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Europe Guide

Competition/Antitrust — Bulgaria

Band 1

第一等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Peter Petrov
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Outstanding team that handles high-value and complex cases in all facets of competition law, including merger control filings with the Bulgarian Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC) and abuse of dominance investigations carried out by local or EU competition authorities. Assists with claims linked to price dumping or inaccurate and comparative advertising. Also provides day-to-day advice and training on compliance and dawn raids. Particularly active in the pharmaceuticals, energy and retail sectors.

Strengths Interviewees appreciate that the firm gives "on-time, in-depth and analytical advice."

Sources add: "They know international regulations and practice."

Work highlights Assisted CVC Capital Partners with obtaining merger control clearance from the Bulgarian competition regulator for its acquisition of a controlling stake in Alvogen.

Represented Samsung Electronics' Bulgarian and Romanian subsidiaries in a case brought by Max Telecom relating to incompatibility of Samsung devices with the latter's 4G network.

Significant clients Procter & Gamble, AbbVie, Novartis, Philip Morris, Bayer.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Petrov maintains an outstanding reputation in the competition law market. He leads the firm's advice on diverse competition law procedures, including litigation in sectors such as IT and telecommunications. Clients praise his ability to give practical advice, saying: "He can articulate concepts in a manner that captures what happens in reality." "He gives a detailed project analysis and detailed information on the case," notes one interviewee, while another adds: "He is fast, efficient and focuses on the key questions."

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Band 1

第一等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Nikolai Gouginski
- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Established presence at the top end of the Bulgarian competition market. Represents companies in abuse of dominance and cartel investigations, with further experience in Supreme Court appeals against CPC decisions. Often advises local subsidiaries of global corporates on compliance with rules on vertical agreements in distribution models. Also has expertise in merger control filings for domestic and cross-border transactions. Acts for key clients in the banking, insurance, automotive and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Strengths One client says: "Even in complex processes the lawyers give sound advice."

Another source praises the firm's "ability to process a lot of data in a minimal time," continuing: "They have a good understanding about these procedures because they have experience in similar cases."

Work highlights Represented three of Bunge's group of companies in their appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court following a CPC finding of prohibited vertical agreements with distributors of vegetable oil.

Advised Daimler on compliance with rules on distribution agreements in the Bulgarian automotive sector.

Significant clients METRO Cash & Carry, BMW, Abbott Laboratories, Orgachim, Beiersdorf.

Notable practitioners  

Nikolai Gouginski is recognised by both peers and clients as an expert in Bulgarian and EU competition law. He handles compliance matters and guides clients through CPC investigations and related litigation. Interviewees report that he is "level headed and goal oriented," adding: "He is ready to explain everything at length until all parts of the problem are made clear. "

Anton Petrov supports many of the firm's key compliance and CPC investigations mandates. Clients say: "He is extremely precise in working with documents and he has a huge memory." "He's pragmatic, knowledgeable and responsive," notes another impressed interviewee.

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Stefan Tzakov
- 2 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Strong Bulgarian outfit that advises on a range of matters including private enforcement actions over alleged abuse of dominance in relations between producers and their suppliers or distributors. Especially prominent in both contentious and non-contentious matters relating to advertising of consumer goods. Sector expertise spans finance, TMT, energy and retail. Also assists with merger control mandates linked to M&A and real estate asset transactions.

Strengths One interviewee says: "The firm identifies clients' needs well and the lawyers are very helpful."

Further sources remark that the team is "creative in its solutions and able to get the most benefit for clients in even the most challenging cases."

Work highlights Defended bTV Media Group in its long-running dispute with Nova Broadcasting Group over alleged predatory pricing in an attempt to attract advertisers. The firm assisted with proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court to defend the CPC decision that bTV was not liable for abuse of dominance.

Assisted Kamenitza with various competition law matters including those relating to promotions and consumers' rights.

Significant clients Prestige 96, Zora, Ford Otosan, Burgas Plaza, Maxima Bulgaria.

Notable practitioners  

Stefan Tzakov advises on diverse matters including abuse of dominance investigations and compliance with legislation on pricing policies. Sources consider him to be "brilliant in competition legislation, calm, methodical, to-the-point and able to find solutions that integrate legal aspects with our business needs." He assisted Ford Otosan with an analysis of its distribution contracts.

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Heads of department: Vladimir Penkov and Svetlin Adrianov
- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Has a broad knowledge base that spans cartel agreements, abuse of dominance cases and the provision of competition compliance training to employees of multinational groups. Acts on litigation against CPC findings of unfair competition in marketing activities. Also notably active in merger filings for domestic and cross-border transactions.

Strengths Clients say that "the lawyers are efficient, their assessment is always correct and they are analytical."

The team also receives praise for its "fast response and service-oriented approach."

Work highlights Provided counsel and training to Zagorka on competition rules relating to marketing and promotions.

Significant clients Heineken, Uber, Knauf Bulgaria, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetique Bulgaria, Bulstrad.

Notable practitioners  

Svetlin Adrianov's clients hail from a number of areas including the banking, media and defence sectors. He leads the firm's unfair competition, merger control and competition compliance mandates. One source describes Adrianov as "accurate, detail-oriented and forthcoming," continuing: "He has excellent presentation skills and is a pleasant and knowledgeable person."

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Band 2

第二等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Ilko Stoyanov
- 1 partner
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Stands out for activity in significant behavioural and merger control cases. Has particular experience working with clients in the media, TV and oil and gas sectors. Performs compliance audits and provides training on unfair competition arising from advertising matters or distribution agreements. Benefits from strong links to the firm's market-leading practice in Austria. 

Strengths One interviewee says that the department "knows our business and can give pragmatic and straightforward advice to help us achieve our objectives."

Clients note: "The firm has experienced lawyers and covers a great variety of legal areas."

Work highlights Defended OMV Bulgaria in a cartel investigation carried out by the CPC relating to alleged price fixing in the fuel sector.

Assisted blizoo Media and Broadband with its appeal against a CPC finding of unfair competition. The firm acted on proceedings before the Supreme Administrative Court.

Notable practitioners  

Ilko Stoyanov leads competition law matters as part of his varied commercial practice. Clients highlight his active involvement in cases and his ability to provide business-oriented advice.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Zoya Todorova
- 1 partner
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Has considerable experience in advisory mandates for key TMT, energy and life sciences sector clients. Assists with the analysis of potentially unfair trade practices and provides training in compliance and dawn raids. Brings private enforcement actions before the Bulgarian authorities alleging violations of competition law, in addition to defending domestic companies in CPC investigations.

Strengths Clients say that the team "demonstrates thorough regulatory knowledge and an excellent understanding of our corporate structure and strategic objectives." 

Further comments single out the lawyers as "proactive, precise and reliable."

Work highlights Advised Telenor Bulgaria on a number of matters including claims brought by competitors for alleged abuse of dominance in the wholesale market for mobile voice call termination.

Represented Zonapharm in a competition claim against a competitor for misleading advertising.

Significant clients Sofia Airport, Eli Lilly, Janssen, Rompetrol Bulgaria, Alpiq.

Notable practitioners

Zoya Todorova is a main point of contact for clients.

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Ivan Todorov
- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Demonstrates particular strength in litigation following on from competition commission rulings on abuse of dominance or misleading advertising. Boasts strong ties to key telecoms clients. Also assists with appeals against CPC decisions on public procurement procedures.

Strengths The firm is highlighted for its "fast and high-quality services" and its "coverage of all areas of law, which is particularly important in complex matters."

Work highlights Defended the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company in several contentious proceedings, including litigation before the Supreme Administrative Court relating to alleged predatory pricing in its internet access service.

Advised City Hospitals & Clinics AD on its BGN40 million acquisition of a majority stake in Cardio Centre Pontika.

Significant clients Roche Bulgaria, Vedra International.

Notable practitioners  

Interviewees praise Alexander Pachamanov for his strong litigation skills and for his particular experience in the telecoms sector. "He is really brilliant," says one source, going on to describe Pachamanov as "quick thinking." 

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Band 3

第三等

From the Chambers Europe guide

Basic facts about the department
- Head of department: Venelin Dimitrov
- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Demonstrates particular strength in competition law implications of mergers and asset transactions. Provides guidance on advertising of products or on planned changes to distribution agreements. Has an impressive client list that includes major multinational life sciences and food and beverage companies.

Strengths One client says: "They provide a high-quality service and have a friendly team."

Another interviewee highlights the firm's "clear and tailor-made advice that is concise and to the point."

Notable practitioners  

Venelin Dimitrov both leads the competition team and acts as joint head of the firm's M&A practice. Interviewees highlight his skill in analysing the competition law implications of commercial agreements.

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Star Individuals

Boyanov & Co.

From the Chambers Europe guide

Peter Petrov maintains an outstanding reputation in the competition law market. He leads the firm's advice on diverse competition law procedures, including litigation in sectors such as IT and telecommunications. Clients praise his ability to give practical advice, saying: "He can articulate concepts in a manner that captures what happens in reality." "He gives a detailed project analysis and detailed information on the case," notes one interviewee, while another adds: "He is fast, efficient and focuses on the key questions."

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Band 1

Penkov, Markov & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Svetlin Adrianov's clients hail from a number of areas including the banking, media and defence sectors. He leads the firm's unfair competition, merger control and competition compliance mandates. One source describes Adrianov as "accurate, detail-oriented and forthcoming," continuing: "He has excellent presentation skills and is a pleasant and knowledgeable person."

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Band 1

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov

From the Chambers Europe guide

Nikolai Gouginski is recognised by both peers and clients as an expert in Bulgarian and EU competition law. He handles compliance matters and guides clients through CPC investigations and related litigation. Interviewees report that he is "level headed and goal oriented," adding: "He is ready to explain everything at length until all parts of the problem are made clear. "

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Band 2

HRISTOV & PARTNERS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Pavel Hristov of HRISTOV & PARTNERS (Hylegal) is best known for his work on Bulgarian merger control aspects of often cross-border transactions. He also assists with the review of service and partnership agreements. Clients admire his ability to "explain complicated legal matters in simple and understandable language." He assisted ALD Automotive with obtaining merger control clearance for its acquisition of MKB Autopark.

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Band 2

Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov

From the Chambers Europe guide

Anton Petrov supports many of the firm's key compliance and CPC investigations mandates. Clients say: "He is extremely precise in working with documents and he has a huge memory." "He's pragmatic, knowledgeable and responsive," notes another impressed interviewee.

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Band 2

Kambourov & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Stefan Tzakov advises on diverse matters including abuse of dominance investigations and compliance with legislation on pricing policies. Sources consider him to be "brilliant in competition legislation, calm, methodical, to-the-point and able to find solutions that integrate legal aspects with our business needs." He assisted Ford Otosan with an analysis of its distribution contracts.

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Band 3

Tsvetkova Bebov Komarevski, Attorneys-at-Law

From the Chambers Europe guide

Venelin Dimitrov both leads the competition team and acts as joint head of the firm's M&A practice. Interviewees highlight his skill in analysing the competition law implications of commercial agreements.

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Band 3

Georgiev, Todorov & Co

From the Chambers Europe guide

Interviewees praise Alexander Pachamanov for his strong litigation skills and for his particular experience in the telecoms sector. "He is really brilliant," says one source, going on to describe Pachamanov as "quick thinking." 

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Band 3

Sabev & Partners

From the Chambers Europe guide

Mariya Papazova is a new addition to Sabev & Partners. She has notable experience in major cartel investigations as part of her broader practice that includes compliance reviews and training for clients from the telecommunications and retail sectors. Interviewees note her previous role working within the Bulgarian competition commission and say that she is "intelligent and knowledgeable."

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Band 3

Schoenherr (in cooperation with Stoyanov & Tsekova)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Ilko Stoyanov leads competition law matters as part of his varied commercial practice. Clients highlight his active involvement in cases and his ability to provide business-oriented advice.

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