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The Buzz in Hungary: Interview with Ildiko Komor Hennel of Komor Hennel Attorneys

The Buzz in Hungary: Interview with Ildiko Komor Hennel of Komor Hennel Attorneys

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“The hot topic in Hungary right now is the January 2021 amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure” says Komor Hennel Attorneys Managing Partner Ildiko Komor Hennel. “The act passed in the 1950s had one previous major overhaul back in 2017,” she says, adding that the recent amendments were necessitated by “modern times, technological updates, procedural effectiveness and business reality – just imagine not being able to file documents electronically!”

The current amendments, although slight compared to the ones made four years ago, are still significant, though largely concerned with bringing greater sense and flexibility to court procedure. “These show that the lawmakers realized that there was still considerable room for improvement, particularly with respect to the harsh sanctions/penalties which the 2017 act imposed,” Komor Hennel says. “The voices of the legal community, those of both lawyers and courts, were heard and these most recent changes finally allow for a less constricted environment.”

The lawmakers have done a lot to improve the framework for civil litigation with these newest amendments, making it more, in her words "user-friendly," while also retaining the effectiveness of the act. “It is clear that the last (2017) act was fraught with meaningless formalities and ineffective rules and provisions, and it is clear that the lawmakers wanted to get rid of these,” she says. “For instance, the court can no longer simply reject your letter of claim if you fail to include even some minor detail, but now has to set out all the errors you need to rectify, and gives each party one opportunity to put things right and to provide any missing information and statements,” she says.

The amendments have also created a “happy medium” to the Civil Procedure framework, Komor Hennel says, by removing certain “harsh provisions.” For example,  she says, “the letter of claim that you have to submit to the court has been streamlined significantly by eliminating many of the meaningless formalities and redundancies.” She also adds that the amendments now require the courts to let legal representatives know not just whether their letters of claim have been accepted, but also if they have been properly delivered to the opposing side. ”Just imagine being forced to pester the court to get an answer as to whether your letter of claim is deemed valid, and whether the adverse party has seen it at all – most of the time, lawyers were operating blind.” 

Another important gesture is to allow a hearing to be postponed once, should the original date clash with another hearing for one of the legal representatives.

Still, even with all these improvements, Komor Hennel says that disputes in Hungary remain a challenging prospect, even for highly qualified legal representatives. “It would still be more advisable for businesses to settle their differences more amicably – the procedure could still take two to three years and be very costly, not to mention that getting the proper legal representation to navigate these murky waters can be very difficult.”

 

Hungary Knowledge Partner

Nagy és Trócsányi was founded in 1991, turned into limited professional partnership (in Hungarian: ügyvédi iroda) in 1992, with the aim of offering sophisticated legal services. The firm continues to seek excellence in a comprehensive and modern practice, which spans international commercial and business law. 

The firm’s lawyers provide clients with advice and representation in an active, thoughtful and ethical manner, with a real understanding of clients‘ business needs and the markets in which they operate.

The firm is one of the largest home-grown independent law firms in Hungary. Currently Nagy és Trócsányi has 26 lawyers out of which there are 8 active partners. All partners are equity partners.

Nagy és Trócsányi is a legal entity and registered with the Budapest Bar Association. All lawyers of the Budapest office are either members of, or registered as clerks with, the Budapest Bar Association. Several of the firm’s lawyers are admitted attorneys or registered as legal consultants in New York.

The firm advises a broad range of clients, including numerous multinational corporations. 

Our activity focuses on the following practice areas: M&A, company law, litigation and dispute resolution, real estate law, banking and finance, project financing, insolvency and restructuring, venture capital investment, taxation, competition, utilities, energy, media and telecommunication.

Nagy és Trócsányi is the exclusive member firm in Hungary for Lex Mundi – the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 100+countries worldwide.

The firm advises a broad range of clients, including numerous multinational corporations. Among our key clients are: OTP Bank, Sberbank, Erste Bank, Scania, KS ORKA, Mannvit, DAF Trucks, Booking.com, Museum of Fine Arts of Budapest, Hungarian Post Pte Ltd, Hiventures, Strabag, CPI Hungary, Givaudan, Marks & Spencer, CBA.

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