CMS > Sofia, Bulgaria > Firm Profile

CMS
14 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd.
1000 SOFIA
Bulgaria

Bulgaria > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

CMS covers all corners of banking, finance and capital markets with expertise in both domestic and cross-border matters. The team demonstrates its versatility by frequently acting on both borrower and lender-side mandates and has established strong relationships with international financial institutions, commercial banks, private equity funds and financial service providers. Stand-outs from the firm’s extensive client base include the EBRD and UniCredit Bulbank. Elitsa IvanovaGentscho Pavlov and Dimitar Zwiatkow have strength in financing. Katya Todorova is a key name at associate level as head of capital markets and an experienced practitioner in the space. Ivan Gergov is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Elitsa Ivanova; Gentscho Pavlov; Dimitar Zwiatkow

Other key lawyers:

Katya Todorova; Ivan Gergov

Testimonials

‘Excellent team organisation and collaboration, alongside attention to detail and protecting client’s interest to the highest professional level’

‘Excellent expertise in banking, finance and capital markets transactions. Ability to swiftly bring in experts and incorporate inputs from other parts of the CMS practice when it comes to specific requests outside of core competence.’

‘Highly capable and experienced individuals across different seniority levels, accessible and able to deliver against tight deadlines’

‘We consider CMS’ banking team in Sofia the perfect legal partner for us. Their in-depth knowledge and expertise are very valuable to us when we structure complex finance deals. CMS and the banking team in particular are very good in what they do and have exceptional legal expertise. What really matters for us is that CMS looks not only from the legal perspective of issues, but also from business perspective. We are happy to have such a reliable partner.’

‘Elitsa Ivanova is an exceptional professional. She is qualified both as a Bulgarian lawyer and also as an English lawyer and has vast experience in the structuring of complex financial multinational transactions Elitsa is always a step ahead in identifying and solving crucial issues related to financing transactions. We fully rely on her advice. Working and communication with Elitsa is easy and she has always ensured top quality legal advice.’

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

UniCredit Bulbank

UniCredit

DSK Bank

Erste Bank

Bits of Gold

Credissimo

Work highlights

  • Advised EBRD on amendments and extension of their €116m term loan facility for CEZ Distribution, after Eurohold’s acquisition of the Bulgarian entities of CEZ and the syndicated acquisition financing that was signed in parallel.
  • Provided regulatory and commercial advice for the operations of Credissimo, a consumer finance group in Bulgaria.
  • Advised B2 Holding on a multitranche financing facility, consisting of €220m senior notes, €160m mezzanine notes, and €160m junior loans.

Bulgaria > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

CMS houses one of the largest commercial teams on the domestic market, receiving complex and high-value mandates across various sectors. From the team itself, partner Atanas Bangachev has been praised as ‘a lawyer who stands out’ – he co-heads the corporate practice and regards large-scale M&A transactions as his particular expertise. Co-managing partner Gentscho Pavlov advises large scale institutions on M&A and corporate restructurings, whilst Dimitar Zwiatkow  is a key name for banking M&A and major portfolio transactions. The team was bolstered by the elevation of Nevena Radlova to partner in 2022, whilst counsel Veliko Savov specialises in M&A and private equity deals.

Practice head(s):

Atanas Bangachev; Assen Georgiev; Dimitar Zwiatkow; Gentscho Pavlov; Nevena Radlova

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team has prompt responsiveness, good understanding of the business, legal knowledge and ability to quickly assess the risk areas and propose remedial action, willingness to listen and good judgement.’

‘Great communication skills, prompt responsiveness, great writing skills on giving opinions within deadlines with focus on detail when necessary for the client to understand. I have been really impressed with the quality of services I received with respect to the above from Nevena Radlova.’

‘Responsive team, very knowledgeable of local issues, commercially driven.’

‘Responsiveness and availability, ability to work under tight timeline.’

Key clients

Teda-MM & LDS Plast

Masco Europe

Elevator Ventures Beteiligungs

PCC DEG Renewables

MTG Dolphin

Cordeel Group

CTP Invest spol

TelNet

IBM

Racom

Leader 96

Work highlights

  • Advised Cordeel Group on the sale of a mixed-use logistics and office development to CTP.
  • Advised the owners of Teda-MM & LDS Plast on the sale of a majority stake to CEECAT Capital.
  • Provided legal services and assistance in relation to the sale of 100% of the shareholding in Telnet.

Bulgaria > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The team at CMS leverages the strength of the firm’s international network to handle a diverse portfolio of domestic and cross-border mandates, involving litigation, arbitration and mediation; representing clients across a range of sectors including IP-heavy sectors, insurance, public procurement and employment. The team is chiefly engaged on disputes pertaining to post-M&A issues, contracts, construction projects, insolvency and tort law. The practice group is jointly led by two lawyers: partner Assen Georgiev, who is an expert in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, and counsel Antonia Kehayova. Other notable names within the group include Anna Tanova and Yana Antonova.

Practice head(s):

Assen Georgiev; Antonia Kehayova

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is always available and quickly reacting on our requests for various kinds of issues. The new team-members nominated to our service get quickly involved and acting professionally.’

‘Quick and professional reaction on all matters sent to CMS for legal consultation or action.’

‘The CMS dispute practice is very practically orientated and the advice they are providing helps us to understand the situation in a clear manner. CMS provides users friendly advice and manage the clients expectations.’

‘Assen Georgiev is the lawyer that stands out and you feel that he knows what he is doing with a professional approach.’

Key clients

Xylem Water Solutions Sweden

Kooperatsiya Paralel 2000

Embassy of Portugal in Bulgaria

ZAD Allianz Bulgaria

Delvag Versicherungs

Classic Air Representations

Espe Energy Bulgaria

Work highlights

  • Acted for Xylem Water Solutions Sweden in an international commercial arbitration case administered by the ICC International Court of Arbitration with regard to a commercial dispute.
  • Defended hydropower producer Kooperatsiya Parallel 2000 in a post-privatisation dispute initiated by Bulgaria’s Public Enterprises and Control Agency.
  • Advised the Lufthansa Group owned insurance company Delvag with regard to a large value insurance event in Bulgaria including criminal investigation check and insurance claim matter advice under Bulgarian law.

Bulgaria > Energy and natural resources Tier 1

The energy practice at CMS spans renewable energy, nuclear and environmental matters, regulatory issues and major projects. Notable standouts from its client list include Arkad Consortium, which the team advised on the design, procurement and construction of pipeline for the transit of natural gas through Bulgaria as an extension of the TurkStream pipeline, a project which involved multiple jurisdictions and was valued at €1.175bn. Kostadin Sirleshtov, whose extensive expertise covers both traditional and renewable energy, infrastructure and projects matters, jointly leads the team alongside Dimitar Zwiatkow.

Practice head(s):

Kostadin Sirleshtov; Dimitar Zwiatkow

Other key lawyers:

Denitsa Dudevska

Testimonials

‘A great team of professionals, with extensive expertise in the oil and gas industry. They provide very prompt and client-oriented advice.’

‘Kostadin Sirleshtov is a superb professional, who has extensive expertise in the oil and gas sector, is very client-oriented and has strong connections with the relevant authorities. Denitsa Dudevska is a high-quality professional, is very knowledgeable about oil and gas legislation, and provides high-standard legal advice very promptly.’

‘Strong track record in the field and highly recognised by various industry stakeholders.’

‘Entrepreneurial approach to legal advisory services, outstanding experience in the field, hands-on advice for clients.’

‘Kostadin Sirleshtov is an exceptionally knowledgeable lawyer with expertise  that goes beyond legal matters, such as commercial and technical knowledge of projects.’

Key clients

Arkad Consortium

United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)

Green Energy Advisors

First May

Xylem

SaxEnergy

CEZ Bulgaria

Vier Gas Transport

BayWa r.e. Solar Projects

Axpo Bulgaria

AKSA Enerji

Vestas Development

Work highlights

  • Advised Arkad Consortium and several related companies on the design, procurement and construction of the extension of the TurkStream pipeline.
  • Engaged by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) through Green Energy Advisors LLC to be sole legal counsel on the development and structuring of the rehabilitation of the Sofia District Heating Company.
  • Advised the developer on the sale of the largest greenfield PV project in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria > EU and competition Tier 1

Adept at handling complex competition work at both domestic and EU level, CMS lends sector-specific knowledge to mandates that arise out of the energy and renewables, banking and finance, telecoms, media, retail and healthcare industries. The team’s caseload frequently spans multi-jurisdictional merger control, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance and unfair competition cases, compliance issues and litigation. ‘Perfect adviser’ and team leader Nevena Radlova is well regarded in the field. Counsel Anna Tanova is another point of contact in the team, praised by one client as the ‘one of the best specialist in competition law in Bulgaria’.

Practice head(s):

Nevena Radlova

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘CMS Sofia is our preferred legal adviser for competition law. The competition law experts in the CMS team that we work with are Anna Tanova and Nevena Radlova. CMS Sofia’s industry knowledge is of particular value for us.’

‘Nevena Radlova provides comprehensive, clear and workable solutions for the business. Nevena is able to translate complex regulations into clear, comprehensive and legally sound advice. Anna Tanova knows the audio-visual media industry particularly well and has been involved as an attorney in most of the competition cases in this area.’

‘We have been working with CMS and especially with Anna Tanova and Assen Georgiev for the last few years. They represent us in our most important litigation in the competition area. They have handled significant cases in relation to the abuse of dominance position.’

‘Without exaggeration, I can say that we feel like they are part of our team, and like we can entrust our most important matters to them without hesitation.’

‘Anna is the type of specialist who likes to enter deeply into the detail, with the ability to find different approaches to the case that are in our best interest. She is dedicated to the matter and the client and quickly finds clever and creative solutions that are guaranteed to succeed. Assen is a very balanced, knowledgeable lawyer and an exceptional litigator. Anna and Assen always respond promptly to all questions, regardless of the hour.’

‘Nevena Radlova has been the key contact for our organisation for years. She is the perfect adviser and an expert who has a lot of passion for her work, providing the ideal feedback on commercial points.’

‘I have known Anna Tanova for many years and have had the chance to follow her career development almost from the start. She has always been very hardworking, intelligent, inquisitive and very resourceful. On top of all that, she has qualifications from a top university. I believe she is one of the best specialists in competition law in Bulgaria.’

Key clients

IBM Bulgaria

EKO Bulgaria

Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters

Kaolin

Work highlights

  • Advised IBM on various day-to-day competition law matters.
  • Advised EKO Bulgaria on various day-to-day matters, with a strong focus on ensuring compliance with competition law, and in particular with the new directive on unfair trading practices.
  • Advised the Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters (ABBRO) on various day-to-day matters, with a strong focus on ensuring compliance with competition law.

Bulgaria > Projects and PPP Tier 1

CMS maintains a strong presence both domestically and throughout the CEE and SEE, particularly on large-scale energy projects. The practice's workload spans project financing and structuring, tender reviews and procedures, and public-private partnerships (PPP) across numerous industry sub-sectors, including pipeline infrastructure, railway development and airports. The team’s multinational client list includes UniCredit Bulbank and Toshiba Corporation, among others. Managing partner Kostadin Sirleshtov, who focuses on energy projects throughout the region, jointly leads the team alongside Dimitar Zwiatkow, who handles regulatory, compliance, energy, corporate and project finance issues.

Practice head(s):

Kostadin Sirleshtov; Dimitar Zwiatkow

Key clients

Arkad Consortium

USTDA

Green Energy Advisors

First May JSCo

Mitsui Rail Capital Europe

Xylem

SaxEnergy

CEZ Bulgaria

Sisecam

Vier Gas Transport

BayWa r.e. Solar Projects

Aksa Enerji

Vestas Development

DSK Bank

Prisma European Capacity Platform

Agroconsult

UniCredit Bulbank

DSK Bank

Norfolk Conservation

Work highlights

  • Advised PRISMA European Capacity Platform on the registration of PRISMA Capacity on the platform of the procurement agency, review of the tender documentation and summary of key points.
  • Advised BayWa r.e. Solar Projects on its market entry into Bulgaria.
  • Provided legal assistance to Vier Gas Transport and its subsidiaries in the preparation, application and bid processes of a public procurement procedure held by ICGB AD, as contracting entity.

Bulgaria > Real estate and construction Tier 1

As a part of a global network, the real estate and construction practice group at CMS has considerable strength in cross-border transactions in the SEE and CEE regions, maintaining its impressive track record in associated financing, tax, construction, regulatory and contentious matters. CMS frequently advises on real estate financing, as well as on transactions in the real estate sector. Leveraging the expertise of its multi-disciplinary team, the practice offers industry-specific knowledge on a range of mandates, particularly those arising out of the energy and retail sectors. The team is headed up by two practitioners: the ‘extremely knowledgeableJenia Dimitrova and Antonia Kehayova, who was promoted to counsel in May 2022.

Practice head(s):

Jenia Dimitrova; Antonia Kehayova

Testimonials

‘The lawyers on the team are extremely diligent, flexible in their reactions, and attentive to details. They are transparent when it comes to risks and they are understanding of the client’s business and business needs.’

‘CMS have multiple teams of professionals of all levels and specialties who are able to deliver anything on time (whether in person or online; they are flexible) and follow all the principles of the ethical code of conduct. They work and have expertise internationally which is a benefit for any international business. The real estate team in Sofia is highly professional and very experienced with the local business and court practices in the area of real Estate and construction.’

‘The team are knowledgeable, they are focused and they give timely responses. They possess very good soft skills in managing discussions.’

Key clients

Cordeel Group

CTP

Pasabahce Bulgaria

Alpha Bank

EKO Bulgaria

ING Bank

Bede Software Bulgaria

Reserve Invest Holding

Trans Vision

International Finance Corporation

UniCredit Bulbank

Robul Construction

Norfolk Conservation

Radger

Perlamet

Libor Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Cordeel Group on the sale of a mixed-use logistics and office development to CTP.
  • Advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) in relation to the repayment of a corporate financing extended to the Bulgarian subsidiary of the German group Lidl, and the subsequent de-registration of 23 mortgages established in its favour by the borrower.
  • Advised INGBank on the long-term leasе for its new offices in Infinity North Tower Office Building, Sofia.

Bulgaria > Healthcare and life sciences Tier 2

Noted for its ‘strong expertise in the healthcare industry’, the healthcare and life sciences practice at CMS leverages its presence throughout both the CEE and SEE regions to handle a vast array of cross-border mandates, including in relation to corporate and commercial matters, regulatory issues, clinical trials and non-interventional studies, IP and data protection, advertising and dispute resolution. Its client list includes numerous corporations in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices industries. Assen Georgiev jointly leads the team with counsel Anna Tanova.

Practice head(s):

Assen Georgiev; Anna Tanova

Other key lawyers:

Nevena Radlova

Testimonials

‘The team has strong expertise in the healthcare industry, including compliance with local legislation. Compared to peers, the firm stands out for the speed of its response and the engagement level, with billing that meets the expectations of the client.’

‘Nevena Radlova is an exceptional lawyer, with excellent communication and project management skills. I have been very happy working with Nevena for the last few years and see her success as evidence of her dedication to her work and her clients.’

Key clients

Johnson & Johnson

Webcare Group

Dexcom

Essity

B. Braun Medical

Work highlights

  • Advised Johnson & Johnson on a wide range of commercial matters, personal data protection, regulatory law, commercial issues, and the review of contracts, as well as on the setting up and conduct of clinical trials and non-interventional studies in Bulgaria.
  • Assisted UK-based online pharmacy and healthcare company Webcare Group with multi-jurisdictional research on the legal implications of online prescription of medicines.
  • Advised Dexcom on regulatory issues related to the TV advertising of medical devices.

Bulgaria > Intellectual property Tier 2

CMS excels in its handling of the full life cycle of IP matters, from registration and licensing to protection and enforcement via litigation. The team is particularly adept in the audiovisual production and media sectors, leveraging its global network to provide multi-jurisdictional advice to a variety of international clients, particularly on issues of EU law. The team was bolstered by the elevations of practice co-leader Nevena Radlova, who was promoted to partner in May 2022, and co-head Antonia Kehayova, who was promoted to counsel at the same time.

Practice head(s):

Nevena Radlova; Antonia Kehayova

Other key lawyers:

Anna Tanova; Eva Petrova

Testimonials

‘We work closely with Anna Tanova and Eva Petrova. Anna is outstanding in complex negotiations with collective management organisations relating to broadcasting tariffs and all related legal matters. Eva provided several comparable studies for a number of EU jurisdictions in relation to the collective management of rights and the applicable remuneration. The CMS team is particularly capable of providing comparable studies in multiple jurisdictions thanks to its offices in many EU countries.’

‘Anna Tanova is a highly qualified and renowned expert in IP law. She is our preferred adviser in complex copyright issues. Anna is also highly trusted by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the media regulatory body because of her understanding and interpretation of the law. She and her team know all the specific legal and business aspects of the industry. Anna and Eva are responsive and are always ready to help with in-depth analysis and creative ideas.’

Key clients

Alliance of the Technology Industry

The Association of Bulgarian Broadcasters

The Walt Disney Company Bulgaria

The Sales House

Da Vinci Media

Midwest

Work highlights

  • Advised the Alliance of the Technology Industry on IP matters, including complex negotiations with the collective management organisations of copyright and neighbouring rights holders.
  • Advised the Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters on IP matters.
  • Advised Da Vinci Media on the drafting and revision of IP licences, distribution and localisation agreements, and other IP matters.

Bulgaria > TMT Tier 2

The TMT team at CMS places particular emphasis on advising on matters in the media sector, covering regulatory issues, IP licensing, legislative procedures and data protection. The team’s diverse client roster includes large software corporations, private investment funds and advertising agencies, among others. Counsel Anna Tanova heads the IT and media practice with Gentscho Pavlov, corporate partner Atanas Bangachev and counsel Veliko Savov.

Practice head(s):

Atanas Bangachev; Gentscho Pavlov; Veliko Savov; Anna Tanova

Other key lawyers:

Eva Petrova

Testimonials

‘CMS is part of a wide team that covers multiple jurisdictions in the EU and can provide comparative research on the relevant media and IP legislation, commercial practices and industry developments. We value our partnership with CMS Sofia. We consider CMS’ legal services as second to none.’

‘Both Anna Tanova and Eva Petrova are highly qualified experts in media law and IP. Anna Tanova has extensive knowledge and understanding of the law in the TMT area. She has demonstrated good commercial judgement in a number of complex matters. Anna is particularly able to translate complex issues into clear and understandable matters and to provide creative business solutions. Eva is а very responsive person. She shows attention to detail. CMS lawyers know the media industry better than any competitor on the legal services market.’

‘We consider CMS as the best law firm in IP and media law. Anna Tanova is an expert with extensive knowledge and deep understanding of electronic communications law and audio-visual media services regulation.’

‘Anna Tanova is a renowned expert in IP, media law, electronic communications regulation and competition law. She is a great and knowledgeable negotiator. CMS is responsive and a reliable partner with impressive industry knowledge.’

‘А team of professionals with specialisations in different fields that complement each other.’

‘High level of professionalism, quick and competent answers, easy and effective communication. They are willing to go beyond the specifically requested advice.’

Key clients

Association of Bulgarian Radio and TV Broadcasters

Alliance of the technology industry

Racom

The Sales House

Smartcom Bulgaria

Lumen Technologies Bulgaria

Elevator Ventures

DNEG

Work highlights

  • Provided day-to-day legal assistance to the Alliance of the Technology Industry on media and IP matters and assisted in complex negotiations with the collective management organisations of copyright and neighbouring rights holders.
  • Advised Racom on the sale of 100% of Sofia Communications to CETIN Bulgaria.
  • Advised Lumen Technologies, a leading US-listed telecoms company, on its operations in Bulgaria, including in relation to the provision of communications, network, security, cloud solutions and managed services.

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