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An Interview with Partners Jonathan Marks and Richard Jones from Slaughter and May’s Dedicated CEE Partner Group

In the first decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, an enormous number of international investors descended upon the countries of Central and Eastern Europe – initially, and particularly, Romania and the so-called “Visegrad Group” of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary – to take advantage of the privatizations occurring across the region and, in the early years, manifold new and giant deals related to the region’s rapid modernization and integration. Inevitably, many of the larger London-based international law firms opened up offices in the region to provide their clients with on-the-ground assistance.

The legal markets of Central and Eastern Europe are served by a growing cadre of strong domestic firms, an established collective of widely-recognized and genuinely impressive regional firms … and, of course, many of the largest and best international firms in the world.

Over the course of our seven years, CEE Legal Matters has interviewed most of the British lawyers working on the ground in Central and Eastern Europe as part of our recurring “Expat on the Market” feature. We reached out to them recently and asked them to bring us up to speed on what they’re doing and/or share their thoughts on the ramifications of Brexit or the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

An Interview with Partners Panos Katsambas, Claude Brown, and Kevin-Paul Deveau from Reed Smith’s Dedicated CEE/SEE Group.

On January 20, 2010, I stepped off a plane in Bucharest to start a secondment at Clifford Chance’s local office, which was supposed to last eighteen to twenty-four months. I was a young and eager lawyer, keen for new experiences and ready for the challenge of working in emerging markets. In the end, I left nearly three and a half years later, and I almost stayed on permanently in Bucharest. It was an amazing experience, and English law in CEE has had a massive impact on my life.

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