act legal European law firm advised Doosan Škoda Power s.r.o. on executing EPC agreement with Orlen S.A.

Thanks to the partnership collaboration of act legal offices from Poland and the Czechia that provided legal services during the procurement procedure and negotiations, Doosan Škoda Power s.r.o. struck an EPC agreement with Orlen S.A. for modernization of TG-4 and TG-5 turbine generator sets of 55 MW each at Orlen’s combined heat and power plant in Płock, as well as a long-term service agreement (LTSA).

Interdisciplinary team of lawyers engaged in the project included:

  • Mgr. Jakub Adamek – Senior Lawyer/ act legal Czechia,
  • Mgr. Jan Havel – Partner/ act legal Czechia,
  • Marek Wojnar – Managing Partner, attorney-at-law/ act legal Poland,
  • Piotr Giżyński – Senior Lawyer, attorney-at-law/ act legal Poland.

The total value of the project exceeds EUR 125 million (PLN 540 million).

Doosan Škoda Power s.r.o. is a manufacturer and supplier of turbine generator sets which ensure maximum efficiency, strength and reliability in the power generation sector.

The PKN Orlen’s combined heat and power plant in Płock is the biggest industrial CHP plant in Poland and one of the largest in Europe in terms of thermal capacity; it produces heat and electrical power in high-efficiency cogeneration process. It is also a major supplier of heat contained in steam and heating water, as well as electricity, used for production facilities and external customers, including the city of Płock.

The new project will contribute to increased energy efficiency of the CHP plant in Płock.

The project completion is planned for mid- 2029.

The European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS) under the CSRD are coming – “to dos” for companies

The new reporting obligation under the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) begins in the 2024 financial year for all companies already covered by the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). The report must be submitted for the first time in 2025 for the year 2024; for numerous other companies, the reporting obligations will begin between 2025 and 2028.

I. Introduction

In the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), the European Commission has drawn up binding guidelines on the structure and content of the report. Below we provide a brief overview of the structure and content of the ESRS.

In Germany, the CSRD is being implemented with the CSR Directive Implementation Act (CSR-RUG). This ensures that companies deal with the implementation of the law in good time and collect the data required for reporting in the legally prescribed form. After all, those who “lag behind” here will not only suffer a negative impact on the company’s (ESG) rating, making it less attractive to investors – not to mention the reputational damage. In addition, violations are punishable by fines; the amounts range from 50,000 euros to 10 million euros – or even 5% of the annual group turnover.

It is therefore advisable to stay “ahead of the curve” – not only to avoid fines, but also and especially to remain or become attractive to investors, customers and even skilled workers.

II. What is it all about?

The CSRD is a European directive that aims to improve corporate reporting on sustainability aspects and thus replace the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD). Companies already required to report under the NFRD will have to report for the 2024 financial year in 2025. From the 2025 financial year, new companies that fulfil the respective size criteria will be added annually.

However, the CSRD does not regulate the content and structure of the reports to be submitted. These contents and structure are bindingly defined in the Delegated Regulation on the first sentence of the ESRS published by the European Commission on 31 July 2023 in order to ensure the comparability of sustainability reports.

Unfortunately, it cannot be said that the European Commission has succeeded in drafting these standards in a clear, easy-to-understand and concise manner. On the contrary: companies subject to reporting requirements are facing an immense amount of work in order to fulfil their reporting obligations from 2025. We recommend that every company begins to familiarise itself intensively with the ESRS at least 18 to 24 months before the end of the financial year for which it is required to report for the first time. Only in this way can it ensure that it collects the required data for the reporting year in a way that meets the requirements of the first 12 (!) published ESRS standards – more will follow.

These twelve published standards comprise two overarching standards and five topic-related standards on environmental topics, four topic-related standards on social topics and one topic-related standard on governance topics. In terms of content, these standards are based on the requirements of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and structurally on the structure of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) with the reporting elements “Governance”, “Strategy”, “Risk Management” and “Key Figures and Targets”.

Sustainability aspects must be reported on the basis of the principle of “dual materiality”. Information on a sustainability aspect must therefore be disclosed if it is considered material either from an impact perspective (effects of business activities on the environment and society) or from a financial perspective (financial effects of sustainability-related risks and opportunities) or from both perspectives.

III. Who has to report for which financial year and when?

The scope of the ESRS depends on the following key figures, which are subject to reporting requirements:

(1)       from the 2024 financial year in the 2025 annual report: companies that are already subject to a reporting obligation under the Non Financial Reporting Directive (“NFRD”);

(2)       from the 2025 financial year in the 2026 annual report: All other large corporations that meet at least two of the following three criteria: (1) at least 250 employees on an annual average, (2) total assets of at least EUR 20 million, (3) turnover of at least EUR 40 million;

(3)       from the 2026 financial year in the 2027 annual report: Listed SMEs as well as small and non-complex credit institutions and captive insurance companies; and

(4)       from the 2028 financial year in the 2029 annual report: third-country companies with subsidiaries or branches in the EU. This only applies if the threshold of EUR          150 million net sales in the EU is exceeded over a period of two years.

IV. Structure of the ESRS

The ESRS requires companies to analyse their sustainability performance in depth, in some cases right through to the supply chain and the end of the product life cycle. Mandatory ESRS indicators of a qualitative and quantitative nature, as well as reliable information on the development of a company’s own sustainability performance, make companies much more accountable than before. The ESRS are divided into three categories that complement and interact with each other:

a)         Cross-cutting standards that cover general concepts and principles for the preparation of sustainability statements and contain overarching disclosure requirements.

b)         Topical standards, each of which covers a specific and clearly defined sustainability topic, i.e. disclosure requirements in relation to sustainability-related impacts, risks and opportunities that are considered material for all companies regardless of specific sectors.

c)         Sector-specific standards that cover the disclosure of information on sustainability-related impacts, risks and opportunities that are considered material for all companies in a particular industry (not yet published).

V. ESRS: Overarching standards

ESRS1 General requirements

ESRS 1 prescribes binding concepts and principles that apply to the preparation of sustainability statements in accordance with the CSRD. All material information on sustainability-related impacts (effects of business activities on the environment and society), risks and opportunities should be disclosed in the sustainability statements in accordance with the applicable ESRS. The ESRS prescribe reporting in accordance with standardised, sector-independent and sector-specific disclosure requirements, supplemented by company-specific disclosures that are to be developed in accordance with the principles set out in ESRS 1.

ESRS2 General disclosures

ESRS 2 builds on the content of the requirements in ESRS 1 General Requirements and contains overarching disclosure requirements for the sustainability statement.

VI. ESRS: Thematic standards on environmental issues

E1 Climate change

This standard provides disclosure requirements that enable the addressees of a company’s sustainability statements to understand the following aspects (non-exhaustive list): The company’s plans and ability to adapt its strategy and business model in line with the transition to a sustainable economy and to contribute to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

E2 Environmental pollution (Pollution)

This standard provides disclosure requirements to enable users of an organisation’s sustainability disclosures to understand the following aspects (non-exhaustive list): All measures taken to prevent, mitigate or remedy actual or potential negative impacts and to manage risks and opportunities and the results of these measures.

E3 Water and marine resources

The standard provides for disclosure requirements that are intended to enable users of a company’s sustainability statements to understand whether, how and to what extent the company contributes to the following points:

a)         Ambitions of the European Green Deal for fresh air, clean water, healthy soil and biodiversity and to ensure the sustainability of the blue economy and the fisheries sector,

b)         EU Water Framework Directive,

c)         EU marine strategy framework,

d)         EU directive on maritime spatial planning (EU maritime spatial planning directive),

e)         UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 6) Clean water and sanitation and 14) Life below water.

E4 Biodiversity and ecosystems

The standard provides for disclosure requirements that should enable the addressees of a company’s sustainability statements to understand the following aspects (non-exhaustive list): The nature, type and extent of the company’s material risks, dependencies and opportunities related to biodiversity and ecosystems, and how the company manages them.

E5 Resource use and circular economy

The standard stipulates disclosure requirements that should enable the addressees of a company’s sustainability statements to understand the following aspects (non-exhaustive list): The financial implications for the company of the material risks and opportunities arising in the short, medium and long term from the company’s impacts and dependencies in relation to resource use and the circular economy.

VII. ESRS: Thematic standards on social issues

S1 Own workforce

The financial impact on the company of the main risks and opportunities arising in the short, medium and long term from the company’s impacts and dependencies in relation to its own workforce.

S2 Workers in the value chain

The nature, type and extent of the company’s material risks and opportunities relating to labour impacts and dependencies in the value chain, and how the company manages them.3S2 Workers in the value chain

S3 Affected communities

Significant positive and negative actual or potential impacts of the organisation on communities in areas where impacts are most likely and severe.

S4 Consumers and end-users

All measures taken to prevent, minimise or eliminate actual or potential impacts and deal with risks and opportunities as well as the results of these measures.

VIII. ESRS: Topic related standards on governance topics

G1 Business conduct

The standard provides disclosure requirements to enable the recipients of a company’s sustainability statements to understand the company’s strategy and approach, its processes and procedures, and its performance in relation to corporate policy.

IX. Outlook

In addition to the development of the first twelve ESRS as “Set 1”, the CSRD also envisages further work packages for EFRAG. The first sector-specific ESRSs are to be developed for a total of around 40 different industries. The development of specific listed SME ESRSs is also planned for the future reporting obligations of capital market-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the scope of application. Voluntary guidelines are to be developed for non-capital-market-oriented SMEs. Specific third-country ESRS are also to be developed for the reporting of third-country companies outside the EU. However, a timetable for the publication of these drafts has not yet been set.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We specialise in the realisation and implementation of compliance-related IT projects in the financial regulatory environment.

DORA is coming – early implementation is advisable

With the Digital Operational Resilience Act (“DORA” for short), the European Union has created a regulation for cyber security, ICT risks and digital operational resilience for almost all supervised financial institutions – we strongly recommend starting early implementation. As this regulation is intended to address the digital transformation and the increasing dangers posed by cyber threats, we strongly advise companies to start implementing it at an early stage. But what exactly is it about?

I. Introduction and subject matter

1. Introduction and implementation effort

Against the background of the very contract- and IT-heavy regulatory content, a considerable implementation period is to be expected. IT projects must be implemented in accordance with Banking supervisory requirements for IT (“BA-IT”) – it remains to be seen whether DORA will replace or completely “overhaul” these – but this will not save implementation in accordance with their (current) requirements. Furthermore, financial institutions are likely to have numerous internal guidelines that must be observed during implementation. Negotiations with Information and communication technology (“ICT”) service providers are also likely to take a considerable amount of time, as not only the financial institutions but also their ICT service providers will have to adapt to the DORA changes.

We therefore strongly recommend starting the implementation process at an early stage and not only involving the IT and compliance departments, but also seeking internal and external regulatory advice.

2. Further legal acts

DORA is flanked by numerous other legal acts:

  1. EU Directive 2022/2556 amending Directives 2009/65/EC, 2009/138/EC, 2011/61/EU, 2013/36/EU, 2014/59/EU, 2014/65/EU, (EU) 2015/2366 and (EU) 2016/2341 as regards digital operational resilience in the financial sector of 14 December 2022 
  2. EU Directive 2022/2555 on measures for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union, amending Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 and Directive (EU) 2018/1972 and repealing Directive (EU) 2016/1148 (NIS 2 Directive) of 14 December 2022 
  3. EU Directive on the resilience of critical facilities and repealing Council Directive 2008/114/EC of 14 December 2022
  4. Drafts of RTS, ITS, guidelines, etc., which (in some cases) still need to be finalised and implemented.

3. Regulatory content, focal points

All legal acts deal with regulations on the digital operational resilience of financial organisations. This refers to the ability to keep all information and communication technologies (“ICT“) used by a financial organisation operational and to protect them from attacks. DORA aims to strengthen the digital operational resilience of the entire European financial sector in these six key areas: 

  1. ICT risk management
  • Reporting serious ICT-related incidents and – on a voluntary basis – significant cyber threats to the competent authorities; 
  • Reporting of serious payment-related operational or security incidents by certain listed financial organisations to the competent authorities; 
  • Tests of digital operational resilience;
  • Sharing information and intelligence on cyber threats and vulnerabilities; 
  • Measures for the sound management of ICT third party risk; 
  1. Reporting of ICT incidents and significant cyber threats
  2. Testing digital operational resilience including threat-led penetration testing (TLPT) 
  3. Establishment of requirements in relation to contractual agreements between ICT third-party service providers and financial organisations; 
  4. Rules on the establishment and implementation of the monitoring framework for critical third-party ICT service providers in the provision of services to financial organisations; 
  5. information sharing and cyber crisis and emergency exercises, in particular rules on cooperation between competent authorities and rules on the supervision and enforcement by competent authorities of all matters covered by this Regulation. 

II. Timetable and consultations

The implementation of DORA is subject to an ambitious timetable for the implementation of EU Directives 2022/2555 and 2022/2557 (by 18 October 2024) and 2022/2556 (by 17 January 2025). Implementation in Germany is essentially carried out by the Financial Market Digitisation Act (FinmadiG). The FinmadiG aims to transpose the European Markets in Crypto-Assets (“MiCA”) Regulation, the revised version of the EU Funds Transfer Regulation and the DORA package into national law. The BMF published the draft bill for the FinmadiG on 23 October 2023.

1. Timetable

2. Completed consultations

The joint consultation of the ESAs on the first tranche of the technical regulatory and implementation standards for DORA from 19 June 2023 to 11 September 2023 contains the following drafts

  1. Consultation on RTS on ICT risk management framework (Art. 15) and RTS on simplified ICT risk management (Art. 16)
  2. Consultation on RTS on criteria for the classification of ICT related incidents (Art. 18.3)
  3. Consultation on ITS to establish the templates for the register of information (Art. 28.9)
  4. Consultation on RTS to specify the policy on ICT services performed by ICT third party service providers (Art. 28.10)) 2022/2554 with public consultation from 26 May 2023 to 23 June 2023.
  5. The public consultation for the opinion of the ESAs (EBA, ESMA and EIOPA) for the European Commission on the delegated acts under the European supervisory framework in accordance with Articles 31 and 43 of Regulation (EU) 2022/2554 took place from 26 May 2023 to 23 June 2023.

3. Ongoing consultations

The public consultation of the European Supervisory Authorities EBA, ESMA and EIOPA on the following drafts will take place from 8 December 2023 to 4 March 2024:

  1. Consultation of the RTS on Threat Led Penetration Testing (Art. 26.11)
  2. Consultation of the RTS on the specification of elements in the subcontracting of critical or important functions (Art. 30.5)
  3. Consultation of the RTS to determine the reporting of serious ICT incidents (Art. 20.a)
  4. Consultation of the ITS to determine the details of reporting on major ICT-related incidents (Art. 20.b)
  5. Consultation of the GL for cooperation between the ESAs and the CAs regarding the structure of supervision (Art. 32.7)
  6. Consultation of the RTS on harmonisation of the conditions for carrying out monitoring activities (Art. 41)

III. Focus of DORA

DORA essentially focusses on (1) ICT risk management and (2) the monitoring of critical ICT third-party service providers. These are implemented in Germany by the FinmadiG. Implementation takes place through amendments to numerous laws and ordinances, which is why we have referred to the provisions and structure of DORA in the following brief summary for the sake of clarity:

1. Focus: ICT risk management

  1. Art.5 DORA – Responsibility of the management:
    Management is responsible for ICT risk management. Management must actively keep abreast of ICT risks and attend regular ICT-specific training sessions.
  2. Art.6 DORA – ICT Risk Management Control Function
    The function of the ICT Risk Management Control Function must be set up by the management. The tasks are similar to those of the Information Security Officer (ISO). Strict separation of the control function and first line (IT). Strong regulatory expectation to keep the ISB in-house.
  3. Art.8 DORA – Knowledge of own information and systems
    ICT systems and information used in business functions must be identified and classified. This also applies to information that is not held in centralised systems (such as Office documents or IDVs).
  4. Art.6 DORA – Stricter requirements for encryption
    Data must be encrypted in all states (at rest, in transit & in use). Internal as well as external network traffic must be encrypted. Lifecycle management must be set up for cryptographic keys.
  5. Art.10 DORA – Prioritising the elimination of vulnerabilities
    Requirements for automated vulnerability scans and the elimination of vulnerabilities have increased. Automated vulnerability scans at least weekly. Supply chain risk is moving into focus. Elimination of vulnerabilities through patches has top priority.
  6. Art.11 DORA – Detailed safety requirements
    Only use authorised software and storage media. Security must also be in place in the home office and when working remotely. Special training for employees who administer cloud access. Special protection for cloud access.
  7. Art. 16 DORA – Testing the source code
    Authorisation must be obtained from specialist departments and asset owners for security measures, among other things. Test environments should adequately reflect the production environment. The integrity of the source code must be protected. Source code and software from third parties must be analysed and tested.
  8. Art.13 DORA – Strengthening network security
    Creation of a visual network plan. Internal and external protection of network traffic. Regular testing and certification of firewall rules. Annual review of the network architecture. Creation of the option to temporarily isolate subnets, network components and devices.
  9. Art.21 DORA – User identification
    Each natural person should be given a unique identity, which should also be retained in the event of reorganisation and after the end of the collaboration. Access and access management requirements remain largely the same.
  10. Art.27 DORA – Test scenarios for cyber attacks
    Comprehensive specifications for emergency management. RTS focusses on the minimum content of recovery plans and on testing them. Minimum test scenarios increase from four (MaRisk) to nine.
  11. Art.6 para.5 DORA – Regular review of the ICT framework
    Formal documentation of the current status of the ICT risk framework must be prepared. This must be made available to the supervisory authority upon request.

2. Focus: Monitoring of critical ICT third-party service providers

Financial companies may only use critical ICT third-party service providers from third countries if they establish a registered office in the EU within twelve months of being categorised. However, there is no obligation to store data only within the EU (although there may be data protection problems if this is not the case).

In particular, the supervisory authorities have the following powers vis-à-vis ICT service providers:

  1. Request for information and documentation: relevant business or operational records, contracts, policies and guidelines, documentation, ICT security audit reports, ICT-related incident reports, and any information about parties to whom the critical third-party ICT service provider has outsourced operational functions or activities;
  2. Investigations and inspections at the premises of the ICT third-party service provider in relation to: records, data, procedures, etc.; summoning representatives of the critical ICT third-party service provider, including making oral or written statements; interviewing any other natural or legal person who consents to such interview for the purpose of obtaining information about the subject matter of an investigation; transmitting recordings of telephone conversations and data transmissions;
  3. to make recommendations that the supervisor considers relevant in relation to the following:
  • the application of specific ICT security and quality requirements or procedures, in particular in relation to the issuance of patches, updates, encryption and other security measures necessary to ensure the ICT security of services provided to financial organisations;
  • the use of conditions, including their technical implementation, under which the critical third party ICT service providers provide ICT services to financial entities in order to prevent the occurrence or amplification of sporadic failures or to minimise potential systemic impact in the Union financial sector in the event of ICT concentration risk;
  • under certain conditions: any planned subcontracting that the critical third-party ICT service providers intend to enter into with other third-party ICT service providers or with ICT subcontractors established in a third country and which may entail risks for the provision of services by the financial undertaking or risks for financial stability;
  1. Request reports detailing the actions taken or remedial measures implemented by the critical third party ICT service providers in relation to the issues referred to in point (2). 2) recommendations referred to in point (2).

The monitoring of critical ICT third-party service providers by the supervisory authority does not release financial companies from their obligation to monitor the service provider. The supervisory authorities examine how the financial companies take into account the risks identified in the recommendations for the critical ICT third-party service provider as part of their third-party risk management. If the risks are not or not sufficiently taken into account by financial undertakings, the supervisory authority shall notify the financial undertaking of its assessment and may, within 60 days of this notification, as a last resort, require financial undertakings to suspend the use of the critical third-party ICT service provider in whole or in part until the risks have been eliminated or to terminate the contracts with the critical third-party ICT service provider in whole or in part. 

Feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions. We specialise in the realisation and implementation of compliance-related IT projects in the financial regulatory environment.

We can help you prepare for the new requirements of DORA.

We advise our clients to familiarise themselves with the regulation and the consultation versions of the RTS/IST/Guidelines, including the recitals.

Compare the requirements from DORA with the regulatory requirements that already exist (e.g. MaRisk, BAIT, EBA Guidelines on outsourcing arrangements, BaFin Cloud guidance).

act legal Romania promotes two colleagues to Partner

act legal Romania kicks off the new year with good news by announcing the promotion of Andrei Croitoru and Iustina Oblu to Partner.

From the outset, act legal has nurtured legal personalities with an entrepreneurial mindset, and the promotion of Andrei and Iustina reinforces this core value.

Andrei is a Partner in the Compliance, Sensitive Investigations and White-Collar Crime practice of act legal Romania. Andrei advises and represents major domestic and international companies in sophisticated investigations involving corruption, tax evasion, fraud and work-related criminal offenses. Notably, he is the first practicing Romanian lawyer to earn the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) credential.

Iustina is a Partner in the Real Estate and Regulatory practices, also deeply involved in environmental matters. Iustina has a notable track record in assets acquisitions and disposals, real estate project development, drafting and negotiation of lease agreements, concessions, regulatory and environmental topics. Iustina’s expertise spans various big real estate projects, including retail, office buildings, industrial and residential properties.

“Even though it was already on the table, I remember Laura (Estrade) returning from Harvard Law School Executive Education’s Leadership in Law Firms program – she was still thinking about a question one of the lecturers asked: Who’s the next person you are going to make a Partner? I was familiar with the question, as I also took the program a while ago, and couldn’t help but smile thinking that she was just given a valuable lesson on how to build an extraordinary legal team – invest in the people you believe in. Give them responsibility. Let them shine. And so, that’s what we did. Andrei and Iustina’s go-getter attitude in complex cases and their seamless management of projects are just pluses to the tremendous confidence we have in them. Congratulations, guys, you fully deserve it and we are proud of you!” – stated Ștefan Botezatu, Managing Partner.

About act Botezatu Estrade Partners (act legal Romania)

act legal Romania is the local office of act legal, a European law firm with presence in 11 countries. act legal is a one-stop shop, providing a full range of cross-border legal services to companies and investors who intend to enter the continental European markets or are already present in the region.

For more updates on the firm’s activity, you can follow us on our LinkedIn page.

Picture showing Andrei Croitoru and Iustina Oblu, act legal Romania

Expansion course: griep Group and Swiss Post AG combine their expertise in construction logistics

Over the past 11 years, the long-established griep Group, based in Wiesbaden, has developed into one of Germany’s leading construction logistics specialists. With around 190 employees, griep covers the entire range of construction logistics services for a wide variety of construction projects – from railway station buildings to high-rise buildings, in city centres or in the countryside.

Win-win: In Swiss Post, the griep Group has found the perfect partner for growth and expansion opportunities in Germany and Switzerland. Swiss Post is successfully active in the field of logistics support for construction projects – from logistics planning and construction site logistics to disposal logistics – and in griep now has an experienced sparring partner for optimising and expanding its construction logistics services.

Subject to the approval of the German Federal Cartel Office, the collaboration is scheduled to begin in January 2024.

Advisor griep Group:
act legal Germany – act AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte: Dr Fabian Brocke, LL.M. (Corporate/M&A); Dr Nina Honstetter (Corporate/M&A); Dr Fabian Laugwitz, MBA, LL.M. Eur. (Commercial)

future secured – Investor search successfully completed: The outpatient care service provider DigniCare is looking to the future with the continuation concept of Lamberth Pflege GmbH

Dr Alexander Höpfner: “With the continuation of business operations by the investor, a good solution has been found for the creditors that also takes into account the interests of those in need of care.

In addition, around 180 jobs at the nine operating sites in Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt will be taken over.

Advisor/proprietary administration DigniCare: LIESER Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB – Jens Lieser and Dr Martin Kaltwasser (general representatives)

Administration: act AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte – Dr Alexander Höpfner (administrator), Dr Felix Melzer, Maximilian Dieler (both restructuring/insolvency)

act legal Romania is reinforcing its defense capabilities by welcoming two new lawyers in litigation and white-collar crime

act legal Romania has been on a streak of new additions and this trend continues, the firm now strengthening its expertise in both litigation and white-collar crime.

Ana Mihai is joining as Counsel in the Litigation department, bringing with her an excellent track record. She specializes in providing expert legal advice, assistance, and representation in administrative matters, arbitration as well as tax, civil and commercial disputes. Her skills extend beyond the courtroom, including the management of diverse client portfolios and the delivery of tailored solutions for both local and international companies. Ana has also demonstrated leadership in managing large teams of senior and junior lawyers.

Cătălin Apătean is contributing to the firm’s expertise in criminal law and criminal procedural law. As an Associate in the White-Collar Crime practice, he focuses on assisting and representing parties in criminal prosecution and trial stages. Cătălin has been actively involved in cases related to fraud, abuse of office, forgery, corruption, and customs offenses.

About act Botezatu Estrade Partners (act legal Romania)

act legal Romania is the local office of act legal, a European law firm with presence in 11 countries. act legal is a one-stop shop, providing a full range of cross-border legal services to companies and investors who intend to enter the continental European markets or are already present in the region.

For more updates on the firm’s activity, you can follow us on our LinkedIn page.

Reorganisation: Experienced and well-established ACT team responsible for the self-administration of Alpha Real Estate Holding and 13 subsidiaries

Alexander Höpfner, Sven Tischendorf and Felix Melzer as well as Tara Kamiyar-Müller (Real Estate) have been responsible for the self-administration of the Germany-wide asset and investment manager and leading company in the privatisation of residential real estate – Alpha Real Estate Group – since 27 November 2023.

The entire property and construction industry in Germany is currently struggling with the consequences of high interest rates, rising construction costs and uncertainty in the face of falling property prices. In recent months, for example, the major nationwide property project developer Gerch and Euroboden in Munich, Nuremberg-based Project Immobilien and the Düsseldorf-based property companies Centrum and Development Partner have already had to file for insolvency.

Due to the economic challenges posed by the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and, in particular, the drastic rise in interest rates and the resulting restraint on the financing and investment market, Alpha Real Estate’s business model has now also found itself in a precarious situation. business model of Alpha Real Estate also found itself in a precarious situation, which led to liquidity bottlenecks and the need for comprehensive restructuring.

With the subsequent applications for self-administration for Alpha Real Estate Holding and 13 of its subsidiaries, which the Mannheim Local Court decided in favour of, the starting signal has now been given for successful and far-reaching restructuring and reorganisation measures towards a repositioning and realignment in the current market. Jens Lieser from the insolvency law firm Lieser Rechtsanwälte, which specialises in insolvency law, has been appointed as provisional administrator.

With a transaction volume of 1.4 billion and a portfolio of 350 thousand square metres of residential and commercial space, the Mannheim-based investment house has been successfully designing and developing investment properties for private investors, tenants and owner-occupiers as well as institutional investors throughout Germany for 10 years with its full-service concept. Alpha Real Estate’s range of services covers the entire property value creation process, from buying and selling to active and value-enhancing asset and property management.

The ACT team is optimally positioned for the planned reorientation, as in addition to the well-known insolvency and restructuring practice of Sven Tischendorf and Alexander Höpfner, the strong expertise of the ACT Real Estate division under the leadership of Tara Kamiyar-Müller, which focuses on special property law situations/restructurings, will also be deployed here.

Alpha Real Estate self-administration:
act AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte, Frankfurt: Dr. Alexander Höpfner (lead, general representative, CIO), Dr. Sven Tischendorf, MBA (lead, general representative, CRO), Dr. Felix Melzer (general representative, restructuring), Dr. Tara Kamiyar-Müller (real estate restructuring), Dr. Fabian Laugwitz, MBA, LL.M. (real estate, commercial)

act legal Czech Republic is once again the best law firm for environmental law

act legal Czech Republic (act Řanda Havel Legal) defended her win in this year’s prestigious Law Firm of the Year award (organised by EPRAVO.CZ) in the category Environmental law. As well as wins in the Energy and Energy projects, Employment Law and Telecommunications and Media categories in past years, it now has another top award. In addition to this, act legal Czech Republic was successful in another 16 categories.

In competition from almost 80 Czech and international law firms act legal Czech Republic is highly recommended in the fields of energy and energy projects, dispute resolution and arbitration, competition law, development, and real estate projects, restructuring and insolvency, telecommunications and media, information technology law, public procurement, employment law, corporate compliance, medical law, and it is also greatly recommended in the special category Czech Firm on International Markets. It is recommended for mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, commercial law, and intellectual property.

Continuing success in rankings for the quality of legal services has placed act legal Czech Republic among the very best law firms in the Czech Republic over the long term.

act legal Romania assisted Louis Delhaize in the sale of Cora Romania to Carrefour following Competition Council’s clearance

act Botezatu Estrade Partners (act legal Romania) assisted Louis Delhaize in the sale of Cora Romania to Carrefour following clearance by the Competition Council. The transaction, initially subject to approval by the Competition Authorities, has now received the green light, allowing all parties involved to raise a glass of champagne in celebration of the successful completion of this deal.

The act legal Romania team was led by M&A Partner Laura Estrade, Real Estate Partner Mihaela Poșircă, and Competition Partner Stefan Botezatu, with strong involvement and full dedication of Counsel Iustina Sima, Managing Associate Ruxandra Liștea, Senior Associate Andrei Petre, and Associate Lorena Samoilă.

“I had full confidence that act legal Romania team would successfully drive this deal to completion. After working together for such a long time, we couldn’t have expected any other outcome. ‘Forward-thinking’ is not just a strapline for them; it’s their essence. Thank you, everyone!” stated Olivier André, General Counsel of Louis Delhaize Group.

“I’ve heard a joke that said “Why did the lawyer’s computer go to therapy after closing a deal? Because it had too many attachment issues!” – while we’re not sending laptops to therapy, we have been genuinely attached to this deal, or more accurately, to our client. Our longstanding cooperation and the successful completion of this landmark transaction are things we’re extremely proud of!” shared Stefan Botezatu, Managing Partner.

About the transaction

Cora Romania, owned by the Louis Delhaize Group, comprises 10 hypermarkets, 9 cora Urban stores, and employs over 2,010 professionals. This sale represents a noteworthy development within the Romanian food retail landscape.

Louis Delhaize’s exit from the Romanian market follows the sale and leaseback of seven Cora commercial centers in late 2021 and early 2022, transactions by which Cora sold its real estate properties and continued as tenant. act legal Romania, as the longstanding legal counsel to Louis Delhaize for Romania, provided its assistance in all these strategic transactions.

About act Botezatu Estrade Partners (act legal Romania)

act legal Romania is the local office of act legal, an international law firm with a presence in 11 European capitals. act legal is a one-stop shop, providing a full range of cross-border legal services to companies and investors who intend to enter the continental European markets or are already present in the region.

For more updates on the firm’s activity, you can follow its LinkedIn page.