Firms To Watch: EU and competition

Established in September 2018, boutique law firm PPG Lawyers focuses on merger filings and unfair competition proceedings. The department is led by Mariya Papazova, who has over 15 years’ experience in handling competition and consumer protection matters.

EU and competition in Bulgaria

Boyanov & Co.

Boyanov & Co. excels in both domestic and cross-border mandates concerning antitrust procedures and litigation, as well as merger control, as the team acted for The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund in successfully obtaining merger clearance for its acquisition of control of Enery Development. With ‘deep knowledge in competition law’, practice leader Peter Petrov has the experience and capability to handle high-profile matters across various industry sectors. Kina Chuturkova is a key member of the team and assists in competition disputes.

Practice head(s):

Peter Petrov

Other key lawyers:

Kina Chuturkova; Nikolay Kolev

Testimonials

‘Very competent, capable, reliable and an easy-going team. I have the confidence that the cases are very well thought of and various solutions are proposed.’

‘Peter Petrov is an exceptional lawyer with very deep knowledge in competition law and a rich practice, both local and EU. Extremely competent and reliable, easy-going, he is a pleasure to work with. He is always available and very fast in providing legal advice.’

‘All team members are very skilled and easy to work with. They all display the same practical and business-relevant approach.’

Key clients

Procter & Gamble

AbbVie

Novartis

Merck

Philip Morris

EVN

Bayer

Unilever

Mondelez

Siemens

Medtronic

Adidas

Lego

De’Longhi

Pfizer

KBC

Duvetica

The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund

Newcrest

Association of Bulgarian Automobile Importers

Mondi Packaging

Vivre

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund in successfully obtaining merger clearance for its acquisition of control of Enery Development, a major renewables venture capital undertaking focused on the CEE Region.
  • Contracted to provide the Bulgarian component of the study commissioned by the European Commission on the national application of the concept of market definition.
  • Advising on a regular basis a large number of major local and international groups, including Adidas, Novartis, Philip Morris, Merck, and Coca-Cola, among other, on antitrust, unfair competition, dawn raids, internal compliance, internal investigations and other issues.

CMS

The competition and antitrust team at CMS advises a varied roster of leading domestic companies and international clients on a broad range of mandates, ‘starting from compliance, merger control and antitrust procedures and litigation’, as well as abuse of dominant position and investigations and cartels. Praised as ‘knowledgeable and confident in advising on various competition matters’, counsel Nevena Radlova heads the CEE-wide competition group and co-leads the Sofia team alongside banking and finance partner Dimitar Zwiatkow. Recently promoted counsel Anna Tanova acts for clients in the media sector on competition mandates.

Practice head(s):

Nevena Radlova; Dimitar Zwiatkow

Other key lawyers:

Anna Tanova

Testimonials

‘Top quality services and a business oriented firm. They cover very broad areas in competition practice starting from compliance, merger control and antitrust procedures and litigation.’

‘We work with Anna Tanova. She has ability to draft, advise and negotiate in relation to complex transactions. Anna has strong academic background and demonstrates high level of intellectual analysis. Also she has excellent client relationship skills. Anna has ability to develop and work in a fast paced, intellectually challenging environment. She can work under pressure and has ability to manage multiple deadlines.’

‘Very knowledgeable of their respective industries and areas of specialisation, up-to-date with the trends and developments, client orientated.’

‘The attention we receive makes Nevena Radlova maybe the best counsel that we can wish. She is very attentive, very careful to provide the best solution for every topic raised. From a commercial side point of view, Nevena is the best counsel that we could have.’

‘The team is always on time with prompt expertise and advice to in-house legal and business. The key strength of the team is international expertise gained from the legal offices in the other countries and jurisdictions which gives us the advantage to find solution in matters which are not solved by local legislation and practice.’

‘The team is highly competent, responsive, follows the latest legislative requirements and market practices and will tailor the advice to best fit your business needs. Nevena Radlova is a proven expert in the field, she is very knowledgeable and confident in advising on various competition matters.’

Key clients

Gazprombank

Michelin

Syngenta

The Sales House

Kaolin EAD, part of Quartzwerke Gruppe

Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters

EVN AG/Elektrorazpredelenie Yug EAD

Work highlights

  • Advising Michelin on competition law issues involving the compatibility prizes and add-ons to end-customers and vendors’ dealers with competition law.
  • Advising Syngenta Bulgaria on various commercial and litigation matters, including on compliance of their promotional programmes, various projects and commercial practices with competition laws.
  • Providing ongoing assistance to Kaolin on compliance with competition law; review of contracts and terms and conditions from competition law perspective; running trainings on competition law topics.

Dimitrov, Petrov & Co

Dimitrov, Petrov & Co acts for leading domestic and international clients in the TMT and life sciences sectors, including Google, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, on competition and antitrust matters relating to abuse of dominance, collusive agreements and state aid, to name a few. Corporate and M&A partner Zoya Todorova leads the practice group and has experience in representing clients before the Commission for Protection of Competition. ‘Competition matters are in good hands’ with newly promoted partner Donka Stoyanova.

Practice head(s):

Zoya Todorova

Other key lawyers:

Donka Stoyanova

Testimonials

‘We have been working mainly with the competition experts Donka Stoyanova and Zoya Todorova. We are beyond satisfied with their approach and how professionally they are working. We are pleased with their attitude and prompt work. We feel secure with them handling our legal matters. They go into great detail and view the matters from many different aspects.’

‘I would recommend the team to any potential clients as they are top competition experts and they have impressive in-depth knowledge of telecom sector problems. We are very pleased with their services and how good their team is at what they do and the dedication and attention they present their clients with.’

‘When it comes to competition, we call Donka Stoyanova. She knows the law back to front and is also very deep into the local regulator’s and courts’ practice on competition cases. She has represented us more than once and we know that with her, our competition matters are in good hands.’

‘We have mainly worked with Donka Stoyanova, who has been helping us with competition matters. She has been very helpful with explaining our options and has represented us successful in court. We can recommend her skills and communication.’

Key clients

Google

Canpol

Telenor Bulgaria

Branch Association of Bulgarian Telecommunication Operators

Pfizer Luxemburg, Bulgaria Branch

VML Consult

Pepco Bulgaria

Vodokanalstroy Kostovi

Work highlights

  • Advising Google on compliance with competition rules and mostly with local specifics and practices in this legal area of all new launches of campaigns, competitions, games, and other commercial practices.
  • Consulting Telenor Bulgaria on various matters, both contentious and ongoing competition assessments and advice.
  • Providing day-to-day legal advice to Pfizer on versatile matters arising within the activity of the company in Bulgaria.

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov’s caseload includes the full spectrum of competition and antitrust mandates, including merger control, cartel investigations, and matters concerning restraint of trade and abuse of dominant position. The ‘top-notch’ team counts leading domestic and multinational companies, including TikTok, British American Tobacco and UEFA, among its roster of clients. Nikolai Gouginski, who has extensive experience in representing clients in investigations and proceedings before the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition, jointly leads the practice alongside TMT and corporate partner Violetta Kunze.

Practice head(s):

Nikolai Gouginski; Violetta Kunze

Other key lawyers:

Vladislav Antonov; Dessislava Iordanova

Testimonials

‘Profound knowledge of competition law, extensive experience and swift and high-quality legal advice.’

‘We are very happy with the legal services provided by Vladislav Antonov and Nikolay Gouginski. Nikolay and Vladislav are making a very strong and reliable duo with their extensive expertise in the field of competition law. The team is very responsive, with a strong understanding on the matter and provides quick, high-quality, and business orientated services.’

‘Very deep understanding on the matter with a business orientated approach toward each advice and with a prompt reaction in each and every case.’

‘Top notch legal service, extremely responsive and flexible.’

Key clients

OMV Bulgaria

Nikon Europe B.V.

Tik Tok

Novartis Group

Mayoral Moda Infantil and Mayoral Bulgaria

British American Tobacco Trading

Devnya Cement (Part of the Heidelberg Cement Group)

Blantyre Capital Limited

UEFA

Quadrant Beverages

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing Nikon with respect to an investigation launched by the CPC in January 2018 into an alleged abuse of dominant position and prohibited practices.
  • Advising and representing Mayoral Moda Infantil and its Bulgarian subsidiary in two sets of proceedings against both companies initiated on a complaint by a former commercial partner.
  • Representing OMV Bulgaria in antitrust investigation launched by the CPC in April 2020 against eleven wholesalers and retailers in the fuel sector for alleged abuse of dominant position and coordination among the participants on the fuel markets.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co

Georgiev, Todorov & Co is noted for its expertise in competition disputes – concerning issues such as exclusionary distribution practices, monopoly and abuse of dominant position and trademark infringement – on behalf of its impressive roster of clients. On the non-contentious side, the team’s workload includes marketing campaigns, acquisitions and procedures relating to local and EU competition regulations. Practice leader Alexander Pachamanov acts for clients in the transport and telecoms sectors on competition and antitrust mandates. Arno Mamasyan and Tsvetelina Dimitrova are key contacts in the team.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Pachamanov

Other key lawyers:

Arno Mamasyan; Tsvetelina Dimitrova

Testimonials

‘We decided to work with this firm because of the experience and success rate they have in energy matters and their in-depth knowledge in the dispute resolution and transport fields. The exceptional litigation skills, in-depth knowledge of energy regulations and the jurisprudence of the CJEU are among the main strengths of the team that helped us successfully solve our dispute.’

‘The firm always delivers on information on time, has transparent billing and offers great value. In the past year, their team used various platforms to communicate with us in a safely manner due to the pandemic of COVID-19 to finalize our dispute.’

‘The practice uses an approach to building trust by setting priorities for work, using people who have already entered a specific task and mostly based on the goal that the client wants to achieve in order to find the most appropriate ways to do it. Fast, timely personal contact and approach is maintained.’

‘Close contact and honesty in the relationship are typical. Behavior is not just something to be done, but to be done so that it is satisfactory for the client. They are not afraid to take on tasks with great urgency and at the same time with extensive documentation.’

‘I am very pleased with my work with Alexander Pachamanov, who is the basis of all consultations.’

Key clients

Albena Sport 2000

AWANTYS Group

Balkam Group

BMF Port Burgas

Bulgarian Telecommunications Company

COMSED

European Parliament

Gazprom Export LLC

Gimel Organic

METRO Cash & Carry Bulgaria

Metroreklama & MOUTION ARTS

NURTS Digital

Roche Bulgaria

Sofia Bikes Association

Vivacom

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Balkam Group against a claim of unfair competition made by Jacobs Douwe Egberts Bulgaria.
  • Consulted METRO Cash & Carry Bulgaria on the process of transposing into Bulgarian national law the requirements of Directive (EU) 2019/904 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment and bringing the company’s activities in line with European Union law.
  • Successfully represented Bulgarian Telecommunication Company in proceedings for prohibition of unfair competition.

Kambourov & Partners

Kambourov & Partners is praised for its ‘seamless combination of expert advisory and litigation services, which cover every competition aspect a business may encounter’, such as merger control, vertical restraints, compliance, market dominance and investigations, to name a few. Senior associate Plamen Yotov, who is commended for the ‘depth and breadth of his competition law acumen’, leads the practice group and is supported by ‘first-rate competition litigatorStefan Tzakov, who specialises in competition casesNotable client gains include United Group and Silverfleet Capital.

Practice head(s):

Plamen Yotov

Other key lawyers:

Stefan Tzakov; Elena Apostolova

Testimonials

‘From our perspective, Stefan Tzakov and Plamen Yotov stand out as very precise and pragmatic lawyers. Stefan Tzakov brings a wealth of diverse experience and impeccable work ethic. Plamen Yotov has impressed us with the depth and breadth of his competition law acumen and his ability to tackle non-standard issues.’ 

‘Speaking as a long-term client of the competition practice of the firm, I am pleased to share that their great reputation on the market has always been justified. It combines litigation and competition skills in a unique way. The practice also provides sharp advice on the whole range of competition matters and is just as brilliant when it comes to representing clients before the Bulgarian Competition Authority and national courts. The team has extensive legal knowledge and experience which blends perfectly with their understanding of the markets in which their clients are active. Two of the things which we value the most about this practice are the complementarity of the team and its hands-on approach all the way from associates to senior partners. We always feel confident when they are by our side, having established deep trust with them over the years.’ 

‘We can mention Plamen Yotov because his knowledge and experience are exceptional in the field of EU, competition, commercial legislation, antitrust and unfair competition issues.’ 

‘Strong professionals with great capability of solving business issues.’ 

‘We mainly work with Stefan Tzakov and Elena Apostolova who have greatly supported us during the years. When it comes to issues concerning our company, they have always had a proactive approach, considering our business interests and priorities. Stefan Tzakov is undoubtedly a market leader with profound knowledge and excellent understanding of the Bulgarian competition authority’s practices. One of his greatest assets is that he is also a first-rate competition litigator. He is direct, to the point, and always on time. He always adds a personal touch to his advice and is a true pleasure to work with. Elena Apostolova is highly organised, extremely responsive and always alert. She has broad knowledge and experience in competition law, a very keen eye for details, and strong determination to always get the best results, qualities which make her a key member of the team and an asset to the clients of the practice.’ 

‘What is unique about the practice is the seamless combination of expert advisory and litigation services, which cover every competition aspect a business may encounter. The team is spectacular on both operational and strategic level, truly client-oriented and always looking out for the client’s best interests from a legal and commercial perspective. Their expertise is tried and tested on local and international level and for the past several years they have been a valuable partner for us. Excellent capabilities and resources, as well as a wide network of international partners.’ 

‘Stefan Tzakov is hands down an exceptional lawyer. Deeply specialised, profoundly experienced, detail-oriented and completely in charge of every situation. He is equally fantastic for competition advisory and litigation work and is proficient in EU law. Plamen Yotov is another lawyer we work with in competition. He is efficient, results-driven, structured and organised. Plamen has excellent professional competence in all areas of competition law.’ 

‘The whole team, with expertise in competition law, has outstanding qualities and capabilities.’ 

Key clients

United Group

BY FAR

Silverfleet Capital

European federation of Energy Traders

bTV Media Group/Central European Media Enterprises

Kaufland Bulgaria

Wizz Air

Lidl Bulgaria

Robert Bosch (Bosch)

Prestige-96

Kamenitza/Starbev Netherlands B.V./Molson Coors

Specialised Hospital for Active Treatment in Obstetrics and Gynaecology Selena

Maxima Bulgaria

Consultancy Engineering Group

Zora

Axis

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtained merger control clearances for the acquisitions by United Group of Nova Broadcasting Group and Telegraph Newspaper.
  • Represented Silverfleet Capital in merger control proceedings regarding the acquisition of the Bulgarian software company Bulpros and the German CRM company ec4u.
  • Advising the fashion company BY FAR on the competition compliance of its business activity.

Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria

Andrey Delchev and Partners – Eurolex Bulgaria advises energy, fuel supply and insurance-sector clients on alleged market manipulation and abuse matters, as demonstrated by the team’s representation of CEZ Group in litigation regarding alleged abuse of dominant position. Severina Liubenova, who has experience in handling advertising-related competition issues, leads the practice group and is supported by Boriana Chotekova, the former head of the antitrust unit at the Commission for Protection of Competition. The team also advises on the competition aspects of public procurement mandates.

Practice head(s):

Severina Liubenova

Other key lawyers:

Boryana Chotekova

Testimonials

‘We have primarily worked with Severina Liubenova. We would single out her experience and understanding of our business as a particular strength as it allows her to give us practical and informed advice. During our entire working relationship, she has consistently demonstrated that she is a reliable, trustworthy and discreet professional who is dedicated to delivering the highest quality service to her clients. Our questions are usually handled directly by Ms. Liubenova, but our impressions of the overall team are also positive. The firm appears to include dedicated experts in many different fields, so we trust that all of our questions, regardless of the subject matter, are always handled by qualified professionals with the relevant experience.’

‘The Law firm provides highly professional services from experienced lawyers having the expertise and motivation to meet the best criteria for quality of the work. They deliver timely, exhaustive and competent legal advice discussed from different perspectives and observing the highest standards in this area. They react very quickly to legal changes. Persistence when defending us in court is very impressive.’

‘The law firm has a solid team of professionals in various fields of law.’

‘We have been relying on Andrey Delchev and Partners for legal advice for many years. Initially we started working with them because they were recommended to us as one of the leading corporate and commercial law firms. However, they proved to be excellent in TMT and competition law too. We have had an excellent working relationship with them ever since. During our long working relationship they have developed a real understanding of our work, over and beyond what is expected of an outside consultant, which allows them to anticipate legal problems and to offer us the appropriate advice proactively and clearly. They produce very well-written and precise documents and in general it is easy to communicate with them. They have also proven to be very efficient in commercial negotiations and litigation.’

Key clients

Fresh Media Group

National Trust EcoFund

CEZ Group

Municipalities

Treger

Work highlights

  • Advised CEZ Group in litigation related to alleged abuse of dominant position.
  • Advised Fresh Media Group on competition and regulatory issues related to broadcasting of radio programs in Bulgaria.
  • Advised Treger on alleged abuse of dominant position by the local WSS operator in Sofia.

Dinova Rusev & Partners

Dinova Rusev & Partners handles a broad scope of competition and antitrust mandates, including merger control, abuse of dominant position and cartel investigations, as well as compliance reviews for its roster of long-standing clients. Milen Rusev previously worked for the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition and leads the team, while Ivelina Cherneva advises on the competition aspects of M&A deals. The practice group regularly assists key clients, including 3M, Daskalanotnakis Group and Eko Bulgaria, to name of few, on day-to-day competition law and unfair trading issues.

Practice head(s):

Milen Rusev

Other key lawyers:

Ivelina Cherneva; Yordan Minko

Testimonials

‘The main advantage of DRP is the approach to the specific request of the customer – knowing our business and practices, they have provided professional legal support. They have a very collaborative team with lots of knowledge and expertise. Our connection is fast and responses are obtained in timely manner.’

‘The team delivered efficiently all the requirements within the agreed time schedule without and budget. Key capabilities are accuracy, well designed scope and results.’

‘Availability is one of their key advantages, without undervaluing their high quality of services and their experience versus competitors.’

Key clients

3M Bulgaria

AP Retail I

Sofia South Ring Mall

Sephora Bulgaria

Imerys Minerals Bulgaria

Daskalantonakis Group of Companies

Marinopoulos group

Eko Bulgaria

Work highlights

  • Assisted Daskalantonakis Group in a group restructuring exercise in Bulgaria, which included the preparation of a complicated and not straight-forward application for merger clearance and representation of the Client before the Bulgarian merger regulator.
  • Representing EKO Bulgaria in an ongoing cartel investigation involving all major fuel retail and wholesale operators in Bulgaria.
  • Providing litigation services to Kaliakra Wind Power, aimed at putting an end of unfair trading practices, including abuse of monopolistic position, by the state owned National Electric Company.

Hristov & Partners

Hristov & Partners advises clients across multiple industries, including automotive, technology, food and beverages, life sciences and energy, on matters relating to abuse of dominant position, vertical and horizontal agreements, merger control and unfair competition, among others. The team benefits from its regular collaboration with international law firms, such as advising Culina Group as a local counsel, alongside Eversheds Sutherland, on the merger control aspects of the acquisition of GreenWhiteStar Acquisitions. Founding partner and practice leader Pavel Hristov is supported by associate Dragomir Stefanov.

Practice head(s):

Pavel Hristov

Other key lawyers:

Dragomir Stefanov

Testimonials

‘The whole team are very responsive. They explain the legal context and always seek to provide commercially appropriate advice.’

Key clients

DanubeTruck Bulgaria

Reckitt Benckiser (Reckitt Benckiser Romania)

Bella Bulgaria

DMG Bulgaria

Culina Group

The Virtual Show

OxyHelp Bulgaria

MTD Products

Bright Marketing Research

Webit Foundation

HiiRoc Limited

Work highlights

  • Adviseing Reckitt-Benckiser on a daily basis on all competition compliance matters related to its Bulgarian business operations.
  • Advising DanubeTruck Bulgaria on a daily basis on all competition compliance aspects of its business and selective distribution network.
  • Regularly advising DMG Bulgaria on the competition aspects of its distribution agreements in Bulgaria and unfair competition compliance in relation to promotional campaigns and advertising.

Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm

Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm counts government departments, including the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy, and multinational and national companies, such as Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, among its roster of clients. Dimitar Ivanov leads the group and is supported by senior associate Svetlana Valeva. Both team members, who are commended for ‘their in-depth knowledge and practice in competition issues’, have been representing facilities management company Mundus Services in a high-stakes unfair competition case.

Practice head(s):

Dimitar Ivanov

Other key lawyers:

Svetlana Valeva

Testimonials

‘JII’s EU and competition practice has impressed us with their efficiency, extreme diligence, solid theoretical background and integrity. They possess superb regulatory knowledge and deep insight into the technical aspects of various industries, which sets them apart from other law firms. To the best of my knowledge JII is one of the few law firms in Bulgaria with extensive experience in state aid and competition matters on international scale.’

‘I would like to note partner Dimitar Ivanov and his colleague Svetlana Valeva for their in-depth knowledge and practice in competition issues. They are always up to date with the new business and technological trends in our sector.’

‘Jordanov, Ignatov & Ivanov has an extremely competent team in the areas of competition and corporate law and demonstrate excellent understanding of business issues.’

‘I know the leading partner Dimitar Ivanov for many years. He is very creative and extremely professional in his approach to legal cases. I found his business acumen, responsiveness and forward thinking to be most impressive. Another team member I want to recommend is senior associate Svetlana Valeva. She consistently exhibits great skill and litigation prowess which has earned her the recognition of her colleagues. Overall, Dimitar and his team are of the highest calibre.’

‘Our relationship with Jordanov, Ignatov & Ivanov Law Firm has been very productive and successful for more than 10 years. The team comprises highly- qualified and motivated individuals with extensive expertise in competition and consumer protection law. The legal help and precious legal advice for our marketing initiatives rendered so far by the team is highly appreciated.’

‘Dimitar Ivanov and Svetlana Valeva are both very experienced professionals in competition and consumer protection and are able to provide fast, adequate and excellent legal solutions, helping us to achieve our business and marketing goals.’

‘Dimitar Ivanov is a unique litigator who possess substantive knowledge in the field. He is aware of all legal aspects of competition and consumer protection law and can provide the most appropriate legal advice for any situation. Svetlana Valeva demonstrates a deep understanding of the practice of the Commission for Protection of Competition, the Consumer Protection Commission, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Administrative courts. She is an excellent strategy maker and planner. Her risk analysis of any initiative of the company proved to be sophisticated, detailed and most importantly proper and adequate.’

Key clients

Globulinks

Ministry of Energy

Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Xella Bulgaria

Leader 96

New Market

Mundus Services

UVI United Vision

Aqua Lens

Lenses BG

Effect 2002

Genik Kafe Reshenia

SP Rentals

Respiron East Europe

Smart Organic

Work highlights

  • Advised the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy on certain state aid and competition aspects of the new rules which aim to maintain the system’s alignment with the overarching EU climate policy objectives.
  • Representing Mundus Services before the Bulgarian Competition body against a competitor who is accused of employing various unfair market practices such as dumping, trademark imitation and client poaching.
  • Retained to advise and defend Respiron East Europe in a dispute with one of its main competitors arising from unlawful comparative advertising and other unlawful competition actions.

Penkov, Markov & Partners

Penkov, Markov & Partners ‘provides highly competent and business-oriented advice on competition law matters’, including compliance, disputes and notably high-value transactions, such as representing Bulgartransgaz as counsel within the merger control notification procedure for the acquisition of share participation in Gastrade S.A. Chairman of the firm, Vladimir Penkov, jointly leads the practice alongside senior associate Smilena Hrusanova, who has experience in matters relating to vertical and horizontal agreement investigations, abuse of a dominant position and unfair competition. The team counts ČEZ Group and Unilink S.A. among its key roster of clients.

Practice head(s):

Vladimir Penkov; Smilena Hrusanova

Testimonials

‘Penkov, Markov and Partners provides highly competent and business-oriented advice on competition law matters. They respond fast and show remarkable attention to detail.’

‘Smiliyana Hrusanova is fast, responsive and a good professional.’

‘We have been working on competition law topics with Smilena Hrusanova and Ivan Markov. I can highly recommend them as extremely competent, reacting fast to business needs, and pragmatic.’

Key clients

Bulgartransgaz

Unilink SA

ČEZ (Czech Republic)/CEZ Bulgarian Investment (The Netherlands)

Klett Bulgaria

ENICOM-M

Heineken Group and Bulgarian subsidiary Zagorka

Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique Bulgaria

Mania Shops

Mexon

Correct Consulting and SM Control

Toto S.p.A. Costruzioni Generali

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to Bulgartransgaz regarding the acquisition of share participation in Gastrade S.A.
  • Assisted within the merger control proceedings for reviewing the acquisition of the majority share package of I&G Insurance Brokers by Unilink SA.
  • Acted as local counsel for the sale of all Bulgarian assets of ČEZ Group.

Schoenherr

Schoenherr is noted for its expertise in cross-border merger control mandates; the team successfully advised United Group on obtaining merger control approvals following its acquisition of Bulgarian operators Net1, ComNet Sofia, Digital Cable Television and Networx-Bulgaria. The team also handles competition compliance, anti-competitive agreements and antitrust proceedings. Corporate and M&A partner Ilko Stoyanov jointly leads practice alongside Galina Petkova, who is praised for her ‘exceptional’ experience ‘in the field of compliance, antitrust and unfair competition’.

Practice head(s):

Ilko Stoyanov; Galina Petkova

Testimonials

‘My main point of contact is Galina Petkova. She is a very good lawyer who combines knowledge and long-term practical experience in compliance matters. She has the ability to explain complex competition issues to non-legal experts.’

‘The team provides prompt and high-quality services where the motivation of the lawyers and their level of expertise are constantly expressed. We assess the level of service as excellent and we emphasize that the answers to the legal questions were provided by the law office in due time. Responses were accurate and always provided in close cooperation with in-house lawyers of the company.’

‘We can mention Galina Petkova because her knowledge and experience are exceptional in the field of competition, antitrust and unfair competition local and EU legislation. Her advice is always practical and effective.’

‘The team is very responsive, reliable, with a deep understanding and provides a professional advice.’

Key clients

Ringier

MET Renewables Holding

Policolor SA

Robert Bosch

Dimitar Madjarov- 2

BSH Domakinskii uredi Bulgaria

Enery Development

United Group

UniCredit Group

OMV Petrom

Intersnack Bulgaria

NEPI Rockcastle

Medela

Smurfit Kappa Group

Robert Bosch

OMV Bulgaria

Work highlights

  • Advised United Group on obtaining merger control approvals by the competition authorities of Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro in light of its acquisition of the Bulgarian operators Net1, ComNet Sofia, Digital Cable Television and Networx-Bulgaria.
  • Advised Ringier on the multi-jurisdictional merger control assessment with respect to the acquisition of Sportal.bg.
  • Advising MET Group on obtaining merger control approvals by the competition authorities of Bulgaria and Serbia on the acquisition of Enel Green Power S.p.A.

Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss has demonstratable experience in national and multinational merger control mandates, as well as competition compliance and state aid matters, and the team – which advised the banks on competition compliance and state aid matters relating to the financing of the Sofia Airport Concession – is praised for its ‘excellent industry and business knowledge‘. Practice leader Anna Rizova is noted for her regulatory and competition expertise, and acts for clients across the energy, telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors. Counsel and ‘first point of contact’, Hristina Dzhevlekova, is ‘highly competent and experienced in competition law’.

Practice head(s):

Anna Rizova

Other key lawyers:

Hristina Dzhevlekova

Testimonials

‘When it comes to the competition practice, we can mention Anna Rizova and Hristina Dzhevlekova. Anna Rizova is leading the team with total dedication; she is very professional and is an expert in her field with a lot of practical knowledge. Hristina Dzhevlekova is our first point of contact if we have an issue. She is highly competent and experienced in competition law; one step ahead of most lawyers. What we value is her practical advice. She knows the law and the practice but also keeps track of the developments of the local regulator, so we always receive 360-degree advice with all pros and cons, a real (not theoretical) risk assessment and go-to plan. Even when working under time pressure, the quality and speed of her advice are impeccable. They both won’t crack under pressure. The team is indeed highly recommendable.’

‘In general, Wolf Theiss are among the most competent law firms in Bulgaria, in terms of legal expertise, but also as overall professionalism. We rely on their high principles of work, quality, confidentiality and compliance. Especially for competition matters which are very sensitive, it is important to have confident, practical and balanced advice – and this is what they provide. We have several successful projects completed with them in the last years (review of agreements with counter parties, placing and compliance of market strategy and campaigns, etc.). I am always impressed how smoothly and professionally they handle matters.

‘In the most competition matters, I work with Mrs Hristina Dzhevlekova. She is an excellent lawyer, has extensive knowledge, including an educational background, in competition law. Very hard working and available 24/7.’

‘We usually use the Wolf Theiss team for the complex competition work in Bulgaria (agreements with local contractors, new systems for the market, negotiations). We value the team for its expertise and multisided thinking. They are highly competent on the legal side but also have excellent industry and business knowledge and can guide us through the specifics of the local market and the competent bodies. They see the broader picture and their advice is not theoretical but will always offer a workable solution.’

‘The competition lawyers that I work with in Wolf Theiss are Hristina Dzhevlekova and Anna Rizova; both are highly professional and recommendable. Our main contact point is Hristina Dzhevlekova and she really makes a difference. She is very educated and has modern business thinking and is very competent in the competition field. We also like her manner of work and how she handles matters. Very professional, timely and dedicated. We feel very comfortable working with her. We like the fact that the team is senior level and so far, are more than happy with them.’

Key clients

Peek & Cloppenburg

EBRD, BSTDB, IFC, Kommunalkredit Austria, Societe Generale, UniCredit Bulbank, DSK Bank and UniCredit Bank

H.I.G. Capital

Kingspan

Sabre Corporation

Work highlights

  • Successfully advised a syndicate of lenders on regulatory and competition compliance, as well as state aid matters, in relation to the financing of the Sofia Airport Concession.
  • Provided merger assessment and competition support to Unicredit Bulbank upon structuring its credit financing strategy.

Deloitte Legal Law Firm

With the ability to draw on the resources of the firm’s global network, the competition team at Deloitte Legal Law Firm is well-placed to advise on multinational merger clearance, as well as compliance and regulation. Managing partner Renata Petkova leads the practice group and is supported by managing associate Kaloyan Yordanov. The team counts banks, financial institutions and energy companies among its roster of clients.

Practice head(s):

Reneta Petkova

Other key lawyers:

Kaloyan Yordanov

Testimonials

‘Quick response to very specific legal queries. The team is knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Kaloyan Yordanov is the leading individual in the competition area. He provides concise and easy-to-understand advice.’

Ernst & Young Law Partnership

The competition practice at Ernst & Young Law Partnership continues to strengthen its offering under the leadership of Svetlin Adrianov, Yura Mincheva and regulatory specialist Irina Yaneva. Each team member brings considerable experience in merger control cases, as well as mandates relating to prohibited agreements, abuse of dominant position, compliance and unfair competition. The group counts the European Commission, Microsoft Corporation and Mexon among its key list of clients.

Key clients

Microsoft Corporation

Mexon

DEMA Com

Kronospan Bulgaria

MagnaPharm Bulgaria

Zlatna Panega Cement

European Commission

NetPoint, a. s.

Work highlights

  • Advising Mexon on the optimisation and organisation of its distribution system and marketing campaigns.
  • Assisted an EU institution in a study on conformity in all Member States (for Bulgaria).
  • Assisting the European Commission on the project “ensuring the highest degree of privacy and personal data protection through innovative tools for SMEs and citizens – SMEDATA”.

Popov, Arnaudov & Partners

Popov, Arnaudov & Partners’ workload includes matters relating to merger clearance, unfair competition and abuse of dominant position claims, as well as cartel cases, as demonstrated by the team’s representation of Stroynorm before the Commission for the Protection of Competition regarding alleged participation in a public procurement cartel. Hristo Koparanov jointly leads the practice alongside Emiliyan Arnaudov, who advises on the competition aspects of corporate and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Emiliyan Arnaudov; Hristo Koparanov

Key clients

Ferro Corporation

Aiko Multi Concept, Moemax, Aiko

Brenntag Bulgaria

Europapier Bulgaria

Soitron

Alpen Pharma

Stroynorm

Martinez Botique

Pokoy

Bio Aroma

Thyssenkrup Materials Bulgaria

HS Hydro&Spa

Top Five

Messembria

Work highlights

  • Advised the merger clearance in Bulgaria of the acquisition by Pigment Spain of Ferro Corporation’s business related to the production of coatings for tiles
  • Represented Stroynorm before the Commission for the Protection of Competition in respect to alleged participation in a public procurement cartel.
  • Represented various clients in proceedings related to various forms of unfair competition.