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Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.

The Spring of 2020 brought the pandemic to CEE, with its “perfect storm” of ingredients – including significant legal ramifications. Whether you are an individual, a business, or a governmental official, the storm made you ask at least one of these questions: “What are my rights in pre-existing contract?”, “Am I still bound to pay?”, “Can I get my money back?”, “Will I be liable for this?”, and “What legislation is needed to help ease the impact on the public?” 

“In terms of national politics, when it comes to Latvia, the word of the day is ‘stability,'“ says Raimonds Slaidins, Senior Partner at Ellex Klavins in Riga. “The current coalition government has been in power for about one and a half years now, and other than the COVID-19 crisis this has been a good, stable period of time for us — there aren’t any indications that something might change in the near future regarding the national government.“

For our new “Checking In” feature, we reach out to partners and heads of practice across CEE to learn how specific practice areas are faring in their jurisdictions. For this inaugural piece, we asked firm Real Estate experts: "What effect do you think the COVID-19 crisis will have on the real estate market in your jurisdiction this year, and what do think will be the longer-term repercussions?"

Evan Lazar is Co-Chairman, Global Real Estate, Global Vice Chair, and Chairman of the Europe Board for Dentons. We spoke to Lazar from his home office in Prague about how his firm has responded to the COVID-19 crisis and to gain his perspective on how the crisis has affected the real estate industry in CEE, and on what he expects the long-term consequences of the crisis to be, both on the economies of the region, and on the legal industry in particular.

The move by the Big 4 firms – Deloitte, KPMG, EY, and PwC – to capitalize on their client lists and their multi-disciplinary capabilities by extending the ability of their legal arms to compete with traditional law firms is by now well-established. In Austria, their legal arms have begun competing aggressively for talent as well.

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