Event information

Date: Tue 30 May 2023 Time: 9.00am-6.30pm Venue: Sofia Balkan Palace, 5, pl. "Sveta Nedelya" Square, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria

The Legal 500 looks forward to welcoming delegates to the return of its annual GC Summit South East Europe, on 30th May 2023. For the first time in over three years, The Legal 500’s editorial team will venture back to Sofia, Bulgaria, to bring together the region’s top in-house counsel to share challenges, stories and, most importantly–solutions to the issues that they face.

In association with our partners for this event, Penkov, Markov & Partners; Pekin & Pekin; Nagy és Trócsányi; Georgi Dimitrov Attorneys and Jankovic Popovic Mitic; this event will include a series of panel sessions covering a variety of cutting edge and up to date topics for discussion.

This includes understanding and overcoming data privacy challenges, managing international disputes, adapting to a new M&A landscape, the rise of legal tech, the growing importance of ESG and green energy, and overcoming labour and employment issues.

Drawing on the vast experience of our highly accomplished speakers, this event will provide practical, hands-on advice to all in-house counsel.

It is a must-attend event for any in-house counsel based across South East Europe who may be aiming to reach the next level of their professional development.


9.00am – 9.45am Registration

9.45am – 10.00am Welcome address and key-note speaker

  • Allan Cohen, research editior, The Legal 500
  • Vladimir Penkov, chairman and senior partner, Penkov Markov and Partners

10.00am – 11.00am Specifics in the execution of foreign court and arbitration awards

  • Atanas Valov, partner, Penkov Markov and Partners
  • Erdem Atilla, partner, Pekin & Pekin
  • Silvi Chernev, chairman, Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
  • Tania Iossifova, chairperson, Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Industrial Association

11.00am – 12.00pm Legal Tech – Trend or necessity?

This session will expand on the reasons why legal technology matters to the legal industry. In the past few years, the driving forces behind the use of legal tech have strengthened:

  • Clients around the world now require personalised advice and a higher quality of service, and companies have had to improve client satisfaction and speed of services,
  • Talent attraction and retention, as well as staff education have become increasingly challenging,
  • Law firms possess a large volume of data which is still to be structured.Our expert speakers provide practical guidance on the use, budgeting and implementation of legal techs within your organisation.
  • Nemanja Stepanovic, managing director, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic
  • Konstantin Atanasov, head of legal and member of the Board of Directors, Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company
  • Georgi Penev, director, Bulgarian Fintech Association
  • Dessislava Boyadjieva, legal counsel, Henkel

12.00pm – 1.15pm Lunch 

1.15am – 2.15pm Next Generation GDPR Matters and Challenges

In the week of the 5th anniversary of GDPR’s entry into force, this panel will examine some of the current compliance challenges and developments emerged in the data protection and privacy field. The digital evolution of business processes, IA rise, mass adoption of cloud computing solutions, involve a number of specific data protection implications.

Meanwhile, the current data protection regulations have created various compliance hurdles which businesses want to be resolved unambiguously. In this regard, this panel will also explore the increasing role of the European Data Protection Board in ensuring the consistent implementation of data protection rules throughout the European Union.

  • Nikolay Cvetanov, managing partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners
  • Anil Acar, partner, Pekin & Pekin
  • Jasna Cvetkovska Velkovska, head of privacy, law and compliance, Deutsche Telekom Cloud Services
  • Ventsislav Karadjov, chairman, Bulgarian Commission for Personal Data Protection
  • Vihren Slavchev, CEO and co-founder, Mnemonica

2.15pm – 2.45pm Coffee Break

2.45pm – 3.45pm ESG – Comments on the upcoming Sustainable Reporting Directive and the development of Renewables and the Green Deal in South East Europe

  • Georgi Dimitrov, partner, Dimitrov Attorneys
  • Teodor Georgiev, legal and complaiance manager, Bulgaria, Nestlé
  • Nikolay Voynov, associated partner, Penkov Markov and Partners
  • Martin Dimitrov, founder & CEO, WealthLock
  • Joost van der Velden, managing director, Remoticom and Crescent Ventures
  • Neven Duić, vice-president, Croatian Academy of Engineering (HATZ)
  • Boyan Rashev, managing partner, Denkstatt Bulgaria

3.45pm – 4.45pm The Enforcement of drag-along, tag-along, call and put options in Southeast Europe

  • Péter Berethalmi, partner, Nagy és Trócsányi
  • Firat Yalcin, partner, Pekin & Pekin
  • Boris Lazarov, associated partner, Penkov Markov and Partners
  • Teodora Ivanova, general counsel and M&A advisor, Kaolin EAD and Quarzwerke Group

4.45pm – 5.00pmClosing remarks

5.00pm – 6.30pm Networking drinks and canapes


Nikolay Cvetanov, managing partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners

Mr. Cvetanov joined Penkov, Markov & Partners in 2008 and became a Managing Partner in 2020. He heads Penkov, Markov & Partners’s State Regulations, IT/Media and FinTech practice groups and he has a considerable experience in the areas of banking and finance law, company law, mergers and acquisitions, data protection.

  • Member of the Sofia Bar Association.
  • Chairman of the Association for Responsible Non-Bank Lending, since 2014
  • Deputy chairman of the managing board – National Association for out-of-court settlements
  • Member of the ABBA Board, since 2023

Nikolay Voynov, associated partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners

Mr. Voynov has 15 years of practical experience in advising Bulgarian and foreign corporate clients, public entities and public enterprises in various legal areas such as Energy, Public Procurement, PPP and Concessions, Infrastructure, Transport, Environmental, M&A, Project Finance, etc.

Atanas Valov, partner, Penkov, Markov & Partners

Mr. Valov joined Penkov, Markov & Partners in 2005 and became a partner in 2022.

He has vast experience in a wide range of dispute resolution matters from real estate (including restitution) and construction disputes, commercial litigation and arbitration, as well as disputes in the renewable energy sector.

  • Member of the Sofia Bar Association

Nemanja Stepanovic, managing director, JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic

Having joined JPM in 2004, Nemanja Stepanovic currently holds the position of Managing Director at JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic.  

He completed his graduate and postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade and further obtained a specialist degree in internet marketing from the Faculty of Organizational Sciences in Belgrade.   

With almost two decades of experience in law firms’ business development, marketing, and legal tech, Nemanja is a seasoned professional.  He regularly speaks on matters about technology, marketing, and business development within the legal industry. 

Erdem Atilla, partner, Pekin & Pekin

Erdem Atilla heads the Dispute Resolution practice of the firm. He provides legal consultancy services and legal representation services to clients before courts, arbitral tribunals and mediators on commercial disputes, employment disputes, criminal proceedings, administrative disputes, execution and bankruptcy proceedings, debt collection proceedings, compensation lawsuits, consumer disputes, disputes arising from contracts having an international aspect as well as contracts subject to Turkish Law. He advises and represents international and local clients from a wide range of sectors including automotive, banking and finance, consumer products and retail, energy and natural resources, hospitality and leisure, industrial manufacturing and service industries, infrastructure, insurance, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, biotechnology, real estate, construction, telecommunications, media, technology, transportation, logistics, and defense. Erdem is a recommended commercial litigation expert in Turkey. 

Silvi Chernev, chairman, Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

  • Former arbitrator at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) according to the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States;
  • Former member of the Special Committee under the European Convention on International Commercial Arbitration;
  • Arbitrator on the list of International Courts of Arbitration in the Russian Federation, Slovenia, Romania, Austrian Economic Chamber, Ukraine, Kossovo and others;
  • Arbitrator on major international cases (incl. arbitration ad hoc and investor-state disputes);
  • International expert on law reform in the former socialist countriesq including arbitration;
  • Attorney in arbitration proceedings;
  • training in mediation
  • training in International Commercial Arbitration by LCIA team in Bulgaria (2004);
  • Participation in UNCITRAL – Working Groups II and III, VI – 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 – Arbitration and Conciliation – in particular – international enforcement of agreements reached as a result of conciliation and mediation; security interests. 

Tania Iossifova, chairperson, Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Industrial Association

Prof. Tania Iossifova is chairperson of the Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA), a long-time arbitrator and attorney. She is professor in Civil law at the Faculty of law at the University of national and world economy Sofia. Prof. Tania Iossifova is author of three monographs in the field of civil and commercial law, opinions to the Constitutional Court and to the Supreme Court of Cassation, lecturer in seminars devoted to current issues in the field of Information technology law (on-line platforms, digital services, e-commerce).

Konstantin Atanasov, head of legal and member of the Board of Directors, Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company

Konstantin Atanasov is a Legal Director and Member of the Board of Directors of Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company Bulgaria AD. He joined the Company in 2012 and over the years he changed several positions to take his current role in 2016 г. He has graduated as Master in Laws from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. He has a certificate in EU Competition law from Kings College London, CIPP/E and CIPM certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals and he has recently finished an EMBA course in the American University in Bulgaria. He is passionate about providing fast and business-minded support which ensures business growth. 

Georgi Penev, director, Bulgarian Fintech Association

Georgi is the Director and Cluster Manager of the largest FinTech cluster in the CEE region – Bulgarian Fintech Association(BFA). His career started in business consulting and business development roles for fintech, and in the last three years, he’s been the leading executive person of BFA. Georgi is co-director and co-founder of the CEE Centre for Digital Finance. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Glasgow. 

Dessislava Boyadjieva, legal counsel, Henkel

Dessislava heads the Legal and Compliance function at Henkel Bulgaria She combines extensive in-house legal and corporate governance experience in international operations, and has a deep understanding of complex interdisciplinary matters requiring agile responses to changing environments. A member of the Henkel legal tech expert group, gaining knowledge and inspiration from renowned business management programmes, Dessislava believes that innovation and technology hold great potential that must be leveraged without compromising human rights and security 

Anil Acar, partner, Pekin & Pekin

Anil advises multi-national clients on international and domestic M&A deals, other corporate and competition law related matters. In particular, he provides legal services on all phases of M&A projects ranging from SPA and SHA preparation parts to due diligence exercises; drafting and reviewing numerous types of commercial contracts; corporate maintenance tasks for his major international clientele active in various sectors including food, manufacturing, heating solutions, machinery, payment solutions. He also provides his clients with assistance in relation to their specific matters of data protection including cross-border data transfers, data protection policies, day-to-day data protection queries and of employment including contracts. 

Jasna Cvetkovska Velkovska, head of data privacy, legal and compliance of Deutsche Telekom Cloud Services

Jasna Cvetkovska Velkovska is a Head of Data Privacy, Legal and Compliance and General Legal Counsel of Deutsche Telekom Cloud Services. She joined Deutsche Telekom Group in 2007: first as part of the legal team of Makedonski Telekom AD Skopje and since 2016 she works in Deutsche Telekom Cloud Services in Bratislava, Slovakia with responsibility for 9 entities all over Europe.  

Beside her long experience in corporate law and compliance, she has extensive experience in data privacy topics with focus on international transfers and cloud production. 

She holds CIPP/E certification from the International Association of Privacy Professionals, as well as certification as Compliance Manager and Fraud Investigator  from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.  

Ventsislav Karadjov, chairman, Bulgarian Commission for Personal Data Protection

Georgi Dimitrov, partner, Dimitrov Attorneys

Georgi is founder and Managing partner of Georgi Dimitrov Attorneys one of the leading law firms on the Macedonian market. 

Georgi has extensive experience in corporate and commercial law in the Macedonian and regional market. Work includes services in the area of energy law, tax law, employment law, banking and finance. Practice involves complex legal disputes in corporate governance. Also handles real estate law including commercial property development. 

His professional membership includes Macedonian Bar Association, Rotary Club Skopje – Vodno. 

Qualified in 1996. Authorized representative for industrial property rights protection. Established Georgi Dimitrov Attorneys in 1997. Head attorney in the clinical program in civil law held at Faculty of Law Justinian I. Currently owner of one of leading law offices in local and regional legal market with ten employees and extensive list of international clients with current portfolio of investment on the market in Republic of Macedonia exceeding one billion euro. 

Publication for real estate Macedonia 2007, Drafting the Law on water communities in 2000 and Law on water organizations in 2001, published article on Statement of Safety in accordance with Law on Labor Relations in the magazine Business Law. 

He was born 12.01.1970 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Attended University of St. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. Leisure interests include photography, chess, yoga, architecture, music and art. Lives in Skopje, Macedonia. 

Teodor Georgiev, legal and complaiance manager, Bulgaria, Nestlé

Teodor Georgiev heads up the Legal, Corporate governance and Compliance function at Nestlé Bulgaria and is convinced that all individuals, communities and organisations are entitled to have their rights protected. 

Teodor’s professional success is based on his ability to analyse and understand both the global and local environment and adapt to it. He ably builds trust with internal and external audiences due to his transparent character and disruptive leadership.  

Teodor is a former Head of Legal of the Bulgarian Competition Authority where he advised and defended some of the prominent antitrust investigations on electricity, oil and gas, media and FMCG markets and oversaw transposition of several European directives in the Bulgarian legislation.  

Martin Dimitrov, founder & CEO, Wealthlock

Mr. Martin Dimitrov obtained his education in the United Kingdom, focusing on Business Studies, including Finance and Business Analysis.  

Currently finalising his double-accredited MBA Degree from the International University of Monaco, Mr Martin D. is also an approved candidate for a Dual Doctorate Degree, with a concept for creating a hybrid-scaled Economics & Business Leadership methodology.  

In addition, Mr Martin D. possesses numerous advanced certifications in Personal Finance, Business Consultancy, Information Technologies, Project / Portfolio Management, Risk Management, Data Analytics and Contracts & Negotiations, and is in the final stages of obtaining several others in the IT, Finance and ESG fields.  

Meanwhile, Mr Martin. D. holds 11+ years of experience in diversified range of business sectors in multiple Global regions, as follows: 

  • IT, Pharmaceuticals, Business Consulting, Project / Portfolio / Product Management

(8+ years):

  • Successfully building & leading numerous large teams in complex environments, ranked as multi-million investment initiatives, on a Global level.
  • Leading and consulting small-to-Enterprise Blue-chip stock scale organisational transformations on (but not limited to) SAFe, Agile, Lean, SixSigma business development projects, on a Global level.
  • Directing, coaching and sustaining business optimisation & strategic growth, through applying deep data analytics, change and risk management, supported by adaptive communication & predictive financial models. 


  • Business Consulting, Finance & Asset Management and Strategic Growth

(3+ years):

  • Co-managing and advising on various size portfolios for external and internal business program / project initiatives, totalling $100M+, on a Global Level.
  • Fostering and managing an Agile, transparent culture of innovation amongst 100+ member teams, lean collaboration and continuous improvement process engineering across Senior Leadership, on a Global level.
  • Collaborating and counselling on intercompany & client existing relationships, securing clear vision and decision making process as member of Business Steering & Board Committees, on a Global level 

Péter Berethalmi, partner, Nagy és Trócsányi

Péter Berethalmi is managing partner at Nagy és Trócsányi and is based in Budapest, Hungary.  His practice includes corporate, M&A, real estate, commercial and regulatory. He has significant experience in diverse domestic and transnational cross-border transactions. He is active in advising corporate clients in connection with their day-to-day operations.  His clients range from a variety of industries including manufacturing, automobile, energy (distance heating, solar energy etc.), real estate development, financial institutions, biotechnology. 

Firat Yalcin, partner, Pekin & Pekin

Fırat mainly represents and advises international clients from different sectors; such as defense, heavy industry, medical, food and beverage, automotive, banking and finance, real estate, consumer products, online retailers, energy, infrastructure etc. in Corporate and M&A projects, civil disputes, tax disputes, tax inspections. The areas of his practice include corporate and commercial law, tax law, labour law, competition, personal data protection, real estate and intellectual property. He has also participated and led mergers and spin-off transactions, and advised local and multinational holdings and group companies in their full restructuring projects. Fırat dual-qualifies as Attorney at Law and CPA (Certified Public Accountant) in Turkey.  

Boris Lazarov, associated partner, Penkov Markov

Boris Lazarov joined Penkov, Markov & Partners in 2012 and became an Associated partner in 2023. He has a key role in PMP’s team in the fields of Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate and Commercial law, Banking and Finance law, Energy and RES law.

Vihren Slavchev, CEO and co-founder, Mnemonica

Vihren Slavchev is the CEO and Co-founder of Mnemonica. He has over 20 years of IT and Management experience, gathered in the software development, real estate and the financial sectors. 

From 2009 until now partnering with a great team of professionals, Vihren Slavchev keeps on growing one of the most dynamic and successful Bulgarian IT companies. Mnemonica is the first company that offers cyber protection as a service on the Bulgarian market (SOC-as-a-service). 

Joost van der Velden, managing director, Remoticom and Crescent Ventures

Neven Duić, vice-president, Croatian Academy of Engineering (HATZ)

Neven Duić is Vice-president of the Croatian Academy of Engineering (HATZ). He is also a Member of the presidency of the Adria Section of the Combustion Institute (ASCI), Professor at the Department of Energy, Power and Engineering and Environment at the University of Zagreb, and President of the Management Board the Centre for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES Centre).

Boyan Rashev, managing partner, Denkstatt Bulgaria

Boyan Rashev is one of the leading sustainability experts in Bulgaria. Since 2007, he has been a Managing Partner at denkstatt – the most experienced ESG advisory in Bulgaria. Additionally, he consults Expat Natural Resources Mutual Fund – the largest commodity investment fund in the country. Boyan has significant contribution to the development of the public understanding of sustainability topics in the country through his numerous public articles and comments in conventional and social media as well as participation in events, media and trainings. A Trusted C-level Advisor at numerous large Bulgarian companies in key economic sectors.

He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in “Environmental and Resource Management” from Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus, Germany. He has also studied at Sofia University, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna and Central University of Venezuela in Caracas.

Teodora Ivanova

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GC Summit South East Europe 2023

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