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Legal market overview


M&A activity remains static, with notable deals few and far between and the most eye-catching instructions tending to be the Bulgarian elements of much larger transactions, such as Novartis’ global acquisition of a number of GSK portfolios. Domestically, perhaps the most conspicuous recent mandate has been AP Mart’s purchase of the Piccadilly store chain from Delhaize, which returned a major domestic brand to Bulgarian ownership.

Despite this relatively bleak outlook, marked in the energy sector by the government’s withdrawal in February 2015 of incentives for new renewables projects, the formation of Kinstellar in November 2014 (by a team of lawyers who broke away from highly regarded central and eastern European firm Wolf Theiss) was an indication that sophisticated cross-border advice is still in demand. This addition brought the number of international firms with significant Sofia operations to six, with CMS and Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) (as well as Wolf Theiss) figuring alongside the much smaller offices of fellow central European specialists CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati and Peterka & Partners Law Firm.

Domestic firms are a broad mix of large, longstanding partnerships formed around 1989, and small to medium-sized players, often younger, with some notable niche strengths. Mainstays of the market, in the former category, include Boyanov & Co and Kambourov & Partners, who acted for Novartis and AP Mart respectively in the deals mentioned above, and also Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov. Among smaller firms, DTT (Dimitrov, Tchompalov & Todorova) has a market-leading capital markets practice; CasePro has exceptional technology sector early-stage finance capabilities; and Danailova, Todorov & Partners stands out in transport.

Firms in the spotlight

Delchev & Partners

Delchev & Partners is a prime, full service, commercial law firm, based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Delchev & Partners’ legal solicitors provide comprehensive legal and tax services and solutions to multinational corporations operating in Bulgaria, closely held foreign and Bulgarian businesses, local entrepreneurs, exempt organizations and individuals. Our experienced lawyers in Bulgaria will assist you with any legal issues that you or your business in Bulgaria is facing

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  • Lower VAT On Hotel Services In Montenegro

    An important piece of regulation has been introduced in Montenegro recently, through the reduction of VAT on catering services in four stars hotels (in the north of the country) and five-star hotels (on the seaside), which will be effective from 2018. According to media reports, Olivera Brajović, General Director of Tourism Development and Standards in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, pointed out that these reduced tax rates on services of preparing and serving food and drinks are expected to raise the overall competitiveness in the hospitality sector, while at the same time contribute to the combat against grey economy.
  • Karanović & Nikolić Joins The NextLaw Global Referral Network

    Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that it has joined the NextLaw Global Referral Network, created by global law firm Dentons. We are particularly excited by the fact that Nextlaw presents a new type of network, with a unique invitation-only approach in their selection, ensuring that all of its members have the highest quality standards and a proven track record of excellence.
  • Sweet Smell Of Success - Serbian Sugar Industry Consolidates Its Forces

    After more than a four months and a Phase II (in-depth) investigation, the Competition Commission gave conditional approval, to Sunoko's acquisition of the Star Šećer company and its subsidiary Te-To - the owner of the sugar factory in Senta. No divestments have been required from Sunoko.
  • New Bridge Over Danube To Be Built In Belgrade

    News reports are informing us that Belgrade will gain another bridge over the Danube river in the near future – this one at the Ada Huja island and over three kilometres long.
  • Nikola Tesla Airport To Acquire Sava Centar?

    Media outlets have recently been reporting on the possibility that Nikola Tesla Airport will acquire Sava Centar (SC), with the purpose of turning it into its company headquarters. This acquisition would be followed by an investment of over EUR 30 million in the next three years for the building's reconstruction and adaptation. Such a decision would result in Sava Centar changing its name to "Congress Centre Nikola Tesla Airport", with an expanded array of facilities, including a tower, a shopping mall, and a hotel. The funds for the investment in question will be hailing from the Airport's own assets.
  • Too Big To Hide – European Commission Sanctions Truck Cartel

    Global competition law circles have recently been shaken by the European Commission's record-setting fine of EUR 2.93 billion for collusion on the automotive market, imposed against Volvo, Daimler, Iveco and DAF trucks. The sanctions in question varied amongst the accused parties, with Daimler facing the largest penalty in the amount of more than EUR 1 billion on its own. Iveco's fine was set at EUR 494 million, DAF's at EUR 752 million, and Volvo's fine has been set at EUR 670 million.
  • Cartel Office ensures greater competition in rail sector

    The German railway company Deutsche Bahn must allow for more competition. The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, found that the company had abused its dominant market position with respect to the sale of rail tickets.

    Eterna Law (representative office in Almaty) announces the beginning of co-operation as a legal adviser with the Public Association "Academy of Preventive Medicine of Kazakhstan."
  • LAG Sachsen-Anhalt on video surveillance at the workplace

    Video surveillance at the workplace does not inevitably give rise to claims for damages. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Sachsen-Anhalt [Regional Labour Court of Saxony-Anhalt] (Az.: 6 Sa 301/14).
  • Final stretch for loan withdrawal

    Those who still want to withdraw from real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010 should take action now while the right of withdrawal is on its last legs. This get-out-of-jail-free card is set to lapse shortly.