With slightly over a month to go until the first Hungary General Counsel Summit — the first ever country-specific GC Summit organized by CEE Legal Matters — on August 29, 2017, three members of the “Building the Legal Function as Integral Business Unit” panel scheduled for the event gathered at the offices of Budapest's OPL Law Firm to plan and prepare for their discussion.
OPL Partner Miklos Orban — the Chairman of the Summit — welcomed panel participants Tereza Simanovska, the Head of Legal and Compliance for APS Holding; Judit Petko-Szandtner, the Chief Legal Counsel of UniCredit Bank Hungary Zrt.; and Mark Erdelyi, Legal Director of Telenor Hungary to his office (panelists Daniel Szeszler (the Group Legal Director at Magyar Telekom Plc.) and Edit Rosta (the General Legal Counsel CZ, HU, SK, at 3M) were unable to attend). In general, the panel members participating in the planning session explained, the key questions that participants of the Hungary GC Summit can expect to see addressed include the role of legal department in connection to business, how GCs can be proactive, and group vs. local legal departments. Both Simanovska and Erdelyi agreed that, “we will provide the insight how we as in-house lawyers cope with business transformation and innovate in our legal departments.”
The three panelists have their own specific interests as well. "The Hungarian market is super regulated and it wasn’t easy for us to set up operations here, compared to other jurisdictions," commented Tereza Simanovska, who will moderate the panel. "That’s why this conference is interesting for me.”
“I’m an efficiency champion in the UniCredit group," laughed Judit Pettko-Szandtner. "My colleagues from CEE are coming to Hungary to learn how to do legal work with such a small team and little budget. But for me the biggest issue is that in-house legal department is considered as a back office."
Mark Erdelyi explained that a consideration of ways General Counsel can provide value outside of the traditional boundaries of the role is a primary interest for him. “The question for me is really how do you perceive legal function – as a cost center, or do you contribute to business?”
The Hungarian General Counsel Summit will feature panel discussions and presentation within the themes of innovation, business competitiveness and ethics, data privacy, and challenges of sourcing legal services. Please visit the conference website to register and learn more.