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Interview with Pascale Rahman, Vice President & General Counsel EMEA and India at Flex about her background and best practices.

Interview with Kamil Lewandowski, Head of Legal Poland – Asset Management at the CPI Property Group about his background and best practices.

Interview with Jaroslav Krupec, Country Legal Director at Veolia Slovakia about his background and best practices.

Interview with Irisz Szel, Legal Director of CEU about her background and best practices.

Interview with Judyta Sawicka, Head of Legal at Globalworth about her background and best practices.

Interview with Nadia Matusikova, General Counsel of RWS Moravia about her background and best practices.

Interview with Zlatko Stojcheski, Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs at A1 Makedonija about his background and best practices.

An interview with Milan Kajtez, Head of Legal at UniCredit Bank a.d. Banja Luka about his background and best practices.

An interview with Alice Radu, General Legal Counsel for Romania & Bulgaria at Bosch Group Romania about her background and best practices.

An interview with Andras Busch, General Counsel at Siemens Energy Hungary.

Juncu has been with Mondelez since 2018, when she joined it on secondment from Stratula & Asociatiii. In April 2019, she took on her current role.

Florina Homeghiu spent the first decade of her career in private practice before, in 2017 moving in-house with the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company – Romania, initially as Senior Legal Counsel, then, in 2018, as Country Legal Manager and Compliance Officer. In May of 2020 she joined the Policolor-Orgachim group.

“The in-house advisory role enables a lawyer to go deeper into the mysteries of the banking business and experience the life of a transaction, not just observe it from a distance. I elected to pursue an in-house practice at the beginning of my career, and even though I was tempted to switch to private practice many times, I remain loyal to the in-house life.”

CEE Legal Matters first interviewed Ingo Steinwender in 2014, near the end of his first year as Group Head of Legal at CA Immobilien Anlagen AG, one of the largest real estate companies in Austria. Six years later, we check in.

CEELM: Can you walk us through your career leading you up to your current role?

Polish lawyer Anna Wawrzynczak spent 14 years in private practice with two highly-regarded international law firms before moving in-house with the Coast2Coast investment fund, where she was Regional Counsel CEE for almost three years. In October 2019 she accepted an offer to become the Legal Manager, Head of the Corporate Division at the Polish Development Fund in Warsaw. 

An interview with the Belgrade-based Senior Counsel CEE at Philip Morris International

An interview with the long-time Head of Legal at Eurostandard Bank in Macedonia

Building a successful in-house legal department involves selecting the right people for the right positions, deciding which lawyers to assign to which tasks, instructing and training them, convincing them to work as a cohesive unit rather than a bunch of individuals, and of course addressing and resolving conflicts and crises – all while fulfilling the critical function of legal advisor to the rest of the company. It’s not easy.

In addition to their traditional role guiding companies through legal and regulatory waters and managing disputes, General Counsels are increasingly called upon to provide input on strategic matters. An expert panel at the second annual Balkan GC Summit considered how this change in the nature of the General Counsel role is manifesting itself in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Hyprop Investments – South Africa’s largest listed specialist shopping center Real Estate Investment Trust – operates a portfolio of premium shopping centers in South Africa, other countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeastern Europe. Hyprop’s six current investments in SEE include two shopping malls in Zagreb and one each in Sofia, Podgorica, Belgrade, and Skopje. Hyprop is internally managed and headquartered in Johannesburg.

On June 4, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Zavisin Semiz & Partneri and the Budapest office of Dentons advised GTC on the Serbian legal aspects of the deal. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Klara Bujdoso, Group Legal Counsel at GTC, to learn more about the sale.

On October 7, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kocian Solc Balastik had advised Czech technology accelerator AI Startup Incubator on its investment in US-Bangladeshi OpenRefactory. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Angelo Burgarello, Business Development Director at AI Startup Incubator, to learn more about the investment.

On October 18, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Lextal has advised Estonian financial technology group IuteCredit on its EUR 75 million senior secured corporate bonds issuance. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Kadi Raudsepp, Head of Legal & Compliance at IuteCredit, to learn more about the matter.

On November 3, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had advised ElevenEs on partnering with EIT InnoEnergy to build a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery factory in Subotica, Serbia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Nemanja Mikac, CEO at ElevenEs, to learn more about the matter.

On October 20, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar had advised 4i Capital Partners on its sale of Ukrainian online payment platform Portmone to Kazakhstan’s financial technology firm Kaspi.kz subsidiary Kaspi Pay. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Konstantin Vasiuk, Investment Manager at 4i Capital Partners, to learn more about the deal.

On November 9, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Legalio had advised IFP Erste Immobilienfonds fur Polen on the sale of Mercedes-Benz Buildingisition to Adventum. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Christoph Schmidt, Managing Limited Partner at IFP Erste Immobilienfonds fur Polen, to learn more about the sale.

On October 5, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Dentons had provided pro bono advice to the non-profit organization Spolocnost Jaromira Krejcara to protect the cultural heritage site of the former Machnac spa house in Trencianske Teplice, Slovakia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Martin Zaicek, Director at Jaromir Krejcar Society, to learn more about the matter.

On August 30, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that LC LegalProof had advised Zipper Studios on the sale of its business to Romanian software services provider Fortech. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Radu Benga, Partner & Strategy Manager at Zipper Studios, to learn more about the sale.

On September 24, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had 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. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Caroline Roboh, Founder and CEO of Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats (GRUBB), to learn more about the matter.

On October 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had advised the Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia (IF) on launching the Katapult start-up accelerator in Serbia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Mladjan Stojanovic, Program Manager at the Innovation Fund, to learn more about the matter.

On October 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Balicki Czekanski Gryglewski Lewczuk had advised Symfonia on its acquisition of Cloud Planet and Skanuj.to. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Wioletta Kaloska, General Counsel at Symfonia, to learn more about the matter.

On September 9, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ibrahimovic & Co had advised Studen & Co Holding on an agreement with the Brcko District's Government to build a free business zone in the district. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Natasa Pucar, Corporate Communication Director at Studen & Co Holding, to learn more about the matter.

On August 23, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that GKC Partners had advised Yemeksepeti – the Turkish subsidiary of Delivery Hero, on its acquisition of Turkish online shopping platform Marketyo Bilisim Teknoloji A.S. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Deniz Ozkan Ergun, Senior Manager, Head of M&A Legal (LATAM & MENA) of Delivery Hero to learn more about the acquisition.

On August 11, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that BTS & Partners had advised 500 Startups and Qnbeyond Ventures on its investment in Ango AI. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Enis Hulli, General Partner at 500 Startups, to learn more about the deal.

On September 13, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Dentons had advised Ciklum on its acquisition of Czech-based software development company CN Group from Genesis Capital. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Anna Ryzhova, General Counsel at Ciklum, to learn more about the acquisition.

On July 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that CMS Kyiv had helped Stakelogic obtain a B2B supplier license from the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries in Ukraine. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Stakelogic CEO Stephan van den Oetelaar to learn more about the matter.

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.

On June 23, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that DGKV had advised Internet Corporated Networks on the sale of its hosting and domain business to Superhosting.bg. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Julian Borislavov, CEO and Co-Founder of ICN to learn more about the deal.

On June 1, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Ozbek law firm had advised Tarentum on Bogazici's Ventures investment of USD 1.4 million into Tarentum, a developer of machine learning and artificial intelligence technology solutions. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Bora Tokyay, Managing Director at Tarentum, to learn more about the matter.

On July 7, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners and Simmons & Simmons had advised ALRO on a seven-year USD 40 million corporate loan from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank to Romanian aluminum producer ALRO, part of Vimetco Group, for its capital investment program. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Dragos Voncu, Legal Director at the Vimetco Group, to learn more about the matter.

On May 17, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Asters had advised Elementum Energy Ltd. on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Dnistrovska wind park in the Odessa region of Ukraine. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Victoria Pysmenna, Head of Legal at Elementum Energy to learn more about the deal.

On June 1, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Vasil Kisil and Partners has successfully represented commercial audio content provider PressCom and its clients in a lawsuit brought against them by the Ukrainian League of Copyright and Related Rights for lost profits allegedly arising from their use of PressCom sourced music in their restaurants. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Denys Kukharenko Co-Founder and CEO of PressCom to learn more about the matter.

On April 16, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that KPD Consulting had successfully represented the community of the Vozdvyzhenka neighborhood in Kyiv in a dispute with the developer of the Podol Grad Vintage residential complex. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Tatiana Maksymenko, Project Manager of Development of the Communal Reform at Vozdvyzhenka Street Committee, to learn more about the dispute.

On May 21, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ellex Valiunas had successfully represented Western Baltija Shipbuilding in its appeal of a public procurement award to a consortium of Finnish companies to provide a specialized vessel for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to eliminate pollution incidents and carry out rescue operations in the Baltic Sea. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Andrius Digrys, General Legal Counsel at Western Baltija Shipbuilding, to learn more about the deal.

Florina Homeghiu has joined Nordis Group as Head of Legal in Romania.

Andrius Digrys has joined BLRT Grupp AS as its General Counsel in Estonia.

Kyndryl has hired Bartosz Jablkowski as its Country General Counsel, Poland and Baltics in Warsaw.

Agnieszka Bienko-Michael has joined Eneris Group in Warsaw as its Legal Director in October 2021.

Former Air Serbia General Counsel Branko Gabric has joined BDK Advokati as Counsel and Head of the Compliance; Investigation Practice.

Former Pfeifer & Langen Poland Head of Legal Sylwia Stepniewska-Idzior has joined SMM Legal as a Partner and will head the firm’s German Desk.

Ilke Ozun Deniz has joined KPMG Turkiye as its Legal Affairs and Compliance Manager in Istanbul.

Andras Nemeth has joined Audax Renewables Hungary as a Senior Legal Counsel.

Sergey Dmitriev has joined the Volga-Dnepr Group in Moscow as its Global Group General Counsel.

Maciej Kalinowski has Joined Spectris Energy as its Head of M&A Legal in Poland.

MSC Cruises Compliance Officer Maria Dardai has joined Kinstellar as a Special Counsel.

Romanian lawyer Anela Musat has joined Blue Horizon as its General Counsel in Zurich, Switzerland.

Former Amsterdam-based Park Now Group General Counsel, Chief Risk and Compliance Michael Czermak has joined Casinos Austria Managing Director Legal Affairs in Vienna.

Former Havel & Partners Partner Josef Adam joined CZG - Ceska Zbrojovka Group SE as the Group General Counsel.

Former Inal Unver Attorney Partnership Partner Ekin Inal has joined the International Finance Corporation as a Legal Counsel in Turkey.

Former 3M General Counsel Edit Rosta has joined SAP in Prague as a Senior Legal Counsel.

Former Turkish Competition Authority Chief Legal Counsel Harun Gunduz has moved into private practice by joining ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law.

Krzysztof Mazurek has joined the Precision Medicine Group as its Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal Europe. In his new role, he's also acting as Managing Director for CEE Precision Medicine Group Affiliates.

Former Coca-Cola Operations Legal Counsel and Local Ethics Officer for the Turkey Region Ece Sarica has been appointed to IP Counsel, Europe at Coca-Cola GB in London.

Former Cerha Hempel Senior Partner Edith Hlawati has been appointed as the sole member of the Management Board of Oesterreichische Beteiligungs AG.

Former SupplierPlus Head of Group Legal Kirill Lezeiko returns to private practice by rejoining PwC Legal in Estonia.

Merve Oney Barlas has joined Istanbul-based financial services provider DgPays as Chief Legal Officer.

Senem Berkem Paflak has joined Modanisa as Head of Legal Compliance. 

Anna Gorska, former Head of Legal at Idea Bank, returns to private practice by joining Clifford Chance as a Legal Adviser in Warsaw.