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        Slovak Republic
        Chamber of commerce:                                Professional body:
        Slovak Chamber of Commerce and                      Slovak Bar Association
        Industry                                            Kolárska 4
        Gorkého 9                                           813 42 Bratislava
        816 03 Bratislava                                   Slovak Republic
        Slovak Republic                                     Tel:      +421 2 5296 1522
        Tel:     +421 2 5443 3291                           Fax:      +421 2 5296 1554
        Fax:     +421 2 5413 1159                           Email:
        Email:                             Web:

        Sale of distressed assets in                       assets. Once bankruptcy proceedings are              ter of the agreement. A general M&A prob-
        Slovakia                                           declared, the right of the debtor to dispose of      lem is the discovery of additional and unfore-
                                                           its property passes to the bankruptcy trustee,       seen liabilities, after the enterprise deal has
        Lubos Frolkovic and Adam Pichler                   who acts on behalf of the bankrupt debtor.           been concluded. Acquiring an enterprise (or a
        Wolf Theiss                                            The bankruptcy trustee works in coopera-         part of it) from a distressed company elimi-
        Bratislava                                         tion with the debtor, as well as with third par-     nates this problem, in that the acquirer does
                                                           ties, to ascertain all assets belonging to the       not acquire these additional liabilities, which
        The currently raging global financial crisis,       bankrupt debtor, which are subject to the            arose prior to the declaration of bankruptcy
        which has resulted in global economic down-        bankruptcy proceedings. Generally, the bank-         proceedings.
        turn, has created new opportunities for            ruptcy trustee may do any of the following in            Certain restrictions apply to the transfer of
        investors to purchase distressed assets on the     order to convert the debtor’s assets to cash:        enterprises or their parts, which are subject to
        Slovak market, an investment with the poten-           (i) declare a public tender;                     special permits and/or licenses. The bankrupt-
        tial for realizing profit and capital gain.            (ii) entrust the sale to an auctioneer;          cy trustee can transfer such an enterprise or a
        During these globally hard times, almost all           (iii) organise an auction in order to sell the   part of it only to an acquirer that possesses
        companies experience some financial distress,       assets; or                                           these kinds of permits and/or licenses.
        albeit to varying degrees. If it is left undealt       (iv) sell the assets in another efficient man-        Generally, the provisions of Act No
        with, financial distress can result in declara-     ner.                                                 311/2001 Coll. Labour Code, as amended,
        tion of bankruptcy or restructuring proceed-           A potential investor has the following           regarding the automatic transfer of employ-
        ings. These proceedings afford an opportuni-       options in order to acquire distressed assets -      ment rights and obligations apply to the
        ty for potential investors.                        he can either acquire the whole or at least a        transfer of an enterprise or a part of it.
            Due to the impacts of the global financial      part of the enterprise of a distressed company       However, in the specific case that the transfer-
        crisis, the number of declared bankruptcy as       (enterprise deal) or he can acquire certain          or is in bankruptcy proceedings, these provi-
        well as restructuring proceedings has signifi-      assets of the distressed company (asset deal).       sions do not apply.
        cantly increased in Slovakia. In the first quar-
        ter of 2010, 128 bankruptcy proceedings were       Enterprise deal                                      Asset deal
        declared, as compared to 85 bankruptcy pro-        The bankruptcy trustee can sell the whole            The bankruptcy trustee and potential acquir-
        ceedings declared in the first quarter of 2009,     enterprise, or at least a part of it, to a poten-    er may agree on the transfer of individual ele-
        corresponding to an increase of 50% quarter        tial acquirer by concluding an agreement on          ments of the enterprise in the form of separate
        on quarter.                                        transfer of an enterprise (or a part of it respec-   agreements (asset purchase agreement, agree-
            The sale of distressed assets in Slovakia is   tively) according to the provisions of the           ment on assignment of receivables etc.). For
        mainly governed by Act No. 7/2005 Coll. on         Commercial Code. All assets, rights and other        example, the parties may conclude separate
        Bankruptcy and Restructuring Proceedings as        property interests belonging to the enterprise       agreements on the transfer of assets, intellec-
        amended, while some general provisions of          (or part of it) are transferred to the acquirer.     tual property, business shares of the distressed
        other laws, in particular Act No. 513/1991             For an investor, a major advantage of this       company in its subsidiaries etc.
        Commercial Code as amended (Commercial             kind of transfer is the fact that he acquires           In the case of real estate that is subject to
        Code), apply as well.                              only those liabilities of the debtor, which have     the bankruptcy proceedings, sale can be per-
            It should be noted that the declaration of     arisen in connection with the operation of the       formed only by auction. However, this applies
        bankruptcy proceedings in Slovakia consists        debtor’s enterprise after the declaration of         only if the real estate is sold “on its own”. If
        of two stages: the first stage begins with the      bankruptcy proceedings and in-kind liabilities       the real estate is sold within an enterprise (or
        commencement of bankruptcy proceedings             from employment relationships, which are             a part of it) or a pre-emption right exists, this
        and the second with the declaration of bank-       stated in the respective agreement (e.g. enti-       provision does not apply.
        ruptcy proceedings. Each of these stages has       tlement to holidays).
        different implications. After the commence-            This is a significant difference to acquiring
        ment of bankruptcy proceedings, the bank-          an enterprise from a healthy company, where
        rupt debtor is obliged to confine its activities    all liabilities in connection with the enterprise
        to day-to-day business, i.e. it cannot dispose     (or part of it) are transferred to the acquirer
        of its enterprise (or a part of it) or certain     and cannot be excluded from the subject-mat-                                                                                                                        2011 EDITION
                                                                                                                          Slovak Republic                  3/511

Banking and finance                                  ue to be closed and now that the PPP concept        Case’s Slovak work is heavily supported by its
                                                    has been sold to banks, many expect it will be      Prague office. Some of its leading partners
Recommended firms                                    adopted for other projects the next being the       split their time between the two offices and
Tier 1                                              redevelopment of an unfinished hospital.             though this doesn’t hinder its ability to win
Allen & Overy                                                                                           international work, some peers suggest it lacks
White & Case                                                                                            the local competence of some of its competi-
                                                    Allen & Overy                                       tion.
Tier 2                                              In line with Allen & Overy’s global reputa-             Some of its recent international deals
Cechová & Partners                                  tion, the Bratislava office’s finance capabilities    include helping Raiffeisen International
Cernejová & Hrbek                                   keep it firmly in tier one after a busy year at      Direct Bank launch in the domestic market,
Ruzicka Csekes/CMS Cameron McKenna                  the forefront of the busiest M&A sectors. In        advising      the   European       Bank     for
                                                    the property sector it helped UniCredit Bank        Reconstruction and Development on its 60
Tier 3                                              Slovakia restructure a long term facility for the   million programme aimed at the development
Hamala Kluch Víglasky                               financing of a logistics park in the country’s       of green energy, and Slovenská Sporitel’na on
Kinstellar                                          west. This included the addition of a co-           real-estate syndicated financing provided to
Salans                                              debtor and more securities. Its cross-border        UK and Irish property developer Parker
Squire Sanders & Dempsey                            work in this area was for Eurohypo on the           Green International.
Weinhold Legal                                      Slovak aspects of its sub-security structure            The firm has been active in the increasing-
Wolf Theiss                                         underlying the regional refinancing of              ly prominent public-private partnership
                                                    Goodman and Gelf Fund’s logistic property           (PPP) work. It advises the syndicate of 19
Throughout 2009 banking lawyers were pre-           portfolio.                                          banks financing three phases of the D1
occupied with restructures and refinancings,             Automotive mandates include UniCredit           motorway, the country’s first PPP project. The
predominately for automotive borrowers and          Bank Slovakia’s work on a revolving credit             3 billion mandate is led by leading lawyer
loans relating to logistics centres. Although       facility granted to Kia Motors’ local business,     Ivo Bárta and includes input from the firm’s
they were happy for the work, they quickly          and Schaeffler on the global restructuring of        Paris office. The firm also assists Tatra Banka
point out that Slovakia’s inexperience in           its senior and junior credit facilities with RBS.   on its 100 million syndicated loan to
robust out-of-court restructuring meant these       In the transport sector, domestic mandates          SkyToll for the construction of toll road facil-
processes evolved slowly and cautiously.            came from creditors in the court-ordered debt       ities.
Frustrated lawyers attribute this to banks and      restructures of transportation company STD              White & Case has been at the forefront of
“a combination of increased levels of risk sen-     Donivo and SkyEurope Airlines.                      the emerging debt market, acting for HSBC
sitivity but also a degree of missing sophistica-       While the firm’s year was dominated by           and Société Générale as joint lead managers of
tion,” adding: “They could be a bit more            refinancings and restructures, it did some           the state’s 2 billion benchmark issue in May
open minded.”                                       fresh finance work on the lenders side. These        2009. A year later it switched sides and acted
     New lending showed signs of picking up         include the acquisition financing of Fun            for the government on its 1.5 billion offer-
by Q3 2009, but credit committees were still        Radio Group, a syndicated revolving credit          ing of notes placed primarily with foreign
selective. Slovak banks’ conservatism coupled       facility for Steel Kosice, plus senior and mez-     investors.
with the January 2009 adoption of the euro          zanine credit facilities provided to TMF                Of its leading lawyers, Marek Staron
meant they haven’t suffered like elsewhere,         Group.                                              spends the most time in the Bratislava office
and theoretically should have had the appetite          Of the international firms, Allen & Overy        and is described by a peer as a “very good
and liquidity to lend. The dampener was the         is known for having the strongest local pres-       negotiator and very articulate”.
international holding banks. Close to all           ence and for developing some of the country’s
Slovak banks are foreign owned, and cash            best finance lawyers. Martin Magál is               Leading lawyers
pooling and orders to limit spending spoilt         described by a rival as “one of the leading         Ivo Bárta
the party.                                          lawyers in banking” and another says he is          Michal Dlouhy
     Amazingly most new finance was for real-        “the brains of the practice”. Last year’s retire-   Marek Staron
estate developments - residential, retail and       ment of the legendary Igor Pálka left Magál
office - outside Bratislava, plus renewable pro-     big shoes to fill, but peers think he is up to the
jects which have become popular under a new         task.                                               Ruzicka Csekes/CMS Cameron
government incentive scheme. Syndicated                 Elsewhere, department head Renátus              McKenna
loans are still around but mainly because           Kollár was named by a competitor and the   Ruzicka Csekes/CMS Cameron McKenna is
banks are wanting to share the risk of smaller                                                 known for government mandates in public-
                                                    team received this client praise: “They seem to
values by syndicating.                                                                         private partnership (PPP) projects, and its
                                                    be the leading office in Slovakia regarding the
     Acquisition finance was generally difficult                                                 increased headcount as a result of last year’s
                                                    knowhow and its application in the local mar-
to come by. Many solved this through                                                           merger is expected to further increase its pro-
                                                    ket, and they are able to offer quite competi-
inbound cross-border loans and the govern-          tive pricing.”                             file in this area.
ment is hoping its benchmark bond issues will                                                     However its work portfolio over the past
revive the country’s miniscule debt market          Leading lawyers                            12 months is dominated by private lenders.
and be used as an alternative to bank lending.      Martin Magál                               For example it has been involved in the retail
     The public-private partnership (PPP) is                                                   complexes popping up across the country,
still a relatively new concept in Slovakia and                                                 including leading lawyer Peter Simo and
its debut project, the D1 motorway, has been        White & Case                               Michal Kmec’s 2009 advice to Hypo
plagued with delays with finance and environ-        Although it’s still a leading banking firm, Investment Bank on its refinancing of four
mental approvals. But different stages contin-      rivals are quick to point out that White & shopping centres. Earlier this the year the pair

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        acted for Raiffeisen’s Austrian branch on the       Properties’ entities on the group’s 15 million     package relating to a 100 million loan, and
        financing of land acquisitions for the estab-        refinancing of its real-estate portfolio. Work      in a 51.6 million mandate it represents
        lishment of a new shopping centre in the            included negotiation and drafting of facility      Raiffeisen Zentralbank on acquisition financ-
        town of Snina.                                      agreements, security documents plus subordi-       ing for the development of a shopping centre
            Another mandate from Raiffeisen in              nation agreements. The firm also recently           under construction.
        Vienna saw Simo team up with Sylvia Szabó           acted for Goodman on the local aspects of its
        in March 2010 to critique security documents           762 million regional refinancing, and
        under a number of credit agreements. That           ProLogis in a similar mandate involving its six    Other notable firms
        same month the two provided asset manage-           logistics properties.                              Czech firm PRK Partners has a young office
        ment advice to Zürchner Kantonalbank, and               Elsewhere Kinstellar has played a key role     in Bratislava which performs well and is
        acted in relation to cross-border lending           in the market’s emerging public-private part-      increasingly noticed by the market. Over the
        issues. Other recent clients include                nership (PPP) work, acting for Vinci               past 12 months it has advised ING Bank on
        Commerzbank, UniCredit Bank Austria and             Concessions in relation to the R1 expressway       loan restructurings, and the bank’s Dutch
        OTP Banka Slovensko.                                which forms part of the D1 motorway. The           real-estate affiliate on its loan to a developer
                                                            firm helped obtain financing for the 1 bil-          looking to invest in Slovakia.
        Leading lawyers                                     lion deal in a tough market, coming up                 Other cross-border mandates by foreign
        Dana Nemcíková                                      against      the     European      Bank     for    lenders include Italy’s UniCredit on the
        Peter Simo                                          Reconstruction and Development plus 13 pri-        restructuring of loans granted to a local textile
                                                            vate banks.                                        company, and Investkredit Bank of Austria on
                                                                Clients rate Squire Sanders & Dempsey          extending the term of a facility granted to a
        Other ranked firms                                   for its experience, proactivity and ability to     local engineering company.
        Hamala Kluch Víglasky is a group of former          “quickly get into the issue and create interest-       Emil Nemec is named by peers as a very
        White & Case lawyers who are known among            ing and reasonable solution.” It has worked        capable finance lawyer.
        peers for their “good knowledge and good            on a variety of mandates recently, including           SK Legal is a new firm which comes high-
        background”. Its finance practice is not its         for energy supplier Pozagas on its placement       ly recommended by the market. It consists of
        strength, but it regularly comes up against the     of bonds on the local stock market. The firm        former KPMG lawyers who have quickly
        leading firms and some rivals see it soon            picked up some fresh finance work for bor-          established themselves in the banking sector.
        becoming a tier two contender. These chances        rowers, acting on a 5 million facility for an      A number of competitors note the abilities of
        were boosted recently with the hire of GI           LBO, and representing the local subsidiary of      partner Milan Banas and recall good experi-
        Invest’s former in-house counsel Leonard            ContourGlobal on the $250 million financing         ences acting across from the firm.
        Holbling.                                           of its combined heating business.
            The firm works for both borrowers and                Elsewhere the firm advised the central          Mergers and acquisitions
        lenders but the past 12 months was dominat-         bank on the finalisation of its Isda master
        ed by bank mandates. Leading lawyer                 agreements.                                        Recommended firms
        Víglasky and Holbling are advising a syndi-             Despite competitors saying Weinhold            Tier 1
        cate of four banks on their respective bilateral    Legal lacks visibility in the market, the firm      Allen & Overy
        loans, totalling 84 million, to steel producer      has picked up some diverse mandates over the       White & Case
        Raven Group. A separate inter-creditor agree-       past year. Leading lawyer Rastislav Kuklis,
        ment is needed and the joint security package       name partner Daniel Weinhold and Pavel             Tier 2
        is one of the country’s first. The firm is also       Jendrulek continue to help virtual bank BRE        Cechová & Partners
        working with Tatra Bank and UniCredit               Bank (part of Commerzbank) establish a local       Cernejová & Hrbek
        Slovakia on 25 million of syndicated financ-         presence. This includes the distribution of        Kinstellar
        ing provided to Crown Bevcan Group, a loan          mutual funds and other instruments, Mifid           Ruzicka Csekes/CMS Cameron McKenna
        guaranteed by the borrower’s Dutch parent           compliance and drafting standard documen-          Squire Sanders & Dempsey
        company.                                            tation. Elsewhere the firm advises CSOB
            On the borrower side Víglasky and               Property Fund on acquisition financing pro-         Tier 3
        Holbling teamed up again to advise PPC              vided to a Slovak property developer, and in       Dedák & Partners
        Energy on two bilateral export financings pro-       December 2009 it refinanced distressed loans        DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach
        vided by BNP Paribas UK and BNP Fortis              for Anglo Irish Bank.                              Hamala Kluch Víglasky
        CZ. The 38 million deal required the firm            Leading lawyers: Rastislav Kuklis                  Hillbridges
        to address a number of cross-border issues.             Wolf Theiss is involved in the country’s       Peterka & Partners
        Leading lawyers: Peter Víglasky                     developing public-private partnership (PPP)        PRK Partners
            Of the Kinstellar offices to emerge in the       sector, acting for an international bidder for     Schoenherr
        wake of Linklaters’ exit from the region,           the 3 billion financing, construction and           Weinhold Legal
        Bratislava is one of the best. Peers notice it is   operation of the D1 motorway. This mandate         Wolf Theiss
        busier than its sister office in Prague, and         requires the six-lawyer team to negotiate the
        client feedback suggests the team is efficient       concession agreement, negotiate and draft the      “It has not been a year of a booming economy
        and proactive.                                      finance documents, plus advise on procure-          but it has been a year of a performing econo-
            Managing partner Patrik Bolf is heavily         ment issues.                                       my,” says one corporate partner. The big deals
        involved in the firm’s finance work, which has            Elsewhere Wolf Theiss has acted for the        may have been absent, but Slovakia has seen a
        recently been dominated by refinancing man-          lender in a number of cross-border real-estate     respectable number of small to mid-cap deals
        dates from logistics companies. Last year Bolf      financings. It acts for Austria’s Immorent          in a range of areas lately. Regional consolida-
        led advice to a number of PointPark                 Bank on the Slovak aspects of the securities       tion in the healthcare sector continued,                                                                                                                       2011 EDITION
                                                                                                                          Slovak Republic                    3/513

investors looked to renewable energies hoping       client. “When you go to local firms you don’t        Bancroft Group on its take up of 50% of the
to take advantage of the government’s subsi-        always get work to the desired standards but        shares in Slovak food producer Frost. The
dies, and though the real-estate bubble has         the firm is able to meet a multinational’s             11 million mandate was complicated by the
well and truly burst, anything related to trans-    expectations.”                                      target’s non-transparent corporate structure,
port logistic centres has been the M&A topic            Its two recent headline deals are Smurfit        including the allocation of its shares and vot-
of choice.                                          Kappa Group’s buyout of minority sharehold-         ing rights, and shareholder disputes which
    The country is counting its blessings that      ers in its Slovak subsidiary, and Kraft Foods       emerged throughout the deal.
its automotive sector - the backbone of its         Slovakia’s delisting and the mandatory public
economy - is dominated by car makers spared         offer to its minority shareholders.                 Leading lawyers
from the economic crisis. “We have an advan-            Elsewhere the firm has been at the fore-         Patrik Bolf
tage in that the cars we produce are small, fuel    front of the busiest sectors. It helped A&D
efficient and cheap,” says one lawyer, as           Pharma Holdings on the Slovak aspects of its
opposed to the luxury brands hit hardest by         regional acquisition of Arishop Pharma and          Ruzicka Csekes/CMS Cameron
global spending cuts.                               its subsidiary Ozone laboratories, in the auto-     McKenna
    Industry buyers accounted for most trans-       motive sector it advised Germany’s Edscha           Ruzicka Csekes/CMS Cameron McKenna is
actions but local investment groups Penta           group on the sale of its rooftop division, and      the next firm to rival those in tier one.
Investments and J&T were relatively active.         renewable energy mandates came from EVN             Competitors say its recent merger gives it the
Other trends were asset purchases by buyers         and Wienstrom on a privatisation matter.            headcount to take on the biggest corporate
looking to avoid the risks that come with                                                               transactions, and clients appreciate its flexibil-
share deals, and once again, distressed sales       Leading lawyers                                     ity and professionalism. As for leading
not accelerating like expected.                     Hugh Owen                                           lawyers, Peter Simo is noted for his pleasant
    Aside from international mergers that                                                               demeanour as much as his abilities, and lead-
impacted local subsidiaries, cross-border work                                                          ing banking lawyer Dana Nemcíková’s M&A
was in short supply. To the extent these deals      White & Case                                        work leads a rival to describe her as “very dili-
did happen, they tended to come from neigh-         White & Case is developing into the domi-           gent and very smart”.
bouring countries and in the form of joint          nant M&A firm, winning praise for its capa-              Simo teamed up with Sylvia Szabó and
ventures. As one leading lawyer explains: “A        bilities and personalities. “When we meet           Monika Fridrichová to advise private-equity
new foreign investor relying only on its status     with them it’s the smoothest transaction,” says     firm BC Partners on its takeover of Futurelab
under the law, and without any local connec-        one rival while another describes leading           Holding’s subsidiaries, their subsequent merg-
tions, is a risky spot to be in.”                   lawyer Marek Staron as “a nice guy who is easy      er and change of legal form. Cross-border
    An interesting development is the surge in      to work with”.                                      mandates in the energy sector saw the firm act
electronics. “Last year was the year of the plas-       Recently the firm has been involved in sig-      for Wood & Company on its joint venture
ma and the LCD,” says one lawyer, who notes         nificant heavy industry and mining mandates.         with Czech energy giant CEZ, and Szabó act
that Samsung has become one of the country’s        In a cross-border deal it closed Japanese           for       Austria’s        Energie-         und
biggest exporters. But the Korean and               machinery company JTEKT Corporation’s               Gebäudemanagement in its investment in a
Japanese companies that dominate this indus-        purchase of one of Timken Company’s busi-           Slovak heat producing business.
try prefer to use in-house counsel and unless       nesses for $300 million. The firm also advised           Elsewhere the firm acted for Slovak
they encounter difficulties, local lawyers are       agribusiness company Syngenta Crop                  Telecom in its latest acquisition, absorbing the
unlikely to get involved.                           Protection on its $160 million asset purchase       local operations of T-Mobile.
    Another interesting development is the          from Monsanto Company, and Electrum USA
opening up of the legal market. While the           on its joint venture with a British gold mining     Leading lawyers
same big names still feature in the top two         company to start operations in Slovakia.            Ian Parker
tiers, a number of new names have pushed                Elsewhere White & Case continued to             Peter Simo
into the rankings and a few more are expected       advise the Ministry of Economy on post
to follow soon after.                               acquisition issues relating to its $240 million
                                                    shareholding in Transpetrol.                        Squire Sanders & Dempsey
                                                                                                        While Squire Sanders & Dempsey is not par-
Allen & Overy                                       Leading lawyers                                     ticularly visible to its competitors, clients rate
Allen & Overy has the depth of talent to keep       Ivo Bárta                                           the firm highly. One describes it as diligent,
it safely in the top tier. In addition to leading   Marek Staron                                        responsive and commercial, and notes its pro-
lawyer Hugh Owen, clients think highly of                                                               ficiency in English. Another reflects on a deal
associate Peter Kubina and fellow associate                                                             involving Peter Suba, Adrian Barger and
Renatus Kollar. In addition to his banking          Kinstellar                                          Monika Simorová: “I was confident in dealing
capabilities, Martin Magál is respected for his     Peers say Kinstellar is fighting hard to preserve    with them. They communicated well and we
corporate work. He receives peer recommen-          the feel of Linklaters, and though many think       were able to work together very effectively.”
dations and a client gives him this reference:      the young firm still has a way to go, its M&A            In Europe the firm takes a regional
“Very good, top class on advice and executing       practice has held up well.                          approach to its work, and consequently the
that advice.”                                           The past 12 months was all about logistic       Bratislava office has been involved in a num-
    The firm as a whole also receives good           properties for Kinstellar. The firm advises          ber of cross-border deals over the past year. In
feedback. “We get very strong representation        PointPark Properties on post-acquisition            May it closed Netherlands-based Yukos
from Allen & Overy which is very helpful as         issues related to its recent asset purchases, and   International’s $240 million sale of shares in
Slovakia is new to the EU, so it can be diffi-       ProLogis on its intra-group mergers.                Transpetrol, a Slovak operator of a crude oil
cult to do business in,” says one international     Elsewhere leading lawyer Bolf leads advice to       pipeline.

2011 EDITION                                                                                                             
3/514   Slovak Republic

            Since then Squire Sanders & Dempsey has            Its biggest logistics centre mandate came          Solid tier-three firm Wolf Theiss’s leader-
        busied itself advising ContourGlobal on its        from Budamar on its joint venture with state-      ship ranks received a boost earlier this year
        launch in the local market, Tesco in a number      owned train company Zeleznicná spolocnos_          with one of its most visible lawyers, Lubos
        of greenfield acquisitions, and SkyToll in its      Cargo Slovakia for the construction of a rail-     Frolkovic, appointed to the partnership.
        public tender to establish an electronic tolling   way wagon transhipment centre in eastern               Over the past 12 months Frolkovic was
        system operated by satellite technology.           Slovakia. Partner Roman Hamala led the 25          particularly active in the regional consolida-
                                                           million deal which closed in June 2009.            tion of the healthcare sector. Last December
                                                               Elsewhere the firm represented a private-       he led on the Slovak aspects of longstanding
        Other ranked firms                                  equity fund on its purchase of 40% of the          client Futurelab Holding’s sale to private-
        One of the best local names on the market for      shares in mineral waters producer Klastorna,       equity firm BC Partners. Also that month he
        M&A work is Dedák & Partners. The firm              and Mecom on its sale of land and joint ven-       worked on Flextronic International’s takeover
        often acts for the government but during the       ture for the development of a hotel complex        of manufacturer Slomedical.
        latter half of 2009 it was busy with private-      in central Kosice.                                     Earlier in the year Wolf Theiss acted for
        sector mandates.                                       Hillbridges enters the rankings this year      Osram on an asset purchase of Vitri’s metal
            In September partner Eduard Winkler led        following strong peer recommendations. The         lamps business. The cross-border transaction
        advice to Altran Group on its disposal of a        Slovakian firm emerged in the wake of              required close attention to surrounding coun-
        subsidiary, and three months later acted for       Linklaters’ exit from the market and its           try’s laws, competition clearance and corpo-
        AR Sistemas on its investment in                   growth over the past 12 months has not gone        rate governance issues.
        Technometal. Cross-border mandates came            unnoticed. The three-partner team is                   Since opening its Bratislava office last May
        from Dricon Managing Consultants on its            described as “young ambitious lawyers” by          Schoenherr has quickly established a
        takeover of a Slovak aluminium producer, and       one rival, who adds: “I’ve known them since        respectable corporate practice. The Austrian
        Austria’s Doubrava Gesellschaft MBH & Co           they were young and I’ve always known they         firm benefits from its German language skills,
        on its acquisition of a local industrial manu-     had good potential.”                               advising Volkswagen on the Slovak aspects of
        facturer.                                              The Bratislava office of regional firm         its merger with Porsche, and Siemens’
            DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach benefited             Peterka & Partners works closely with its          German subsidiary on its joint venture with a
        from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s exit          Czech counterparts and maintains its tier          state-owned enterprise. Elsewhere, the office
        last year, picking up a number of the magic-       three ranking after another solid year. In April   was one of six Schoenherr offices representing
        circle firm’s lawyers including new practice        leading lawyer and department head Premysl         Delphi Holdings on its regional acquisition of
        head Michaela Stessl. Competitors are yet to       Marek collaborated with associate Jan Makara       Delphi Corporation’s core businesses.
        notice any difference since its numbers were       on the merger of two subsidiaries belonging to         The most visible lawyer is Stanislav Kovár,
        boosted, but clients are pleased with the firm’s    international group Descours & Cabaud, and         who a client says is “available almost immedi-
        work. One praises the availability, experience     a Slovak construction and water treatment          ately, and very hands on unlike what can hap-
        and engagement of its lawyers, noting Stessl’s     company on its aborted takeover by a               pen with these good firms.” Another client
        professional and fast approach plus her exten-     European investor.                                 says he is “precise, quick and thorough in legal
        sive language skills. Another client reflects on    Leading lawyers: Premysl Marek                     aspects but also came up with practical ques-
        the firm’s work: “They were very god at spot-           PRK Partners’ corporate practice in            tions for us to help him pick up ancillary
        ting issues and very responsive ... It wasn’t a    Bratislava is growing in prominence and            points,” adding: “He’s not just a lawyer who
        difficult transaction but they did a very good      enters the rankings this year. Significant deals    will ask five or six questions and then deliver
        job with it.”                                      over the past 12 months include advice to          a memo.”
            Recently the firm helped energy infrastruc-     fund 3TS on its divestment from a
        ture company Dresser acquire a stake in a          Hungarian-Slovak mobile provider, and
        bankrupt Austrian company and then                 Hewlett Packard on its acquisition of EDS.
        takeover its Slovakian assets. Elsewhere the       Cross-border mandates came from French
        office advised on the Slovak aspects of the         construction group Bouygues Colas in rela-
        Europe-wide sale of cosmetics and luxury           tion to it investment in a Slovak power plant,
        group Marionnaud.                                  and Spain’s Criteria on its acquisition of a
            Hamala Kluch Víglasky has a strong cor-        stake in Erste Bank.
        porate practice which continues to pick up             Weinhold Legal’s corporate practice con-
        mandates in the busiest M&A sectors.               tinues to impress, with a number of competi-
            Roman Hamala and fellow partner Martin         tors saying it will soon rival those in the sec-
        Kluch receive strong client feedback: “They        ond tier. Led by Rastislav Kuklis, the M&A
        were very professional, on time, and over          team has been particularly active on the buy
        exceeded our expectations. They are dealmak-       side recently. It advised automotives supplier
        ers not deal breakers. Working with them was       Hella Group on two mergers, completed
        a great experience.”                               Opta Minerals’ takeover of a Slovak joint
            As part of the wave of renewable energy        stock company (including the acquisition
        deals name partner Peter Víglasky acted for        financing for the deal), and acted for Lloyd
        InGate Slovakia on its takeover of various         Electric & Engineering on its asset purchase
        companies licensed to undertake solar power        of the Janka Radotin business from US-based
        generation. The purchases total 20 million         Lennox.
        and were completed over the first four months           The firm suffered a blow last November
        of 2010.                                           with the loss of leading lawyer Róbert
                                                           Kovácik.                                                                                                                     2011 EDITION

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