Hungary was one of the last EU countries to introduce a register of ultimate beneficial owners. While the provisions of the Fourth and Fifth AML Directives were already implemented in the Hungarian AML Act, the technical conditions on the actual operation of the UBO register were only adopted by Act XLIII of 2021 ("UBO Register Act") and are in force as of 22 May 2021.
BDK Advokati and Lakatos, Koves & Partners have advised Hungarian real estate investor Indotek Group on its EUR 267.6 million acquisition of 11 office buildings from Globe Trade Centre in Belgrade, Serbia. Zavisin Semiz & Partneri advised GTC on the Serbian legal aspects of the deal. The Budapest office of Dentons also reportedly advised the seller.
Hungary is one of the first countries in CEE to fully implement Directive 2019/790 on Copyright in the Digital Single Market ("CDSM Directive") and Directive 2019/789 ("SatCab 2.0 Directive"). The so-called "Copyright Reform Act" (Act XXXVII of 2021) was published in the Official Gazette on 6 May 2021, and the majority of the new rules will be effective as of 1 June 2021.
In any economy transport infrastructure is vital for enabling the flow of goods and people. Two salient features of the transport environment in Hungary are the country’s location “between East and West” and, within the country, the significant work which has been done to develop the motorway network. Many of the issues referred to below can be traced back to one or both those factors.
Starting from modest beginnings in the small Hungarian city of Eger, Agnes Molnar’s career has taken her across the world, from small local law firms to the Magic Circle, from state entities to global banks, and from Budapest to London to Vienna to Montreal. Now, some 10,000 kilometers away from her home country, she is a Partner at Travers Thorpe Alberga in the Cayman Islands. If, as the Chinese proverb has it, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, Molnar is already half-way there.
The COVID-19 crisis continues to plague much of Europe. To get an overview of its effects across CEE – both on investment in the region and on the legal industry itself – we reached out to the members of Pontes the CEE Lawyers legal alliance, a Regional Sponsor at the upcoming Dealer’s Choice International Law Firm Summit.
Shortly after the Hungarian Competition Authority’s (“HCA”) notice related to fines in antitrust cases came into force on January 1, 2021, the HCA issued an amendment, which came into force on April 22, 2021 (the amended notice being the “New Notice”). The New Notice seems to strengthen the wide derogated powers of the HCA in antitrust cases and may lead to higher fines. However, companies may be able to reduce fine amounts by offering compensating remedies.
Over the past few months, the intellectual property specialists at Komor Hennel Attorneys have been busy. “We focus on a lot of corporate-related practice areas, but IP is our main focus and driver,” says Ildiko Komor Hennel, Managing Partner. “We have more than 20 years’ experience in IP, handling different aspects of the practice area, and we have a good grasp of how to keep levels high even during these times.”
The following Q&A is an extract of the May 2021 edition of the Private Equity Trends Monitor, which provides you with an up-to-date overview of the latest and anticipated trends across the European private equity sector. This extract covers private equity deal activity in Central and Eastern Europe.
“The pandemic has overwritten any expectations we had at the end of 2019,” says Schoenherr Budapest Partner Gergely Szaloki. “We were very optimistic, and the market was booming, but the pandemic changed many things.” He underlines the frequent switch to a home-office working environment as being a particular source of change for the real estate market. “Not only the office spaces,” he says, “but I can imagine that flats will also be designed in a way so that it’s possible to establish at least a working corner at home.”
On 27 April 2021 the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new legislation on the Supervisory Authority for Regulated Services, which will in the future supervise the judicial enforcement body, the liquidators and perform official tasks related to the retail sale of tobacco products and the organization of gambling. The new laws will enter into force on 1 October 2021. The purpose of the law is to strengthen the consumer protection, official control and supervision powers in relation to certain exclusive economic activities of the state.
Based on a bill submitted on 20 April 2021, the new law establishing the ultimate beneficial owner register (UBO) may enter into force on 15 May 2021. According to the bill, the UBO will be based on data obtained by banks in the course of the customer due diligence under the Hungarian Anti Money Laundering Act (AML Act), which data will be passed on to the body maintaining the UBO (i.e. the Hungarian tax authority). After the system is set up, each organization involved will receive a registration number and a TT index.