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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Bulgaria > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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World-classBoyanov & Co advises borrowers and lenders, banks and other financial institutions on financing, M&A, debt restructuring and regulatory matters. The ‘effective and commercially oriented’ group, led by Damian Simeonov, assists an impressive client roster, including Deutsche Bank and UBS Switzerland. Yordan Naydenov advised the National Bank of Greece on the €610m sale of its Bulgarian subsidiary (and affiliated leasing company) to KBC Bank. Svetlina Kortenska has experience in high-value financing projects.

CMS draws on its global network to handle a variety of cross-border and multi-jurisdictional banking and finance mandates. Practice head Elitsa Ivanova is singled out for her ‘high level sector expertise and region-wide experience’. The team assists with restructurings, insolvencies and non-performing loan portfolios – advising on a number of the major portfolio sales of 2017. Gentscho Pavlov and Desislava Vasileva are also recommended for ‘very high quality work’.

OutstandingDjingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov acts as local counsel to major national and supranational lending institutions, including the European Investment Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. It stands out for providing ‘a flexible service and in-depth advice’ to lenders, syndicates and borrowers on real estate and energy projects and acquisitions. Practice co-heads Nikolai Gouginski and Vessela Stancheva-Mincheva specialise in project finance and the regulatory aspects of insurance. Georgi Tzvetkov has extensive experience in complex leveraged buy-outs.

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) utilises its network of offices in Central and Eastern Europe to handle cross-border mandates for various international lending institutions. Practice head Tsvetan Krumov advised VTB Capital on the restructuring of a €250m bridge loan extended to InterV Investment and Viva Telecom Bulgaria.

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski provides ‘reliable and to the point legal advice’ on a range of banking and finance issues, with a particular focus on the Bulgarian regulatory environment. The practice is led by Nikolay Bebov. Managing partner Irina Tsvetkova leads on various banking matters for Société Générale. Damyan Leshev is another key practitioner.

Wolf Theiss advises domestic and international financial institutions, as well as corporate borrowers, on high-value transactions. Practice head Katerina Kraeva assisted a syndicate led by United Bulgarian Bank with a financing transaction based on English law, and advised long-term client Arco Capital on a €94m refinancing and new development financing extended by a local banking syndicate. Richard Clegg has handled the regulatory and compliance aspects of significant telecom, infrastructure and energy transactions. Jasmina Uzova is an experienced banking and finance lawyer.

Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria is ‘unmatched in public project finance’. The team is led by the ‘distinguished’ Stoyan Barzakov. Highlights included advising the European Investment Bank on an €840m financing for a major Bulgarian rail infrastructure upgrade. On the banking front, highlights included assisting the majority shareholder in a Bulgarian bank dispose of its €500m shareholding and acquire a smaller bank.

DTT (Dimitrov, Tchompalov & Todorova)stands out for its financial regulatory expertise’ and regularly advises international clients on local law aspects of establishing financial institutions. It also assists lenders and borrowers with loan facility agreements, refinancing and the restructuring of debt. Other work includes defending financial institutions in administrative-penal proceedings before the Financial Services Commission (FSC). Dimitar Dimitrov and Katya Todorova lead on non-contentious matters. Natalia Yordanova has extensive experience handling FSC proceedings. Iordan Tchompalov is now with Stoeva Tchompalov & Znepolski.

Dimitrov, Petrov & Co’s ‘strong and responsive’ team has ‘thorough regulatory knowledge and an excellent understanding of corporate structures and strategic objectives’. The firm handles restructurings including assets, bank loans and collateral. Desislava Krusteva has particular expertise in the emerging fintech sector, advising FinTech Services on the launch of a number of consumer financing products. Hristo Nihrizov heads the practice.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co is ‘a clear leader in banking litigation’ and represents a number of major Bulgarian banks in disputes concerning credit facilities, collateral arrangements and the enforcement and execution of bank guarantees. Practice head Alexander Katzarsky is representing Piraeus Bank Bulgaria as the claimant in a €25m claim regarding the insolvency of Mega Mall Sofia. Arno Mamasyan is another key contact.

Kambourov & Partners handles all the contentious and non-contentious aspects of banking matters. Practice heads Yavor Kambourov and Vladimir Rangeloff focus on banking and finance mandates respectively. The team is handling debt restructuring matters for Worldview Capital and Petroceltic Group.

Kinstellar’s ‘hands-on’ team advised KBC Bank on its €610m acquisition of United Bulgarian Bank. The group also has a niche in matters relating to facility arrangements, including mezzanine and add-on finance. The team is led by ‘technically excellent’Svilen Issaev. Diana Dimova is also recommended.

At Deloitte Legal Law Firm, practice head, Reneta Petkova, Yoana Zhechkova and Adelina Mehandzhiyska (Mitkova) have extensive banking and finance experience. On the banking side, the group advises local institutions on restructuring and refinancing matters and handles new lending mandates for lenders and borrowers. The team also provides regulatory advice regarding banking M&A.

Dinova Rusev & Partners has a strong track record in regulatory and compliance work for financial institutions and payment service providers. The team also handles debt restructuring transactions and financing deals for major corporates. Diana Valkova is experienced in FSC compliance. Anelia Dinova focuses on inward investment mandates. Clients include 3M and Monsanto.

Gugushev & Partners Law Office stands out for its ‘result-oriented’ approach to project and real estate financing. The team of ‘respected professionals’ is led by Stefan Gugushev and advises a range of European corporates on the financing aspects of Bulgarian ventures. ‘Reliable’ Dimitrinka Metodieva is recommended for her ‘detailed theoretical and practical’ knowledge.

Penkov, Markov & Partners’ clients include lending institutions and corporate borrowers. It also has experience in advising foreign banks on the establishment of Bulgarian operations. Vladimir Penkov and Ivan Markov are practitioners of note.

Sabev & Partners Law Firm advises financial institution on credit facilities and other debt-related matters, in addition to assisting with ongoing corporate and commercial matters. The firm also handles contentious matters, and is currently representing a major Swiss bank in a number of disputes concerning credit repayment and the appeal of private enforcement agent decrees. George Sabev and Boryana Boteva are the key practitioners.

Spasov & Bratanov is well respected for its banking and finance work. The practice is led by Georgi Spasov, who has particular expertise in infrastructure and energy project financing. The firm provides ongoing regulatory advice to a number of banks and other financial institutions.

Tocheva & Mandazhieva Law Office handles acquisition and project financing for a number of international corporates. Highlights included advising the Bulgarian special purpose vehicle (SPV) of Samsung C&T Corporation on its €55m syndicated credit facility agreement with a local banking group. Zhulieta Mandazhieva and Ivana Bliznakova lead the practice.

Dobrev & Lyutskanov handles project financing for domestic and international corporates, and assists with credit facilities for Bulgarian financial institutions. Roumen Lyutskanov is the main contact. Clients include Sparky Group and the Bulgarian subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Materials.

Kinkin & Partners advises financial and non-financial institutions on various aspects of project finance. It also has a niche in licencing matters concerning structured products, both domestically and abroad. Tsvetelina Stoilova, who is ‘very organised and competent’, has extensive experience in debt structuring and share financing with a cross-border dimension. Vladimir Kinkin heads the practice.

Law Firm Kolcheva, Smilenov, Koev and Partners advises domestic and international clients on corporate and project financing, with recent high-value transactions in the energy and retail sectors. The firm also has a strong litigation practice that represents corporates in disputes pertaining to bankruptcies, insolvencies and distressed loans. The practice is led by Petya Kolcheva.

At Kuyumdjieva & Vitliemov, Pavel Vitliemov provides ‘priceless’ banking and finance support, drawing on his ‘good knowledge of local practicalities’. The firm was appointed by the Prague office of a major international law firm as local counsel for Czech Export Bank, concerning a security package for an acquisition financing in the energy industry.

Popov & Partners advises UniCredit Bulbank on foreign debt collection proceedings and MD Immoblien on the creation of a €26m security interest, relating to Bulgarian assets, on loans granted by Raiffeisen Bank Austria. Elisaveta Yotova is the key contact.

Tokushev and Partners Law Office advises the Bulgarian Development Bank and Piraeus Bank Bulgaria as creditors in various debt recovery cases. The team also advises financial institutions on regulatory compliance. Viktor Tokushev is the practice head.

Varadinov & Co Attorneys-at-Law’s focus is banking and finance-related litigation. The team represents a number of the major Bulgarian financial institutions and corporates in various disputes. Yavor Varadinov acts for Eurobank Bulgaria and United Bulgarian Bank, as bondholder and agent of the bondholder, in a number of foreclosure proceedings. The group also advises clients on insolvency procedures.

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