Eversheds Sutherland expands Central and Eastern Europe business with Bulgarian tie-up

Firm combines with four-parter Sofia-based outfit Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners

Sofia, Bulgaria Shutterstock

Eversheds Sutherland has announced a combination with Bulgarian firm Tsvetkova Bebov & Partners (TBP) as it seeks to expand its client coverage in Central and Eastern Europe.

The deal adds four partners and 15 lawyers to the firm’s international roster, with Sofia-based TBP rebranded as Eversheds Sutherland Bulgaria. The partners include corporate, M&A and commercial lawyer Irina Tsvetkova, who becomes managing partner of the Bulgaria office, and capital markets and financial services specialist Nikolay Bebov.

Ian Gray, Eversheds’ Europe chair, said: “The [TBP] team is a highly-ranked full-service firm with an excellent reputation and diverse client base in banking and financial services, pharma and life sciences, energy, manufacturing and technology. Our clients will benefit from greater strength in depth both locally and across the wider CEE region.”

The team also includes capital markets partner Damyan Leshev and commercial transactions, litigation and disputes partner Victoria Tzonkova.

Tsvetkova said: “By joining forces with Eversheds Sutherland, and having the weight of a global brand behind us, we will be able to drive further growth of our practice across the CEE. This is a very important step for us. Our people, our clients and our communities will all benefit from our more visible presence in the market.”

The move comes ahead of Bulgaria’s expected adoption of the Euro in early 2024, which is likely to spur further investment into the country, particularly in areas such as energy, tourism, technology, fintech and IT services.

The Bulgaria deal is Eversheds’ second law firm combination this month having agreed a tie-up with Dublin-based boutique Kenny Solicitors to broaden its commercial litigation and real estate coverage in Ireland.

Elsewhere in the CEE region this year, White & Case exited its Slovakian business in March, with the firm’s Bratislava office spinning out as independent firm Aldertree. Also in March, Osborne Clarke hired 30 lawyers from a group of local Polish firms to launch an office in Warsaw, its first physical base in CEE. 

And at the end of January, CEE-focused firm Kinstellar joined forces with Croatian firm Žurić i Partneri to establish its presence in Zagreb.

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