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The Deal:  On December 8, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Wolf Theiss had advised the EBRD on its issuance of RSD 2.5 trillion Floating Rate Bonds due December 2019. AP Legal advised Raiffeisen Banka A.D., Beograd, acting as underwriter for the issuance, and Harrisons advised marketing agent Citigroup Global Markets Limited. 

The Serbian Constitutional Court Rejects Voting Limitations Adopted by Belgrade Bar Association

More than 27 years have passed since I became a lawyer back in 1990, and there’s not so much that can really surprise me anymore. My country (at that time called Yugoslavia) went through hyperinflation, a war with its neighbors, UN sanctions, a NATO bombing campaign, democratic protests which led to major political changes at the beginning of a 21st century, Prime Minister Djindjic’s assassination, and privatization, with all the typical transition issues which led to huge social and economic changes. Serbia today is still under the burden of the Kosovo crisis and trying to balance between East and West on its slow path towards EU integration. 

Partners at Serbian Law Firms Discuss the Growing Number of Legal Alliances Appearing Across the Former Yugoslavia 

In The Corner Office we invite Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

I keep hearing that local offices of international firms have been dominating the CEE legal market. Journalists covering the market look at the corporate, finance, and litigation league tables for the region, notice that international firms occupy more places than would be typical in Western Europe, and report a story of global brand domination. I am almost certainly biased, but I see things differently.

"These are interesting times,” says Natalia Drebezgina, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton in Moscow, when asked for The Buzz in Russia.

"First of all this spring we re-elected the governing body and another institutions for attorneys," says Agris Bitans, the Managing Partner of Eversheds Bitans in Latvia, when asked for the Buzz in his country.

When asked about the Buzz in Austria, Thomas Kulnigg, Partner at Schoenherr, says that M&A activity has significantly increased, with 2016 being one of the top 10 years in deal volume since 1988, and he says that 2017 is "well on its way." What Kulnigg is currently excited about, beside the typical Corporate/M&A work, is the start-up work his team is doing.

"What is currently happening in Prague is the GDPR,” says Jiri Hornik, Partner at Kocian Solc Balastik in Prague, referring to the EU’s new Data Protection Regulation being implemented across Europe.

Branko Maric, the Managing Partner at Maric & Co. in Sarajevo, sighs when asked for the Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina. "Our main concern is the very awful political situation that is reflected in the judiciary system.”

“You cannot really start with the legal industry before you understand the political moment in the country” says Vladimir Radonjic, the Managing Partner of Radonjic / Associates in Montenegro, when asked for the Buzz in his country. “Politics has been the main subject of conversation in the country for the last 12 months.”

The Deal:  On December 8, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Wolf Theiss had advised the EBRD on its issuance of RSD 2.5 trillion Floating Rate Bonds due December 2019. AP Legal advised Raiffeisen Banka A.D., Beograd, acting as underwriter for the issuance, and Harrisons advised marketing agent Citigroup Global Markets Limited. 

Anthony O’Connor came to Europe from his native Australia in 2006. As a Partner at Kinstellar in Budapest, he is both head of Kinstellar’s Hungarian Corporate/M&A practice and Co-Head of its firm-wide Private Equity practice. 

The Deal: In July of 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that Oppenheim had advised the Messer Group GmbH, a German supplier of industrial gases, on its acquisition of the Hungarian subsidiary of France’s Air Liquide. CHSH Dezso es Tarsai advised Air Liquide on the deal.

Laszlo Reti, now mid-way through his third term as President of the Budapest Bar Association, takes pride in the ease with which he’s managed both the Bar and his long career as the Managing Partner of the Reti, Antall and Partners Law Firm in Budapest. Both the Bar Association and his law firm, he says, change with the times. In his words, he’s “swimming with the current.”

Wolf Theiss Budapest Partner Janos Toth Interviews Gabor Orosz, Associate General Counsel and Legal Director EMEIA of National Instruments Corporation.

What one part of your job do you enjoy most, and why?

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. 

On October 5, 2016, representatives from the Ukrainian and Turkish business communities, from the Ukrainian Consulate-General in Istanbul, and from the co-hosting Gun + Partners and Vasil Kisil & Partners law firms met at the Gun + Partners office in Istanbul for a round table discussion, moderated by CEE Legal Matters, on the opportunities in Ukraine for Turkish investors.

On July 26, 2016, a cross-section of eminent lawyers from leading law firms in Ukraine gathered at DLA Piper’s Kyiv office for a wide ranging Round Table conversation about the state of the Ukrainian economy and legal market and their expectations for both going forward.  

On Tuesday, July 11, 2016, ten senior Romanian lawyers gathered at the Bucharest office of Wolf Theiss for a CEE Legal Matters Round Table to discuss the state of the Romanian economy, the Romanian legal market, and their expectations for the future.

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.