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Bryan Wilson has stepped down from his firm to join Dual Asset as Head of CEE.

Joanna Knozowska-Castens has joined Brainly in Poland as Legal Counsel.

Former Dentons Managing Counsel Arkadiusz Wierzbicki has joined Polenergia in Warsaw as the company's Group Head of Legal & General Counsel.

Former Enel Romania Head of Legal has joined Enel Green Power as its Head of Legal in Bucharest.

Former Alpha Bank Chief Legal and Governance Officer Nikos Salakas has re-joined Koutalidis as a Partner and Head of the firm's Banking and Finance practice.

Former Teva General Counsel & Local Compliance Office for Turkey & MEA Dinc Sanver has joined Pearson as its Legal Director Turkey & Middle East.

Miray Turkmen has joined pharmaceutical company Organon as its Legal & Compliance Lead, Turkey & South Africa.

Former Head of Legal Automation at UiPath Vasile Tiple has launched Goodlegal – a company aiming to "make legal easy, accessible, and actionable to anyone through freely available technology."

Former SkopSter Senior Legal Counsel Iva Djugumanova has joined ODI Law’s Skopje office as Senior Associate and Head of the Corporate practice.

Jan Kubicek has joined British American Tobacco in the Czech Republic as Senior Legal Counsel.

Former Ata Holding Legal Counsel Yasemin Erden has returned to private practice as a Partner at Turunc.

Former KPMG Legal Romania Partner and Head of Technology, IP, and Data Privacy Cristiana Fernbach has joined Amber as General Counsel. 

Former Mediaworks Hungary General Counsel Istvan Szatmary has returned to private practice as a Partner.

Turkish lawyer Sinem Ugur has joined Metro AG in Dusseldorf as the company's Head of Competition & Compliance.

Former Senior Legal Counsel for Grundfos in Hungary as joined Citco France in the same role. 

Former Utenos Trikotazas Chief Commercial Officer Marijus Krisciunas has joined TGS Baltic as a Partner.

Former Bank Pekao Director of the Office of Strategic Projects Adam Puchalski has joined Rymarz Zdort as a Counsel in the firm's regulatory practice. He is joined by Lukasz Karasek who joined the firm as a Senior Associate.

Former Soltysinski Kawecki & Szlezak Partner Andrzej Motyka has joined Kulczyk Investments S.A. in Warsaw as the company's Lead Counsel, M&A.

Mondelez International has appointed Jelena Djurovic to Counsel M&A & Intercompany.

Japan Tobacco International Turkey has appointed Ismir-based Berrak Ozen Uzum to the role of Legal Director.

Andras Gonczy was appointed to Director of Legal at Granit Polus in Hungary.

Karolis Gudas has been promoted to Deputy Head of Legal Department, focusing on disputes and claims, at Rail Baltica. in Lithuania.

Tomasz Krajewski has been appointed to Head of Legal - Consumer Bank at Citi Bank in Poland.

Russian Lawyer Petr Ivantsov was appointed to Vice President at Beeline Russia.

KN has appointed Rytis Valunas to Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs and CAO at KN in Lithuania.

Turkish lawyer Hilal Utku was appointed Deputy General Counsel Europe at L’Oreal in France.

BP has appointed Former Regulatory & Government Affairs Manager Poland and Legal Counsel Michal Obiegala to the role of Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications and Legal Counsel in Poland.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company has appointed Raluca Alexandru as Legal Director in Romania.

Former General Counsel Russia / Eastern Europe / Central Asia for Siemens Energy Dias Asanov has been appointed to Chief Executive Officer of Siemens Kazakhstan.

Greece-based Irini Kefalogianni was appointed to Head of Competition Law & Sustainability at Coca-Cola HBC Group.

Czech lawyer Lukas Zapletal has been appointed to the role of Legal Operations Director, Bottling Investments Group at the Coca-Cola Company in Singapore.

Hungary-based GC Anita Gyoni-Maksa was appointed to Country Managing Director at ABB.

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.

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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 April 29, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that PwC Legal had advised Benefit Systems on its acquisition of 75% of the shares and agreement on the optional acquisition of 25% of shares in CEE In-House Matters spoke with Iwona Rykaczewska-Kuderska, Head of Legal at Benefit Systems, to learn more about the acquisition.

On May 25, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Balicki Czekanski Gryglewski Lewczuk had advised Symfonia on its acquisition of a majority stake in HRtec. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Wioletta Kaloska, General Counsel at Symfonia, to learn more about the acquisition.

On May 19, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that CMS had advised Portugal's MGI Capital on the sale of Bezmer Energy to Philicon-97. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Pedro Lameira, CFO at MGI Capital, to learn more about the sale.

On January 18, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners had advised Dronamics Capital on its IPO and listing on the Beam market of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO at Dronamics Capital to learn more about the matter.

On April 11, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Jankovic Popovic Mitic had advised Gomex and the Seaf South Balkan Fund on the sale of Gomex to Ceecat Capital. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Goran Kovacevic, General Director at Gomex, to learn more about the sale.

On December 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners had advised TBI Bank on "the first-ever regulatory T2 bond issuance on the Bulgarian public capital markets. CEEIHM spoke with TBI Bank Senior Vice President Lukas Tursa to learn more about the issuance.

On February 10, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Wiercinski Kwiecinski Baehr had advised Innova Capital Group's Innova 6 fund on its investment in three dental services companies: DPC, Pomorska Inicjatywa Medyczna, and Medicadent Stomatologia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Tobiasz Jankowski, Managing Director at Innova Capital Group to learn more about the matter.

On February 21, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Savoric & Partners had advised Studenac on its acquisition of Pemo from founder Lovorko Milosevic. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Michal Senczuk, CEO of Studenac, to learn more about the acquisition.

On February 25, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Clifford Chance had advised Commerz Real on its sale of Charles Square Center to a closed-end European real estate fund represented by KGAL Investment Management. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Dirk Schilo, Senior Legal Counsel at Commerz Real to learn more about the deal.

According to Dinc Sanver, General Counsel & Local Compliance Officer Turkey & MEA at Teva, the pandemic has accelerated a digital evolution of the legal function, giving rise to a whole new set of challenges.

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.

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.