TMT in Bulgaria

Boyanov & Co.

Boyanov & Co. advises major telecoms clients on acquisitions, sales, and mergers. The firm advises clients including Vodafone, and Deutsche Telecom on their activities in Bulgaria. The firm also draws on the strength of its banking and finance practice to co-ordinate syndicated financing for large-scale telecoms mergers. It counts a number of high-profile tech firms among its clients; it  performs ongoing regulatory compliance and licence application work for clients such as  Lenovo, and Microsoft. Damian Simeonov, co-head of the banking practice, leads the team, with Nikolay Zisov and Ralitsa Nedkova playing key roles in transactions.

Practice head(s):

Damian Simeonov

Testimonials

‘We worked with Boyanov & Co on M&A project and consequent financing package. The coordination of the project was very good, and their expertise was excellent.’

‘Boyanov & Co is a market-leading law firm with vast experience in the TMT sector and with a drive to protect its clients’ needs.’

Key clients

Telekom Albania

Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (Vivacom)

Link Mobility Group

Apple/iTunes

Cisco

Inmarsat Ventures

Microsoft Bulgaria

Samsung

Post acht Beteiligungs GmbH (Austrian Post)

The European Commission

Comverse

Lenovo International

Software Group – BG

Johnson Controls Inc.

Kapsch CarrierCom AG

Google (www.google.com)

AUDI AG

Work highlights

  • Advised Albania Telecom Invest on the €50m acquisition of Telekom Albania from Cosmote, a Greek company.
  • Advising Link Mobility Group AS on the €8m acquisition of South-Eastern European mobile messaging activities, currently owned by Allterco and operated under the brand Teracomm.
  • Advises Inmarsat Ventures Ltd. on regulatory matters related to its MSS (mobile satellite services) and CGC (complimentary ground components) authorisation in Bulgaria.

CMS

The TMT practice at CMS draws on the strength of its corporate and commercial expertise to advise on M&A deals in the sector, draft general terms and conditions for media, tech and telecoms companies, and provide ongoing consultancy on regulatory compliance for major companies. The team has expertise in IT and outsourcing law, data protection and privacy regulation, and IP law. Atanas Bangachev, Gentscho Pavlov and Veliko Savov (who has previously worked at a telecoms company) jointly lead the team. The arrival of Anna Tanova has bolstered the firm’s experience – an expert in IT and media law, she is also the executive director of the Association of Bulgarian Broadcasters.

Practice head(s):

Atanas Bangachev; Gentscho Pavlov; Veliko Savov

Testimonials

‘CMS Sofia team has profound knowledge and exceptional expertise in Media and IP law.’

‘CMS senior associate Anna Tanova has solid knowledge in Media and IP law and is one of the best media lawyers in Bulgaria.’

Key clients

Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters

Sixty K EAD

Communicorp Media

The Sales House

Work highlights

  • Advising the Association of Bulgarian Broadcasters on various matters including its participation in harmonising Bulgarian media law with Directive (EU) 2018/1808.
  • Advised Ireland’s Communicorp Media radio group on the sale of its radio stations in Bulgaria to the local management team, who have created a new holding company named Fresh Media Bulgaria.
  • Advising Sixty K EAD, a major Bulgarian telecommunications company, on an ongoing basis.

Dimitrov, Petrov & Co

'In a league of its own',  Dimitrov, Petrov & Co has broad strength in this field and acts for market-leading clients. It advises on the regulatory, commercial and IP aspects of acquisitions as well as contentious matters. Prof Dr George Dimitrov, who jointly leads the practice, has extensive regulatory experience, having played a significant role in drafting Bulgaria’s TMT and IT legislation. Desislava Krusteva and Hristo Nihrizov also jointly lead the practice, and are experts in data protection and payment services, respectively. Nikola Stoychev is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Prof. Dr. George Dimitrov; Hristo Nihrizov; Desislava Krusteva

Testimonials

‘DPC have no rival in Bulgaria when it is about technologies, telecommunications and data protection law.’

‘When it comes to technology law, DPC are in their own league.’

‘Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. have provided us with outstanding service.’

‘As far as it concerns regulatory matters, one can rely on DPC’s lawyers for support in ensuring compliance with constantly evolving new requirements.’

‘Dr. George Dimitrov, Hristo Nihrizov and Desislava Krusteva are all recognized as top practitioners in the TMT sector, both nationally and worldwide.’

Key clients

Google

Telenor Bulgaria

Bulgarian Association of Cable and Communications Operators

Fox Networks Group Bulgaria

Evrotrust Technologies

European Commission DG Connect (via Spark Legal Network)

Law and Internet Foundation

Caucasus Online

Telia International Carrier

Work highlights

  • Drafted the first Ethics Code of Telecommunications Operators in Bulgaria, on behalf of the Bulgarian Association of Cable and Communications Operators.
  • Advising Evrotrust, a fintech start-up, on a €510,000 round of fund-raising.
  • Advising Fox Networks Group Bulgaria on the regulatory and corporate restructuring aspects of its acquisition by Disney. The global transaction was worth $71.3bn.

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov’s TMT practice spans the full range of expertise – the regulatory aspects of large-scale mergers, licensing and permissions, data privacy and security. It also advises on copyright, content distribution arrangements, and electronic communications. The practice counts global telecoms and media companies among its clients, advising on additional areas such as IP protection, competition and employment law.  Violetta Kunze, who also heads the firm’s corporate and commercial practice, leads the team, while Omourtag Petkov has expertise in the growing business of IT outsourcing. Senior associate Milka Ivanova is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Violetta Kunze

Testimonials

‘We work together with Violetta Kunze and Milka Ivanova. Both Violetta and Milka are excellent experts in telecommunications law matters who provide impeccable advice. Violetta’s contacts with the local regulator ensure that it is possible for our client’s to receive commercial and reliable advice even where novel services are concerned.’

Key clients

P.P.F. a.s.

SAP

Nokia Corporation

Facebook Inc.

Instagram, LLC

Snap Inc.

Spotify AB

Colt Technology Services Group Limited

Viessmann Werke GmbH & Co KG

Inditex

News Corp UK & Ireland Limited  

CBS Corporation

Ingenious Media

Tata Communications

HipStream EOOD

My TV.BG EOOD

OMV Bulgaria OOD

AT&T EMEA

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc

Booking.com

VisLab S.r.l.

Accenture (UK) Limited

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Telus International

Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH

VMware, Inc.

Abalta Technologies EOOD

Work highlights

  • Advised the private investment group PPF on the €810m acquisition of the Bulgarian assets of Telenor.
  • Advised News Corp UK & Ireland Limited on the Bulgarian employment implications of the Framework Consultancy Services Agreement, particularly in light of the temporary agency rules.
  • Advising the leading Bulgarian media group Economedia with regard to the management of a huge portfolio of national trade marks.

Wolf Theiss

The ‘service-oriented and pragmatic team’ at Wolf Theiss  advises on mergers and acquisitions, financing, and commercial agreements in the TMT sector. It has a particular focus on innovative IT companies in fintech, cloud computing software, and automated data visualisation services. The team assists growing international and Bulgarian tech companies on licencing and IP matters, data protection, and outsourcing. Clients include Experian, Software Group, Tencent, and GoDaddy. The team is jointly led by Anna Rizova and Richard Clegg, who also co-head the firm’s corporate/M&A practice. Senior associate Jasmina Uzova has considerable expertise in structuring M&A transactions and commercial contracts in the tech sector. Yanitsa Radeva and Nikoleta Ratcheva are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Richard Clegg; Anna Rizova

Testimonials

‘Extremely professional, highly skilled, patient and easy to communicate with.  Working with Wolf Theiss is a joy.’

‘Richard Clegg and his team are highly responsive, very business minded and deal driven. Pleasure to work with.’

‘Excellent people to deal with.  Their advice is timely, succinct and easily understood.’

Key clients

FactSet

Software Group

Fadata

Amdocs

Beazley

S&T AG

Experian

MSTS

Megaport

GroupSense

Tencent

Work highlights

  • Advising Software Group on the conclusion of a €18m loan agreement with the European Investment Bank.
  • Provided legal advice to ALSO Holding AG on the acquisition of the largest Bulgarian IT distributor, Solytron.
  • Advising Upstream on a software license and distribution agreement with an EU-funded innovation and technology company, Transport Systems Catapult.

Georgiev, Todorov & Co

Georgiev, Todorov & Co acts for clients in high-value and complex contentious matters, concerning unfair competition, breach of contract, and shareholders’ disputes. The practice also handles non-contentious work; advising  on the merger of two GPS providers and also advising on the regulation of foreign ownership of free-to-air television channels. In other work, it assisted on the structuring of complex subcontracting agreements for a telecoms company with the Bulgarian Air Force. Ivan Todorov and Alexander Pachamanov, whose ‘knowledge and experience are exceptional’, jointly lead the team.

Practice head(s):

Ivan Todorov; Alexander Pachamanov

Testimonials

‘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 Georgiev, Todorov & Co. Law office in due time.’

Key clients

Bulgarian Telecommunications Company EAD (BTC)

GPS Bulgaria

T-Systems

NURTIS Digital EAD

Bulgarian-American Credit Bank

BTC Net

BalkanTel

Viacom International Hungary Kft.

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented BTC in proceedings regarding allegations of unfair competition through misleading advertising.
  • Acting for VIVACOM in an abuse of dominance claim against Apple.
  • Advising Balkantel in negotiating a complex agreement to provide the Bulgarian Air Force for maintenance of communication and information equipment.

Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm

Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm’s ‘committed and collaborative’ TMT practice has a strong track record in advising tech start-ups and joint ventures at an early stage of their operations. It deals with the setting up their corporate structures, arranging rounds of financing, and ensuring that the operations are compliant with the relevant regulatory framework. The team has expertise in the data protection and IP aspects of online retail, wireless internet provision, and outsourcing. Notably the firm is working with Vivansa to develop customs software to be used across the EU. Practice head Rumen Ignatov is an IP expert, as is senior associate Darina Gospodinova, who is praised by clients for her ‘wide expertise’. The ‘thoroughly knowledgeable’ Nikolay Ignatov is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Rumen Ignatov

Testimonials

‘They are a team of highly motivated and efficient professionals we can always depend on. We are pleased with their in-depth knowledge of the matters we deal with and especially of the applicable European regulations.’

‘We are pleased with the tailored business solutions they provide for each specific case we face.’

The law firm has very experienced and qualified team of lawyers, which possess in depth knowledge and are devoted to their work. They are capable to solve complex legal matters and respond promptly in urgent situations.’

‘High quality, very responsive, excellent knowledge.’

Key clients

Vivansa OOD

Turk Telekom International BG EOOD

NET 365 AD

Transmetrics AD

LAUNCHub Ventures

NEG.BG AD

Genik kafe reshenyia OOD

LensesBG

BICA

Power Drone

Work highlights

  • Advising LAUNCHub, a tech investment firm funded by the EU, on investments in tech start-ups in 10 different jurisdictions. The firm worked on setting up each company’s corporate structure, fund raising, and protection of software intellectual property rights.
  • Advising NET 365 on the expansion of its national free-to-use WiFi network.
  • Assisting Transmetrics with its service and licensing agreements for the sale of its data analysis software product, and continue to advise it on stock option plans and shareholders agreements.

Kambourov & Partners

The ‘practical and solution-oriented’ TMT practice at Kambourov & Partners advises major telecoms and tech companies, including Vodafone and Broadcom, on the regulatory and licensing requirements for expansion into Bulgaria. The firm is highly experienced in IP law, in addition to data protection; it advises clients in a wide range of sectors on GDPR and AML compliance, including customer service outsourcing companies on data transfer regulations. The ‘proactive’ Mitko Karushkov heads the practice, which includes newly-promoted senior associate Mario Arabistanov, noted for his ‘diligence’ and ‘proficiency’.

Practice head(s):

Mitko Karushkov

Testimonials

‘Very responsive with clear guidance on complex Bulgarian law issues.’

‘They are proficient in TMT law and work the fastest form all legal firms we have worked with for this specific area.’

‘Very responsive and pragmatic approach.’

Key clients

Broadcom Corporation

Rosatom

Akme Engineering

Alorica

Net Info

Vodafone Global Enterprise

Chivas Holdings Limited

Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH

BASF

Kaufland

Bacardi-Martini

Usonia Labs

Church & Co Ltd. (Prada brand)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Bacardi-Martini through legal and regulatory aspects of advertising and marketing of alcoholic beverages, navigating certain restrictions in television, radio, press, and new media.
  • Advising Vodafone on an ongoing basis regarding compliance and regulation, since handling their entry into the Bulgarian market in 2014.
  • Representing Rosatom before the European Patent Office to secure patents and intellectual property rights in proprietary technology.

Penkov, Markov & Partners

The TMT practice at Penkov, Markov & Partners assists clients at the intersection of IT and software, advising on compliance in an evolving regulatory environment for companies in the SaaS, SAP, fintech, cryptocurrency, and blockchain spaces. Nikolay Cvetanov, the head of the practice, has particular expertise in data protection and GDPR, having assisted in drafting Bulgarian data protection law, and additionally is a leading figure in non-bank lending and fintech. Vladimir Penkov’s practice is more closely focused on telecommunications, having contributed to the drafting of Bulgaria’s Telecommunications Act and Electronic Communications Act. In his career, he has advised clients including Vodafone, Telefonica, Telenor, and Nokia.

Practice head(s):

Nikolay Cvetanov

Testimonials

‘Their multi-disciplinary, global team helps us to turn our innovative ideas into practice and practice into growth with their professional legal advice and business-oriented approach.’

‘Nikolay Cvetanov anticipates change and seizes new opportunities with the foresight and insight to manage deal execution and post-merger integration effectively. He helps us to integrate risk, regulatory and crisis management.’

Key clients

UBER

pCloud EOOD

V Mobile AD

Booking.com

Getti AD

Phyre AD

Paynetics AD

Teletek Electronics AD

Depository Network

Novatel

Cable Internet Systems EOOD

Secure Group Lab / Delatek

Mnemonika AD

SiteGround

GDPR Project

Colibra AD

Work highlights

  • Advising UBER on market entry into Bulgaria, including advice on compliance with Bulgarian legislation regarding e-commerce, data protection, and privacy.
  • Acting as the lead advisor of Colibra, a blockchain-based consumer flight insurance company, including advising on a complex fundraising process involving a digital ICO (initial coin offering).
  • Advising V Mobile AD, which operates VOIP telecommunications software for business use, on software and IP protection, license agreements, and data privacy.

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova)

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) advises online retailers, streaming and conventional media providers, software and IT companies. Licencing and registration is a core focus; the firm has advised GTS Telecom Romania on registration before the Bulgarian Communications Regulation Commission. Ilko Stoyanov and Stefana Tsekova jointly head up the practice, while Katerina Kaloyanova advises on mergers in the sector, and Radoslav Chemshirov has expertise in telecommunications and media regulation.

Practice head(s):

Ilko Stoyanov; Stefana Tsekova

Key clients

BlackPeak Capital, Bulgaria

OMV

Yuno Pearls

GTS TELECOM SRL Romania

Telenor

Work highlights

  • Acted for Telenor in the €2.8bn sale of its central and eastern European subsidiaries to PPF.
  • Advised Yuno Pearls in setting up an online shop.
  • Registered GTS Telecom SRL Romania before the Bulgarian regulatory authorities.

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski advises clients on the cutting edge of IT and software, counting SaaS companies, IT outsourcing companies and fintech and online payment service providers among its clients. The practice is experienced in telecommunications and media matters, having advised Eastern European Media Holdings on the €185m sale of its stake in the Nova Broadcasting Group. Venelin Dimitrov leads the team, while Dimitar Grozdanov and Iva Georgieva are names to note.

Practice head(s):

Venelin Dimitrov

Key clients

Eastern European Media Holdings

Falcon.io

Mogo Finance

Fourth Bulgaria

Siemens

Wipro Limited

Telerik – a Progress company

Work highlights

  • Advises Falcon.io, an integrated SaaS provider, on an ongoing basis.
  • Acts for Mogo Finance Group, a consumer financing fintech firm, on regulatory compliance, particularly with regard to AML legislation.
  • Advises Fourth Bulgaria, a cloud-computing service provider for the hospitality industry, on an ongoing basis.

Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria

Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria is particularly active in issues relating to radio broadcasting. The firm represents the Communicorp radio group, which operates many of the most popular stations in Bulgaria. The team advises on bidding and registration for broadcast licences, advertising rules and restrictions, competition matters, and general commercial activity. Severina Liubenova, practice head, is the senior legal adviser to the Association of Bulgarian Broadcasters and is an expert in competition law. The firm has also assisted with drafting and amending Bulgaria’s Radio and Television Act. Outside of broadcasting, the firm has assisted software and IT companies with entry into the Bulgarian market.

Practice head(s):

Severina Liubenova

Key clients

Communicorp Group

Softline

City Tech

Gedeon Richter

NET FM

Work highlights

  • Provides ongoing advice to Communicorp Group, Bulgaria’s largest radio broadcaster.
  • Advised Softline on its entry to the Bulgarian market, as well as assisting on various projects worth €30m.
  • Supporting City Tech, an IT start-up.

CERHA HEMPEL Gerginov

CERHA HEMPEL Gerginov provides corporate and commercial advice to a number of major IT and tech firms, including Hewlett-Packard, DXC.technology, Samsung, and MicroFocus. The firm has experience in outsourcing and procurement contracts, data protection, distribution agreements, and mergers in the sector. Boyko Gerginov leads the team, which has been bolstered by the arrival of senior attorney Gergana Antonova, an IT specialist.

Practice head(s):

Boyko Gerginov

Key clients

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE)

DXC.technology

Samsung Electronics Romania SRL, Bulgarian branch

Micro Focus/Entco Bulgaria

HP Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in the merger of its two Bulgarian entities.
  • Advised DXC.technology on structuring an insourcing contract.
  • Advises Samsung on an ongoing basis.

Popov & Partners

Popov & Partners' broad TMT practice advises clients in relations to telecommunications, broadcast media, IT outsourcing, social media platforms, biometrics, and software development. The firm  advised A1 Bulgaria, a telecommunications operator, on debt collection, and Chinese technology giant Huawei on AML rules. The firm also provides IP and data protection advice to software and IT companies. The team is jointly led by Emiliyan Arnaudov  (an expert in tv broadcast regulations), Sibina Eftenova, and Hristo Koparanov (IP experts).

Practice head(s):

Emiliyan Arnaudov; Sibina Eftenova; Hristo Koparanov

Testimonials

‘The team always invests all the necessary resources and shows great precision, exactly what is needed when it comes to compliance with regulatory requirements.’

Key clients

A1

Huawei Technologies Bulgaria

Soitron  Bulgaria

Clico Bulgaria

HD Media

BTV Media Group

Horodeya Foundation

GFK Bulgaria

AIKO, Moemax – part of the XXXLutz group

Alpen Pharma Bulgaria

Varna Net

Data Plus

Vabonti

RND Talents

Harrison Clark Rickerbys Limited

Insight Events

Work highlights

  • Acting for A1 Bulgaria in attempts to claim €15m of recievables.
  • Represented HD Media Ltd and Vivacom in a dispute concerning the right to use copyrighted music in a television programme.
  • Provide ongoing advice to Huawe regarding AML compliance.

Velchev & Co. Law Office

Velchev & Co. Law Office is the main legal counsel of A1 Bulgaria, one of the largest telecommunications companies. Practice head Pavel Velchev advises the company on an ongoing basis on a range of regulatory and commercial matters, as well as acting in disputes with the administrative bodies, sub-contractors, distributors, and competitors. Another key strength of the firm, and of Nadya Hambach, is online gambling and gaming; the team advises the Bulgarian National Lottery, as well as several online gambling platforms.

Practice head(s):

Pavel Velchev

Key clients

A1 BULGARIA EAD

NATIONAL LOTTERY AD

NEW GAMES AD

M&BM EXPRESS OOD

Work highlights

  • Advised A1 on a renegotiation of the company’s billing process, saving an estimated €5m.
  • Advises the National Lottery, including consulting on compliance, new market entry, and spin-offs.