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Ilyashev & Partners, representing the interests of the Ukrainian Red Cross Society, has persuaded the Economic Court of Kyiv to invalidate the trademark of a Ukrainian pharmacy network featuring the image of a red cross.

Marchenko Partners has advised Western NIS Enterprise Fund on its provision of unspecified loans to Smachni Spravy and Pizza Veterano Kyiv.

Wolf Theiss, working with Gide Loyrette Nouel as to French law and Norton Rose Fulbright as to German law, has advised the EBRD, the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, UniCredit S.p.a., UniCredit Bulbank, UniCredit Bank AG, Societe Generale, Kommunalkredit Austria, and DSK Bank on their provision of a EUR 296 million debt package to support the SOF Connect consortium on its successful bid for the concession of the Sofia Airport. Willkie Farr & Gallagher, Kinstellar, and Bouzeva & Partners advised the borrowers on the deal.

Latham & Watkins has advised joint lead managers and bookrunners BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan on Ukraine’s USD 1.25 billion notes issuance.

Greenberg Traurig has advised private equity fund Gilde Healthcare on its acquisition of Acti-Med AG.

Capital Legal Services has advised ABS LLC, a joint venture of Airports of Regions MC and Novaport Holding, on its entrance into a RUB 7 billion concession agreement for the development of the Blagoveschensk airport for a term of 30 years.

Allen & Overy has advised Ghelamco on the sale of the Woloska 24 office building in Warsaw to ZFP Investments, a subsidiary of Slovakia's IAD Investments. Squire Patton Boggs advised ZFP on the deal.

Popovici, Nitu, Stoica, and Asociatii has advised Ameropa Grains on the sale of a former industrial platform in Constanta to Hornbach.

Sorainen, working alongside Delphi, has advised Sweden's Addnode Group on the acquisition of S-Group Solutions, a software company specializing in business-related GIS solutions for municipalities, water, and sewage organizations.

Ellex Raidla, working with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has advised investment fund Atomico on leading a USD 11 million Series A funding round to Estonian artificial intelligence platform startup Pactum.

Cobzac & Partners has successfully represented Latvia's SIA Fertco fertilizer distributor in its attempt to obtain the partial annulment of an arbitral award in Moldova's courts.

MCL has advised Marek Vaclavik and Petit Press directors Alexej Fulmek and Peter Macinga on their acquisition of a 5.5% stake in Petit Press from Slovakian finance group Penta. Skubla & Partners advised Penta on the deal, which also included the sale of Penta's remaining 34% stake in Petit Press to the Media Development and Investment Fund. Cernejova & Hrbek reportedly advised MDIF on the deal.

Warsaw's Monika Macura and Krakow's Konieczny Wierzbicki law firms have merged, and will operate going forward in both markets under the Konieczny Wierzbicki brand.

Gabor Hollos and Zoltan Kozma have been promoted to Local Partner at DLA Piper in Budapest.

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

Former PWC Legal Partner Stefanie Werinos-Sydow has brought her team to PHH Rechtsanwalte in Vienna.

Former Hillmont Partners Partner Taras Tertychnyi has left that Ukrainian firm to become a Partner and Co-Head of Corporate and M&A and International Dispute Resolution at the Marushko Law Office in Kyiv.

Former Glinska & Miskovic Partner Anamaria Zuvanic has left the Croatian firm to open her own office, Law Office Anamaria Zuvanic, in cooperation with Kovacevic Prpic Simeunovic.  

Asters has announced the launch of a new French Desk at the firm, which it reports will be "focused on providing comprehensive support for corporate and private French-speaking clients."

A new law firm alliance has appeared in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Sergiy Burnus has rejoined Asters as the Head of its London office, replacing outgoing office head Olga Khoroshylova, who has left the firm.

Former BNT Associated Partner Martin Provaznik has joined BPV Braun Partners in Bratislava.

Former Clifford Chance Of Counsel Tomas Richter has moved to JSK in Prague as the firm's new Head of Restructuring and Insolvency.

Szabolcs Szendro, a member of CMS Budapest's Competition team, has been promoted to Partner at the firm, effective as of May 1, 2021.

Facilitated by strong government support, a consolidated tendering practice, and the growing interest of both domestic and international investors, solar power is driving Hungary’s renewables market to new heights.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hungarian government launched Government Decree 47/2020 (III. 18.), introducing a moratorium on the payment of principal, interest, and fees arising from facility, loan, and financial lease contracts until December 31, 2020. This moratorium, which we will call the “2020 Payment Moratorium,” was automatically available to both natural person and business entity borrowers, although they could opt out of if they wished.

The current backbone of the EU’s e-Commerce Directive was adopted 20 years ago. Since then, the landscape of the digital economy has changed significantly, as most online platforms in use today did not exist in 2000. As a result, many digital experts claim that competition enforcers have failed to tackle some of the specific challenges created by the new digital platforms.

Recently published case law from Hungary’s National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition – the Hungarian acronym is OGYEI – deals with various aspects of pharmaceutical promotional activities and interactions with health care providers. The OGYEI investigated the commercial practices of Aramis Pharma Kft., Lilly Hungaria Kft., and Sager Pharma Kft., and imposed fines following the discovery of infringements.

Almost a year ago, in March 2020, the Hungarian regulator – the NMHH – announced that 5G frequency licenses had been auctioned for a term of 15 years with a 5-year extension option to Magyar Telekom, Vodafone, and Telenor (a fourth operator, Digi, did not acquire a 5G license). These three operators spent a total of HUF 125.8 billion on these 5G licenses, enabling them to provide next generation mobile broadband services. Vodafone started 5G services in downtown Budapest in 2019 on previously-acquired frequencies, using the newly acquired frequencies to improve coverage in other cities and certain rural areas. The 5G services – as well as related applications and technology products – are expected to fundamentally change the industry, as demand for broadband services has increased exponentially due the widespread introduction of home office due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The original foreign direct investment screening regime was adopted in Hungary pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council and became effective on January 1, 2019. Instead of amending the original regime, a new parallel FDI screening regime was introduced in late May 2020 to protect Hungarian strategic sectors during the COVID-19 period. This second regime was fine-tuned in the middle of June, 2020 and then again at the end of October, 2020. The notification obligation under the second regime is applicable to relevant transactions made before June 30, 2021.

Reflecting the Hungarian tax administration’s nature as a pioneer in innovative tax administration measures, 2021 brings significant eVAT developments in Hungary.

This report has the purpose of shedding light on the most important developments in the field of obtaining and enforcing Intellectual Property rights in Hungary in 2020.

Social media has become a phenomenon, representing our extroverted life, and thus a critical part of our work environment.

In accordance with worldwide trends, Hungarian public markets are not showing the signs of exponential growth that private markets are. The legislative environment for public listings has not changed significantly in Hungary since 2019, when Act CXX of 2001 on the Capital Market was heavily amended in order to be fully harmonized with the European Union’s Prospectus Regulation (2017/1129 EU). That modification made public issuances easier, as it dispensed with the requirement that prospectuses must be prepared for listings of securities with unit values of at least EUR 100,000. 

Emerging new tendencies in economic activities have reached Hungary in the last few years. The most important driving force behind this change is the shifting of consumption into the online space, which inevitably entails a change in market structure. As a result, new products that are exclusively or partially available online have appeared, the geographical coverage of products has widened, and other services related to online consumption have become increasingly important. Social media, influencer marketing, and targeted advertisements all contribute to the popularity of the new market as well. Hungarian consumers are now able to fulfil a significant portion of their product and service needs through e-commerce channels. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to push economic activities online, the role of digital distribution channels has increased even more.

This past year brought significant privacy-related regulatory challenges to business operations. The pandemic situation and lockdown, the ever-rising number of data breaches, the invalidation of the EU-US Privacy Shield, and the challenges arising from the uncertainties of BREXIT have all tested compliance departments to the full.

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Draft legislation, including a draft law to create a Commercial Court and a draft Civil Code, is at the top of the agenda for lawyers in Kosovo, according to Ramaj, Palushi, Hajdari & Salihu Partner Mentor Hajdaraj, who also points to several ongoing foreign investment disputes of significance to the country's overall FDI strategy.

On February 8, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Oliver Koppany and Csaba Rusznak had joined KNP Law Nagy-Koppany Lencs & Partners in Budapest. Rusznak will lead the firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group, while Koppany, who joined as Foreign Legal Counsel, is preparing to take over the management of the firm from his mother, KNP Law Founder and Managing Partner Kornelia Nagy-Koppany. We spoke with Koppany and Rusznak to learn more about their background and plans for the future.

On April, 6, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Esquires law firm had persuaded Ukraine's Sixth Administrative Court of Appeal to revoke an order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dismissing former Deputy Head of the State Customs Service of Ukraine Denys Shendryk from that position. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Shendryk to learn more about the case.