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Former Inal Unver Attorney Partnership Partner Ekin Inal has joined the International Finance Corporation as a Legal Counsel in Turkey.

Former 3M General Counsel Edit Rosta has joined SAP in Prague as a Senior Legal Counsel.

Former Turkish Competition Authority Chief Legal Counsel Harun Gunduz has moved into private practice by joining ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law.

Krzysztof Mazurek has joined the Precision Medicine Group as its Deputy General Counsel and Head of Legal Europe. In his new role, he's also acting as Managing Director for CEE Precision Medicine Group Affiliates.

Joanna Knozowska-Castens has joined Allegro as In-House Counsel in Poland.

Ramonca Lunca has joined ALTEX Romania as Legal Advisor.

Clementina Canel has joined Fepra International as Head of Legal in Romania.

Former Coca-Cola Operations Legal Counsel and Local Ethics Officer for the Turkey Region Ece Sarica has been appointed to IP Counsel, Europe at Coca-Cola GB in London.

Former Cerha Hempel Senior Partner Edith Hlawati has been appointed as the sole member of the Management Board of Oesterreichische Beteiligungs AG.

Hande Mutlu has joined Schneider Electric as Legal Counsel.

Almila Ozturk has joined Coca-Cola CCI as Senior Legal Counsel.

Former SupplierPlus Head of Group Legal Kirill Lezeiko returns to private practice by rejoining PwC Legal in Estonia.

Attila Bocsak has joined Wizz Air as a Senior Legal Manager in Budapest.

Deputy Director of JSC Ukrainian Railway’s Legal Affairs branch, Oleksandr Diuhovskyi, has moved to BGS Rail as Head of Legal Department.

Former Deputy Head of the Supervision and Enforcement Department-I of the Turkish Competition Authority, Ebru Ince, has returned to private practice to join ELIG Gurkaynak Attorneys-at-Law as Counsel.

Timur Khasanov-Batirov, former Head of Compliance for Russia & CIS at the Stada Group, has returned to private practice by joining Eterna Law as Partner and Head of the firm’s Compliance Practice.

Anna Grykin, former Head of Legal at InterRisk, has returned to private practice by setting up Grykin Law Firm in Poland. 

Former Rosgeologia Deputy Director General and Head of Legal, Mikhail Kazantsev, has joined Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners as Partner to launch the firm's Natural Resources Practice.

Athens-based Yota Kremmida was appointed to Director & Associate General Counsel, WW Channels & Ecosystem at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Turkey-based Gulbin Olgun Erbak was appointed as Legal Director for Turkey, Iran, and Israel at Johnson & Johnson.

Lenard Szabados has been appointed Assistant General Counsel and Regional Legal Counsel for Europe and the UK at Jabil. 

Christian Blatchford, General Counsel of Energo-Pro a.s., has become Chairman of the company’s two-member Supervisory Board.

Karalina Tsimashenka has been promoted to the position of Associate Legal Manager for CIS and CEE at EPAM Systems in Minsk.  

Turkish lawyer Mustafa Yazgan has been promoted to Senior Director and Regional Counsel at Stryker in Cork, Ireland.

Katja Tautscher has been appointed as Senior Vice President Legal and Compliance as well as Human Resources, at Borealis.

Maciej Hajewski has been appointed Regional Compliance Business Partner – Central and Eastern Europe at Willis Towers Watson in Warsaw, Poland.

Ekaterina Kokareva has been appointed Head of Regional Compliance Officers & Compliance Investigations at Beeline Russia.

Turkish lawyer Berna Gungenci Kilincoglu has been appointed Associate Director, Project Integrity at the EBRD in London.

Lukasz Machalski has been promoted to Deputy Director of Legal Department at the Polish Financial Supervision Authority.

Austrian lawyer Josef Holzschuster will be relocating from Budapest to Amsterdam, having been appointed Head of Legal, Markets DA at Philips, in which capacity he will lead the worldwide Legal Team for the Philips Domestic Appliances business, reporting to the General Counsel for DA, also located in Amsterdam.

Credit Europe Bank has made Turkish lawyer Omer Sirin its Head of Legal.

Sylvania Lighting has promoted Istvan Jozsi to Legal Manager for the EMEA region.

Luka Pavlekovic has been appointed as Head of Legal at INA Grupa in Croatia.

Turkish lawyer Gozde Saygi has been promoted to Assistant Vice President at DBRS Morningstar in Germany.

Robert Makowski has been promoted to Executive Director and Senior Counsel in Goldman Sachs’s Legal Department in Warsaw.

Mark Erdelyi has been promoted to the role of Chief Legal and Reputation Officer at Telenor Hungary.

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Latest Interviews

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In 2019, the In-house Counsel’s Section of the Budapest Bar Association was established to create a knowledge exchange platform for in-house lawyers. Tunde Hegyi, Corporate Senior Counsel at the MOL Group, who is also President of the In-house Counsel’s Section of the Budapest Bar Association, describes the initiative. 

In July, CEE Legal Matters reported that Vasile Tiple, the first in-house counsel and former General Counsel of UiPath, had left that role to become the company’s Head of Legal Automation. Tiple reports on the recent launch of the sArb - Simplified Arbitration Reference Facility software robot that was developed by UiPath for the Bucharest International Arbitration Court.

The “Financial Shield” programs are a part of the Polish Government-established “Anti-Crisis Shield” aid program, implemented by the Polish Development Fund. The programs, worth PLN 100 billion, aim to protect the labor market and to ensure companies’ financial liquidity in periods of severe economic disruption. Joanna Dynysiuk, Head of Legal, Anna Wawrzynczak, Office Director – Legal Office – Corporate, and Anna Blonska, Office Director – Legal Office – Investments, describe the programs and the legal work behind it.

The role of Internal investigations in an effective compliance program remains critical despite the significant impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting work-from-home set-ups. Altug Ozgun, Ethics & Compliance Director, explains how he runs them for Astellas Pharma.

John Giannakakis, General Counsel of the Andromeda Group, shares his insights on data protection and cybersecurity compliance issues – made all the more pressing in a COVID-19 context – and the best practices he has developed for assessing risks and nurturing a compliance culture.

Marianna Erdei, Country Legal Director at EY Hungary, shares the unique challenges of managing the legal matters of a professional services company – with a legal services arm.

The MET Group is targeting EUR 1 billion in M&A deals over the next few years. Dora Szebeni, Group Head of Legal M&A, explains what it means to oversee a series of high-value transactions.

Crenguta Catanea, Head of Legal at Romprest, draws from her in-house and consultancy experience to emphasize how important it is for GCs to train themselves to be taxation/fiscal-literate – and how they should develop that capability.

Christian Blatchford, General Counsel at Energo-Pro, explains how he goes about selecting external advisors – and what he wishes private practice lawyers would do differently.

On August 19, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised Montonio on raising EUR 2.5 million from Tera Ventures, as well as ffVC, Superangel, Practica, 365.fintech, Startup Wise Guys, and a number of business angels. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Rasmus Oisma, Director at Montonio Finance, to learn more about the matter.

On June 23, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that DGKV had advised Internet Corporated Networks on the sale of its hosting and domain business to Superhosting.bg. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Julian Borislavov, CEO and Co-Founder of ICN to learn more about the deal.

On June 1, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Ozbek law firm had advised Tarentum on Bogazici's Ventures investment of USD 1.4 million into Tarentum, a developer of machine learning and artificial intelligence technology solutions. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Bora Tokyay, Managing Director at Tarentum, to learn more about the matter.

On July 7, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners and Simmons & Simmons had advised ALRO on a seven-year USD 40 million corporate loan from the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank to Romanian aluminum producer ALRO, part of Vimetco Group, for its capital investment program. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Dragos Voncu, Legal Director at the Vimetco Group, to learn more about the matter.

On May 17, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Asters had advised Elementum Energy Ltd. on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Dnistrovska wind park in the Odessa region of Ukraine. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Victoria Pysmenna, Head of Legal at Elementum Energy to learn more about the deal.

On June 1, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Vasil Kisil and Partners has successfully represented commercial audio content provider PressCom and its clients in a lawsuit brought against them by the Ukrainian League of Copyright and Related Rights for lost profits allegedly arising from their use of PressCom sourced music in their restaurants. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Denys Kukharenko Co-Founder and CEO of PressCom to learn more about the matter.

On April 16, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that KPD Consulting had successfully represented the community of the Vozdvyzhenka neighborhood in Kyiv in a dispute with the developer of the Podol Grad Vintage residential complex. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Tatiana Maksymenko, Project Manager of Development of the Communal Reform at Vozdvyzhenka Street Committee, to learn more about the dispute.

On May 21, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ellex Valiunas had successfully represented Western Baltija Shipbuilding in its appeal of a public procurement award to a consortium of Finnish companies to provide a specialized vessel for the Lithuanian Armed Forces to eliminate pollution incidents and carry out rescue operations in the Baltic Sea. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Andrius Digrys, General Legal Counsel at Western Baltija Shipbuilding, to learn more about the deal.

On June 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Motieka & Audzevicius had advised Elektroniniu Pinigu Bite on obtaining an electronic money institution license. According to the firm, Elektroniniu Pinigu Bite “serves related companies – mutual lending and crowdfunding platforms FinBee, FinBee for Business, and their customers.” CEE In-House Matters spoke with Darius Noreika, CFA and CEO at Finbee, to learn more about the matter.

According to Kameliya Naydenova, Legal Counsel South Central Europe at Mondelez International in Bulgaria, the market has somewhat recovered from the blast wave of the COVID-19 crisis. Yet, many industries still need to overcome the change in demand and consumer habits, as well as certain difficulties brought on by the pandemic.

According to Branko Gabric, General Counsel at Air Serbia in Belgrade, we are living in historic times. He reports that the unprecedented pandemic, as well as the subsequent vaccination process, has greatly affected not only the aviation industry, but also the legal sector in his country.

According to Richard Bacek, General Counsel at Siemens Czechia, there are three significant legislative changes underway in the Czech Republic, specifically in the areas of public procurement, construction, and whistleblowing. Meanwhile, Bacek reports that business in the Czech Republic is still burdened by the dearth of what he calls "reasonable regulation" of the home office concept.

Maido Lillemets, Legal and Compliance Manager at BaltCap in Estonia, reports that the three-pillar pension system in his country has been shaken by the recent legislative move from a mandatory to a voluntary approach to contributions into pension funds. This change, Lillemets reports, has cost the pension funds EUR 850 million already and the eventual cost may exceed EUR 1 billion.

“The energy sector has been highly affected in the past few months, as global demand went down tremendously, which has a significant impact on the whole value chain," says Rytis Valunas, GC for oil and LNG terminals operator Klaipedos Nafta. "Many companies, especially from the oil industry, caught themselves in a situation they never dealt with previously." And, he says, "with the pandemic evolving further, the business environment is not likely going to improve soon.”

“As compliance practitioners, we had to go through a major shift recently with going online, which is quite a new thing in our sector,” says Timur Khasanov–Batirov, Head of Compliance, Russia & CIS at the STADA Group.

“The construction business suffered from COVID-19, but so far less than others," says Agnieszka Dziegielewska-Jonczyk, GC of Skanska Central Europe. "We may see the impact in the coming months. As we are fully dedicated to our customers, Skanska construction sites in Central Europe are open."

“The past few months were hard on us,” says Stathis Mihos, Pfizer’s Legal Director for Greece, Israel, Malta, and Cyprus.

"We have faced many difficulties and obstacles this year because of the coronavirus pandemic,” says Istvan Szatmary, Legal Director of Mediaworks Hungary.

Latest Contributions

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Vladislav Nikolov, General Counsel at EnduroSat in Sofia, Bulgaria, explains why creative problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication skills are necessary for GCs in today’s world.

Aleksandra Popovic, Director of Legal Affairs Serbia and Macedonia at Atlantic Grupa, describes the digitalization process at her company and its impact on the legal function.

Anton Petrov, Head International Legal Affairs and Deputy Director Legal at First Investment Bank in Sofia, Bulgaria, shares tips and tricks for managing relationships with external counsel.

Iwona Dorota Gajek, Country Head of Legal at BNP Paribas in Warsaw, Poland, sheds light on her approach to managing legal risks before a problem materializes.

Ioannis Voskos, Legal Director at Hellenic Petroleum’s Retail Legal Division in Greece, talks about the role of senior in-house counsels in a world where risks can no longer simply be “controlled.”

This past month, for the first time in over a year, I traveled across a border. I was both excited and nervous about it. I had to navigate a whirlwind of mixed messages. I was unsure of the conditions under which I could travel, what I needed to do to avoid a quarantine both when leaving and returning, and how likely it was that the rules might change over the three weeks I was planning to be away. 

Gligorije Brajkovic, Head of Legal Department at UniCredit Bank Serbia, reflects on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the role of the general counsel.

Paulina Sosnowicz, Director of the Legal Department at Centrum Uslug Informatycznych we Wroclawiu, uses GetBack in Poland as a case study of potential pitfalls to avoid in the compliance function.

Artur Chrzanowski, Head of Legal at Eiffage Polska, shares his thoughts on the development of soft skills critical for a General Counsel.