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Interview with Pascale Rahman, Vice President & General Counsel EMEA and India at Flex about her background and best practices.

Interview with Kamil Lewandowski, Head of Legal Poland – Asset Management at the CPI Property Group about his background and best practices.

Interview with Jaroslav Krupec, Country Legal Director at Veolia Slovakia about his background and best practices.

Interview with Irisz Szel, Legal Director of CEU about her background and best practices.

Interview with Judyta Sawicka, Head of Legal at Globalworth about her background and best practices.

Interview with Nadia Matusikova, General Counsel of RWS Moravia about her background and best practices.

Interview with Zlatko Stojcheski, Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs at A1 Makedonija about his background and best practices.

An interview with Milan Kajtez, Head of Legal at UniCredit Bank a.d. Banja Luka about his background and best practices.

An interview with Alice Radu, General Legal Counsel for Romania & Bulgaria at Bosch Group Romania about her background and best practices.

An interview with Andras Busch, General Counsel at Siemens Energy Hungary.

Juncu has been with Mondelez since 2018, when she joined it on secondment from Stratula & Asociatiii. In April 2019, she took on her current role.

Florina Homeghiu spent the first decade of her career in private practice before, in 2017 moving in-house with the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company – Romania, initially as Senior Legal Counsel, then, in 2018, as Country Legal Manager and Compliance Officer. In May of 2020 she joined the Policolor-Orgachim group.

“The in-house advisory role enables a lawyer to go deeper into the mysteries of the banking business and experience the life of a transaction, not just observe it from a distance. I elected to pursue an in-house practice at the beginning of my career, and even though I was tempted to switch to private practice many times, I remain loyal to the in-house life.”

CEE Legal Matters first interviewed Ingo Steinwender in 2014, near the end of his first year as Group Head of Legal at CA Immobilien Anlagen AG, one of the largest real estate companies in Austria. Six years later, we check in.

CEELM: Can you walk us through your career leading you up to your current role?

Polish lawyer Anna Wawrzynczak spent 14 years in private practice with two highly-regarded international law firms before moving in-house with the Coast2Coast investment fund, where she was Regional Counsel CEE for almost three years. In October 2019 she accepted an offer to become the Legal Manager, Head of the Corporate Division at the Polish Development Fund in Warsaw. 

An interview with the Belgrade-based Senior Counsel CEE at Philip Morris International

An interview with the long-time Head of Legal at Eurostandard Bank in Macedonia

Building a successful in-house legal department involves selecting the right people for the right positions, deciding which lawyers to assign to which tasks, instructing and training them, convincing them to work as a cohesive unit rather than a bunch of individuals, and of course addressing and resolving conflicts and crises – all while fulfilling the critical function of legal advisor to the rest of the company. It’s not easy.

In addition to their traditional role guiding companies through legal and regulatory waters and managing disputes, General Counsels are increasingly called upon to provide input on strategic matters. An expert panel at the second annual Balkan GC Summit considered how this change in the nature of the General Counsel role is manifesting itself in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Hyprop Investments – South Africa’s largest listed specialist shopping center Real Estate Investment Trust – operates a portfolio of premium shopping centers in South Africa, other countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeastern Europe. Hyprop’s six current investments in SEE include two shopping malls in Zagreb and one each in Sofia, Podgorica, Belgrade, and Skopje. Hyprop is internally managed and headquartered in Johannesburg.

On August 23, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that GKC Partners had advised Yemeksepeti – the Turkish subsidiary of Delivery Hero, on its acquisition of Turkish online shopping platform Marketyo Bilisim Teknoloji A.S. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Deniz Ozkan Ergun, Senior Manager, Head of M&A Legal (LATAM & MENA) of Delivery Hero to learn more about the acquisition.

On August 11, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that BTS & Partners had advised 500 Startups and Qnbeyond Ventures on its investment in Ango AI. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Enis Hulli, General Partner at 500 Startups, to learn more about the deal.

On September 13, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Dentons had advised Ciklum on its acquisition of Czech-based software development company CN Group from Genesis Capital. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Anna Ryzhova, General Counsel at Ciklum, to learn more about the acquisition.

On July 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that CMS Kyiv had helped Stakelogic obtain a B2B supplier license from the Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries in Ukraine. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Stakelogic CEO Stephan van den Oetelaar to learn more about the matter.

On August 19, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised Montonio on raising EUR 2.5 million from Tera Ventures, as well as ffVC, Superangel, Practica, 365.fintech, Startup Wise Guys, and a number of business angels. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Rasmus Oisma, Director at Montonio Finance, to learn more about the matter.

On June 23, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that DGKV had advised Internet Corporated Networks on the sale of its hosting and domain business to Superhosting.bg. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Julian Borislavov, CEO and Co-Founder of ICN to learn more about the deal.

On June 1, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Ozbek law firm had advised Tarentum on Bogazici's Ventures investment of USD 1.4 million into Tarentum, a developer of machine learning and artificial intelligence technology solutions. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Bora Tokyay, Managing Director at Tarentum, to learn more about the matter.

On July 7, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners and Simmons & Simmons had advised ALRO on a seven-year USD 40 million corporate loan from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank to Romanian aluminum producer ALRO, part of Vimetco Group, for its capital investment program. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Dragos Voncu, Legal Director at the Vimetco Group, to learn more about the matter.

On May 17, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Asters had advised Elementum Energy Ltd. on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Dnistrovska wind park in the Odessa region of Ukraine. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Victoria Pysmenna, Head of Legal at Elementum Energy to learn more about the deal.

On June 1, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Vasil Kisil and Partners has successfully represented commercial audio content provider PressCom and its clients in a lawsuit brought against them by the Ukrainian League of Copyright and Related Rights for lost profits allegedly arising from their use of PressCom sourced music in their restaurants. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Denys Kukharenko Co-Founder and CEO of PressCom to learn more about the matter.

On April 16, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that KPD Consulting had successfully represented the community of the Vozdvyzhenka neighborhood in Kyiv in a dispute with the developer of the Podol Grad Vintage residential complex. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Tatiana Maksymenko, Project Manager of Development of the Communal Reform at Vozdvyzhenka Street Committee, to learn more about the dispute.

On May 21, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ellex Valiunas had successfully represented Western Baltija Shipbuilding in its appeal of a public procurement award to a consortium of Finnish companies to provide a specialized vessel for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to eliminate pollution incidents and carry out rescue operations in the Baltic Sea. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Andrius Digrys, General Legal Counsel at Western Baltija Shipbuilding, to learn more about the deal.

On April 19, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii had advised Coca-Cola HBC Romania on its acquisition of 50% of the share capital in the Stockday b2b e-commerce platform from Heineken Romania. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Raluca Alexandru, Legal Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Romania, to learn more about the deal.

On June 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Motieka & Audzevicius had advised Elektroniniu Pinigu Bite on obtaining an electronic money institution license. According to the firm, Elektroniniu Pinigu Bite “serves related companies – mutual lending and crowdfunding platforms FinBee, FinBee for Business, and their customers.” CEE In-House Matters spoke with Darius Noreika, CFA and CEO at Finbee, to learn more about the matter.

On April 13, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Vilnius office of Walless had advised the founders of the Alwark Group on the sale of 66% of their shares in the company to the KJK Fund III. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Gediminas Simkus, Member of the Board of the Alwark Group, to learn more about the sale.

On April 28, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that ACT Legal Romania had advised Founders Bridge on a EUR 600,000 financing round led by Sparking Capital. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Liviu Munteanu, Partner at Founders Bridge, to learn more about the deal.

On April 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that TGS Baltic had advised the Evernord Real Estate Fund III, managed by Vilnius-based investment firm Evernord Asset Management, on its acquisition of a 65% stake in Riga's Novira Plaza business center. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Arnas Vedeckis, CFO and Member of the Board at Evernord, to learn more about the deal.

On May 17, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Asters had advised Ukraine Power Resources on the construction of the first phase of the Dnistrovska wind park. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Peter A. Gish, CEO at Ukraine Power Resources, to learn more about the deal.

On March 24, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov had advised the founders of tech start-up MYX AD on EUR 350,000 invested into the company by a group led by New Vision 3 Fund KD. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Yordan Zarev, Partner at New Vision 3 Fund, to learn more about the matter.

On January 18, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cobalt had advised Practica Capital on its investment in Lithuanian start-up Biomatter Designs – part of the latter's EUR 500,000 investment round. CEEIHM spoke with Donatas Keras, Co-Founding Partner at Practica Capital to learn more about the matter.

On March 26, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Motieka & Audzevicius, working with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, had advised Lithuanian start-up Turing College on its relocation to the United States in order to participate in Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Benas Sidlauskas, Co-founder & CBDO at Turing College, to learn more about the matter.

On February 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cobalt had advised the shareholders of AGACAD, a Vilnius-based developer of building information modeling software, on the sale of 100% of their shares to France’s Arkance. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Donatas Aksomitas, Managing Director at AGACAD, to learn more about the sale.

On April 21, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the RKKW law firm had helped the Historical Museum of Sanok, in Poland, respond to an offer to sell it a counterfeit version of a painting by Zdzislaw Beksinski by an American auction website. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Jaroslaw Serafin, Director at the Historical Museum of Sanok, to learn more about the matter.

On May 14, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar’s Budapest office had advised Bank of China on an approximately USD 75 million loan to China National Machinery Import and Export for the construction and operation of a 100 MW photovoltaic power plant in Hungary. CEEIHM Spoke with Lucy Shen, Deputy Head of Corporate Banking Department at Bank of China (CEE) Limited to learn more about the deal.

Romanian lawyer Anela Musat has joined Blue Horizon as its General Counsel in Zurich, Switzerland.

Former Amsterdam-based Park Now Group General Counsel, Chief Risk and Compliance Michael Czermak has joined Casinos Austria Managing Director Legal Affairs in Vienna.

Former Havel & Partners Partner Josef Adam joined CZG - Ceska Zbrojovka Group SE as the Group General Counsel.

Former Inal Unver Attorney Partnership Partner Ekin Inal has joined the International Finance Corporation as a Legal Counsel in Turkey.

Former 3M General Counsel Edit Rosta has joined SAP in Prague as a Senior Legal Counsel.

Former Turkish Competition Authority Chief Legal Counsel Harun Gunduz has moved into private practice by joining ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law.

Krzysztof Mazurek has joined the Precision Medicine Group as its Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal Europe. In his new role, he's also acting as Managing Director for CEE Precision Medicine Group Affiliates.

Former Coca-Cola Operations Legal Counsel and Local Ethics Officer for the Turkey Region Ece Sarica has been appointed to IP Counsel, Europe at Coca-Cola GB in London.

Former Cerha Hempel Senior Partner Edith Hlawati has been appointed as the sole member of the Management Board of Oesterreichische Beteiligungs AG.

Former SupplierPlus Head of Group Legal Kirill Lezeiko returns to private practice by rejoining PwC Legal in Estonia.

Merve Oney Barlas has joined Istanbul-based financial services provider DgPays as Chief Legal Officer.

Senem Berkem Paflak has joined Modanisa as Head of Legal Compliance. 

Anna Gorska, former Head of Legal at Idea Bank, returns to private practice by joining Clifford Chance as a Legal Adviser in Warsaw.

Former Stada CIS Head of Legal Konstantin Sharlovskiy has joined the Pepeliaev Group as Head of Life Sciences in Moscow.

Lilian Kontou has joined the TAE – SOL Group in Athens as Legal Director.

Former Mriya Agroholding Chief Legal Counsel Sergiy Ignatovsky has joined Redcliffe Partners as a Partner within the firm’s Litigation and Restructuring practices.

Anna Atanasow, the former General Counsel at CCC, has joined Huuge Games as Head of Legal.

Former Chief Legal Counsel and Head of Contracts at Havelsan Yavuz Selim Gunay and Ankara Yildirim Beyazit Universitesi Faculty of Law Associate Professor Ersin Erdogan have partnered up to launch Gunay & Erdogan Attorneys-at-Law, a new law firm in Ankara.

Ayca Aydin Suzer has joined TEB Cetelem as Head of Legal in Turkey.

Former Esin Attorney Partnership Partner Birturk Aydin has left that firm — the Turkish member firm of Baker McKenzie International — to become the Head of Legal at Koc University in Istanbul.

Ebru Gurdemir has joined Unilever in Istanbul as the General Counsel TUI.

Former ELIG Attorneys-at-law Associate Attorney Burak Yesilaltay has joined Google as Legal Counsel.

Former KocSistem Senior Legal Counsel Gamze Bedirkurum has joined Ericsson as Group Legal Counsel in Turkey.

Olga Gulyaeva has joined Legrand as Director of Legal and Compliance Officer.