In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was the most useful or valuable piece of software or new technology your firm has acquired in the past five years?
The organic development of the Hungarian insolvency laws was interrupted by the era of the socialist planned economy, which ended in 1990. The novel Insolvency Act of 1991 (IA) may have satisfactorily served the economy in the first years of the transition period, but due to the profound changes in the socio-economic environment in subsequent years, the statute has become obsolete. Successive governments over the past three decades have made multiple efforts to keep the IA up-to-date and to follow the numerous demands made by the various players of the market and interested legal professionals, but the more than one hundred (!) amendments have rendered the system opaque and relatively difficult to use.
Hungary’s Danubia Patent and Law Office traces its roots back almost three quarters of a century. Danubia Partners Eszter Szakacs and Zsofia Klauber explain how the firm has managed to stay on top of the market for so long, through significant periods of technological, political, legal, and historical transformation in the country and culture around it.
What did the GDPR bring us? “A lot of compliance work,” most clients would say, after months of tough and challenging work implementing the European Union’s new comprehensive data protection regulation. And in many cases that work is still unfinished. The prevalent view on the market is that the regulation is an artificial creation of another compliance requirement upon data controllers. But is it fair to say that the GDPR brought nothing but a very expensive compliance exercise?
This April, the new EU foreign investment screening regulation entered into force, with terms scheduled to become applicable on October 11, 2020. The regulation was conceived and designed to provide member states with a valuable tool to employ in defending their strategic interests. We spoke to several experts in the region to learn more.
It has been over a year since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation became mandatory across Europe, marking a seismic shift in the way that companies collect, process, and handle personal data. Countries across the European Union and beyond have adapted their national laws to meet the requirements of the GDPR – with many introducing local derogations as permitted by the GDPR.
Andras Levai is the Head of Legal-CE Ethics and Compliance at Tesco Central Europe. Levai, who is based in Hungary, has been with Tesco since June 2009, when he joined as Senior Legal Counsel. In 2013, he was appointed to the role of Group Internal Auditor for Hungary and Turkey and he became the Head of Legal for Hungary in 2014. He was appointed to his current role in 2016. Prior to Tesco, he worked at the Hidasi & Partners Law Firm.
Andras Mohacsi is the Head of Competition Law and Sanctions at British American Tobacco, where he is responsible for designing, rolling out, and coordinating the implementation of the company’s global competition law and sanctions compliance programs, as well as overseeing the management of any related proceedings against any group company. He first joined BAT in Hungary in 1998. Before that, he worked as Head of Legal of Daewoo Bank Hungary.
Starting or continuing a mining project has always been subject to various licensing requirements. However, an amendment to spatial planning laws that became effective on March 15, 2019 increases the regulatory challenges faced by investors by introducing a completely new condition for obtaining the local municipality’s blessing, even for operations that are already underway. Therefore, the aftermath of the most recent regulatory changes should not be underestimated, as the number of mining sites exceeds 800 in Hungary.
Competition/Antitrust expert Sam Baldwin is a British national in Budapest’s Szecskay Attorneys at Law. Before joining Szecskay he spent eight years as an attorney in Copenhagen with the Gorrissen Federspiel law firm. He has significant experience advocating before national competition authorities and the European Commission and is successful at fending off accusations of wrong-doing on behalf of clients. He has represented companies in national court proceedings as well as at the General Court and European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
In January 2019 CEE Legal Matters reported that Deloitte Legal had advised K&H Bank on long-term non-recourse project financing provided to Photon Energy Group for Photon Energy’s 11.5 MWp proprietary PV power plant portfolio in Hungary. Pontes Budapest advised Photon Energy on the deal. We reached out to both firms for more information.
The number of electric vehicles in Hungary is rising. In response to this, the National Building Regulation of Hungary (OTEK) has established new requirements for the provision of recharging points, with a January 1, 2019 deadline. Although these new rules have had some visible results, there is significant delay in establishing full compliance. Those who fail to meet the requirement may anticipate the imposition of penalties.
The Hungarian Government is considering creating new legislation to cover all kinds of insolvency proceedings, including bankruptcy, liquidation, winding-up, and dissolution proceedings. This move has been roundly welcomed, especially by creditors, as the current law is from 1991, and although it has been amended numerous times, it counts as an outdated and much-criticized piece of legislation.