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Clifford Chance has advised Atrium European Real Estate on its divestment of the Optima shopping center in Kosice to the joint venture of two Slovak shopping center investors for EUR 118 million. Taylor Wessing and Krnac Koncok & Partners reportedly advised the buyers.

The trend towards ESG issues has increased markedly on the Slovakian commercial real estate market. More and more Slovak companies are behaving responsibly and sustainably – under pressure from tenants, employees, contractors, customers, regulators, and investors who involve ESG in their decision-making.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, the Slovak Labor Code has changed several times. In 2021, five amendments were adopted, and new changes are expected in 2022. Although we observe progressive changes, the labor code remains quite rigid. Its provisions on remote work do not distinguish between blue-collar and white-collar jobs, which makes their implementation more demanding. Remote working, constant changes to COVID-19 pandemic rules, vaccination, health and safety, data protection, and employment termination rules – these have been the most pressing issues that have led employers to turn to their legal advisors.

The Slovakian legal market has, for quite some time, been a vibrant landscape of international law firms. Given the positioning of the central European country, and the proximity of major markets such as Austria, Poland, and Ukraine, Slovakia has been able to maintain the high number of international law firms, especially relative to other CEE jurisdictions. Taking a deeper dive into the reasons behind the persistence of such a high number of major international law firms, we reached out to legal professionals who work in Slovakia to get their insights.

CEE Legal Matters readers will likely be familiar with Patricia Gannon as one of the founders of Karanovic & Partners. Since her withdrawal from the firm (reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2020), Gannon ran her own "holistic strategic advisory business" (as reported on October 12, 2020) and, recently, she announced she is working on a new social media app for lawyers – Platforum 9. We caught up with her to learn more about her new project.

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