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Florina Homeghiu has joined Nordis Group as Head of Legal in Romania.

Andrius Digrys has joined BLRT Grupp AS as its General Counsel in Estonia.

Kyndryl has hired Bartosz Jablkowski as its Country General Counsel, Poland and Baltics in Warsaw.

Agnieszka Bienko-Michael has joined Eneris Group in Warsaw as its Legal Director in October 2021.

Former Air Serbia General Counsel Branko Gabric has joined BDK Advokati as Counsel and Head of the Compliance; Investigation Practice.

Former Pfeifer & Langen Poland Head of Legal Sylwia Stepniewska-Idzior has joined SMM Legal as a Partner and will head the firm’s German Desk.

Ilke Ozun Deniz has joined KPMG Turkiye as its Legal Affairs and Compliance Manager in Istanbul.

Andras Nemeth has joined Audax Renewables Hungary as a Senior Legal Counsel. 

Sergey Dmitriev has joined the Volga-Dnepr Group in Moscow as its Global Group General Counsel.

Maciej Kalinowski has Joined Spectris Energy as its Head of M&A Legal in Poland.

Former PwC Manager Stefan Dobric has joined Bambi as Legal Director in Belgrade.

MSC Cruises Compliance Officer Maria Dardai has joined Kinstellar as a Special Counsel.

Romanian lawyer Anela Musat has joined Blue Horizon as its General Counsel in Zurich, Switzerland.

Former United Nations Legal/Policy Officer in Geneva Oktawian Kuc has returned to Warsaw as Legal Counsel (M&A) at Medicover.

Catherine Karanikola has joined the YNV Group as Chief Legal Officer in Greece.

Former Amsterdam-based Park Now Group General Counsel, Chief Risk and Compliance Michael Czermak has joined Casinos Austria Managing Director Legal Affairs in Vienna.

Former CMS partner in Poland Joanna Mlot has joined Amazon as Corporate Counsel CEE.

Former Havel & Partners Partner Josef Adam joined CZG - Ceska Zbrojovka Group SE as the Group General Counsel.

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.

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.

Our Latest Issue

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 June 4, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Zavisin Semiz & Partneri and the Budapest office of Dentons advised GTC on the Serbian legal aspects of the deal. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Klara Bujdoso, Group Legal Counsel at GTC, to learn more about the sale.

On October 7, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kocian Solc Balastik had advised Czech technology accelerator AI Startup Incubator on its investment in US-Bangladeshi OpenRefactory. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Angelo Burgarello, Business Development Director at AI Startup Incubator, to learn more about the investment.

On October 18, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Lextal has advised Estonian financial technology group IuteCredit on its EUR 75 million senior secured corporate bonds issuance. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Kadi Raudsepp, Head of Legal & Compliance at IuteCredit, to learn more about the matter.

On November 3, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had advised ElevenEs on partnering with EIT InnoEnergy to build a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery factory in Subotica, Serbia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Nemanja Mikac, CEO at ElevenEs, to learn more about the matter.

On October 20, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar had advised 4i Capital Partners on its sale of Ukrainian online payment platform Portmone to Kazakhstan’s financial technology firm Kaspi.kz subsidiary Kaspi Pay. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Konstantin Vasiuk, Investment Manager at 4i Capital Partners, to learn more about the deal.

On November 9, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Legalio had advised IFP Erste Immobilienfonds fur Polen on the sale of Mercedes-Benz Buildingisition to Adventum. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Christoph Schmidt, Managing Limited Partner at IFP Erste Immobilienfonds fur Polen, to learn more about the sale.

On October 5, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Dentons had provided pro bono advice to the non-profit organization Spolocnost Jaromira Krejcara to protect the cultural heritage site of the former Machnac spa house in Trencianske Teplice, Slovakia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Martin Zaicek, Director at Jaromir Krejcar Society, to learn more about the matter.

On September 24, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had announced it entered into an agreement with Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats to provide ongoing pro bono legal support on contracts, scholarships, and copyright matters. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Caroline Roboh, Founder and CEO of Gypsy Roma Urban Balkan Beats (GRUBB), to learn more about the matter.

On August 30, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that LC LegalProof had advised Zipper Studios on the sale of its business to Romanian software services provider Fortech. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Radu Benga, Partner & Strategy Manager at Zipper Studios, to learn more about the sale.

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.