The Hungarian real estate and housing market is experiencing golden days. Although the market took a serious hit during the financial crisis in 2008, today enormous sums are again being invested in office buildings, shopping malls, hotels, residential areas, and retail. In order to map the underlying reasons behind the market’s boom, and to better understand how the country is dealing with the high demand for development lands and properties, CEE Legal Matters sat down with six Hungarian lawyers specialized in Real Estate & Construction and a Legal Counsel from Prologis, a Real Estate & Supply Chain Logistics company.
In the summer of 2000 I was working for the University of Vienna, spending my time on academic research and fighting with topics like the (lack of) enforcement of judicial awards in Austria and Hungary. My one-day seminar at the University of Economics (FOWI) brought me several interesting contacts, including some young lawyers from the classy law firm CHS, that resulted in an offer to develop a new partner firm for CHS in Budapest.
Society is undergoing a new industrial revolution – with the global development of the Internet, life has changed radically in just a few decades, and legislation can barely keep up with adapting to a situation that was previously unimaginable. The Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) has also been monitoring developments and it has not been afraid to intervene in the interests of fair competition and the protection of consumer rights.
The so-called Integrated Legislation System (ILS; in Hungarian: Integrált Jogalkotási Rendszer) is planned to be implemented in Hungary by the end of 2018. The main purpose of the ILS is the reduction of the administrative burdens of the public administration and the increase of the quality of the services for citizens and companies by the administration.
Hungarian businesses have the “sword of Damocles” hanging over their head as the new European data protection regulation (“GDPR”) is applicable as of 25 May 2018. Due to the fact that the majority of the Hungarian companies are micro-enterprises, the administrative burdens cause an impossible obstacle to them.
Andras Daniel Laszlo, a former partner at Szecskay, has teamed up with Zoltan Titusz Fekete, who previously worked at RSM Hungary and for ten years with the Hungarian tax authority, and with Gaspar Bagamery, who worked with DLA Piper and Szecskay, to establish a new boutique in Budapest under the brand of LFB.
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 winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
Under the Hungarian VAT Act, from 1 January 2016 instead of the general VAT tax rate of 27%, a reduced tax rate of 5% is applicable to the flats to be constructed or existing in a multi-unit residential building with a total net floor space not exceeding 150 square meters. This provision of the Hungarian VAT Act will remain in force only until 31 December 2019, accordingly, after this date the purchasers will pay for these flats a VAT of 27%.