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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
Shortly after the signing of a USD 2.5 billion investment loan agreement, KGHM Polska Miedź announces the completion of another major financing project.
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Schoenherr, a leading law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, advised Laakman Holding Limited on the increase of their participation in the listed fund company C-QUADRAT Investment AG from 9.4 % to 18.4 %. read more...
Zavadetskyi Advocates advised a US private equity fund regarding USD 110 million divestiture from Ukrainian commercial real estate project.
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AstapovLawyers International Law Group has provided corporate tax consulting and legal advisory to the joint stock oil company Bashneft, one of the Russia's largest integrated oil companies, due to its contemplated expansion into new market in the Southeast Europe.
On 6 June 2014, draft primary legislation to provide the Jersey Financial Services Commission with the power to impose civil financial penalties for material contraventions of the Codes of Practice and the AML/CFT Handbook was published.- Ogier
On 24 July 2014, Wild Bunch S.A. and the listed Senator AG announced their intention to merge into a European independent film distribution company. Wild Bunch is an important player in the field of international film sales and electronic distribution with a Europe-wide network in France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Senator AG is a German film productions and distribution company producing and distributing German and international movies since the 1970s.
Hengeler Mueller has successfully reached a temporary suspension of the prohibition order of the city of Hamburg against Uber, a provider for a smartphone-app for on-demand transportation services. Uber may thus continue providing its services in Hamburg until further notice.