act legal now covering the next relevant European country

act legal launches new offices in Madrid and Valencia, Spain.

Now, as of September 26, 2018, a renowned medium-sized Spanish law firm is joining the European alliance: DA Lawyers from Spain.

“We are very pleased to welcome DA Lawyers to act legal, a relevant player in Spain with a strong footprint on the Spanish corporate and commercial market.”

Find the details in our press release and check out our act legal video.

If you want to learn more about act legal Spain, visit their location overview.

Germany Assesses Vulnerability to Financial Crime, Labels 3 EU Nations: High Risk

Germany is scheduled for evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force, or FATF, in Autumn 2020, prior to which the country must officially gauge its exposure to money launderers, terrorist financiers, corrupt officials and their professional facilitators.

Germany’s Finance Ministry fulfilled that obligation Monday by publishing a national risk assessment that acknowledges several of the country’s well-known shortcomings, such as its general failure to govern real estate for anti-money laundering purposes and fully address the threat of cross-border illicit finance that comes with its status as the EU’s export champion.

On ACAMS I, Dr. Thomas Altenbach (act legal Germany), former Compliance Director of Deutsche Bank, gives a critical assessment of the recently published national risk assessment. Read more about what he sees as further risks and why an action plan is so important for the future.

We are pleased to present the latest BNP Paribas Real Estate “What’s up CEE?” report prepared in cooperation with act legal

The report provides a wide range of crucial information and figures on the real estate sectors in key regional markets: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania.

Over the last five years the real estate market in the region has grown exponentially and consolidated its positive perception among investors. Local economies growing at a fast pace, profound infrastructure improvements, unemployment reaching historical lows, a high inflow of FDIs, a steady growth of wages and purchasing power; all these factors form a solid pocket which supports bright prospects.

act legal Czech Republic awarded Law Firm of the Year!

act legal Czech Republic (ŘANDA HAVEL LEGAL) won the Telecommunications & Media category in EPRAVO.CZ’s prestigious “Law Firm of the Year“ ratings, adding another victory on top of last year’s win in the Energy and Energy Projects category. In addition, ŘANDA HAVEL LEGAL placed highly in the thirteen other categories.

Mgr. Martin Řanda, LL.M., the head of ŘANDA HAVEL LEGAL’s Telecommunications & Media team, considers this award a great success: “Our law firm has dealt with legal issues in the field of media since its foundation and in recent years has gained mandates also in the area of telecommunications. Both of these areas go through significant dynamic development and the involved companies have to react to rapidly growing competition with technological innovation and new business models. Legislation is, unfortunately, always one step behind. This is why working in these areas represents not only a challenge for us, but is also extremely interesting and creative in terms of seeking innovative legal procedures. We are proud to be able to solve these problems and provide our clients with the most secure and effective solutions. Great thanks to all our colleagues, as well as to all our clients, without whose confidence we wouldn‘t have won this award.

In competition with almost 80 Czech and international offices, ŘANDA HAVEL LEGAL was “highly recommended” in the categories of Energy and Energy Projects, Restructuring and Insolvency and Competition Law and was “recommended” in the categories of M&A, Development and Real Estate Projects, Information Technology Law, Banking and Finance, Intellectual Property, Public Procurement, Corporate Law and Labour Law. In addition to the above, ŘANDA HAVEL LEGAL was recommended in the special category of Czech Companies on International Markets. This result puts us among the best law firms in the Czech Republic.

The annual awards are decided by an independent group of 250 evaluators from the ranks of companies and institutions, as well as by EPRAVO.CZ, an independent entity that monitors and follows lawyers in the Czech Republic.

New Financial Investments Mediation Ordinance

New Financial Investment Brokerage Ordinance tightens rules for independent brokers” – Independent brokers, brokers and their customers must prepare for extensive changes –

There were two major regulatory developments this year for participants in the German financial sales organisation:

On the one hand, the legislator has enacted the new Financial Investments Mediation Ordinance (FinVermV). The FinVermV transfers the rules that apply to BaFin-regulated brokers to the exceptional area of financial investment brokers in accordance with the Gewerbeordnung (GewO – German Commercial Code). Their rules are somewhat less strict than the rules for banks and asset managers who require a permit under the German Banking Act (KWG). The FinVermV was passed on 20 September 2019 and will enter into force on 1 August 2020 after a ten-month transitional period. It would be fatal, however, to postpone this issue for a long time. There is an urgent need for action, as some changes may take a long time. Among other things, the FinVermV stipulates that smaller brokers should also record and archive telephone conversations with customers in the future in order to be able to work in a legally secure manner.

Secondly, the Federal Ministry of Finance published a key issues paper shortly before the FinVermV. It confirmed the grand coalition’s plan to bring all financial intermediaries operating in accordance with the German Commercial Code under the control of the Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin and not, as before, under the control of the Chambers of Industry and Commerce. BaFin is to take over supervision from the beginning of 2021. For insurance intermediaries, the IHKs will remain responsible.

Due to our experience in implementing MiFID II, FinVermV no longer contains any surprises for us. We recommend that you check the current status of your internal compliance processes. We will then be happy to discuss the results of your audit with you or come by for a personal meeting in order to point out any mandatory adjustment requirements and possible improvements.

In addition, we advise you to regulate the retention periods in connection with telephone recordings separately with your customers, since the legally stipulated retention period of five years could not cover a possible limitation period for judicial claims and you therefore have no evidence of the consultation held at hand in the event of a judicial dispute. We would also be pleased to advise you in this context.

act legal at pma focus 2019 in Vienna

The pma focus is the largest project management congress in Austria, which takes place every year.  It took place on 30 October at the Austria Center Vienna under the title “PM UNDER CONSTRUCTION – Project Management in Transition“.

Two of act legal’s lawyers, Dr. Thomas Block, MBA (Germany) and Dr. Martin Wiedenbauer (Austria) attended the congress, lecturing about “Wenn der Roboter entscheidet – Wer achtet auf die Regeln im Projektmanagement?” / “When the robot decides – Who pays attention to the rules in project management?“. 

For more details see the congress’s website.

act legal Poland assists Adventum in purchase of Renaissance

Adventum International, a global property investment fund, has acquired Renaissance Plaza. The office building is located right next to Wola – the fastest-growing quarter of Warsaw. This is the fund’s second investment in Poland within just four months, following the June purchase of Poznań Financial Centre. 

Renaissance Plaza is a 7-storey B+ class building with a total area of 10,000 sqm, located in the Wola district of Warsaw, close to Rondo Daszyńskiego, the city’s most rapidly growing section. The building is fully occupied by Orange Polska S.A. It was extended in 1998 and underwent substantial renovation in 2016.

Adventum QUARTUM, a Maltese investment fund, acquired the building from REInvest Asset Management.

Under the Adventum QUARTUM fund we intend to utilise a further EUR 150 million in the forthcoming months for office and retail properties with special focus on Poland. We are glad to have undertaken our second such transaction with REInvest Asset Management,” says Andras Marton, Director at Adventum International.

act legal Poland (BSWW) was advising its client throughout the process of acquisition of Renaissance Plaza. The scope of services included a due diligence review of the property, preparation of transaction documents, as well as support in negotiations and transaction advisory.

The project team was led by Marek Wojnar (Managing Partner) and Marta Kosiedowska (Partner). They were supported by Michał Sołtyszewski (Partner).

It is the second out of several transactions on which we have advised Adventum International,” says Marta Kosiedowska.

We are pleased to have won the client’s trust and to take part in building our Client’s investment portfolio in Poland,” adds Marek Wojnar.

Deloitte supported the purchaser within the scope of financial advisory. The seller was supported by MFC Real Estate and CMS Cameron McKenna.

Germany meets Spain

act legal Germany’s associate Dr. Nina Honstetter is currently spending a month in act legal Spain’s office in Madrid. She is excited: “I’m doing great here in Madrid! I have great colleagues, it’s really interesting to see the daily work at act legal Spain and the city itself contributes its rest to the fact that I feel very comfortable.”

The act legal lawyers exchange program offers the opportunity to learn firsthand about domestic and international practice in a country and culture different from your own. In addition to opening up a lawyer’s cosmopolitanism and horizons, one of the main objectives is to strengthen the ties between act legal law firms and its associates by getting to know each other better both from a professional and a private point of view.

ECJ tightens regulations for website cookies: Consent becomes mandatory

We use cookies. We require your consent to comply with the new privacy policy“.
– ECJ substantiates requirements for cookie declarations –

What exactly is the subject?
On 1 October 2019, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a landmark ruling specifying the legal requirements to be met when cookies are used on websites on the Internet (C-673/17).

As is well known, a website that is operated in the European Union or is addressed – also – to EU citizens must meet the requirements of the Basic Data Protection Regulation (DS-GVO). Accordingly, the operator is obliged to inform about the use of cookies in his data protection declaration (§§ 13, 14 DS-GVO). However, it has so far been controversial whether users are informed about the use of cookies at the beginning of their visit to the website by means of a declaration in the form of a pop-up window, a banner or in some other way and whether they must actively consent to the use before their user data is recorded or whether the operator may also use cookies without consent.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has now given a direction in its decision and decided that at least when non-technical cookies are used, the active consent of the user is required at the beginning of the visit to the website. The ECJ makes it clear that it does not matter whether the cookies collect personal data or not.

The existence of non-technical cookies alone is decisive for the requirement of consent.

Non-technical cookies are those that not only serve the functionality of the website, but also collect other data. These include, for example, tracking cookies, targeting cookies and cookies from social media websites.

Cookies that are absolutely necessary exclusively for the function of a website – so-called technically necessary cookies such as session cookies – are therefore not affected by the decision.

The ECJ understands active consent only as consent given by the user through active and conscious action. A preset checkbox within a cookie declaration, which appears as a pop-up window or banner (so-called “opt-out” solution), is therefore no longer sufficient after the ECJ ruling.

What do you have to do now?
We advise you to first check whether you use non-technical cookies on your website. If this is the case, you must inform the user of the type of cookies used and give them the opportunity to decide themselves via click boxes which cookies they agree to (so-called “opt-in” solution).

In practice, therefore, so-called “Consent Management Providers” (“CMP”) are increasingly being used where the user can individually consent to different types of cookies. For this purpose, a pop-up window appears on the website during the first visit with the information that and which data is collected. Here the user has the option of specifying which cookies he or she wants to allow on future visits. In addition, the user can consent to various processing purposes.

Advice on a share transaction in a € 35 million secondary investment round

Terry Steffens, managing partner at act legal The Netherlands, advised Bas Beerens, one of the founders of WeTransfer, on a share transaction in a € 35 million secondary investment round.

WeTransfer is the Amsterdam-headquartered company best known for its file-sharing service. The transfer service has 50 million users per month across 195 countries, sharing over 1.5 billion files each month. WeTransfer already raised € 22 million four years ago from Highland Europe. This round was led by growth equity firm HPE Growth, who stepped in besides Highland Europe.

WeTransfer has a dual revenue model, offering both a premium subscription service (WeTransfer Plus) and an advertising proposition.The company has 185 employees, with appr. 150 in Amsterdam and the other 35 across its U.S. offices in LA and New York. WeTransfer will use the investment to grow the company internationally.