Dessislava Fessenko is an Of Counsel in the Sofia office. She focuses on competition, EU law, digital technologies, compliance and internal investigations.
Her expertise spans all aspects of Bulgarian and EU antitrust law, merger control and state aid, data protection, compliance and internal investigation, technology agreements, the interplay between antitrust and technology laws, online gaming and betting, media regulations, advertising and cyber security and computer crime.
Dessislava’s sector-specific experience ranges from pharmaceuticals, banking and insurance, consumer products, leisure and entertainment services, retail and IT to energy and mining.
RECENT ENGAGEMENTS INCLUDE ADVISING
Competition & State Aid
- KBC GROUP on the EUR 610 million acquisition of United Bulgarian Bank and Interlease leasing company in Bulgaria, including on the antitrust aspects of the transaction, obtaining merger clearance from the Bulgarian competition authority and addressing appeals before the Bulgarian Supreme Court
- A LARGE GLOBAL ENERGY CONCLOMERATE on an extensive due diligence of the activities of a large RES facility, including on the EU and Bulgarian state aid aspects of the feed-in tariffs and the capacity mechanism in place as part of the financial/pricing model
- A LARGE GLOBAL PHARMECUETICAL COMPANY on a wide range of antitrust issues, including on conformity with the antitrust regulations of various annual commercial schemes operated in Bulgaria since 2017 to date, including advice on structuring, implementations and the underlying contractual arrangements
- MARRIOT and its subsidiary International Hotel Licensing Company on various antitrust aspects of their entry and expansion in Bulgaria, including on contractual arrangements, ancillary restraints, abuse of stronger bargaining position, and merger control
- KBC GROUP on the transitional agreements for IT infrastructure in relation to the EUR 610 million acquisition of United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and Interlease Leasing Company in Bulgaria as well as in relation to the acquisition of MetLife’s remaining 40% stake in UBB-MetLife insurance company
- KBC GROUP & DZI LIFE INSURANCE on data protection issues in the course of the due diligence and on concluding and implementing a contract for transitional IT services in relation to the acquisition of UBB-MetLife Life Insurance
- A LEADING EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY COMPANY based in Silicon Valley on the acquisition of a US-Bulgarian software company, including on the conformity with Bulgarian IP and data protection regulations and transfer of data to the U.S.
- A LEADING GLOBAL VACATION RENTAL ONLINE MARKETPLACE COMPANY based in San Francisco, USA, on various regulatory aspects of its operations related to short-term letting of accommodation in Bulgaria
- SMULE, a Silicon Valley music mobile app developer, on a wide range of IP and data protection aspects of setting up their their operations in Bulgaria
- A GLOBAL PROVIDER OF TELECOMS INFRASTRUCTURE AND SMART DEVICES on the implementation of the EU toolbox on 5G security in Bulgarian legislation
Compliance, Risk & Sensitive Investigations
- A GLOBAL PROVIDER OF TELECOMS INFRASTRUCTURE AND SMART DEVICES on assessment of money laundering and terrorist financing risks and preparation/introduction of relevant policies and processes
- AN AMERICAN FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANY on anti-money laundering and e-payment regulatory aspects of cross-border payment solutions
- A LEADING INTERNATIONAL MANUFACTURER OF LUXURY GOODS on a cyber fraud, including on all related Bulgarian law criminal, anti-money laundering and civil law aspects and proceedings before the Bulgarian law enforcement agencies
- A LEADING INTERNATIONAL PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURER on (i) internal assessment of dealing with suppliers in Bulgaria, (ii) internal investigations of suspected conflicts of interest at the local operations, (iii) local and EU data protection regulations, and (iv) ethical and employment aspects of an internal compliance reviews
- 2016 – 2017: Queen Mary University of London, UK, Postgraduate Diploma in Computer and Communications Law
- 2010 – 2011: King's College London, UK, Postgraduate Diploma in Economics for Competition Law
- 2007 – 2008: King's College London, UK, Postgraduate Diploma in EC Competition Law
- 2005 – 2006: University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, Law School, LL.M. in EU Business Law
- 1999 – 2005: University of National and World Economy, Sofia, Bulgaria, LL.M.
- Sofia Bar Association
- Non-governmental advisor (upon invitation) to the International Competition Network
- Member of the European Artificial Intelligence Alliance
- Member (upon invitation) of the European Law Institute
Bulgarian, English, German, Russian