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Hungary

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Editorial

Legal market overview

Hungary’s economy continued to improve in 2016, with most law firms being cautiously optimistic about 2017. The M&A market revived significantly in Hungary and across the CEE region. Although private equity has been comparatively quiet, it has seen some resurgence since 2014. The IT and technology sectors continue to be appealing for strategic buyers and private equity investors.

The Hungarian state and state-owned entities play a central role in the M&A market as active participants in deals, particularly in the energy and financial services sectors. Major transactions included the sale of the Budapest Stock Exchange by Austrian shareholders – who previously held a 68.8% stake – to the Hungarian National Bank.

A boom in the commercial real estate sector, especially in the office building segment, has been driven by foreign investment, although there has also been an uptick in local investment.

The legal market witnessed a number of personnel changes during 2015 and 2016. In a notable shake-up, corporate and competition specialists Ádám Máttyus and Eszter Ritter joined Lakatos, Köves and Partners from Andrékó Kinstellar.

A mix of strong local, regional and international firms compete in Hungary. The associated law offices of the Big Four accounting firms also continue to make strides, increasingly establishing themselves in various fields including commercial, corporate and M&A work, tax and financing.

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