“The Hungarian market is quite busy — not primarily in transactions, but there is an increasing number of disputes and restructuring,” says Andras Szecskay, the Managing Partner of the Szecskay law firm in Budapest. “In addition, the Competition Office is pretty diligent, and there are a number of cartel cases and other procedures going on at the moment.”
Those aren’t the only active sectors at the moment. Szecskay says that compliance-related matters are also expected to increase, with large and medium-sized companies paying particular attention to this “very trendy” issue. Compliance is “flowing out of the tap,” according to Szecskay, because the authorities and regulators are “very keen to ask companies to comply in regulated fields of the business” As a result, he says, there are “lots of internal checks to make sure they’re in full compliance with applicable laws and regulations,” in a wide variety of areas, including Employment, Consumer Protection, Competition, Data Protection and many others. “In the year to come,” Szecskay says, “this will likely produce a lot of work.”
Overall the legal market in Hungary is pretty stable, Szecskay reports, noting that the last significant move was the move last July of the former Competition team from Kinstellar to Lakatos, Koves & Partners (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on July 5, 2016). The Hungarian Bar appears to be fairly calm at the moment as well — Szecskay, who’s Vice President of both the Hungarian and Budapest Bars, says they’re currently working on an electronic filing and communication system with the courts and preparing a new Act on the Legal Profession, which he hopes will be finalized by the Ministry of Justice and approved by the Parliament before the country’s next elections in 2018.
Szecskay also refers to the new Act on Civil Procedure which has already been approved and will come into force in 2018, and which will, he says, “impose a number of new procedural rules on courts and lawyers.” Szecskay calls it “extremely important.” Both that Act and the revisions to the country’s Competition Law, Szecskay says, were “well-prepared and thought-through."