Bulgaria

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body:  Висш адвокатски съвет (Supreme Bar Council)

Competition authority: Комисия за Защита на Конкуренцията (Commission for Protection of Competition) 

Financial regulator: Комисия за финансов надзор (Financial Supervision Commission)

IFLR1000 ranking categories in this jurisdiction:

Banking and finance, M&A, Project development

Jurisdiction overview

Bulgaria operates on a system of civil law, with essences of French and German structures prevalent. 

The Republic of Bulgaria is historically linked with Russia; it shares the Cyrillic alphabet with the nation, and was a member of the Soviet Bloc until its dissolution in 1989. In recent times the political economy of Bulgaria is more linked to that of Austria, which was instrumental in the countries modernisation and is geographically linked by the Danube River. Consequently, of the international firms present in Bulgaria, the majority are Austrian; a trend reflected across much of CEE. 

The legal market of Bulgaria is dominated by its domestic firms at all levels, with the exception of a small handful of internationals that remain present. There are not any restrictions limiting foreign firms from within the EU from opening in Bulgaria, so long as all practicing lawyers register to the local bar as well as their own jurisdiction. 

Those who have already entered the market include Austrian firms Wolf Theiss and Schoenherr, as well as CMS and recent addition Kinstellar, an offshoot of Linklaters focusing on the CEE region, though there is consensus in the market that it is a difficult environment in which to thrive. Foreign firms in Bulgaria have traditionally been referral based, but appear to be relying on this system less and less frequently. 

Domestic firms form the mainstay of what is a very competitive, and often specialised market. Established brands Boyanov & Co and Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov sit at the apex of the market and are backed up by several excellent firms that provide competition across the domain of financial and corporate law. 

Financial and corporate
Boyanov & Co

Boyanov & Co is one of the leading financial and corporate firms in Bulgaria. It is a co-founder of SEE Legal, an organisation of 10 leading firms covering 12 jurisdictions across the Balkans.

Foreign entities make up most of the firm's client base as such the firm typically acts as Bulgarian counsel to large foreign banks and investors on cross border financing, refinancing and M&A transactions.

During the research period TMT, banking and real estate have been the most active sectors for the firm and it was active on financing and M&A work. Acquisition of real estate and telecoms companies created work. It was active for lenders and acquirers.

In project development the firm is notable for its energy practice with expertise in nuclear energy and oil and gas projects. It advises on tender procedures for concession contracts.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Advance Media Group €185 million acquisition of Nova Broadcasting

•Albania Telecom Invest €50 million acquisition of Telekom Albania

•Energo Pro €250 million 4.5% bond issue

•PPF Group €2.8 billion acquisition of Telenor's CEE business

•Vivacom €400 million refinancing  

Client feedback

“Highly professional and huge legal experiences with deep knowledge in the industry sector.” - Banking

“Very high international standards, unique corporate culture and values, excellent speed and efficiency, lots of experience, wisdom and business solutions.” - Banking, M&A

“The firm has a great reputation in the Bulgaria and is also a strategic leader for the SEE Legal network in the SEE region. Individuals sticking out are Borislav Boyanov (for his excellent connections and strategic advice) and Damian Simeonov (for his superb finance related work).” - M&A

Borislav Boyanov

“Strategic thinker, extremely experienced and knowledgeable locally and internationally. Well recognized everywhere.”

Damian Simeonov

“Excellent professional, huge finance experience, versatile education, business-oriented and client-friendly specialist.”

Georgi Drenski

“Very good knowledge of finance products, very helpful in finding the right solution for our needs.”

BWSP Ilieva Voutcheva & Co

Illieva Voutcheva & Co is full-service law firm that is active in cross border transactions. It has a strong M&A practice and secures in banking and project development work.

Advising as counsel on both buy and sell sides, the firm acted across the energy, manufacturing and real estate sectors on M&A deals recently. The firm also advised its clients on the financing aspects of the M&A transactions.

In the projects space the firm advised its clients prepare for participation on tender and public procurement procedures on social and transport infrastructure projects. 

Client feedback

"The team is very effective and provides business-oriented advice. They work fast but keep the work very precise." – M&A

"We are very happy with the services provided." – Project Development

CERHA HEMPEL Gerginov Aehrenthal Zivny

Cerha Hempel Gerginov Aehrenthal Zivny is the Bulgarian office of the Austrian Cerha Hempel law firm.  

The firm primarily acts as local counsel to European and American companies on cross border financing and M&A transactions. Its Austrian origins also attracts German-speaking investors in Bulgaria.  

During the research period the firm was most active in the technology sector, advising multinational technology companies on local regulations and transfer of services.  

Client feedback 

"Very competent professionals and trusty advisors." – Banking  

"Solid practical advice and business focused driving positive results with the right amount of risk." – Banking  

"Very responsive and clear commercial advice." – Banking  

 "Reliable partner with expertise in local legislation, good track record, knowledge and CHSH network resources." – M&A 

"Their assistance was highly professional, efficient and practical. They always manage to provide adequate legal solution to complex transactions and legal challenges. They are trustworthy and reliable. They are responsive and reachable, which make our cooperation easy, and I am always happy with the outcomes." – M&A 

"They are very dedicated to their work, proactive, focused on customer interests and very prompt. They have vast knowledge and are very flexible. They never exceed the deadline and provide you with security - every request is treated with seriousness and professionalism." – M&A 

"Excellent support, deep understanding of the subject on which they consult us and valued by the corporate legal colleagues and the labour relations specialists." – M&A 

"Very good and professional approach and on time delivery." – Project development 

"The cost-to-service ratio is excellent." – Project development 

CMS Sofia

CMS is one of the leading firms in Bulgaria. Its Sofia office draws on support from its network of international offices strengthening its cross-border capabilities. It has a strong reputation in M&A where it consistently acts on a high volume of deals in the CEE region.

In banking and finance the firm is traditionally more active on the lender side. It has been active on a mix of acquisition, real estate and project finance and has represented banks on NPL disposals.

In M&A, regional consolidation in the banking sector has provided work for the firm during the research period. Real estate continues to be an active sector for the firm where it advises investment funds, banks, and foreign investors on the acquisitions of retail properties in Bulgaria. Telecom sector has also provided buy and sell side transactions for the firm.

In the projects space the firm advises foreign bidders on concessions and public procurement contracts across transport and social infrastructure. In the energy sector the firm is most active in oil and gas, where it advises foreign and local energy companies on exploration projects and licensing. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•B2 Holding acquisition of UniCredit Bulbank NPL portfolio

•Elin Pelin – Kostenets railway refurbishment

•Globe Trade Centre €100 million acquisition of Mall of Sofia

•Lion's Head Investments €80 million acquisition of Megapark office building

•OTP Bank acquisition of Société Générale Bulgaria

Client feedback

"Very high quality deliverables, strong expertise in both English and local law, approachable and timely." – Banking 

"CMS are experts in the Oil and gas laws in Bulgaria. They provide quick and business-focused solutions on complex matters and unique contract constellations in the O&G industry." – M&A

Deloitte Legal Law Firm

Deloitte Legal is active in financial and corporate and project development areas. It gets support from its legal network on cross border transactions.  

The firm is strongest in the banking and finance practice area. It advises both lenders and borrowers on transactional and regulatory matters. The firm is often active in the regulated sector advising the lenders and creditors on financings and restructurings.

In M&A the firm is active across various sectors, with real estate creating most of the firm's M&A work during the research period. The firm also advises private equity firms on acquisitions in Bulgaria.

In the projects space the firm counts local municipalities and corporates active in the energy sector among its recurring clients. During the research period it provided due diligence support and legal support on licensing, permits and concession agreements on both the energy and infrastructure projects.

Client feedback

"Highly experienced team of professionals with proven track record and knowledge." – Banking 

Dimitrov Petrov & Co

Dimitrov Petrov & Co is a notable corporate law firm and is most active in the real estate and technology sectors. The firm has experience in the funds' space and advised on the first MiFID II license in Bulgaria.

In the banking space the firm is active on the borrower side of financings in the real estate sector. During the research period it also picked up work in the agriculture sector. Banks also mandated the firm to advise as creditors on restructurings.

In M&A the firm advises foreign companies on acquisitions and investments in Bulgarian entities and assets in the technology and real estate sector. Domestic clients also provide steady work for the firm in the area.

In project development work the firm recently advised its clients on concessions and public procurement procedures for transport infrastructure projects. The firm also advised clients on obtaining energy trading licences and minerals exploration concessions. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Iron Mountain International Holdings acquisition of Hamilton Data Services

•MSI Bulgaria Project/UTI Grupa joint venture

Client feedback

"I have never felt any disappointment with the solutions offered by my legal advisors. They have always demonstrated brilliant competency, and my business would not have progressed so quickly without their highly professional support." – Banking 

"Excellent team of highly competent lawyers, well organised in a firm that impresses with quality standards and professional conduct. They are credible, reliable and reputable." – M&A

"This is our first work with the law firm but so far they have left an excellent impression. They obviously have a competent and experienced team capable of offering solutions. It makes me feel relaxed and confident in the successful conclusion of this important deal." – M&A

"We are very pleased and happy to work with the professional team of DPC.  They are extremely experienced and qualified, always supporting us in every issue and in short deadlines." – Project development

"Excellent and skilled professionals, with deep knowledge of the local legal environment and of the business needs of the client." – Project development

"Great law firm, outstanding practitioners, success-focused, innovative and responsive." – Project development

"DPC has a trustworthy and reliable partner. They have been providing us with specialised lawyers for different areas of work, all of whom were knowledgeable and professional. They performed reliably and on time. The overall quality of written material is consistently above expectation. Their communication is clear, quick, friendly and consistent throughout. The billing policy is transparent and fair." – Project development 

"I am impressed by the team's high competency, flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking. They never give up and always stand behind us, supporting every project until it is closed successfully." – Project development 

"We are extremely glad with the quality of legal advice given in all areas and the working solutions offered in support to our projects. As a financial director of the company, I have to state that every penny paid for outsourced legal services has high return in terms of positive effect on our business. Every member of the law firm is expert in his / her area and responds to our inquiries timely and effectively. We particularly value their experience and good relations with local officials and regulatory authorities." – Project development 

Dinova Rusev & Partners

Dinova Rusev & Partners is a full service firm that is well regarded for its energy law expertise.  

In banking and finance the firm acts as Bulgarian counsel to foreign entities in their capacity as borrowers in negotiating credit facilities, acquisition and project financing, refinancing and restructuring transactions. It also advises financial and credit institutions on regulatory matters in relation to licensing and extension of consumer credits in Bulgaria. 

In M&A the firm advises some of the leading global and European brands and US private equity funds. Working alongside international law firms, Dinova Rusev & Partners acts as local counsel to global transactions across several sectors including real estate, consumer goods and technology among others.  

In the projects space the firm's energy law expertise is often called up by European energy companies to advise on acquisitions, development and regulatory matters in relation to renewable and traditional energy projects. The firm's partner is also active in the development of energy legislative changes. During the research period, it also advised its clients on concessions in the mining and transport infrastructure areas.  

Client feedback 

"Very effective, quick response time and understanding of the issues." – Capital markets: debt 

"The firm fully cover our needs. Their work is prompt and accurate. I do not see weakness or room for improvement." – M&A 

"Very accurate and reliable services." – M&A  

"Very strict, very prompt and broad knowledge on legal matters." – M&A 

"Proactive, business oriented, efficient and dedicated to me as a client. I don't think another firm would have been as successful as Dinova Rusev & Partners had been in closing the last deal." – M&A 

"Iliya Grozdanov demonstrated deep and extensive knowledge of the energy industry, its relevant legislation and regulatory issues and combined them with an agile and very business-like approach to customers." – Project development 

Anelia Dinova 

"Very efficient." 

Georgi Bladov 

"Prompt and accurate services." 

"Very precise and deep knowledge of our business. I can fully rely on his work." 

Iliya Grozdanov 

"Prompt and broad knowledge in the legal matters and international law." 

"Iliya Grozdanov demonstrated deep and extensive knowledge of the energy industry, its relevant legislation and regulatory issues and combined them with an agile and very business-like approach to customers." 

Konstantin Stambolov 

"Very professional and reliable." 

"Very efficient." 

Anelia Dinova and Hristian Gueorguiev 

"Shrewd, professional, thoughtful, solutions-oriented, reliable, committed and going above and beyond" 

Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov

Djingov Gouginski Kyutchukov & Velichkov (DGKV) is one of the most prominent independent firms in Bulgaria and is often seen advising on the market's largest financial and corporate transactions. 

In banking and finance the firm is most active on the lender side, advising domestic and foreign banks on acquisition financings. It also represents banks as creditors on debt restructurings. On the borrower side the firm's financing activities are comparatively lower in volume, but during the research period it acted on a high value acquisition financing for a borrower on an M&A deal in the telecom sector. 

In the capital markets space during the research period, the firm worked on a rare IPO in the market where it advised the issuer. It also advised a different issuer on the establishment of a bond programme and a subsequent issue under it.

In M&A the firm is active across several sectors, with IT and real estate keeping the firm busy during the research period. It also acted as Bulgarian counsel to international companies and private equity firms on several large global transactions.

In the projects space the firm has strong infrastructure and PPP expertise. It is also notable for advising participants on public procurement tenders across transport, electricity and oil and gas sectors. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Globe Trade Centre €100 million acquisition of Mall of Sofia

•Gradus -1 BSO IPO

•Kronospan €100 million financing

•PPF Group €3 billion MTN programme

•PPF Group €2.8 billion acquisition of Telenor's CEE business

Client feedback

“As always, the approach was very professional and commercial. We appreciated the input in the structuring of the deal given the overall complexity. There was a smooth execution which made all the parties happy.” - Banking

“Highly recommend the team - very diligent, knowledgeable, professional, efficient, good attitude towards finding solutions and making a transaction happen.” - Banking, M&A

“Excellent firm - one of the finest in CEE, including the international law firms. The firm is very diligent and thorough and delivers the exact work product asked of them, within the timelines and budget required.” - M&A

“DGKV are the best law firm in the Bulgaria. I regularly try to use them and recommend them internally within our company and to our clients. DGKV know international and local practices well and is great at looking at issues. They are also very prompt, thorough and professional.”

“DGKV is professional, diligent, trustworthy and always ready to help.” - M&A

“The firm was always very responsive, clear in their advice and provided regular updates that were very helpful.” - Project development

Georgi Tzvetkov

“Experienced and knowledgeable in structuring the transactions across a wide field of different industries. He is open minded, commercial and generates ideas to support successful structuring and execution of transactions. He always finds solutions and is very pragmatic in his approach.”

Ralitsa Gougleva

“She is professional, thoughtful and diligent. She is easy to speak to and makes you feel less pressure during the tight project timeline.”

Violetta Kunze

“She is professional, diligent and kind. Although she was not deeply involved in the deal, she was present whenever she was needed, provided all kinds of solutions to solve the problem again and again.”

Zdravka Ugrinova

“Zdravka is one of the best lawyers I've come across in CEE. She is extremely professional, responsive and always on the top of the issues. She involves the right people on the right issues.”

“Provided excellent service.”

Dobrev & Lyutskanov

Dobrev & Lyutskanov is active across the board and often advises foreign clients on Bulgarian in cross border transactions.

In the banking space the firm's regulatory strength is often called upon by foreign and domestic banking and non-banking institutions. 

The firm's M&A team is well versed in share transfers and due diligence work on behalf of foreign and local companies.

In the projects space the firm has been active in the renewable sector recently, advising on the development of hydro-electric plants in Bulgaria. It also supported the state's legal team on drafting the legislation for the implementation of a toll system.

Georgiev Todorov & Co

Georgiev Todorov & Co is active in corporate work in the financial services, investment and TMT sectors. It advises both domestic and foreign clients and counts development banks, telecommunication companies and private equity firms among its clients.

In the banking space the firm primarily advises financial institutions on regulatory matters.

In M&A the firm has experience across several sectors with notable expertise in the TMT sector. During the research period it advised domestic telecommunication company on its joint venture with a bank. Elsewhere, it advised a buyer on a cross border acquisition in the healthcare sector.

In project development work the firm advised engineering and construction companies on public procurement in the heritage and railways sectors. It also provided legal advice to a potential bidder on a concession project in the transport sector.

During the research period senior partner Alexander Katzarsky and energy lawyer Ilian Beslemeshki left the firm.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Bulgarian Stock Exchange €2.6 million acquisition of Independent Bulgarian Energy Exchange

•Bulgarian Telecommunication Company / Bulgarian American Credit Bank joint venture

Gugushev & Partners

Gugushev & Partners is a strong financial and corporate law firm. 

In banking, the firm advises a mix of borrowers and lenders on transactional activities in Bulgaria. It is particularly active on collateral agreements, advising international credit institutions on negotiations with Bulgarian entities. 

In M&A the firm advises Bulgarian entities on domestic and cross border transactions. During the research period, it also acted for a Chinese client on the sale of its Bulgarian subsidiaries. 

During the research period the firm opened an office in Brussels.

Client feedback 

"Gugushev and Partners managed to accomplish all work related to the credit facility agreement with high level of quality and proficiency. They demonstrated an outstanding work experience and expertise in such deals outlining any risks that our company could be facing throughout all procedures. They also prepared professionally and in precise details all documents and agreements. All work done by Gugushev and Partners Law Office was in a fast and efficient manner." – Banking  

"Very reliable and credible. High level of professionalism and expertise." – Banking

"Gugushev & Partners Law Office handled the matters with great professionalism. We were quite impressed with how organized and easy the entire process was from beginning to end. We received quality and expedited service and all the time felt secure that our company was being represented by highly qualified and experienced attorneys. As the experience we have with the firm is exceptional, we can only highly recommend it." – M&A

Hristov & Partners

Hristov & Partners is active in the corporate space and often gets referrals from international law firms. During the research period it was active in cross border M&A transactions across sectors including energy and entertainment.

Client feedback

"We are very happy with the support we received. They are straight-forward and very clear." – M&A

"Excellent knowledge of Bulgarian market, very good understanding of business project, and good consultation on how to approach data protection." – Project development

Kambourov & Partners

Kambourov & Partners is a strong corporate firm notable for its work on local and cross border M&A transactions. The firm also has a strong project development offering.

In banking and finance the firm has a reputation for advising banks on issues arising from insolvency proceedings. It also advises local and foreign banks and financial institutions on a mix of syndicated and bilateral loans in relation to corporate and acquisition financings. 

In M&A the firm has acted for both buyers and sellers across several sectors including banking, real estate and TMT recently. During the research period the firm picked up several M&A transactions in the IT sector advising foreign clients on the Bulgarian aspects of the acquisition. 

In projects space the firm advises international construction companies on concession procedures and development of manufacturing plants in Bulgaria. Elsewhere, it is active in road transport and oil and gas infrastructure projects. It advises project developers and investors on exploration contracts, public procurement and implementation procedures. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Advance Media Group €185 million acquisition of Nova Broadcasting

•Stillfront Group €10 million acquisition of Imperia Online

•Verisk acquisition of SAP Content as a Service business

•Vivacom €400 million refinancing 

Client feedback

"The firm is highly specialized and experienced with deep industry insight and unrivalled knowledge of the banking/finance sector. It also integrates various teams to cover all legal aspects. The team is proficient in cross-border financing and performs impressively in multi-party matters and complex finance transactions." – Banking 

"They have positive attitude, out-of-the box thinking, excellent teamwork, strong analysis and strong communication skills. They are also pro-active, intuitive, timely, responsive and able to work with people from different backgrounds." – M&A 

"Quick turn-around, pragmatic solutions and good availability." – M&A

"The firm delivers services of the highest quality and at all times demonstrates impeccable professionalism. Strengths include solid cross-border transactional experience, unique market insight, strategic thinking and ability to think way ahead of anyone else. The entire team are also fantastic negotiators and dealmakers." – M&A 

"I am very impressed with the firm's work. The lawyers are meticulous professionals, technically brilliant and with strong business focus. They are internally very well organised, so reactions are fast and efficient. The firm has good connections in both the private and public sectors." – M&A 

Kinkin & Partners

Kinkin & partners is active in all practice areas covered by the rankings and is particularly active in the restructuring space. Active across several sectors, it has stronger focus on work in real estate, industrials and agricultural.  

In banking and finance the firm is counsel to banks and non-banking corporations on corporate restructuring and reorganisation mandates. During the research period it also picked up several mandates advising foreign clients on the release of financial means from electronic money accounts and Bulgarian bank.  

In M&A during the research period it primarily acted for Bulgarian companies on such transactions but other European entities and Asian company sought out the firm's cross border expertise.  

In the projects space the firm has been active in infrastructure project development advising foreign investors on development real estate construction projects in Bulgaria. It also provided due diligence service to a Bulgarian architecture company in relation to the construction of small hydro power plant in Bulgaria.  

The firm advises its clients on corporate restructurings via sale of shares, transfer of business and reorganisations. 

Client feedback 

"Our long lasting relationship with Kinkin & Partners has given us security and confidence in the final results. The law firm has a good reputation in the market and our overall impression is that the team of lawyers is highly qualified and has solid legal knowledge." – Banking 

"Received expected service in a field I am new to." – Project development 

"We are impressed with the whole working team in general. They are very organized and ambitious in all processes at all times." – Project development 

Adriana Nacheva 

"We can say that she is among the best attorneys in the field of real estate." 

Vladimir Kinkin 

"Very organized lawyer and ambitious. He was always very professional and positive." 

Nikolay Radev, Tsvetelina Stoilova and Vladimir Kinkin 

"The lawyers that mainly work on our case are Mr. Vladimir Kinkin, Mr. Nikolay Radev and Mrs. Tsvetelina Stoilova. They are dedicated on the case, highly experienced, straight forward and precise. They are able to see the big picture and provide more than one possible solutions with a view to give us the best possible result."  

Kinstellar

In a short space of time since opening, Kinstellar has developed strong banking and M&A practices in Sofia. 

The firm's banking expertise includes work on syndicated and bilateral loans. It advises both lenders and borrowers on acquisition, real estate and project finance. The firm is also capable of advising banks on the disposal of NPL portfolios. Clients include a mix of domestic and foreign banks and financial institutions on the lenders’ side, while borrower clients include a mix of property developers, private equity firms and energy companies, among others.

In the M&A space the firm's network and close co-operation with referral firms have brought in large volume of cross border work across various sectors recently. It regularly acts as Bulgarian counsel on high value global transactions and has had a mix of buy and sell side roles. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Apex Group $24 billion acquisition of Custom House

•EQT VIII fund $2.5 billion acquisition of SUSE

•GTT Communications €1.9 billion acquisition of Interoute

•KKR £6.8 billion acquisition of Unilever's spreads business

•Lion's Head Investments €80 million acquisition of Megapark office building

Nina Boteva Law Office

Nina Boteva Law Office is a corporate and commercial law firm that is strongest in M&A. The firm focuses on SMEs advising them on sale purchase agreements under Bulgarian law. It also advises its clients on corporate restructurings and bank loan agreements. 

Penkov Markov & Partners

Penkov Markov & Partners is a strong firm with strong reputation in M&A. Operating out of six offices in Bulgaria, the firm covers the entire Bulgarian territory.

The firm often advises European companies on investments, exits, acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate reorganisations in Bulgaria.

During the research period the firm concluded work on the largest ever real estate transaction in Bulgaria while also picking up a big-ticket transaction in the energy sector. 

During the research period the firm lost two corporate partners in Svetlin Adranov, who joined E&Y Legal, and Svetoslav Dimitrov, who left the legal market.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•BA Glass acquisition of Drujba Glassworks

•Eurohold €335 million acquisition of CEZ Group Bulgarian assets

•Klett Lernen und Information acquisition of 79% stake in Anubis-Bulvest

Client feedback

“The team of Penkov Markov & Partners always strives to meet the clients’ requirements. We receive timely, comprehensive and very useful advice. The team is very competent, easy to reach and has proven professional expertise. Quite often the team goes beyond its legal role to provide useful business feedback and guidance, providing us with good examples and the best practices from the market. We feel secure and trust the team of Penkov and Markov to handle our legal concerns and projects.” - M&A

“They are highly professional, hardworking, quick and client oriented.” - Restructuring and insolvency

Alexander Stefanov

“The overall excellent feedback we provide for Penkov & Markov & Partners is namely because of the team we work with, and the energy, devotion and great professional and business expertise of Mr. Alexander Stefanov. He acts as a key point of contact for a wide range of legal matters, taking the leadership and organising, structuring and guiding the work of his team in order to meet our requirements in terms of quality and deadlines. Very often he goes beyond the current legal issue we are facing by helping us understand, address and take decisions from a broader business perspective.”

Roman Stoyanov

“Very well prepared, always available and highly supportive.”

Peterka & Partners

The Bulgarian office of Peterka & Partners offers similar services as its network offices across the CEE region. Its network offices allow the firm to take on cross border transactions. 

During the research period the firm provided due diligence support to an international law firm on an acquisition in the gambling industry. 

In the projects space the firm advised a transport vehicles supplier on a public tender mandate. 

Savov & Partners

Savov & Partners is a corporate law firm that is active in M&A. The firm advises foreign clients on corporate restructurings and operations in Bulgaria across various sectors. It also advises domestic companies on joint ventures. 

During the research period the firm acted on a buy-side acquisition of an NPL portfolio.

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova)

The cooperation between Schoenherr and Stoyanov & Tsekova has produced a strong financial and corporate firm in Bulgaria. Its domestic expertise supported by Schoenherr's regional presence enables the Bulgarian office to take on the local elements of large multijurisdictional transactions.

The firm has a strong presence in banking and often works for local and regional banks on acquisition financings, the sale of NPL portfolios and debt restructurings. The firm also provides legal opinions in relation to collateral and netting arrangements and repo transactions. 

In M&A the firm is active across several sectors advising on regional and domestic transactions. During the research period the firm acted on big ticket transactions in the telecoms and banking sectors. 

In the project space the firm has a strong focus on the oil and gas sector. The research period saw the firm advise a multinational oil company and an international energy company on exploration rights and regulatory issues in relation to operations in Bulgaria.    

Recent Deal Data highlights

•B2 Holding acquisition of UniCredit Bulbank NPL portfolio

•DBZ restructuring

•Kolhberg & Company €75.7 million acquisition financing

•OTP Bank acquisition of Société Générale Bulgaria

•PPF Group €2.8 billion acquisition of Telenor's CEE business

Client feedback

"Proactive, efficient, understanding of client's needs and cost effective." – M&A 

"The standard of advice and the level of responsiveness offered by Schoenherr were very high." – M&A 

Spasov & Bratanov

Spasov & Bratanov is a local firm that has established itself among the leaders domestically in financial and corporate work. 

In banking and finance the firm has a lender side expertise and often advises international banks and financial institutions on cross border financings. It also advises banks on their bond issues.

In the M&A space the firm is active on both the buy and sell side and has picked up mandates across the media, energy and oil and gas sectors during the research period. 

The firm's oil and gas expertise extends to project development work where it has been advising the project companies on the development of Bulgaria-Greece Interconnector project.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Advance Media Group €185 million acquisition of Nova Broadcasting

•Bulgarian Energy Holding €150 million 3.5% bond issue

•Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria pipeline

•Vivacom €400 million refinancing  

Client feedback

“Prominent team of professionals. Their contribution to the legal aspect of a complex deal structuring was extremely valuable. We very much appreciate their commercial and business-like approach.” - Capital markets: debt

“Great performance, professional competence and good communication in multinational environment and efficient negotiation to find solutions.” - M&A

“Spot on legal advice. Very dedicated and very well connected.” - Project development

“No cons, pros only. I would commend highly the work of the firm's partners and associates and would say that its quality and delivery is as good as any London law firm.” - Project finance

Georgi Spasov

“Great competence and understanding of problems, efficient communication, creative solutions and good international collaboration.”

Vassil Hadjov

“Vassil is very likeable and down-to-earth person but at the same time he is an intellectual problem solver, a very business-minded practitioner with a great knowledge of the Bulgarian and the international energy sector and law. As a result, he has been able to advise us on important legal and strategic issues. He is well connected and is very sensitive to cultural and political issues. Vassil has been an invaluable adviser to our Bulgarian team since the start of our main project in Bulgaria. Vassil has also been the main external legal adviser to our shared services center in Sofia and the wind and solar operations in Bulgaria which include the construction and operation of the largest wind farm in Bulgaria and the construction of several photovoltaic parks.”

“A real pleasure to work with, very responsive, excellent command of English and very well versed in energy matters.”

Georgi Spasov and Nadia Hadjova

“Both Georgi and Nadiya are recognized for their experiences in general corporate lending, in-depth knowledge as well as their negotiation skills. They manage and are supported by a strong and experienced team. Their advices on syndicated and complex financing transactions were very valuable. They have been highly regarded for the hands-on, pragmatic and commercial approach.”

Tocheva & Mandazhieva Law Office

Tocheva & Mandazhieva Law Office focuses on the financial industry, advising banks and investment firms on regulatory compliance and day-to-day operations in Bulgaria. 

During the research period it acted for an international trading company on the sale of SPVs in Bulgaria. 

Client feedback

"They have a very thorough and creative approach." – Banking 

"Very positive cooperation, expertise and professional attitude." – Banking 

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski has a strong banking and finance team that has expertise in capital markets transactions. Well-versed in debt capital markets deals, the firm advises leading energy clients on bond issues. In lending transactions, it typically acts for the borrowers. Banks look to the firm for advice on regulatory matters under Bulgarian and European law.

In M&A the firm acts as Bulgarian counsel on cross border transactions. During the research period it picked up notable sell side transaction in the media sector.

In the project development area the firm is active in the electricity sector, often advising its clients on electricity supply agreements. The firm also advises clients on public procurement matters in oil and gas and transport sector projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Advance Media Group €185 million acquisition of Nova Broadcasting

•Compass Euroselect mutual fund

•Energo-Pro €250 million 4.5% bond issue

•Falcom Io acquisition of Komfo

•Vivacom €400 million refinancing  

Client feedback

“We are more than happy working with Mr. Bebov, Mr. Grozdanov and other persons from their team. It is easy to communicate with each of the TBK team.” - Banking

“The firm's analysis was extremely thorough and timely; they were readily available to answer follow-up questions and provide drafting suggestions on a document drafted by ourselves.” - Banking

“The firm is very responsive. They give practical advice and they are very close to the government and aware of what has been going on in the market.” - Banking

“Educated staff with deep knowledge. Business oriented way of thinking and finding solutions that perfectly match the applicable regulations with client needs. Excellent understanding of the financial terms, good market practices, financial instruments and financial slang. No need to explain much to them as they speak banker's language.” - Banking

“Extremely helpful and responsive. Very professional and puts a very high emphasis on customer service. Very impressed with the overall service and looking forward to our continued working relationship.” - M&A

“Excellent, pro-active local support, particularly on escrow documentation and deal closing. 

Very good knowledge of the market, very high professionalism, knowledge of languages, high reliability and availability.” - M&A

“Very good knowledge of the country, very high legal competence, reliability, availability and knowledge of languages.” - M&A

“Very competent in all aspects, including Escrow account documentation. Highly professional.” -M&A

“TBK provided extremely professional legal advice. They demonstrated deep understanding not only on the legal matters concerned but on the needs of the business too. Their support has always been results-oriented, timely, comprehensive and based on a thorough analysis of all legal aspects at hand.” - M&A

“Good knowledge of the market, good regional and international network and understanding of the EU law and potential local implications.” - Project development

“Qualified lawyers in different areas. Sometimes they are quite slow, but in general, the level of service is good.” - Project development

Dimitar Grozdanov

“Extremely helpful and responsive. Very professional and puts a very high emphasis on customer service. Very impressed with the overall service and looking forward to our continued working relationship.”

Irina Tsvetkova

“Very good reliability, very serious approach, high legal competence and very good knowledge of languages.”

Mariana Velichkova

“Good professional with expertise in real estate.”

Nikolay Bebov

“Mr. Bebov is an impressive person. Working with him is easy, beneficial and meaningful. He is reliable, collaborative and has in-depth knowledge of our activity.”

“Nikolay is very knowledgeable about all aspects of the Bulgarian legal system, as well as financial regulation in general; he is thorough, approachable and driven. Proactively seeking business opportunities, he has been continuously providing updates on issues he knows are of interest to our firm.”

“Excellent.”

Venelin Dimitrov

“Very good.”

“Good knowledge of the market, good regional and international network, understanding of the EU law and excellent abilities to asses legal environment and connect it to business needs.”

“Excellent.”

“Mr. Dimitrov is an excellent professional and a highly intelligent lawyer. He possesses very good communication skills, logical and analytical thinking and is a good problem solver. Mr.Dimitrov is very concentrated and highly experienced in overcoming  professional challenges and difficulties. A real pleasure and honour to work with.”

Nikolay Bebov and Petar Ivanov

“No weaknesses. They are very prompt and handled the issues under a very short deadline.”

Wolf Theiss

The Sofia office of Wolf Theiss is one of the strongest commercial firms in Bulgaria. It is strong in cross border transactions involving English law as it has a number of lawyers with the necessary qualifications.

In the banking space the firm advises foreign banks and international institutions and large multinational corporates on cross border financing. The firm has recently been expanding its client base in the area, picking up several new clients from Asia, America and Europe across financial services, technology and manufacturing industries. During the research period, the firm has been particularly active in the technology sector where it advised Bulgarian entities on loans agreements from alternative lenders.

In M&A the firm has acted for global clients on acquisitions in Bulgaria. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Megapark €48 million financing

•Sig Air £350 million financing 

•Software Group €18 million financing

•Sumitomo Corporation €62 million acquisition of Moto-Pfohe

•SumUp €80 million financing