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Chambers Europe 2014

Banking & Finance

What the team is known for Considerable experience of handling insolvency proceedings. Additional expertise in advising international financial institutions on multi-jurisdictional financing projects. Debt restructuring and securities advice also forms part of the practice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team was flexible and was able to find a solution that was acceptable to all the parties involved."

"It has an understanding of both our organisation and the banking industry."  

Work highlights Advised HSBC on a USD300 million bridge secured facility to two British companies.

Acted for UniCredit Bulbank on insolvency proceedings.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Vladimir Rangeloff leads many of the firm's key banking mandates. He recently advised IFC on a USD500 million project refinancing.

Clients praise Yonko Hristov for both his creative approach and his detailed knowledge of securities and international law. "He came up with a unique structure and was able to think outside of the box. I would really recommend him," enthuses one impressed source.

Up-and-coming Nikolay Vasilchev is described as "a very bright lawyer," who has sound knowledge of securities legislation. He was part of the team assisting the Privatisation Agency with the sale of state-owned shares in the Bulgarian Stock Exchange.

Significant clients Bulgarian Energy Holding, Tompkins Square Park, Piraeus Bank.

Competition/Antitrust

What the team is known for Undertakes major competition litigation before the Competition Commission and national courts. The practice also covers unfair competition, merger clearance and compliance. Energy and TMT remain particular strengths.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team's manner of working is very agreeable to us. It knows what we want and has been successful in all our filings. We are very happy with the results." 

Work highlights Represented bTV Media Group in an abuse of dominance case against Nova TV.

Assisted with the competition aspects of Telus's acquisition of CallPoint New Europe.

Notable practitioners

Several clients single out practice head Stefan Tzakov as a reliable choice for a range of competition-related matters. "He knows how the system works and what is needed to get us over the line," comments one source. Tzakov is also a leading energy lawyer.

Significant clients Kamenitza, Alstom Power, Maxima Grupe, ENERGO-PRO, Lidl. 

Corporate/Commercial

What the team is known for Advises on several major transactions in the energy and TMT sectors. Also noted for assisting the government with the privatisation of state monopolies, such as the Bulgarian Cargo Railway Operator.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team's advice has been great and has got us where we want to be very quickly; it is also proactive at driving matters forward."

"The firm has made great moves over the past two to three years; we definitely see it more in the market."

"The lawyers provide typically sensible advice and know their stuff."

What's new? ENERGO-PRO and Telus were secured as new clients.  

Work highlights Acted for CVC Capital Partners on the sale of its CEE brewery business to Molson Coors for EUR2.65 billion.

Advised ENERGO-PRO on the acquisition of hydropower plants.

Notable practitioners  

Eminent practitioner Yavor Kambourov "is very good at setting the strategy and always knows what is coming," comment clients. He is also noted for his abilities in court.

Managing partner Vladimir Rangeloff is widely respected in the market and is described as an "efficient and practical deal execution lawyer." He also heads the corporate department.

Energy lawyer Stefan Tzakov is admired for his expertise across a variety of fields, including corporate and competition law. He acted for E.ON on the sale of its Bulgarian business to ENERGO-PRO for EUR133 million.

Mitko Karushkov is known for his expertise in IP and TMT, but also acts as a contact for corporate clients. Sources commend his client relationship skills, noting that he is both attentive and responsive. He leads a number of the firm's key telecoms mandates.

Significant clients ADM Capital, E.ON Bulgaria, Bulgarian Cargo Rail Operator.

 
 

Dispute Resolution

What the team is known for Strength in banking litigation, representing several long-standing clients from this sector. Further renowned for its handling of insolvency proceedings. Also highly regarded for tax litigation and commercial arbitration. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The lawyers here are capable of diving into particularly entangled situations, and of using the law to craft favourable solutions."

"The team is flexible, well prepared and focused on winning." 

What's new? Discovery Communications Europe, Landmark Property Bulgaria and Radisson Blu Grand are new clients.

Work highlights Acted for Bulgarian Football Union before the Sports Arbitration Court on various cases.

Represented Landmark Property Bulgaria in arbitration proceedings against Sunfoods.

Notable practitioners  

Yavor Kambourov is a senior figure with considerable contentious experience. He recently assisted Stemcor Holdings with a USD10 million claim against Kremikovtzi.

Practice head Emil Emanuilov garners praise for both his courtroom presence and his negotiation skills. "He quickly understands the case and is able to advise immediately," comments one client.

Clients praise Todor Todorov for his burgeoning tax litigation practice. Interviewees commend his thorough grasp of the taxation arena.

Energy expert Stefan Tzakov comes highly recommended for his ability to undertake litigation before the competition authorities. "He's able to explain complicated matters simply," states an observer.

Employment

What the team is known for Handles the ongoing employment needs of many international clients operating in Bulgaria. Advises on personal data protection, discrimination and litigation. Also experienced in assisting with immigration and visa issues affecting non-EU citizens working in Bulgaria.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team found the right approach and dealt with complicated situations in an advantageous way." 

"It explains things clearly, works quickly and ensures that our employment policies are impeccable."

What's new? Telus, Diamond Resorts and Crédit Agricole joined the client list.

Work highlights Advised Kaufland on the legal implications of amendments to temporary staffing legislation.

Advised Diamond Resorts on the employment law aspects of its entry into the Bulgarian market.

Notable practitioners  

Clients say it is a pleasure to work with Andrey Aleksandrov, noting that he is "proficient in this area" and possesses a "thorough knowledge of employment matters." One adds: "He has found just the right approach for us and has dealt with otherwise complicated situations in an advantageous manner." 

Significant clients Lidl, Lavazza, Electrosphera, Kamenitza, Nu Boyana. 

Energy and Natural Resources

What the team is known for Highly involved energy practice that acts on major corporate, regulatory and contentious matters. Also assists with infrastructure projects and energy trading. Further expertise in advising electricity distribution companies.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team gives well-structured advice and knows how to deal with foreign clients." 

Work highlights Advised ENERGO-PRO on the acquisition of hydropower plants from a competitor.

Advised BP on the Bulgarian aspects of the Shah Deniz 2 project.

Notable practitioners  

Leading energy lawyer Stefan Tzakov impresses with his up-to-date knowledge of sector developments. "He was really on top of everything," comments a client. Tzakov's practice also includes competition law advice.

Up-and-coming Irena Petkova is respected by peers and wins commendations from clients for her efficiency: "She did not waste time and was highly focused on completing the project."

Significant clients Bulgarian Energy Holding, E.ON Bulgaria, CEZ, GDF SUEZ, RWE.

Intellectual Property

What the team is known for Particularly strong in the media sector, where the team provides ongoing IP advice to film and TV production companies. Also handles M&A-related IP matters and manages clients' trade mark portfolios. IP infringement litigation is another strength.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team gets stuck into difficult situations and uses the law to our best advantage to find the most favourable solutions." 

"The team is extremely knowledgeable about IPRs both in Bulgaria and across Europe."

What's new? Received instructions from new clients Bulgarian Football Union, Discovery Communications Europe and Alen Mak.

Work highlights Advised Kamenitza on its trade mark and industrial design portfolios including intra-group cross-border licensing issues stemming from its acquisition by Molson Coors.

Represented bTV Media Group in a case against the collecting society Musicautor.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Margarita Guigova is described as "deeply perceptive" and is appreciated for her adaptability. "From the way she handled our case, it is clear that she has excellent knowledge of both Bulgarian and EU IP legislation," reports one satisfied client.

Significant clients FKP Sojuzplodoimport, Global Group, Maxinvest Group, Turk Telecom.

Real Estate

What the team is known for Particularly strong in construction arbitration and litigation as well as FIDIC drafting. The team also advises on financing, transactions, leasing and planning regulations. Other experience includes assisting with infrastructure and industrial development projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

"The team always does its best to protect my interests." 

Work highlights Advised Kaufland on the development of new supermarkets as part of the expansion of its Bulgarian operations.

Acted for IC Ictas Insaat Sanayi Ve Ticaret on the construction of new international passenger terminals at Varna and Burgas airports.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Atanas Shopov receives compliments for his flexibility and excellent presentation skills. "He was very good at explaining the legal requirements to the client," states one interviewee. Shopov recently advised Energo-Pro Bulgaria on its acquisition of hydro-power plants.

Significant clients International Finance Corporation, Energo-Pro Bulgaria, Nordea Bank, Witte Automotive, Bulgarian Energy Holding.

Tax

What the team is known for Recently acted on several important tax cases before the Supreme Administrative Court and the European Court of Justice. Possesses significant strength in tax litigation matters. Also undertakes advisory work concerning international tax treaties, double taxation avoidance, withholding tax and VAT.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team provides us with a range of different options and clear advice on which is the best one for us." 

"For tax work, the firm is excellent."  

Work highlights Represented Crédit Agricole in litigation concerning the application of double taxation avoidance agreements.

Represented UniCredit Leasing before the European Court of Human Rights. The case pertained to the right to recover tax credits under VAT.

Notable practitioners  

According to clients, Todor Todorov excels at tax litigation. "He is very proactive; he is always one step ahead," noted one interviewee. Todorov is also recommended for his detailed knowledge of VAT. 

Significant clients Lidl, Iberdrola Inmobiliaria, Witte Automotive, Salamander Group Holding, Runahead. 

TMT

What the team is known for Advises TMT clients on a variety of matters, including M&A, regulatory issues and database protection. Possesses additional expertise in media law and rebranding. Strong litigation department represents clients before industry regulators.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"We value the team's availability and its solid approach to problem solving."

Work highlights Acted for Telus International on its acquisition of CallPoint New Europe.

Advised Kodak on the sale of Cinelabs in CEE.

Notable practitioners  

Practice head Mitko Karushkov is described as being efficient and easy to deal with. "He is straight to the point and clear in his explanations; I would not go anywhere else," reports one delighted client.

Significant clients Türk Telekom, Propeople, HUTS JWT, BalkanSat, National Media & Infocommunications Authority of Hungary.