Ivan N. Ivanov

Ivan Nikolov Ivanov has a Master’s degree in Economics and Management of Intellectual Property and Master’s degree in thermal and mass exchanging technology. He is specialized in the protection of intellectual property and intellectual property management, strategy creating for major companies with international aspects. Consultant with experience in legislation and regulatory issues. Member of international organizations as ECTA, UNION, FICPI, AIPPI, INTA. According to the official statistics of EUIPO Ivan Ivanov is the Bulgarian representative with most filed European Union trade marks from Bulgaria and from Macedonia.

Year joined: Ivan Ivanov is founder of IP Consulting in the Year 2002

Education: Master degree in Economics and Management of Intellectual Property and Master’s degree in thermal and mass exchanging technology.

Current and previous positions: Managing Partner IP Consulting, Coordinator of the National Portal of Intellectual Property www.ipbulgaria.bg, Member of the Control Board of the Bulgarian Group of AIPPI, Member of the Control Board of the Chamber of Intellectual Property Attorneys in Bulgaria.

Areas of specialisation: Intellectual Property, Consumer Protection, Management of Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property in the Pharma industry.

Membership: ECTA, UNION, FICPI, AIPPI, INTA.

Languages: Bulgarian, Russian, English, Macedonian

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Dimitar Karastoyanov

LLM.: Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

Specialization: Jurisdiction, International law and relations

Professional experience: Part-time lecturer in civil and commercial law at Sofia University, Veliko Turnovo University, High Institute of Training Officers and Research Work. Research work and publications in the field of commercial law. Practice as a consultant and lawyer. Founder-member of “Karastoyanov, Mitkov & Associates” Law Office.

Activity areas: Corporate Law, Commercial Law, Civil Law, Contractual Law, Real Estate Law, Litigation

Foreign languages: English, Russian

Firm Overview:

Karastoyanov, Mitkov & Associates Law Office is a mid-tier Bulgarian law firm, established in the year 2000 in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. The firm was founded by Dimitar Karastoyanov and Svilen Mitkov who continue to be the two managing partners at present. The firm started with four lawyers and now its entire team consists of 12 people in total, plus three associated lawyers for specific legal areas. The main focus of the law firm since its formation has been business law-orientated legal services and the providing of comprehensive and complete legal services to business clients. The team plays the role of a one-stop shop for clients and their needs. The firm is mainly working with international clients – international companies operating in the Bulgarian market; however it also provides legal services to local businesses, private foreign businesses, non-governmental organisations, public authorities and institutions. The team has extensive experience and expertise in various business sectors, such as retail, manufacturing, media, IT and outsourcing, financial services, real estate/construction, movie production and others.

Areas of Practice:

Karastoyanov, Mitkov & Associates Law Office provides complete legal services to business clients on an everyday basis, covering all legal fields any business would need. The firm’s expertise and specialism in different legal areas allows it to have an interdisciplinary team engaged in any transaction, providing complex approaches to any deals and projects by examining all legal implications and sides involved – corporate, taxation, real estate-related, intellectual property, regulations, licences, etc. Having long-time experience in various business sectors and industries allows the firm to provide successful solutions and high-quality advice that best suits the business and economic environment of each client. Its legal assistance is always a perfect mixture of legal and practical advice based on each particular client and their case.

The firm’s main areas of practice and strength are in commercial transactions, dispute resolution and commercial litigation, corporate matters (including mergers and acquisitions), real estate and construction.

Vladimir Penkov

Mr. Vladimir Penkov is Chairman and Senior Partner of Penkov, Markov & Partners – international law firm which has more than 20 years of experience in the field of Banking and Finance legal advices and consultations.

Mr. Penkov has extensive experience in negotiations, researches, drafting of legal documents and representing clients in various areas of commercial law, such as Banking and Finance, Corporate Law and Commercial Contracts, Competition, Privatization and Foreign Investments, Investment Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, Project Finance, Public Procurement, Licensing and Know-How Agreements, Tax Law, Telecommunications, Media & IT, Energy Law and Renewable Energy Sources.

As a leading banking law practitioner and as part of his track-record Vladimir Penkov has led negotiations, represented and provided legal advice to: EBRD in connection with debt financing of Cellhart AD, debt financing of Balkanpharma Holding AD, Astera Holding AD and Aroma AD, Crédit Suisse AG, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, PAC Doverie, Bulstrad Life (Vienna Insurance Group), Innimmo Investments, Industrialen Holding – Doverie, HYPO NOE Gruppe Bank, International Finance Corporation, Industrial Capital Holding as well as the preparation of the business and legal scheme in connection with the extension of large credit amount to Domain Boyar AD by EBRD.

As a leader of PM&P’s team Mr.Penkov has personally showed resourcefulness and proactivity in the consulting of UBB by EBRD and Oppenheimer & Co and by National Bank of Greece, of Kardan by the acquisition of NLB Banka. He has also advised the Austrian banking consortia, led by Bank Austria, in the successful negotiation of the terms with the Minister of Finance, on the repayment of the extended credit for the modernization of Kremikovtzi.

The Chairman and Senior Partner of  PM&P is specialising in the area of Banking and Financial Law and Capital markets and has participated in the legal team providing  advice to Ferratum Group in terms of establishment and structuring of their business as the first company of in Bulgaria providing distant financial services, legal advice and consultation to Gumiz AD and Micro Credit regarding providing of micro credits and consumer credits; Preparation of legal analysis for Sofia municipality pursuant to the “Law of the public finances“ in relation to Contracts for financing contract concluded between the European Investment Bank and Sofia municipality for  financing of “The Project of Sofia municipality for treating of waste matter” etc.

Mr.Vladimir Penkov has given legal advices in the process of reorganization of the Bulgarian subsidiaries of Kardan N.V., Kardan Financial Services B.V, TBIH Financial Services Group N.V. and TBIF Financial Services B.V. being active in insurance, additional pension insurance, voluntarily health insurance, financial services such as investment intermediary and asset management company, leasing services and consumer financing.

The Chairman and Senior Partner of PM&P advise the full spectrum of bank related transactions and have advised the establishment of one of the first asset management companies in Bulgaria while currently the PM&P team provide regular services to some of the major non-banking financial institutions in Bulgaria and their branches.

Successfully assisted one of the largest non-banking financial institutions in Europe to set foot in Bulgaria, filling the niche on online consumer loans.

Constantly expanding including legal consulting for investment companies, mutual and pension funds, asset management companies, investment mediators and ventures.

Comprehensive consulting on the structuring, financing and applicable regulatory framework in that field. Of special value for clients is the possibility for PM&P to expand at a very short notice the designated team including experts from other fields to give a helping hand in this highly specific area, should the case so require.

Mr.Penkov assisted the first foreign bank branch to register in the country after the democratic changes (Landesbank) and the structuring of the first capital investment by a foreign bank (Raiffeisen Bank) in a local bank under the conditions of a missing detailed legal framework and practical experience in this sphere.

Under the conditions of a rigidly regulated market and a strictly limited number of banking licenses, the team of PM&P leaded by the Managing Partner Vladimir Penkov has consulted, over the years, the EBRD, Oppenheimer & Co., the National Bank of Greece, Alpha bank – Bulgarian Branch, United Bulgarian Bank, Piraeus Bank and Kardan in the acquisition of three of the largest Bulgarian banks, including the merger of a bank branch into a bank (Piraeus Bank).

Mr. Penkov and the team of PM&P are acting as legal counsel to the buyer with regard to the contemplated purchase of 99.53 % of the shares owned by International Hospital Service Co, Japan in Tokuda Bank. The project refers to the acquisition of a medium-sized commercial bank and has passed through legal, financial and tax due diligence, negotiations and signing of Share Purchase Agreement, Escrow Agreement and is now in the stage of obtaining the respective regulatory approvals from the Bulgarian National Bank and the Competition Protection Commission.

The Chairman and Senior Partner of PM&P represented UBB as bond emission trustee, providing the overall defence of creditors’ rights over the bond emission, incl. legal representation in the event of bankruptcy proceedings against Bross Holding, but also overall representation in all other enforcement proceedings initiated under the Registered Pledges Act and other legal issues related to the case.

Mr.Vladimir Penkov and PM&P’s team also were a consultant of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria AD as collateral agent to the bank syndicate including also United Bulgarian Bank, Unicredit Bulbank and Alpha Bank – Bulgaria Branch.

Another client of the law firm is HYPO NOE Gruppe Bank AG, Austria.  Mr.Penkov’s involvement has included among others: due diligence review of the two companies that operate the photovoltaic plants (Kompania za Energetika I Razvitie EOOD and Green Energy Park AD); preparation of preliminary legal opinions for the purpose of participation of the client as co-lender together with Société Générale Expressbank AD and PV Investments ЕAD; review and revision of the respective Club Loan Agreements and all securities agreements; review of the certificates issued by the Commercial Register, the Central Register of Special Pledges and the Property Register evidencing the granting of the securities by the borrowers, co-debtors and mortgage debtor; issuance of final legal opinions re legal compliance of the transaction

Career:

·         Penkov, Markov & Partners – Founder and Managing Partner 1990-2017; Chairman and Senior Partner since 2017;

·         Bulgarian Telecommunications Company AD – Member of the Managing Board, 2007-2008, Chairman of the Supevisory Board, 2008 – 2013 and reelected as Chairman since 2014-2017;

·         NIKAS Bulgaria AD – Member of the Board of Directors, 2009 – 2012;

·         Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)  – Arbitrator since 1999;

·         BCCI – Member of Managing Board since 1993 and Vice President, 1999 – 2006;

·         Zagorka AD – Member of the Board of Directors,1998 – 2006 and Executive Director, 2000 – 2002;

·         Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations – Head of Division „Austria and Switzerland“, 1989 – 1990;

·         Technica Foreign Trade Organization – Chief Legal Counsel, 1987 – 1989;

·         Sofia City Court – Intership as a judge, 1976 – 1977;

Education

·         Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski – Master in Law, 1976

·         Economic University, Karlshorst, Germany 1970 – 1972

Languages:

·         Bulgarian, German, English

Vladimir Penkov

Vladimir Penkov is Chairman and Senior Partner of Penkov, Markov & Partners – international law firm which has more than 20 years of experience in the field of Banking and Finance legal advices and consultations.

Mr. Penkov has extensive experience in negotiations, researches, drafting of legal documents and representing clients in various areas of commercial law, such as Banking and Finance, Corporate Law and Commercial Contracts, Competition, Privatization and Foreign Investments, Investment Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, Project Finance, Public Procurement, Licensing and Know-How Agreements, Tax Law, Telecommunications, Media & IT, Energy Law and Renewable Energy Sources.

As a leading banking law practitioner and as part of his track-record Vladimir Penkov has led negotiations, represented and provided legal advice to: EBRD in connection with debt financing of Cellhart AD, debt financing of Balkanpharma Holding AD, Astera Holding AD and Aroma AD, Crédit Suisse AG, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, PAC Doverie, Bulstrad Life (Vienna Insurance Group), Innimmo Investments, Industrialen Holding – Doverie, HYPO NOE Gruppe Bank, International Finance Corporation, Industrial Capital Holding as well as the preparation of the business and legal scheme in connection with the extension of large credit amount to Domain Boyar AD by EBRD.

As a leader of PM&P’s team Mr.Penkov has personally showed resourcefulness and proactivity in the consulting of UBB by EBRD and Oppenheimer & Co and by National Bank of Greece, of Kardan by the acquisition of NLB Banka. He has also advised the Austrian banking consortia, led by Bank Austria, in the successful negotiation of the terms with the Minister of Finance, on the repayment of the extended credit for the modernization of Kremikovtzi.

The Chairman and Senior Partner of PM&P is specialising in the area of Banking and Financial Law and Capital markets and has participated in the legal team providing advice to Ferratum Group in terms of establishment and structuring of their business as the first company of in Bulgaria providing distant financial services, legal advice and consultation to Gumiz AD and Micro Credit regarding providing of micro credits and consumer credits; Preparation of legal analysis for Sofia municipality pursuant to the “Law of the public finances“ in relation to Contracts for financing contract concluded between the European Investment Bank and Sofia municipality for financing of “The Project of Sofia municipality for treating of waste matter” etc.

Mr. Vladimir Penkov has given legal advices in the process of reorganization of the Bulgarian subsidiaries of Kardan N.V., Kardan Financial Services B.V, TBIH Financial Services Group N.V. and TBIF Financial Services B.V. being active in insurance, additional pension insurance, voluntarily health insurance, financial services such as investment intermediary and asset management company, leasing services and consumer financing.

The Chairman and Senior Partner of PM&P advise the full spectrum of bank related transactions and have advised the establishment of one of the first asset management companies in Bulgaria while currently the PM&P team provide regular services to some of the major non-banking financial institutions in Bulgaria and their branches.

Successfully assisted one of the largest non-banking financial institutions in Europe to set foot in Bulgaria, filling the niche on online consumer loans.

Constantly expanding including legal consulting for investment companies, mutual and pension funds, asset management companies, investment mediators and ventures.

Comprehensive consulting on the structuring, financing and applicable regulatory framework in that field. Of special value for clients is the possibility for PM&P to expand at a very short notice the designated team including experts from other fields to give a helping hand in this highly specific area, should the case so require.

Mr.Penkov assisted the first foreign bank branch to register in the country after the democratic changes (Landesbank) and the structuring of the first capital investment by a foreign bank (Raiffeisen Bank) in a local bank under the conditions of a missing detailed legal framework and practical experience in this sphere.

Under the conditions of a rigidly regulated market and a strictly limited number of banking licenses, the team of PM&P leaded by the Managing Partner Vladimir Penkov has consulted, over the years, the EBRD, Oppenheimer & Co., the National Bank of Greece, Alpha bank – Bulgarian Branch, United Bulgarian Bank, Piraeus Bank and Kardan in the acquisition of three of the largest Bulgarian banks, including the merger of a bank branch into a bank (Piraeus Bank).

Mr. Penkov and the team of PM&P are acting as legal counsel to the buyer with regard to the contemplated purchase of 99.53 % of the shares owned by International Hospital Service Co, Japan in Tokuda Bank. The project refers to the acquisition of a medium-sized commercial bank and has passed through legal, financial and tax due diligence, negotiations and signing of Share Purchase Agreement, Escrow Agreement and is now in the stage of obtaining the respective regulatory approvals from the Bulgarian National Bank and the Competition Protection Commission.

The Chairman and Senior Partner of PM&P represented UBB as bond emission trustee, providing the overall defence of creditors’ rights over the bond emission, incl. legal representation in the event of bankruptcy proceedings against Bross Holding, but also overall representation in all other enforcement proceedings initiated under the Registered Pledges Act and other legal issues related to the case.

Mr.Vladimir Penkov and PM&P’s team also were a consultant of Piraeus Bank Bulgaria AD as collateral agent to the bank syndicate including also United Bulgarian Bank, Unicredit Bulbank and Alpha Bank – Bulgaria Branch.

Another client of the law firm is HYPO NOE Gruppe Bank AG, Austria. Mr.Penkov’s involvement has included among others: due diligence review of the two companies that operate the photovoltaic plants (Kompania za Energetika I Razvitie EOOD and Green Energy Park AD); preparation of preliminary legal opinions for the purpose of participation of the client as co-lender together with Société Générale Expressbank AD and PV Investments ЕAD; review and revision of the respective Club Loan Agreements and all securities agreements; review of the certificates issued by the Commercial Register, the Central Register of Special Pledges and the Property Register evidencing the granting of the securities by the borrowers, co-debtors and mortgage debtor; issuance of final legal opinions re legal compliance of the transaction.

Emil Delchev

Emil Delchev headed the legal and tax department of Ernst and Young (Sofia) from 1995 until 1998. From 1998 to 2002 Emil Delchev was contracted to be in charge of the legal and tax department of Arthur Andersen (Sofia). Upon the demise of Andersen in 2002 and following a merger between Ernst & Young and Andersen in Bulgaria Emil Delchev headed the tax service line of Ernst & Young (Sofia) until February 2005 when he founded Delchev and Partners.

Emil Delchev brings the most valuable experience in practically all areas of law and taxation. Emil Delchev has guided hundreds of foreign investors in establishing their businesses in Bulgarian in times when Bulgaria changed from state to market economy. He has been involved from both legal and tax perspective in privatizations, restructurings, M&As, due diligence processes, acquisitions. Emil Delchev has provided advice in relation to some of the biggest and most complex transactions in Bulgaria.

Significant Representations:

– Involvement in complex shareholders arrangements and disputes between the shareholders in TechnomarketDomo NV, which included Bulgarian and Dutch law aspects. Regarding the Dutch law aspects of the matter Delchev & Partners co-operated with Clifford Chance (Amsterdam), together also participating in a following litigation before the Dutch court. TechnomarketDomo NV (“TMD”) used to be the owner of K&K Electronics EAD – the largest retailer and wholesaler of electronics in Bulgaria operating under the brand name Technomarket. TMD is also the owner of the Romania Domo retail operations – a market leader on the Romanian consumer electronics market.
– Advice to the giant ALSTOM for more than 8 years in the largest, most important project for Bulgaria in the last 20 years. ALSTOM is the general contractor of the American energy company “AES” in the construction of Thermal Power Plant of 670-MW. The project cost is estimated at EUR 1.2 billion.
– Vendor due diligence in relation to Delta Maxi’s disposal of its food retail business to Delhaize Group.
– Advice and effectuation of a cross-border, multi-jurisdictional restructuring of East Balkan Properties plc. – AIM listed company investing in the property market of South East Europe, primarily in commercial, retail and industrial property with principal focus on Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia.
– Tax due diligence, tax advice and transaction support to Heitman in its acquisition of the City Center Sofia Shopping Mall in Sofia, Bulgaria, from Equest Balkan Properties plc. The acquisition is one of the largest real estate transactions in the SEE region with a price of €101.5 million paid by Heitman through its European Property Partners III fund.
– Sell-side advisor and provision of the complete range of M&A services to the shareholders of 2be in relation to the disposal of their shares to the Bulgarian Telecommunication Company. The transaction included inter alia complicated intellectual property and competition aspects. 2be is the biggest phone accessories retail chain in Bulgaria.
– Sell-side advisor to Pamporovo Ski in the disposal of the Pamporovo Ski’s going concerning to Amer Sports. Pamporovo Ski is the only Bulgarian ski factory and is among the top 10 world ski manufacturers.
– Due diligence, transaction support, CPC notifications and advice to Delta Maxi for the acquisition of the prestigious Bulgarian chain of supermarket operating under the brand name “Piccadilly”.
– Transaction support and advice to the shareholders of diary company Fama in the disposal of the business to the Spanish private equity group GED. Notification of the transaction to the Bulgarian competition regulator.
– Advised Wrigley Bulgaria on the reorganization of the business activity.
– Buy-side adviser to a US stock-exchange listed corporation Bovie Medical Corporation in the acquisition of Bovie-Bulgaria EOOD for the price of approximately USD 1.2 million.
– Advised Agrana Zucker GmbH on the restructuring of the business activity in Bulgaria with regard to the merger of Agrana Bulgaria EAD into Agrana Trading EOOD;

Education:

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Moscow (Master of Law)

Other Qualifications:

– licensed Administrator of Insolvent Companies (Order # LC-04-72/2006 published in State Gazette # 16/21.02.2006);
– officially registered with the Bulgarian Patent Office as an industrial property representative under No 403;
– officially registered with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM) as European Trade Mark and Design Attorney under No. 73148.

Bar Admissions:

Member of the Bar

Languages:

English, French, Russian

Irina Stoyanova

Irina has a PgDip in Legal Practice (Commercial Route) and an LLB from the University of Manchester. Most of her work to date has been on the business law needs of SMEs. Her main focus areas are non-contentious commercial and contract law, corporate law, the sale and supply of goods and private acquisitions. Her recent fields of development include corporate governance and business development. Irina has been a part of NBLO’s team since 2011 and has worked in both our London and Sofia practices. At the beginning of 2016 Irina undertook the position of Director of the Sofia Office and allocates her time between providing advisory and managerial services.

Qualifications:

University of Manchester (LLB)
University of Law (PgDip)

Practice Areas:

General Corporate and Commercial, Insolvency, Private Client, Acquisitions, Employment, Real Estate, EU law.

Our History:

NBLO was set up in 2005 at a time when the Bulgarian legal market was really starting to open up to smaller, more specialised firms. The founding NBLO partners wanted to create a law firm whose clear primary focus was on Bulgaria but which would also operate to some extent as a dual jurisdiction legal consultancy providing both Bulgarian law and UK law advice; this was succeeded by the opening of both offices in Bulgaria and London. Following Bulgaria’s accession to the EU, the firm has gone from strength to strength, periodically expanding its staff numbers as well as diversifying its portfolio of practice areas.

Our Work:

NBLO is typically called upon by its clients to either be:
sole advisers in transactions with a Bulgarian law basis; or
the counterpart to international lawyers in transactions involving Bulgarian elements; or
a part of a network of advisers in a multi-jurisdictional deal.
In each of these types of work, NBLO is able to match the legal, technological, time-management, document production, commercial and communication expectations of clients and law firm partners alike.

Our Key Capabilities:

As well as our dual-jurisdiction offices mentioned above, we believe we have a variety of key capabilities which make us stand out from other Bulgarian law firms:

Local industry and business awareness

We realise how crucial  it is when giving quality legal service to understand the character and dynamics of clients’ industries. In this regard, we maintain regular contacts within the Bulgarian business community and pride ourselves on being up-to-date on all international economic developments in the wider Central & Eastern Europe region.

Efficient and cost-conscious

We always make additional efforts to pinpoint our legal advice for our clients’ purposes and to obviate inefficiencies where possible and this often pays off for our clients. We equally understand that our clients work within budgets and we are always keen to present a clear and transparent cost structure to them. In this respect, we will agree charges with clients at the time of instruction, and can help with the management of costs if this becomes necessary.

Speaking your language

We make sure we can draft and conduct business in a variety of languages in addition to Bulgarian and English, the latter of which all of our staff speak by default.

Commitment to technological excellence

We understand how effective information use impacts on our work and we consider the technological processes we have in place at our offices to be cutting-edge. We continue to strive for excellence in this area and regularly educate both support staff and fee-earners in a variety of current technologies. In addition, we have the ability to draw on an engineering support team to quickly implement any specific document exchange or technological requirements a client may request.