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Ten years have passed since the day I picked up my diploma and embarked on my professional journey as a lawyer. Right from the start, I’ve been working for law firms deeply rooted in the region, offering continuous opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from different areas, engage in cross-border projects throughout CEE, share experiences, and, most importantly, observe the landscape in which we operate. While the past decade has shaped my own growth, it’s also been – in my view – a period of remarkable transformation for lawyering in CEE.

On February 29, 2024, energy experts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Moldova, Turkiye, and Ukraine sat down for a virtual round table moderated by CEE Legal Matters Managing Editor Radu Cotarcea to discuss the key developments in the field of oil & gas over the past few years.

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. While in the legal field maintaining client relationships is vital, there are occasions when law firms must end engagements. To explore some of the reasons that might lead to this, we asked: After accepting mandates, what have been the main reasons for which you ended up having to drop clients?

Heralded as a cornerstone of the national economy, the Hungarian automotive sector faces significant challenges but also promising opportunities. Baker McKenzie Partner Zoltan Hegymegi-Barakonyi, Lakatos, Koves & Partners Partner Adam Mattyus, Szecskay Senior Partner Judit Budai, and Kinstellar Sector Head and Senior Counsel Akos Nagy take a deep dive into the sector’s status amidst a backdrop of labor shortages, geopolitical shifts, and the government’s concerted efforts to continue growth and maintain global competitiveness.

Following the recent election in Slovakia, the newly formed government has shifted its legislative focus. CLS Cavojsky & Partners Partner Peter Cavojsky and Taylor Wessing Partner Andrej Leontiev explore how the government’s priorities have changed in terms of public spending, criminal justice reform, and relations with non-governmental organizations.

Slovakia has undertaken a comprehensive reform of its court system. Peterka & Partners Partner Andrea Butasova and Ruzicka & Partners Partner Sarlota Stosova explore the ambitious restructuring and its consequences, the challenges encountered during its implementation, and its far-reaching implications for legal professionals and the justice system of Slovakia.

No, this is not a story about some barista somewhere diligently misspelling my name (with my name, I gave up a long time on hoping for accuracy there). It’s about an actual Starbucks cup that was casually dropped and left on the ground in front of my apartment building a little while back.

Across Europe, defense sectors are experiencing significant transformations and budgetary escalations, driven by a need for enhanced military readiness and modernization. Avellum Partner Andriy Romanchuk, Cobalt Partner Deividas Soloveicik, Nagy es Trocsanyi Partner Gyorgy Kiszely, and Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii Partner Serban Paslaru take a closer look at defense spending in their respective countries.

With legal services in a constant state of technology-driven evolution, Austria-based Legal Tech Hub Europe is trying to revolutionize the legal industry by fostering innovation and embracing the digital future. Partners from Dorda, E+H, Herbst Kinsky, and Schoenherr – four of the five firms spearheading the hub – talk about the initial set-up of the LTHE and its milestones over the last six years.

The Austrian government has recently enacted the Start-Up Promotion Act to nurture its start-up ecosystem and enhance employee participation in corporate growth. Wolf Theiss Partner Hartwig Kienast analyses how this legislation integrates with Austria’s existing legal framework and its implications for start-ups, employees, and the broader economic landscape.

In September 2022, CEE Legal Matters reported on Bulgaria’s outstanding legislative packages caused by three parliamentary elections being held in the span of eight months. Nearly two years later, Hristov & Partners Partner Dragomir Stefanov, Kambourov & Partners Partner Veronika Hadjieva, Penkov, Markov & Partners Associated Partner Nikolay Voynov, Peterka & Partners Partner Plamen Peev, and Schoenherr Bulgaria Co-Head of Real Estate Elena Todorova discuss the progress made after the extended legislative hiatus.

After years of preparation, Bulgaria’s integration into the Schengen area marks a significant moment, with the lifting of border controls at air and sea entry points as of March 2024. Boyanov & Co Managing Partner Borislav Boyanov, Dinova Rusev & Partners Managing Partner Ivelina Cherneva, Djingov, Gouginski, Kyutchukov & Velichkov Partner Anton Krustev, and Gugushev & Partners Senior Partner Victor Gugushev discuss Bulgaria’s pursuit of Schengen integration.

Jadek & Pensa Senior Partner and Head of the Transaction Unit Ozbej Merc talks about the evolution of the banking sector and their role as legal advisors in Slovenia over the last 10 years.

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.

On July 4, 2023, CEE Legal Matters reported that Kinstellar and SOG were teaming up in Serbia through a strategic partnership. Recently appointed Kinstellar Belgrade Managing Partner – and co-head of the firm-wide Financial Institutions sector – Milos Velimirovic shares an insider’s perspective on the move.

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