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According to Ilko Stoyanov, Partner at Schoenherr in Bulgaria, although his country has a very small legal market, which means that it is difficult to identify trends and to forecast the future, non-performing loans, the GDPR, and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence are topics that will definitely keep lawyers wired throughout 2018.

According to Dovile Burgiene, Partner at Ellex Valiunas, last year was good year in Lithuania. "I think in terms of foreign investment there have been a lot of transactions,” she says, with “easy access to money and credit.” 

On December 15, 2017, over 330 partners from leading domestic, regional, and international law firms in Poland signed an open letter to Polish President Andrzej Duda asking him not to sign the two acts sent him earlier that day by the Polish senate.

According to Tomasz Zalewski, Managing Partner in Poland of Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland, the Polish legal market is facing fundamental changes driven by the dramatic increase in the number of professional lawyers in the past couple of years, the implementation of the GDPR, and the digital revolution itself.

Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner, Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, says that no significant laws or regulations have been passed in Bosnia & Herzegovina recently that could influence the work of lawyers or the business sector, although they are much needed.

According to Konstantin Mikhel, Managing Partner of VMP Vlasova Mikhel & Partners, new decrees, regulations, and changes in the criminal code are just around the corner to ease the lives of businesses.

According to Ilko Stoyanov, Partner at Schoenherr in Bulgaria, although his country has a very small legal market, which means that it is difficult to identify trends and to forecast the future, non-performing loans, the GDPR, and the rapid growth of artificial intelligence are topics that will definitely keep lawyers wired throughout 2018.

According to Dovile Burgiene, Partner at Ellex Valiunas, last year was good year in Lithuania. "I think in terms of foreign investment there have been a lot of transactions,” she says, with “easy access to money and credit.” 

On December 15, 2017, over 330 partners from leading domestic, regional, and international law firms in Poland signed an open letter to Polish President Andrzej Duda asking him not to sign the two acts sent him earlier that day by the Polish senate.

According to Tomasz Zalewski, Managing Partner in Poland of Wierzbowski Eversheds Sutherland, the Polish legal market is facing fundamental changes driven by the dramatic increase in the number of professional lawyers in the past couple of years, the implementation of the GDPR, and the digital revolution itself.

Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner, Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, says that no significant laws or regulations have been passed in Bosnia & Herzegovina recently that could influence the work of lawyers or the business sector, although they are much needed.

According to Konstantin Mikhel, Managing Partner of VMP Vlasova Mikhel & Partners, new decrees, regulations, and changes in the criminal code are just around the corner to ease the lives of businesses.

A steadily increasing number of lawyers from Central and Eastern Europe travel overseas to obtain graduate degrees from prominent law schools in the United States and United Kingdom. To learn a bit about how a successful graduate program works we reached out to Polly Lawson, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at the top-tier University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Rob Shantz is a partner and the Head of the Corporate practice of Redcliffe Partners. He is a US-qualified lawyer with over 28 years of experience, including some 20 years in Central and Eastern Europe. Shantz specializes in cross-border corporate law and corporate governance matters, as well as in FCPA compliance investigation.

UK-born Egons Pikelis is a Partner and Head of Banking/Finance at Ellex Klavins in Latvia.

The Deal:  On March 20, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported that Primus’s Tallinn office had advised BaltCap on its acquisition of 100% of Sanoma Baltics AS – the operator of the Estonian online classified sites auto24 and Kuldne Bors – from Sanoma Media Finland Oy. Sorainen advised Sanoma Media Finland, and Cobalt advised the management of Sanoma Baltics on the transaction, with Ellex Raidla advising AS LHV Varahaldus on its provision of financing for the transaction.

Who knows lawyers better than other lawyers? In this issue’s Face-to-Face feature, Maravela & Asociatii Partners Gelu Maravela and Alina Popescu interview Mihaela Popescu, the former Head of Legal at Mercedes-Benz Financial Services.

Martin Simovart, Partner and Head of Global Relations at Cobalt in Estonia, is fairly confident about the state of affairs in his country at the moment. “For the first half of the year we saw what we actually predicted — about a five percent rise in GDP — and I hope it’s going to continue. The momentum is there, and I don’t see any indicators that it’s going to slow down. And the overall feeling is fairly positive.”

On August 17, a gathering of Dispute Resolution experts from many of the leading domestic and international law firms in Ukraine gathered in Baker McKenzie’s Kyiv offices for a Round Table conversation. 

On July 18, 2017, an elite selection of Baltic legal experts from both the private practice and in-house worlds gathered at Cobalt’s Riga office for an in-depth discussion about the Baltic legal markets.

The commercial legal markets of Central & Eastern Europe didn’t appear automatically. They didn’t develop in a vacuum. They were formed, shaped, and led, by lawyers – visionary, hard-working, commercially-minded, and client-focused individuals pulling the development of CEE’s legal markets along behind them as they labored relentlessly for their clients, their careers, their futures. 

On January 30, 2017, eight members of the In-House Advisory Panel for the 2017 GC Summit gathered at the offices of Squire Patton Boggs in Budapest for a Round Table conversation on the challenges they face and strategies they employ in dealing with external counsel. The event was moderated by Akos Mester, Partner at Squire Patton Boggs.

On the evening of December 8, 2016, at the Hotel Bristol in Warsaw, CEE Legal Matters hosted the 2016 Expert Summit – our annual gathering of experts from across the region to discuss the state of affairs in CEE Legal Markets. 

On Thursday, November 4, a select cross-section of Managing and other Senior Partners at a number of leading law firms in the Czech Republic together with one General Counsel gathered at PRK Partners’ offices in Prague for a Round Table conversation on the state of the Czech market. 

Until 2009 legal marketing was overregulated in Hungary. Since then lawyer ads are basically allowed, but they have to comply with the Hungarian Bar Association’s guidelines. 

For the last couple of years the issue of attracting foreign investments into Ukraine has loomed large. However, attracting such investment is hardly possible without creating the proper investment climate and implementing necessary reforms. One necessary step is transforming Ukrainian corporate law.