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News June 2024

Luke Wochensky, Central & Eastern Europe/Central Asia Risk and Investigations expert, joins Kinstellar as Partner and Head of Firmwide Risk and Investigations Service Line

Kinstellar is pleased to announce that Luke Wochensky has joined the Firm as Partner and Head of the firm-wide Risk and Investigations Service Line. Luke is a civil- and common-law qualified lawyer with an extensive track record in internal and government investigations, cross-border disputes, and providing commercially sensitive and practical counsel to clients operating in Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Qualified to practice in New York and a US citizen, Luke has over 15 years of experience representing US and multinational corporations operating in the region. He regularly counsels clients in risk mitigation, compliance, and integrity issues, particularly those involving cross-border internal and

News March 2024

Kinstellar announces new promotions to Counsel

February 2024 – Kinstellar is delighted to announce the promotions to Counsel of: Yerlan Akhmetov, Kuanysh Shekerbekov (Almaty, Kazakhstan), Cătălin Dinu, Cătălin Graure (Bucharest, Romania), Barnabás Sági (Budapest, Hungary), Yulia Eismont, Maksym Tesliar (Kyiv, Ukraine), Michal Forýtek (Prague, Czech Republic),  Andrijana Kaštelan, Vedran Kopilović, Marija Vuchetich (Zagreb, Croatia). ALMATY Yerlan Akhmetov focuses on banking and finance, M&A and capital markets matters. Having been with the Firm for nine years, Yerlan has earned a reputation for cultivating strong client relationships, demonstrating leadership qualities and making significant contributions to our firm's success. He has played a key role

Insights August 2023

Recent ECJ judgement sparks controversies on the Romanian statute of limitations for criminal liability

The Romanian regulatory context In recent years, the statute of limitations for criminal liability in Romania has been the subject of numerous debates among legal scholars and practitioners.  This is because in 2018 the Romanian Constitutional Court rendered a binding decision declaring as unconstitutional, in part, the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code on interrupting the statute of limitations for criminal liability. The Constitutional Court issued this binding decision because the Romanian legislator had failed to amend the respective provisions, and as a result has divided the jurisprudence of Romanian criminal courts into two camps of interpretation, namely: (i) one camp stating that the statute of limitations cannot

News May 2023

Kinstellar announces new promotions to Partner and Counsel

Kinstellar is delighted and proud to announce the promotions to Partner of Tomáš Melišek (Bratislava), Levente Hegedűs (Budapest), Bulut Girgin (Istanbul), Anastasiya Bolkhovitinova, Natalia Kirichenko, Oleg Matiusha, Illya Muchnyk (all in our Kyiv office), and to Counsel of Dominika Bajzáthová (Bratislava). PARTNERS Tomá š Melišek, Bratislava Tomáš is the Head of the local Banking & Finance service line. He has 15 years of experience in banking and finance, focusing on project and acquisition financing as well as on financial regulations. Tomáš has substantial experience advising clients on significant financing transactions in the areas of real estate, energy, infrastructure, automotive, media

Insights January 2023

New law on the protection of whistle-blowers in the public interest in Romania

On 22 December 2022, a new law on the protection of whistle-blowers in the public interest entered into force in Romania. Law no. 361/2022 provides a number of directions for the regulation of reporting and imposes obligations on both public law entities (e.g., authorities, public institutions) and private law entities (e.g., limited liability companies, joint stock companies). Among the subjects: Who can report as a whistle-blower? What types of breaches can be reported? How and where to report? What are employers’ obligations? What are the main steps in adopting an internal reporting procedure? What sanctions do employers risk? Click here or on the image

News October 2022

Kinstellar bolsters its competition & compliance practice in Belgrade with new hires

Kinstellar, Emerging Europe and Central Asia’s leading independent law firm, is delighted to announce the appointment of Olga Šipka as a Special Counsel in the Belgrade office and the head of the local Competition and Compliance service line. Olga Šipka is a highly regarded and experienced lawyer in the Serbian and regional (ex-Yugoslavia) markets. Olga’s core practices include competition and antitrust, regulatory and compliance. She boasts significant, broad-based experience advising and representing leading Serbian and international companies on numerous competition, corporate, data protection, regulatory and M&A projects covering Serbia and the Western Balkans. Her experience extends across a wide range of

Insights June 2022

Bulgaria: Director duties and ESG considerations

Bulgarian law requires that the directors of Bulgarian joint-stock companies perform their functions as directors by adhering to the “duty of care” standard of a prudent businessperson and always in the interest of the company and its shareholders. If a director fails to comply, they could be held liable for any damages caused to the company. The required duty of care standard is not easily reconciled with the current shift in corporate governance towards compliance with material ESG factors. While important for all stakeholders (e.g., employees, customers, vendors, and the communities where the company operates), ESG compliance could trigger additional financial costs and potentially be an obstacle to maximising profits.

Insights May 2022

Ukraine introduces a new type of sanction

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, there has been a plethora of new legislation establishing mechanisms for an adequate political and legal response to Russian aggression against Ukraine. Another such mechanism was introduced on 13 May 2022, when the Parliament of Ukraine adopted a new law amending the existing sanctions legislation. The law enacts a new type of sanction amounting to the foreclosure of assets in the state's favour. This new sanction is now applicable to both companies and individuals that cause significant damage to the national security of Ukraine. The law came into force on 24 May 2022. Below we provide important highlights and the main points to consider regarding the new type of sanction

News October 2021

Kinstellar strengthens its Compliance, Risk and Sensitive Investigation service line in Hungary

Kinstellar is delighted to announce that senior compliance expert Mária Dárdai has joined the firm’s Budapest office as Special Counsel. Her addition to the firm strengthens our expertise in the compliance area, particularly relating to whistleblowing projects, sensitive investigations and compliance matters. Mária has significant expertise and an established track record handling a wide array of compliance cases and sensitive investigations across various industries in Hungary and abroad. She also has experience establishing compliance management and whistleblowing systems and platforms, including training. Prior to joining Kinstellar, Mária was general counsel and compliance officer at various large corporations

Insights October 2021

Ukraine: The deadline to fulfil UBO disclosure requirements extended until July 2022

On 10 October 2021, Law of Ukraine No.1805-IX “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine on the Prevention and Counteraction to the Legalisation (Laundering) of Proceeds from Crime, Financing of Terrorism and Financing of the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction” (the “Law”) came into force. The Law extends the deadline for the mandatory submission of information regarding ownership structures and ultimate beneficial owners (“UBOs”) of Ukrainian legal entities by nine months (i.e., until 11 July 2022). This is a long-awaited initiative that will provide companies with sufficient time to comply with the new UBO disclosure requirements.   Please note that earlier this year, on 11 July 2021, the Ministry

Insights February 2021

Crucial changes to Czech UBO Register legal framework – Sanctions apply from 1 June 2021

The Czech parliament has recently passed a new Act on UBO Register, no. 37/2021 Coll. (the “New UBO Act”) effective from 1 June 2021, which implements the EU’s Anti-money Laundering Directive no. V (AMLD V). From 1 January 2018, Czech law has required that all companies register their ultimate beneficial owners (“UBOs”) in the Czech UBO Register (the “Register”). The New UBO Act introduces crucial changes to the legal framework regulating both the Register and UBOs. In particular, it introduces updated definitions, public access to data, and significant sanctions for non-compliance. Change of UBO definition The former definition of a UBO did not always yield a clear UBO determination. The New UBO

Insights November 2020

New restrictions for State Officials in Kazakhstan imposed by amendments to anti-corruption legislation

New anti-corruption rules for State Officials in Kazakhstan are now in force following the recently approved Law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Anti-Corruption Issues”. As a result, the Civil Code, the State Service Law and the Anti-corruption Law have been amended with effect from 18 October 2020 (the “Amendments”). This overview of the new rules introduced by the Amendments is intended as a helpful guide—it is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. 1. Gifts The Amendments impose an absolute ban on giving gifts to State Officials for their actions (or inaction) for the benefit of the giver, if such actions are within their official