Dispute resolution in Bulgaria
Boyanov & Co. handles high-profile litigation and national and international arbitration proceedings. Kina Chuturkova heads the practice, and focuses on commercial litigation, enforcement of IP rights, judicial review of administrative actions and arbitration. Long-term clients include Coca-Cola, Eurobank, Philip Morris and UniCredit Bulbank. Boyko Voynov retired from practice.
CMS provides 'timely and thorough legal advice’ to clients in a variety of sectors, including energy, retail, telecoms and aviation, handling public procurement, IP, insurance and employment litigation; insolvency cases; and national and international arbitration. Assen Georgiev has experience in major commercial disputes; Antonia Kehayova handles real estate, IP and insurance litigation; and senior associate Maria Lazarova specialises in employment cases. The team acted for Burger King in court proceedings to obtain security for costs in an international arbitration relating to claims for compensation under several franchise agreements in Bulgaria.
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov is ‘recognised as a key player’ in the field, with a 'strong track record' of representing clients in litigation and local and international arbitration proceedings. The ‘extremely attentive and always available’ team includes practice head Angel Ganev, ‘an experienced litigator handling complex cases’, and senior associates Simeon Simeonov, who is ‘dedicated and multitasks with ease’, and Gergana Monovska, who specialises in commercial and environmental litigation. Genev and Georgi Tzvetkov represented the State General Reserve Fund of the Sultanate of Oman before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in a €150m claim against the Republic of Bulgaria relating to the termination of the banking licence of Corporate Commercial Bank. Other clients include CEZ Electro Bulgaria, Facebook and Deroni.
Georgiev, Todorov & Co’s team offers an ‘excellent level of service’ and is focused on ‘finding the best possible solution for the client’ in both litigation and administrative proceedings. Alexander Katzarsky has expertise in administrative, corporate and commercial litigation, and acts as an arbitrator in the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Mariya Derelieva has a ‘straightforward approach and strong litigation skills’. The team is active in various sectors, including energy and natural resources, construction, healthcare and transport. In a recent highlight, Katzarsky and Arno Mamasyan acted for First Investment Bank in a series of disputes regarding the enforcement of decisions issued against the client by the court of another EU member state, in the territory of Bulgaria, on the basis of bank guarantees. Clients include Port of Burgas, Bulgarian Posts, Vivacom and several hospitals in the City Clinic group.
Kambourov & Partners handles international litigation and arbitration, and specialises in claims in the IP, energy, finance and insurance sectors. The team is ‘unique in terms of its experience and sector diversity, quality of service, and commitment to helping clients’, and ‘combines local expertise with an understanding of international institutions’. Key contacts include managing partner Yavor Kambourov - ‘an absolute authority, whose market insight, experience, intelligence and legal capacity make him a spectacular expert’ - and team head Emil Emanuilov - ‘a brilliant litigator, with a thorough, analytical mind and the ability to think strategically’, who represents clients in multi-jurisdictional and multi-party litigation and arbitration. The firm represented Strabag in a dispute over payment for construction work.
Tomov & Tomov
The 'outstanding' Tomov & Tomov has acted as counsel or co-counsel to the Ministry of Finance in almost every significant international arbitration case involving the Republic of Bulgaria in the past 15 years. The team 'always provides reliable advice on complex legal issues based on its deep knowledge and wide experience' in disputes involving the oil and gas, electricity, waste management, telecoms and banking sectors. The head of the 'compact and well-organised' team is Lazar Tomov, whose 'broad legal knowledge, infallible strategic judgement and powerful advocacy have been decisive factors in winning many cases'. The team recently represented the Ministry of Finance in an investment treaty arbitration.
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria handles public tendering, public procurement, construction and commercial disputes. Team head Andrey Delchev, who acts as an arbitrator in the International Court of Arbitration in Paris and the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Severina Liubenova, who specialises in disputes concerning real estate ownership; and senior associate Ekaterina Dimcheva are recommended. Clients include institutions such as the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and Sofia Municipality and companies such as Allianz and Metropolitan. The team advised Allianz on an investigation into the market activities of insurance companies suspected of participating in retail price fixing and the management of vertical agreements; it was able to prove that the client had not committed market abuse, avoiding a multimillion-euro fine.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co advises on high-value cross-border disputes in the telecoms, energy, banking and pharmaceutical sectors. Metodi Baykushev has expertise in debt collection, insolvency, public procurement and construction disputes and medical malpractice litigation, and Hristo Nihrizov often handles major regulatory lawsuits. Key clients include Telenor and Bulgarian National Bank. Alexander Todorov is also recommended.
Dinova Rusev & Partners specialises in energy and environmental disputes. In a recent highlight, Iliya Grozdanov acted on behalf of a major international corporation in the renewable energy sector in an investor-state dispute over a breach of the fair and equitable treatment clause of the Energy Charter Treaty. Konstantin Stambolov heads the team.
The team at Dobrev & Lyutskanov ‘offers flexibility, a proactive approach and outstanding knowledge of foreign legal institutions and conflict of laws’, and provides ‘comprehensive coverage of cross-border claims’. Practice head Roumen Lyutskanov, Katerina Gramatikova and senior associate Gergana Ilieva, who specialises in proceedings on the right to ownership of immovable property, are the key contacts. Highlights included Lyutskanov representing CEZ Distribution Bulgaria in an action brought by the Electricity System Operator relating to the regulation of electricity prices.
Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm represents clients in the energy, entertainment, real estate and construction sectors, among others, and ‘defends clients' interests effectively, combining a professional attitude with knowledge of industry processes and local and international regulations’. Major clients include Coca-Cola, Bulgarian Petroleum Company, Orbit and Residential Park Sofia. The team is ‘devoted to its work and capable of coping under pressure, and provides tailored business solutions’; it is headed by the ‘precise, efficient, technically strong and determined’ Dimitar Ivanov, who focuses on construction disputes, corporate litigation and unfair competition cases, and Ivan Jordanov, a ‘good strategic thinker with great commercial awareness’. Senior associate Svilen Babachev, who ‘works with passion and dedication backed by solid theoretical knowledge’, specialises in commercial, debt collection, insolvency, employment and taxation disputes. Ivanov successfully defended the Ministry of Energy against complaints by several international electricity companies that an export ban on electricity, which was imposed by the state for 27 days during the winter, was a violation of EU and international law.
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski represents clients before the commercial, administrative, employment and insolvency courts in Bulgaria, as well as the ICSID and the Court of Justice of the European Union. The team ‘adapts to clients' requirements’ and the ‘trustworthy’ lawyers have ‘good communication skills and a broad knowledge of the law combined with a good track record on past cases’. Long-term clients include Société Générale, Faro, Wrigley and AstraZeneca. Nikolay Bebov and senior associate Victoria Tzonkova represented Société Générale as a major creditor in the complex insolvency proceedings of the fourth largest Bulgarian bank, Corporate Commercial Bank. Practice head Iliya Komarevski advises clients in the transport, pharmaceutical, fast-moving consumer goods and infrastructure sectors.
Wolf Theiss handles commercial, administrative and regulatory proceedings, tax and insolvency disputes, international arbitration and mediation. Clients are from various sectors, including healthcare, food and beverages, IT and fashion. The team is headed by Anna Rizova, who assists clients in commercial disputes in the telecoms and energy sectors, as well as in competition litigation, and Radoslav Mikov, who represented Axpo Bulgaria in a series of complex enforcement and insolvency proceedings against the operator of a Bulgarian thermal power plant in multiple courts around the country. Senior associate Katerina Novakova has experience in administrative and environmental proceedings.
Atanassov & Ivanov Law Firm
Atanassov & Ivanov Law Firm’s litigation practice offers ‘highly specialised legal expertise and a cost-effective and business-oriented approach to the client' in disputes in the energy, banking, retail, and food and wine sectors. Iliyan Ivanov and Stoyan Atanassov, who is currently representing the largest bank in Bulgaria – UniCredit Bulbank – in multiple claims for the recovery of over €10m in debt from 1,000 individuals and businesses, are the key contacts; both are ‘creative and proactive strategists who avoid unnecessary expense and wasted effort and defend clients’ interests vigorously’. Major clients include Park Place Energy and Elton Corporation; the former was represented by Ivanov in the Supreme Administrative Court in a challenge to the validity of its oil and gas exploration licence, in a case which set a legal precedent for environmental licences.
BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm
BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm has experience in commercial, tax and administrative litigation, as well as international arbitration, in various sectors including media and telecoms, energy, construction, retail and employment. Clients have 'perfect business relationships' with the team. Rossitsa Voutcheva and Diliana Ilieva lead the practice with the support of tax department head Tamara Kovacheva, who handles disputes before the National Revenue Agency.
Delchev & Partners
Delchev & Partners represents domestic and international businesses in commercial disputes. The team is composed of managing partner Emil Delchev, Bozhko Poryazov, Ivan Marinov and associate Nedyalka Vylcheva. Key clients include L’Oréal and Lukoil. The team is currently representing the German company KMG Holding in a claim against a Bulgarian water supply and sewerage company for failure to meet payment obligations arising from an agreement on the rehabilitation of water supply systems.
Dyulgerova & Penkova Law Firm
Dyulgerova & Penkova Law Firm's 'open and honest' team 'acts as a real partner to its clients' in commercial, employment, real estate and construction disputes. 'Excellent litigator’ Victoria Penkova heads the team; she focuses on construction and tax disputes, and ‘manages to process complex issues quickly’. Other key contacts are attorneys at law Diana Milkova, who stands out for her ‘commercial approach, innovative solutions and ability to devise successful strategies’, and Bianca Veleva, who is praised for her ‘in-depth knowledge, proactivity and attention to detail’. The team recently represented FCC Construcción in arbitration proceedings before the International Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in relation to outstanding payments owed to the client by the state.
Gugushev & Partners Law Office
The ‘focused, motivated, competent and efficient’ team at Gugushev & Partners Law Office mainly advises international companies with operations in Bulgaria. Managing partner Stefan Gugushev ‘is an amazing professional with an incredible business and legal perspective who looks at the big picture and the long-term effects of current events’; Petko Angelov and Dafinka Stoycheva head the dispute resolution practice; and senior associate Aleksandrina Terziyska specialises in insolvency proceedings and arbitration. The team successfully represented Glorient Investment in a longstanding dispute with Technomarket over the ownership of real estate.
The ‘highly experienced, communicative and friendly’ team at Kinkin & Partners has 'excellent legal knowledge' and 'always takes care of the client's interests'. It focuses on commercial bankruptcy proceedings and intellectual property cases, as well as representing clients domestic and international arbitration. Practice head Vladimir Kinkin and senior associate Silviya Spasova have a ‘strategic and well-balanced approach to cases’, and Adriana Nacheva, who focuses on energy, environmental and real estate disputes, is also noted. The team represented Kaliakria Property Management in the insolvency proceedings of a debtor to which the client had provided a loan for investment purposes.
The team at Kinstellar ‘gets the job done perfectly and is passionate about its work’; it covers all areas of business law and gives ‘practical and clear advice’ in litigation and arbitration. Kiev-based Kostiantyn Likarchuk heads the firm-wide practice, while the Sofia office is led by the 'smart, experienced, dedicated and responsive' Mladen Minev and the ‘extremely bright, ethical, attentive and energetic’ Antonia Mavrova. The team represented P&S East Growth in arbitration before the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry relating to a dispute over a share purchase agreement.
The 'business-oriented' team at Murgova & Partners Attorneys at Law is valued for its 'integrity and accuracy' and 'practical and theoretical knowledge combined with very strong negotiating skills’. The team is headed by Petya Murgova, who ‘has thorough knowledge of Bulgarian and European law’, and the ‘highly effective, confident and flexible’ Alexander Moskov. Senior associates Silvana Dzharkova-Aleksandrova; Alexander Stoimenov; and Stanislava Gurdjieva, who is ‘an expert when it comes to taxation’, are also noted. The team successfully represented a manufacturing company in arbitration relating to a claim for non-performance under an agreement for supply of goods that was brought against the client.
Penkov, Markov & Partners
Penkov, Markov & Partners covers commercial litigation as well as construction, employment, public procurement and tax disputes, including those with cross-border aspects, and international arbitration proceedings. The ‘focused and dedicated’ team is ‘extremely diversified, with experts in almost every legal field’ and takes ‘a personal approach’. Chairman Vladimir Penkov ’does not just build working relationships but has real synergy with everyone involved with him’; team head Atanas Valov was recently promoted to associated partner; and Yura Mincheva is also recommended. In a recent highlight, Penkov and Milena Gaidarska acted for Glorient Investment in a complex and high-value case against Technomarket regarding the payment of overdue rents and handover of unlawfully retained commercial stores and warehouse facilities.
PETERKA & PARTNERS LAW FIRM
Popov & Partners
Popov & Partners works ‘successfully with both state institutions and businesses’; the team ‘pays attention to the smallest details’ and delivers ‘great results’. Points of contact are the ‘reliable' Desislava Tsvetkova, who heads the judicial debt collection and insolvency department and is 'very communicative, detail-oriented and easy to work with’, and the 'experienced' Sibina Eftenova, who ‘has rich knowledge of different legal areas’. Tsvetkova acted for A1, Bulgaria's biggest telecoms operator, in proceedings relating to the collection of overdue receivables.