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Legal market overview
The Czech market appears to be recovering from its recent downturns over the course of the eurozone crisis.
While activity in the M&A market as a whole is still low, the energy and the telecoms sector have seen some major transactions. In addition, a number of private Czech investors are concentrating their wealth into quasi private equity funds, and this trend is certainly offsetting the increasing number of foreign investors leaving the market. On the real estate side, the recovery is slow at best; certain segments of the market, such as office buildings, are saturated and investments are rare.
Elsewhere, lawyers have been kept busy with the numerous restructurings flowing from the difficult economic environment. The start-up industry is slowly gaining visibility, as the first venture capitalists exit from their investments. And a major change is happening in the private law arena, with the new Civil Code (introduced as of January 2014) creating significant demand for legal advice.
Among the law firms, the key international players are Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, v.o.s., advokátní kancelár, Clifford Chance, White & Case (Europe) LLP, CMS, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP s.r.o Advokatin Kancelar; and Kinstellar s.r.o advokátní kancelár, Havel, Holásek & Partners s.r.o. and Glatzová & Co., s.r.o. stand out among the local firms.
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Three new laws re-codifying Czech private law are set to change the country's current legal order entirely. The current order (i.e. Act No. 40/1964 Coll., Civil Code; Act No. 513/1991 Coll., Commercial Code; Act No. 97/1963 Coll., on International Private Law) will be abolished entirely and replaced with new laws of symbolic numbers: Act No. 89/21012 Coll., New Civil Code; Act No. 90/2012 Coll.; on Corporations; and Act No. 91/2012 Coll., on International Private Law. As one of the largest legal overhauls of the Czech Republic's laws in recent decades, this development is indeed an admirable achievement. Of course, nothing new comes into this world without difficulties.
Starting from 1 January 2013 the amendment to Act No. 406/2000 Coll., on Energy Management, as amended, has increased, to a significant extent, the obligations of developers, building owners, associations of housing unit owners and housing unit owners as well (i.e. owners of flats and non-residential premises) relating to the issue of so-called energy performance certificates. This instrument, which was first introduced in 2009 for new constructions or large scale reconstructions, should provide simple and transparent information about the energy consumption of a building by classifying it in a respective energy performance class, such asweknowit in the case of electrical appliances.
The Act No. 373/2011 Sb., on Specific Health Services, became effective on 1 April 2012.
On November 23 2012 a seminar on competition law enforcement in the energy sector held at the Energy Community Secretariat in Vienna saw the creation of the Energy Community Competition Network. Competition authorities from Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Kosovo and Armenia, as well as representatives of the Energy Community Secretariat, signed a joint declaration on the etablishment of the network at the Energy Community.
The forthcoming amendment to the Act on the Protection of Competition will make several changes to Competition Authority practices. Among other things, the amendment will introduce prioritisation into its practices, allowing the authority to decide not to initiate administrative proceedings following certain alleged breaches of the act where those breaches have a minor effect on competition. The authority will also be able to legally prioritise the investigation of some alleged infringements over others.
The construction of new buildings or the reconstruction of existing buildings, especially in dense urban areas, is almost always connected with the risk of causing damage to third parties. It is therefore important for the builder (contractor or property developer) as well as subjects exposed to potential damages (especially owners and users of adjoining buildings) to know the statutory conditions of liability for damages and related rights and obligations(1).
This guide provides corporate counsel and international practitioners with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of the laws and regulations of mergers and acquisitions. This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Mergers & Acquisitions; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. www.iclg.co.uk.
This guide provides the international practitioner and in-house counsel with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of the laws and regulations of real estate. This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Real Estate; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. www.iclg.co.uk )
by Kristýna Oberfalcerová, Attorney-at-Law, Randa Havel Legal
The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ). This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force. The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million with an interest rate of 4.765 % and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.