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Mihaela Racles has joined Profi Rom Food as the company's Legal Compliance Director in Romania.

Gunel Rzayeva has joined VavaCars as Senior Legal Counsel in Istanbul.

Former Vaillant Group Austria Head of Legal and Compliance Manager Maria Lepuschitz has joined the INNIO Group as Regional General Counsel for EMEA.

Former Chief Legal Counsel and Head of Contracts at Havelsan Yavuz Selim Gunay has returned to private practice to launch Gunay & Erdogan Attorneys-at-Law (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on January 14, 2021).

Former Clifford Chance Senior Associate Marian Husar has joined J&T Finance Group as its Head of Legal.

Ayca Aydin Suzer has joined TEB Cetelem as Head of Legal in Turkey.

Former CMS lawyer Andreea-Paula Armanu has joined Bitdefender as a legal advisor in Romania.

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.

Yigit Issever has joined Bayer as Legal Counsel and Pharmaceuticals and Radiology Business Partner in Istanbul.

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.

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.

Oana Todeila has been appointed to the role of Head of Legal & Compliance for APS Recovery in Romania.

Ivana Fara has been promoted to the role of Head of Legal Team for Tesco Stores CR in the Czech Republic.

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.

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

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 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.

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

Maria Dardai, Compliance Officer at MSC Cruises, looks at the upcoming Directive on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law.

Everyone has gone through, or more likely, still is going through particularly difficult times. That includes us, in-house lawyers, who have a perhaps more intimate relationship with their employers than others do. Thankfully, according to the more professional part of the Internet, quite a few of us managed to become better versions of ourselves.

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.