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Legal Services

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Corporate and Commercial law

Our corporate practice is at the heart of our firm’s activities. Our corporate lawyers are involved in many of our industry sector groups where they are able to combine detailed industry knowledge with their core legal skills. Examples of these industries include construction and engineering; telecommunications; media and technology /TMT/; financial institutions; energy and natural resources; chemicals; retail; transport.

Our extensive expertise enables us to meet the highest needs and requirements of foreign and local investors starting to do business in Bulgaria. We have assisted both foreign and local clients in the establishing and management of companies in Bulgaria.

Our lawyers provide high quality legal advice and services related to:

• Incorporation of companies and other corporate structures

• Establishing of subsidiaries, branch offices or joint ventures

• All necessary registrations with competent authorities

• Corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions

• Transfers of shares

• Transfers of assets and commercial enterprises

• Outsourcing

• Acting as Corporate Counsel – negotiations, drafting and reviewing contracts

• Acting as Company Secretary

• Day-by-day business law advice related to all activities of our clients

• Management contracts

• Specialist legal services with respect to all types of commercial transactions and contracts

• Acting as Business advisor

Mergers & Acquisitions work represents a significant part of our activities. Our corporate lawyers are leaders in M&A, specializing in large, complex cross-border transactions.

Joint ventures are important to business. They have become an important strategic option for many companies, particularly those operating internationally. These transactions are a significant part of our corporate practice – for a wide range of clients and in a wide range of industry sectors. They include full-scale mergers of existing businesses; infrastructure project joint ventures; joint ventures as a way of entry into emerging markets.

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Real Estate and Construction

“ILIEV AND PARTNERS” provides high quality legal services and advice in the area of real estate and construction. We strive to deliver business oriented legal advice on all legal aspects of real estate investments under the Bulgarian law. Our team of real estate lawyers has extensive experience in advising on various types of real estate investment projects.

We provide the following legal services in the area of real estate investment process :

• Real Estate Legal Due Diligence regarding the targeted property;

• Legal assistance in conducting negotiations with counter parties;

• Tax planning related to real estate investment structuring;

• Legal structuring of real estate transactions;

• In case of acquisition of a real property or rights over real property (asset acquisition):

– drafting, preparation and reviewing of project documentation;
– legal advice on preliminary sale-purchase contracts;
– advising on all necessary documents needed for the successful completion of the transaction;
– drafting of and advising on the notary deed;
– legal consulting on the required procedures which have to be executed after the notary deed (procedures before Registration Agency, National Revenue Agency and other state and municipal authorities);

• In case of acquisition of a company holding the asset:

– legal due diligence regarding the company;
– drafting of and advising on share transfer agreements;
– drafting of and advising on amendments to the existing company documents (articles of incorporation, management contracts, etc.);

• Legal structuring of project finance;

• Negotiations with financial institutions;

• Legal structuring of property management (drafting of contracts for maintenance and management, lease contracts, etc.)

We also deliver the following legal services in the area of construction process :

• Legal advising on possible ways for optimising the city planning and zoning regarding the targeted real property;

• Legal assistance through the whole process of creating and approval of a detailed city plan for the targeted real property;

• Legal consulting and assistance related to amendments to the existing detailed city plan for the targeted real property;

• Legal assistance through the whole process of approval of the project design by the municipal authorities;

• Legal assistance related to applying for and obtaining of a construction permit;

• Drafting/reviewing of and advising on the contracts between the investor and the other parties in the construction process – construction company, consultant, construction supervisor, technical manager and supplier of machinery and equipment;

• Legal assistance in relation to the required acts and protocols under the construction legislation;

• Legal assistance in obtaining of permission for utilization of the building.

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Energy and Natural Resources

Our legal practice in the energy sector and natural resources industries is wide ranging and related to the diverse nature and the modern development of these spheres. Our lawyers have the expertise to deliver full scope legal assistance to clients interested in investing in the energy sector and natural resources in Bulgaria. We advise on the effective structuring, development, financing and implementation of a variety of energy and utilities projects. We help our clients with all legal aspects of energy project management from the planning stage through to financial close and beyond to encourage future expansions and restructurings.

Iliev & Partners Law Firm has successful consulting experience in the energy sector on high profile projects and has advised a number of energy companies.

Our energy related legal services on energy projects are concentrated on the following issues:

• Legal analysis of various aspects of the regulatory regime of the energy sector and advising on regulatory changes;

• Advice on specific energy related legal issues such as pricing regime, licensing regime, concession regime and procedures, site development, environmental regulations, protection of competition, public procurement, consumer protection, project financing;

• Corporate, commercial, real estate and tax aspects associated with each specific investment in the energy sector;

• Legal structuring of the investment process;

• Legal structuring and implementation of joint venture projects;

• Drafting of the legal aspects of the investment strategies;

• Legal advice on the preparation of the necessary tender documentation;

• Drafting legal due diligence reports related to energy projects;

• Legal assistance in negotiations;

• Drafting agreements for sale of electric energy, heat energy, petrol, gas, biofuels;

• Legal advice on energy projects related to renewable energy sources;

• Legal advice on energy projects related to production and trade in biofuels.

The professional legal expertise of Iliev & Partners Law Firm was highly recognized by the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy Resources through its InvestBulgaria Agency which assigned to the lawyers of Iliev & Partners Law Firm the legal analysis of the regulatory regime of the Energy sector in Bulgaria. The result of the legal work was published in the official Legal Guide issued by InvestBulgaria Agency.

Iliev & Partners Law Firm has also acted as legal counsel to companies investing and operating in the sphere of mining, oil, biofuels, gas and water sectors.

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Capital Markets

The team of experienced lawyers of Iliev & Partners Law Firm provides to issuers, investment banks, investment firms and management companies assistance in all major fields of capital and money markets. At Iliev & Partners Law Firm we do understand that in a global economy the ability to structure modern and effective financing solutions is crucial, but can bring the market players into complex and difficult issues.

Our capital markets practice provides comprehensive legal advice on the following subjects:

• Regulated markets, stock exchanges, MTFs;

• Regulatory and supervisory regimes and requirements, requirements for disclosure of information;

• Transactions in financial instruments:

– transactions in securities
– transactions in money-market instruments /treasury bills, certificates of deposit, commercial papers
– transactions in derivative financial instruments /options, futures, swaps, forward rate agreements, financial contracts for differences/

• Clearing and settlement systems;

• Initial and secondary public offerings of securities;

• Public offerings of bonds, public offerings of mortgage bonds;

• Incorporation, regulatory regimes and licensing of investment firms, management companies and investment banks;

• Organization and management of collective investment undertakings /UCITS/;

• Incorporation, regulatory regimes, licensing and management of REITs;

• Tax regulations regarding transactions in financial instruments;

• Tax regulations regarding investment firms, management companies, UCITS`s and REITs;

• Relevant regulations of the EU Law.

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Financial Institutions and Banking Law

Our finance practice covers the full range of international and domestic finance activities with particular emphasis on structured products, securitisation, securities, derivatives, banking, restructuring, asset finance, project finance, and financial services.

Iliev & Partners Law Firm provides financial advice and legal services to financial institutions, commercial and industrial clients, investors, lenders, borrowers.

Our finance lawyers deliver high quality advice related to:

• Day-by-day banking transactions and operations

• Investment projects

• Asset finance

• Project finance

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Tax and Customs Law

The lawyers of Iliev & Partners Law Firm are leading experts in the field of tax and customs law. Our extensive experience enables us to deliver an integrated service including:

• Company tax planning

• Joint venture tax planning

• M&A tax planning

• Corporate reorganizations and restructuring

• All forms of structured and asset finance

• International tax consultancy, including EU taxation

• Legal advice on the interpretation and application of avoidance of double taxation treaties

• Corporate taxation

• Real estate tax

• VAT and excises

• Customs legal advice

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Public and Administrative Law

Many major sectors of economy require specialist legal knowledge in relation to the relevant public and administrative legal aspects of specific legal regulatory mechanisms. Public-Private Partnerships increase in number and spread their influence with respect to different business areas. That’s why it is very important to know the legal requirements upon which the State and the Municipality can act as partners in various forms of business activities, projects and structures.

The lawyers of Iliev & Partners Law Firm deliver advice in the following public and administrative law areas:

• Practice of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Bulgaria;

• Regulatory framework, legal aspects and regime of the state and municipal property;

• Public and administrative law aspects of different industry sectors – energy and utilities, renewable energy sources, water, natural resources, public procurement, concessions, capital markets, financial services, etc.;

• Representation before state and municipal authorities;

• Legal assistance upon issuing administrative acts – licenses, permits, protocols, certificates;

• Appealing of administrative acts – administrative and court phase.

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Public Procurement

Iliev & Partners Law Firm has a strong legal practice related to public procurement. The sphere of public procurement is one of the most intensively developing spheres in the economic system and this is the reason for the complete harmonization of the national public procurement rules with the relevant EU law provisions.Our lawyers deliver professional legal advice to all participants in the procedures of public procurement.

Our legal services in this area include:

• Аnalysing the need to apply the public procurement rules to a specific business transaction;

• Drafting all necessary documents in relation to public procurement procedures;

• Drafting public procurement bids;

• Drafting public procurement contracts;

• Representation of clients in relation to public procurement procedures;

• Protection of clients’ interests in connection with appeals of decisions related to public procurement procedures;

• Legal advice on the performance of the public procurement contracts.

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Competition Law

Iliev & Partners Law Firm has developed a strong competition practice thus providing the following legal services and advice related to:

• EU and national competition rules;

• Practice of the Commission on Protection of Competition;

• Representation before the Commission on Protection of Competition on competition law issues;

• Agreements, decisions and agreed practice violating the competition rules;

• Permissions of unified general terms;

• Abuse of dominant position;

• Cases of concentration;

• Obligatory notifications related to concentration and mergers;

• Merger control;

• Joint ventures;

• Unfair competition and unfair trade practices;

• Unfair attraction of clients and unfair advertising practices;

• Consequences resulting from violation of the legal rules;

• Clearance of agreements, decisions, agreed practice, strategic alliances and other co-operative arrangements;

• Clearance of concentrations;

• Horizontal and vertical restraints on trade;

• Prosecution of competition violations;

• Competition issues related to distributorship, agency, and marketing contracts;

• Development of marketing strategies in accordance with competition rules;

• Setting up of distribution networks;

• Competition issues related to franchising and licensing contracts;

• Competition law aspects of public procurement, consumer protection, data protection, telecommunications, energy and etc.

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Consumer Protection Law

Iliev & Partners Law Firm delivers legal assistance to producers, importers, distributors, merchants of products and services as well as to final comsumers in relation to the legal framework of consumer protection and controlling powers of state authorities. The legal services provided by Iliev & Partners Law Firm are related to the following matters:

• EU legislation in the sphere of consumer protection;

• Practice of the Commission on Consumers Protection;

• Representation before the Commission on Consumers Protection;

• Information that merchants have to provide to consumers in relation to characteristics and specifics of products/services, price, quantity, method of payment, risks and conditions connected to use, terms and conditions of guarantees, expiry date;

• Rules related to labelling;

• Instructions for use of specific products;

• Indication of prices of products and services;

• Protection against misleading, unfair or forbidden comparative advertisement;

• Trade practices and methods of sale;

• Safety and quality of products and services;

• Guarantees on products;

• Reclamations;

• Liabilities and compensations for damages caused by products with defects – terms and procedures;

• Unfair terms and conditions in consumer contracts;

• Legal regime of consumer protection organizations and associations;

• Conciliation commissions;

• Controlling mechanisms and powers of state authorities.

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Environmental Law

Iliev & Partners Law Firm has successfully developed its environmental law practice thus focusing on environmental aspects of clients’ businesses. Our team of lawyers brings real expertise, professional understanding and entrepreneurial thinking to this complex and rapidly changing area of law. We have built up legal experience in all aspects of environmental work. Some of the industry sectors where we are specialised in are real estate and construction, planning and land use, industrial development, energy projects, public procurement, mining law, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, roads and infrastructure, waste management and many other corporate activities. It is now clear that whatever your industry, you need to take into consideration the environmental implications of every aspect of it. Familiarity with environmental changes and the law governing them is very important to the success of every business.

Our legal services in relation to environmental law include the following aspects:

• EU and national legal framework of environmental protection;

• Legal advice on environmental issues within corporate transactions;

• Environmental law aspects of different industry sectors;

• Environmental aspects of construction, infrastructure and energy projects;

• Legal advice on structuring and restructuring industrial and/or chemical projects;

• Legal advice in relation to finding practical and commercial solutions to planning needs;

• Advice on all waste management issues;

• Representation before state regulators and other state authorities;

• Legal assistance in licensing regimes and procedures related to the relevant permissions;

• Helping clients reduce the risks of environmental liability arising in specific projects; transactions and investments;

• Environmental liability aspects related to caused environmental damages;

• Product liability issues;

• Environmental legal issues in relation to compensations, guarantees, insurance;

• Healthy and safe working conditions;

• Drafting contracts, including clauses related to environmental risks;

• Legal due diligence related to environmental matters.

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Foreign Investment

The lawyers of Iliev & Partners Law Firm provide complex and integrated advisory services in drafting and carrying out foreign investment projects. The vision about our role in the investment process is to be a long-term consultant. Our aim is to provide consistently high quality advice that combines legal expertise, and an understanding of the commercial environment in which our clients operate. We develop strong relations of trust with our clients in all types of investment stages.

Our consultancy services are related to:

• Initial background information on all relevant legal, political and economic aspects affecting the client’s investment

• Choosing the proper legal and tax structure

• Incorporation of companies and other corporate structures

• Establishing of subsidiaries, branch offices or joint ventures

• All necessary registrations with court and other competent authorities

• Corporate reorganizations, mergers and acquisitions

• Legal due diligence

• Negotiations with counter-parties

• Drafting project documentation

• Acting as Corporate Counsel

• Acting as Company Secretary

• Acting as Business advisor

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Law of Obligations

The lawyers of Iliev & Partners Law Firm assist and advise our clients on the following legal issues:

• Drafting project documentation related to all types of contracts

• Legal due diligence on performance of contracts

• Transfers of duties

• Transfers of rights

• Security interests and guaranties – mortgages, pawns etc.

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Employment and Social Security Law

The employment and social security practice of Iliev & Partners Law Firm advises clients on domestic, international and transnational issues, with a significant emphasis on the interpretation and application of EU legislation in the labour law field.

We provide complex and integrated advice to corporate employers on the following issues:

• Employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions

• Drafting projects of employment agreements

• Day-by-day labour law advice to employers

• Social security schemes

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Intellectual Property Law

Iliev & Partners Law Firm has developed a strong IP practice and has extensive experience in that field. Our IP team offer integrated and business oriented solutions that allow our clients exploit to the greatest extent the potential of their patents, trademarks, trade names, industrial designs, appellations of origin, distinctive signs and copyrights.

We provide the following IP services:

• IP due diligence

• Research and monitoring of the use of IP objects

• Copyright advice

• Drafting project documentation and drafting contracts related to IP

• Advice on effective IP management

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Recovery of Receivables

1. COURT (LEGAL) RECOVERY OF RECEIVABLES:

1.1. Procedures and proceedings:

• Interim proceedings for the purpose of enforcing interim measures (distraint on movables, receivables and the bank accounts of the debtor; distraints on real estate properties belonging to the debtor, other appropriate measures approved by the court of justice) and procurement of freezing order;

• Procedures for the appopriate enforcement of the interim measures by the bailiff on the grounds of the freezing order;

• Legal protection and legal representation in court procedures, initiated on the grounds of a private claim against the ruling of the court concerning the provision established for the claim;

• Legal protection and legal representation during the formation and conduction of claim proceedings before the district-, regional- and appelative courts on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria in all stages of the claim proceedings, as well as before the Supreme Court of Cassation, and before all arbitration courts;

• Legal protection and legal representation in proceedings related to the issuance and procurement of a writ of execution by the respective competent court;

• Legal protection and legal representation in the course of the initiation and leading executive proceedings as per art. 410 and art. 417 of the Civil Procedure Act and procurement of a writ of executive order and writ of execution;

• In case of the executive order is objected by the debtor within the legal two-week term – legal protection and legal representation of the creditor in the course of the fact-finding claim, supported by the respective written evidence and leading the proceedings through all legal instances;

• Legal protection and legal representation in executive proceedings before the respective bailiff – initiation and leading enforcement proceedings against the debtor; research of the debtor’s property; placing distraint on bank accounts, work remunerations, distraint on share in a commercial company; inventories, evaluations and delivery of movables for the purpose for safekeeping; public sale of movables; distraint on the debtor’s real estate properties; inventory and public sale of real estate properties; and others). Contacts, cooperation and interaction with the most successful bailiffs on the territory of the Republic of Bulgaria.

1.2. Your advantages and gains:

• You can trust our stable legal experience, strong professional skills, reliable resources and specialized know-how;

• The advantages gained through a partial or full outsourcing of the out-of-court recovery of your receivables – we save you the expenses and investment necessary for the creation, maintenance, training and development of a company recovery department (and the infrastructure related thereto), which would have to engage on the out-of-court recovery of your debtors’ late payments;

• We have established professional contacts with the most successful practicing bailiffs in Bulgaria and we constantly provide them with the legal assistance they need. That cooperation ensures the speed and the results in the final phase of recovery of the receivables. The purpose is always to collect the receivables as soon as possible;

• We have created an efficient infrastructure throughout the entire country. This is precisely why we are able to exercise swift and permanent control, thereby achieving the best possible results for you;

• We have established a centralized system for court (legal) recovery of the receivables, with possibility of permanent inspection and control – at any time and any place;

• The court (legal) recovery of receivables remains the most efficient and successful manner of recovery of receivables;

• The lawful court- and out-of-court executive actions and procedures, while not being the fastest instrument, remain the most direct, intensive and effective method against the defaulting debtors.

2. OUT-OF-COURT RECOVERY OF RECEIVABLES:

2.1. Methods and techniques:

• Researching the debtor;

• Collection through phone calls (the main reason being to understand the reasons for the delay of payments, as well as the terms and amounts of the installments the debtor can make in order to repay its debt);

• Collection through short message service (SMS) (the purpose being to remind the clients of their delays in case we failed to reach them by phone, as well as to remind them of imminent installments due by them);

• Collection through sending reminding and notification letters by mail (such letters describe in detail the legal facts from which those legal relations have come to exist; the content of such relations; the obligations of the debtor; the measures to be taken for the purpose of recovery of the receivables);

• Collection through sending notary invitations;

• Collection through sending reminding and notification letters to the debtor’s email;

• Collection through visits to the debtor’s address;

• Collection through various lawful and ethical techniques for negotiations and convincing the debtor to repay their dues;

• Establishing the location and current addresses of the debtors.

2.2. Manners of achieving results:

• Detailed analysis and classification of the debtors;

• Preparation of different strategies for the recovery of the dues depending on the debtors’ profiles;

• Preparation of certain scripts for each debtor category;

• Preparing a plan of action;

• Implementation of the plan of action, reporting results in real time, as well as making modifications to the initial plan, if necessary;

• Establishing strategies, plans, tactics, methods and procedures for the out-of-court recovery of the receivables;

• Constant adaptation of the strategies, plans, tactics, methods and procedures for the efficient achievement of the goals;

• Preparation of a final report, containing detailed information.

2.3. Your benefits and advantages:

• You gain flexibility, in terms of being able to focus on your main line of work, while relying on our highly- qualified team;

• You can count on our strong professional experience, solid skills, reliable resources and specialized know- how;

• We have developed effective methods of managing the processes and communication with any debtors;

• You will improve your liquidity, thereby improving your speed and effectiveness in achieving your goals;

• We apply strategies, tactics, methods, and approaches that aim to preserve your good business relations with your debtors and your partnership with them;

• We treat your debtors politely and diplomatically, always taking their situation into account, and talking to them, we aim to reach together the solutions that are in your best interest, always taking into account what the debtor is able to pay as of the respective moment and in the future. We always apply individual approach for your receivable, emphasizing the personal contact with the debtor;

• The psychological effect of our contact with your debtor positively influences the debtor, since he becomes aware that you are taking practical steps to recover your receivables, and that the next step would be court proceedings;

• The advantages gained through a partial or full outsourcing of the out-of-court recovery of your receivables – we save you the expenses and investment necessary for the creation, maintenance, training and development of a company recovery department (and the infrastructure related thereto), which would have to engage on the out-of-court recovery of your debtors’ late payments;

• The information we collect on your debtors can be used for a more efficient court- and executive legal proceedings against them in the future;

• We assist you in a more efficient management of the financial rusks related to the recovery of your receivables;

• Confidentiality;

• We aim to preserve your reputation with your clients by using ethical methods for the out-of-court recovery of your receivables.

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Litigation

Iliev & Partners Law Firm is famous and highly respected for its brilliant and experienced litigators with excellent expertise in litigation. The law firm represents and defends its clients in matters such as civil, commercial and insolvency disputes, violation of rights, protection of property rights, repossession of real estates, labour disputes, administrative disputes, tax disputes.

Our litigation lawyers represent and defend clients in issues such as claims arising in the commercial, industrial, financial, or administrative sectors on issues such as: litigation before Bulgarian courts of all instances; representation of clients before arbitration tribunals; all types of civil and commercial litigation; bankruptcy; labour disputes; administrative disputes; tax disputes, IP disputes.

Iliev & Partners Law Firm is unrivalled in its professional experience before Bulgarian courts and in arbitration tribunals. The law firm provides legal services related to all types of claims in all areas of business law, including commercial litigation, banking and finance, energy disputes, construction disputes, real estate disputes.

Iliev & Partners Law Firm provides the following legal services:

• legal representation before Bulgarian courts of all instances;

• legal representation before arbitration tribunals;

• legal representation in insolvency proceedings;

• legal representation in civil and commercial disputes;

• legal representation in labour disputes;

• legal representation in administrative disputes and in judicial review of administrative acts;

• legal representation in tax disputes;

• legal representation in disputes arising from public procurement contracts and concession contracts;

• legal representation in enforcement procedures;

• legal representation in foreclosure procedures.

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