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White & Case has confirmed that Partners Michael Smrek and Damian Beaven, along with Local Partner Ales Zidek, are leaving the firm’s Prague office to join R2G, which White & Case describes as "a family office established by Oldrich Slemr, a former shareholder of Ceska Gumarenska group, a major global industrial tire manufacturing business.”

Similar to most countries in the CEE region, the Czech market is in a growing phase. After the economic downturn during 2009-2011 and slow growth in the embarrassing years of 2012 and 2013, we witnessed a change to a positive, optimistic mood in 2014 and 2015, which has led into an almost frantic buying mode in 2016.

The following is an account of a series of events that actually befell one of my firm’s foreign clients in the Czech Republic.

Kocian Solc Balastik reports that the Municipal Court in Prague has delivered a first instance decision in favor of firm client Agrofert in a case that has been ongoing since 2011 against Luxembourg company European United Bakeries (EUB).

“The guys in the Central European group were a really collegial group and we really enjoyed what we did and truly felt we were making a difference, and we had good clients, and the results were really gratifying. So it was a very good, unique core group of people who were fully committed to Central and Eastern Europe at a historic time.” – Obie Moore

The Clifford Chance Prague Corporate team has advised ASSA ABLOY, which it describes as "the international market leader in door opening solutions operating in more than 70 countries,” on the successful conclusion of an agreement for the sale of its global car lock business to Alpha Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of lock and key products for the automobile, housing, and industrial sectors. Allen & Overy represented Alpha on the deal. The sale remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016.

Women’s Day is behind us, but the subjects of gender equality and equal opportunity are of year-round concern. This, the first part of a special two-part CEE Legal Matters article on women in private practice in CEE, provides the numbers and percentages from leading law firms across CEE, as well as a more thorough snapshot of one representative market. Part II of the report, in the June issue, will pull back the curtain even more, providing feedback and perspectives from lawyers across the region.

The Czech Republic’s Hruby & Buchvaldek law firm has been engaged by Sebre — a Czech real estate development company — to advise it during the preparation of its new Medport project in Holesovice, a developing area of Prague. According to Hruby & Buchvaldek, Medport will be a multi-purpose building "featuring the innovative and modern architectural design of the renowned studio led by Stanislav Fiala."

The Cathay Associates network of law offices, which was launched by the Chinese boutique Kejie Law Office in September 20015, reports 9 CEE members. The network was initiated to offer global coverage, with a special focus on China and cross-border matters.