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Legal market overview
Slovakia’s economy has seen some recent signs of recovery. Although the M&A market is still rather slow, firms have recently observed an influx of investors from Central and Eastern Europe, which, along with local investors, are filling the gap that the West left behind. Banking and finance lawyers are being kept busy with restructuring and refinancing work, as well as a strong flow of acquisition finance instructions. Capital markets activity has focused on bond issuances. The real estate sector is slowly picking up, although divergent price expectations between sellers and buyers remains a problem, and new development activity is limited. Moreover, the 2012 collapse of the infamous Trinity project did not send positive signals to foreign investors.
The top end of the Slovak legal market is a mix of domestic and international firms, as well as arrangements where local lawyers have associations with or de facto membership of European law firms. Cechova & Partners, Ruzicka Csekes s.r.o. in association with members of CMS in Bratislava and CHSH Siska & Partners S. R. O. Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati are leading players, with Allen & Overy Bratislava, s.r.o. and White & Case s.r.o standing out as the leading international firms in the market. Peterka & Partners and bnt Attorneys-at-law are also present in the market and maintain a strong presence across Central and Eastern Europe. A number of young Slovak spin-off firms are establishing their market position.