On Thursday, December 10, a select group of Central and Eastern Europe’s leading business lawyers gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Prague for the second annual CEE Legal Matters End-of-Year Summit, for a focused Round Table conversation about the state of CEE’s many legal markets in 2015, and their expectations for 2016.
The first such event, in 2015, was described as “truly remarkable” by one of the participants, and this year’s attendees were similarly enthused. Simon Cox, Partner at McGuire Woods, who flew in from London to join the proceedings, described it as "an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable event,” and said, "All that was missing was some snow!!!” And Vladimir Sayenko, the Managing Partner of Ukraine’s Sayenko Kharenko firm, who flew in from Kyiv, wrote that “it’s an excellent format and all the participants are clearly remarkable leaders in the legal profession.”Indeed, once again, participants in the Round Table came from leading firms across the region. In addition to Cox and Sayenko, participants included Belgrade's Patricia Gannon (the co-Founder of Karanovic & Nikolic), Warsaw’s Ron Given (the Co-Managing Partner of Wolf Theiss Warsaw), Istanbul’s Dan Matthews (Managing Partner at Baker & McKenzie Istanbul), Athens’ Panagiotis Drakopoulos (Managing Partner of the Drakopoulos Law Firm), Denise Hamer (Partner at DLA Piper), Ljubljana’s Uros Ilic (Managing Partner of the ODI Law Firm), and Prague’s Christian Blatchford (Counsel at Kocian Solc Balastik).
Joining them were in-house experts Agnieszka Dziegielewska-Jonczyk (Country Legal Counsel for Poland at Hewlett Packard Enterprise), Martina Kirin (Senior Legal Counsel at the J&T Finance Group), and David Schoch (President and member of the Board of Directors of the Serbian Private Equity Association).
Subjects addressed at this year’s event included the ongoing crises in Ukraine and Greece, the effect of the recent elections and conflict with Russia on Turkey’s short and long term economic prospects, sources of investment, the regions slow but incontestable recovery, alternative billing methods for firms, outstanding opportunities in various markets, and much more. As in 2015, participants were asked to prepare special essays summarizing their thoughts and perspectives on the State of the Region, which will be included, along with a transcript of the event itself, in the special New Year’s Edition of the CEE Legal Matters magazine, which will go out to subscribers in early January.
The 2014 CEE Legal Matters Summit was organized and hosted by CEE Legal Matters to celebrate its successful second year in business. The event allows the best lawyers in the region to engage with one another about the opportunities and challenges they see on a daily basis, and to share their perspectives on the year just past and their predictions on the year to come. Radu Cotarcea, the Managing Editor of CEE Legal Matters, believes that, after two years, the event is becoming a critical part of the CEE calendar: “We were delighted and honored to see so many of the best and brightest legal minds in CEE gathering in one room to discuss their markets and practices, exchange opinions, learn from one another — and provide information that we can pass along to our readers. I’m already looking forward to next year!”
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