Legal Market Overview
Notwithstanding the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a well-received vaccination push has led to a broad return to public life in the Czech Republic. While economic growth has not yet returned to a pre-pandemic pace, the European Commission projects a 3% GDP growth for the nation over the next year.
The overall legislative environment in the country towards the end of 2021 was impacted by elections. With Andrej Babiš’ ANO party being ousted by Petr Fiala’s SPOLU alliance, planned legislation will not be enacted until at least early 2022 when a new government is formed. As such, adoptions of EU whistleblowing mandates, as well as potential further digital business regulation, will be on hold. Another key piece of legislation to note is the Czech construction act, which is seen as an attempt to smooth the relationship between builders and municipalities, as well as create a more efficient corridor for dispute settlement.
Elsewhere, the Czech real estate market is gaining momentum, with private equity and real estate investment funds monitoring the market for investment opportunities. In the residential property arena, investors are aiming to transform a number of prime properties into either long-term rental opportunities or into short term rentals. Finally, PPPs are becoming more common from a central government perspective, with the D4 roadways project already underway. While a number of municipal PPPs are being undertaken, there seems to be greater national interest in utilising the model for other major infrastructure goals.
Off the back of the Czech Republic’s recovery from Covid-19, M&A activity has been surging, with the technology and media sectors bouncing back in a particularly strong fashion. In addition to working on these deals, firms have been providing significant degrees of governance advice to clients relating to the necessities of vaccination regimes. This includes data protection work deriving from vaccines and company safety mandates, which has partly driven the TMT practices of a number of locations.
The legal market includes a mix of well-regarded international firms (Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy, CMS, White & Case, s.r.o., advokátní kancelář) who act for both noteworthy domestic clients as well as multinational corporations. Regional firms such as Kinstellar, Skils s.r.o. advokátní kancelář and PRK Partners often act for high-end domestic clients, as well as European companies seeking to do business in the country. Most major national firms also do business in Slovakia as well, due to the countries’ shared history.