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Legal market overview
Positive messages from the Hungarian market included the full repayment of the country’s IMF loan in August 2013, but the weakening of the forint and sectoral taxation to the detriment of foreign investment mean the market outlook remains uncertain.
With certain taxation aimed at financial institutions and the lack of foreign investment contributing to the ongoing dearth of new-money financing, many law firms have shifted their focus from new projects to restructurings and refinancings of existing transactions. The real estate market remained quiet, as did the energy sector, which has been badly hit by the government’s push to lower energy prices.
The state has become an increasingly important player in the market, with recent transactions including its acquisition of stakes in two local banks, and state-owned energy group MVM’s acquisition of E.ON’s natural gas division; these and other examples ensured that law firms with connections to state entities remained busy through 2012-13. Firms with strong competition law practices also had an active year, with headline matters including the Hungarian Competition Office’s continuing cartel investigation into foreign exchange mortgage loans.
Among the prominent international law firms are Andrékó Kinstellar, CMS, Horváth & Partners DLA Piper, Kajtár Takács Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker & McKenzie Ügyvédi Iroda and Réczicza White & Case LLP. Leading independent firms include Nagy és Trócsányi Ügyvédi Iroda, Oppenheim and Szecskay Attorneys at Law.
Legal Business: country analysis
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
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Hungary's new law on information security will plug a hole in existing legislation, but may prove to be excessive in addressing security issues.
In 2013, Hungary has introduced a 10% household utilities price cut in the field of electricity, gas and district heating. To ensure thorough enforcement of the price cuts, the country's energy regulator was restructured and several barriers were set to prevent energy companies from passing on these burdens to consumers.
This guide provides the international practitioner and in-house counsel with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of the laws and regulations of real estate. This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Real Estate; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. www.iclg.co.uk )
Hungary seeks to impose a 35% withholding tax on offshore assets.
The complicated Hungarian legislation on domestic company mergers can cause headaches, including in cross-border mergers. These headaches result mostly from the fundamental differences between Hungarian law and the national laws of other EU member states, which remain applicable alongside the harmonised rules for cross-border mergers.
On 9 July, the Hungarian Government adopted Act CXVI of 2012 on Financial Transactions Tax, which levies tax on payment services. The Hungarian government claims that this new tax - which is also being referred to as a "financial transaction levy" - is aimed at supplementing the extraordinary tax levied on Hungarian credit institutions. The tax comes into effect and will be payable as of 1 January 2013.
A recent second instance judgment by the Metropolitan Court of Appeal (“Court of Appeal”) provides some interesting insight into the court’s approach in cartel matters. The case before the Court of Appeal concerned the second instance review of a first instance judgment that annulled certain parts of the decision of the Hungarian Competition Office (the “HCO”).
Hungary is the first country in the CEE region to introduce the real estate investment trust (REIT) regime on the back of US and Western European examples. The new REIT regime took effect on 27 July 2011.
After the publication of the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) by the European Commission, the Hungarian Presidency undertook to implement the first ever "European Semester" a six-month period of each year in which Member States' budgetary and structural policies are reviewed to identify any inconsistencies and emerging imbalances, so as to facilitate coordination before major budgetary decisions are finalised.
BANKING & FINANCE . REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION . PROCUREMENT & REGULATORY . EMPLOYMENT & PENSIONS
Bär & Karrer was elected Switzerland M&A Legal Adviser of the Year at yesterday's annual Mergermarket M&A Awards. Based on a comprehensive analysis of Mergermarket's league tables, the judging panel chose Bär & Karrer from among seven shortlisted Swiss and international law firms that were particularly active in the Swiss M&A market in 2014.
Alexander Lavrentyev, head of the VEGAS LEX Fuel and Energy Group, has spoken at the XI Professional Energy Forum, Generation, Networks and Sales , about default supplier's breach of contract without disruption of supplies
The patent attorneys at Boult Wade Tennant are well known for their expertise and advocacy skills for both contentious and non-contentious matters before the European Patent Office. In November 2014 alone, Boult Wade Tennant attorneys attended over 29 oral proceedings in Munich or The Hague.
The VEGAS LEX law firm and First Infrastructure Company InfraONE are performing comprehensive consultancy and support services for the concession grantor at the financial close phase of the project to introduce fees for 12-plus ton vehicles.
VEGAS LEX, InfraONE take part in meeting of Transport Ministry Taskforce on Extending Moscow Air HubOn November 27, 2014, the Transport Ministry Investment Coordination Council's** Taskforce on Extending the Moscow Air Hub (MAH) Experience to Regional Airports* led by VEGAS LEX Partner Albert Eganyan , chairman of the InfraONE Board of Directors, held its first meeting.
Russian rating of law firms Pravo.Ru-300 recognizes VEGAS LEX as one of Russia's leading law firms, ranking us among top-tier law firms in various categories.
The VEGAS LEX Volga Directorate has organized a roundtable on important theoretical and practical aspects of challenging transactions during bankruptcy proceedings.
VEGAS LEX experts have discussed personal and corporate fraud risk management with business executives