Mr. Hristo Nihrizov is a partner at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. Law Firm which he joined in 2004. He currently heads the Telecommunications law and media practice group and Banking & Finance practice group.
Mr. Hristo Nihrizov has been advising clients in the areas of telecommunications law, media law, banking and financial law, competition law, administrative litigation for more than 10 years. His broad experience includes working on a number of national and international telecom projects with regard to the rolling out of all types of telecom networks, on-line services and platforms, as well as on several ground breaking banking and financing projects. His deep industry knowledge has made him a key participant in the process of elaboration of the current electronic communication regulatory framework of Bulgaria.
Hristo Nihrizov is constantly recommended by the independent legal directories Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and IFLR 1000.
Telecommunications law experience:
– Co-authored the Electronic Communications Act and advised on all its amendments;
– Authored two of the Ordinances for implementation of the Electronic Communications Act;
– Provided full legal support and advice on a USD 30 million project for the deployment of the first and only commercial subsea fibre optic cable connecting the EU and the Caucasus region under the Black Sea;
– Advised the planning, financing and construction of the biggest carrier neutral data centre in Bulgaria, its subsequent sale and continuous operation;
– Advised the deployment of the first Bulgarian internet TV platform;
– Defended the winner of the first permission for two of the private multiplexes in the appeal of its permission, thus facilitating the timely digital switchover in Bulgaria;
– Defended the winner of the permission for the only public multiplex in the appeal of its permission, thus facilitating the digital switchover of the Bulgarian National Television and the Bulgarian National Radio;
– Advised the biggest and fastest upgrade of a mobile network in Bulgaria;
– Drafted and obtained the regulatory approval of the first agreement for lease of radio frequencies;
– Managed the legal analyses and due diligence of 8 metro, intercity and international fibre optic networks and advised more than 10 network transactions with a total infrastructure length exceeding 2000 km (in the form of M&As, network sales, customer based sales, IRUs, etc.);
– Advised the setting up of the local businesses of both the biggest alternative and some of the major international telecom operators;
– Led the only successful appeal of specific regulatory obligations imposed by the Communications Regulation Commission on the wholesale mobile call termination markets;
– Successfully represented telecom operators in 7 dispute resolution procedures before the Communications Regulation Commission;
– Has long-term extensive experience in drafting and negotiating: interconnection agreements; IRU agreements; network sharing agreements; radio spectrum lease agreements; call termination agreements; general terms and conditions; consumer telephony, Internet access, TV access and other agreements; collocation agreements; broadcasting agreements: telecom equipment delivery, system implementation and software licensing agreements: all types of access agreements, including conditional access agreements, TV, internet agreements, TV content distribution agreements, TV broadcasting agreements, lease of satellite capacity agreements, content distribution agreements on satellite, terrestrial and cable networks; product placement agreements; TV and radio advertising agreements; IPTV agreements, leased line agreements, etc
Banking and Finance law experience:
– Entrusted by the conservators appointed by the Bulgarian National Bank to provide legal support regarding the biggest bank insolvency in Bulgaria with serious effect on the payment systems and services;
– Participated in the team that completed the full and thorough legal analysis of more than 95% of the EUR 2.9 billion credit portfolio of the fourth biggest Bulgarian bank as part of the first asset quality review exercise in Bulgaria;
– Prepared and launched legal actions in numerous debt recovery activities concerning a significant part of the portfolio of the biggest insolvent Bulgarian bank;
– Advised the day-to-day activities in the fourth biggest Bulgarian bank during its conservatorship and insolvency (including in the process of payment of EUR 1.8 billion worth of state guaranteed deposits);
– Successfully represented the biggest Bulgarian bank in insolvency in the appeal of the Bulgarian National Bank’s decision for termination of the bank’s licence. Following the opening of the insolvency proceedings the date of insolvency was successfully appealed on assignment of the syndics and was set by the Sofia Court of Appeal at the date of placing the bank under special supervision thus reversing the established court practice;
– Leads the team in the full scope legal counselling with respect to Bulgarian legislation on a multi-jurisdictional multi-million debt restructuring exercise undertaken by one of the largest Georgian Internet service providers operating the first and only subsea fiber optic cable connecting the EU and the Caucasus region under the Black Sea and its creditors;
– Advised a leading Bulgarian retail chain in а factoring financing deal with a Bulgarian bank with a matter value of EUR 8.5 million;
– Advised the founders of the biggest and most modern data centre in Bulgaria on a combined private equity/bank facility financing exercise comprising of a few equity investment rounds, a bridge financing tool and a flexible bank facility arrangement with a gross value of almost EUR 3 million.
Administrative law and other experience:
– Consulted one of the leading international pharmaceutical companies in the Bulgarian merger notification procedure for USD 15.6 billion acquisition of a US biotechnology giant;
– Represented one of the leading petroleum products wholesaler and retailer in the cartel probe of the CPC which was closed after undertaking minor obligations;
– Achieved the first suspension of a legislative act of the state by the Supreme Administrative Court;
– Successfully appealed a tax revision act for the amount of EUR 300,000 related to applying a double taxation avoidance treaty and thus reversing the established court practice;
– Successfully represented PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv AD before the Supreme Administrative Court in the appeal of a EUR 400,000 tax revision act;
– Leads several big regulatory and administrative lawsuits in the area of banking compliance and regulatory liability.
Mr. Nihrizov is a member of the Sofia Bar Association and an expert at the Center for the Law of the Information and Communication Technologies (CLICT). He speaks English fluently.