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In this time of economic distress, many countries have suffered. Yet, reports Milos Gledovic, Partner at Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic, Serbia has proven resilient. “The pandemic has not affected the number of transactions in our market, except in the industries directly affected by anti-COVID measures,” Gledovic says, describing the overall economic situation in Serbia as stable.

The current political situation in Belarus remains strained, according to Maksim Salahub, Partner at Sorainen in Minsk. Salahub reports that President Lukashenko held an “All-Belarusian Assembly” between February 11 and 12 – an event Salahub describes as “politically sterile.” According to him, “even though the event was supposed to seem all-Belarusian, the participants were carefully selected by the authorities so that the event would instead be attended by Lukashenko loyalists.” Nonetheless, Salahub says, many followed the event closely, hoping that some constructive ideas would be voiced and de-escalation measures proposed. Unfortunately, in Salahub’s opinion, the event only indicated that repression against the pro-reform groups will continue and that the same economic course will be followed as before.

One of the most notable recent changes to Ukrainian law, according to Svitlana Gurieieva, Partner at Sayenko Kharenko, involves the Cabinet of Ministers' approval of new resolutions aimed at starting town-planning reform.

“It’s very complicated at this moment, with most people changing their mind very often,” says Irena Georgieva, Managing Partner of PPG Lawyers in Sofia, about the situation in Bulgaria. “Everybody is focused on their personal Covid-19-related problems and it’s hard to adequately measure what the community really thinks about the government, as somehow all political decisions are inextricably linked with pandemic issues.” 

Slovakia’s political life is currently marked by the government's internal struggles, says Martin Magal, Managing Partner at Allen & Overy Bratislava. “We have a fairly inept coalition government and our politicians are much more involved in fighting among each other than fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“There is a lot going on at the moment, politics-wise,” says Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners Partner Ana Grabnar. “One of the coalition parties left the coalition and joined opposition parties in filing for a no-confidence vote for the government – that took place this week.”  The opposition did not gather the necessary majority; “surprisingly it gathered even fewer votes than predicted,” she says.

The hot practice for CMS in Hungary is Dispute Resolution, and Zsolt Okanyi, Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution both for Hungary and globally at CMS, explains that his team's current workload is primarily driven by the COVID-19 crisis.

An interview with Ben Davey of WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr, about his path from Australia to Poland.

Interview with the Partners of the New NGL Symbio Alliance.

Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence are more than buzzwords – they are concepts critical to the rapid technological development occurring across all industries. We spoke to Partners Piotr Galka, Piotr Kaniewski, and Szymon Ciach in Kochanski & Partners’ Technology team to learn more.

An interview with Julien Hansen of DLA Piper Moscow.

Interview with Alex Cook of Clifford Chance Prague.

The Hungarian financial market finished 2019 in a strong position. Intrigued by what many have described as a “special” year, CEE Legal Matters sat down with several of the nation’s leading Banking/Finance lawyers at Lakatos, Koves & Partners’ offices in Budapest to learn more.

If one is an example, two is a coincidence, and three is a trend, the three major law firm mergers in Ukraine this past summer demand closer scrutiny.

On July 9, 2018, the CEE Legal Matters website reported the merger of the Avellum and A.G.A. Partners law firms in Ukraine. A month later, the website reported on a second merger, this time between Asters and EPAP, the Ukrainian office of Russia’s Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners. And in September the website reported on yet another merger, between Integrites and Pravochyn. To explore these significant changes in the market, on October 26, 2018, CEE Legal Matters sat down with a collection of prominent Ukrainian lawyers — including several from firms directly involved in the summer’s mergers — at the Kyiv office of DLA Piper.

Chinese investors and developers are expanding their footprints in Europe, focusing often on green technology and opportunities in the solar, hi-tech, and automation industries, as well as highly-publicized infrastructure development tenders. Over the years, the amount of Chinese investment has increased, as has the number of Chinese professionals settling in CEE to facilitate Europe-China relations and bridge differences in culture, expectations, and styles. In September, 2018, CEE Legal Matters sat down at the Dentons office in Budapest with three Chinese lawyers to learn about their experiences working on the ground in CEE.

Start-Ups represent a unique subset of clients for major law firms, as they are often unable to pay the fees those firms generally require, but – particularly in the tech sector – hold out the potential of significant profitability down the road. Intrigued by the unique challenges and opportunities for law firms offering their services to these cash-poor but potential-high clients, we invited partners from four prominent law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to share their strategies and experiences with Start-ups with us in the offices of Kocian Solc Balastik in Prague. KSB Partner Christian Blatchford moderated the conversation. 

The Hungarian real estate and housing market is experiencing golden days. Although the market took a serious hit during the financial crisis in 2008, today enormous sums are again being invested in office buildings, shopping malls, hotels, residential areas, and retail. In order to map the underlying reasons behind the market’s boom, and to better understand how the country is dealing with the high demand for development lands and properties, CEE Legal Matters sat down with six Hungarian lawyers specialized in Real Estate & Construction and a Legal Counsel from Prologis, a Real Estate & Supply Chain Logistics company. 

On January 30, 2018, a select group of prominent Serbian lawyers gathered at the Prica & Partners law firm in Belgrade for a CEE Legal Matters Round Table to discuss the current economic conditions in Serbia and the country’s legal services sector.

After billing 500 hours for the past month, you finally found some quality time to write an article for your loving clients. After you send it out, you watch your phone with bated breath, anticipating that avalanche of new business that’s just about to pour in. Then, nothing.

Over thirty years ago, journalists reported that a chemical had been released into the water pipes of Durand, Michigan. They warned citizens that the chemical DHMO could accelerate corrosion and in certain situations even cause suffocation. The city’s inhabitants were beside themselves in panic.

Once upon a time, you were a pretty good speaker, dominating the law conference circuit. Now, you find yourself holding webinars in your pajamas. Things got weird, fast.

Everyone knows that law firm pitches are terrible, and nobody is happy about it – not the lawyers, not the marketing/BD teams, and definitely not the clients.

The coronavirus has had a deep effect on legal services. Now we can start drawing conclusions on how deeply this sector has been affected during the last two months. 

If it seems that both – activity of online communities and the amount of legal content on social media has boomed lately, you are not wrong. LinkedIn reported that the number of articles from February untill March 23 grew by 2196% and 33% of these posts were related to coronavirus (Navigating Today’s Evolving World of Work, LinkedIn, 2020 March). Global research shows that the legal service industry was among TOP10 contributors to the topic and my research in Lithuania confirms that by indicating that the main cause for that was a significant increase in the production of content by law firms and lawyers. 

The hot practice for CMS in Hungary is Dispute Resolution, and Zsolt Okanyi, Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution both for Hungary and globally at CMS, explains that his team's current workload is primarily driven by the COVID-19 crisis.

In this time of economic distress, many countries have suffered. Yet, reports Milos Gledovic, Partner at Samardzic, Oreski & Grbovic, Serbia has proven resilient. “The pandemic has not affected the number of transactions in our market, except in the industries directly affected by anti-COVID measures,” Gledovic says, describing the overall economic situation in Serbia as stable.

An interview with Ben Davey of WKB Wiercinski, Kwiecinski, Baehr, about his path from Australia to Poland.

Interview with the Partners of the New NGL Symbio Alliance.

Blockchain, Cloud Computing, and Artificial Intelligence are more than buzzwords – they are concepts critical to the rapid technological development occurring across all industries. We spoke to Partners Piotr Galka, Piotr Kaniewski, and Szymon Ciach in Kochanski & Partners’ Technology team to learn more.

Within days of the coronavirus’s arrival in March, the Polish government was scrambling to react, with lockdowns, subsidies and stimulus, public health requirements, and other measures coming rapidly, on an ad hoc basis, with the need for speed making it difficult for Polish companies (and Poles in general) to keep up, and forming a patchwork of ideas rather than a comprehensive and coherent plan.