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2023 Is a Late Bloomer in Hungary: A Buzz Interview with Agnes Bejo of Jalsovszky

Agnes Bejo Makes Partner at Jalsovszky

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From the deceptive quiet of early 2023 to a summer bustling with legal reforms and taxing challenges, Jalsovszky Partner Agnes Bejo sheds light on pivotal developments in Hungary ranging from the EU-mandated whistleblowing system to changes in the trust system, environmental responsibilities, and the shifting investment climate in the country.

“For us the year kicked off quite slowly, which was deceptive in hindsight,” Bejo begins. “Then we soon found ourselves swamped with work, especially during the summer.” Noting numerous legal developments, she highlights “the new whistleblowing system, which was implemented as per the EU directive. The initial scope was remarkably broad, leading to a need for revisions before final acceptance,” she says.

Moreover, Bejo reports that recent times have been “hectic for our tax colleagues. A key development was made in our trust system, which was introduced a few years ago, somewhat following the Anglo-Saxon model. It has gotten more and more popular over time, but there have been some uncertainties in the regulation and the use of a certain tax benefit, like the possibility of revaluing assets transferred into the trust fund without incurring taxes.” However, she explains, “the main purpose of our clients has always been wealth structuring for family and inheritance reasons. New provisions would be introduced from September to give more clarity on tax and other related rules, so our summer was consumed with accommodating clients’ needs to adapt to these changes.”

Additionally, Bejo reports that a new fee related to environmental responsibility was introduced: “the Extended Producer Responsibility fee. It's an environmental initiative covering products like batteries, vehicles, and plastics – it has a complex reporting and fee calculation system, and it significantly impacts businesses across the board,” she explains. “While the spirit of the initiative is commendable, its implementation has been problematic, necessitating authority support for compliance.”

And currently, according to Bejo, the markets have accelerated significantly compared to the start of the year. “Despite various factors, investors remain interested in Hungary,” she says. “At the start of the year, we saw cautiousness in private equity deals and regional players entering Hungary. At the moment, the dynamic is shifting toward more strategic deals, including generational transitions in businesses. Although not all deals are massive, there's a healthy mix of mid-sized and larger transactions,” she explains. “Foreign investors are often surprised by the rigor of Hungary's FDI system, yet investment continues.”

Finally, outlining the most vibrant sectors, Bejo says that there has been “a lot of activity in life sciences, particularly in private healthcare and laboratories. However, the second half of 2023 has brought a focus on production, like automotive, plastics, and rubber suppliers. The tech sector, including IT and start-ups, remains vibrant” she reports. “Despite long-standing pessimism and fears of an impending crisis, the market doesn't seem to reflect that. We're busy, and I'm personally optimistic about the future, even with the ongoing challenges” Bejo concludes.

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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