Czech lawyers, not known for ebullience, are nonetheless finding it hard to keep the smiles off their faces. After a decade of disappointment and struggle, if the Managing Partners at Czech firms are to be believed, the last remnants of the global financial crisis have dissipated and business is booming. As spring rolls through Central Europe, the sunshine is both meteorological and metaphoric. Prague is basking in the warmth.
Ranking services form a critical part of the law firm landscape in CEE as around the world, and law firm marketing and business development functions in the region spend many weeks or months each year preparing their submissions for those ranking services they believe are most widely read and influential. Still, not everybody is convinced the ranking services are as effective or valuable as they could be. Thus, for this issue, we asked the law firm marketing and BD experts around CEE: “What one change would you most like to see made to the law firm rankings to make them more useful/effective?”
DLA Piper has advised OTP Property Investment Fund on its acquisition of the West End Business Center office building in Budapest from an international investment consortium consisting of Wing, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, and CC Real. The sellers were assisted by Baker McKenzie.
“There’s a lot going on at the moment in Slovakia,” according to Michaela Stessl, the Managing Partner of DLA Piper in Bratislava, who begins her summary by describing "a boom with regard to suppliers for the automotive sector who are coming with the Jaguar/Land Rover investors.” According to Stessl, "this has a huge impact on several levels and several fields of providing law,” not only to Jaguar/Land Rover itself, “but also to all the suppliers who are doing business with them.”
DLA Piper has advised Doc+, one of the largest Russian digital health startups, on a USD 5 million round of financing from existing investors Baring Vostok, a Russian private equity fund, and Yandex, one of Europe's largest Internet companies.
DLA Piper has advised Hungary-based Egis Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of the D-Panthenol brand, the second largest brand in the dexpanthenol market in Russia, and of a Russian gynaecology portfolio consisting of Vagilac, Feminal and Folacin brands, from Jadran-Galenski Laboratorij. CMS advised the sellers on the deal.
DLA Piper has launched its 2017 All-Ukraine Competition for Law Students.
DLA Piper has advised the Karlin Group on the creation of a joint venture with the Shinkun & Binui developer for a residential real estate project in the Modrany part of Prague.
DLA Piper has advised steel producer EVRAZ on its sale of the entire issued share capital of Kadish Limited, the holding company of EVRAZ Sukha Balka, a Ukrainian enterprise specializing in iron ore underground mining, to Berklemond Investments Ltd, a company of the DCH Group, for USD110 million of gross consideration, adjustable for the actual level of working capital and debt.
DLA Piper has advised Guard Capital, a venture capital fund specializing in telecom and Internet projects, on the sale of a 79.6% stake in DocDoc.ru, an e-medicine company in Russia, to Sberbank. Sberbank was represented by CMS on the deal, which sees the remaining stake belong to the founder of DocDoc.ru and its key management.
DLA Piper is announcing that Alla Kozachenko has been appointed as Head of Corporate and M&A practice in the firm's Kyiv office.
CMS Budapest has advised the Futureal Group on the sale of the Skypark office building in the center of Budapest and the Sziget Centre shopping mall on the city's outskirts to the OTP Property Investment Fund.
Wolf Theiss has advised Aachener Grundvermogen on its purchase of a commercial property on St. Stephen's Square in the city center of Vienna from Julius Meinl Versicherungsservice & Leasing Vermogens‐ und Finanzierungsberatung G.m.b.H. DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach advised the sellers on the deal.
DLA Piper has advised the OTP Prime Property Investment Fund on its acquisition of the Skypark office building in Budapest from the Futureal Group.
A significant anniversary inevitably causes us to reflect upon the period gone by. The sub-prime mortgage crisis in the US started in 2007 and, after spreading to other countries, became the global financial crisis that caused the longest-lasting recession of the post-war era. This recession, in conjunction with other factors, triggered sweeping changes in the Hungarian legal market. In retrospect, clear, recognizable patterns have emerged in the ten years since then.