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Legal market overview
Hungary’s law firms experienced another quiet transactional year against an economic backdrop of rising inflation and contracting GDP, as well as a looming IMF bailout. Fewer deals to be done, as well as a lack of direct foreign investment – due in part to a new crisis tax – and the reluctance of local banks to lend money resulted in a dearth of new-money financing for most firms, and bond issues and real estate developments were also down. Controversial government legislation and mass redundancies were two key drivers of litigation, which produced a large number of instructions for powerhouse local disputes practices Nagy és Trócsányi Ügyvédi Iroda and Szecskay Attorneys at Law. Hungary’s competition authority, Gazdasági Versenyhivatal, sharpened its gaze on cartel investigations, which played to the strengths of the antitrust practices at firms such as Kajtár Takács Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker & McKenzie and Oppenheim. The introduction of a Civil Code, a revised data protection act and the New Labour Code resulted in many clients seeking regulatory advice from the employment and TMT practices of Andrékó Kinstellar, CMS and Réczicza White & Case LLP, among others. Gide Loyrette Nouel saw a change in management, with Eszter Kamocsay-Berta and Ákos Kovách now co-heading the Budapest office.