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In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across CEE about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: How do you do performance reviews, and how important are they to the planning and management of the firm?”

The number of electric vehicles in Hungary is rising. In response to this, the National Building Regulation of Hungary (OTEK) has established new requirements for the provision of recharging points, with a January 1, 2019 deadline. Although these new rules have had some visible results, there is significant delay in establishing full compliance. Those who fail to meet the requirement may anticipate the imposition of penalties.

As a first-generation lawyer I did not have a profound career perspective when I graduated from law school in the early ‘90s. I saw a job ad in a newspaper – “International law firm looks for junior lawyers” – and even though I had no clue what an “international law firm” was, I had nothing to lose, so I thought it would be worth seeing how a real job interview worked. In the end I was selected and I decided to stay … and I have never regretted that decision.

Bulgaria, it seems, is in good shape. Fueled by a buoyant tech sector, the country’s economy is registering impressive growth, incomes are rising, and unemployment is down. Still, with corruption still a problem and the prospect of a global slowdown around the corner, few are willing to bet on the good times sticking around long. As always, in the Land of Roses, the thorns are not far away.

In The Corner Office we ask Senior and Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: “What is the one skill, ability, or characteristic that fresh law school graduates in your country most commonly lack?”

In recent years, a principal aim of Hungary’s energy strategy has been to make the country self-sufficient in electric energy. In figures, this means reducing the import to 0% within ten years – as the country’s current dependency on import of approximately 30% is significantly above the EU average. The increasing price of gas and the decreasing price of electricity led to a decrease in the domestic production of natural gas, so the Hungarian energy policy had to turn to alternatives.

The 2019 Hungarian tax law changes, among other measures, have introduced a new group taxation regime and reflect the implementation of the provisions set out in the European Union’s Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (ATAD). 

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Hungarian Competition Authority has launched the public consultation process about the draft of its updated and amended communication concerning commitment decisions in Hungarian competition cases.

Against the backdrop of the many significant and at times highly controversial changes being made to Polish law at the moment, the country is close to enacting its first ever serious whistleblower protection laws. What will this protection look like, and what does its passage mean for Poland?

The real estate market is booming in Poland and other CEE countries, as it has been for the last several years. New investments are being made to develop commercial centers, office buildings, residential properties, and logistic centers.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: Who was your mentor, and what was the most important lesson you learned from him or her?

After a valuable and information-rich day of panel discussions on important business development and law firm management topics, participants reconvened that evening (and were joined by several dozen newcomers) at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Annual Banquet and Deal of the Year Awards Ceremony – a celebration of CEE’s legal markets and the lawyers who work within them. Awards were presented for 17 qualifying markets in CEE – plus a surprise award for overall CEE Deal of the Year – with many of the lawyers playing key roles in nominated deals joining the celebration.

Wolf Theiss at a Glance

With over 360 lawyers in 13 countries, over 80% of the firm’s work involves cross-border representation of international clients. We have concentrated our energies on a unique part of the world: the complex, fast-developing markets of the CEE/SEE region. Through our international network of offices, we work closely with our clients to develop innovate solutions that integrate legal, financial, and business know-how.

Wolf Theiss provides fully integrated corporate services in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, real estate, banking and finance, tax and insurance, employment law, competition law, energy law, privatisation, restructuring, public procurement and litigation. At Wolf Theiss, we measure our success by the success of our clients. We align our goals with yours to ensure that your needs are being met in even the most complex of cross-border matters. This means that we know how to listen to you and help you use the assets you already have while finding opportunities.

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Wolf Theiss – Leading Lawyers in CEE/SEE