Mon, Aug
32 New Articles

The Buzz in the Czech Republic: Interview with Sylvie Sobolova of KSB

The Buzz in the Czech Republic: Interview with Sylvie Sobolova of KSB

Czech Republic
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Recently-introduced reforms to the Czech Code of Civil Procedure, the country’s new Act on Insurance Distribution, and the Istanbul Convention on Domestic Violence are among the topics Czech lawyers are most commonly discussing at the moment, according to Kocian Solc Balastik Partner Sylvie Sobolova.

“Actually, the new Civil Code is approaching its fifth anniversary at the end of this year,” Sobolova says, “but despite the fact that the new private law was introduced quite a long time ago, we haven't reformed the Civil Procedure Code yet, which comes from the mid-60s." The working group of the new procedural code recently released the first outline of principles for the proposed code, resulting in “lively discussions,” and, ultimately, a rejection by judges. As the proposal was prepared by academics without involvement of the judges, she says, the proposal was somewhat controversial. “If enforced, the new code will require that parties be represented by advocates, and judges are afraid that this will be too expensive for many people,” she explains. On the other hand, she says, the proposal might reflect an attempt to ease the burden on courts of needing to make sure parties are informed of and truly understand their rights and obligations.

The proposal also changes the current system of remedies in the Czech court system. According to Sobolova, while currently the appeal serves as a regular remedy, the cassation appeal to the Supreme Court is limited to issues of law and the Supreme Court does not normally hold hearings. She explains that, in addition, “the court’s judgement and decision become effective after the second instance, so when dealing with cassation appeals you usually already have an enforced or enforceable judgement of the higher or regional court.” The reforms would change this as by making the cassation appeal a regular remedy, Sobolova says, though she admits that she's not convinced it’s necessary, because parties already have two instances before a case gets to Supreme Court.

Sobolova says that a Class Actions bill is going to be introduced in the Czech Republic, “We already know the principles it should be based on,” she says, noting that the new legal framework provides for combination of opt-in and opt-out mechanisms depending on the value of the dispute, among other things. Another bill, the Act on Insurance Distribution, came into effect on December 1. Sobolova says the act underwent significant changes to reach its final form.  “It reduces the number of categories of insurance intermediaries, unifies the qualification requirements, and introduces new rules, which aim to protect consumers and other customers.”

Finally, she brings up the question of ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (known as “The Istanbul Convention.”) “We are having a very emotional public debate on whether the Czech Republic should ratify the treaty or not, with many stakeholders involved,” she explains. "Many say ratification is unnecessary because there are already sufficient measures in our domestic law.” She adds that the Czech Bar Association, for one, believes that the Convention interferes with the right of confidentiality between clients and advocates. Her first impression upon reading the treaty was positive, she says, but she also adds that, “I’m a bit afraid that if applied mechanically it might introduce a new kind of discrimination.” Yet she admits it is difficult to make a judgment without a detailed analysis. 

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 220 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, and almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,000 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 world languages in more than 90 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious British rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a three-time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). In Slovakia, it also won the prestigious global M&A Today Awards (2013–2018) for Mergers & Acquisitions six times in a row, and repeatedly won first place in the ranking by Lawyer International Legal 100 (2017, 2018). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the entire CEE region since 2009. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

Firm's website: https://www.havelpartners.cz/en/

Our Latest Issue