NBLO was set up in 2005 at a time when the Bulgarian legal market was really starting to open up to smaller, more specialised firms. The founding NBLO partners wanted to create a law firm whose clear primary focus was on Bulgaria but which would also operate to some extent as a dual jurisdiction legal consultancy providing both Bulgarian law and UK law advice; this was succeeded by the opening of both offices in Bulgaria and London. Following Bulgaria's accession to the EU, the firm has gone from strength to strength, periodically expanding its staff numbers as well as diversifying its portfolio of practice areas.
NBLO is typically called upon by its clients to either be:
sole advisers in transactions with a Bulgarian law basis; or
the counterpart to international lawyers in transactions involving Bulgarian elements; or
a part of a network of advisers in a multi-jurisdictional deal.
In each of these types of work, NBLO is able to match the legal, technological, time-management, document production, commercial and communication expectations of clients and law firm partners alike.
As well as our dual-jurisdiction offices mentioned above, we believe we have a variety of key capabilities which make us stand out from other Bulgarian law firms:
We realise how crucial it is when giving quality legal service to understand the character and dynamics of clients' industries. In this regard, we maintain regular contacts within the Bulgarian business community and pride ourselves on being up-to-date on all international economic developments in the wider Central & Eastern Europe region.
We always make additional efforts to pinpoint our legal advice for our clients' purposes and to obviate inefficiencies where possible and this often pays off for our clients. We equally understand that our clients work within budgets and we are always keen to present a clear and transparent cost structure to them. In this respect, we will agree charges with clients at the time of instruction, and can help with the management of costs if this becomes necessary.
We make sure we can draft and conduct business in a variety of languages in addition to Bulgarian and English, the latter of which all of our staff speak by default.
We understand how effective information use impacts on our work and we consider the technological processes we have in place at our offices to be cutting-edge. We continue to strive for excellence in this area and regularly educate both support staff and fee-earners in a variety of current technologies. In addition, we have the ability to draw on an engineering support team to quickly implement any specific document exchange or technological requirements a client may request.
Advising on an LCIA claim
Suppliers with less bargaining power often accede to arbitration (or adjudication) clauses which make bringing or defending a claim prohibitively expensive.
In such cases, it is especially important when acting for the potential claimant (and subject to the overall viability of the claim), to offer a cost-effective solution to allow the claim to get off the ground. This may include assessing whether the arbitration clause is likely to be found effective or pathological, and whether it may be permissible and advisable to launch court proceedings instead (which can often be more economical especially in their early phases).
It is also helpful to be able to rely on advice which is simultaneously excellent in relation to both the jurisdiction in which enforcement is likely to be sought (e.g., Bulgaria) and the jurisdiction whose governing law the parties have agreed to apply.
We recently acted for a potential claimant in such a situation alongside their existing Bulgarian counsel to advise on the interplay of the arbitration rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and Bulgarian law and on the mechanics and prospects of a claim. We regularly and successfully collaborate with clients’ existing counsel to achieve the best results for such clients.
© New Balkans Law Office 2017