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Specialisation – A Key to SuccessLEGAL VIEW
2 Dec 2013 Business
How did the idea to establish the law firm Senior Consultants come about?
TB: This idea emerged mainly from the intention of the founding members to develop an independent law firm, and thus to face the challenges of the development and changes in Slovakia’s legal environment. The operation of the new firm enabled us to be closer to our clients and to understand their individual needs from a specific point of view.
What is your particular firm involved in, and what are its most important characteristics? Which types of clients does Senior Consultants serve?
TB: The primary characteristic of our firm is the personal endeavour of every partner to achieve the maximum benefit for the client in the given situation. A client’s satisfaction is our main objective and the feeling of work well done is our motivation. We give every client, be it a private person or a big international company, the same level of attention. Our firm’s target group consists mostly of entrepreneurs and companies with a foreign element, but our domestic clientele continues to grow as well. We work at a top professional level in German as well as English language, while charging a complaisant fee, and we offer an individual and personal approach to our clients. Thus, we represent a suitable alternative compared to big international firms.
It is common for lawyers abroad to specialise in one specific field. In the context of specialisation, how do you perceive legal services in Slovakia, or Slovak lawyers?
MS: In this field, Slovakia has seen a distinct shift in recent years, with more lawyers specialising in specific spheres. In the future, an increase in such specialisation can be expected, which we consider one of the keys to success. Therefore, our partners specialise in individual fields of law. The application of European Union law offers us the chance to participate in international and other foreign legal projects and proceedings, in spite of the Slovak market being limited and relatively overseeable.
EP: Mainly real-estate law, transport law, private equity and financial law. We are further increasing our focus on medical law and industrial property. Of course, we also represent clients in more basic cases, for example, corporate law and recovery of claims/debts.
The sphere of mergers and acquisitions is an important segment in your agenda. Are there any specific issues in this sphere in Slovakia that a client from an international environment should be prepared for?
MS: Yes, in Slovakia a high degree of administrative burden still prevails, and there are numerous requirements for documentation with many individual – and even simple – steps. For example, a whole set of documents is necessary for a successful merger or even an ordinary transfer of shares, which is surprising – at the very least – to foreign entrepreneurs. Legally, missing documentation can invalidate an entire transaction. Thus, it is crucial to be aware of each formal aspect of any transaction.
After long discussions, the final wording of the construction law is being prepared. What, in your view, are the biggest challenges that the new norm will bring?
TB: Of course, during the preparation and approval of any new code, various discussions and polemics arise about the advantages or disadvantages of the new norm. Expectations for the new construction law are big, and the fears that the current state might worsen are unceasing. The challenges for the new norm are mainly increasing settlement control and enforceability of construction decisions, the fight against illegal constructions, speeding up construction and approval procedures, eliminating excessive administrative burden and maybe even introducing construction police, etc. Critics of the proposed wording mostly take issue with the law because of blanket legalisation of illegal constructions and intervention into private ownership rights through new authorities of construction offices. Whether and how these goals can be fulfilled can be predicted from the wording of the law and seen from the ensuing practice.
The legal services market is constantly changing. Are there perhaps any areas which you would like to focus more on in the future?
EP: In the future, we plan to expand our focus on medical law, transport law, logistics and the industrial property law. These are interesting and dynamically developing spheres of law in which we have already gained a rich experience and we want to focus on them further. We believe that a pro-active approach to further specialisation of our lawyers will surely be beneficial to our clients.
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