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“Austria has not had any significant legal developments for the last 12 months, beyond the general implementation of EU measures and legislation that affect all member states and some Austrian legislative initiatives, for example in the area of supporting start-ups,” says Christoph Moser of Austria’s Weber & Co. Rechtsanwaelte. “But what the legal profession is really talking about is whether the profession is about to change in the future in terms of digitalization and artificial intelligence.”

Marian Dinu, Country Managing Partner at DLA Piper Dinu SCA, starts his report of the Buzz in Romania on the subject of the protests in Bucharest and throughout the country at the end of January and the beginning of February that generated media attention around the world following the ordinance bills proposed by the Romanian Ministry of Justice and secretly approved by the government regarding the pardoning of certain committed crimes and the amendment of the Penal Code of Romania (especially regarding the abuse of power).  

Olexander Martinenko, Partner at CMS in Kyiv, starts his summary of The Buzz in Ukraine by addressing the ongoing judicial reform in the country, noting that the system has been returned to its traditional 3-tiered structure (courts of first instance, appellate courts, and Supreme Court) from the 4-tiered system that was installed by previous President Yanukovych shortly after his rise to power in 2010.

“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.”

“We don’t have any big news in Lithuania at the moment,” says Eugenija Sutkiene, Partner at Tark Grunte Sutkiene. “Except for the general trends that are affecting legal markets everywhere, of course: Commoditization, dropping legal fees, and growing in-house legal markets — the same as all legal markets.” She laughs, saying, “we’re running quickly to stay in the same space."

Despite beginning the conversation by asserting that “there are not many new things to report in Bulgaria in terms of legislative amendments or legal market changes," in fact Borislav Boyanov, the Managing Partner of Boyanov & Co., is fairly optimistic, pointing out that the Bulgarian economy is “relatively ok, reporting 3.4% growth in 2016, which for Europe is very good.”

"Let me start with administrative reform,” says Juri Raidla, the Senior Partner of Raidla Ellex in Estonia. “Now the state is in good shape, with no substantial problem at all — but the country has an aging population, and we need to figure out how to make the government more efficient and less costly.”

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