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Szabo Kelemen and Partners Successful for Gambling Operators in Claim for Damages Against Hungarian State

Szabo Kelemen and Partners Successful for Gambling Operators in Claim for Damages Against Hungarian State

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Szabo Kelemen and Partners has successfully represented Berlington Hungary kft. and several other Hungarian gambling operators against the Hungarian State in their claims for damages caused by the Hungarian legislation, which, in 2012, banned the operation of slot machines in arcade halls without providing a transitionary period and without indemnification. 

According to a summary provided by Szabo Kelemen and Partners, "according to the Hungarian Supreme Court’s recent partial-and interim judgement ... if a national/domestic piece of legislation violates one of the fundamental freedoms of TFEU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, this violation of EU law may serve the basis for a damage claim for not only EU-domiciled persons other than Hungarians but also for Hungarians. This is because of the principle of the prohibition of reverse discrimination between EU-domiciled persons, which, according to the Supreme Court, [can be inferred] both from EU law and the Hungarian Constitution. In addition, the Supreme Court, alongside the CJEU’s earlier decision handed down in [this case] in 2015 ... in the framework of a preliminary reference ruling, held that the prohibition indeed violated EU law and that the Hungarian State had not been able to rely on any public interest that might have exempted such violation, therefore the plaintiffs are entitled for damages in accordance with the CJEU’s Francovich and Brasserie-decisions. However, the case is continuing as to the amount of actual damages the plaintiffs suffered. It is also noteworthy that at the same time, the Hungarian Supreme Court rejected the plaintiffs’ damages claim based on gambling tax increase of 2011 by stating that such increase had not violated EU laws."

The Szabo Kelemen & Partners litigation team was led by Partner Laszlo Andras Kelemen and included Tamas Karpathegyi as lead attorney and Assocoate Zsofia Barat.

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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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