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Why would anyone knowingly become a law firm marketing specialist – a role that is demanding, complicated, challenging, and stressful? To explore this mystery, we went to the source. Accordingly, this time around we asked the law firm marketing specialists of CEE to complete the following question: “I went into Law Firm Marketing/BD as a career because ____________.“

Over the past few years we have seen a sustained interest by South African companies in investing in Central and Eastern Europe. I travel to the region regularly and am often asked to explain why this is so. In particular, what are the drivers of capital outflow and what opportunities does this present for CEE-based businesses?

Ronnie Apteker is a South-African born entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker. He founded the first Internet Service Provider in South Africa, which is now part of the world’s largest TelCo, Japans’s NTT. He has made Kyiv his second home, and is currently busy with a documentary film project about the IT landscape in Ukraine. We asked him to share his thoughts about Kyiv – many of which, it turns out, apply elsewhere in CEE as well.

Hill Dickinson Senior Associate Anthony Paizes is a solicitor admitted to practice in England and Wales, Greece, South Africa and the Cayman Islands. He practices in the areas of shipping and asset finance, corporate finance, private equity, banking, debt finance, and corporate and commercial law. He speaks English, Greek, and Afrikaans fluently. We reached out to him – in English – to learn more about his path from Africa to Athens.

Edward Baring’s career comes closer to spanning the four corners of the globe than most. An Englishman, Baring completed his studies in the United Kingdom before moving to Moscow as a finance lawyer with Allen & Overy in the early years of this century. In 2016, Baring – having, in the interim, joined the partnership at Herbert Smith Freehills – relocated to South Africa to become managing partner of the firm’s Johannesburg office. He spoke to us about his unusual career. 

South African Liesel Beukes is a dual-qualified lawyer and Content Marketing Manager at Schoenherr in Vienna, where she manages the firm’s highly-regarded annual RoadMap publication and assists lawyers across the firm’s 14 offices with marketing, business development, and press relations.

Hyprop Investments – South Africa’s largest listed specialist shopping center Real Estate Investment Trust – operates a portfolio of premium shopping centers in South Africa, other countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeastern Europe. Hyprop’s six current investments in SEE include two shopping malls in Zagreb and one each in Sofia, Podgorica, Belgrade, and Skopje. Hyprop is internally managed and headquartered in Johannesburg.

South Africa is rich. Not just in gold and diamonds – although God knows, in those too – but in everything. There is, in the country, a richness of cultural and ethnic diversity, of languages, of turbulent and joyous history. Of the largest and fiercest animals left on the planet. Of breathtaking sights and majestic tableaus. Of world class wines and remarkable cuisine. Of colors and tastes and sounds and smells and experiences and friendships. And, yes, also in gold and diamonds.

Lawyers get a helicopter view of the deal-making environment, as we have access to various sub-sectors within the private equity space and the general mergers and acquisitions deal-making space. We have access to large corporates, family offices, PE funds, and some pretty savvy transactors.