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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
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OVER-INDEBTEDNESS IN THE BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS
POSTPONEMENT AND DEFERRAL OF PUBLIC LIABILITIES
The New Provisions on Gambling in Bulgaria
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.
VEGAS LEX is expanding cooperation with Russian book-publishing businesses. Its new client is a major and greatly respected publisher of educational material, Prosveshcheniye.
On April 27, 2015, VEGAS LEX was recognized in two new categories of Chambers Europe 2015, and a number of VL professionals were recognized on the world level.
On May 12-15, 2015, the Public-Private Partnership Development Institute organized a professional development program for Rostelecom staff on PPP projects. VEGAS LEX experts were invited to speak at training sessions.
Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC advised and assisted KKCG Group with its recent acquisition of an additioAndreas Neocleous & Co LLC advised and assisted KKCG Group with its recent acquisition of an additional 22.35% stake in the investment fund Emma Delta, which owns a 33% interest in the Greek lottery group OPAP. Following the completion of this transaction, KKCG will be the largest investor in Emma Delta, and will hold an effective stake of almost 14.8% in OPAP.
On Thursday, 26 March 2015, the French Competition Authority made a ruling (15-D-04) in a case involving an agreement between millers on a double concerted increase in the price of flour sold in bakeries in 2007. Of the twenty companies implicated at the end of the investigation, only three were ultimately penalised. CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre represented the interests of Moulin de Sauret.- CMS
Igor Chumachenko,VEGAS LEX Partner and Head of the Real Estate, Land & Construction Practice, has spoken at a conference during the REX forum that focused on the legal and economic risks for developers.
Zavadetskyi Advocates represented the Ukrainian subsidiary of AXA Insurance in criminal investigations of USD 9 million and USD 1.2 million damage events with the insured assets in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine. Within the investigation procedures advocates of the bureau proved that the events are to be qualified as excluded from the insurance coverage. Following the investigations Zavadetskyi Advocates proceeded with representing the client in the ensuing commercial litigation.
The participants of the Korporativny Yurist magazine’s webinar discussed the structure of contractual relationships and dispute resolution practices in construction with VEGAS LEX expert Nikolay Andrianov.
SK Capital Partners, a US-based private investment firm with focus on the specialty materials, chemicals and healthcare sectors, has acquired a controlling interest in AEB Group, a global leader in wine ingredients with growing positions in beer ingredients and food detergents. Headquartered in Brescia, Italy, AEB Group operates a network of production facilities and laboratories throughout Europe and the Americas.
Valora has signed an agreement to sell Valora Warenlogistik AG to 7Days Media Services GmbH. Valora Warenlogistik includes Valora's activities in the warehouse and transport logistics sector in the German and Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The transaction is subject to approval by the competent merger control authorities.