The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “dog days” because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius – named the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the Canis Major (Large Dog) constellation. Indeed, Sirius is so bright that the Romans believed it radiated extra heat toward Earth, adding to the Sun’s heat to generate those oppressive, sweltering summer days we know so well.
And increasingly, the Dog Days of summer in this part of the world – at least in Budapest, this airless capital of the Pannonian Plain – are getting more painful. Days with temperatures in excess of 36 degrees, once fairly rare, now regularly extend over multiple weeks, sometimes several times in the same year.
As a result, the editors of CEE Legal Matters often find themselves seriously considering the business potential of turning our air-conditioner-less office into a for-profit sauna during the summer.
So. Speaking on behalf of Radu and our entire team, let me thank you, lawyers of CEE, for taking a step back in the summer – for going on vacations, taking your children to museums and cinemas, and spending afternoons by the pool or on the golf course. We genuinely enjoy covering all the work you do on behalf of your clients, but we can’t deny that the annual summer slowdown provides a welcome opportunity for us to slip out of our office early some afternoons for a lemonade, Diet Dr. Pepper (my own personal vice), or chilled Jagermeister (Radu). After what was an extremely busy first half of the year for us, the opportunity to escape the steam room of our Nagymezo office, put on shorts and sandals, and bike to the river or a nearby terrace was a pleasure.
And do not doubt: We’ve done that, often, and we’ve enjoyed it. And we’ve caught our breath and recovered, more or less, from a frenetic first half of the year.
And we needed that respite, because let’s face it: this last third of the year is going to be a bear. In addition to our regular reporting and coverage, we will be preparing our 2018 editorial calendar and distributing it – along with our brand new 2018 rate card – to firms across the region, then following up with everyone to put their packages together for the new year. After years of preparation, we’re going to be introducing our new Lawyers’ Directory – the first-of-its-kind sortable on-line directory of the senior lawyers of CEE, with updated information about which deals each has worked on, among other information. We have our annual End of Year Summit to prepare. We’re working on a special Partnership issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine, which will contain valuable data about the firms of CEE, breaking down their teams by gender, seniority, and other relevant metrics – and comparing the results to similar research we conducted three years ago. We’re hosting our first-ever country-specific General Counsel conference – the October 5th Hungary GC Summit in Budapest. And we’re already preparing next year’s substantially-expanded GC Summit in Prague.
Of equal importance to all that planning is our ongoing commitment to covering the legal markets of CEE. In other words, after a slow month of R&R, we’re ready to replace the sandals and shorts with oxfords and suits, say good-bye to the steam room and hello to our new office, and ramp back up to full speed. We’re eager to bear witness to the conclusion of what we are confident will turn out to me a memorably successful year. We’re rolling up our sleeves and ready to get to work.
Well, almost. Maybe one more lemonade first.