Less than 30 years after the wholescale introduction of computers into the legal profession, we find ourselves on the brink of a 4th industrial revolution. Today, we have cars that can drive on their own, we can print almost anything (including entire buildings and human body parts) on a 3D printer, and the Internet of Things is becoming a natural part of our everyday lives. All these tools are making our lives easier and more comfortable. And as the business world adapts to this new era, the legal profession obviously cannot stay behind.
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.
Kinstellar and White & Case have advised BMO Real Estate Partners on the acquisition of the high end department store in Prague occupied by Van Graaf on behalf of investors in its pan-European retail property investment fund. BMO Real Estate Partners acquired the building from Vienna-based MTK Developments. PRK Partners reportedly advised the sellers on the deal.
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.
The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.
PRK Partners has advised the Czech town of Kromeriz on the preparation and conclusion of a shareholders agreement between it, nearby town Morkovice-Slizany, and the Czech municipalities of Drinov and Zborovice — which combined hold a majority shareholding in VAK Kromeriz (a water utility company providing services to more than 100,000 persons and companies) — securing their majority position and control over the utility for the next 30 years. The project value is CZK 1.2 billion.
PRK Partners has advised Veolia Energie CR (formerly Dalkia Ceska Republika, part of the Veolia Environment group) on its acquisition of Prazska Teplarenska LPZ a.s., a Prazska Teplarenska subsidiary operating, in particular, local heat supply networks on the left bank of the Vltava River in Prague. The sale price was reported to be EUR 71.3 million.
Women’s Day is behind us, but the subjects of gender equality and equal opportunity are of year-round concern. This, the first part of a special two-part CEE Legal Matters article on women in private practice in CEE, provides the numbers and percentages from leading law firms across CEE, as well as a more thorough snapshot of one representative market. Part II of the report, in the June issue, will pull back the curtain even more, providing feedback and perspectives from lawyers across the region.