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Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 1


The team at CMS¬†has ‚Äėgood knowledge of the commercial aspects of transactions‚Äô and provides ‚Äėsmart and feasible solutions‚Äô; it is experienced in international banking and finance matters, equity and debt capital markets, restructuring and insolvency. Elitsa Ivanova, who has expertise in¬†corporate, acquisition, real estate and structured commodity finance,¬†co-heads the practice with Sofia office managing partner¬†Gentscho Pavlov. Atanas Bangachev¬†advises on debt and equity capital markets, and¬†Dimitar Zwiatkow¬†assisted OTP Bank and DSK Bank, as club lenders, with the ‚ā¨85m refinancing of a shopping mall, including structuring, due diligence and the signing and closing of the new financing. UniCredit Bulbank, Soci√©t√© G√©n√©rale Expressbank, Bulgarian National Bank and Europa Capital are also major clients.

Leading individuals

Elitsa Ivanova - CMS

Next Generation Partners

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1


The 'exceptionally business-orientated, calm, available and responsive' team at CMS assists on M&A deals in the CEE region across various sectors, including private equity, telecoms, media and communication, and retail. Sofia office managing partner Gentscho Pavlov co-heads the practice with 'competent, solid, calm and steady adviser' Atanas Bangachev, who specialises in privatisation, and recently promoted partner Dimitar Zwiatkow, who acts for a number of international banks, particularly those from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. The firm advised Hugo Pfohe on the competitive tender won by Sumitomo Corporation to sell Bulgarian-based car dealer Moto-Pfohe (the official dealer and distributor of Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover in Bulgaria); this is the largest deal in the automotive sector in Bulgaria to date. Other clients include Johnson & Johnson and Burger King.

Leading individuals

Atanas Bangachev - CMS

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1


CMS provides 'timely and thorough legal advice’ to clients in a variety of sectors, including energy, retail, telecoms and aviation, handling public procurement, IP, insurance and employment litigation; insolvency cases; and national and international arbitration. Assen Georgiev has experience in major commercial disputes; Antonia Kehayova handles real estate, IP and insurance litigation; and senior associate Maria Lazarova specialises in employment cases. The team acted for Burger King in court proceedings to obtain security for costs in an international arbitration relating to claims for compensation under several franchise agreements in Bulgaria.

Leading individuals

Assen Georgiev - CMS

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1


The ‚Äėco-operative, reliable and client-oriented‚Äô team at¬†CMS¬†has ‚Äėin-depth¬† knowledge in the sphere‚Äô and provides ‚Äėtimely and thorough advice‚Äô on all aspects of competition law, including merger control, cartels, abuse of dominance and superior bargaining position, unfair competition and compliance. The co-heads of the department are¬†‚Äėtechnically perfect and innovative‚Äô senior associate¬†Nevena Radlova, who has ‚Äėexcellent antitrust knowledge and profound business acumen‚Äô and is also the coordinator of the firm's CEE Competition Group, and associate¬†Gabriela Edreva, who has acted on a number of antitrust and state aid cases in the European Court of Justice. Clients are from various industries including pharmaceuticals, telecoms and fast-moving consumer goods, such as Colgate-Palmolive and Syngenta.¬†Atanas Bangachev¬†provided advice to Kaolin on merger control triggers in various jurisdictions.

Next Generation Partners

Nevena Radlova - CMS

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Energy and natural resources
Energy and natural resources - ranked: tier 1


CMS¬†demonstrates ‚Äėexcellent capabilities, strong ethics and a personal approach‚Äô in its long-term relationships with major local and international clients, including big names from the conventional energy (Sofia District Heating Company), oil and gas (Shell and Petroceltic), waste management (Veolia) and renewable energy (Biomet and EcoEnergy) sectors.¬†Kostadin Sirleshtov¬†heads the energy, projects and construction department for both Sofia and the CEE region and is ‚Äėvery responsive and knows the market inside out‚Äô; he recently advised OMV and Repsol on exploration rights. Angel Bangachev, who has ‚Äėsolid professional capabilities‚Äô, and recently promoted partner Dimitar Zwiatkow, who co-heads the public procurement and energy departments, are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Kostadin Sirleshtov - CMS

Next Generation Partners

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Healthcare and life sciences
Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 2


At CMS, managing partner and group head David Butts is the key contact for IP, compliance and competition issues in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors; and senior associate Angelika Sedlackova handles a wide variety of life sciences mandates including clinical trial agreements, reimbursement procedures and regulatory matters. The team's client roster includes Amgen, Medtronic, Eli Lilly and Company, Takeda and Merck.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2


CMS' 'highly professional' department has 'great analytical skills and helps guide clients to the best decision' through 'meaningful communication and excellent transparency'. Recent highlights include advising Syngenta on issues relating to trade mark violations and repackaging infringements, and acting for Sky International in a trade mark prosecution. Senior associates¬†Nevena Radlova¬†and¬†Antonia Kehayova¬†jointly lead the practice, and junior associate¬†Tatyana Yosifova¬†is singled out as¬†‚Äėan outstanding practitioner‚Äô.

Next Generation Partners

Nevena Radlova - CMS

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Projects and PPP
Projects and PPP - ranked: tier 1


CMS fields a team of 'excellent professionals', which includes practice head Kostadin Sirleshtov, who focuses on the energy sector; newly promoted partner Dimitar Zwiatkow, who is a key name for renewable energy projects; and senior associate Angel Bangachev, who leads the public procurement group. The team is experienced in project structuring and financing work, tender issues and energy and real estate PPPs; in a recent highlight, Sirleshtov advised an engineering client on a public procurement tender for two national railway and road infrastructure projects. Other clients include Toshiba, Petroceltic and OMV.

Leading individuals

Kostadin Sirleshtov - CMS

Next Generation Partners

Angel Bangachev - CMS

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1


CMS¬†advises domestic and international clients on commercial and office leases; the construction process, including International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contracts and design, supervision and management agreements; the acquisition, financing and disposal of shopping malls, office developments, hotels and retail parks; and agricultural projects. The ‚Äėresponsive and reliable‚Äô team is ‚Äėtechnically very good‚Äô and has ‚Äėexceptional knowledge in the construction and spatial development area‚Äô. The team is co-headed by senior associates Antonia Kehayova, who advises on title searches, establishing limited rights in rem, real estate collateral and financing, and Jenia Dimitrova, who focuses on long-term lease and supply agreements and design, development and construction contracts. The team advised a long-term client on the sale of one of the first shopping centres in Bulgaria - Mall of Sofia - to major real estate developer Global Trade Centre.

Next Generation Partners

Jenia Dimitrova - CMS

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TMT - ranked: tier 2


At CMS, senior associate Veliko Savov heads up the TMT group, while senior associate Anna Tanova leads the IT and media practice; Tanova joined in 2018 from an in-house position. Savov focuses on corporate and commercial matters and also has experience in regulatory and compliance issues. Senior associate Nevena Radlova is also a key name to note and specialises in competition and merger clearance work. The department's client roster include PPF, IBM Bulgaria, HP and Siemens.

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Further information on CMS

Please choose from this list to view details of what we say about CMS in other jurisdictions.

United Arab Emirates

Offices in Dubai


Offices in Tirana



Offices in Vienna


Offices in Brussels, Antwerp, and Brussels

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Offices in Sarajevo


Offices in Sofia and Sofia


Offices in Beijing, Beijing, and Shanghai


Offices in Zagreb

Czech Republic

Offices in Prague


Offices in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Berlin, Leipzig, Dusseldorf, Cologne, and Munich


Offices in Algiers


Offices in Madrid, Malaga, Seville, Madrid, and Barcelona


Offices in Paris, Strasbourg, and Lyon

Hong Kong

Offices in Hong Kong and Hong Kong


Offices in Budapest

Latin America: International firms


Offices in Rome and Milan


Offices in Beirut


Offices in London EC4N and London EC3A


Offices in Luxembourg


Offices in Skopje


Offices in Casablanca


Offices in Podgorica


Offices in Utrecht and Amsterdam

North West

Offices in Manchester


Offices in Muscat


Offices in Warsaw and Poznan


Offices in Lisbon


Offices in Bucharest


Offices in Moscow


Offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Aberdeen

South East

Offices in Reading


Offices in Singapore, Singapore, and Singapore


Offices in Bratislava


Offices in Ljubljana

South West

Offices in Bristol


Offices in Zurich, Geneva, and Geneva


Offices in Istanbul and Elmadańü/ŇěiŇüli


Offices in Kiev and Kiev

Yorkshire and the Humber

Offices in Sheffield S2 and Sheffield S2


Offices in Belgrade

Legal Developments by:

  • Access to justice: protective costs orders in planning challenges

    Third parties and competing developers have no rights of appeal to the Secretary of State against planning decisions. Disappointed applicants can appeal to the Secretary of State and can have the merits of the application reconsidered. The only remedy available to a disappointed third party is a challenge by way of judicial review in the High Court on a point of law. The sense of frustration and disempowerment this creates has not been helped by the increasing complexity of the planning process and the use of consultation to legitimise decisions that many perceive may already have been taken.
    - CMS Group

Legal Developments in Bulgaria

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