baker McKenzie has advised Palfinger on establishing its European Works Council. Babic & Partners, Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, and Jadek & Pensa advised Palfinger on Croatian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Slovenian law-related matters, respectively. Bech-Bruun, Arntzen de Besche, and PBBR reportedly advised on Danish, Norwegian, and Portuguese law-related matters.

Significant amendments were introduced into the Bankruptcy and Enforcement Code numbered 2004 ["BEC”] on November 30, 2021. One of these changes was regarding entitling debtors to sell their own seized property by consent.

In addition to its big impact on our social life, WhatsApp messenger (“WhatsApp”) or any other online messaging platform also is used in business life in order for people to communicate quickly and easily. Nowadays, many people are sending work related messages to their colleagues, discuss work related topics, sharing work related documents or conducting their meetings via WhatsApp or any other online messaging platforms.

On June 7, 2022, the Turkish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (“Agency”) published the Draft Guidelines on Packaging Information and Legibility of Foods for Special Medical Purposes (“Legibility Guidelines”) and the Draft Guidelines on New Health Claim Applications (“Application Guidelines”). 

Redcliffe Partners, working with Simmons & Simmons, has advised the EBRD on a EUR 24 million short-term unsecured loan to Ukrainian poultry and grain producer MHP.

Kinstellar has announced it is providing pro bono legal advice to public charity organization Soborna Ukraine on implementing its programs across the country.

Contributed by Arzinger.