Firm Profile > Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA > Bucharest, Romania
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA Offices
BLVD DACIA NR 30, ET. 7
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA > The Legal 500 Rankings
Capital markets Tier 1Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA's highly respected capital markets team offers a huge amount of experience. The firm's standing is built upon key relationships with a high-profile mix of issuers and investment banks, who appreciate the firm's ability to handle complex domestic and international offerings and regulatory issues. The extremely well regarded Narcisa Oprea has led the team for over a decade years, and clients are quick to praise her team of associates, including Veronica Das Alexeev.
Other key lawyers:
Veronica Das Alexeev
‘This practice is unique as it combines lots of experience, thoroughness and pragmatism. Standing ovations for Narcisa Oprea for the quality of her work, her responsiveness, and pragmatic solutions to unusual problems.’
‘Unparalleled real-life experience on the Romanian stock exchange/capital markets. A can do attitude, focussed on results and not on ‘why this will not work. Narcisa Oprea is probably the most experienced consultant and trial lawyer active on the Romanian capital markets.’
‘High-level and wide-range of expertise in capital markets in Romania which is not found in other firms.’
Bittnet Systems SA
Patria Bank SA
Qualitance QBS SA
SAI Atlas Asset Management SA
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has one of the most active M&A teams in the market offering strong expertise across various sectors, including pharmaceuticals and healthcare, consumer goods, manufacturing and financial services. Between them, partners Markus Piuk, Madalina Neagu and Monica Cojocaru, have built up close relationships among corporate and private equity clients. The firm's regional network, particularly in Austria and Germany, is difficult to rival. Narcisa Oprea is noted for her overlapping capital markets expertise, while Matei Florea is singled out for related banking issues.
Markus Piuk; Monica Cojocaru; Mădălina Neagu
Other key lawyers:
Narcisa Oprea; Matei Florea
‘Very experienced practice and assertive approach to negotiations. Innovative solutions to classical M&A negotiation issues that brought the bacon home. Very impressed with Madalina Neagu and Cristina Enaga for their approach to negotiations and efficiency of their work process.’
‘This team is extremely skilled and effective. They understand very well the key items of the deal and help in focusing the efforts to resolve them. Proactive, supportive, problem solvers. The type of legal support you definitely need in an M&A transaction.’
‘Monica Cojocaru was responsive, accessible, proactive. Partnering with the client to find solutions and overcome roadblocks in the transaction. Very skilled and pragmatic.’
‘Schoenherr covers the full range of commercial legal services with an active presence in all CEE countries. The local knowledge from all countries make them a perfect match when seeking for legal advice in very complex situations, being able to propose tailor made teams from a domicile and area of expertise standpoint. We value from Schoenherr the quality of the newsletters and academic publications shared with us, which offer valuable opinions on the hot topics of the business markets.’
‘Madalina Neagu is the partner in M&A. Deep knowledge of the M&A market but also experience in all legal matters related. Flexible enough to deal with all topics, even below her expertise for a holistic approach.’
Globe Trade Center (GTC)
Intermedio General Group
Morphosis Capital Fund I
OMV Petrom Group
Energy and natural resources Tier 1
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has built a superb reputation for energy-related legal advice, praised for its sector-specific expertise and ability to draw in other practice groups when required. Monica Cojocaru has developed a strong name in this area, with expertise that spans transactional, regulatory and infrastructure projects. She works alongside well-regarded corporate partner Markus Piuk, who divides his time between Bucharest and Vienna. The team is comfortable across most aspects of upstream and downstream oil and gas, and conventional and renewable power.
Markus Piuk; Monica Cojocaru
‘They provide exceptional quality even in the volatile Romanian environment. We have been cooperating for many years now and they have never let me down.’
‘The team combines the international reach of Schoenherr with detailed knowledge of local legal and practical issues. Their extensive experience in the sector gives them a genuine sector edge rather than energy being part of their overall practice. It also means they have excellent relationships with the relevant government and other agencies as well as all the major players: if you have an issue they will have seen it before and know how to solve it.’
‘The team is very diverse and their technology is top notch as you would expect from an international firm.’
‘They are well organised and they are provide quick reply covering various and complex issues. In case some legal issues needs different kind of expertise they bring inside the working teams lawyers covering not only the main aspect but also other issues in connection with the scope of work.’
‘Monica Cojocaru leads the team and is a very experienced sector expert. Very responsive, hugely knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with.’
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
European Commission – Directorate-General for Energy
OMV Petrom Marketing
PATRES – the Renewable Energy Producers Organisation in Romania
Real estate and construction Tier 1Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA offers a multi-faceted real estate team that works closely with other departments and the firm's international network on complex cross-border transactions. The team covers all asset classes, although clients especially appreciate its expertise in the agribusiness and forestry sector, both for regulatory and commercial support. These are areas where Simona Chirica and managing associate Mădălina Mitan are of particular note. Managing partner Sebastian Gutiu leads the firm's group-wide real estate team, ensuring a joined-up approach throughout the region. The versatile Oana Constantinescu is strong on transactional, development and environmental matters.
Other key lawyers:
Simona Chirică; Oana Constantinescu; Mădălina Mitan
‘Team with a high willingness to quickly develop new areas, working beyond normal working hours. In addition, each individual and the whole team is extremely friendly and also helpful in addition to the core area of legal advice.’
‘Our requests were answered by great availability, outstanding professionalism and on-point solutions. Even though these three qualities that I highly appreciate might sound common, in practice they are rarely met and these make the team totally stand out.’
‘The real estate team at Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has a strong expertise in agribusiness. To the best of my knowledge, there are only a few Romanian lawyers who can easily handle such a niche specialisation and I do not think there is another large business law firm in the market to have a full time team covering the agriculture sector. Our market is one that involves some very particular legislative requirements and Schoenherr is fluent in navigating them all, due to their long history of working for agribusiness investors. ’
‘Fast response time and commercial understanding of client’s needs. ’
‘Sebastian Gutiu is one of the most valued lawyers and partners I have worked throughout my over 20 years career in real estate. Listening carefully, analyzing issues, and always bringing his solution-oriented, well-thought out attitude, all dressed in deep knowledge of his subject, are just some of the qualities for which I both admire and choose to work with him. ’
‘Real estate partner Simona Chirica is a brilliant lawyer, very dynamic, with an incredible energy. She has a full understanding of the civil and real estate legislation, a great sense of business and is focused on getting things done. She coordinates quite a sizeable team specialising in real estate. Madalina Mitan is probably one of the best real estate lawyers in Bucharest to assist an agriculture company on doing business in Romania. She is well familiarised with this sector, knows what agribusiness companies’ goals and struggles are and is capable to find the legal ways for them to achieve their business goals. ’
Interglobe Enterprises Limited
PROFOREST, The Association of Private Forest Land Owners in Romania
Banking and finance Tier 2
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA can regularly be found advising borrowers and lenders on high-profile financings. The firm is also strong on the regulatory front and was involved in several significant restructurings over the past year. Clients benefit from the firm's strong regional presence. The highly experienced Matei Florea leads the firm's CEE banking and finance and capital markets practice. Other key individuals include well regarded counsel Adina Damaschin. Both lawyers have a good track record advising on the acquisition and sale of distressed asset and loan portfolios.
Other key lawyers:
‘The quality of the partners, in conjunction with advanced communication and negotiation skills, render Schoenherr a top-notch legal firm on the Romanian market.’
‘Very professional, good legal knowledge and practice, in accordance with the relevant market, also providing in time the most convenient solutions. Very practical, providing clear solutions.’
‘Professional behavior showed all time, good understanding of the matters discussed, always available to find the best solutions.’
‘Schoenherr’s team in Bucharest is a perfect combination between the reach and resources of a large international law firm and a boutique approach to customers. Despite their large regional footprint, as a client you always get thorough, high quality and bespoke support, irrespective of the project size.’
‘Matei Florea is an exceptional lawyer with a very good understanding of the market and excellent knowledge.’
‘Adina Damaschin is a highly skilled professional.’
Banca Comerciala Romana SA
Erste Group Bank
Eurobank Ergasias SA
European Investment Bank
Patria Bank SA
Piraeus Bank SA
Raiffeisen Bank International AG
Dispute resolution Tier 2Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA is an extremely reliable choice for a wide variety of disputes, including public procurement claims, antitrust, insurance, tax, consumer and contractual disputes. The team also has good experience of international arbitration and investment treaty claims. Managing partner Sebastian Gutiu has established a strong reputation for high-stakes disputes. Managing attorney Iustin Armașu is now the main contact for regulatory disputes, following Adina Jivan's departure to Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners.
Sebastian Guțiu; Iustin Armașu
‘Very good capabilities in dispute resolution, well-prepared lawyers and very good representation.’
‘Very solid team, with many senior lawyers who are perfectly capable to coordinate complex cases. Sebastian Gutiu is a fantastic leader. He is very practical and focused in his approach, willing to explore out of the box solutions in order to achieve results.’
Asirom (Vienna Insurance Group)
Banca Comerciala Romana
EU and competition Tier 2
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has a versatile and well-regarded team that is equally comfortable on major investigations as it is on merger clearance procedures. The firm's active corporate team ensures a regular flow of the latter, while the experience and reputation of practice head Georgiana Bădescu makes the firm a favoured destination for sensitive contentious issues. The standalone team provides compliance training and regular audits and mock dawn raids. Clients rate its specialised associates, including Mona Banu who worked for ten years in the Competition Council, and Cristiana Manea.
Other key lawyers:
Mona Banu; Cristiana Manea
‘The firm covers all types of competition projects, from compliance to enforcement and litigation. They are great in liaising with the competition authority. They have a good-size team, with a perfect balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience. They understand that their advice on competition compliance needs to be implemented on all company levels and are able to deliver said advice in a form that is easily translated into business terms.’
‘Their competition team is very business-minded and easy to approach. They only do competition work – unlike the competition teams in other major firms, that have double- or multiple- specialisations – so you can trust you will receive quick and top-class answers.’
‘They deliver first-class advice, communicate smoothly with the competition regulator and seem to know exactly what legal buttons to push to get the right outcome for the client. They think outside the box and were able to come up with some creative solutions for our project.’
‘Attention to detail, great professionals, client oriented, great understanding of the client’s needs and expectations.’
‘Georgiana Badescu, who runs the competition practice at Schoenherr, has a superb legal and business mind. She is definitely one of the leading competition lawyers in the Romanian market. She has a strong team working with her, with Mona Banu and Cristiana Manea building good names for themselves in the market as well.’
OMV Petrom Marketing
PPP and procurement Tier 2
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has a diverse client base that regularly instructs the firm on major public tenders and related financings. The firm's lawyers have good experience of transport and social infrastructure projects, including universities and schools. The firm's regulatory and disputes expertise also helps on contentious issues and related legislative advice. Matei Florea heads the overall practice, with managing attorney Carmen Știrbu stepping in to head the public procurement side, following the departure of Oana Voda to Filip & Company.
Other key lawyers:
Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has a comprehensive insolvency and restructuring practice that is equally adept at representing creditors and debtors. This includes advice on debt collection programmes, company restructurings, insolvency procedures and litigation. There is good cohesion between Bucharest and other offices in the network, making it an attractive option for cross-border matters. Managing partner and disputes head Sebastian Gutiu is one of the lead partners, with strong support from managing attorney Iustin Armașu. Former partner Adina Jivan joined Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners.
Sebastian Guțiu; Iustin Armașu
Banca Comerciala Romana
Gold Plast Production
Vestas CEU Romania
Tax Tier 2Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has a standalone tax advisory service operating through a specialist company, Schoenherr Tax Bucharest SRL. The group provides strong support on the full range of corporate matters, including transaction-related tax advice and cross-border projects. VAT, transfer pricing, social contributions, personal tax, and corporate and withholding tax are all areas of expertise. The team also works closely with the disputes practice on litigations and challenges to tax audits. The practice is now led by Adriana Stoian following the departure of Theodor Artenie who joined Noerr in February 2021.
‘The tax team at Schoenherr Bucharest has the in-depth expertise you simply need in such risky and volatile tax environment such as the one in Romania. The team delivers exceptional performance even in the most challenging projects.’
‘Schoenherr has expertise in tax matters, having great knowledge, excellent orientation on building a strong relationship with the client.’
‘This team is extremely skilled and assertive about tax matters. This is an area where you need certainty and no risk. They are able to provide customer the right answers given a strong know-how of the topic. Effective and partnering with client to find the best solution on tax matters.’
White-collar crime Tier 2Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA is commended for its strong white-collar crime and investigations practice, which fields several highly rated in-house specialists. The experienced team handles of mix of fraud, tax evasion, cybercrime, bid rigging and corruption claims, representing both claimants and defendants. Criminal defence is a key area, but the team also advises on internal investigations and related crisis management. Managing partner Sebastian Gutiu leads the team which also includes the highly rated criminal law specialist Magdalena Roibu.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has an excellent, professional and well organized team, able to cover a lot of specialized expertise. The lawyers are well connected with the market and keep us updated with all relevant matters. They’re also immediately reachable.’
‘One of the most respected law firms for German speakers is growing and they are focusing on the white-collar crime practice. A small but very motivated team that will continue to rise in this practice area. ’
‘They have extensive knowledge of the applicable legislation and can easily understand the complex schemes specific to white-collar crimes. Thus, they can easily provide the support needed by clients involved in white-collar crimes. ’
‘I worked closely with Magdalena Roibu and she is one of the most ambitious, well-trained and results-oriented lawyers in the market.’
‘Magdalena Roibu is a lawyer dedicated to excellence and proficiency, and these are not just words. A difficult problem does not discourage her, but on the contrary she aspires to find the solution.’
‘Sebastian Gutiu is a well experienced attorney, with excellent knowledge about how to organize and successfully implement the defense in white-collar crimes files. ’
Employment Tier 3
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has built a strong standing in the market, particularly since the 2018 arrival of practice head Mara Moga-Paler, who has a loyal client base. The standalone team is a real asset for the firm's broader offering, and provides strong support on the full range of employment issues, including collective bargaining agreements, redundancy programmes, internal compliance procedures, and litigation. In the past year, the team proved an invaluable crutch to clients through the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘Versatile team, focused on meeting the clients needs and finding the best workable solution in any situation.’
‘The employment team at Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA stands out way above other firms in the local market in terms of quality of their legal advice. Labour law is a quickly shifting legislative area in Romania, calling for lawyers who take this specialisation to permanently learn and adapt their advice to ever changing rules. I appreciate Schoenherr team’s outstanding ability to stay on top these legal changes, even in challenging times, such as the recent pandemic-related employment law issues faced by companies. ‘
‘Mara Moga-Paler has a sharp eye for issues in matters with an international context: she knows how to navigate between Romanian law and the law applying to multinationals.’
‘Mara Moga-Paler is brilliant, the right person for the job if you are facing any type of employment termination project, or want to put your house in order on employment aspects. She is a very good option for in house counsels who need a day-to-day employment advisor and can save a lot of time and costs by telling you how to avoid employment litigation.’
Intellectual property Tier 3
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA clients benefit from a broad mix of IP-related services. The department, led by Sorin-Eduard Pavel, is an important adjunct to the firm's active corporate team, regularly providing IP support on cross-border M&As and restructurings. The team also has a strong standalone function, representing clients on IP infringement claims and anti-counterfeiting measures. The firm's regional presence is an advantage for IP-related multi-jurisdictional proceedings and strategies.
Marchesi Antinori S.p.A
Bano Healthcare GmbH
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA > Firm Profile
The firm: Schoenherr’s Bucharest office opened in 1996 and has ever since been one of the most renowned international firms active in Romania and a top market player. The 60-lawyer team advises clients operating in various industries, including financial services, energy (oil & gas, nuclear, renewables), manufacturing & industries, real estate and constructions, retail, fast moving consumer goods, IT&C, pharmaceuticals & healthcare.
Areas of practice: Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA advises on the complete range of business law matters. The firm has strong experience in corporate/M&A, banking & finance and capital markets, real estate, dispute resolution (including litigation & arbitration, insolvency & restructuring, white-collar crime), EU & competition, employment, data protection, projects, concessions/ PPP, public procurement, intellectual property, as well as tax advisory.
|Banking & finance||Matei Floreaemail@example.com|
|Capital markets||Narcisa Opreafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Real estate and constructions||Sebastian Gutiuemail@example.com|
|Real estate and constructions||Simona Chiricafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Real estate and constructions||Oana Constantinescuemail@example.com|
|Dispute resolution||Sebastian Gutiufirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dispute resolution||Iustin Armasuemail@example.com|
|Restructuring and insolvency||Sebastian Gutiufirstname.lastname@example.org|
|White-collar crime||Sebastian Gutiuemail@example.com|
|EU & competition||Georgiana Badescufirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Data protection||Carmen Stirbuemail@example.com|
|Projects, concessions/ PPP, public procurement||Matei Floreafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Public procurement||Carmen Stirbuemail@example.com|
|Intellectual property||Sorin-Eduard Pavelfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Technology & digitalisation||Madalina Neaguemail@example.com|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 60 Worldwide : Over 300
LanguagesEnglish French German Hungarian Italian Polish Romanian Russian Spanish
OtherOther offices : Austria Other offices : Belgium/EU Other offices : Bulgaria Other offices : Croatia Other offices : Czech Republic Other offices : Hungary Other offices : Moldova Other offices : Montenegro Other offices : Poland Other offices : Serbia Other offices : Slovakia Other offices : Slovenia Other offices : Turkey Other offices : and 4 country desks in: Other offices : Albania Other offices : Bosnia & Herzegovina Other offices : North Macedonia Other offices : Ukraine
Press Releases31st March 2020 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.
31st March 2020 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.
Legal Developments26th September 2017
A landmark decision was issued yesterday (Judgement Bărbulescu v. Romania), a source of debate in the media, in which the European Court of Human Rights clarified the restrictions on monitoring employees in the workplace.
22nd September 2017
The Hungarian Ministry of the Interior recently submitted a legislative proposal to the Hungarian Government to amend the Act on Hungarian National Security Services (the "Proposal"). The Proposal suggests an amendment pursuant to which investors from non-EU and non-EEA countries who wish to invest in Hungary would have to obtain prior permission from the minister responsible for national security (the " Minister.
If adopted, investors from outside the EU and EEA would need to apply and obtain such permission if they intend to acquire more than a 25 % interest in an existing or yet to be established company with its registered seat in Hungary, provided that this company pursues activities that are deemed sensitive for national security.
11th August 2017
On 13 July 2017, the High-Level Expert Group ("HLEG") on Sustainable Finance published its interim report ("Interim Report") setting out concrete steps to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments.
This Legal Insight is part of our dedicated newsletter series on the European Capital Markets Union ("CMU").
The growing awareness of environmental challenges and sustainability risks as well as the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda and the conclusion of the Paris Climate Agreement by the EU in 2015 call for an EU strategy on sustainable finance.
Establishing an EU strategy on sustainable finance is a priority action of the CMU. In December 2016, the HLEG was established to advise on the development of such an EU strategy. The recently published HLEG Interim Report was recently presented in a public hearing on sustainable finance on 18 July 2017. At the same time, the HLEG presented an online questionnaire on the Interim Report aimed at obtaining targeted feedback until 20 September 2017, which would be reflected in the final report of the HLEG scheduled for publication by the end of 2017.
11th August 2017
The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the "Commission") recently intensified its antitrust activities before the new Administrative Act came into effect. In one week alone the Commission initiated four antitrust cases and conducted two dawn raids.
1. What/who will be on the Commission's radar?
11th August 2017
One of the core principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield ("Privacy Shield") is its Joint Review mechanism, which obliges the European Commission, the US Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission to jointly review the functioning of the Privacy Shield on an annual basis, together with its national security and law enforcement aspects. The very first Joint Review is scheduled for September 2017. This first review is considered especially important, as it will be the first opportunity for US and EU regulators to closely analyse the operation of the Privacy Shield, address possible concerns about its functioning, and seek to ensure that the Privacy Shield continues to be a valid legal basis for transfers of personal data from the EU to the US.
21st July 2017
On 10 July 2017, the Commission announced the public consultation on the development of secondary markets for non-performing loans (NPLs) and distressed assets. Following the commencement of this public consultation, the Council introduced its Action Plan for NPLs.
21st July 2017
For the second time in less than five years, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition ("Commission") has opened investigation proceedings regarding prohibited agreements and concerted practices against the major fuel companies in Bulgaria and closed them without issuing penalties.
21st July 2017
The Hungarian Parliament recently passed new legislation on arbitration (Act LX of 2017 on Arbitration, the “2017 Act”) that will reform Hungarian arbitration law as of 1 January 2018.
The 2017 Act, considering both the shortcomings of the current Hungarian legislation (Act LXXI of 1994 on Arbitration, the “1994 Act”) and the amendment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted in 2006 (the “Model Law”), repositions arbitration by reforming the choice of arbitrators, the institutional system of Hungarian arbitration panels, and the power of the panels ordering interim measures and preliminary orders. read more...
14th July 2017
The EU Regulation on Insolvency Law 1346/2000 (EIR) was considered a milestone in the cross-border coordination of national insolvency proceedings. The recast of the EU Regulation on Insolvency Law 2015/848, applicable to insolvency proceedings opened after 26 June 2017, considers substantial developments in national insolvency laws. read more...
14th July 2017
The Hungarian Parliament passed an act in June 2017 with the aim of improving Hungary's business competitiveness. Among other things, the amendment has changed the regulation of trusts and their management, hopefully for the better, since the past three years have shown that a lack of such experience still exists. The legal concept of trust was introduced into Hungarian law in 2014, when the new Civil Code entered into force. Contrary to expectations, however, potential market players were hesitant to launch their businesses, mainly due to crippling bureaucracy and the vague regulation of trusts. read more...
14th July 2017
As violations may lead to enormous liabilities, start-up employers are advised from the outset to comply with the applicable laws pertaining to their personnel. In addition to being an underestimated factor when it comes to financial liabilities, employment-law-related mistakes may also result in difficulties in the course of a company's sales process. For a better understanding of what can go wrong in employment relationships, three of the most common mistakes that employers make are listed below. read more...
14th July 2017
After four months of negotiations, the Austrian National Council has finally reached an agreement on the amendment of the Green Electricity Act ("Ökostromnovelle"). The required two-thirds majority was reached by a last minute agreement between the coalition parties and the Green Party. The aim of the new legislation is to increase the percentage of green electricity and to achieve an expansion of renewable energy in Austria. read more...
Austria: Slightly Lower Fees, a Little More Liberalisation – The 2017 Amendments to the Austrian Tra14th July 2017
Following a year of intense political discussion, the Austrian Parliament adopted numerous amendments to the Austrian Trade Act 1994 (Gewerbeordnung 1994, "GewO") at the end of June. While the reform falls significantly short of the outgoing government's original announcements last July with the aim to liberalise market access and to cut red tape for businesses, it nevertheless introduces several material changes to business activity in Austria. read more...
11th July 2017
On 28 June 2017 the Austrian Parliament passed the government's legislative proposal on insolvency law (Insolvenzrechtsänderungsesetz 2017). After lengthy negotiations, the government finally agreed to shorten personal insolvency proceedings to a maximum five years and to abolish the minimum insolvency quota of 10 % under certain conditions. The amendments will be applicable as of 1 November 2017. read more...
5th July 2017
The newly adopted Government Emergency Ordinance No. 39/2017 (the "Ordinance") introduces significant changes to Romanian competition rules. For example, it implements the provisions on actions for damages resulting from competition law infringements, as regulated under Directive 2014/104/EU (the "Damages Directive") and sets out new provisions impacting the food/non-food retail sector, as well as the dawn-raid procedure and fines applicable by the Romanian Competition Council (the "RCC") to non-resident undertakings. read more...
The Austrian Law on the Responsibility of Associations: New tendency to prosecution authorities to t21st June 2017
The Austrian Law on the Responsibility of Associations (Verbandsverantwortlichkeitsgesetz, "VbVG") came into effect in 2006, stipulating that a company can be held criminally liable for certain criminal acts committed by its employees and decision-makers. According to new tendencies of prosecution authorities, the practical scope of the VbVG could expand in the future. read more...
31st May 2017
Lex Agrokor – behind the scenes
The hottest topic in Croatia right now is the Agrokor situation and the newly enacted Act on Compulsory Administration Procedure in Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Croatia (Zakon o postupku izvanredne uprave u trgovačkim društvima od sistemskog značaja za Republiku Hrvatsku; the "Act"). The Act was immediately nicknamed "Lex Agrokor" because of what appears to be its main purpose.
22nd May 2017
On 15 May 2017, the European Central Bank ("ECB") published a guide on fit and proper assessments (the "Fit and Proper Guide"), which reflects the result of a public consolidation launched by the ECB on 16 November 2016.
22nd May 2017
National Room for Manoeuvre Despite the GDPR
About a year before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into full effect, the Austrian legislator officially started a six-week consultation process for the national Data Protection Amendment Act 2018 (Datenschutz-Anpassungsgesetz 2018). The GDPR will harmonise the EU's data protection laws, but numerous so-called "opening clauses" allow national leeway. Besides, EU Directive 2016/680 requires implementation into national law and provides specific regulations on data processing by security authorities for the purpose of law enforcement. The published draft implements the Directive's provisions in a separate chapter (Hauptstück). read more...
European Commission Proposes EMIR Reform that will Minimise the Clearing Obligation for NFC and Cert16th May 2017
On 4 May 2017, the European Commission published its proposal for an amendment of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The Commission calls the proposed amendment a good example of "better regulation in practice" which is "essential to the creation of the Capital Markets Union (CMU)".
2nd May 2017
The Ministry of Justice has circulated its initiative for improving the legal environment with the aim of increasing Hungary's competitiveness by amending certain regulations and institutions. Among other things, the initiative concerns cross-border mergers and operation of trustees, and generally aims to lighten administrative burdens. Most notably, if adopted in its current form, it will reform the Hungarian arbitration regulation. read more...
7th April 2017
On 6 April 2017, the Austrian Parliament adopted significant amendments to Austrian competition law, as set forth in the Austrian Cartel Act ("KartG") and the Act on the Austrian Federal Competition Authority ("WettbG"). The amendments concern three main areas: (i) implementation of the EU Damages Directive; (ii) introduction of an additional transaction value test in merger control; and (iii) certain adjustments to strengthen public enforcement of antitrust infringements. read more...
7th April 2017
Employers may prohibit their employees from wearing Islamic headscarves and other religious or political symbols, subject to certain conditions. On 14 March 2017, the European Court of Justice (the "ECJ") adopted a corresponding ruling in Luxembourg and decided on two cases in this respect, one dealing with a receptionist from Belgium and the other with a software designer from France. read more...
7th April 2017
Slovenia adopted a new law regulating rescue and restructuring state aid, which entered into force in mid-February. When notified to the European Commission as a state aid scheme, it will allow the Republic of Slovenia to support companies and cooperatives in difficulty without having to notify support mechanisms in accordance with the provisions of the law as an individual aid measure to the European Commission. read more...
30th March 2017
What previously was impossible and not foreseen by local legislation is now possible. Starting 1 January 2017, the Tax Code of Moldova (the "Tax Code") was amended by Law 281/2016 to include a separate norm (Art. 136¹) on individual tax rulings ("ITR") for the benefit of entrepreneurs. Within the limits of its scope and in respect of a concrete beneficiary, an issued ITR is binding on the State Tax Service (the "STS"). The Government and the Ministry of Finance are expected to approve the secondary legislation to regulate the details of the procedure. read more...
20th March 2017
Most recently, the Bulgarian Energy Regulator has taken significant steps towards the full liberalisation of the natural gas market: In December 2016, the Bulgarian Energy Regulator adopted legislative amendments to the Rules for Trading of Natural Gas (Правила за търговия с природен газ, "Trading Rules") and the Rules for Access to the Gas Transmission and/or Gas Distribution Networks and the Natural Gas Storage Facilities (Правила за предоставяне на достъп до газопреносните и/или газоразпределителните мрежи и за достъп до съоръженията за съхранение на природен газ, "Access Rules"). Moreover, it adopted new Rules for Balancing of the Natural Gas Market (Правила за балансиране на пазара за природен газ, "Balancing Rules"). read more...
20th March 2017
Even at first blush, it is apparent that arbitration and insolvency make strange bedfellows.
The reason they make such an odd couple is the different underlying policies, objectives, and purposes they stand for. The heart of arbitration lies at the privity of contract and the existence of party autonomy independent from the state. In contrast, insolvency reflects a centralized and to a certain extent state-managed procedure that holds all creditors equal, within a set system of ranking – a transparent and accountable process governed by mandatory substantive and procedural law provisions. read more...
20th March 2017
Policyholders of unit-linked life insurance products pay an agreed sum for the unit-linked insurance to the insurance company, as a regular premium, or in one lump sum. These payments cover the life insurance component as well as the investment, administrative costs, contracting fee and the commissions. The "total cost charged" ("TCC") is an indicator – calculated in line with the rules of Hungarian insurance regulations – showing all costs charged on life insurance policies having a savings element, reflected as a percentage value. The regulation of the TCC in Hungary has been amended effective 1 January 2017. read more...
20th March 2017
On 7 March 2017, the Hungarian parliament adopted a law that increases the minimum sale price of a residential property in the enforcement procedure from the current 70% of its market value to 100% (market value to be understood as the price set by the appraisal of the bailiff), provided that (i) the claim to be enforced stems from a consumer contract; (ii) the real property is the debtor's only real property; and (iii) the debtor resided in that real property for at least six months prior to the initiation of the enforcement procedure. read more...
20th March 2017
In an aim to simplify state administration and support economic growth, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new law abolishing the registration fee and the publication cost for incorporating limited liability companies ("LLC") (korlátolt felelősségű társaság), limited partnerships (betéti társaság), general partnerships (közkereseti társaság), and sole entrepreneurships (egyéni cég). The new law becomes effective on 16 March 2017. read more...
Legislative vacuum filled: Czech Republic introduces comprehensive new national legislation on e-cig9th March 2017
New legislation regulating e-cigarettes in the Czech Republic entered into force on 1 March 2017, introducing specific safety and quality requirements on e-cigarettes in the country for the first time. read more...
6th March 2017
The amendment aims at alleviating the existing regime for pricing of pharmaceuticals for home treatment of chronic, genetic and/or rare diseases and paid by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). It affects the interests of individuals with health insurance and the activities of more than 290 authorisation holders, of the wholesalers of pharmaceuticals, and of pharmacies (as retailers). read more...
27th February 2017
2016 has seen a surprising level of deal activity in the (private) Austrian hospital sector: in Vienna, PremiQaMed, a 100 % subsidiary of UNIQA insurance group, acquired a 75 % stake in the renowned private hospital "Goldenes Kreuz", and the hospitals Hartmannspital and St. Elisabeth announced a merger to form the new "Franziskus" hospital. In Linz (Upper Austria), the "Elisabethinen" and the hospital operated by the Sisters of Charity agreed to combine to form a regional player with approx. 1,200 beds. read more...
27th February 2017
On 16 December 2016, the Council of the European Union announced agreement on its negotiating stance in relation to the proposed regulation amending the European Venture Capital Funds ("EuVECA") Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 345/2013) and the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds ("EuSEF") Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 346/2013), which is now at the European Parliament's ECON committee, scheduled to be voted on, on 22 March 2017. On 31 January 2017 the call for expression of interest for selecting a fund manager of the Pan-European Venture Capital Fund-of Funds closed; and tax incentives for venture capital and business angels are expected to be proposed in the course of 2017 to foster investment in SMEs and start-ups, close the funding gap and thereby remove obstacles to economic growth in Europe. read more...
27th February 2017
Most start-ups are founded by first-time founders directly after graduation, with the founding team consisting, also in most cases, of not more than two members. Such founders are naturally not equipped for all of their business challenges. Founders thus often make mistakes, especially at the very beginning of their activities, e.g. in relation to developing and distributing their products, when and how to raise capital and developing or moving into new markets. read more...
22nd February 2017
Albania has one of the highest percentages of electricity produced from renewable energy sources (RES) in its electricity mix – more than 95 % of electricity generated in Albania comes from hydropower generation. In spite of that (or maybe because of that), Albania has not had a comprehensive policy on the support of RES in place to date. read more...
17th February 2017
One last hurdle – the signature of Czech President Miloš Zeman –before the so called Anti-Smoking Bill enters into force on 31 May 2017.
On 19 January 2017, the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic approved the government bill of the Act on Protection from the Harmful Effects of Addictive Substances (the "Bill"), which is due to enter into force on 31 May 2017, subject to signature by the President. read more...
Facilitation or Liability Trap for Foreign Employers? – The Revised Austrian Law against Wage and So3rd February 2017
On 1 January 2017, the revised Austrian Law against Wage and Social Dumping ("Lohn- und Sozialdumping Bekämpfungsgesetz" or "Revised LSD-BG") came into force. The Revised LSD-BG applies to matters arising after 31 December 2016.
23rd January 2017
If there are two or more conflicting water use projects (eg, hydroelectric power stations), the Water Act provides for a special conflict procedure. A pending conflict procedure suspends decisions in all underlying approval procedures. As a result of the conflict procedure, the project which serves public interests best will take priority over the inferior project. read more...
17th January 2017
In 2016, Austrian Criminal Law experienced some substantive legal developments in both, procedural and material aspects. The following overview reflects the most relevant developments in Austrian Criminal Law in 2016.
1. Material changes
1.1. Breach of trust
With effect from 1 January 2016, the offence "breach of trust" in sec 153 of the Austrian Criminal Code ("ACC") has been fundamentally revised. At first glance, sec 153 of the ACC is not a very complex provision. It states, quite simply, that whoever knowingly abuses the authority conferred to him or her shall be liable, if he or she intends to cause and eventually causes financial harm to his or her principal (eg the company). Thus, sec 153 ACC has three prerequisites: (i) an abuse of authority, (ii) financial harm and (iii) criminal intent. With the reform of sec 153 ACC the Austrian legislator finally addressed the concern that the scope of what constitutes an "abuse of authority" is not always easy to assess: read more
Austrian Supreme Court Establishes New Standards as Regards the Decisive Underlying Reasoning of Arb3rd January 2017
The decisive underlying reasoning ( motifs, Begründung) is, without doubt, an essential part of any arbitral award and as such bears the potential of frustrating parties and arbitrators alike. On the one hand, elaborate reasoning in arbitral awards more often than not comes at the price of long waiting periods for the issuance of the awards, and periods of meticulous drafting on the part of the arbitrator(s). On the other hand, a lack of elaborate reasoning may likewise be a headache, since it exposes the arbitral award to setting aside. read more...
The Czech Republic joins other European countries in regulating the sale and advertising of unhealth19th December 2016
From January 2017, selling and/or advertising chips, soft drinks or mayonnaise-filled sandwiches to children in schools will be illegal.
The Constitutional Court of Moldova has spoken: No Need for Acquirer of a Share Stake to Obtain Shar6th December 2016
Through its 27 September 2016 decision ("Decision 27/2016"), the Constitutional Court of Moldova ("Constitutional Court") has declared certain provisions of the local Law on Limited-Liability Companies ("Law 135/2007") unconstitutional. In particular, it ruled that the operation of amendments to constitutive acts cannot constitute a condition and impediment to an acquirer registering its property right over a share stake in the State Register of Companies. read more...
6th December 2016
On 30 November 2016 the European Commission published its "Winter Package" containing proposals for new rules for a consumer-centered clean energy transition. The 500 page Winter Package had been eagerly awaited by the energy industry since it was to contain the major energy regulations for 2020 onwards. As expected, the most substantial measures and amendments proposed concern renewables and energy efficiency in the European Union. In addition, the electricity market design is proposed to be amended. read more...
Protection of new and interim financings in restructuring? – The European Commission’s proposal on e2nd December 2016
Since the European Commission adopted the recommendation on restructuring and second chance in 2014, it has been working on the evaluation of its initiative and the introduction of a European legal framework. In 2015 the Capital Markets Union Action Plan included the announcement of a legislative initiative on early restructuring and second chance. Finally, on 22 November 2016, the European Commission published its proposal for a European Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks and a second chance for entrepreneurs. The proposal includes, inter alia, provisions protecting new and interim financing in restructurings. read more...
22nd November 2016 The Austrian Federal Government agreed in its 2013-2018 work programme, on the implementation of a nationwide ban on speculative financial transactions for the Federation, the Austrian Federal States, Austrian Municipalities, and other public bodies. read more...
The EU Capital Market Union – European Commission establishes expert group to develop strategy on su16th November 2016
On 28 October 2016, the European Commission decided to establish a High Level Expert Group on sustainable finance, one of the European Commission's primary objectives within the EU Capital Markets Union ("CMU").
This Legal Insight is the first part of our dedicated newsletter series on the CMU. We will provide regular updates on CMU-related topics. read more...
16th November 2016
The Slovenian courts were recently asked to rule on companies' right to be heard during unannounced investigations (so-called 'dawn raids') by the Competition Protection Agency. read more...
11th November 2016
As of 20 October 2016, new legal provisions are in place in Romania setting out how consumers should be informed of products that use frozen foods in their preparation. In this respect, the consumer protection authority enacted Order 183/2016 ("Order 183") published in the Official Gazette on 20 September 2016. read more...
Hungary – discouraging litigation?Since 2018, Hungary has a new act on civil court procedures (Act CXXX of 2017 – the Act) which has brought about significant reforms after 50 years. The reforms were aimed at healing previous shortcomings, such as lengthy and tedious procedures, and making court cases concise, yet professional in quite a tight structure. As almost …
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