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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 > EU and competition > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Boyanov & Co.¬†handles the full range of matters in the sector, including abuse of dominance, vertical and horizontal agreements, cartels, unfair competition, and compliance issues. The team is led by the ‚Äėbusiness-oriented‚Äô Peter Petrov,¬†who ‚Äėhas solid knowledge, is one of the best competition lawyers in the CEE region¬†and can¬†handle any legal challenge a company can have in the difficult Bulgarian market‚Äô. The team represents major international companies such as Procter & Gamble, Allianz, Bayer and Philip Morris International, as well as several Bulgarian institutions and subsidiaries of multinational brands. The firm advised Hungarian financial group OTP Bank (which owns DSK Bank) on obtaining approval from the Commission for Protection of Competition for its proposed ‚ā¨125m acquisition of DSK's rival Vojvodanska Banka.

The ‚Äėco-operative, reliable and client-oriented‚Äô team at¬†CMS¬†has ‚Äėin-depth¬† knowledge in the sphere‚Äô and provides ‚Äėtimely and thorough advice‚Äô on all aspects of competition law, including merger control, cartels, abuse of dominance and superior bargaining position, unfair competition and compliance. The co-heads of the department are¬†‚Äėtechnically perfect and innovative‚Äô senior associate¬†Nevena Radlova, who has ‚Äėexcellent antitrust knowledge and profound business acumen‚Äô and is also the coordinator of the firm's CEE Competition Group, and associate¬†Gabriela Edreva, who has acted on a number of antitrust and state aid cases in the European Court of Justice. Clients are from various industries including pharmaceuticals, telecoms and fast-moving consumer goods, such as Colgate-Palmolive and Syngenta.¬†Atanas Bangachev¬†provided advice to Kaolin on merger control triggers in various jurisdictions.

Dimitrov, Petrov & Co's 'highly efficient' team advises on abuse of dominance, collusive agreements, incompatible state aid and unfair competition matters. Practice head Zoya Todorova specialises in merger clearances and senior associate Donka Stoyanova is 'able to address regulatory matters before the respective authorities'. Other key lawyers are the 'distinguished' Metodi Baykushev and senior associate Dimitar Karabelov, who is 'highly reliable and available at any time'. The team's client roster includes global companies such as Google, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Fox Networks Group, and the Bulgarian subsidiaries of multinationals such as Telenor and Société Générale. Recent highlights include defending Sofia Airport against a claim of abuse of dominance via predatory pricing offered by some low-cost airlines in a high-profile case before the Bulgarian competition regulator.

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov¬†is ‚Äėclearly a tier 1 firm thanks to its knowledge of competition law and its practical handling of cases‚Äô; it advises clients such as BMW,¬†British American Tobacco, Honeywell and Lukoil on merger control, cartel investigations, horizontal and vertical restraints on trade, and abuse of dominant position, among other matters. The ‚Äėvery experienced'¬†Nikolai Gouginski¬†heads the team;¬†senior associates Dr Anton Petrov, who regularly represents clients in unfair competition disputes, and Desislava Iordanova, who focuses on compliance, are also recommended. The team advised Nikon on an investigation launched by the Commission for Protection of Competition into alleged abuse of dominant position and prohibited practices in vertical agreements with regard to the structuring of its selective distribution system in Bulgaria.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co¬†has ‚Äôexceptional knowledge and experience in the field of EU and competition law‚Äô. The team acts for companies in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics (F. Hoffmann-La Roche), telecoms (Bulgarian Telecommunication Company and GPS Bulgaria) and retail (Comsed). The practice is led by¬†Ivan Todorov¬†and Alexander Pachamanov, while associate Lena Borislavova¬†specialises¬†in matters related to foreign investments. The team advised Balkantel on the competition law aspects of its proposal for the ‚ā¨95m public procurement project for the design and construction of signalling and telecoms systems on the Plovdiv-Burgas railway line.

The ‚Äėreliable, attentive, highly qualified and well-organised team' at¬†Kambourov & Partners¬†stands out for 'its incomparable level of commitment and dedication and across-the-board market knowledge‚Äô; it regularly¬†advises on matters such as market dominance, cartels, vertical restraints and unfair competition. Practice head Stefan Tzakov¬†is ‚Äėtruly exceptional‚Äô and ‚Äėcombines all the qualities you would imagine the perfect lawyer to have, blending together extensive legislative knowledge, deep industry insight, an analytical mind, intelligence and trustworthiness‚Äô. Recently promoted senior associate¬†Plamen Yotov¬†is¬†deputy head of the team and has expertise in cases involving alleged abuse of stronger bargaining position. The team counts international and domestic companies such as Lidl, Wizz Air, Prestige 96 and Zora among its clients.

Wolf Theiss covers all areas of competition law, including abuse of dominance, vertical and horizontal agreements, merger control, private enforcement, state aid and public procurement. Notable clients include KKR, Monster Energy and Boehringer. In a recent highlight, Richard Clegg and Anna Rizova advised Sumitomo Corporation on obtaining merger clearance from the Bulgarian competition authority following its acquisition of Moto-Pfohe. Senior associate Hristina Dzhevlekova is also noted.

Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria's 'experienced' team¬†handles abuse of dominant position, alleged market manipulation and public procurement matters, and is praised for its 'state-of-the-art expertise in local laws, procedures and regulations‚Äô. Team head¬†Severina Liubenova¬†regularly represents clients before the Commission for Protection of Competition. Senior associate Boriana Chotekova¬†‚Äėimpresses with her excellent knowledge of both Bulgarian and foreign laws and¬† excellent personal communication skills‚Äô; she and the ‚Äėcompetent‚Äô Andrey Delchev¬†represented Orbelus Organic Winery in a complaint to the European Commission regarding abuse of dominant market position by the state-owned alcohol monopolies in several Scandinavian countries where the client's wine was imported.

Hristov & Partners¬†has expertise in merger control and compliance matters, among others, and is active¬†in the automotive, pharmaceutical, food and drink, and transportation sectors. The key contacts are¬†‚Äėexcellent competition lawyer‚Äô Pavel Hristov¬†and associate Dragomir Stefanov. The team advised a multinational transportation solutions company on its proposed participation in an EU-funded public procurement tender for the supply of electric trains.

Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm's¬†‚Äėsolid competition practice‚Äô¬†advises clients in the online retail, financial services, real estate and energy sectors.¬†The team is praised for its ‚Äėexcellent' advice and¬†'great attention to detail‚Äô, and each lawyer is ‚Äėhighly dedicated and strives to find the most efficient solution to the client's problem with a passion for the law and a commitment to excellence‚Äô. Practice head¬†Dimitar Ivanov¬†is noted for his ‚Äėunrivalled¬†strategic advice and industry knowledge‚Äô and senior associate¬†Svetlana Valeva¬†is ‚Äėquick to respond, precise and very easy to work with‚Äô. The team advised online retailer Dante International on the alleged breach of various regulations on misleading advertising, prohibited gifts and unlawful promotion campaigns in four investigations by the Commission for Protection of Competition.

Kinstellar advises on compliance, merger filings and cartel investigations, among other matters. Of counsel Dessislava Fessenko, who focuses on merger control and state aid regulations, leads the practice. The team advised Generali Group on the competition law and regulatory aspects of entering into a bancassurance partnership with UniCredit.

Penkov, Markov & Partners advises clients on EU regulations, public procurement and unfair competition issues. Key contacts include practice co-head Vladimir Penkov and recently promoted partner Yura Mincheva, who regularly represents clients in merger notification proceedings. In a recent highlight, the team successfully obtained clearance for the merger of two domestic companies in the armament industry. Uber, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, CEZ and Heineken are major clients.

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) advises on compliance, abuse of dominance and stronger bargaining position, and merger control matters. Clients include major international companies in the finance, retail, oil and gas, and automotive industries. Team head Ilko Stoyanov and associate Galina Petkova are recommended.

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski's¬†team is made up of ‚Äėexperts with extensive knowledge‚Äô who¬†‚Äėunderstand the market‚Äô; it advises on merger notifications and clearance, vertical and horizontal agreements, and unfair competition. Key contacts include practice head¬†Venelin Dimitrov, who ‚Äėalways tries to maintain the balance between managing the competition law risk and the functioning of the business‚Äô, and senior associate¬†Eleonora Mateina, who ‚Äėhas extensive knowledge in the sector and always considers the relevant case law and the economic aspects of the case‚Äô. The team advises companies from the healthcare, natural resources, IT, energy and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, among others;¬†AstraZeneca and Mars are long-term clients.

The¬†‚Äėincredibly responsive‚Äô team at¬†BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm¬†provides ‚Äėhigh-quality‚Äô advice on abuse of dominance, vertical and horizontal agreements, cartels, compliance and unfair competition. Practice heads¬†Rossitsa Voutcheva¬†and¬†Diliana Ilieva¬†are ‚Äėtechnically competent‚Äô; Voutcheva¬†has expertise in merger control matters, and Ilieva¬†specialises in unfair competition and misleading advertising. The team advised Mars on the fair competition requirements of a promotion campaign for Whiskas and Pedigree.

Boyko Gerginov heads the practice at CHSH Gerginov Aehrenthal Zivny, which advised Tchibo on the competition law aspects of the termination and restructuring of commercial agreements and distribution contracts. Other major clients include Samsung Electronics and Fabex Bulgaria.

Delchev & Partners advises clients from the cosmetics, energy, media and agriculture sectors, including global brands such as L’Oréal and Flamagas, on the full range of competition law matters. Ivan Marinov, who advises on the commercial and IP aspects of competition law matters, is a key contact. In a recent highlight, the team successfully represented L’Oréal before the Commission for Protection of Competition in a major unfair competition case.

The ‚Äėbusiness-oriented‚Äô team at¬†Deloitte Legal Law Firm¬†is made up of ‚Äėtalented, bright and experienced lawyers who know competition law extremely well‚Äô and ‚Äėtake every client's assignment to heart and treat it as a priority‚Äô. Key contacts include practice head¬†Reneta Petkova; managing associate Kaloyan Yordanov, who ‚Äėhas good connections with the national competition authority‚Äô; and 'sharp-minded, diligent and co-operative‚Äô senior associate Yoana Zhechkova. The team acted for a real estate company to obtain merger clearance from the Bulgarian competition authority.

Dinova Rusev & Partners¬†has a ‚Äėpersonal approach‚Äô towards its clients and shows ‚Äėthe utmost level of care, understanding and diligence‚Äô when advising on¬†abuse of dominant position, unfair competition and misleading advertising matters. Department head¬†Milen Rusev¬†advises on complex M&A deals from a competition perspective, and¬†Iliya Grozdanov¬†is ‚Äėvery responsive and dedicated‚Äô. The team acted for Eko Bulgaria in proceedings before the Bulgarian competition authority regarding a possible cartel in the motor fuel retail sector, where the client faced a fine of ‚ā¨30m. Sofia South Ring Mall and Sephora are also major clients.

Popov & Partners¬†advises¬†clients from the chemical, tourism, pharmaceutical and TMT sectors, among others, on abuse of dominance, cartel, merger control and unfair competition matters. The team consists of ‚Äėa wide range of specialists with knowledge and skill in all legal fields, which allows clients to trust them easily‚Äô; the practice is led by Hristo Koparanov, while¬†Benislav Vatev¬†offers ‚Äėtimely advice‚Äô.

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