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Former ELIG Attorneys-at-law Associate Attorney Burak Yesilaltay has joined Google as Legal Counsel.

Lina Zolyne has joined the Sun Investment Group in Lithuania as Group General Counsel.

Former Emaar Turkey Director of Legal Affairs Huseyin Topuzoglu has joined Alliance Healthcare as its Legal Director in Istanbul.

Ana Banicevic has become Legal Counsel at the TMF Group in Belgrade.

Mirela Elena Cozma has joined OTP Bank Romania as its Corporate Governance Legal Advisor in Bucharest.

Fatih Ozdemir has joined Guzel Enerji Akaryakit in Istanbul as Legal Counsel.

Seraf Ozer has joined the legal team at IC Holding.

Pavel Kovarik has joined the European credit insurance group Credendo in the Czech Republic as Head of Legal and Compliance.

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.

Irina Vasilevska has joined Huawei as its General Counsel in Bulgaria.

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.

Zentiva has hired Pawel Borowski in the role of Head of General Legal in Prague from Takeda.

Teva Pharmaceuticals has hired Dinc Sanver in the role of General Counsel & Local Compliance Officer for Turkey & MEA region.

Berlin-based APX Axel Springer Porsche has appointed Serbian lawyer Sonja Radovic as its Head of Legal.

Anton Petrov has been promoted to the position of Deputy Director Legal at First Investment Bank in Bulgaria.

Former Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AM Regional Director Legal & Compliance CEER Martin Lazar has been promoted to Regional Director Legal & Compliance Central and Eastern Europe, Russia, Japan at the pharmaceutical company.

Alexey Statsenko, the Regional General Counsel for Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe & Central Asia at EY, has been promoted to equity partner at EY.

The Stakelogic Group has promoted Romanian lawyer Sorana Paduraru to Head of Legal in the Netherlands.

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

Anna Blonska has been promoted to Director of Legal (Investments) Office at the Polish Development Fund.

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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 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 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.

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 Integrites had successfully protected the interests of Lifelong Meditech, an Indian producer and exporter of medical equipment, in a safeguard investigation initiated by the Ukrainian producer Hemoplast concerning the import of syringes into Ukraine. CEEIHM spoke with Hamendra Srivastava, the CEO of Lifelong Meditech, to learn more about the investigation.

On September 28, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Clifford Chance had advised Sun Investment Group Polska on the sale of a 170 MW solar park portfolio currently under development to Ignitis Renewables. CEEIHM spoke with Maciej Kalinowski, General Legal Counsel at the Sun Investment Group, to learn more about the deal.

On October 12, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Triniti Jurex had advised Restaurant Group Fortas in a dispute with an unnamed insurance company. CEEIHM spoke with Valdas Merzvinskas, General Manager at the Restaurant Group Fortas, to learn more about this matter.

On July 9, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that ODI Law had advised Hranilnica Lon on a new issuance of shares. CEEIHM spoke with Imre Balogh, President of the Management Board at Hranilnica Lon, to learn more.

On September 14, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Sorainen had advised Sunly City on the implementation of a new business model for electricity consumers and on the development and drafting of customer contracts for solar energy solutions. CEEIHM spoke with Marek Sakk, Project Manager at Sunly City, to learn more.

On September 4, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Herbert Smith Freehills and Reff & Associates had advised NEPI Rockcastle on the sale of six companies owning four Class A office projects in Romania. CEEIHM talked to Robert Ionita, General Counsel of NEPI, to learn more.

“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.

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Elena Gabdulkhaeva, Legal & Corporate Policy Director at Uniper Russia, reflects on the potential risks of combining the legal function with those of compliance and regulatory affairs.

Adriana Minovic, Group Head of Data Privacy and DPO at the Betsson Group, talks about the tension between the demands of different regulatory bodies from a use-of-data perspective.

Przemyslaw Witas, General Counsel at CEDC International, is directly involved in keeping a production line running during the COVID-19 Crisis.

Mark Erdelyi, Legal Director of Telenor Hungary, reports on the wide range of hurdles he and his team have had to overcome since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Proper vetting of business partners from a trade sanctions perspective is critical for companies selling to or procuring goods or services from Turkey, Russia, and China, according to Catalin Olarescu, Group Head of Sanctions at LafargeHolcim. He describes his approach to ensuring trade sanctions compliance.

Going beyond a purely legal role has been necessary for in-house lawyers for many years – but Stanimir Vlahov, Associate Counsel Bulgaria at Mondelez International, explains why the current COVID-19 outbreak has made this need even more pressing.

Peter Ban, Head of Legal and Compliance at E.ON Hungary, reflects on the value for GCs of immersing themselves in their company’s business.

The General Counsel role has been significantly transformed during the last decade – from being a mere business advisor and business partner to becoming part of the business. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that there is still significant space for change in the years ahead.