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On October 29, 2018, leading Austrian law firms Dorda, Eisenberger & Herzog, Herbst Kinsky, PHH, Schoenherr, SCWP Schindhelm, and Wolf Theiss announced their joint launch of the “Legal Tech Hub Vienna”: a non-profit forum for LegalTech companies, start-ups, and other legal market participants to identify innovation potential and work together to implement technological tools appearing ever-more-rapidly on the legal market.

CEE Legal Matters has learned that, after ten years in CEE, and shortly after attending the annual Deal of the Year Awards Banquet in Budapest, Wolf Theiss Warsaw Co-Managing Partner Ron Given – a key member of the Deal of the Year Final Selection Committee, as he was last year – will be bidding adieu to the region and heading back home. We reached out to Given, a long-time friend of and supporter of CEE Legal Matters, to learn more, and to get his thoughts on a productive, profitable, and geographically-diverse decade in Central and Eastern Europe.

The new Hungarian Code of Civil Procedure (the “Code”) came with a number of ambitious promises, many of which have already been addressed in CEE Legal Matters. However, a prominent promise, namely increasing the transparency and predictability of litigation, has not yet been discussed in these pages.

Boyanov & Co., Kalo & Associates, and Hugh Owen of Go2Law have advised Albania Telecom Invest, a joint venture of entrepreneurs Spas Roussev and Elvin Guri, on its EUR 50 million acquisition of Telekom Albania from OTE (Deutsche Telekom). White & Case and Wolf Theiss advised the sellers on the deal, which remains subject to closing conditions, including the approval by the competent local authorities and financing, and is expected to be completed within the first half of 2019.

On September 11, 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that Akos Eros, the Managing Partner of Squire Patton Boggs in Hungary, had taken a team from that international firm to join Wolf Theiss, led in Budapest by his old friend Zoltan Faludi. The reunion of these two actual comrades-in-arms is a source of real excitement at Wolf Theiss Hungary, which is embracing the changing legal market of the moment with confidence and style.

The Ukrainian office of Wolf Theiss and the Estonian office of Sorainen have advised Rent24, an international co-working and co-living solutions company headquartered in Germany, on its entrance into the Ukrainian market in the form of a joint venture with Ukraine's Chasopys Group.

Wolf Theiss Partners Andrea Gritsch, Sebastian Oberzaucher, and Claus Schneider have been elected Managing Partners at the firm, joining current Managing Partner Richard Wolf, who was reelected to the position.

Chinese investors and developers are expanding their footprints in Europe, focusing often on green technology and opportunities in the solar, hi-tech, and automation industries, as well as highly-publicized infrastructure development tenders. Over the years, the amount of Chinese investment has increased, as has the number of Chinese professionals settling in CEE to facilitate Europe-China relations and bridge differences in culture, expectations, and styles. In September, 2018, CEE Legal Matters sat down at the Dentons office in Budapest with three Chinese lawyers to learn about their experiences working on the ground in CEE.

Wolf Theiss has advised real estate investor and manager Westcore Europe on its acquisition of the U6 Center office and warehouse property in Vienna from Hanseatische Immobilienfonds Oesterreich IV and Germany's HCI Treuhand Geschlossener real estate fund. The sellers were advised by PKHV Rechtsanwalte.