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Legal market overview
Political instability in the Balkan region has meant that many law firms have seen a slowdown in a number of practice areas owing to diminished foreign investment in the region. In particular, firms have reported a fall in projects and PPP work. However, the exit of several foreign entities has encouraged some domestic growth and an increase in activity by local companies. The banking sector had a turbulent year in 2014 with several struggling Bulgarian banks being placed under government supervision. As a result of the prevailing climate, many law firms have been increasingly active in dispute resolution, restructuring and debt recovery work.
Bulgaria’s previously vibrant energy sector has been somewhat stymied and the majority of energy projects are on hold; as a result, many energy law practices have shifted to dispute resolution work, much of it pertaining to the introduction of grid access fees. The IT and technology sector remains an active area for many firms.
The Bulgarian market is very competitive with domestic firms dominating the legal landscape, including Boyanov & Co, Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov, Spasov & Bratanov, Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski, Kambourov & Partners and Penkov, Markov & Partners. Schoenherr (in cooperation with Law firm Stoyanov & Tsekova), CMS and Wolf Theiss are the key foreign firms in the market. Kinstellar recently entered the market with the November 2014 opening of a new office in Sofia.
Legal Business: country analysis
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
Click here to read the feature.
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OVER-INDEBTEDNESS IN THE BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS
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FEES AND EXPENSES IN THE CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
Protection of the creditors in the liquidation procedure
The latest amendments to the Bulgarian Commerce Act are intended to implement the Late Payment Directive (2011/7/EU) (the “Directive”). The Directive was adopted in February 2011 and was due to be implemented by 16 March 2013. Currently, is adopted in 17 of 27 Member States of the EU. The aim of the Directive is to prevent the grossly unfair treatment of those creditors who are unable to negotiate level-playing field payment terms, irrespective of whether that status is due to the creditors’ weaker bargaining power or to the fact that the terms are in fact subjected to limited negotiations, as with public procurements. The scope of the amendments in the Bulgarian legislation implementing the Directive concern only business to business and government to business transactions , for which maximum terms are introduced for payment of monetary obligations. Unfortunately, the amendments do not entirely implement the Directive and certain provisions of this EU legislation have been left out, such as:
At the end of 2012 the Competition Protection Commission adopted guidelines regarding corporate compliance programmes. In general, the guidelines highlight the advantages of these programmes. Through the guidelines, the commission aims to encourage businesses to develop and implement compliance programmes in order to reduce or avoid the risks of non-compliance with competition law.
Schoenherr advised a consortium of owners of Pivovarna Laško, d.d. ("Laško"), Slovenia's leading brewery group, in the sale of their combined holdings of over 51% in Laško to Heineken International B.V., part of the Netherlands-based brewing group. The opening of final offers took place on 13 April 2015, with Heineken offering EUR 25.56 per share in Laško (translating into a total purchase price of approx. EUR 114 million for the 51.11% stake on sale). Following the selection of Heineken as best bidder, the respective share purchase agreement was signed in Ljubljana the same day. read more...
At the beginning of April 2015 Popov & Partners was admitted as a corporate member of the Bulgarian Water Association (BWA) . BWA is the largest organization in Bulgaria that combines all WSS operators, trade companies and business consultants with focus on the management of the water resources and the development of the water-supply services in the country. In international aspect BWA has parnership relations with European Water Association and International Water Association and other international water organizations, whose activity reflects directly over the development of the water sector in global aspect.
Leon Kopecký has joined Schoenherr, a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as Counsel in March 2015. Mr Kopecký focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration, international litigation, and compliance matters. His clients are international firms in the construction, raw materials, infrastructure, finance, fashion and health care industries. He regularly advises clients on complex investment matters. read more...
HaoLiWen has been recently selected by ALB as the finalist for Regulatory Compliance Law Firm of the Year (2015), a market recognition of the regulatory compliance practice of HaoLiWen, which has a history of around ten years.
Vienna, 16 January 2015. Business law firm Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the multi-stage structured sale of the real estate portfolio it holds via Immobilien Holding GmbH. read more...
Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner Rechtsanwaelte GmbH (fwp) represents HETA Asset Resolution AG (formerly HYPO Alpe-Adria Bank International AG) in connection with the judicial review proceedings before the Austrian Constitutional Court following the implementation of special Hypo legislation. The Constitutional Court has now rejected all individual applications filed by Austrian and international investors as inadmissible. Read more...
Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) successfully provided legal advice to HYPO NOE, the association of mortgage banks of the Austrian Provinces and Pfandbriefbank in connection with financing repayments to be made for specific bond issues, thus ensuring the stability of both Pfandbriefbank and the mortgage banks guaranteeing such repayments.
Baker & Partners, a premier litigation and dispute resolution practice based in Jersey, will hold their next breakfast briefing for Jersey's financial services industry on the topic of dishonest assistance on Thursday 26 th March, 8.30-09.30am, at the Royal Yacht.
Ogier promotes three partners in the Channel Islands- Ogier
Gorodissky & Partners in 2015 again, for the 17th time in a row became No.1 Russia’s firm in patent and trademark prosecution and announced “IP firm of the year”.