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Pohla & Hallmagi has advised on the reorganizing of the ownership structure of the Aparaaditehas property in Tartu, including the buyout of the financial investor and majority shareholder Lohmus Holdings AS by a group of investors.

PwC Legal has advised Spanish railway company Renfe on the acquisition of a stake in the Czech carrier Leo Express. 

BTS & Partners has advised 500 Global Istanbul on its USD 1 million pre-seed investment in Datapad.

Schoenherr has advised Slate Asset Management on the acquisition of a portfolio of real estate assets in Austria and Slovakia for approximately EUR 90 million.

Sorainen has advised joint lead managers Citigroup, Luminor Bank, Nordea, and UniCredit on Citadele Banka’s EUR 200 million notes issuance, due in 2026. Cobalt and reportedly Allen & Overy advised Citadele Banka.

Havel & Partners has advised Genesis Private Equity Fund III on the sale of Quinta-Analytica to LVA Holding. Noerr advised the sellers on the deal.

Moratis Passas has advised the DoValue Group in relation to the Mexico securitization transaction originated by Eurobank. Allen & Overy and Karatzas & Partners advised Eurobank on the deal.

Taylor Wessing has advised the MLP Group on its EUR 20 million public offering of bonds and their introduction to trading on the Catalyst alternative market in Poland.

Eversheds Sutherland has successfully represented the Polish State Treasury before the European Union's Court of Justice in proceedings related to the PLN 1.38 billion in state aid received by Autostrada Wielkopolska.

Paksoy has advised Turkish industrial textile company Isbir Sentetik Dokuma Sanayi on its TRY 368 million initial public offering and listing on Borsa Istanbul.

BTS & Partners has advised venture fund Revo Capital on its investment in e-commerce platform Ikas.

Allen & Overy has advised sole global coordinator Wood & Company Financial Services on a CZK 366 million block trade disposal of Ceska Zbrojovka Group shares by Colt shareholders. Debevoise & Plimpton reportedly advised TXPATCH8445 Holdings, which represented Colt's shareholders in the transaction.

Jan Holasek, a Czech Senator and founder of Havel, Holasek & Partners – now Havel & Partners – has joined forces with HKDW Legal to form a new law firm under the name HKDW Holasek.

Antoniya Markova, Daniela Petkova, Yoanna Ivanova, and Kostadinka Deleva have been appointed as Partners with Gugushev & Partners in Bulgaria.

White & Case has completed a new round of firm-wide promotions, appointing 28 Local Partners and 40 Counsels. Among these were new Local Partners Jakub Gubanski, Aleksandra Oziemska, Bartosz Smardzewski, and Pawel Zagorski in Warsaw, Gokce Uluc in Istanbul, and Marianna Galusova in Prague.

Karanovic & Partners Head of Real Estate Ana Lukovic has been appointed as a Partner with the firm.

Triniti has appointed Klen Laus as a Partner with the firm’s Estonian practice.

Alexandra Karachurina, Maria Borodina, and Vyacheslav Yugai have joined the Balayan Group as Partners in the firm's Corporate & Transactions practice.

Former Clifford Chance Senior Associate Pavel Bogusky has joined the Restructuring, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy practice of Dentons’ Prague office as a Partner.

Wojciech Kapica, former Partner and Head of SMM Legal's Financial Law Department, has joined the Lawarton law office.

Drzewiecki Tomaszek & Partners has joined forces with the labor-law specialized firm of Gujski Zdebiak. Waldemar Gujski and Dawid Zdebiak have become Partners at DT and will manage the firm's Labor and Social Security Law practice.

Independent attorney-at-law Mirjana Mladenovic has joined the Deloitte network and will lead the firm’s M&A Legal Advisory practice in Serbia.

Former Vejmelka & Wunsch Partner Martin Peckl has joined Havel & Partners as a Partner in Prague.

Ozbek Attorney Partnership has promoted former Managing Associate Gulsah Gokce to Partner as of November 1, 2021.

Recent post-Covid months have shown some interesting positive trends on the Polish real estate market with a few surpassing expectations.

Over the past couple of years, Poland has become a leading player in the European IT market. According to Eurostat, there are approximately 554,000 IT specialists living in Poland. Although this is less than 5% of the total IT workforce in the EU, the number is constantly growing. It is also widely recognized that Polish IT specialists are well trained. If you also consider the convenient geographical location between West and East and the stable economic situation, it is no surprise that many foreign companies have found Poland to be a promising place to develop software and carry out related research and development activities.

Innovative technologies, software development, and gaming are becoming an increasingly important part of not only Poland’s M&A market but of the whole region. The greater presence of global tech investors seeking potential acquisitions in Poland is putting pressure on local developers to keep up with international standards and the fast pace of the acquisition process.

The Hungarian State unlawfully collected a sizeable amount of VAT from pharmaceutical companies ruled the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a recent preliminary ruling procedure, initiated by Boehringer Ingelheim against the Hungarian tax authority.

Under Turkish law, data controllers must be registered with the so-called “VERBIS” registration system before processing any personal data. The Turkish Personal Data Protection Authority announced December 31, 2021 as the final deadline for fulling this registration obligation pursuant to the Personal Data Protection Law No. 6698 and the Regulation on Data Controllers Registry. The deadline is fast approaching.

In recent years, as a result of the global political and economic environment and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-commerce has become a preferred method for trading goods and services for both businesses and consumers. More and more online trading platforms are emerging, where platform operators connect sellers and buyers using different business models and payment mechanisms.

In November 2021, a bill on the amendment of Act II of 2007 on the Entry and Stay of Third-Country Nationals in Hungary was accepted by the Parliament. The purpose of the modification is to create a new type of residence permit for “digital nomads” and it will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

At the end of October 2021, the Hungarian Government decided to take new protection measures to contain the fourth wave of the coronavirus outbreak, as a result, from 1 November 2021 employers have the right to require their employees to be mandatorily vaccinated. This means that to increase vaccination coverage and to protect workplaces, the Government allows employers to require their employees to be vaccinated against coronavirus as a condition of employment, either as a standard working condition for all employees or as an individual working condition depending on the job. For employees who have not yet been vaccinated, the employer may set a 45-day deadline for the first vaccination. Employers who require vaccination must inform the employee of the measure, the deadline and the possible legal consequences of not vaccinating, either electronically (in e-mail) or on paper. Furthermore, an employee who is medically certified as contra-indicated to be vaccinated against the coronavirus cannot expected to be vaccinated.

The Government of Serbia has recently adopted the Proposal for Amendments to the Companies Law (the “Proposal”), which official text states that its primary goal is to promote the protection of minority shareholders, in accordance with measures provided by the Action Plan of the Program for Improvement of Position of the Republic of Serbia on the World Bank’s Business List – Doing Business for the period 2020-2023. In addition, the respective novelties imply other changes as well, the most significant being those referring to the position of entrepreneurs, and court protection in case of business address abuse.

The possibility of the employer to investigate whether its employees are vaccinated against COVID-19 was subject of heated debate in Slovakia. The prevailing view was the employer could not request such information from them as allegedly there was no legal basis for it in the Labour Code or other regulations. Surprisingly, such view was also supported by the Slovak National Inspectorate of Labour that claimed it should be up to the employees whether they inform the employer about their vaccination. There were also discussions whether obtaining such information by the employer complies with the GDPR.

The Law on Amendments to the Law on Tax Procedure and Tax Administration (Official Gazette of RS, no. 96/2021) (the “Law”) was adopted on October 16, 2021. The novelties introduced by this piece of regulation particularly include those referring to the filing of tax application for calculated mandatory social insurance contributions for company founders and/or shareholders, deferral of interest payment for settled obligations, replacement of insurance instruments for collection of due taxes, and issuance of additional record.

Immunisation Certificates played a big role in the previous wave of COVID-19 pandemic in Hungary. They were issued as a supplementary certificate to confirm that the cardholder had a positive COVID test or got at least the first shot of any of the available vaccines. At many stages of the pandemic, cardholders enjoyed specific privileges compared to the others (i.e. card was asked at many places that had an indoor room, such as theatres, cinemas, restaurants etc.). Even though the European COVID passport became available from 1 July 2021 among the EU, it is only issued for persons, who got an EU-approved vaccine. Since Hungary choose to vaccinate with non-EU-approved vaccines, the dichotomy of the certificates still remains.

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Political stability and predictability, shake-ups for the corporate and banking legislative frameworks, and a solid economic situation despite the pandemic – these are the current highlights in Croatia, according to Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka Partner Martina Kalamiza.

On October 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Balicki Czekanski Gryglewski Lewczuk had advised Symfonia on its acquisition of Cloud Planet and Skanuj.to. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Wioletta Kaloska, General Counsel at Symfonia, to learn more about the matter.