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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.

“Covid is still a very hot topic in Slovenia, I’m afraid,” reports ODI Partner Suzana Boncina Jamsek. “The vaccination efforts have somewhat stalled, especially with some problems that Europe seems to have been having with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and this is affecting the market and our daily work.” Boncina Jamsek says that the country still has some lockdown measures in place, but that these change “almost on a weekly basis,” and are not very strict at the moment. “Still, business meetings are rarely taking place in person and this is still a hurdle for all of us,” she says.

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.

JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic was launched in Belgrade 30 years ago, in 1991. CEE Legal Matters used the anniversary as an excuse to reach out to Senior Partners Nikola Jankovic, Nenad Popovic, Milos Mitic, and Jelena Gazivoda for a walk down memory lane.

According to its website, “Amberlo takes care of your busy-day so you can focus on what matters most,” and the company is “on a mission to help law firms transform into high-performance digital organizations.” CEE Legal Matters spoke with Amberlo Co-Founder and CEO Aidas Kavaliauskas to learn more about how the company’s cloud-based case management software built for legal professionals does just that.

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.

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 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. 

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.

Is it possible to perceive some elements of the corona crisis positively? And is it possible that changes could take place that would have a positive effect on the Slovak legal market? I may be too optimistic, but I am convinced that the answer to both questions is “yes.”

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

A look back at more than 30 years in the legal profession, through changing political and economic systems, legal environments, and expectations towards lawyers, and changing ways and platforms of communication.

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.