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Welcome to the captivating field of lawyering in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where challenges and opportunities intertwine in an ever-changing landscape. With over 24 years of experience, I have had a front-row seat to witness the remarkable journey of the legal profession in this region. In this article, I’ll share my personal reflections on lawyering in CEE, discussing its progress, setbacks, and the exciting trends that have shaped its course.

At the CEE Legal Matters GC Summit in Istanbul, legal experts from across the region and beyond tackled the importance of crisis management – even when nothing is burning. Summit attendees were briefed on how companies can navigate gray areas, manage global supply chain disruptions, and, overall, be prepared for whatever comes their way.

Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii Partner Gabriela Anton, Gecic Law Counsel Miodrag Jevtic, ACI Partners Head of Banking/Finance Marina Zanoga, Avellum Managing Partner Mykola Stetsenko, NazaIi Tax & Legal Partner Nilay Goker Duran, PRK Partners Senior Attorney-at-Law Norbert Hink, and Schoenherr Bulgaria Local Partner Tsvetan Krumov look at how the financial services landscape in the CEE region has been shifting, as local non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) are gradually gaining ground in an area historically dominated by the banking sector.

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. As the summer is likely to bring a brief lull, this time we asked: How do you tend to use the general downtime during the month of August?

The CEELM Top 10 series looks back over the past ten years and celebrates the milestones we have achieved together. The list below highlights the most-read interviews, with a short description of each.

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 relationship between the Czech Republic and Slovakia is forged on a shared history and close economic ties. As the two countries maintain strong trade relations and extensive cross-border business activities, legal firms have recognized the need to establish a presence in both jurisdictions. Havel & Partners Managing Partner Jaroslav Havel, BPV Braun Partners Managing Partner Arthur Braun, and Eversheds Sutherland Managing Partner Bernhard Hager talk about the ties that bind the two legal landscapes.

Despite concerns over automotive suppliers relocating due to geopolitical tensions, the automotive sector in Slovakia has remained resilient. The sector continues to be the backbone of the economy, with tax revenues and employment surpassing other industries, although challenges do exist. Ruzicka & Partners Managing Partner Jaroslav Ruzicka, Wolf Theiss Counsel and Head of Corporate/M&A Bruno Stefanik, and Cechova & Partners Head of Automotive Practice Michal Simunic take a closer look at the status of the sector.

M&A in the CEE region has been a captivating theater of evolving trends and geopolitical dynamics of late. Schoenherr Partner Markus Piuk shares his insights on the current market trends and delves into the influence of the US-China relationship, the status of Russian-based transactions, the resilience of the CEE M&A market, and the prospects of industry consolidation and growth.

Over the past decade, the Greek renewable energy market went through an accelerated expansion. AKL Law Firm Partner Kostas Fatsis, Bahas, Gramatidis & Partners Partner Nassos Felonis, Moussas & Partners Managing Partner Nicholas Moussas, and Metaxas & Associates Associate Alexandra Kornilaki delve into the primary catalysts and the sector’s outlook.

In a move that might appear unconventional for CEE legal markets, Belgrade-based law firm Gecic Law elevated its Head of Operations Hristina Kosec to Partnership. While a lawyer by education, Kosec’s career up to this point has not exactly been a typical lawyer’s one.

The Serbian private healthcare sector – including private healthcare providers and pharmacies – has been on a steady incline over the past several years. BDK Advokati Senior Partner Vladimir Dasic, Prica & Partners Partner Tijana Lalic, and Karanovic & Partners Senior Partner Marjan Poljak take a deep dive into what makes the sector tick and grow.

While international private equity players still dominate blockbuster deals in CEE, locals and regional players are gaining more and more ground – especially in terms of volume. PRK Partners Co-Head of Corporate and M&A Practice Group Milan Sivy, Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii Managing Partner Gabriel Zbarcea, and Avellum Managing Partner Mykola Stetsenko provide an in-depth analysis of the PE landscape in the Czech Republic, Romania, and Ukraine.

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. As key steps, requirements, and timeline for becoming a Partner may vary from firm to firm, this time we asked: Does your firm have a formal Partnership Track and if yes, what does it involve?

Are compliance teams a necessary evil or effective facilitators of business success? At the CEE Legal Matters GC Summit held in Istanbul, legal experts from across Europe discussed how to best foster a culture of compliance and ethics in order to benefit businesses, as well as why multidisciplinary knowledge and an agile approach are crucial for compliance teams.

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