Boyanov & Co. excels in big ticket corporate and finance transactions in the media and technology space, but also has regulatory capability within this sector. The firm played an ancilliary role in the headline sale of Bulgarian Telecommunications Company/Vivacom to United Group on behalf of the target, while its enviable client list also includes Microsoft, Lenovo, Facebook and Google. Media and telecoms industry experts Nikolay Zisov and senior associate Ralitsa Nedkova are the key names.
Firms in the Spotlight TMT
Velchev & Co. Law Office
Velchev & Co Law Office provides practical solutions and straightforward legal advice by offering a wide range of legal services across various industry sectors, with particular emphasis on TMT; Corporate and Commercial law; Mergers and Acquisitions; Gaming law and Intellectual Property Rights Protection. We pride ourselves on our commercial awareness and sector-specific expertise, which allows …View Profile...
TMT in Bulgaria
Other key lawyers:
Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (Vivacom)
- Advised Viva Telecom (Luxembourg), holding company of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company/Vivacom on aspects of its sale to United Group.
- Advising a number of local and international corporate clients on TMT related issues, including Microsoft Corporation, Google and Facebook.
- Acting for Software Group on a regular basis on various legal issues, including structuring and implementation of international joint venture projects, cross-border investment, corporate and contractual issues, as well as licensing and IP protection matters.
'True market leader' Dimitrov, Petrov & Co has built its full-service offering around the TMT industry, where it has long led the market under the leadership of founding partner, George Dimitrov, a 'pioneer of the IT sector'. The expert team also includes specialist TMT and finance partner Hristo Nihrizov and IT, privacy and data protection partner Desislava Krusteva. Clients highlight the 'versatile insight in the field, interdisciplinary knowledge, and a business-oriented approach'. Google, The Walt Disney Company and Pfizer instruct the firm.
George Dimitrov; Hristo Nihrizov; Desislava Krusteva
‘Very practical guidance and commercial in nature. Effective in communicating the key issues. Great value for money and very personable.’
‘Hristo Nihrizov provides what feels like a personalised service, making you feel that nothing is too much trouble to provide a solution to your issue. He is approachable, effective at distilling the issues and helping you to reach pragmatic and commercial solutions. He is not afraid to give you the tough advice!’
‘DPC are true market leaders, especially their technology, media and telecommunications department. They demonstrate versatile insight in the field, interdisciplinary knowledge, and a business-oriented approach. What we find most valuable is the teamwork.’
‘The whole team has been doing an excellent job, with our key contacts being the heads of the practice group. ’
‘We have been actively working with Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. for more than six years. Prior to that we have occasionally worked on individual projects over a period of more than ten years. We would recommend them for their expertise, responsiveness and engagement. We are satisfied with the quality of service and the price/value offering.’
‘Our primary point of contact is Desislava Krusteva, who is responsible for the ongoing work related to our legal compliance activities and has provided us with an outstanding service. We particularly value the quick response to requests, ability to cover a wide range of areas and ability to present the results in a concise and timely manner.’
‘DPC are still leaders when it comes to the whole spectrum of ICT law – data and privacy, cybersecurity, telecommunication, e-commerce, AI, and other areas of key expertise, such as intellectual property for example. We invite their experts to assist us in our international and national project tasks. We have always received exceptional timeliness, excellent commitment, in-depth knowledge, and adequate advising when needed. Often, we have to keep to very tight deadlines, and we are happy that the DPC team respond to the urgency in a very timely manner. Through their experts’ assistance, we maintain a very good profile among our partners. We plan on continuing our successful collaboration.’
‘The diversity and variety of projects and project topics my organisation faces is large. Our team is happy to know that no matter the specifics of the ICT topic we will be faced, there are respective experts at DPC. In the past year we had a very specific demand from a ministerial institution, and Donka Stoyanova not only managd to respond to the timeline (given her tight schedule), but was also recognised as an exceptional expert in the field of public procurement. A key element of our collaboration is the fact that we often refer to the DPC team with just a question (sometimes urgent), and they are always eager to provide what is needed. This means a lot to us.’
The Walt Disney Company Bulgaria
Dalmatika EOOD and Socialcard EOOD
Law and Internet Foundation
PMA -Pharma Marketing Advisors
- Аdvised the spin-off of the infrastructure from the retail business of Telenor; provided legal assistance for the structuring and successful implementation of the biggest spin-off in the telecom sector in Bulgaria in the last few years and advised on all legal and regulatory aspects of the transaction.
- Represented The Walt Disney Company Bulgaria on regulatory and corporate restructuring matters as part of the acquisition of the Fox group by Disney; still provides post-transaction advice related to the acquisition and the local impact of the deal.
- Advised team.blue on the acquisition of the leading Bulgarian webhosting company SuperHosting.
Full-service powerhouse Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov boasts a stellar client list and first-rate technology expertise in Berlin-based partner Violetta Kunze. Clients range from global leaders to local start-ups, primarily within the technology and service-providers sector, although the firm's 'high level of expertise in the field of telecommunications' is equally praised; the firm acted for PPF on the €810m acquisition of the Bulgarian assets of Telenor. In the media sphere, News Corp UK & Ireland and Ingenious Media are recent gains.
‘Excellent market overview; high level of expertise in the field of telecommunications law and related data protection issues. ’
‘Violetta Kunze stands out for her outstanding committment to excellent work; very reliable and thorough in her work.’
Accenture (UK) Limited
Blantyre Capital Limited
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
News Corp UK & Ireland
Panasonic Marketing Europe
The Walt Disney Company (US)
The Wikimedia Foundation
Viessmann Werke GmbH & Co KG
- Advised the private investment group PPF on the €810m acquisition of the Bulgarian assets of Telenor.
- Acted for the Bulgarian start-up Nasekomo on signing the largest publicly-announced early-stage AgTech deal in Emerging Europe. Nasekomo has raised €4m to deploy its proprietary robotised insect rearing technology.
- Advised the private investment group PPF on the acquisition of the Bulgarian assets of the Nasdaq and Prague-listed media group Central European Media Enterprises (CME), whereby the global deal value amount to $2.1bn.
The TMT practice at CMS shines in the media sector, where 'outstanding professional' Anna Tanova, a senior associate, is an emerging industry name. The IP lawyer has built an impressive media practice and acts for the Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters in all its regulatory and business matters. In other areas, a multidisciplinary team, including much-praised corporate partner Atanas Bangachev, provide full legal services to telecoms companies, advertising agencies, software developers, satellite providers and private equity houses, among others.
Atanas Bangachev; Gentscho Pavlov; Veliko Savov; Anna Tanova
‘CMS Sofia possesses excellent expertise in IP, media law and electronic communications. We work closely with Anna Tanova who is an expert, with deep knowledge of the media regulation and one of the most experienced IP lawyers in Bulgaria. CMS Sofia lawyers provide good, practical solutions for the business.’
‘We work closely with Anna Tanova, senior associate. We have been working with Anna for more than five years already. We highly appreciate her expertise in IP and media law and her understanding of the media industry, the business and regulatory matters. We value her suggestions and the way she puts into practice good ideas. She represents the media industry in all working groups for legal matters related to IP and media at the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications and the parliament. She also advises us in drafting general terms and conditions and agreements, in negotiations, and in regulatory matters. ’
‘My impression is that the firm provides high-quality legal services, especially in the area of copyright and media law as we need such kind of legal expertise for our content acquisitions license agreements covering multiple territories and a wide scope of acquired rights. CMS seem to understand international media business well and are in line with latest changes in media legislation on EU level. Best practices in copyright law are applied on a daily basis. The lawyer working with us is proactive in asking clarifying questions when necessary in order to do her job in the best possible way. There is a constant sense of improvement of the service – revisions in contract drafts are always in line with various considerations.’
‘We work with Anna Tanova only. She is an outstanding professional, trustworthy, smart, innovative and adaptable to client’s needs. She is quick to respond, qualified, detailed and reliable. However, I believe her biggest strength is that she tries to see the assigned tasks from a wider media industry perspective, not just to work on them on a pre-defined standard manner. ’
Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters – ABBRO
The Sales House
Bulgarian Association of Cable and Communications Operators – BACCO
CenturyLink Communications Bulgaria
- Supporting Sixty K in various ongoing legal matters such as corporate, commercial and employment matters as well as dispute resolution mandates.
- Advising ABBRO, the Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters, on legal matters relating to all aspects of its activities, including proposals for legislative amendments and legal initiatives on current industry issues concerning the media sector.
- Advising Smartcom Bulgaria on the sale of its subsidiary PDK Services to Global Foundries, the second largest semi-conductor producer in the world.
Georgiev, Todorov & Co most recently demonstrated its weight in the TMT sector by its representation of Vivacom in a complex dispute with Apple regarding iPhone distribution, a case that was settled out of court. Head of practice Alexander Pachamanov led the advice in this matter and has a strong focus in this field. While the firm is a leader in dispute resolution, it also handles corporate, regulatory and finance matters, and represented BalkanTel in the supply of equipment for maintaining army aviation radar systems.
‘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 emphasise that the answers to the legal questions were provided in due time. Responses were accurate and always provided in close cooperation with in-house lawyers of the company.’
‘We can mention Alexander Pachamanov because his knowledge and experience are exceptional in the field of local and EU regulations in the TMT sector as well as in litigation and commercial legislation. He also obtains a broad expertise in the legislation applicable to the corporate issues, financing and bonds.’
Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC)
Bulgarian-American Credit Bank
Metroreklama & Motion Arts
Viacom International Hungary Kft.
- Advised Fleet Services on the purchase of all shares of the capital of Turkish GPS operator Mobiliz Bilgi ve İletişim Teknolojileri Anonymous Şirketi, as well as on an execution of a credit agreement and an increase of capital.
- Represented Vivacom in a complex dispute for abuse of a dominant position against Apple for the sale of iPhones, settled in favour of our client.
- Acted for BalkanTel for the supply of equipment for the maintenance of aviation radar systems of the army.
Praised by clients for its 'experience, responsiveness and attention to detail', Kambourov & Partners offers a comprehensive legal service to the TMT sector, including top-tier coporate, IP and dispute resolution advice, as well as regulatory and compliance expertise. Consequently, it attracts some stellar clients, including Warner Bros, Vodafone and Facebook, and recently provided local advice to BTC/Vivacom on its landmark sale to United Group. The strong team is led by leading light Mitko Karushkov and includes experienced member of the TMT department Mario Arabistanov and IP specialist Yana Todorova.
Other key lawyers:
Mario Arabistanov; Yana Todorova
‘Knowledgeable, efficient, good problem-solvers. Very cost-effective. Very responsive. Mario Arabistanov is our main point of contact. He is always available and provides timely and sound advice. ’
‘One of the best qualities of the team we were working with is that they are more partners than a legal team. They consider our mission and not just the legal aspects. That makes them unique. ’
‘Mitko Kamburov is an exellent partner and a great team member. He helped the entire process up until we successfully finished. ’
‘Kambourov & Partners have demonstrated three key aspects: vast experience (which enabled them to come up with creative solutions to complex cases); fast response time (which helps us move forward with our main business at fast pace); attention to detail (which builds trust).’
‘Mitko Karushkov combines vast legal experience and in-depth understanding of the IT domain. This enables him to really understand our challenges and come up with specific solutions.’
‘Mario Arabistanov has demonstrated attention to detail and extreme ownership. ’
‘The team stands out from its competitors as knowledgeable experts working together to answer their clients’ every need. They are fast and resourceful. The professional qualities are complimented by the easy-going and friendly personalities the members of the team have. ’
‘Mitko Karushkov, the partner in the TMT practice, is always responsive to clients’ needs, no matter the short notice for assistance. The easy access to the partner is essential for us as a client. Moreover, he is open-minded and flexible when approaching problem solving. Mario Arabistanov, the senior associate in the practice, is always up for the challenge to explore another area of data protection in terms of a specific industry. His strength is in the constant search for additional knowledge that makes him highly resourceful.’
Net Info (part of Nova Broadcasting Group)
Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (Vivacom)
Extensa Web Development
Web Media Group
- Acted for the seller, DevBG (a Bulgarian IT community), in the acquisition of 10% of its shares by SiteGround, a leading hosting company.
- Advising Facebook in Bulgaria on data privacy matters regarding the implementation of suicide and self-harm prevention tools.
- Advised Warner Bros on the legal aspects of the computer and console game, Mortal Kombat.
Penkov, Markov & Partners acts for international companies and start-ups in the fields of e-commerce, Fintech, AI, cybersecurity and software and hardware development, among others, as well as significant players in the telecoms sector. Clients include Bulgaria's first virtual telecom, V Mobile, Booking.com and Uber; the firm advised the latter not only on corporate matters but also on its software development entity. Managing partner Nikolay Cvetanov heads the practice with a strong focus on digital matters. Associate Asen Apostolov is another key member of the team.
Other key lawyers:
‘I worked with PMP team on an M&A and financing transaction. The team included associates Asen Apostolov and Vyara Tomova, supervised by partner Nikolay Tsvetanov. Asen and Vyara are young but have good level of experience and good command of lawyering and business skills. Nikolay participated and had input in talks and negotiations but Asen and Vyara had sufficient skills to work independently.’
‘They balance legal knowledge with business insight. Very calm under pressure. They have the ability to communicate effectively with various players involved in the transactions. They could manage well foreign counsel who was involved for corporate registrations in another country. Asen Apostolov was leading, very good skills, conscientious, up to the deadline, not too legalistic, recommend him. Vyara Tomova supported him well.’
‘The firm is at the forefront of the game. Trustworthy. I have advised as in-house counsel on many transactions and I can spot whether the people on board have the skills or are actually gaining knowledge on the back of the client. Asen Apostolov and Vyara Tomova were really good and can carry out a complex transaction rather smoothly and efficiently.’
‘Asen Apostolov, associate, is calm, serious but also fun to work with. Intelligent, broad-minded. Builds effective working relationship with the client. I would recommend him. Good business approach to problems. Not too legalistic but not overlooking details. Can work under pressure and tackles it. Can tackle matters of foreign law and manage. I have seen people on higher positions in other law firms who cannot do the job in the way he does it. Well schooled to be a corporate counsel on a high level.’
Cable Internet Systems
Secure Group Lab /Delatek
- Advised INSA (Colibra) on validity and enforceability of the concluded digital agreement with the customer, as well as regulatory compliance of the digital service and the legal structure of both the model and the company.
- Assisted Phyre in the legal structuring of their e-payment product.
- Advising Rewards Labs on the modification of the main loyalty platform and its adjustment for implementing payment methods for merchants and end-users.
The team at Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) bagged the deal of the year in representing United Group on the Bulgarian law aspects of its €1.2bn aquisition of Bulgaria's largest telecom, Bulgarian Telecommunications Company/Vivacom. Corporate and commercial partner Ilko Stoyanov led the Sofia advice, and co-heads the TMT practice alongside head of regulatory, Stefana Tsekova. The firm is well-versed in corporate transactions, financing, regulatory and IP matters, and dispute resolution in the TMT industry. Robert Bosch and Abbott Laboratories are both new clients.
Stefana Tsekova; Ilko Stoyanov
Other key lawyers:
‘Schoenherr’s team is very professional. They solve problems effectively with precisely to-the-point consultancy. I like their rather practical approach and the fact that they do not theorise their advice like the other firms.’
‘Stefana is very down to earth, practical and business oriented. Elena is experienced, efficient and effective. They both have brilliant problem solving techniques – quick, quiet, no stress or drama.’
GTS TELECOM (part of Deutsche Telekom AG)
- Advised United Group on the largest deal in Bulgaria of the past year, both in terms of value and size of the assets – the €1.2bn acquisition of Vivacom, the largest telecoms operator in Bulgaria.
- Advising OMV on an ongoing basis on all media (radio, TV, online and on-site) marketing campaigns in Bulgaria.
- Acting for Leoni on its entry into the Bulgarian market and the construction of a production factory in Bulgaria.
Velchev & Co. Law Office
TMT is a core area of practice at Velchev & Co. Law Office, which stands out for its deep regulatory expertise in the telecoms sector. Notably, it is lead adviser to mobile operator A1 Bulgaria, having won the client following competitive tender. The firm also excels in the gaming industry, where the National Lottery is a key client. Name partner Pavel Velchev boasts 19 years' specialisation, including a period in-house, and leads a seven-strong team that includes Nadya Hambach, who is focused on gaming.
Other key lawyers:
A1 Bulgaria (previously Mobiltel)
- Providing day-to-day advice to A1 Bulgaria, including regulatory advice on frequency allocation and use fees reduction.
- Advising A1 Bulgaria on potential M&A deals and LDDRs in respect of several cable tv and Internet providers.
- Providing regulatory and legal assistance to National Lottery company, New Game, including all compliance issues, and advice on new geographic market entry structuring and spin-offs.
Wolf Theiss has a strong offering in the TMT arena, particularly on the financing and corporate side, earning roles in big-ticket, cross-border transactions within the technology and telecoms sector. Recently, the firm acted for JP Morgan Securities in the structured financing to United Group for its €1.5bn acquisition of BTC/Vivacom. Corporate partner Richard Clegg and regulatory specialist/managing partner Anna Rizova head the practice and the bulk of mandates, with key input from counsels Hristina Dzhevekova and Oleg Temnikov. Clients also include Software Group and Megaport.
Richard Clegg; Anna Rizova
Other key lawyers:
Hristina Dzhevlekova; Oleg Temnikov
Upstream – next level mobility GmbH
Multi Service Technology Solutions
JP Morgan Securities
- Advising the initial purchasers, inter alia JP Morgan Securities, with regard to the Bulgarian law aspects of the issue and sale of high yield notes for the purpose of financing United Group’s €1.5bn acquisition of telecom BTC/Vivacom.
- Advising AIG on the provision of W&I insurance in respect of the conditions, representations, warranties and indemnities provided by the Sellers in the sale of BTC/Vivacom to United Group.
- Advising ALSO Holding, an international provider of ICT and digital solutions, on its acquisition of one of the major domestic ICT wholesalers – Solytron Bulgaria, thereby expanding its presence in the CEE region.
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria
Andrey Delchev and Partners - Eurolex Bulgaria has traditionally been active in terrestrial broadcast media, both television and radio, but more recently has been expanding its practice into IT and digital media, providing clients with full-service legal advice. Lead adviser Severina Liubenova specialises in competition law and media and telecommunications law.
Council of Minister (Bulgaria)
Fresh Media Group
- Advised Fresh Media Group, a national radio broadcaster, on various day-to-day legal matters related to its business operations and corporate governance.
- Representing Softline, a global information technology solutions and services provider, on various legal matters related to their business development in Bulgaria.
- Advised the State government in relation to substantial amendments in the Electronic Government Act and the Electronic Communications Act.
Demonstrating a 'practical approach, efficiency and reliable expertise', CERHA HEMPEL Gerginov provides corporate, commercial and compliance advice to well-known, international technology companies, including Samsung Bulgaria, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Telenor Common Operation. The team is led by managing and corporate partner Boyko Gerginov, who 'always looks for an ethical and professional approach'.
‘CERHA HEMPEL Gerginov is a very knowledgeable advisor. They differ from other local firms with the larger scope of understanding of law matters, not just reading the respective law. They tend to search additionally for legal practice to back their solutions.’
‘Boyko Gerginov is a very accountable advisor; he always looks for an ethical and professional approach and requires such from his team members. Gergana Antonova usually steps into matters and she is very fast in her understanding, very flexible in discussions and advises professionally.’
‘ I have been working with the law firm for more than nine years. I like their practical approach, efficiency and reliable expertise. ’
‘Boyko Gerginov and Kalin Bonev are excellent professionals. They are able to resolve complex issues in an efficient manner. ’
Telenor Common Operation
- Advised Samsung Bulgaria on numerous assignments, such as distribution agreements and corporate compliance matters, for example.
- Advised DXC.technology on a variety of mandates, including structuring of local documentation based on master agreements executed at a higher corporate level.
- Advised Micro Focus on various corporate and compliance matters.
Jordanov, Ignatov, Ivanov Law Firm has noteworthy expertise in the TMT sector, where the firm has a long-established focus. Instructions typically comprise regulatory issues, construction and commissioning of new facilities for companies, IP compliance and customers' rights, among others. Turk Telekom International BG is a long-standing client of the practice, while sports data company First Play is a recent client gain.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have worked with Jordanov, Ignatov & Ivanov for more than ten years and consider them part of our team. They are aware of our business in great detail and are able to propose sound solutions for every business or legal problem we encounter. We highly value the law firm’s approach as the lawyers have always come up with the most optimal solution for our business model.’
‘We closely work with the partner Dimitar Ivanov and senior associate Svetlana Valeva. They both are very devoted and reliable legal professionals. Their response time and legal knowledge are excellent which is very important for our dynamic business. ’
‘I would like to note partner Rumen Ignatov and senior associate Nikolay Ignatov. They are diligent and very reliable professionals. They can handle complex matters and find the most appropriate solutions.’
‘The team possesses diversified experience and we refer to it with a number of issues. There is a contrast in the experience of the assigned attorneys which gives us the security that the person engaged possesses the detailed professional knowledge.’
‘Besides the professional experience, we value the personal engagement with the matter at hand in the attorneys we have worked with.’
Turk Telekom International BG
Genik kafe reshenyia
- Provided legal advice to Power Drone on the development of software for aerial inspections of energy infrastructure.
- Advising Bica Services on a joint venture with a major European television provider.
- Acting for Vivansa on the implementation of the new requirements from eCommerce & Customs Procedure 42 – 63.
Kinstellar has a fledgling TMT practice under regulatory expert Anton Petrov, who was recruited as of counsel from top-tier firm Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov in 2020. The firm largely handles corporate support, IP and data protection matters for some stellar clients, including Facebook, but will seek to grow its regulatory practice under Petrov. Managing partner Diana Dimova co-leads the team.
Diana Dimova; Anton Petrov
‘I have experience working with Anton Petrov, who recently joined Kinstellar’s team as an Of Counsel. Anton stands out with his dedication and profound business knowledge of his clients in the tech sector. He is always up-to-speed with the legal and commercial developments which is critical in today’s fast-paced environment. He is very resourceful and regularly goes out of his way to offer outstanding client-centred advice. He is not only a true professional, but also personable and enjoyable to work with. That is why we have had a long-lasting collaboration in which he has handled complex legal matters with integrity and efficiency.‘
Astound Commerce Corporation
- Advising Facebook on the regulatory aspects of the contemplated deployment of the Facebook Shops and e-commerce services in Bulgaria.
- Advised DraftKings on the Bulgarian law aspects of the acquisition of SBTech as part of a business combination between DraftKings, SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp.
- Advising Smule, a Silicon Valley streaming service company, on retention and management of intellectual property rights in software and inventions in and out of Bulgaria.
Popov, Arnaudov & Partners
Popov, Arnaudov & Partners provides full-service support to a sizeable TMT client base that includes recent client gain, United Telecommunication Company, which the firm is advising on its structuring in Bulgaria. Emiliyan Arnaudov and his team also advise clients from the broadcast media, IT outsourcing, social media platform, biometrics, and software development sectors.
Emiliyan Arnaudov; Sibina Eftenova; Hristo Koparanov
United Telecommunication Company
- Advising United Telecommunication Company on its structuring, which will unite cable operators operating in different local markets.
Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski fields a multidisciplinary team from across the firm steered by experienced corporate partner Venelin Dimitrov, who has noteworthy experience of transactions within the Fintech and wider TMT sectors. He led advice to Bombardier on a novel technology assignment in relation to its contract with the National Railway Infrastructure Company.
Other key lawyers:
Telerik – a Progress company
- Acted for EnduroSat in respect of transactional and corporate assistance regarding investment in the company by Freigeist Capital.
- Advised Bombardier Transportation Italy on its participation in a cutting-edge technology assignment in respect of its contract with Bulgaria’s state-owned National Railway Infrastructure Company, worth €94.6m.
- Advising global hospitality company Fourth as preferred legal advisor in Bulgaria.