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Interview with Pascale Rahman, Vice President & General Counsel EMEA and India at Flex about her background and best practices.

Interview with Kamil Lewandowski, Head of Legal Poland – Asset Management at the CPI Property Group about his background and best practices.

Interview with Jaroslav Krupec, Country Legal Director at Veolia Slovakia about his background and best practices.

Interview with Irisz Szel, Legal Director of CEU about her background and best practices.

Interview with Judyta Sawicka, Head of Legal at Globalworth about her background and best practices.

Interview with Nadia Matusikova, General Counsel of RWS Moravia about her background and best practices.

Interview with Zlatko Stojcheski, Head of Corporate and Legal Affairs at A1 Makedonija about his background and best practices.

An interview with Milan Kajtez, Head of Legal at UniCredit Bank a.d. Banja Luka about his background and best practices.

An interview with Alice Radu, General Legal Counsel for Romania & Bulgaria at Bosch Group Romania about her background and best practices.

An interview with Andras Busch, General Counsel at Siemens Energy Hungary.

Juncu has been with Mondelez since 2018, when she joined it on secondment from Stratula & Asociatiii. In April 2019, she took on her current role.

Florina Homeghiu spent the first decade of her career in private practice before, in 2017 moving in-house with the Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company – Romania, initially as Senior Legal Counsel, then, in 2018, as Country Legal Manager and Compliance Officer. In May of 2020 she joined the Policolor-Orgachim group.

“The in-house advisory role enables a lawyer to go deeper into the mysteries of the banking business and experience the life of a transaction, not just observe it from a distance. I elected to pursue an in-house practice at the beginning of my career, and even though I was tempted to switch to private practice many times, I remain loyal to the in-house life.”

CEE Legal Matters first interviewed Ingo Steinwender in 2014, near the end of his first year as Group Head of Legal at CA Immobilien Anlagen AG, one of the largest real estate companies in Austria. Six years later, we check in.

CEELM: Can you walk us through your career leading you up to your current role?

Polish lawyer Anna Wawrzynczak spent 14 years in private practice with two highly-regarded international law firms before moving in-house with the Coast2Coast investment fund, where she was Regional Counsel CEE for almost three years. In October 2019 she accepted an offer to become the Legal Manager, Head of the Corporate Division at the Polish Development Fund in Warsaw. 

An interview with the Belgrade-based Senior Counsel CEE at Philip Morris International

An interview with the long-time Head of Legal at Eurostandard Bank in Macedonia

Building a successful in-house legal department involves selecting the right people for the right positions, deciding which lawyers to assign to which tasks, instructing and training them, convincing them to work as a cohesive unit rather than a bunch of individuals, and of course addressing and resolving conflicts and crises – all while fulfilling the critical function of legal advisor to the rest of the company. It’s not easy.

In addition to their traditional role guiding companies through legal and regulatory waters and managing disputes, General Counsels are increasingly called upon to provide input on strategic matters. An expert panel at the second annual Balkan GC Summit considered how this change in the nature of the General Counsel role is manifesting itself in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Hyprop Investments – South Africa’s largest listed specialist shopping center Real Estate Investment Trust – operates a portfolio of premium shopping centers in South Africa, other countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeastern Europe. Hyprop’s six current investments in SEE include two shopping malls in Zagreb and one each in Sofia, Podgorica, Belgrade, and Skopje. Hyprop is internally managed and headquartered in Johannesburg.

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 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 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 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.

On February 15, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii had advised Redport Capital and Mobexpert on the acquisition of a 44,000 square-meter land plot near Petrom City in Bucharest from OMV Petrom. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Cosmin Savu Cristescu, Managing Director at Redport, to learn more about the acquisition.

On January 14, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Norton Rose Fulbright had advised Play on a PLN 464 million financing from Banco Santander in the form of an export finance facility backed by the Korean Export Credit Agency. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Marek Chrusciel, Director, Treasury, Investor Relations and Corporate Finance at Play, to learn more about the deal.

On February 2, 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ketler & Partners, a member of Karanovic, had advised Invera Equity Partners on its acquisition of a 58.2% stake in Marles Hise Maribor. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Janez Skrubej, Partner at Invera Equity Partners, to learn more about the matter.

On December 6, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Motieka & Audzevicius had successfully defended Olympic Casino Group Baltija before the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Monika Jakume, Legal Counsel at Olympic Casino Group Baltija, to learn more about the matter.

On December 22, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Baker McKenzie had advised polish developers 7R and VRE on its EUR 101 million sale of 7R Park Beskid II on behalf of Vestas Investment Management. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Lukasz Jachna, Member of the Board and Chief Capital Markets Officer at 7R, to learn more about the deal.

On August 19, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Schoenherr had advised the MET Group on the acquisition of a 60-megawatt operational wind park in Suvorovo, Western Bulgaria, from Grupo Enhol. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Sandor Zorad, M&A Legal Counsel at the MET Group, to learn more about the deal. 

On November 12, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cerha Hempel had advised Energy Exchange Austria and its cooperation with CCP Austria on the restructuring of the clearing of spot market trading in electric power products on the Vienna Stock Exchange and on the transfer of the central counterparty function from EXAA to CCP Austria. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Jurgen Wahl, CEO at EXAA, to learn more about the matter.

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 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.

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 October 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Karanovic & Partners had advised the Innovation Fund of the Republic of Serbia (IF) on launching the Katapult start-up accelerator in Serbia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Mladjan Stojanovic, Program Manager at the Innovation Fund, to learn more about the matter.

On October 25, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Balicki Czekanski Gryglewski Lewczuk had advised Symfonia on its acquisition of Cloud Planet and Skanuj.to. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Wioletta Kaloska, General Counsel at Symfonia, to learn more about the matter.

On September 9, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Ibrahimovic & Co had advised Studen & Co Holding on an agreement with the Brcko District's Government to build a free business zone in the district. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Natasa Pucar, Corporate Communication Director at Studen & Co Holding, to learn more about the matter.

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 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.

Filip Rybolowik has joined mBank as a Legal Counsel in Poland.

Former GTC General Counsel in Poland Jakub Moson has joined Hoogells as a Partner and Head of Real Estate and Finance.

Felix Kernbichler has joined GoStudent as its Chief Legal Officer in January 2022.

Former Cakmak Partner Kemal Aksel has joined the International Finance Corporation - the private sector finance arm of the World Bank.

Hungarian lawyer Szilvia Daxauer has joined Mndipharma in Vienna as Head Of Legal / Central Eastern Europe & Russia Region.

Romanian lawyer Maria Bucur has joined global provider of integrated solutions for the alternative investment industry Alter Domus Netherlands as Legal Manager in the Private Equity and Corporates team.

Former Beeline Russia Head of Regional Compliance Officers & Compliance Investigations Ekaterina Kokareva has joined Ozon.ru as the company's Compliance Director in Moscow.

Serbian lawyer Aleksandra Simic has been appointed to the role of Head Ethics Risk and Compliance iCEE at Novartis, based in Switzerland.

Hande Karakulah has joined L'Oreal as Legal & Scientific Director in Turkey.

As reported by CEE Legal Matters on February 4, former Raiffeisen Bank Chief Legal Counsel Zita Tihanyi has joined Gardos Mosonyi Tomori Law Office as Partner.

Former Senior Associate at Kinstellar moves to Mol Group as Head of Mergers and Acquisitions Legal.

Bigen Kamcioglu has joined Katara Hospitality, the hospitality arm of the Qatar Sovereign Wealth Fund, as its Legal Manager.

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.