As part of the long-planned reform of intellectual property (IP) law in Slovakia, it was finally agreed that IP disputes should be handled by a court system able to truly understand the (often rather technical or technological) nature of IP. This decision stemmed from the frustration of many IP owners with the fact that court decisions sometimes lacked sufficient quality and that the proceedings (especially in some courts) took far too long.
“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.”
Hugh Owen, long-time Partner at Allen & Overy, has announced that he is retiring from the Magic Circle firm and will practice independently as Go2 Law going forward. Owen will continue to operate out of Slovakia, where he has lived since 2000 -- though since November 2013 he spent the majority of his time working in A&O's Budapest office.
Allen & Overy has announced that it advised Fortuna Entertainment Group on the acquisition of the 100% share in Hattrick Sports Group Ltd., Ireland, the owner of the Casa Pariurilor betting operator in Romania, the PSK and Hattrick operator in Croatia, and B2B operations in Spain, Germany, and other European countries.
In recent years suspicions regarding massive conflicts of interest, corruption, and the favoritism of creditors have created the political will to mandate the disclosure of ownership backgrounds of companies dealing with public finances. Attorneys from Taylor Wessing Bratislava have participated in the preparation of the so-called Anti-Letterbox Companies Act, which entered into force on February 1, 2017.
Schoenherr has advised AG Foods Group and Cooperatief Avallon MBO U.A. on settlement of minority shareholders' disputes and on a subsequent management buyout.
The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.
On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.
After more than two decades of providing clients in Slovakia with legal advice through associations with local law firms, from June 1, CMS will provide Slovak law advice through what it calls "a fully-integrated Slovak team ... co-headed by Peter Simo and Petra Corba Stark, [which] consists of 10 experienced lawyers who cover all the main areas of business law."
A new European law firm alliance with a substantial CEE presence has appeared on the legal scene. The new Act Legal alliance (branded in lower-case, as "act legal") consists of founding members AC Tischendorf (in Germany), BSWW (in Poland), MPH (Slovakia), Randa Havel Legal (Czech Republic), Vivien & Associes (France), and WMWP (Austria).