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Legal market overview
While times remained tough for Spain, the sale of many of the country’s distressed assets has attracted the interest of the international business community and law firms saw a resurgence of M&A as a result of companies’ divestiture of their Spanish operations.
Despite the prevalent optimism, 2014 was punctuated by aborted transactions, while restructuring and regulatory work remained very substantial focuses, with a persistent lack of liquidity and reluctance among financial institutions to provide new loans.
Competition practices across the board noted an uptick in merger clearance work and the majority also reported an increase in litigation and behavioural mandates, due in no small part to the merger of the country’s regulatory and competition agencies in 2013, creating the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC).
Law firms suffered a downward pressure on fees, often describing the situation as an open price war. In other market headlines, Uría Menéndez acquired a 30% stake in the merged entity of leading Latin American firms prietocarrizosa from Colombia and Philippi Yrarrázaval, Pulido & Brunner from Chile. Garrigues also strengthened its Latin American presence by opening offices in Colombia, Mexico and Peru to supplement its existing presence in Brazil.
Spain’s three powerhouses – Uría Menéndez, Garrigues and Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira – remain at the pinnacle of the legal market, picking up much of the emerging transactional activity. Behind the leading trio is a chasing pack including Gómez-Acebo & Pombo Abogados, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, and Linklaters.
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Spain has recently been referred to as one of the "hottest" European countries in terms of debt sales, specifically of non-performing loans. This should not come as a surprise in a scenario in which independent audits as of June 2012 revealed a EUR 62 billion capital shortfall in Spanish banks and in which the Spanish rate of non-performing loans stayed above eight per cent of all loans.
On October 11, the Official State Gazette published Law 38/2011 on the reform of Law 22/2003 of July 9 on Bankruptcy that entails a broad and ambitious procedure to modify bankruptcy legislation.
OPINION - ON DATA IN THE CLOUDS OR DIGITAL PHOTOCOPIERS
Chapter IV, Title III of the Bankruptcy Act (hereinafter, the "BA") regulates the filing of actions against the activity of debtors declared bankrupt in order to return to the bankrupt estate certain assets which the legislator considers should never have been taken away.
The employer has the possibility to contest the candidate lists in the event that a candidate does not comply with the conditions for eligibility. The Supreme Court recently confirmed that this is only possible within the strict terms provided in the social elections procedure.
Urgent Measures for the reform of collective bargaining.
Commercial …………………………. Strengthening Financial System Law on a Sustainable Economy
(1) Mercantile: Liberalizing actions in the tax and labor areas in order to encourage investment and create employment. (2) Litigation: Reform of the Penal Code (Organic Law 5/2010 of June 22). (3) Labor: Paternity Leave. Maintenance of employment and professional training. IPREM and SMI for 2011. Self Employed Workers. Pensions. Placement Agencies. (4) Tax: Changes: personal income tax, company tax, income tax for non residents, tax on patrimony transfers and documented legal acts, VAT.
We live in a globalized world where people, goods and money can move freely between national borders. It is perfectly possibly to buy a computer manufactured in Tokyo from a sales company established in Bangladesh, while sitting outdoors on a terrace in Rome. In this context, with transnational commerce and business relations constantly expanding, it is logical that international litigation is becoming increasingly commonplace.
VEGAS LEX is expanding cooperation with Russian book-publishing businesses. Its new client is a major and greatly respected publisher of educational material, Prosveshcheniye.
On April 27, 2015, VEGAS LEX was recognized in two new categories of Chambers Europe 2015, and a number of VL professionals were recognized on the world level.
On May 12-15, 2015, the Public-Private Partnership Development Institute organized a professional development program for Rostelecom staff on PPP projects. VEGAS LEX experts were invited to speak at training sessions.
Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC advised and assisted KKCG Group with its recent acquisition of an additioAndreas Neocleous & Co LLC advised and assisted KKCG Group with its recent acquisition of an additional 22.35% stake in the investment fund Emma Delta, which owns a 33% interest in the Greek lottery group OPAP. Following the completion of this transaction, KKCG will be the largest investor in Emma Delta, and will hold an effective stake of almost 14.8% in OPAP.
On Thursday, 26 March 2015, the French Competition Authority made a ruling (15-D-04) in a case involving an agreement between millers on a double concerted increase in the price of flour sold in bakeries in 2007. Of the twenty companies implicated at the end of the investigation, only three were ultimately penalised. CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre represented the interests of Moulin de Sauret.- CMS
Igor Chumachenko,VEGAS LEX Partner and Head of the Real Estate, Land & Construction Practice, has spoken at a conference during the REX forum that focused on the legal and economic risks for developers.
Zavadetskyi Advocates represented the Ukrainian subsidiary of AXA Insurance in criminal investigations of USD 9 million and USD 1.2 million damage events with the insured assets in the war zone in Eastern Ukraine. Within the investigation procedures advocates of the bureau proved that the events are to be qualified as excluded from the insurance coverage. Following the investigations Zavadetskyi Advocates proceeded with representing the client in the ensuing commercial litigation.
The participants of the Korporativny Yurist magazine’s webinar discussed the structure of contractual relationships and dispute resolution practices in construction with VEGAS LEX expert Nikolay Andrianov.
SK Capital Partners, a US-based private investment firm with focus on the specialty materials, chemicals and healthcare sectors, has acquired a controlling interest in AEB Group, a global leader in wine ingredients with growing positions in beer ingredients and food detergents. Headquartered in Brescia, Italy, AEB Group operates a network of production facilities and laboratories throughout Europe and the Americas.
Valora has signed an agreement to sell Valora Warenlogistik AG to 7Days Media Services GmbH. Valora Warenlogistik includes Valora's activities in the warehouse and transport logistics sector in the German and Italian speaking part of Switzerland. The transaction is subject to approval by the competent merger control authorities.