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Intra-group loans and guarantees are frequently encountered in the activity of group companies, especially when centralized capital and liquidity management systems are in place. Intra-group loans are often used as tools to maximize liquidity at the group level while reducing the cost of funds, while the guarantees provide group companies with better access to external financing or high-value commercial contracts.

We are now one year on from the first lockdown, and although many worried in the early days of the pandemic that Romania’s court system might not be able to cope with the large number of insolvencies that were expected, in fact the highly-anticipated wave of restructurings is yet to happen, as the debt moratorium which was enacted and then extended and the availability of the state aid package as well as the generally supportive approach of the lenders have helped companies manage their debt service and need for liquidity.  While there is no shortage of funding, the uncertainty of the lockdown period and its impact on future developments have resulted in more amend-and-increase or amend-and-extend transactions, with borrowers adding to their existing lender groups rather than seeking a full refinancing. 

From an economic and social point of view, throughout Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic period could be summarized in two words: digitalization and flexibility. These words were also key to employment matters, with a tendency for both employers and employees to be more open to establishing cross-border employment relationships, switching to remote work performed from a different EU Member States or, in case of expatriates, returning to their country of origin while continuing to work remotely for the same employer.

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the “new normal” is as fluid and unexpected as ever. The aftermath of the health crisis and its economic impact has not matched the initial expectations for dispute resolution: the Romanian market has not been flooded with insolvencies and commercial disputes.

Navigating the maze of zoning, planning, and land-use-approval processes can result in significant delays and escalating costs, which may spell the difference between a development project’s success and failure. With the economic growth of Romania over the last few years having generated investor interest in developing new real estate projects, particularly in well-established urban areas like the country’s capital, the authorities have repeatedly expanded and amended the country’s urban planning laws.

Economic, policy, and legislative factors have revived investors’ interest in Romania’s renewables sector over the last year. As the second-largest market in Central and Eastern Europe, Romania managed to attract about EUR 8 billion in renewables investments in the first wave from 2008-2016 – mainly in solar (over 1.5 GW) and wind (over 3 GW) – benefitting from the green certificate support scheme, although Romania reached its 2020 target for green energy and investments slowed down significantly over the last five years.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a lot of practical and legislative changes. Still, even if the virus complicated the overall environment (to which other factors contributed, such as elections followed by a change of government), Romania remains a place with significant business opportunities.

In “The Corner Office” we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. The question this time: “What did you most want to be when you were little?”

Annual reports make up a fundamental part of many regional CEE law firms’ marketing strategies, providing those firms with an annual opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise in a particular area, their geographic footprints, and their ownership and facility with the research and technological tools and manpower necessary for the production of such comprehensive projects.

“What do you call 10,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A good start.” This popular joke underlines the low public perception of lawyers that remains common in today’s society. Although distrust toward lawyers has always existed, frivolous lawsuits, rising billing rates, and thrilling reports of lawyers behaving badly in the news do little to improve the public image of attorneys, especially in CEE.

On November 20, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BDK Advokati, working alongside Sweden’s Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyra, had advised Embracer Group AB on its acquisition of all issued shares of Mad Head Games d.o.o., a game development studio from Novi Sad, Serbia. SunjkaLaw advised Mad Head Games shareholders Nenad Tomic, Uros Banjesevic, and Aleksa Todorovic on the deal.

The increasing use of electric vehicles (EVs) in Austria means the supporting infrastructure requires constant development. The Austrian federal government program 2020-2024 envisages expanding the Austrian network of charging points for alternative fuels as an essential pillar of its drive towards implementing sustainable mobility solutions. In September 2020, the Austrian government followed through with its agenda by proposing the Austrian Renewable Energy Expansion Act (Erneuerbaren-Ausbau-Gesetz, EAG), which includes an amendment of the Austrian Act on Uniform Standards for Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Developments (Bundesgesetz zur Festlegung einheitlicher Standards beim Infrastrukturaufbau für alternative Kraftstoffe, BGFS). The EAG has recently been approved by the government and is now subject to discussions/approval by the Austrian parliament. The cornerstone of the amendment, which is expected to enter into force in the second half of 2021, involves establishing a public charging point register so that EV drivers can locate publicly accessible charging points when they need them and obtain other relevant information.

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