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Allen & Overy has advised BNP Paribas Bank Polska and mBank on their provision of an acquisition loan facility to Bielenda Kosmetyki Naturalne for its acquisition of the Torf Corporation. Greenberg Traurig reportedly advised Bielenda.

TGS Baltic and Juzala Salwa have advised CVI on its full acquisition of APF Holdings' EUR 7 million private bond placement.

Noerr has advised the StoneX Group on the lease of 3,700 square meters of office space in Krakow's Mogilska 35 Office building owned by Warimpex.

CK Legal Chabasiewicz Kowalska has advised Kruk on its PLN 70 million issuance of series AO7 bonds.

Karanovic & Partners has advised the Green for Growth Fund on a EUR 50 million loan for UniCredit Bank Serbia to finance utility-scale renewable energy projects in the country with a focus on solar and wind.

Schoenherr has advised the Erste Group Bank on a EUR 300 million share buyback followed by a cancellation of treasury shares and the reduction of its share capital.

Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov has advised Boleron on its two private equity investment rounds in preparation for the company's IPO.

CMS has advised Istanbul-based engineering and construction company Enka on the licensing of its 40-megawatt Town Up 8 photovoltaic project before the Bulgarian Energy and Water Regulatory Commission.

Clifford Chance has advised the arranging banks – Citi, Erste, HSBC, JP Morgan, and Societe Generale – on Romania's first issuance of green bonds, to the tune of EUR 2 billion, and simultaneous EUR 2 billion issuance of conventional bonds. Filip & Company, working with Linklaters, advised Romania's Ministry of Finance.

Rymarz Zdort Maruta has advised Bank Polska Kasa Opieki on the financing for the construction of 28 photovoltaic farms located in Poland provided to subsidiaries of Projekt Solartechnik. Clifford Chance advised Project Solartechnik.

Ban, S. Szabo, Rausch & Partners has advised E.On Drive Infrastructure on establishing a new Hungarian subsidiary and acquiring the electro-mobility charging infrastructure from E.ON Hungaria, to continue operating as a stand-alone network in Hungary.

TGS Baltic and Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov have advised Ifco Systems on its acquisition of Bepco. RASK advised Rostock Capital, Navitas, and Green Technology on the sale.

Former Managing Associate Furkan Sahankaya has been appointed to a Partner position in the Insurance/Reinsurance department of the Durukan Law Firm in Istanbul.

Cerha Hempel has announced it is expanding into Slovenia through a new cooperation with Ulcar & Partnerji as of March 1, 2024.

Former Eversheds Sutherland Partner Carolina Baloleanu has joined Nyerges & Partners in Bucharest as a Counsel to advise on banking/finance and M&A matters.

Former BPV Braun Partners Partner Marc Mueller has joined PwC Legal in the Czech Republic as a Senior Attorney.

Bucharest-based ONV Law has announced it opened a new subsidiary in Chisinau, Moldova – with Mihail Gorincioi set to coordinate the new operation – and aims to surpass a cumulative turnover of EUR 2.5 million in the year 2024.

On February 19, 2024, Tosic & Jevtic and JPM Partners jointly announced their new strategic partnership, with the Serbia-headquartered firm expanding its presence to North Macedonia and Tosic & Jevtic becoming part of JPM Partners.

Former Danone Head of Legal & Compliance in Turkiye Sevda Aydin Alemdar has returned to private practice by joining Sayin Law & Consulting as a Partner to lead the firm’s FMCG and Healthcare sectors out of Washington DC.

Roman Vydra has been promoted to a Partner position with BBH in Bratislava.

Albania's Olsi Coku has been appointed a Partner with Kalo & Associates in Tirana, in a promotion round that also included Armando Toslluku's appointment as a Special Counsel and Frensis Nakuci's promotion to Senior Associate.

Partners Jan Sibincic, Matic Novak, and Nina Cuden have recently announced the launch of their new firm: Sibincic Novak & Partners has opened its doors in Ljubljana.

Former Senior Associate Zane Sedlova has been promoted to an Associate Partner position at TGS Baltic in Latvia.

Gabor Pazsitka has joined Schonherr's Budapest office as a Partner and the Head of the firm's local Banking & Finance practice.

From 1 January 2024, taxpayers can benefit from a tax allowance for investments in the construction of electricity storage facilities. The tax allowance is available for 6 tax years, with the first tax year being either the year of installation or the following tax year, at the taxpayer's option. This incentive is intended to encourage the installation of new electricity storage facilities which enable the taxpayer to store electricity generated for its own use.

Competition law reform in Albania is underway, marked by several important changes to Law no. 9121, dated 28.07.2003, “On Protection of Competition” (“Competition Law”). Within the context of harmonizing with the EU acquis, last November, the Albanian Competition Authority (“ACA”) launched a public consultation phase for the proposed amendments to the Competition Law (“Draft Law”). However, the final version of the Draft Law has not yet been submitted to Parliament.

In the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia no. 6/2024 from January 26, 2024, the following by-laws have been published:

For those familiar with the situation in the world of football in Europe, the end of 2023 was very interesting bearing in mind that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made two important decisions concerning football organizations FIFA and UEFA.

The Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (“ANRE”) has announced important amendments to the rules for connecting new power-generation capacities to the public network.

Starting on 1 January 2024, a new feature was launched regarding personal income allowances, meaning that certain tax base reduction allowances can also be claimed on a continuing basis. The purpose of the existing tax advance return is to allow the employer to determine and deduct the tax advance, considering both benefits and costs.

The Polish Data Protection Authority (PUODO) has recently published its new sectoral inspection plan for 2024. Every year, the authority indicates which business sectors or specific processing operations will be subject to increased regulatory scrutiny and potential enforcement for failure to comply. This year, the plan includes three points, one of which relates to public authorities processing personal data in the Schengen Information System (SIS) and Visa Information System (VIS). However, the other two points of the plan are relevant to businesses across all sectors in the private sector.

Nowadays, one can hear a lot about generative artificial intelligence ("Generative AI"), which can be used to create different types of content (e.g., text, images, software source code) in an automated way by giving simple instructions (so-called "prompts"). Companies may reasonably ask whether it is worth investing, at this point, in software using Generative AI; however, the current Hungarian legislative environment does not provide answers to this question, which could clearly provide guidance in all cases, on a general basis. For this reason, the legal implications of each investment (be it either procurement or "in-house" development) need to be examined on a case-by-case basis.

Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act) entered into force on 11 January 2024, and it will become applicable in September 2025. Entrepreneurs therefore still have 19 months to prepare for the changes. What changes does the new EU regulation provide for?

A new piece of the complex puzzle of public private partnerships in Romania came recently into the form of a new law, namely Law no. 7/2024 for the approval of Government Emergency Ordinance no.39/2018 on PPP (“Law 7/2024”), which brings significant amendments to the PPP regime. Also, in order to further support the recourse to the PPP tool, the Public Investment Management Unit within the Ministry of Finance commissioned a technical assistance project with DG Reform following which a comprehensive package of guides were published on 9 February 2024 on the website of the Ministry of Finance, with the aim to facilitate the understanding by the public sector of this tool, in order to increase its use in practice.

By Decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union ("CJEU") of 14.12.2023 in case C‑340/21 the CJEU clarified several controversial aspects of the implementation of the GDPR.

According to a draft legislation on digital companies issued at the end of 2023, “digital companies” would be exempt from paying public burdens and local business tax. Employees in employment relationships and the executives of companies could fulfil their tax payment obligations after their income through special public burden contributions.

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Lithuania is looking at a hectic year, with three scheduled elections: presidential, parliamentary, and EU parliamentary, according to Ilaw Lextal Partner Lina Siksniute-Vaitiekuniene, while also celebrating the 20-year Anniversary of its entry into the EU and NATO.

David Hanis joined Oppenheim in Budapest to specialize in energy fresh out of law school, and has never looked back. 15 years later, just before Christmas 2023, CEE Legal Matters reported on his appointment to a Partner position at the same firm. Demonstrating you can move forward by staying in the same place, he shares his story below.

In The Inside Track, General Counsels across CEE share the nuances of their roles, challenges, and strategies for success. Given the importance of relationships between in-house legal departments and law firms, this time we asked GCs: What is the most common reason for which you cease working with a specific law firm and what would you suggest firms definitely do to ensure they do not make the same mistake?

On November 23, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cobalt had advised BaltCap Latvia Venture Capital Fund and funds managed by Imprimatur Capital, together with other shareholders, on the sale of Blue Bridge Technologies to Everfield. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Henning Schreiber, Head of Acquisitions at Everfield, to learn more about the acquisition.