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Portrait of Antonia Kehayova

Antonia Kehayova

Counsel

CMS Sofia
Landmark Centre
14 Tzar Osvoboditel Blvd
1000 Sofia
Bulgaria
Languages Bulgarian, English, German
Dispute Resolution

Antonia Kehayova joined CMS Sofia in 2012 and has since been jointly in charge of the Dispute Resolution practice in Sofia.

She has more than 15 years’ experience in the fields of Civil law and litigation, real estate, public procurement, and insurance law. She represents clients in corporate litigations before civil courts, commercial arbitration hearings and in relation to out-of-court settlements, as well as in preliminary injunction court proceedings and post-judgment enforcements.

Antonia has acted for leading local and international banks, financial institutions, and foreign and local companies in numerous disputes regarding restructurings, corporate insolvency and enforcement proceedings. She also advises and represents international clients in EU related court procedures and local implication and recognition/enforcement.

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Relevant experience

  • An Austrian energy giant and its Bulgarian subsidiary | On a number of public procurement lawsuits and injunction proceedings against public tenders for providing electricity and construction services of significant value (with regard to electricity power supply).
  • The Bulgarian branch of a wind-down company owned by the Republic of Austria | On various commercial arbitrations, enforcement, and litigation proceedings, concerning non-performing leasing portfolios, returning leased assets, preliminary injunctions, securities etc.
  • An Austrian Bank | On numerous lawsuits with reference to contractual, commercial, real-estate and other legal disputes, including representation before all civil court instances, claims for collaterals, etc. with respect to restructuring of a large investment project in Bulgaria – building and operation of shopping mall/commercial spaces. Successfully representing the client in lawsuits concerning enforcement of special pledges on restructuring a loan agreement, declaring invalid /null and void an enterprise purchase agreement for a significant amount.
  • A Turkish energy investor | On a court representation before the Bulgarian courts regarding several commercial disputes for annulment of an enterprise purchase agreement, unlawful registrations in the Commercial Register, corporate/shareholders litigations etc.
  • A German aviation re-insurer | On application of the Bulgarian insurance and procedural law in the out-of-court settling of a large insurance claim 
  • A Finnish Bank | On the cancellation and lifting of a garnishment, representing the balance on an irrevocable letter of credit.
  • An American fast-food company | On a preliminary injunction related to an international arbitration.
  • An Israeli air transport company | On the enforcement of a foreign court decision in Bulgaria and on an out of court settlement.
  • An Austrian family-run company, leader in innovative hygiene solutions and its Bulgarian subsidiary | On several IP litigations regarding EU patent and EU industrial design before Bulgarian courts including on preliminary injunctions, execution proceedings and criminal investigations.
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Memberships & Roles

  • A member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2004
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Awards & Rankings

  • Rising Star for Dispute Resolution, Legal500, since 2021
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Education

  • 2019 – One-year study programme on EU Law, St. “Kliment Ohridski” University, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2012 – International Legal English Course (ILEC)
  • 2004 – Master of Law, St. “Kliment Ohridski” University, Sofia, Bulgaria 
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Public Procurement

Antonia Kehayova is one of the most long-standing and experienced public procurement experts in CMS Sofia. 

She has sector-specific knowledge especially in the areas of construction, energy and transport infrastructure, IT and manufacturing. Her specific procurement law expertise includes assistance to institutional and sector assignors, and to private contractors/bidders, procurement preparation and implementation, claim management and PP dispute resolution before institutional tribunals and courts. 

Among her clients are big energy, transport, construction, manufacturing and software companies – both international and local – such as EVN, ELL Austria, Carl Zeiss, Prisma European Capacity Platform GmbH, SmartCom Bulgaria, etc


 

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Relevant experience

  • Europe’s leading gas capacity trading platform | On its registration in the Procurement Agency platform, preparation and submission of tender documentation, post-selection assistance. 
  • A Bulgarian IT Leader | On the preparation and filing of an appeal with the CPC against a decision to open a multi-million public tender in the field of IT and telecommunications, including representing the client before the CPC and the Supreme Court.
  • A European-based technology leader in construction services | On concession matters in relation to its participation in a consortium for a concession project.
  • A German manufacturer of optical systems and optoelectronics | On preparing documentation and filing an offer in a public tender with the National Science Academy for delivery of a microscope equipment system.
  • An Austrian Energy Giant | On the execution of public procurement proceedings regarding electricity and excavation works on the whole territory licensed to the client, including acting as a representative of the client before the Bulgarian Public Procurement Regulator, elaboration and amendments of PP documentation.
  • An Austrian Energy Giant | On general public procurement matters and on the implementation of a public procurement proceeding regarding delivery, installation and putting two water heating systems into operation, including representing the client regarding part of the public procurement works before the Bulgarian Public Procurement Regulator, elaboration and amendments of PP documentation.
  • An Austrian Energy company | Before the Commission for Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court in an appeal against a public procurement procedure for electrical works in the amount of approx. EUR 45 Mio.
  • An EU leading locomotive leasing company | On public tender for supply and lease of electric locomotives for the needs of the Bulgarian State Railway Company.
  • A Croatian cut and sew apparel manufacturing company | On the preparation and filing of documents for a public tender with the Bulgarian Ministry of the Interior for the delivery of clothes.
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Memberships & Roles

  • A member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2004
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Education

  • 2019 – One-year study programme on EU Law, St. “Kliment Ohridski” University, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2012 – International Legal English Course (ILEC)
  • 2004 – Master of Law, St. “Kliment Ohridski” University, Sofia, Bulgaria
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Real Estate

Antonia Kehayova jointly heads the Real Estate Department of CMS Sofia. She primarily advises clients in various real estate transactions, including conducting complex due diligences for shopping centres, production facilities, office and residential properties, negotiating long-term lease agreements, drafting preliminary and final sale and purchase agreements, advising on construction agreements, property management projects and establishing real estate collaterals. Antonia advises clients from various sectors, including real estate funds and financial institutions, on all legal aspects of real estate law.


 

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Relevant experience

  • A German client | On the acquisition of real estate in Bulgaria suitable for production facilities (green field investment), including due diligence for several sites, structuring and negotiations with the potential sellers.
  • An Austrian real estate company | On the sale of two office buildings in Sofia through a share deal
  • Austrian real estate developers | On the largest office real estate deal (EUR 80 mill.) in Bulgaria in ten years.
  • The Bulgarian subsidiary of the largest Hungarian commercial Bank | On the financing of Mall Sofia for the construction of a new office building.
  • The biggest Bulgarian Bank and a Bulgarian financial services group, specialized in insurance and asset management | On the EUR 22 million acquisition financing provided to a leading worldwide producer of sunflower seeds. We performed a due diligence on the borrower’s properties and assisted with a full security package.
  • The biggest Bulgarian Bank | On the whole process of the financing, including, but not limited to, the preparation of a limited legal due diligence for seven separate companies.
  • A Bulgarian real estate developer | On acquisition of a large real estate, property development issues and the construction of a large multi complex with mixed use, including structuring, negotiations with finance partners and a hotel chain.
  • An Austrian-owned real estate developer | On acquisition of a real estate property for the construction of a residential building
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Memberships & Roles

  • A member of the Sofia Bar Association since 2004
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Awards & Rankings

  • Rising Star for Real Estate, Legal500 since 2021
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Education

  • 2019 – One-year study programme on EU Law, St. “Kliment Ohridski” University, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • 2012 – International Legal English Course (ILEC),
  • 2003 – Master of Law, St. “Kliment Ohridski” University, Sofia, Bulgaria 
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26/08/2022
Pub­lic pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tion in Bul­garia
Oc­to­ber 20181An amend­ment bill is cur­rently pending at the Bul­gari­an par­lia­ment con­tain­ing sev­er­al sig­ni­fic­ant changes, which are not re­flec­ted in this guide. Ref­er­ences to the amend­ment bill are made...
09/02/2022
Class ac­tions in Bul­garia
See the Over­view of the Rep­res­ent­at­ive Ac­tions Dir­ect­ive >> 1. Do you have a spe­cif­ic pro­ced­ure or pro­ced­ures for bring­ing “opt-in” class ac­tions?  If so, please out­line such pro­ced­ure(s) and...
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17/12/2021
Clin­ic­al tri­als on med­ic­al devices from the Bul­gari­an per­spect­ive
Tech­no­lo­gic­al ad­vance­ments in the health sec­tor un­doubtedly play a key role in the im­prove­ment of the qual­ity of care, life and health out­comes. With the sig­ni­fic­ant surge in new med­ic­al devices around...
27/09/2021
Ex­pert Guide to ad­vert­ising reg­u­la­tions in Bul­garia
Chapter 1: The frame­work boiled down 1. What are the rel­ev­ant laws which reg­u­late ad­vert­ise­ment in your coun­try? Pro­tec­tion of Com­pet­i­tion Act;Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act; Health Law;Reg­u­la­tion (EU) 2017/2394; Act...
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06/09/2021
Trans­fer of IP rights in Bul­garia
Pat­ents: As­sign­ment 1. How may a pat­ent be as­signed (by law and/or trans­ac­tion) and is it re­quired to re­cord the as­sign­ment in the na­tion­al pat­ent re­gister to be­come ef­fect­ive?  A pat­ent can be trans­ferred...
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30/07/2021
Plastics and pack­aging laws in Bul­garia
1. What is the gen­er­al le­gis­lat­ive frame­work reg­u­lat­ing pack­aging and plastic waste in your jur­is­dic­tion? On a na­tion­al level, the Bul­gari­an Waste Man­age­ment Act (“WMA”) provides the gen­er­al le­gis­lat­ive...
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19/04/2021
CMS European Real Es­tate Deal Point Study 2021
The COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic has left its mark on the European in­vest­ment mar­ket. In­vest­ment volumes were around 23% lower than in the pre­vi­ous year, 2019, with its re­cord per­form­ance. Buy­ers fo­cused primar­ily on prop­er­ties with stable in­come and those only min­im­ally af­fected by the pan­dem­ic. The num­ber of trans­ac­tions in which steps were taken to en­sure the buy­er met its fin­an­cial ob­lig­a­tions was at a re­cord high. The trend to­wards more buy­er-friendly ar­range­ments con­tin­ued. Those are the key find­ings of the CMS European Real Es­tate Deal Point Study 2021.For the latest edi­tion of this sur­vey of the European real es­tate trans­ac­tion mar­ket, in­ter­na­tion­al com­mer­cial law firm CMS sys­tem­at­ic­ally as­sessed and eval­u­ated more than 1,900 real es­tate agree­ments on which it ad­vised in coun­tries across Europe from the be­gin­ning of 2010 to the end of 2020.The key find­ings:In­vestors fo­cus on stable in­comeThe COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic led to a change in in­vestor in­terest in the in­di­vidu­al as­set classes. Buy­ers fo­cused primar­ily on prop­er­ties with stable in­come and those that were only min­im­ally af­fected by the pan­dem­ic. Lo­gist­ics and res­id­en­tial prop­er­ties were es­pe­cially pop­u­lar.Of­fice real es­tate re­mained the strongest as­set class in Europe, but its share of the mar­ket fell to a re­cord low of 30%. De­mand for re­tail prop­er­ties re­mained at a con­sist­ently low level (15%). Lo­gist­ics real es­tate per­formed par­tic­u­larly well, post­ing a rise to 19% , a new re­cord. The pro­por­tion of in­vest­ment go­ing in­to spe­cial­ist prop­er­ties such as ho­tels fell sig­ni­fic­antly (14%). Res­id­en­tial real es­tate proved pop­u­lar with in­vestors, with its share rising to 22%.Sellers tak­ing steps to en­sure that buy­ers meet their fin­an­cial ob­lig­a­tionsDur­ing the pan­dem­ic, an in­creased need for se­cur­ity on the part of sellers was ap­par­ent. The pro­por­tion of trans­ac­tions in which steps were taken to en­sure the buy­er met its fin­an­cial ob­lig­a­tions rose to a re­cord high of 64%. In pre­vi­ous years, se­cur­ity was agreed in less than 50% of all trans­ac­tions.This high level is due to the in­creased de­sire for se­cur­ity on the part of sellers as a res­ult of the pan­dem­ic; they were of­ten un­cer­tain about the buy­er’s solvency go­ing for­ward. As a means of provid­ing se­cur­ity, both bank guar­an­tees (17%) and a not­ary’s es­crow ac­count (10%) be­came less pop­u­lar. In many cases, in con­trast, the buy­er made an ad­vance pay­ment (29%). In 9% of trans­ac­tions, use was made of sub­mis­sion to im­me­di­ate en­force­ment.Risk al­loc­a­tion in con­tracts: buy­ers catch­ing up in a seller-friendly mar­ket­Buy­ers were able to strengthen their po­s­i­tion fur­ther in 2020 with re­gard to risk al­loc­a­tion in con­tracts. In a mar­ket en­vir­on­ment that re­mained very seller-friendly, they suc­ceeded in ob­tain­ing fa­vour­able con­tract terms more of­ten than in pre­vi­ous years.As part of the war­ranty, guar­an­tees were again agreed more of­ten in fa­vour of buy­ers. The per­cent­age of agree­ments with in­di­vidu­al li­ab­il­ity pro­vi­sions in­creased to 75%. It was com­mon prac­tice to provide for both sub­ject­ive and ob­ject­ive guar­an­tees.The pro­por­tion of deals with seller-friendly lim­its on li­ab­il­ity, such as de min­imis and bas­ket clauses and caps, dropped slightly be­low the pri­or-year level in 2020. The up­ward trend seen over many years in agree­ments aimed at lim­it­ing li­ab­il­ity has thus been curbed some­what, while buy­ers were able to ne­go­ti­ate more fa­vour­able con­tract terms more of­ten than be­fore.Buy­ers also pre­pared ground with re­gard to the con­trac­tu­al pro­vi­sions on lim­it­a­tion peri­ods. An in­creas­ing num­ber of lim­it­a­tion peri­ods from 18 to 24 months were agreed in 2020, while there was a slight fall in the pro­por­tion of short lim­it­a­tion peri­ods of up to 18 months.Na­tion­al in­vestors more prom­in­entIn­t­er­na­tion­al in­vestors had a tough time in 2020. While in­ter­na­tion­al sellers have been re­spons­ible for the ma­jor­ity of deals since 2017, their per­cent­age dropped back down to 43% in 2020, with na­tion­al in­vestors be­com­ing more act­ive. Na­tion­al in­vestors ac­coun­ted for 48% of deals in 2018, while in 2020, 57% of real es­tate in­vest­ments were made by na­tion­al in­vestors.
24/03/2021
CMS Ex­pert Guide to European care homes
The world is get­ting older by the minute.Ac­cord­ing to the the 2021 Age­ing Re­port of the EU, the old-age de­pend­ency ra­tio in the EU’s demo­graph­ic old-age de­pend­ency ra­tio (i.e. the ra­tio between people...
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17/02/2021
Com­puls­ory li­cens­ing in Bul­garia
1. What is the defin­i­tion of com­puls­ory li­cens­ing? Com­puls­ory li­cens­ing refers to the leg­al mech­an­ism that the Bul­gari­an Pat­ent Of­fice au­thor­ises oth­ers to im­ple­ment a pat­ent without the per­mis­sion...
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17/02/2021
Dead­lines and rem­ed­ies in pub­lic pro­cure­ment award­ing in Bul­garia
In this we­bin­ar we will be dis­cuss­ing some of the key is­sues in the world of Bul­gari­an pub­lic pro­cure­ment. Com­pan­ies re­ly­ing on ten­der­ing pro­cesses in their op­er­a­tions will not want to miss the we­bin­ar...
16/12/2020
In­sur­ance In­sights
The in­sur­ance mar­ket is con­stantly evolving, so you need to stay up to date on the latest de­vel­op­ments to an­ti­cip­ate and handle any po­ten­tial is­sues and be­ne­fit from op­por­tun­it­ies.With “In­sur­ance In­sights”...
14/12/2020
Di­git­al health apps and telemedi­cine in Bul­garia
Di­git­al Health Apps/Soft­ware 1. How is the soft­ware with­in di­git­al health apps clas­si­fied in your jur­is­dic­tion, and what reg­u­la­tion(s) ap­ply? The soft­ware with­in a di­git­al health app is clas­si­fied...
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