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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.

Peter Malovec is the Group Head of Legal at HB Reavis in Bratislava. He joined HB Reavis in 2010 after spending seven years in private practice with the BBH law firm. We reached out to him to learn more about his background, style, and strategies.

In the October 2015 issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine we spoke with Eleni Stakathi, the Head of Legal at Upstream in Greece. We decided to check in with her and see how things had changed in the last four years.

Igor Andries is the Head of Legal & Regulatory at Orange Moldova.

Bardugov Alexander is the Head of Legal of Banca Intesa in Moscow, a role which he has held since 2013. He first joined Banca Intesa in 2004 as a Junior Legal Counsel, gradually progressing to Head of Sector for Banking Operations Legal Support in 2008, Head of Legal Support for Retail and SME in 2009, and Head of Business Legal Support in 2010.

Ante Sucur has been the Head of Legal Affairs and Company Secretary at Mercury Processing Services International Ltd (formerly Intesa Sanpaolo Card Ltd) since 2009. Before joining Mercury, he worked for five and a half years at Privredna Banka Zagreb d.d. (which is also part of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group).

Basak Gurbuz is a Counsel at The Walt Disney Company Turkey, where she oversees the company’s legal and compliance matters. Prior to assuming her current in-house role, she was a Managing Associate with Gun + Partners. Her experience also includes time with Pekin & Bayar, the Yazici Law Firm, the Kasaroglu Law Firm, and Bayindir Holding.

Andras Levai is the Head of Legal-CE Ethics and Compliance at Tesco Central Europe. Levai, who is based in Hungary, has been with Tesco since June 2009, when he joined as Senior Legal Counsel. In 2013, he was appointed to the role of Group Internal Auditor for Hungary and Turkey and he became the Head of Legal for Hungary in 2014. He was appointed to his current role in 2016. Prior to Tesco, he worked at the Hidasi & Partners Law Firm.

On January 15, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that BDK Advokati had advised Frontier Pharma and the Baystone investment group on the acquisition of Zdravlje Leskovac, a Serbian pharmaceutical company owned by Actavis, which is itself a subsidiary of Israel's Teva. CEEIHM spoke with Kiren Naidoo, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Frontier Pharma, to learn more about the acquisition.

On January 29, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BBH had advised the Czech-Moravian Development Bank on the launch of its IPO Fund and signing of a cooperation agreement with the Prague Stock Exchange to support new entities wishing to list on its START market. CEEIHM spoke with Martin Potucek, Chief Executive Officer at Czech-Moravian Development Bank, to learn more about the matter.

On November 18, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Gugushev & Partners had helped Fr. Lurssen Werft GmbH & Co KG, part of Northern Germany's Lurssen shipyard group, win a public tender for the supply of two multipurpose modular patrol vessels to the Bulgarian Navy. CEEIHM spoke with Dirk Malgowski, Managing Director at Fr. Lurssen Werft, to learn more about the matter.

On January 18, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that DGKV had represented the Mezzanine Partners consortium in a public procurement dispute with the Bulgarian Fund of Funds. CEEIHM spoke with Evgeny Angelov, Managing Partner at Silverline Capital, to learn more. 

On January 19, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Bondoc si Asociatii had advised independent electricity and gas supplier Restart Energy on its cooperation agreement with DC-based consulting and fund management company Interlink Capital Strategies to develop green energy projects worth USD 500 million in Romania and neighboring countries and to launch the blockchain-based RED platform in the USA. CEEIHM spoke with Armand Domuta, Chairman of the board at Restart Energy, to learn more about the agreement.

On February 2, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Greenberg Traurig had advised companies in the Marvipol group on the sale of residential and commercial units in three built-to-rent residential projects in Warsaw to Swedish company Heimstaden Bostad. CEEIHM spoke with Maria Brzozowska, Head of Legal Department at Marvipol Development, to learn more about the sale.

On January 14, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Riga office of Eversheds Sutherland had represented Euromin Holdings Limited before the Court of Justice of the European Union in a proceeding with the Financial and Capital Market Commission. CEEIHM spoke with Girts Apsitis, Member of the Management Board at AS Ventspils Nafta, to learn more about the matter.

On January 8, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Gide Loyrette Nouel had advised Yareal on the sale of buildings A and B in its LIXA project to Commerz Real, acting on behalf of South-Korean investor Hana Financial Investment. CEEIHM spoke with Eric Dapoigny, Managing Director of Yareal International N.V. and President of Yareal Polska, to learn more about the deal.

On December 22, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Lesnodorski, Slusarek i Wspolnicy, working pro bono, had successfully represented journalist Polish Justyna Sliwowska-Mroz in her claims that an advertisement by Poland's Law and Justice party had violated her rights. CEEIHM spoke with Sliwowska-Mroz to learn more.

On January 13, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that B2RLaw, working alongside Sidley Austin, had advised founders Pawel Malon and Marek Jakubow on the formation of Stability Capital, a Warsaw-based search fund. CEEIHM spoke with Malon and Jakubow, Managing Directors at Stability Capital, to learn more.

On December 30, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BPV Braun Partners had advised Immofinanz on the acquisition of retail parks in the Czech town of Litvinov and the Horni Mecholupy neighborhood of Prague from Mitiska Reim. CEEIHM spoke with Stefan Frommel, Head of Transactions at Immofinanz, to learn more about the matter.

On November 18, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Hedman Partners had agreed to serve as legal advisor to Solaride on its project to build a solar-powered car in Estonia. CEEIHM spoke with Kristel Leif, Chief Executive Officer at Solaride, to learn more about the matter.

On November 2, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Hillmont Partners had successfully defended the interests of Delta Wilmar Ukraine in a dispute with the State Environmental Inspectorate of Ukraine. CEEIHM spoke with Anna Lazurenko, Chief Legal Officer at Delta Wilmar, to learn more about the dispute.

On November 10, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cobalt had advised Passion Capital on its USD 1.4 million seed-round investment into Warren.io. CEEIHM spoke with Tarmo Tael, Co-Founder & CEO at Warren.io, to learn more about the deal.

On August 25, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Rymarz Zdort and Prica & Partners had advised Innova Capital on the sale of 100% of the shares of subsidiary Trimo d.o.o. to the Kingspan Group. CEEIHM spoke with Andrzej Bartos, Senior Partner at Innova Capital, to learn more about the deal.

On November 11, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had helped set-up Ventu.rs, the first Serbian crowd-investing platform. CEEIHM spoke with Luka Pejovic, Director at Ventu.rs, to learn more about the matter.

On September 22, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that DLK Legal in Poland and Kinstellar in Hungary and the Czech Republic, working together with Osborne Clarke as lead counsel, had advised Infosys on its EUR 30 million acquisition of GuideVision. CEEIHM spoke with Inderpreet Sawhney, Group General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at Infosys, to learn more about the deal.

On October 15, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kachkin & Partners had successfully helped Russian general contractor STEP LLC reach a settlement with Pharmasintez-Nord JSC in a dispute regarding payment for work and related claims worth over RUR 100 million. CEEIHM spoke with Yulia Nikolaeva, Head of Legal Service at STEP LLC, to learn more.

On November 11, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Apak Uras Law Firm had advised Teknoser on its acquisition of 100% of the shares of Fujitsu Technology Solutions Bilisim from shareholders Fujitsu Technology Solutions GmbH and Fujitsu Technology Solutions Holding B.V. CEEIHM spoke with Doruk Ozdemir, Legal Counsel at Hitay Holdings, to learn more about the deal.

On October 28, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Triniti Jurex had successfully helped Termolink obtain damages from a general contractor for work the company performed on an unspecified project. CEEIHM spoke with Valdas Garmus, Director at the Termolink, to learn more about the dispute.

On August 3, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised Montonio on its generation of EUR 500,000 from both Estonian and international investors. CEEIHM spoke with Rasmus Oisma, Director at Montonio Finance, to learn more about the matter.

On August 3, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised Montonio on its generation of EUR 500,000 from both Estonian and international investors. CEEIHM spoke with Rasmus Oisma, Director at Montonio Finance, to learn more about the matter.

On October 8, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that JDP had advised Trei Real Estate GmbH on financing of EUR 51 million it received for its Polish subsidiaries from pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank, a German specialist lender for commercial real estate finance. CEEIHM spoke with Matthias Schultz, CFO at Trei Real Estate GmbH, to learn more about the financing.

On September 8, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Lithuanian office of Cobalt had advised INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund on its acquisition of a 48% stake in MBL from Accession Mezzanine Capital III and the Lauritsen family. CEEIHM spoke with Nerijus Drobavixius, Partner at INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund, to learn more about the deal.

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.

Master Destek has brought on Fatma Ozen Karaca as its Chief Legal Counsel in Istanbul.

MVM has brought on Emese Szitasi as its Transaction Manager in Hungary.

AbbVie has promoted Romanian lawyer Alex Potlog in the role of Legal Director for the UK and Ireland.

Jozsef Antal, the former Head of Legal and Compliance at Metro Cash & Carry Hungary, has returned to private practice by joining Kapolyi Law Firm as a Partner.

Bank BPS SA has hired Radoslaw Radowski in the role of Head of Compliance Unit.

Arnold Koger has joined Novartis as Head of Legal.

The Stada Group has hired Timur Khasanov – Batirov in the role of Head of Compliance for Russia and the CIS Region.

The Tallinn office of Fort Legal has been joined by a three-person team from CORE Legal led by Partner Merit Lind and by Kristin Kamilla Kirss, the former Chief Legal Counsel and Head of Baltic Legal at Svenska Handelsbanken AB Estonian Branch.

Bora Kaya, the former Managing Legal Counsel at Gama Power Systems Engineering and Contracting, has become Chief Legal Officer of Gama Holding.

Iliana Byanova, the former Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at the First Investment Bank, has joined Sopharma Trading as its Chief Legal, Risk, and Compliance Officer in Sofia.

Eva Nikolic has become Senior Director Legal, Developed Markets at the Astellas pharmaceutical company, where she will head the company's commercial legal agenda and lead related legal support in 22 European markets, including Central Europe and the Adriatic and Baltic regions.

Altug Ozgun, Astella Pharma's Ethics & Compliance Director in Turkey, is joining the recently established Cetinkaya Attorneys-at-Law firm as a Partner. 

Cerha Hempel's Budapest office has helped set-up a new company – Cetin Hungary – by way of a de-merger from Telenor Hungary.

Vasile Tiple, the first in-house counsel and former General Counsel of UiPath, has left that role to become Head of Legal Automation – in which capacity he intends to develop a new and expanded Legal Automation Program as part of the company's business offering. 

Mihaela Popescu has joined Idea Bank Romania as its new General Compliance Head.

Former Grupa TVN Chief Legal Officer Marek Szydlowski has joined Komputronik S.A in June as General Counsel.