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South East Europe
Summit 2019

16 Oct 2019 |




16th October 2019


Sofia Hotel Balkan




9.30am - 6:30pm


Free for in-house counsel



The role of general counsel and senior in-house legal advisors is constantly evolving to meet the rapidly changing demands of organisations in today’s business world. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day legal challenges affecting the business and managing legal staff, counsel are expected to diversify their service offering in order to overcome a growing list of commercial challenges. Whether it is complying with the latest AML and data protection regulations, or defending their company against cyber threats whilst ensuring its smooth transition into the digital world, the required skillset of the profession is developing at an exponential rate.

The inaugural GC Summit – South East Europe invites the most esteemed in-house counsel from distinguished companies in the region to discuss their changing roles as in-house leaders and the challenges, issues and opportunities they are facing in 2019 and beyond. Between comprehensive panel discussions and the opportunity to meet and engage with fellow in-house counsel, GC Summit – South East Europe promises to be a practical, forward-looking event bringing together the region’s top legal minds.

South East Europe Summit 2019
9.00am – 9.45am Registration
9.45am – 10.00am  Welcome address and key note speaker
10.00am – 11.00am   Panel Discussion: Understanding and overcoming data protection and cyber security challenges
With data protection and cyber security being critical challenges for organisations to overcome in today’s business world, in this panel we will be discussing how counsel and firms can help businesses move fully into the digital economy without sacrificing their company’s reputation. Focusing on effective, workable and business-oriented solutions to combat these technology-related hurdles, we will be looking at the issues of trust around deploying data, as well as the important role of general counsel in ensuring data security and the ethical use of customer information.
11.00am – 12.00pm   Panel Discussion: Preventing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and financial crime – how can in-house lawyers safeguard their organisation?
With compliance requirements becoming increasingly more complex, the need for general counsel to stay abreast of and advise on the latest directives remains a fundamental part of the role. This panel discussion on AML aims to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to prevent and mitigate the risks involved with money laundering and financial crime. The international dimension of this topic will also be addressed as we look at the AML-related risks and requirements across the region and beyond.
12.00pm – 12.15pm Coffee Break
12.15am - 1.15pm Panel Discussion: TBC
1.15pm – 2.15pm Lunch break
2.15pm – 2.30pm Panel Discussion: TBC
2.30pm – 3.30pm Panel Discussion: ‘Going Digital’ - how technology and digitalisation is influencing the future of the legal profession
Digitalisation has been a major issue and challenge for companies across various sectors in recent years. Looking at how general counsel and in-house legal advisers can help accommodate this transition, in this panel, we will not only cover new technologies and innovations being adopted but also the tools and knowledge that in-house lawyers need to guide their business through digitalisation. In particular, we will look at how Europe compares to the rest of the world in adoption of digitalisation, how strategy and technology intertwine and influence each other in a commercial context, the regulatory landscape surrounding digitalisation as well as a look at how start-ups have effectively harnessed the power of technology and what other businesses can learn from this.
3.30pm – 4.00pm Keynote Speech: TBC
4.00pm – 5.00pm Panel Discussion: General counsel 2.0 – the leadership and management skills for a successful in-house career
In this session we will be looking at the management issues in-house counsel face as well as the various methods that can be adopted to improve on their soft skills. In covering the best strategies to manage a legal function, we will touch on various trends such as how counsel can train and develop their staff, identify suitable technology to drive efficiencies in processes, as well as demonstrate the legal function’s value to the company. With all of these objectives contributing towards effective leadership in today’s business world, this panel promises highly engaging and pertinent for both counsel and in-house advisers alike.
5.00pm – 5.10pm Closing remarks
5.10pm – 6.30pm Networking drinks and canapes

More panel topics to be confirmed...

In association with

Penkov, Markov & Partners (PM&P) is a leading law firm, providing top quality legal services and legal representation to clients in Bulgaria.

Established in 1990, in the wake of the democratic and economic changes in Bulgaria, PM&P was the first Bulgarian law firm to provide a qualified and effective legal service to foreign investors.

Since 1996, Penkov, Markov & Partners has been an exclusive member firm for the jurisdiction of Bulgaria of Lex Mundi World Ready – the world’s leading association of independent law firms, which provides access to 160 legal firms and 21,000 lawyers to clients in more than 100 countries.

Beyond the enormous activity and experience in company and commercial law, M&A and investment, by adapting to the new challenges and based on its clients’ needs, PM&P has created specialised, first class working groups (teams) in different fields of law: IT, media and telecommunications; energy, RES and natural resources; real estate and project development; labour and social security; competition and consumer protection; litigation and arbitration; family and inheritance law; mergers and acquisitions; immigration issues; banking and finance.

Nagy és Trócsányi was founded in 1991, with the aim of offering sophisticated legal services. The firm continues to seek excellence in a comprehensive and modern practice, which spans international commercial and business law. The firm’s lawyers provide clients with advice and representation in an active, thoughtful and ethical manner, with a real understanding of clients‘ business needs and the markets in which they operate.

The firm is one of the largest home-grown independent law firms in Hungary, advising a broad range of clients, including numerous multinational corporations.

Nagy és Trócsányi is the exclusive member firm in Hungary for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide.

CHSH is one of Austria’s leading corporate law firms with an integrated Central and Eastern European practice and can trace its history back to the 1920s. With over 200 lawyers, CHSH offers clients experience and expertise in all areas of corporate and commercial law, both in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to its main office in Vienna, the firm also has offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Minsk, Prague, Sofia and Timisoara. CHSH knows the legal characteristics of these countries inside out and has in-depth knowledge of local markets.

CHSH has a long and very successful track record. For decades the firm has been advising clients in cases that demand particular expertise, creativity and innovation. This is not only guaranteed by wide-ranging specialist knowledge, motivation and commitment, but also by an excellent understanding of its clients’ businesses. Over the past 25 years, CHSH has been involved in most of the top transactions in Austria. This is what really distinguishes CHSH as one of the leading law firms in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, takeovers, privatisations, financing, and real estate and construction. CHSH also enjoys an enviable reputation for handling large-scale commercial litigation and arbitration.

As CHSH understands its clients’ businesses, it helps the firm achieve an extremely high rate of success. The know-how, coupled with many years’ experience in Central and Eastern Europe, guarantees its clients cross-border advice of the very highest quality.

Founded in 1971, Pekin & Pekin is a full-service law firm providing integrated legal services to clients involved in transactions within Turkey.

The vision of Pekin & Pekin today is the same vision as in 1971 – to provide clients with legal advice that helps them achieve their long-term objectives in Turkey and globally with the greatest efficiency. This vision is attained by a strategy of steady expansion, allowing the firm to retain its boutique character and standard of service.

The firm has pioneered legal structures for Turkish banking transactions, facilitated the introduction of new financial products and organisational structures, advised regulators on new laws and and regulations across multiple sectors, acted in the largest and most high-profile finance and M&A deals in the jurisdiction, and succeeded in numerous complex dispute resolution and arbitration cases

Chrysostomides was founded in 1981 by managing partner Dr Kypros Chrysostomides and senior partner Eleni Chrysostomides and it continues to be one of Cyprus’ leading and largest law firms. Since its establishment, Chrysostomides has expanded and diversified, both in terms of its members and areas of practice, having also established a second office in Limassol. Today, it employs over 70 lawyers, paralegals and support staff.

The firm’s lawyers, all of whom combine extensive knowledge of the Cyprus legal system with an in-depth understanding of international and EU law, provide quality legal solutions to international and Cyprus-based clients that include an array of leading multinational corporations, private companies and individuals. The firm is the exclusive Cyprus member to leading independent law and multi-discipline professional associations, Lex Mundi and World Services Group, respectively. The firm’s memberships and its regular cooperation with major international law firms offer clients access to worldwide legal resources and give it the ability to deliver streamlined, multi-jurisdictional solutions.

For nearly 30 years, JPM has been assisting multinational and domestic clients drive their growth in Serbia and the SEE region. Consistently recognised as a top-tier law firm by leading independent legal directories (The Legal 500) we deliver outstanding results to clients operating in various industries across Serbia and Southeast Europe (SEE).

For nearly 30 years JPM is advising Serbian and international clients from every major industrial and corporate sector, including energy, banking, transportation, manufacturing and communications.

Today we continue that tradition by also serving clients in expanding industries, such as renewable energy, IT and life sciences.

Our legal professionals apply solution-oriented approach in delivering exceptional services. Fast and available multitask teamwork approach, and when required, application of innovative tailored legal solutions, enable delivery of optimal results meeting client expectations with professionalism and confidence.


Penkov, Markov & Partners

Mr Stefanov joined Penkov, Markov & Partners in 2008 and became a partner in 2014. He has significant experience in a large number of corporate and commercial, restructuring, financing and M&A deals, and he is now leading the insolvency and tax practices of the firm and vice-heading the litigation practice. Mr Stefanov is a member of the Sofia Bar Association.

Alexander Stefanov
Partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners

Mr Cvetanov joined Penkov, Markov & Partners in 2008 and became a partner in 2014. He heads Penkov, Markov & Partners’s state regulations, IT/media and fintech practice groups and he has a considerable experience in the areas of commercial law and banking as well as in finance law, litigation, corporate law, commercial and financial projects. Mr Cvetanov is a member of the Sofia Bar Association and has been chairman of the Association for Responsible Non-Banking Lending since 2014.

Nikolay Cvetanov
Partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners

Mr Valov joined Penkov, Markov & Partners in 2006 and became an associated partner in 2018. He has a leading role in the real estate and construction, litigation and arbitration practice groups. Mr Valov also dedicates significant time to the M&A branch of the law firm’s practice. Mr Valov is a member of the Sofia Bar Association.

Atanas Valov
Associated partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners


Hans Kristoferitsch, LL.M. (Harvard) is a partner at CHSH Vienna. His main areas of expertise include data protection, telecommunications, e-commerce as well as general EU-law. Hans regularly assists multinational clients with IT, GDPR compliance and regulatory projects.

Hans teaches at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, regularly gives lectures on data protection and compliance and is the author of several publications.

Hans Kristoferitsch
Partner, CHSH