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In The Corner Office, we invite Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. Our question this time: “What mistake do young associates commonly make that is most frustrating for you?”

In The Corner Office we invite Managing Partners at law firms across the region to share information about their unique roles. The question this time around: What is your favorite question when interviewing a job applicant, and why?

On Thursday, November 30th, leading legal practitioners from across Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Prague to help CEE Legal Matters celebrate its fourth successful year as the leading chronicle of the legal industry in the region, participating in an expert Round Table conversation about the year just concluded and enjoying an evening of dinner, drinks, and bonhomie. 

Despite recommendations by international organizations, Czech legislation on whistleblowers is fragmentary and does not offer a complex legal regulation of the phenomenon, or even a definition of the term. The current protection of whistleblowers – i.e., employees or former employees of an organization who inform competent institutions of illegal or unethical practices in that organization – is only dealt with in the Czech Act on Banks, Act on Savings and Credit Co-operatives, Capital Market Undertakings Act, and Civil Service Act (or, more precisely, in the Government Decree implementing the Civil Service Act). Some vague protection of whistleblowers is also provided by the general provisions of the Labor Code and other regulations, which, however, do not specifically address the protection of whistleblowers as such. Currently, two acts are being discussed in the Czech Parliament aimed at providing higher labor-law protection of whistleblowers in both the private and public sectors.

On February 1, 2016, the Amendment to Act No. 634/1992 Coll., on Consumer Protection (the “Amendment”) entered into force, implementing European Union directive No. 2013/11/EU on alternative dispute resolution for consumer disputes, which requires the member states of the European Union to ensure that consumers have access to a simple, efficient, fast, and low-cost way of resolving disputes arising from sales or service contracts.

Many of us have experienced such a scenario: It’s a beautiful summer. I’m on holiday in Austria. Even before the holiday began, it had become clear that I would have to interrupt it for a meeting in Berlin. When my wife asked me whether this would be the only interruption, I was convinced that I wouldn’t be away for more than one day. It turned out differently. After my return from Berlin, I had to leave our holiday home for another two days. The following week, in which I’d anticipated no business travel, I ended up spending only half a day of it with my family. I had to cancel common (and long-planned) visits of friends, two beautiful (and of course also already paid for) concerts in Salzburg, and I was either travelling for business or on the phone that whole week. 

In The Corner Office, we invite Senior and Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. For this issue, we asked them to describe their least favorite part of their jobs. 

An extensive amendment to the Labor Code currently under discussion in the Czech Parliament is scheduled to become effective on July 1, 2017, although the effective date might be postponed due to certain delays in the legislative process. 

The Czech Parliament recently passed a bill amending the country’s Pharmaceutical Act to restrict the exportation of pharmaceuticals from the Czech market that has, in the past, resulted in a shortage of some medicinal products within the country. The Czech pharmaceutical market is thus facing a substantial change once the amendment becomes effective on December 1, 2017.

The Deal:  On February 16, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that Glatzova & Co. had advised Denemo Media s.r.o. on its acquisition of a 50% shareholding in FTV Prima, with Allen & Overy advising Modern Times Group, the seller. Denemo Media is a Czech joint venture between Alphaduct, a.s. (with 75% ownership) and GES Media Asset, a.s. (with 25% ownership). Alphaduct, a.s. is owned by Czech businessman Vladimir Komar. GES Media Asset a.s. is part of the GES Group, which already owned 50% of FTV Prima Holding.

Legislators on both the European and Czech level have been active in adopting new regulations that influence several areas of the modern economy. Financial services, with consumer finance on one side and markets in financial instruments on the other, have been at the center of these efforts. Financial regulation is not, however, the only measure heavily affecting banks, investment firms, and FinTech companies by putting new compliance requirements in place. Another huge legal instrument – the General Data Protection Regulation adopted on the EU level in 2016 – imposes new requirements on all companies dealing with personal data.

In the Czech Republic, the most important buzzword in the field of legal services and IT deliveries is “GDPR-Compliance” and it has serious ramifications for organizations, businesses, and public corporations.

Czech lawyers, not known for ebullience, are nonetheless finding it hard to keep the smiles off their faces. After a decade of disappointment and struggle, if the Managing Partners at Czech firms are to be believed, the last remnants of the global financial crisis have dissipated and business is booming. As spring rolls through Central Europe, the sunshine is both meteorological and metaphoric. Prague is basking in the warmth.

As the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Payment Services in the Internal Market (PSDII) introduces a number of changes to existing Czech legislation, a completely new Payment Services Act regulating the provision of payment services will be adopted in the Czech Republic. PSDII should be implemented by January 13, 2018.

As consumers conduct an ever-increasing amount of their shopping and banking on-line, the digitalization revolution is having a significant effect on both industries, and payment service providers – companies offering online services allowing merchants to accept electronic payments by, among other forms, credit cards or bank-based payments such as direct debit, bank transfer, and real-time bank transfer based on online banking – are working with both merchants and banks to facilitate their operations. 

This past autumn brought extensive changes to the Czech Republic’s real estate acquisition tax, which, according to lawmakers, should align the country’s regulation to the European standard. Is it really the case? With the assistance of members of the Real Estate team within Taylor Wessing CEE, we compare the new regulation to those in neighboring countries. 

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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