15
Tue, Jun
48 New Articles

Latest Analysis

Grid List

“The pandemic has overwritten any expectations we had at the end of 2019,” says Schoenherr Budapest Partner Gergely Szaloki. “We were very optimistic, and the market was booming, but the pandemic changed many things.” He underlines the frequent switch to a home-office working environment as being a particular source of change for the real estate market. “Not only the office spaces,” he says, “but I can imagine that flats will also be designed in a way so that it’s possible to establish at least a working corner at home.”

Draft legislation, including a draft law to create a Commercial Court and a draft Civil Code, is at the top of the agenda for lawyers in Kosovo, according to Ramaj, Palushi, Hajdari & Salihu Partner Mentor Hajdaraj, who also points to several ongoing foreign investment disputes of significance to the country's overall FDI strategy.

Two recent ground-breaking court decisions are the main topics of conversation between lawyers in Romania, according to Vertis Legal Partner Grigore Pop – one involving how criminal courts should operate going forward and one involving another lawyer that raises "serious concerns over the legal profession as a whole."

A volatile legislative landscape, busy disputes practices, and a rather slow job market are the three main characteristics of the current Hungarian legal market, according to Gergely Ban, Managing Partner of ACT Legal Hungary. All three, he says, can be traced back to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The third wave of the pandemic, and unfortunately the most severe, has dominated the developments of the past month in Hungary,” says SBGK Partner Peter Lukacsi. He says that severe restrictions have been imposed in the country to combat the uptick in the numbers of newly infected people, including the closings of lower grade schools and kindergartens. “Courts have been closed as well,” he says, “and no personal hearings have been held in both civil and commercial matters since March 8.”

According to Ivars Grunte, Managing Partner at TGS Baltic in Riga, Latvia’s legal sector is getting a legislative overhaul. In addition, Grunte reports that Latvia’s judicial system will be strengthened through the addition of the Economic Affairs Court.

On November 20, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BDK Advokati, working alongside Sweden’s Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyra, had advised Embracer Group AB on its acquisition of all issued shares of Mad Head Games d.o.o., a game development studio from Novi Sad, Serbia. SunjkaLaw advised Mad Head Games shareholders Nenad Tomic, Uros Banjesevic, and Aleksa Todorovic on the deal.

An interview with Marcell Nemeth of Wolf Theiss, about his path from Budapest to Vienna.

On September 22, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar’s Bratislava office had advised E.ON on its acquisition of a 49% stake in electric utility Vychodoslovenska Energetika Holding from the German electric utilities provider RWE. We reached out to Kinstellar Partner Viliam Mysicka for more information about the deal.

An interview with Ted Boone of Dentons, about his path to Hungary.

On February 8, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Oliver Koppany and Csaba Rusznak had joined KNP Law Nagy-Koppany Lencs & Partners in Budapest. Rusznak will lead the firm’s Dispute Resolution Practice Group, while Koppany, who joined as Foreign Legal Counsel, is preparing to take over the management of the firm from his mother, KNP Law Founder and Managing Partner Kornelia Nagy-Koppany. We spoke with Koppany and Rusznak to learn more about their background and plans for the future.

As last year’s upheavals continue to influence finance markets in 2021, Erika Papp, CMS’s Head of Finance CEE/CIS, and CMS’s Regional Finance Partners Paul Stallebrass in Prague, Ana Radnev in Bucharest, and Elitsa Ivanova in Sofia offer their perspectives on what this year might hold for financing in CEE.

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.

The following situation would cause me to pull my hair out – if I had any left.

When we think of a crisis, what usually comes to our mind is an unexpected, negative event, with a limited duration.

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 Banking & Finance practice of Integrates in Ukraine has had its hands full lately, according to Partner Igor Krasovskiy, mainly thanks to the economic impact of Covid-19, Ukraine’s energy strategy, and the country’s commitments to international financial institutions.

On November 20, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that BDK Advokati, working alongside Sweden’s Gernandt & Danielsson Advokatbyra, had advised Embracer Group AB on its acquisition of all issued shares of Mad Head Games d.o.o., a game development studio from Novi Sad, Serbia. SunjkaLaw advised Mad Head Games shareholders Nenad Tomic, Uros Banjesevic, and Aleksa Todorovic on the deal.

The Vienna Stock Exchange was founded in 1771, during the reign of Empress Maria Theresa. Initially launched as a market for state-issued bonds – only bonds, bills of exchange, and foreign currencies could be traded – it expanded rapidly. In 1818, the Austrian central bank – which had itself been founded only two years earlier – became the first joint-stock company to be listed on the exchange (and one of the first shareholders was Ludwig van Beethoven, who bought eight shares in 1819). In 1863, the Suez Canal Company had become the first foreign company to be listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, and in 1865, there was a further foreign listing with premium bonds issued to fund Turkish railway lines (“Turkenlose”). When the Frankfurter Bankverein applied for a listing of the Turkenlose bonds on the VSE, the Exchange Chamber decided to introduce rules for the admission of foreign securities, and thus, in 1873, the “Italian bond” became the first official foreign listing by means of a formal application. In December 1997, the Vienna Stock Exchange Chamber was merged with the Austrian Futures and Options Exchange to form a new exchange operating company, Wiener Borse AG, and in subsequent years the business spectrum of the Vienna Stock Exchange broadened to include market data dissemination and index calculation as well as IT services and central securities depository services.

The global COVID-19 crisis has led to a significant change in the field of M&A, both in Austria, and worldwide. In my more-than-twenty years of experience, I have not seen anything change the Austrian legal market so incredibly. Starting in March 2020, as a first step, several transactions in Austria were at least temporarily put on hold. As a result, the total number of transactions decreased in 2020. However, this trend was not unique to Austria, but represents a worldwide paradigm shift caused by increased uncertainty about the future of business.

Starting from modest beginnings in the small Hungarian city of Eger, Agnes Molnar’s career has taken her across the world, from small local law firms to the Magic Circle, from state entities to global banks, and from Budapest to London to Vienna to Montreal. Now, some 10,000 kilometers away from her home country, she is a Partner at Travers Thorpe Alberga in the Cayman Islands. If, as the Chinese proverb has it, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, Molnar is already half-way there.

“In the past year or so, we have been very focused on transactional work in the renewables sector,” says Dentons Warsaw Partner Agnieszka Kulinska. “In addition to that, together with our banking and finance colleagues, my department has also handled a number of financing deals in the sector.”