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  • I write this flying high above the United States, shortly after the conclusion of what may well have been the most frantic and stressful week in the almost five-year history of CEE Legal Matters.

    On Monday, June 4th, we hosted a Round Table conversation with four eminent Czech and Slovak practitioners at the offices of Kocian Solc Balastik in Prague to discuss the idiosyncrasies and challenges of the Tech/Start-Up market in both countries (report on page 34). 

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • It’s been a busy period here at CEE Legal Matters, as we ramp up for the Dealer’s Choice conference, the Deal of the Year Awards Banquet, and the two-day GC Summit, all happening between June 6-8 in Prague. Putting together one major event is already a serious challenge – putting together three major events, running back-to-back-to-back (while, of course, keeping up with the demands of the CEE Legal Matters website and this here monthly magazine), is … well, as I said, it’s been a busy period.

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • It’s Wednesday evening, March 21st, and I’ve stopped at a local wine bar on the way home for a glass of Hungarian cuvée, a piece of carrot cake, and a brief break from our new normal at CEE Legal Matters: the desperate, manic, exhausting attempt to keep our heads above water.

    Not that things are bad. Far from it! The problem is that we have so much going on. Our schedule is so packed – a monthly magazine, four special issues, a website requiring daily updates, and this year, for the first time ever, six major events – six! – that we’re paddling as fast as we can just to keep afloat.

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • David’s editorial in our last issue included a brief explanation as to how CEELM came to be, and included the words: “Because CEE as a thing certainly existed.” I am uncertain to what extent that provided an inspiration for it, but ironically in this issue we have two pieces (see pages 4 and 38) that address, more or less directly, the question whether it still exists “as a thing” today.

    This CEELM editor thinks it does – but it’s definitely changing. 

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • When I lived and worked in Brazil in 2010-2011 I came across a particular English-language publication dedicated to the many legal markets of Latin America, positioned prominently in every law firm lobby and on the desks of most partners and General Counsel.

    At the same time, although many of the countries in Central and Eastern Europe had local publications, usually in the local language, there was no commercial publication covering the entire region, in English or any other language. When I returned from South America to CEE in the fall of 2011, with the knowledge of that Latin American publication in mind, that gap struck me as especially curious.


  • Just recently, Radu and I brought two staff writers on board – our first, after four years in business. Their names don’t appear in this issue, but you will start seeing them, we hope, pop up frequently in future issues. In the meantime, their bylines have already started appearing on the CEE Legal Matters website.

    Their introduction and familiarization with the jargon of the business law firm world represents an education – both for them and for us. I find myself sympathizing with their struggle to understand why a firm with one office in CEE (but none in London) that calls itself “international” and which works in English and serves foreign clients does not fall within our definition of an “international” firm, but why a firm like Slaughter and May, which has no offices in CEE [see page 24], but does have an office in London, does.

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the


  • Every October, for some reason, even as we lunge for the end of the year like a marathon runner approaching the tape, we find ourselves overcome with the urge to increase our output, expand our platforms, and grow our company. Last year, for instance, we decided the time had come to move to a monthly from a bimonthly publishing schedule.

    This year is no different. Thus, as careful observers of the CEE Legal Matters website know, we have announced that we will be introducing three new events to our annual calendar: The CEELM Deal of the Year Awards, the CEE Legal Matters Annual Banquet, and the Dealer’s Choice conference.

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • This is CEE Legal Matters’ second CEE By the Numbers report, following the successful introduction of the report (then called the “Glass CEEling” report) back in 2014. The fact that it’s the second report is significant, because it allows us not only to track and report on important data about the law firms and legal markets of CEE, but also to assess how that data has changed since we first carried out the exercise three years ago. The results, we believe, are revealing and encouraging. We hope the contents of this report are both interesting and useful to our readers, who can expect to see data from this special report cited in articles in the CEE Legal Matters magazine for years to come.

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • I received my law degree from the University of Virginia School of law, so you may not be surprised to learn that the interview I conducted with Polly Lawson, the Assistant Dean for Graduate Studies at that law school produced a flood of memories in me. What may be more surprising is how many of them are CEE-related.

    In fact, my decision to attend the University of Virginia came as a result of my experiences in Central and Eastern Europe – and the law school, in turn, was a key factor in getting me back here. A pivotal experience, in all senses of the word.

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • The ancient Romans called the hottest, most humid days of summer “dog days” because they associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius – named the “Dog Star” because it was the brightest star in the Canis Major (Large Dog) constellation. Indeed, Sirius is so bright that the Romans believed it radiated extra heat toward Earth, adding to the Sun’s heat to generate those oppressive, sweltering summer days we know so well.

    And increasingly, the Dog Days of summer in this part of the world – at least in Budapest, this airless capital of the Pannonian Plain – are getting more painful. Days with temperatures in excess of 36 degrees, once fairly rare, now regularly extend over multiple weeks, sometimes several times in the same year. 

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version ...


  • The first two special issues of the CEE Legal Matters magazine this year – the annual Looking Back/Looking Forward issue in January and the CEE Corporate Counsel Handbook in April – were familiar to our readers. This one, however, dedicated to the 2017 CEE GC Summit and the CEE Legal Matters Market Makers Awards, is new.

    The two special events share space in this one special issue because they were hosted by the same people (CEE Legal Matters), took place at essentially the same time (May 31 – June 2, 2017) and in the same place (Warsaw), and were organized for a similar audience: The prominent, successful, and well-known General Counsel and senior private practitioners in CEE. 

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here.


  • “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

    In addition to the hundreds of emails I send each week, I also write dozens of articles for the CEE Legal Matters website, as well as a significant amount of the content in every issue of this magazine. I also review/edit/revise the dozens of interviews, Expert Review articles, Market Snapshots, and other content produced by other writers in each issue of the magazine. You may not be surprised to hear that writing is on my mind a lot.

    It seems so easy, doesn’t it? Just put your thoughts on a page. A few thousand keystrokes, and –hey presto! – a fascinating article, an insightful editorial, a penetrating analysis. If only.

    You can find the PDF version of Issue 4.6. of the CEE Legal Matters ...


  • The timing of this issue, with its Market Spotlight on the Czech Republic, is fortuitous, as after three years of living in this wonderful country, I find myself moving back to CEE Legal Matters’ Budapest base. The coincidental timing of the issue, then, provides me with the opportunity to reflect on my time here.

    I have found Prague, to my delight, to be a pragmatic, clear-eyed city, despite its famously beautiful architecture. Few Czechs claim that history has been particularly unfair to them, and a similarly small proportion believe the Czech Republic basks in divine purpose. As fitting for the only country in Central and Eastern Europe reporting a majority atheist population – the country that elected a poet after the end of Communism and experienced national dissolution that was famously peaceful and respectful – the Czechs tend to have a rational and healthy understanding of their role in European ...


  • Chief Legal Officers know how demanding their jobs are. They have to create and manage effective teams, retain and instruct external counsel, advise their employers on strategic decisions, and implement new technology, all while putting out 20 fires a day. Some of them work in states of national emergency or economic crisis. Others are forced to lay-off valued team members or otherwise cut costs while maintaining — or improving — their level of service. None of them have it easy. 

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here


  • A quick turn to this issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine: It’s a good one. Radu spent a number of sleepless nights compiling, sorting, and filtering our annual Table of Deals to come up with our top ten lists and market-by-market breakdowns by number and value of reported deals. We also, for The Corner Office feature, focus on how the careers of Managing Partners in CEE have changed over time. 

    For the Market Spotlight on Serbia, we consider the recent growth of Balkan law firm alliances and networks, and we review the controversial passage and recent demise of an unusual voting limitation on lawyers employed by law firms in the Belgrade Bar association. The Spotlight also contains a larger-than-usual Market Snapshot feature and an introductory editorial by Branislav Zivkovic at Serbia’s Zivkovic Samardzic Law Firm.

    You can find the


  • Before any of our readers ask: indeed, Moore’s Law is not really a law. Rather, it reflects the prediction by Intel Co-Founder Gordon Moore in 1965 that, based on his observation at the time that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented, that trend would continue into the future. Many since have described his prediction as the rhythm of the beating heart of technological developments. 

    While Moore himself predicted that this annual doubling would continue until 2020, by 2015, articles began appearing claiming that shrinking transistors at the pace described by Moore will no longer be viable. A year later, that seemed to be the consensus, with one MIT Technology Review headline reading “Moore’s Law Is Dead. Now What?” 


  • Against this gloomy backdrop, optimism might seem to be in short supply. And yet, at least in the legal industry, it’s perhaps not completely unwarranted.

    First, as the participants in this year’s Expert Summit (page 12) attest, business in CEE continues to grow. Partners at law firms in some of the most troubled CEE countries, such as Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey, remain positive, and firms in many other CEE countries, such as Austria, Hungary, and Romania, report increased growth, profits, and enthusiasm. Those reports are borne out by our annual Table of Deals ( page 32) as well, which is much larger than it was in 2015 – which itself, in turn, was much larger than it was in 2014.

    You can find the PDF version of this Special Issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine here or click on the link below for the flash reader version.


  • As I write this editorial, we are celebrating three years since the CEE Legal Matters website (now already on its third version) first went online. To say that trying to think back and identify one major theme that shaped our last few years is difficult would be a real understatement, but because David has written up one too many of our recent editorials, that challenge falls on me.

    I will use a very broad brush and use the term “conservatisms,” which, in this editorial team’s view, have a considerable impact, not just on our endeavor, but the legal market as a whole.

    You can find the PDF version of Issue 3.6. of the CEE Legal Matters magazine here or click on the link below for the flash reader version.


  • We’re delighted to announce the arrival of the CEE 2016 Corporate Counsel Handbook, the leading annual report on best practices and strategic operations and preferences among Chief Legal Officers in Central and Eastern Europe. 

    This year's Corporate Counsel Handbook reflects the contributions of 594 General Counsel, Heads of Legal, and Legal Directors from across the CEE region, presenting the results of our annual survey alongside insightful and illustrative commentary from General Counsel taken from the pages of the CEE Legal Matters magazine’s "Inside Insight" section. 

    You can read the electronic flash version at the link below or access the pdf version here