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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
Kyiv, 11 August 2014 - Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the following three export financing credits:
Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the acquisition of an electrified railway of over two kilometers long and a power line.
Avellum Partners acted as the legal counsel to the owners of a leading Ukrainian FMCG producer in connection with its sale to a private investor.
KKR, a leading global investment firm, announced an investment in arago AG ("arago"). arago is a German-based high-tech company specialised in IT automation. KKR will acquire a minority stake in arago and support the global roll-out of arago's product portfolio with growth equity.
Funds Legal and Regulatory Update- Ogier
In early August 2014 „Popov & Partners" Law office was selected by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria to perform public procurement named „Research and analysis of existing systems for enforcement in the EU Member States, research and exchange of the European good practices related to the construction of electronic system/portal for enforcement". The research is in the framework of „Effective and transparent enforcement, integrated with national and European electronic legal systems" implemented with the grant of the Operational Programme „Administrative Capacity", co-financed by the European Union through the European Social Fund.
In the middle of July 2014 "Popov and Partners" law office was awarded a public procurement, announced by the Ministry of Finance, with subject matter "Analysis of the structure of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" (OPAC) and development of an offer for structure of the Managing Authority of Operational Programme "Good Governance" (OPGG) in relation to the 2014-2020 programming period". The public procurement is part of a project for analysis of the structure of the Ministry of Finance and Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" Directorate, realized with the financial support of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" (OPAC), co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund. The most fundamental aim of all project activities is to guarantee the effective execution of Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" Directorate at the Ministry of Finance, in its capacity of Managing authority of the new Operational Programme "Good Governance" 2014 - 2020, which will replace Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity" and Operational Programme "Technical Assistance", implemented during the past programming period.
The international media company Bertelsmann is increasing its ownership of Gruner + Jahr to 100 percent by acquiring Jahr Holding's 25.1 percent shareholding. The transaction was agreed among Gruner + Jahr's shareholders. Bertelsmann's acquisition of the remaining shares in Gruner + Jahr will become effective on November 1, 2014. The purchase price is being paid in cash, and the parties have agreed not to disclose the amount.
Hengeler Mueller advises LEG Immobilien AG on acquisition of portfolio of around 9,600 residential uA subsidiary of LEG Immobilien AG ("LEG"), acting as the buyer, and Deutsche Annington Immobilien SE ("Deutsche Annington"), acting as the seller, yesterday signed an agreement for a portfolio transaction for around 9,600 residential units and related employees in North Rhine-Westphalia by way of share deal. The total transaction volume amounts to €484m. Following antitrust approval, the closing of the transaction is expected by the end of October 2014.