On August 1 the Belgrade Bar Association published a letter on its website signed by its President, Slobodan Soskic, asserting that Dragan Karanovic, Senior Partner of Karanovic & Nikolic, had been removed from the table of registered lawyers of the Bar.
Although Eren Kursun, Partner and head of M&A and PE practices at Esin Attorney Partnership, the Turkish member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, concedes that the second half of 2015 and 2016 has been a slower for many law firms in Turkey, primarily because of the political environment, he also emphasizes that the year has been “so far so good for us.”
There’s still a lot of discussion about the political climate and political upheaval in Poland, according to Wladek Rzycki, Partner at K&L Gates in Warsaw, but the concerns about the change in government haven't had any noticeable affect on the legal industry itself yet, he says, emphasizing that “I hope they won’t.”
“In terms of the legal market,” said Toomas Prangli, Sorainen’s Managing Partner in Estonia, "times have been very turbulent the last 15 months. Many Baltic alliances are being broken, and new ones are emerging.” As the most recent change he referred to the split of the Estonian firm from pan-Baltic Tark Grunte Sutkiene, which then allied with Varul’s Estonian firm, in turn triggering the termination of the Varul alliance in the region.
A change in the way law firms compete in the Hungarian market was highlighted by Eszter Kamocsay-Berta, Managing Partner of KCG Partners, who explained that, while law firms have tended to compete on fees in an otherwise saturated market over the last few years, there is now a trend of “moving beyond price competition.”
An "exciting election” has marked the Austrian market over the last few months, according to Alexander Petsche, Managing Partner of Baker & McKenzie in Vienna. “We had an election of the President of the Federal Republic that was annulled recently by the Constitutional Court due to formalistic misbehavior during the election process,” Petsche explained.
Law firm business is decent in Kosovo, according to Visar Ramaj, the Managing Partner of Ramaj & Palushi, but it’s currently mainly simple transactional/commercial work with local companies making business connections primarily in trade (distributorship agreements, etc.). There are also a growing number of disputes — the result of an increasingly active tax administration and regulatory agencies.
Zdenek Tomicek, Partner in the Czech office of CEE Attorneys, turned first to the intended amendment to the Execution Procedure Act proposed by the Czech Ministry of Justice, which could oblige creditors to provide monetary guarantees of costs of the Court Executor in the proceedings — which would then be forfeited if execution turned out to be impossible.
CEE Legal Matters has asked a number of Ukrainian lawyers who were personally involved in the events on Maidan Nezalezhnosti ("Independence Square") in Kiev to describe both their reasons for being there and the dramatic events they witnessed. This, the first such account, was sent to us by Dmytro Ivanusa, the Head of Legal at Donoway Assurance (Ukraine), a Member of Crowe Horwath International. We want to thank Dmytro for taking the time to write this exclusive account for our readers.