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In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. As we bid farewell to 2023, this time around we turn our attention forward: What is your one main wish for 2024 and what do you see as the biggest potential risk?

It was another strong year for the leading law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, which, combined, worked on over a thousand deals and other client matters across the region reported on by CEE Legal Matters this year. According to the Activity Rankings function of the CEELMDirect website, Clifford Chance, which worked on an impressive 95 CEELM-reported CEE client matters in 2023, led the international firms in the region, with Schoenherr, which worked on 90, close behind. Dentons (82), CMS (71), Wolf Theiss (65), Cobalt (66), Kinstellar (50), White & Case (45), and Allen & Overy (42) took notable places on the leaderboard as well.

With ESG having been a buzzword in the Czech real estate market for a few years now, Clifford Chance Partner Emil Holub, Kocian Solc Balastik Partner Jiri Hornik, VIDD Partner Ondrej Hampl, Taylor Wessing Counsel Radka Nenickova, and Act Legal Czech Republic Partner Tomas Slaby look at how ESG principles are being applied in practice and in what areas there is still room for improvement.

The impact and perception of ESG considerations in the CEE region, and specifically in the Czech Republic, is still in the early stages of its evolutionary path, compared to, say, the U.K., the U.S., or larger Western European economies. There is certain skepticism and uncertainty as to what this new trendy acronym means and if, at the end of the day, it will really impact a Czech industrial family business, a hotel, or a high-tech start-up. ESG considerations, policies, and metrics are likely to be more familiar (and implemented to a certain degree) to a large Czech company – moreover, when it’s a part of an international corporate group – rather than a smaller Czech enterprise, but of course, there are exceptions to the rule.

During the Three Seas Initiative annual general meeting in Bucharest in September 2023, Austria's Dorda, Bulgaria's Boyanov & Co., Croatia's Divjak Topic Bahtijarevic & Krka, the Czech Republic's Kocian Solc Balastik, Estonia's Ellex Raidla, Hungary's Lakatos Koves & Partners, Latvia's Ellex Klavins, Lithuania's Ellex Valiunas, Poland's Wardynski and Partners, Romania's Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, Slovakia's Barger Prekop, and Slovenia's Selih & Partnerji announced they formed the Three Seas Legal Alliance, in recognition of the progress made by the Three Seas Initiative.

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Kocian Solc Balastik at a Glance

Kocian Solc Balastik (KSB) is one of the few Czech law firms who have been on the market for over 30 years and is still independent. With a team of almost seventy legal and tax specialists operating in Prague, Karlovy Vary and Ostrava, KSB is one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic.

Thanks to the ratings of clients and our competitors, we are a highly respected and acknowledged law firm, as evidenced by a number of prestigious awards, especially the four-time Chambers Europe Award for Excellence for the best law firm in the Czech Republic, often we have been the only purely Czech law firm among the nominees.

Our priority is to provide added value to clients. Therefore, we know the specifics of their business and adapt the proposed solutions to the client’s context, with great emphasis on professional ethics and building long-term relationships based on mutual trust and respect.

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