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CEE / CIS

Freshfields in CEE and CIS

We have worked on some of the most important and complex legal matters in central and eastern Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

We have been active in CEE and CIS for nearly 40 years and continue help our clients on their legal matters in the regions.

Our cross-border team of lawyers are specialists in the markets and regularly work with multinationals in relation to their investments in CEE and the CIS, as well as local companies and investment firms facing challenges, looking to invest internationally or seeking access to international finance.

Our experience in CEE and the CIS covers corporate/M&A, capital markets, banking and finance (including restructuring and insolvency), EU competition and regulatory, disputes and risk mitigation (including investor-state and commercial arbitrations).

Our people know the regions' legal, business and cultural environments. What’s more, we know the risks – and help clients avoid them.

We operate in the region through our StrongerTogether network of local law firms. We select the one best suited for a transaction based on not only its technical legal ability but also its efficiency, responsiveness, commercial pragmatism and, where relevant, standing with local regulators. 

We also work with clients' other advisers as a single team so that the matter is managed as efficiently as possible.

This enables us to work seamlessly across all jurisdictions, add real value and deliver to our clients a top-class integrated service.

Client successes

This is one of the largest infrastructure projects in Slovakia’s history.

It involves the construction of the southeastern section of Bratislava’s ring road and part of the southern expressway network that links the country’s eastern and western regions. It also involves the maintenance of these roads for a period of 30 years. 

The deal was one of Europe’s largest PPP projects of 2016 and won Project Finance International's award for Europe PPP Deal of the Year 2016.

Following the spin-off, the CEE business, which was comprised of several subsidiary banks in the region and a loan portfolio, was merged into UniCredit.

The complexity of the business and the number of stakeholders involved, including the European Central Bank, Italy’s central bank and Austria’s financial markets regulator, combined to make the deal particularly challenging.

We also advised on the employment, tax and regulatory aspects of the structuring of a carve-out of significant business parts.