Kinstellar > Sofia, Bulgaria > Firm Profile

Kinstellar
69 BULGARIA BLVD
INFINITY TOWER, 14TH FLOOR
1404 SOFIA
Bulgaria

Bulgaria > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Kinstellar advises financial services providers on banking regulatory matters, and is noted for its expertise in handling project finance and structured finance mandates in the infrastructure and real estate sectors. The Bulgaria base, which was launched in late 2014, is one of the firm's eleven offices across Emerging Europe and Central Asia. The team is jointly led by managing partner Diana Dimova and counsel Svilen Issaev, who advises lenders and borrowers on domestic and cross-border lending and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Kinstellar has showed considerable experience in advising us on various legal matters. They have been super responsive to any and all questions we have had in the past. They have also shown great expertise in supporting foreign companies set up operations in Bulgaria.’

‘The services provided were highly efficient and in terms with the deadlines. The lawyers involved have high professional standards that are implemented in their work on a daily basis. They were very responsive and took actions with equanimity to every new circumstance in spite of the legal difficulties. The work process was straightforward and we had no doubt that our interests would be objectively assessed and fully protected.’

‘The team is very supportive and always puts its client’s needs first. The law firm has the best legal expertise in every area of the law. However the firm is open to seeking external professional judgement on matters if such are needed to fully guarantee the legal protection of their client’s interest. The law firm has the broadest scope and highest level of expertise and experience as well as a professional attitude towards ensuring their client’s interests.’

Key clients

KBC Group/DZI

Allianz Bulgaria Holding

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Eurasian Development Bank

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank

Akbank

MasterCard

American Express Group

Alipay

Facebook Inc

Meridiam/SOF Connect

Inter Cars

APS Investments

Novenergia II Bulgaria

Novus World

Work highlights

  • Advised Meridiam as sponsor and SOF Connect as borrower on Bulgarian law aspects of the landmark €296m financing from a syndicate of banks in relation to the concession and modernisation of Sofia Airport.
  • Representing KBC Group/DZI – Life Insurance, on the acquisition of NN’s Bulgarian pension insurance and life insurance businesses.
  • Advising European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on approximately €9m loans to water and wastewater utility operators, under the €200m Bulgarian Water Sector Financing Framework.

Bulgaria > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

The ‘first class’ team at Kinstellar is well-placed to leverage the expertise of other practice groups across the firm to handle major transactions - often involving a cross-border element - across the pharmaceutical, banking, TMT and energy sectors. Managing partner Diana Dimova, who focuses on M&A and infrastructure projects, jointly leads the practice alongside Nina Tsifudina, who is praised as a ‘great team leader and overall adviser’. Managing associate Atanas Mihaylov has ‘deep knowledge’ in M&A transactions and is a key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The Kinstellar team is extremely reliable, client-focused and communicative.’

‘Kinstellar acted as local counsel for our client with respect to a transaction in Bulgaria. The Kinstellar team is first class. They provide the quality of service expected of a large international law firm. They can be trusted completely to get the job done with little to no oversight. Kinstellar demonstrates a deep understanding of the law and regulations while also showing practical business sense in their advice.’

‘The team is well structured and consists of specialist in many areas. The team works very well under pressure and within tight deadlines.’

‘Professional attitude and even in short of time always trying to help to your clients. I definitely will continue working with Kinstellar in future’

Key clients

Meridiam

GTT Communications

Montagu Private Equity

Bregal Unternehmerkapital

FocusVision Worldwide

KBC Group

Allvotec/ISG Technology

Gamesys Group

TUI Group

Dynata

PayByFace B.V.

Isobar Commerce

Identidem

thredUp

Work highlights

  • Advising thredUP on the acquisition of Remix Global for approximately $28.5m.
  • Advising KBC Group/DZI Life Insurance in the acquisition of NN Bulgaria insurance business for €77.7m.
  • Advising GTT Communications on the divestment of its telecom infrastructure business across CEE for $2.15bn.

Bulgaria > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Kinstellar has consistently demonstrated its ‘ability to service major and complex real estate transactions’, including advising on three acquisitions by CTP since its entry into the Bulgarian market, including the acquisition of the facilities of the DSV Road and Willie Elbe. Noted for its experience in commercial leases and disputes, the team is led by Antonia Mavrova, who ‘is extremely proficient in all legal aspects of the real estate market’. Managing associate Atanas Mihaylov and ‘truly versatile lawyer’ and counsel Mladen Minev, are key members of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Antonia Mavrova

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Special thanks to Antonia Mavrova and Atanas Mihaylov – exceptional professionals with unique approach and skills to navigate you through every situation, especially the tough ones.’

‘The practice is excellent with the ability to service major and complex real estate transactions. It comprises of brilliant and very experienced lawyers who have great commercial sense and can always be relied on. Our collaboration is fruitful and smooth. I can’t recommend them highly enough.’

‘Antonia Mavrova is extremely proficient in all legal aspects of the real estate market. She gives timely and commercially-driven advice, she is dedicated to her work and manages to deal with even the most complex situations.

‘Atanas Mihaylov is definitely among the leading real estate lawyers. He knows which issues are important and how to resolve them swiftly with a favorable outcome. I recommend this team wholeheartedly.’

‘They are 100% reliable and provide great service. The team is always to the point and has a good understanding of the client’s needs. They have a superior understanding of the legal universe which they use brilliantly in negotiations.’

‘This is a solid team that combines excellent dispute resolution skills and deep real estate knowledge both from legal and commercial perspectives. They work fast, they are direct and precise in their advice. Very pleasant attitude overall.’

‘I have been working with Antonia Mavrova who is well respected and knowledgeable of the market. Her fast reactions and constructive solutions are exceptional. A pleasure to work with, she is also very good with understanding the dynamics of the deals. I have also worked with Mladen Minev who is a truly versatile lawyer. He is strategic about his client’s matters, detailed in his work and at the same time able to represent his client’s best interest in a commercial way. Overall they are able to cover the most demanding legal needs quickly and with great competence.’

‘Excellent interaction with the client. Excellent expertise and dedication. Always get the work done and find a way out of very tough situations. The best law firm to work with.’

Key clients

CTP

Allianz Bulgaria Holding

Meridiam

PEPCO

Lion’s Head Investments

GTC

Sofia South Ring Mall

NEPI Rockcastle

Galleria Burgas

GEMA 96 S.p.A.

GTT Communications

Work highlights

  • Advising on three real estate acquisitions by CTP for a total of €18.1m, including the acquisition of the first two production facilities and their lease back to blue-chip companies.
  • Advising on the long-term leasing of new office premises that consolidate Allianz’s operations in one office building.
  • Representing Nepi Rockcastle in a litigation case by defending the rights and obligations of the landlord of two of the largest shopping centres in Bulgaria, in relation to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Bulgaria > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Following the litigation case against the Meridiam-led consortium that was awarded the concession for Sofia Airport, Kinstellar continues to build on its ‘successful track record’ and has the capability to represent clients in real estate, PPP, energy and insurance disputes. Counsel Mladen Minev co-leads the team alongside Antonia Mavrova, who is engaged by Galleria Burgas in two disputes before the arbitration court of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Key contact Atanas Mihaylov has experience representing clients in disputes with the Bulgarian tax authorities.

Practice head(s):

Antonia Mavrova; Mladen Minev

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I often come across the Kinstellar team during major legal disputes, mostly in commercial, energy and administrative cases. Kinstellar is one of the few international firms in Bulgaria that delivers truly quality service. I find them very professional, easy to work with and always willing to provide the best for their clients. My cooperation with the team has been very productive and I enjoy having them as counterparty during litigation proceedings.’

‘Special thanks to Antonia Mavrova and Atanas Mihaylov. They are unique professionals who always get the work done and find a way out of very difficult situations.’

‘Excellent professionals with extensive knowledge in their areas, exceptional communication and care for the client. The best legal firm to work with. The client feels protected and is given all the options to take informed decision on the best way to proceed.’

‘I can testify to the integrity, competence and dedication of Kinstellar’s lawyers. I have worked mostly with Antonia Mavrova, Mladen Minev and Atanas Mihaylov. They are very reliable, have a successful track record of legal disputes, and are always on top of things.’

Key clients

Meridiam

NEPI Rockcastle

Galleria Burgas

Sofia South Ring Mall

GEMA 96

Dubovo Energy

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending NEPI Rockcastle in an arbitration dispute for the recovery of paid utilities costs claimed by a tenant of one of the client’s commercial property during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising GEMA 96 in legal proceedings related to an illegal transfer of real properties through the use of falsified documents.
  • Defending Galleria Burgas in two arbitration disputes in relation to lease agreements Mall Galleria Burgas arising from the lockdown measures due to Covid-19.

Bulgaria > Energy and natural resources Tier 3

Kinstellar handles a range of corporate, financing and regulatory mandates in the conventional and renewable energy sectors, and continues to build on its litigation capability following the successful defence of Direct Petroleum Bulgaria in an energy dispute with the Bulgarian state. Managing partner Diana Dimova jointly leads the team alongside counsel Mladen Minev, who has experience in representing energy investors in litigation proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Diana Dimova; Mladen Minev

Other key lawyers:

Atanas Mihaylov

Testimonials

‘The team is highly skilled and knowledgeable – they have great professionals across all practices (they have been advising us on energy, M&A, regulatory, financial matters). I would say that they stand out from other law firms we use and currently we assign all legal matters to them alone.’

‘Diana Dimova, Mladen Minev and Svilen Issaev are very knowledgeable and responsive. I would say they are really great professionals. They are very attentive to details and business oriented, which is something every every business person would like to see. There have been many other people involved in our projects who have done a great job as well.’

Key clients

Meridiam

NovEnergia

Direct Petroleum

Dubovo Energy

Simmons & Simmons

DKV Euro Service

DXT International

MET Group

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Eurasian Development Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised DXT Commodities on the Bulgarian gas market regulation and registration on the Bulgarian Gas Exchange.
  • Providing regulatory advice to Meridiam in relation to the concession of Sofia Airport, including support with energy and other utilities and environmental matters as well as with the contractual relations with energy suppliers and energy grid operators.
  • Advising DKV Euro Service on the new local regulatory requirements applicable to fuel and natural trading.

Bulgaria > EU and competition Tier 3

Bulgaria > Projects and PPP Tier 3

Kinstellar is noted for its capability in this space, as highlighted by its ongoing advice to the concessionaire of Sofia Airport, Meridiam, on matters ranging from the bid submission in the public procurement to the commencement of the concession. Managing partner Diana Dimova, who focuses on public tenders and major infrastructure projects, jointly leads the team alongside Antonia Mavrova, who advises on the construction aspects of project developments.

Practice head(s):

Diana Dimova; Antonia Mavrova

Other key lawyers:

Mladen Minev; Atanas Mihaylov

Key clients

Meridiam

CTP

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Lion’s Head Investments

GTC

GTT Communications

Direct Petroleum

Mining Legal Database

Work highlights

  • Advising CTP on its entry into the Bulgarian market and a series of follow-up acquisitions of real properties for the development of industrial properties and logistic centres.
  • Advising the concessionaire of Sofia Airport, Meridiam, on all Bulgarian aspects from the bid submission in the public procurement to the commencement of the concession.
  • Advising EBRD on the financing of water utility companies for the improvement of water and wastewater infrastructure in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria > TMT Tier 3

Kinstellar’s evolving TMT practice handles the IP and IT-related aspects of major M&A transactions, as well as regulatory issues, and counts Vodafone, Facebook and thredUp among its notable roster of clients. Following the departure of Anton Petrov in January 2021, senior associate Georgi Kanev, who specialises in technology, IP law and data protection matters, joined from Peterka & Partners in April 2021, while managing partner Diana Dimova leads the team. Of counsel Radoslav Chemshirov was a new arrival in November 2021 from Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova); he co-heads the firm-wide telecoms team.

Practice head(s):

Diana Dimova

Other key lawyers:

Nina Tsifudina; Georgi Kanev; Radoslav Chemshirov

Testimonials

‘The team (Nina Tsifudina and Georgi Kanev) quickly got into a very industry specific topic related to IP questions on industry specific software solution. In a short period of time, they were able to investigate and provide us with their opinion and possible courses of action and as a result we were able to take an informed decision on how to move forward.’ 

Key clients

GTT Communications

FocusVision Worldwide

Vodafone

Smule

Google

HCL Technologies

ISG Technology (Allvotec)

Gebrüder Weiss

Facebook

thredUp

Thermo Fisher Scientific

KBC Group

Chaos Group

Work highlights

  • Advising GTT Communications on the sale of its telecoms infrastructure assets for ¢2.15bn.
  • Advising Thermo Fisher Scientific regarding GDPR implementation in six of its sites across Europe.
  • Advising thredUp, a leading online second-hand platform, on the acquisition of Remix Global for $28.5m.
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Radoslav Chemshirov photo Radoslav ChemshirovRadoslav Chemshirov is Of Counsel and firm-wide co-head of Telecommunications.  He has…
Diana Dimova photo Diana DimovaDiana Dimova is a Managing Partner and co-head of M&A, Corporate &…
Dessislava Fessenko photo Dessislava FessenkoDessislava Fessenko is an Of Counsel at Kinstellar’s Sofia office, Co-head of…
Svilen Issaev photo Svilen IssaevSvilen Issaev is a Counsel and head of Banking, Finance and Capital…
Georgi Kanev photo Georgi KanevGeorgi Kanev is a Managing Associate and head of IP, IT and…
Antonia Mavrova photo Antonia MavrovaAntonia Mavrova is a Partner, firm-wide Head of the Automotive and Industrials…
Atanas Mihaylov photo Atanas MihaylovAtanas Mihaylov is Counsel and head of Tax and Restructuring & Insolvency…
Mladen Minev photo Mladen MinevMladen Minev is a Counsel, head of Energy and Natural Resources and…
Nina Tsifudina photo Nina TsifudinaNina Tsifudina is a Partner, co-head of M&A, Corporate & Private Equity and…