With premier practices in energy, construction and finance, CMS is an obvious contender for advice on the largest projects in Bulgaria. Its full-service offering draws together the firm's heavyweight practitioners under the direction of managing partner and leading energy lawyer Kostadin Sirleshtov and public procurement and energy partner Dimitar Zwiatkow. The firm is playing a key role in the controversial €20bn PPP revival of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project, where it acts for Rosatom in its partnership with state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding. Repsol and Petroceltic are also clients.
Projects and PPP in Bulgaria
Kostadin Sirleshtov; Dimitar Zwiatkow
‘The team is very well organised and works very efficiently. They are very responsive and are keen on finding a workable solution for both parties while attending to the interests on their client.’
‘Recommend: Gentscho Pavlov, partner; Dimitar Zwiatkow, partner; Ivan Gergov, senior associate.’
‘Client oriented approach, good team work, efficient collaboration within the team and with the client.’
- Instructed by Rosatom on Bulgaria’s high-profile PPP project, the structuring and implementation of the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project, where the company will be partnering with the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding; assisting with all legal aspects of the €20bn project.
- Advising EVN Elektrorazpredelenie YUG on the execution of public procurement proceedings regarding electricity and excavation works on the whole licence territory of the client, including acting as a representative of the client before the Bulgarian Public Procurement Regulator, and elaboration and amendments of PP documentation.
- Advising Svilengrad Solaron all regulatory elements of the development of a large Bulgarian photovoltaic greenfield project, involving the Municipality of Svilengrad, including grid connection negotiations with the Bulgarian Electricity Transmission System Operator – ESO EAD and with the various shareholders in the project.
Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov delivers an 'unmatched level of quality' due to its market experience and large team, led by heavy-hitters from across they firm: public procurement and energy partner Milan Pandev, arguably the top professional in Bulgaria in the projects sphere; real estate and construction leading individual Stephan Kyutchukov ('an outstanding professional with a visionary approach to every transaction’); and pre-eminent finance lawyer Nikolai Gouginski. Notably, the firm acts on both the sponsor and financing side of significant concessions and PPP projects.
Milan Pandev; Stephan Kyutchukov; Nikolai Gouginski
Other key lawyers:
‘This practice provides great advice and has vast experience.’
‘Nikolai Gouginsky is very focused and efficient, providing great advice and excellent legal services.’
‘I like the depth of their team. They are a large firm with a range of practice areas headed by partners. They have a good number of lawyers, giving you confidence that they can staff larger and more complex deals properly.’
‘Valentin Bojilov is super-smart and very hard-working and diligent. Even when grilled by partners of London firms, he stands up perfectly and always prevails in arguments about how things work.’
‘The team, managed by Milan Pandev, showed itself as professional and very proactive.’
‘I should mention proactivity and fast response of all team members. We worked closely with Kaloyan Krumov and Yassen Spassov. Mr Spassov prepared for us a very useful legal framework overview concerning our project and Mr Krumov provided great support under preparation to land acquisition.’
‘The best experience on the market combined with the largest team of qualified professionals brings the legal product to unmatched level of quality.’
‘Stephan Kyutchukov is an outstanding professional with a visionary approach to every transaction.’
Solar Turbines Europe
Bulgarian Real Estate Fund
Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A. (CAF SA)
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Fund Manager of Financial instruments in Bulgaria
Gazprom Marketing & Trading Limited
GE Renewable Energy – Hydro
General Electric Healthcare
International Currency Exchange
Intersel Bulgaria EOOD
Regional Urban Development Fund (RUDF)
Shanghai Sensheng Assets Management Centre
- Advised ERG Insaat Ticaret ve Sanayi and SSB Sauerwein & Schaefer Bau in their capacity as one of the bidders for the Sofia Airport Concession tender process, value €4.3bn.
- Advising Solar Turbines Europe in relation to the preparation and participation in a tender for maintenance and spare parts supply for gas compression stations of Bulgartransgaz.
- Advising Equinix on developing a set of contracts for tendering of design, construction and supply of equipment in relation to the green field development of a $19m data centre in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Deep multidisciplinary expertise at Kambourov & Partners earns the firm roles on many of the most economically critical concessions and projects in the country. They include defending SOF Connect as winning bidder for the €4.3bn concession for Sofia Airport in litigation brought by other participants in the tender, and representing Arkad on the construction of the Bulgarian section of the gas pipeline TurkStream. Practice heads Stefan Tzakov (energy) and Atanas Shopov (construction) led on both matters and head the practice.
Stefan Tzakov; Atanas Shopov
Other key lawyers:
Consortium SOF Connect
China Zhongyuan Engineering Corporation (CZEC)
Park Lane Developments
- Advised the consortium SOF Connect on the successful defence of the award of the concession contract for Sofia Airport.
- Advised Arkad on the development and construction of the Bulgarian section of the gas pipeline TurkStream.
- Advised Kapsch on the development and implementation of a toll system in Bulgaria.
Wolf Theiss boasts a track record of landmark infrastructure projects, concessions, procurement, PPP and privatisations. Currently, the portfolio includes acting for Turk Stream, an entity owned by OAO Gazprom regarding the construction and development of the offshore part of the gas pipeline Turk Stream, as well as advising the EIB on the financing of the Bulgaria-Greece Interconnector Project. The strong multidisciplinary team includes leading energy lawyer Radoslav Mikov, banking and finance specialist Katerina Kraeva and coporate partner Richard Clegg, and is overseen by managing partner Anna Rizova.
Other key lawyers:
Radoslav Mikov; Katerina Kraeva; Richard Clegg; Katerina Novakova
Arco Capital Corporation
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- Advising the European Investment Bank on the financing of the Bulgaria-Greece Interconnector Project, extended to the Bulgarian Energy Holding and guaranteed by the Bulgarian State.
- Acting as single local counsel to South Stream Transport B.V – now Turk Stream, an entity owned by OAO Gazprom – on all matters in Bulgaria related to the construction and development of the offshore part of the South Stream gas pipeline from Russia to Europe, currently developed as Turk Stream.
- Representing Vesto Energy in the development of a greenfield wind power project with 12MW of installed capacity in Bulgaria.
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria
Public procurement, concessions and infrastructure projects are core areas of practice at Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria, the firm of choice among central and local government departments for advice on public mandates with strength in the utilities sector. The firm also acts for private sector companies, such as Trace Hold Group, which it is advising on the construction of a €170m, 35km highway from the City of Niš to the Serbian border. Andrey Delchev and Magdalena Valova are the lead advisers.
Other key lawyers:
Council of Ministers
Manchester Airport Group
Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW)
Ministry of Transport, IT and Communications
Municipality of Plovdiv
Municipality of Ruse
Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo
Trace Group Hold
- Acted for Manchester Airport Group in its participation in the Sofia Airport concession bidding procedure.
- Advised the World Bank on the development of a national strategic programme for meeting air pollution emission targets under EU law.
- Representing the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works on various legal matters related to the status of public WSS infrastructure and the operations of state-owner WSS operators.
Boyanov & Co. draws upon top-ranked expertise across the firm in energy, real estate and construction, and finance, among other areas, to service some major projects in the country. They include Okol Lake Park, a €300m, greenfield golf and residential development south of Sofia, where the firm acts for the constructor; the team also represented unsuccessful bidder Fraport in the concession tender for Sofia Airport. Joint heads of the practice Alexander Chatalbashev and Nickolay Nickolov are leaders in their respective fields of energy, and real estate and construction.
Alexander Chatalbashev; Nickolay Nickolov
Other key lawyers:
Iva Miteva; Svetlana Tsvetkova; Mihail Vishanin
I & B Real Estate
Link Mobility Group AS (Norway)
Golf Okol (subsidiary of Markan Holding)
PSI CRO .
Silver Star (subsidiary of Parkview Internationa)
CAF Signalling, Spain
Rodna Zemya Holding
Sabadell Real Estate Development
Real Estate Development
Hewlett-Packard Global Delivery Bulgaria Center
Apollo Aviation Group (currently Carlyle Aviation Partners)
Macquarie Aircraft Leasing Services
- Advised Fraport in relation to a tender procedure for granting the concession for Sofia Airport – the largest and busiest airport in the country.
- Advising one of several Bulgarian gas distribution companies on various contractual and regulatory matters related to their gas distribution service.
- Continuously advising Golf Okol (part of Markan Holding) on all legal aspects of the project “Okol Lake Park”, being an entirely new, greenfield residential area, with residential, office and retail buildings, school, hospital, hotel and restaurants, to be constructed on an area of 3,000 decares, including a golf course of 650 decares.
Clients highly rate the team at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co, which is praised for its 'interdisciplinary knowledge and business-oriented approach' and earns roles in a number of major projects and concession and public procurement tenders. A recent example is its work alongside the UK's Allen & Overy LLP in representing Manchester Airport Group in its unsuccessful bid for the Sofia Airport concession. Head of construction and 'exceptional talent' Boyana Milcheva and leading litigator Metodi Baykushev comprise a strong leadership duo. Senior associates Pavlina Ivanova and Pencho Stanchev are other key members of the team.
Boyana Milcheva; Metodi Baykushev
Other key lawyers:
Pavlina Ivanova; Pencho Stanchev
‘DPC provides true full-service legal consultation – from the initial brainstorming how to structure the deal, through all its stages and post-closing compliance matters. Each member of the firm shows incredible legal knowledge and they all act like one team. Their willingness and dedication to finish each project in the best possible way for the client is what differentiates them. As a client, I am truly impressed and I can feel that they really care about my company and the overall success of the venture. This is valid for the real estate and construction practice, the PPP team and tax as well.’
‘I work closely with Alexander Todorov. He is a notable lawyer who has everything that my trusted advisor should possess – impressive legal knowledge, core industry expertise both in real estate and construction, business flair and amazing personal qualities: honesty, high morality and leadership. ’
‘DPC are true market leaders, with exceptional expertise in the area of projects and PPP. They demonstrate versatile insight in the field, interdisciplinary knowledge, and a business-oriented approach. What we find most valuable is the team’s ability to always provide strategic and applicable solutions for any issue arising within our day-to-day operations. DPC’s professional expertise, combined with а personal approach, responsiveness, and flexibility, turns the law firm into a trusted and irreplaceable partner.’
‘The whole team has been doing an excellent job, with our key contacts being the heads of the practice group – Boyana Milcheva and Metodi Baykushev. We also have excellent impressions from the senior associates Pavlina Ivanova, Pencho Stanchev and Donka Stoyanova. Apart from being proven experts in the field, they all stood out as extremely reliable and dedicated and with an impeccable response time.’
‘The experts of Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. have been our trusted legal advisors ever since our entry to the Bulgarian market a few years ago. They are a full-service business law firm, which we find very handy as we do not need to seek advice from various lawyers. They have experts in all areas of law we are interested in and they collaborate with one another like a well-oiled machine. Thus they analyse our problems from aspects even we never would have thought of. They have come to know our business in detail, which makes communication very smooth. What makes them unique, however, is their attitude – friendly and professional at the same time – and the way they explain complicated matters in simple words.’
‘Boyana Milcheva is an exceptional talent in the areas of real estate and project development. There is no secrets for her when it comes to selecting, acquiring or renting properties, analysing project documentation, negotiating strategies and practice. She is deeply devoted to her work and clients and I know I can rely upon her unconditionally. Pavlina Ivanova is another real estate expert I am really impressed with. She is also very reliable, diligent and solution-oriented. The level of service they both provide is beyond anything I have seen so far.’
‘What makes the practice unique is the people. They are all very intelligent, friendly, and goal-oriented. We know that we can rely on them anytime and for anything – very much like friends do. We have worked with them for more than five years and their performance has always been impeccable. ’
‘It has been a real pleasure to work with them. Boyana Milcheva and Zoya Todorova are the partners we first met and have worked most with. They are very smart, great problem solvers and they definitely know thier law. They both can explain complex legal notions in simple words and in great detail and always listen to what we say. Last but not least, they are very easy-going and have a good sense of humour. As a woman I am proud to see such bright and talented young women having achieved so much in their career with their skills and hard work.’
Jotov & Son Bulgaria
MAG – Manchester Airport Group
New Vision 3
Excelion Development Group
VM Petroleum/Tradenet Varna
- Аdvised on the spin-off of the infrastructure (tower company) from the retail business of mobile operator, Telenor Bulgaria.
- Advised Jotov & Son Bulgaria as contractor under a public procurement contract for the overhaul of military aircraft and supply of spare parts and technical documentation for the aircraft.
- Advised New Vision 3 on setting up a new alternative investment fund valued at €23.2m for collective investment, having been awarded the public procurement contract by the Fund Manager of Financial Instruments (FMFI) as a contracting authority.
Managing partner Anelia Dinova at Dinova Rusev & Partners has a track record of project 'firsts' in the market, particularly in relation to energy projects within the renewables field. The firm is also experienced in public procurement, where managing associate Gergana Chushkova takes the lead and advises on public and private tenders across a range of heavy industries, such as rail. The firm is currently also assisting Kaliakra Wind Power with amendments to project financing agreements related to its wind power plant.
Other key lawyers:
Immerys Minerals Bulgaria
AP Retail I, European Trade Centre and C Energy
Kaliakra Wind Power
- Acting for Immerys Minerals Bulgaria in respect of mining concessions and operations in Kazrdzali.
- Advised AP Retail I, European Trade Centre and C Energy on the private tender to supply electricity to Hermes park.
- Advising Kaliakra Wind Power on amendments to project financing agreements related to changes in regulations for operation of the wind power plant and termination of the power purchase agreement.
Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) is active in infrastructure and public procurement on behalf of heavyweight public and private sector clients, such as the European Commission, OMV and car parts manufacturer Leoni. The firm is advising the latter on a new €32m production plant in Bulgaria, while procurement work includes representing transportation company Alstom in the public procurement for the maintenance of railcars for public needs. Advisers from across the firm comprise the team led by Stefana Tsekova and Alexandra Doytchinova.
Stefana Tsekova; Alexandra Doytchinova
Other key lawyers:
Radoslav Chemshirov; Dimitar Kairakov
‘They work professionally and diligently to get us the best possible outcome. Schoenherr (in cooperation with law firm Stoyanov and Tsekova) demonstrates a client-first attitude every time.’
‘Substantive knowledge and expertise, along with communication and responsiveness were key factors whilst working with Schoenherr’s team members. We valued most the excellent response time to questions via emails, patience, competence and thoroughness. We were very satisfied with the work of Dimitar Vlaevsky and Silvia Ribanchova. They were efficient, professional and personable, always ready to answer fully and eloquently all follow-up questions we had. We really appreciated the expertise, time and work put into our project.’
SAP LABS Bulgaria
- Conducted a detailed study on the regulatory and administrative requirements for entry and trade on gas wholesale markets in the EU for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy.
- Advised Enery Development on the multimillion-euro acquisition of Karadzhalovo PV solar park in Bulgaria, with installed nominal capacity of 50MW and installed peak capacity of 60.4MW.
- Advising Leoni on the construction of their 30,000m² plant with more than 2,000 new jobs opening in Bulgaria.
Arsov Natchev Ganeva
Arsov Natchev Ganeva advises both private investors and state authorities in concession and infrastructure projects across a wide variety of sectors, including utilities, waste collection, energy facilities and transport. The firm is currently assisting the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications with the concession for State-owned Port Varna. Managing partner Svetlana Ganeva has a strong focus in this arena and leads the team alongside Dessislava Lukarova. Kamelia Angelova is a regular member of client teams for key mandates.
Svetlana Ganeva; Dessislava Lukarova
Other key lawyers:
Veolia Group and Sofiyska Voda (Water services operator of Sofia)
Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Bulgaria
- Acting for Veolia Group and Sofiyska Voda (water services operator of Sofia) on specific PPP and concession matters relating to the concession agreement of Sofiyska Voda for the provision of water and sewerage services to Sofia Municipality, and advising on the concession regime in the Republic of Bulgaria.
- Advising a manufacturer of railroad equipment in respect of a public procurement tender in the rail sector.
- Advising the Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications of the Republic of Bulgaria on the projected concession for State-owned Port Varna.
BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm
BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co Law Firm is in demand in the public procurement space and is particularly strong in the areas of waste management, disposal and treatment. Other areas of focus include media and telecoms, energy, food processing and manufacturing. Name partners Diliana Ilieva and Rossitsa Voutcheva head the practice and Viktor Ivanov is a key adviser.
Diliana Ilieva; Rossitsa Voutcheva
Other key lawyers:
‘The team consists of all-round professionals, led by partners with immense knowledge and experience behind their backs. Our work is always involved with short terms and the team responds swiftly. I was impressed that the swift response does not lead to any lack of quality in the final product. They take care of our company and follow, and notify us, on new legislation or changes that would affect our company, or require actions by our company.’
‘We work with the managing partner Diliana Ilieva and Viktor Ivanov. Ms. Ilieva has all-round extensive legal knowledge and experience. Their expertise in the project and PPP area is immense. When you couple that with Mr. Ivanov’s knowledge of the waste management sector, their services are more than perfect. Mr. Ivanov has worked with our company for the past three years, gathering knowledge and expertise in the sector. He is thoroughly familiar with legislation regarding waste and all of the various procedures, including the international elements.’
VG Veronese Group
The Luxury Globetrotter
Georgiev, Todorov & Co advises companies, state bodies and investors on public procurement, due diligence, planning and development, and construction in respect of infrastracture projects. Notably, the firm is acting for G.P. Group on two significant matters. Leading litigator Ivan Todorov brings his deep public sector knowledge to the team, which is co-led by construction specialist Miglena Peneva.
Ivan Todorov; Miglena Peneva
Other key lawyers:
‘Georgiev, Todorov & Co. has been our trusted legal advisor for several years. We chose the law firm because of their extensive experience in advising clients on various national and international projects in industries such as transport, TMT, energy, real estate and pharmaceuticals. In addition, the team has an outstanding reputation and leads clients to favourable results both in court proceedings and out-of-court consultations. Their multidisciplinary knowledge, excellent problem-solving skills and active listening make us feel safe even with the most complex legal issues. ’
‘The lawyers of Georgiev, Todorov & Co. always put the client’s interests first and explain the issues in detail, no matter how complicated they are. We mainly worked with the senior partner Arno Mamasyan and the recently-promoted partner Tsvetelina Dimitrova. They are insightful, responsive and dedicated, and their ability to work as a team always leads our company to a successful result. Arno is very reliable and extremely competent, and has great commercial understanding, which gives us reassurance. Tsvetelina is hard-working, highly knowledgeable and has a client-friendly manner.’
‘Participation in public procurements initiated by ministries and municipalities in Bulgaria is one of the biggest parts of our company’s business. In order to be successful in this very specific sector, we need lawyers who are well-aware of all legalities, administrative rules and practices. In that respect Georgiev, Todorov & Co. are the perfect choice and we highly recommend their services. They are very experienced with in-depth knowledge of the effective Bulgarian and EU legislation and remarkable client-orientated approach.’
‘We work very closely with Miglena Peneva. She has remarkable knowledge in public procurement rules and procedures, including litigation. Thanks to her goal-driven approach she provides us with the most effective solutions. We highly recommend Miglena as a dedicated lawyer who will meet each client’s requirements and expectations.’
‘Georgiev, Todorov & Co. is very experienced in working with institutions from the public sector in general, and are very familiar with the specifics of our work, as well as with advising on various projects from different industries – TMT, transport, pharmaceuticals, energy, government, etc. They have highly-experienced professionals, who are committed, loyal and dedicated. Moreover, they have great knowledge of EU law and its regulations and practices. The cases related to financial corrections were very complex because of the EU regulations involved in the dispute and the need of in-depth knowledge of this specific framework. However, the lawyers used analytical skills, an eye for detail and sound judgement to solve our legal issue.’
‘We rely on the legal support of Miglena Peneva, who is our main point of contact at Georgiev, Todorov & Co. She impressed us with her exceptional litigation skills, attention to detail and proactive approach. Her in-depth knowledge of EU regulations, ability to work under pressure and outstanding research skills helped to reach the best possible result. We recommend Miglena as an extremely qualified lawyer.’
AG Capital Holding
Agricultural State Fund
Alfred C. Toepfer International Netherlands
Dolna Mitropoliya Municipality
Metroreklama & MOUTION ARTS
Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure
National Association of Property Developers
PI INVEST 2000
Water Supply and Sewerage, Smolyan City
- Advising IIngstroyengineering on the implementation of two projects for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the water supply and sewerage networks of Dobrich city which are worth over €16.8m.
- Representing G.P. Group on two high-profile projects worth approximately €133m – the construction of the railway tunnel Jeleznitsa, which will be the longest tunnel in Bulgaria, and on the repairs of the port terminal Rosenets, part of the Port of Burgas.
- Advising BlackPeak Capital in relation to a public tender for the management of a Venture Capital Fund, organised by the Bulgarian Fund of Funds and the Ministry of Finance.
Kinstellar continues to grow market share, particularly in light of its work for SOF Connect consortium, led by French fund Meridiam, as winning bidder of the €4.3bn concession for Sofia Airport, a record PPP for the country. Managing partner Diana Dimova led the advice in this matter, while Antonia Mavrova leads in construction projects.
Diana Dimova; Antonia Mavrova
Other key lawyers:
‘They deserve recognition for managing to deal with an enormous workload in a timely fashion.‘
‘Antonia Mavrova is a distinct professional with exceptional soft skills.‘
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Direct Petroleum Bulgaria
Lion’s Head Interments
Garitage Investment Management
Liberty Specialty Markets Limited
- Advising Meridiam on the 35-year concession of Sofia Airport valued at €4.3bn.
- Advising the EBRD on its financial support for the improvement of water and wastewater infrastructure in Bulgaria under the nearly €200m Bulgarian Water Sector Financing Framework.
- Acting for Direct Petroleum Bulgaria (part of Trans-Atlantic Petroleum Corp.) on all ongoing matters related to its concession for oil and gas exploration in Bulgaria.
Experienced energy senior associate Aleksandar Aleksandrov heads the projects practice at Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski with support from partner Irina Tsvetkova. The firm also draws together expertise from its finance and corporate teams to advise on some significant public procurement tenders and projects. This include acting for Bombardier Transportation in the €29.4m public procurement for the delivery of ten new electric locomotives.
Irina Tsvetkova; Aleksandar Aleksandrov
‘The team is diverse and young, but experienced. The partner is involved in many issues and is supporting the team well.’
‘Good communication skills, good command of English, easily available.’
Bombardier Transportation Italy
Bombardier Transportation GmbH
DB Cargo Bulgaria
University of Mining and Geology “St. Ivan Rilski” – Sofia
Bulgarian Gas Centre
- Advising Bombardier Transportation Italy in its tender for the €92.5m public procurement contract for the design and construction of signaling and telecommunications systems along the Plovdiv–Burgas railway line.
- Representing Bombardier Transportation GmbH on the €29.4m public procurement process for delivery of ten new electric locomotives, opened by BDZ Passenger Services, the Bulgarian national railway passenger services operator.
- Acted for DB Cargo Bulgaria in an investment project for issuance of an investment class certificate.