“Right now probably the most important topic is Corporate Criminal Liability,” said Partner Dana Nemcikova of Ruzicka Csekes in Slovakia. “The new law enacted last year incorporated criminal liability for corporations, which had not been part of the previous law.”
“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.”
In “The Buzz” we interview experts on the legal industry living and working in Central and Eastern Europe to find out what’s happening in the region and what legislative/professional/cultural trends and developments they’re following closely. Because the interviews are carried out and published on the CEE Legal Matters website on a rolling basis, we’ve marked the dates on which the interviews were originally published.
Schoenherr Slovenia Partner Eva Skufca says Slovenia currently has two major issues on its Competition agenda.
According to Marton Domokos, Senior Counsel of CMS in Budapest, one of the hottest topics in Hungary at the moment is the new set of data protection recommendations issued by the country's Data Protection Authority (DPA), which he says have a wide range of ramifications in terms of employment policies.
For Erwin Hanslik, the Managing Partner of Taylor Wessing in Prague, one subject of conversation is always at the top of the list for lawyers in the Czech Republic: Fees. According to Hanslik, “the topic which is always interesting is the price — the hourly rates.” Hanslik explains that this is “a special topic in the Czech Republic due to the high amount of competition here,” which, he insists, “is not comparable to anywhere else in CEE. Absolutely.”
"Non-performing loans (NPLs) in Greece are of tremendous size," says Stathis Potamitis, the Managing Partner of Potamitis Vekris in Athens. "Perhaps up to 120 billion euros are tied up in NPLs — maybe as much as 50% of the total loan portfolio, with another 70 to 80 million euros due to the state." These assets are generating significant international interest, of course, and many funds are coming to Greece to explore the possibility of investing. As a result, the Greek government is working to create a manageable and attractive legislative and regulatory environment for their transfer.