Over the past couple of years, Poland has become a leading player in the European IT market. According to Eurostat, there are approximately 554,000 IT specialists living in Poland. Although this is less than 5% of the total IT workforce in the EU, the number is constantly growing. It is also widely recognized that Polish IT specialists are well trained. If you also consider the convenient geographical location between West and East and the stable economic situation, it is no surprise that many foreign companies have found Poland to be a promising place to develop software and carry out related research and development activities.
Innovative technologies, software development, and gaming are becoming an increasingly important part of not only Poland’s M&A market but of the whole region. The greater presence of global tech investors seeking potential acquisitions in Poland is putting pressure on local developers to keep up with international standards and the fast pace of the acquisition process.
Poland and Ukraine – a distinct pairing some would say. The two European countries are close to one another – both geographically and historically – yet, while they share a lot of similarities, they remain quite distinct. Given the sheer size of these countries and economies, their relationship, and a growing amount of investor interest – going both ways – we took a deeper dive to explore what makes their relations tick. And what better way is there to understand the countries’ entangled relationship than to talk to someone with Marcin Wierzbicki’s profile? Born and raised in Poland, the Konieczny Wierzbicki Managing Partner has had the opportunity to spend quite some time in Ukraine and, as such, has a unique perspective on both countries and their respective markets.
Even though situated at the outskirts of the EU, Poland undoubtedly serves as one of the main pathways into the Union’s affluent west. The importance of its infrastructure is reflected in its prioritized investment position. Looking at investments made by the European Investment Bank alone, one could see that out of the EUR 79.8 billion invested in the country since 1990, about 47% went to infrastructure.
Earlier this year, the start-up scene in Croatia picked up speed with the Rimac Automobili – Bugatti deal. The burgeoning Croatian manufacturer, which focuses on constructing electric hypercars, struck a deal with global automotive giant Bugatti, a subsidiary of Volkswagen, to form a joint venture for the production of next-generation supercars.
This year marks Schoenherr Romania’s 25th anniversary. To mark the occasion, CEE Legal Matters spoke with Schoenherr’s Romanian office Managing Partner Sebastian Gutiu as well as with Michael Lagler, the firm’s Managing Partner, and Partner Christoph Lindinger, who established the Romanian office and was the main driver behind Schoenherr’s expansion into Central and Eastern Europe.
Directive 2019/2161 of the European Parliament aims to ensure better enforcement and the modernization of EU consumer protection rules. The Omnibus directive is also known as the consumer GDPR because it sets forth hefty fines for infringements of the regulatory framework on consumer rights protection. The Omnibus directive must be transposed into the national legislation by November 28, 2021.
Georgetown University Law Center’s 2021 Report on the State of the Legal Market concluded that “2020 may in retrospect be seen as an important inflection point for the redesign of the delivery of legal services on a broader scale” and, despite the unprecedented disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, most firms were able to adjust and adapt to the challenges with notable success, which “is a tribute to the innovation and resiliency of law firms.”
On May 25, 2018, the personal data protection rules in the Czech Republic were substantially changed. Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council – the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR – became directly applicable law in all EU Member States, after a two-year transition period. Thus, the principles of personal data protection in the Czech Republic, the rights, duties, and processing requirements are regulated primarily by the GDPR.
The pandemic has transformed the Czech real estate market. While the residential and logistics real estate markets strengthened, the retail, tourism, and hotel sectors are among the worst affected. However, interest in investing in real estate has not waned as, in uncertain times, the purchase of real estate represents a safe place to park one’s funds and watch them appreciate. There has been no significant decline in property prices, even in the case of commercial real estate, as some investors had anticipated. The Czech market still lacks enough quality investment opportunities. The clear winner of this situation is the logistics segment. Our Prague office assisted in several transactions in the logistics segment, the largest being the purchase of 130 hectares of land intended for warehouse development, at one of the exits of the western D5 motorway. According to some real estate players, we can also expect increased interest in the industrial segment soon, including sale & leaseback transactions.
Thinking about my journey and experiences as an expat lawyer in the Czech Republic, I vividly recall one of the early client meetings I had fresh off the boat in the mid-1990s. A CEE client came to the office with a “suitcase” telephone … an old school plastic telephone with a rotary dial and a long antenna, encased in an MDF “custom telecommunications suitcase” which he proudly lugged onto the desk … (He was also wearing one of those plum-colored shiny polyester suits so beloved by New Europe Entrepreneurs in the 90s). Note to incredulous young lawyers reading this: in those days there were no mobile phones (The horror!).