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The Czech Competition Authority (CCA) recently announced that it prepared a proposal to update the Czech Competition Act (the "Act"). While at present the proposal is just a set of ideas, it indicates how Czech competition enforcement may evolve in the years to come. Crucially, the CCA suggests deploying a "new competition tool" that will allow it to intervene even without proof of anticompetitive agreements or abuse of dominance. In addition, it wants to have call-in powers for under-threshold mergers.

Did you know that while only five lawyers worked on ten or more CEE client matters reported by CEE Legal Matters in 2022, a total of fourteen lawyers reached that level in 2023? The 2023 leaderboard was led by Milos Felgr of Clifford Chance in Prague, who worked on a remarkable 20 CEELM-reported client matters last year, with Alper Onar of Istanbul’s Aksan Law Firm, who worked on 19, close behind. Fellow Turk Kerem Turunc, the Managing Partner of Turunc, worked on 17 reported deals, while Djordje Nikolic of NKO Partners in Belgrade worked on 16, and Tomasz Rogalski of Norton Rose Fulbright in Warsaw worked on 15.

Clifford Chance has advised CTP on the EUR 100 million club financing of the Vlnena campus in Brno with main arranger, agent, and security agent Komercni Banka and second mandated lead arranger UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia. White & Case advised the banks.

In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.

CEE Legal Matters invited me to write about “lawyering in CEE.” My “lawyering” in the region started on January 2, 2000, when I was a young graduate working in Vienna for clients with business in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and soon I was sent to Prague, and Bratislava. Over time, I witnessed not only economic booms and crises and political and economic transformations but also changes in the legal market and how law firms work.

In The Inside Track, General Counsels across CEE share the nuances of their roles, challenges, and strategies for success. Given the importance of relationships between in-house legal departments and law firms, this time we asked GCs: What is the most common reason for which you cease working with a specific law firm and what would you suggest firms definitely do to ensure they do not make the same mistake?

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. With 2023 marching to an end, we looked ahead and asked about strategies for next year: As the budgeting period is around the corner, compared to 2023, what are the main budgeting lines you expect to increase for 2024 and why?

The Czech Republic is one of the first countries to have commenced the implementation process of a top-up tax into the tax system. The Czech Top-Up Tax Act is a transposition of an EU Directive (Council Directive 2022/2523 of December 14, 2022) and is based on the OECD BEPS project Pillar Two initiative. It is definitely worth becoming acquainted with the basic principles of this new tax.

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

PRK Partners, one of the leading Central European law firms, has been helping clients achieve their business objectives almost 30 years. Our team of lawyers, based in our Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava offices, has a unique knowledge of Czech and Slovak law and of the business environment. Our lawyers studied at top law schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and elsewhere. They also have experience working for leading international and domestic law firms in a number of jurisdictions. We speak your language, too. Our legal team is fluent in more than 15 languages, including all the key languages of the region.

PRK Partners has one of the most experienced legal teams on the market. We are consistently rated as one of the leading law firms in the region. We have received many significant honours and awards for our work. We represent the interests of international clients operating in the Czech Republic in an efficient way, combining local knowledge with an understanding of their global requirements in a business-friendly approach. We are one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our specialised teams of lawyers and tax advisors advise major global corporations as well as local companies. We provide comprehensive legal advice drawing on our profound knowledge of local law and markets.

Our legal advice delivers tangible results – as proven by our strong track record. We are the only Czech member firm of Lex Mundi, the world's leading network of independent law firms. As one of the leading law firms in the region, we have received many national and international awards, in some cases several years in a row. Honours include the Chambers Europe Award for Excellence, The Lawyer and Czech and Slovak Law Firm of the Year. Thanks to our close cooperation with leading international law firms and strong local players, we can serve clients in multiple jurisdictions around the globe. Our strong network means that we can meet your needs, wherever you do business.

PRK Partners has been repeatedly voted among the most socially responsible firms in the category of small and mid-sized firms and was awarded the bronze certificate at the annual TOP Responsible Firm of the Year Awards.

Our work is not only “business”: we have participated on a longstanding basis in a wide variety of pro bono projects and supported our partners from the non-profit sector (Kaplicky Centre Endowment Fund, Tereza Maxová Foundation, Czech Donors Forum, etc.).

Firm's website: www.prkpartners.com

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