Regulatory / Advisory: Our Industry-Specific Advice
To advise an industry, one needs to gain an in-depth understanding of how this industry ticks first. Besides our core practices, we have been exposed to valuable experience in other fast-growing industries. We try to summarise some of it below.
Our telco team is on the panel of a multinational holding company active in the sector and seated in Britain. We follow closely the regulatory developments and provide ongoing regulatory scans on a variety of industry-specific issues, including the construction, financing, and lease of dark fibre networks and the licensing and operation of the virtual mobile network operators.
Our construction and planning teams with our telecoms experienced lawyers join forces to advise on the permitting particular to the asset acquisition and construction of base stations.
- Betting/Gambling Law:
Bulgaria is a popular gambling destination, both in casinos and as a nearshoring or outsourcing hub for online betting. For outsourcing operations inclusive. We advise our clients on setting their operations and/or infrastructure/communication equipment in Bulgaria and whether such activities trigger compliance obligations for them. Our expert input focuses also on the applicable EU and national legal framework to profiling and digital onboarding of clients. We assist our clients in complying with the specific requirements to their software and hardware infrastructure, real-time tax reporting, ringfencing of betting accounts, etc. with a view of their obtaining a licence. Given the non-harmonised regulation in the field of betting and gambling in the EU, we follow closely the developments on a national level and scan the interplay with the rules and restrictions in other EU or third state jurisdictions to advise on geo-blocking necessities or specific obligations arising from targeting certain markets in and outside the EU.
- Logistics, Postal, and Courier Services:
The postal and courier services sector is one of the oldest regulated industry which must simultaneously constantly reinvent itself to keep its competitive edge. We advise our clients – licensed operators on the cross-over of payment and courier services, tapping into our expert knowledge of the payment, postal, and AML regulations. The heavyweight data processing undertaken by courier and logistic agents both off and on-line must be meticulously documented, technically safeguarded, and put into simple words understandable for all their clients.
The intersection between eCommerce and courier and postal operations requires a deep understanding of the technology which fuels it and the data and IP to be protected in the process on both sides. The expansion of our clients – postal operators necessitates a deep dive into our commercial contracts/franchise experience. Our labour practice is often kept busy by courier companies whose operations must always remain flexible and scalable.
- Media law:
We represent various media companies throughout their relationships with authors, competition. We assist news publishers/platforms and media aggregators in managing the intellectual property aspects of their business, navigating the complex global data protection and privacy laws and following up on and addressing the challenges posed by the rapidly evolving European and national legislation in the sector.
We have advised our digital services clients to produce and/or share video content on issues related to their liability and the paradigm shift on EU level from "safe harbour" to "active monitoring". Among our clients are independent music producers, podcast producing companies, digital media, publishers, and authors.
We solicit our clients on their responsibilities with respect to the media registration and transparency laws in Bulgaria, ethical and compliant advertising (e.g. in the gaming sector), election laws framework, advertorial disclosure, and many other issues. We represent our clients in IP disputes or privacy violation claims and work closely with off-counsel advisors on the matter of defamation and libel claims.
The automotive industry is a big growth driver for the CEE region and Bulgaria makes no exception. We are well placed to deliver services to this diverse and fast-moving sector: commercial contracts, tech and IP legal expertise and a deep understanding for AI's main challenges related to accountability of agents and ultimate liability of humans are among our core strengths as a legal team. Furthermore, we have solid experience with advising on the implementation of environmental and chemical regulations applicable to the automotive industry.
The recent challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic tested the validity and enforceability of force majeure clauses in a national legal context. The disruption of supply chains revealed that robust and comprehensive contracts are essential in turbulent times to provide a level of certainty to counterbalance the hardship of an unexpected economic downturn. In addition, our skilled labour lawyers were busier than ever structuring realistic work schedules at the backdrop of mandatory Bulgarian labour requirements.
Food & Beverage:
From global corporations to local start-ups, our food law practice is lively and diverse. Lately, Bulgaria's rich traditions in agriculture and nutraceutical production are picking up speed in various modern forms. We draft commercial sale and distribution agreements for our clients, advise on the complex regulations on labeling, imitation products restrictions, food hygiene, and embedded consumer protection mechanisms.
We assist our clients in their (co-)branding and trademark exercises. We draft and review bulk supplier and manufacturing agreements.
With Bulgaria's brand-new Food Law, the Collective Redress Directive nearing finalisation, and the enhanced EU consumer protection package in force, collective and transborder actions for breach of consumer laws, and introduction of double standards across the EU are more real than ever.
Our technology experts and food law and regulatory practices are one step ahead of the time ready to help clients navigate the increasingly complex legal landscape of consumer, food and eCommerce regulations in the EU.