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Major Announcement: CEELM To Host Awards Banquet and Premier Private Practice Event in CEE

Major Announcement: CEELM To Host Awards Banquet and Premier Private Practice Event in CEE


CEE Legal Matters is proud to announce the introduction of three exciting new events to the CEE legal practitioners’ calendar: The CEELM Deal of the Year Awards, the CEE Legal Matters Annual Banquet, and the Dealers Choice conference.

Dealers Choice and Annual Banquet

The cover of the very first issue of the CEE Legal Matters in February 2014 announced the publication’s mission: “Simply, to be the go-to source of news and information about lawyers and legal markets in Central and Eastern Europe.” As a result, after four years of reporting, interviewing, traveling, considering, and exploring the dynamic and challenging legal markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the CEE Legal Matters magazine and website are widely acknowledged to be valuable, trustworthy, and reliable sources of news about the region’s legal markets, and events organized by CEE Legal Matters are recognized as useful sources of information and productive networking opportunities for legal experts from across CEE.

Accordingly, and consistent with CEE Legal Matters’ popularity and reputation for impartiality and trustworthiness, 2018 will see the introduction of the first ever CEELM Deal of the Year Awards, with winners from across the region to be announced at the new CEE Legal Matters Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony scheduled for early June. 

In addition, CEE Legal Matters, which already organizes the leading event for General Counsel in CEE – the annual GC Summit, which in 2018 will host 300 senior in-house counsel from across the region – will host its first ever conference and networking event for leading private practitioners, drawing attendees from across the region, the United Kingdom, the United States, and China. 

Both the Dealers Choice event and the Awards Banquet will take place for the very first time in Prague on June 6, 2018

Deal of the Year Awards: Explanation and Methodology

Sophisticated lawyers around the world are aware that many awards in the industry are, essentially, for sale, presented by their creators in return for commercial engagement during the year or by the purchase of an expensive table at the awards ceremony itself. This cynical process renders the awards themselves useless except as baubles and essentially meaningless except to the most naïve. 

The editors of CEE Legal Matters reject this process, and have waited instead for the organization’s reach and reputation to reach a point that would allow them to implement a methodology untainted by the possibility of favoritism or bias. Thus, the winners of the CEELM Deal of the Year Awards will be selected not by the editors or staff of CEE Legal Matters, but instead by a two-tiered panel of leading lawyers from across the region who do not themselves stand to benefit from the final results.

The methodology is as follows: Every law firm in Central and Eastern Europe already has or soon will receive the annual Call for Submissions from CEE Legal Matters inviting it to submit all deals and other client matters for inclusion in our annual Table of Deals. This year the Call for Submission also includes an invitation to submit deals for Deal of the Year consideration, along with an application form to use in making those submissions. The deadline for Deal of the Year submissions is January 4, 2018.

Those responses which satisfy mandatory submission criteria will then be forwarded to our Shortlist Panels: senior partners at leading firms in each CEE jurisdiction who have already agreed to carefully review the submissions and rank them for complexity, size, and market significance. Their review will result in a shortlist of three deals for each market.

That shortlist of final nominees will be announced in mid-February and will be forwarded to our Final Selection Committee, which consists of CEE Legal Matters Knowledge Partners and attendees to our annual End of Year Expert Summit, who will then independently rank the final nominees, allowing us to identify the ultimate winner in each market. Critically, members of the Final Selection Committee will not be allowed to vote on deals their own firms worked on.  

The final winners will be announced at the June 6, 2018 CEE Legal Matters Annual Dinner and Awards Banquet.

Dealers Choice Event

On June 6, 2018, in Prague, CEE Legal Matters will host its first ever private-practice conference, the Dealers Choice event. The Dealers Choice agenda will focus on how leading lawyers make significant and complicated deals happen for their clients, with topics ranging from law firm business development efforts to client management skills, from negotiation strategies and best practices to multi-jurisdictional and cross-border considerations, from cross-selling strategies to post-deal follow ups. 

Speakers and panelists will be drawn from those firms included on the Deal of the Year Shortlist – by definition, those professionals who are expert in how to get and keep clients, obtain valuable mandates, and finalize complex and important transactions.

In addition, leading international firms from the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, and China will be invited to attend, allowing the event to function as an unprecedented international networking and referral partner opportunity for the firms of CEE. 

A list of firms who will be attending will be placed (and frequently updated) on the event website. 

CEELM Annual Banquet and Deal of the Year Awards Ceremony

That evening, also on June 6, 2018, CEE Legal Matters will host its first ever annual banquet. The event will be a celebration of the lawyers and law firms of CEE, and of course the centerpiece will be the Deal of the Year Awards ceremony. 

Firms which worked on deals included in the final shortlist for each market will be given first opportunity to purchase seats or tables at the event, with remaining seats made available on a first-come first-serve basis.

The entire event, both Dealers Choice and the CEELM Annual Banquet, will be summarized in the special June 2018 issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine.

More Information and How to Participate

More information about the Dealers Choice event and the CEELM Annual Banquet and Deal of the Year Awards Ceremony, including the prices of individual tickets, tables for the banquet, and firm-branded tables/booths for the networking event, as well as information about sponsorship opportunities, will be found on the Dealer’s Choice website. 

CEE Legal Matters is tremendously excited about these new events, and updated information will be provided on the event website, which should be up and running soon. In the meantime, please let us know if you have any questions. We’ll look forward to seeing you in Prague, on June 6, 2018!

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect the official date of the Deal of the Year Awards Ceremony and the Dealer's Choice conference.

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