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Scaling the Summit: On the 7th of June, less than eight hours after saying final good-byes to the private practitioners attending the Deal of the Year Awards Banquet, CEE Legal Matters greeted the hundred plus in-house counsel attending the fourth annual regional General Counsel Summit, located this year at the Congress Center of Prague’s Czech National Bank.

With less than a month before it eventually rolls out across the EU, the GDPR is still treated by many businesses as a complicated piece of legislation triggering serious debate between professionals and regulators and imposing a heavy compliance burden for large organizations. However, the GDPR implementation date – May 25, 2018 – should be looked at more as a starting line rather than a hard deadline, providing organizations with the opportunity to map – through their search to identify any personal data processing – both their entire corporate life and their day-to-day operations.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is, according to the EU-hosted GDPR website, “the most important change in data privacy regulation in the past 20 years.” The Act, which was approved by the EU Parliament on April 14, 2016 and will become fully effective on May 25, 2018, was designed “to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and to reshape the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.”

The western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia share the desire to join the European Union. Two of these countries — Albania and Macedonia — are particularly close to accession. we spoke to several lawyers to learn more about how accession could affect the business landscape and the work of lawyers in the two countries.

Despite the severe economic crisis Greece has been facing over almost a decade, the country’s performance in dragging in foreign investment throughout the years has established a rather impressive track record. So far, 2017 has definitely been a year of increased economic, commercial, and corporate activity, and of gradually improving financial circumstances.

On Thursday, November 30th, leading legal practitioners from across Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Prague to help CEE Legal Matters celebrate its fourth successful year as the leading chronicle of the legal industry in the region, participating in an expert Round Table conversation about the year just concluded and enjoying an evening of dinner, drinks, and bonhomie. 

In The Corner Office, we invite Senior and Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. For this issue, we asked them to describe their least favorite part of their jobs. 

Things seem to be picking up a bit in Greece, according to Drakopoulos Managing Partner Panagiotis Drakopoulos — but he knows better than to relax. "I’m much more hopeful than I was last year,” he says, “but you have to adapt to the environment. You can only hear so many times that 'now things are changing.’ We’ve heard this for three or four years, but things don’t, in fact, change. The same thing happened in 2014 — things picked up a lot, and then the crisis hit again.” He sighs. “We definitely have more work than last year, but I don’t see a clear path to the light at the end of the tunnel, so it’s hard to be too confident about how things will develop.” 

Prior to building up or transplanting their advertising campaigns in Greece, businesses wishing to acquire a share in the local media market, besides familiarizing themselves with their industry sector through review and analysis of the industry economics, participants, and main competitors, should immerse themselves into the regulatory framework for advertising that will enable them to develop their business plan and marketing strategies most efficiently.

In The Corner Office we invite Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

Almost five years after the European Commission submitted its first proposal on the reformation of the data protection landscape, a new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has finally been adopted, designed to harmonize data protection across EU Member States. The GDPR will be directly applicable in all Member States as of May 25, 2018, placing, in the interim, all interested businesses in a race against time to observe all the compliance obligations it imposes.

Drakopoulos Law Firm at a Glance

Drakopoulos  has been providing consulting and legal services to businesses since 1992. The firm has grown considerably since formation, offering today centralized, streamlined services across 11 countries in Southeast Europe via 4 main offices in Athens, Bucharest, Tirana and Larnaca. A team of  highly skilled lawyers provides professional services and legal expertise, responding efficiently to complex legal problems with flexible commercial solutions, helping clients to achieve their business objectives.

Firm's website: www.drakopoulos-law.com