Firm Profile > Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) > Sofia, Bulgaria

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova)
1000 SOFIA

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

The Sofia office at Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova)  works closely with its other teams across the region, enabling it to effectively handle cross-border deals, having notably advised Société Générale on the sale of its CEE subsidiaries in 2018 and 2019. Practice head Tsvetan Krumov advised ING Bank and Raffeisen Bank on the structuring and enforcement of security arrangements and Ilko Stoyanov  is experienced in the sale of NPL portfolios. The practice also assists with acquisition financing and project refinancing, with a particular focus on structuring LMA-style loans in accordance with Bulgarian law. Key clients include UniCredit BulBank and VTB Capital plc.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Unicredit Bulbank AD

Citibank Europe Plc – Sofia branch

VTB Capital PLC (UK)

Raiffeisen Bank International AG


Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) advises on high-profile and cross-border transactions, having assisted Telenor and Société Générale as the sellers with two of the highest value deals in recent years in Bulgaria. The group is also experienced in assisting companies seeking to enter the Bulgarian market, advising international companies Smurfit Kappa and Leoni on their multimillion-euro acquisitions of local competitors. The team also counts Woodside Energy and B2 Kapital among its clients, and is headed by Alexandra Doytchinova and Ilko Stoyanov. Associate Stela Pavlova is also noted.


“They provided us high quality advice, interfacing very well with the regulators, the local management, and their local counterparts.’

“They enabled us to successfully close the deal within the contemplated timeline, despite numerous regulatory constraints.”

“Ilko Stoyanov gave very wise advice.’

Key clients


Société Générale Group (“SG”)

Smurfit Kappa Europe B.V.

B2 Kapital, Norway (acting via its Bulgarian subsidiary Debt Collection Agency EAD)

Woodside Energy, Australia


Einkaufs-Center Sofia and Plovdiv

Energy and natural resources Tier 2

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) acts for upstream and downstream oil and gas suppliers, renewable energy producers, and investors in renewable and fossil-fuel energy companies. The firm is advising Edison on its involvement in the ICBG gas pipeline, and provides ongoing advice to OMV Bulgaria, a fuel station operator. Stefana Tsekova, who counts OMV, EVN, and Woodside Energy among her clients, heads the practice, while attorneys-at-law Ivelina Vassileva and Radoslav Chemshirov focus on downstream oil and gas supply, and regulatory compliance, respectively.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Woodside Energy

OMV Bulgaria OOD

Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Austria


UniCredit Bulbank AD

Société Générale Expressbank, Bulgaria

EU and competition Tier 2

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) has advised on the competition and antitrust aspects of mergers in the banking, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical sectors. The firm also provides guidance on competition compliance with regards to trade secrets, trade marks and intellectual property, public procurement procedures, discounts and promotions, and supply and distribution agreements. Ilko Stoyanov leads the team and Galina Petkova’s ‘detailed and clear responses’, produced in a ‘timely manner’, are appreciated by clients.

Practice head(s):


‘The team is very responsive and have good relationships with their peers, which makes work on merger filings easier.’

‘The team is well organised and responsive. They were attentive to our needs and diligent in their attention to detail.’

Healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) advises on the wholesaling of medicines and medical devices, pharmaceutical marketing regulations, and restrictions on medicine pricing and reimbursement. The firm also has experience of food safety, having advised Amway, a nutritional supplement multi-level marketing company, and OMV Bulgaria on food safety in its petrol station supermarkets. Corporate and commercial work is a core part of the firm’s healthcare and life sciences practice – it has advised on mergers in the sector, general regulatory compliance, and data protection laws. The ‘efficient’ and ‘proactive’ Elena Todorova leads the practice.

Practice head(s):


‘Elena Todorova is very proactive.’

Key clients



Pharma Vision Europe Ltd

Take Away

AddLife AB

Projects and PPP Tier 2

The team at Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) works on major projects in natural gas exploration and pipeline construction, and is experienced in assisting with the development of commercial real estate and manufacturing facilities. The firm also has experience in public procurement procedures, having advised Alstom on its bid for a €65m concession to maintain public rail cars. Stefana Tsekova and Alexandra Doytchinova jointly head up the practice.

Key clients


OMV Bulgaria


Smurfit Kappa




UniCredit Bulbank AD (Bulgaria)

Société Générale Expressbank, Bulgaria



TMT Tier 2

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):

Key clients

BlackPeak Capital, Bulgaria


Yuno Pearls



Real estate and construction Tier 4

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova) chiefly advises manufacturers on the acquisition of real estate and the construction of industrial facilities. The firm has assisted OMV, a fuel retailer, to acquire numerous land plots for the construction of petrol stations and retail outlets. Lease agreements are another focus; practice head Dimitar Vlaevsky advises the owner of Mall Varna on leasing and service agreements, and has advises major manufacturers on long-term leases for office space. Elena Todorova is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Key clients


Leoni AG, Germany

Mall Varna AD

Smurfit Kappa Europe B.V.

Opened in 2004 the Schoenherr Sofia office is the international law firm with the longest history in Bulgaria and, accordingly, the most established track record. The team is composed of approximately 20 internationally trained lawyers, all experienced and focused on at least one of Schoenherr’s practice areas. Most of these lawyers have a strong working knowledge of English, German and Bulgarian. The team advises clients operating in various industries, including financial services, energy, manufacturing, real estate and constructions, retail, IT&C and technology, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.

In addition to the firm in Sofia, the Schoenherr – Attorneys at Law firm has offices in 13 other locations/countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as desks covering four further markets.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate, M&A Alexandra Doytchinova +35929331070
Corporate, M&A, Banking and Finance, Competition Ilko Stoyanov +35929331070
Regulatory, Energy, Employment Stefana Tsekova +35929331070
Photo Name Position Profile
 Mariya Bakalova  photo Mariya Bakalova Attorney at law 
 Kristina Chakarova  photo Kristina Chakarova Associate
 Radoslav Chemshirov photo Radoslav Chemshirov Attorney at law
 Alexandra Doytchinova photo Alexandra Doytchinova Partner
 Milena Gabrovska  photo Milena Gabrovska Associate
 Dimitar Kairakov  photo Dimitar Kairakov Associate
 Katerina Kaloyanova photo Katerina Kaloyanova Attorney at law
 Tsvetan Krumov photo Tsvetan Krumov Attorney at law
 Stela Pavlova  photo Stela Pavlova Attorney at law
 Galina Petkova photo Galina Petkova Associate
 Silvia Ribanchova  photo Silvia Ribanchova Attorney at law
 Gergana Roussinova  photo Gergana Roussinova Associate
 Ilko Stoyanov photo Ilko Stoyanov Partner
 Elena Todorova photo Elena Todorova Attorney at law
 Ventsislav Tomov  photo Ventsislav Tomov Attorney at law
 Stefana Tsekova photo Stefana Tsekova Partner
 Ivelina Vassileva  photo Ivelina Vassileva Attorney at law
 Dimitar Vlaevsky photo Dimitar Vlaevsky Attorney at law

Austria/CEE: Schoenherr advises UNIQA on the acquisition of AXA subsidiaries in CEE for EUR 1bln

Once again, Schoenherr has advised on a billion-euro transaction in the CEE region: An international Schoenherr team assisted UNIQA on the acquisition of AXA subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia for a purchase price of around EUR 1bln.

Austria/CEE: Schoenherr further strengthens leadership with promotions

Schoenherr is strengthening the ranks of equity partner, contract partner and counsel with new promotions effective as of 1 February 2020. With Pawel Halwa and Thomas Kulnigg, Schoenherr promotes two longstanding Schoenherr experts to equity partners. Constantin Benes, Leon Kopecký, Günther Leissler, Laurenz Schwitzer, Manuela Zimmermann, Georgiana Bădescu, Mădălina Neagu and Miloš Laković are promoted to contract partners, and at counsel level, Dominik Hofmarcher and Clemens Rainer have moved up in the ranks.