Information and Communication Technologies Law
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. possesses boutique expertise in the area of information and communication technologies law (ICT law) gained over the years of investing in the knowledge and continuous education of its lawyers. Being a pioneer in this area of law in Bulgaria, the firm has gained practical experience in advising the biggest private Bulgarian Internet service providers, content providers, web portals, software companies, engineering firms, certification service providers and other growing ICT businesses.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s lawyers teach ICT Law in premiere Bulgarian universities, train magistrates, police officers, attorneys, in-house lawyers, and state officials. They are often invited as visiting professors in leading international universities.
During the past years Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s lawyers have been actively involved in the establishment of the current ICT legal framework in Bulgaria. They have been frequently invited by various government bodies like the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Healthcare, Communications Regulation Commission, Bulgarian Accreditation Agency, Registry Agency, as well as by a number of professional and non-profit organizations to participate in the process of drafting legislative acts such as laws, ordinances and instructions. Such acts, inter alia, include: the Electronic Communications Act, the Electronic Commerce Act, the Electronic Governance Act, the Commercial Register Act, the amendments to the Electronic Document and Electronic Signature Act, the Consumer Protection Act (regarding the provision of information society services), the ordinances for the implementation of those legislative acts, instructions for working with electronic documents in the state administration, etc. Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s experts have also been actively involved in the elaboration of strategies of national importance such as the Strategy for the Implementation of e-Healthcare in Bulgaria, the Strategy for e-Government, the Policies and Standards for the Provision of e-Government Services for Citizens in view of the Implementation of the e-Government Strategy, the Strategy for Bulgaria’s Competitiveness on International ICT Markets, etc. Recently the experts of Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. were actively involved in the discussions and public consultation on the amendments of the Bulgarian Electronic Communications Act with view to the transposition of the latest EU directives in this area.
The firm has advised and represented the Bulgarian ICT business and its branch organizations in various negotiations with the government resulting in the elaboration of national strategies, enforcement of new legislation, establishment of PPP bodies and high-tech parks.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s experts have elaborated numerous studies in the field of e-signatures, e-documents, e-government, e-health, e-procurement, electronic payment instruments, data retention, ePSI, electronic identity management and the transposition of the EU legal framework into the Bulgarian legislation. Some of the tasks in this field as Study on Identity Theft Crimes, National Profile, 2010 and Preparatory Study on Rapid Information Exchange on Counterfeiting and Piracy: Country report BULGARIA, 2010 have been assigned by the European Commission. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) selected Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. as its national correspondent and assigned to the firm a study on data collection and storage in the EU in November 2011.
The lawyers from Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. have also advised Bulgarian companies and banks regarding the provision of specific services and the implementation of projects such as integration of e-health cards, e-submission of medical documentation for the purposes of health insurance, issuance of e-invoices, delivery and storage services, use of e-signatures for the purposes of e-banking services, etc.
A highly qualified expert of the firm conducted a thorough analysis and provided consultations to the business associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina within a World Bank project on the development of the ICT sector legislation in the country. The final report reviewed the national legislation in the area of e-communications, e-commerce, e-government, information society services, copyrights as well as related laws on taxation, e-procurement and e-invoicing. The exhaustive recommendations of the report serve as a sound basis for a national ICT strategy.
The firm participated in another project for the establishment of a network of training centers for public administration officials related to the implementation and enforcement of acquis communautaire regarding information society. Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s experts prepared all training materials, trained a team of trainers and organized all trainings held nationwide.
For its in-depth experience, the firm is ranked by the premiere independent legal guides Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 as a leader in the areas of telecommunications and information technology law.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s clientele in the ICT sector includes Italian Internet based providers of business information, UK software companies, local developers of software and engineering solutions, developers of billing software and software for the alternative investments community, numerous Bulgarian and foreign software companies.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. became the legal advisor of one of the international leaders in mobile technologies and started providing legal assistance and consultancy services to the client related to their ‘Multichannel Broadband’ project aimed at expanding broadband internet access in Bulgaria.
Since 2009 Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. became the local legal counsel of a major international information technology services provider advising them on complex ICT, corporate and employment matters.
The same year a famous Russian software developer engaged Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. to provide its Bulgarian subsidiary with complete legal and tax assistance on a regular basis.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s lawyers have been rendering comprehensive legal services to the biggest Bulgarian online information services provider and its subsidiaries including all projects related to the development of new web services and software solutions.
A team of Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s experts advised a leading Bulgarian company on the launching of a new money transfer web service and prepared the general terms for it provision.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. has provided legal consultation services to some of the biggest ICT business associations in Bulgaria: BAIT (the Bulgarian Association for Information Technologies with about 100 leading IT member companies), SEC (the Society for Electronic Communications) and BWA (the Bulgarian Web Association).
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s lawyers have advised a leading international certification-service-provider regarding the establishment of a local company and the provision of its services on the territory of Bulgaria.
In 2011 Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. advised a leading market player on the launch of a revolutionary new service for electronic payments via mobile technology. The team consulted the client on the legal framework in force and drafted contracts.
Dimitrov, Petrov & Co.’s experts possess particular professional experience in the field of domain names registration, management and transfer. They have already acted as local representatives for numerous foreign companies. One of the partners in Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. was appointed as panellists for .eu domains alternative dispute resolution at the Arbitration Court attached to the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic and the Agricultural Chamber of the Czech Republic.
In April 2011 a leading supplier to the automotive industry assigned to Dimitrov, Petrov & Co. through a partner law firm, based in Brussels, to prepare a detailed data retention overview.
The Constitutional Court of Bulgaria adopted the arguments of Prof. Dr. George Dimitrov in favour of repealing the traffic data retention
The Constitutional Court fully adopted the arguments presented by Prof. Dr. George Dimitrov and with its decision issued on November 17, 2020, declared as unconstitutional the amendments to the Electronic Communications Act, passed in March this year. view more
Martin Zahariev, PhD, associate at Dimitrov, Petrov & Co., was invited at the Business Start show of Bloomberg TV Bulgaria to comment on some hot topics from the area of information technology law in connection with the forthcoming European Research and Innovation Days (22-24 September). Challenges to the regulation of AI in various public spheres, its application in the legal... view more
DPC advised team.blue – the leading digital enabler for entrepreneurs on its acquisition of the Bulgarian webhosting company SuperHosting. view more
On Electronic Documents and Their Practical Application in Modern Business Relations
Download:doing-business-2016.pdf (PDF, 15.10 mb)
Subject:ICT Law. Privacy and Data Protection
Edition:Commercial and Contractual Law Digest, 2021, book 01, p. 24
Over the last decade there has been a constant trend towards digitalization of many traditional processes in business organizations. This trend has accelerated dramatically in recent months due to the anti-epidemic measures introduced against the COVID-19 pandemic, which have led to the mass introduction of remote work (where possible), remote business meetings, negotiations and signing of contract, etc. Perhaps the most important of these processes is the document flow of the organization, i.e. the creation, signing, exchange and storage of documents both inside the organization (e.g. documents created in connection with the work process) and outside it (e.g. documents connected to relations with suppliers, contractors, business partners and potential ones). However, with the introduction of concepts such as contract, concluded remotely, electronic statement (e-statement), electronic document (e-document) and electronic signature (e-signature), many questions arise, as well as fears that the new digital being of documents is not able to guarantee the interests of legal entities in the same way as the good old paper document. This analysis aims to examine the issues of the legal value and importance of e-documents in the context of commercial and civil law.
*The publication is in Bulgarian.
Some Clarifications Regarding the Issuance of Qualified Electronic Signatures at the Employer’s Expense
Subject:ICT Law. Privacy and Data Protection
In the situation of a pandemic making remote work the new normal, the qualified electronic signature (QES) has become an essential tool enabling lots of people to do their jobs. Martin Zahariev, PhD offers some useful clarifications to employers in connection with the issuance of QES to their employees.
*This publication is in Bulgarian.
On the Types of Electronic Signatures and Their Practical Application in Modern Business Relations
Subject:ICT Law. Privacy and Data Protection
Edition:Commercial and Contractual Law Digest, 2020, book 11, p. 34
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly accelerated digitalisation in all spheres of public life. Many companies have had to move to remote work with almost no preparation, limit their physical meetings with current and potential contractors, and switch fully or partly to electronic document turnover. Some questions were urgently raised of how one can sign remotely, so that the various business processes in the organizations would not be blocked and at the same time a certain level of legal certainty would be achieved, which would guarantee the rights and interests of those signing remotely. Although the legal framework of the electronic document and the electronic signature is not new, but has been operating in Bulgaria and the EU for years, it turned out to be insufficiently familiar and clear for most of the companies. This is the main reason for this analysis, which aims to explore the different possibilities for electronic signing of documents in the ordinary course of business of private entities.
*This publication is in Bulgarian.