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Editorial

Legal market overview

The general improvement in the lending environment in the CEE region has resulted in an increasing flow of cross-border transactions, often involving more than one lender. Despite this increase in multi-jurisdictional work, the Hungarian market continues to be dominated by domestic deals, where the Hungarian state and state-owned entities are major players in the M&A market, particularly in the financial services and energy sectors. The IT and technology sectors continue to be attractive to private equity and other institutional investors.

Real estate transactions dominate the Hungarian deal market, where local and foreign investors are active; key targets for investors include commercial and office buildings, industrial sites and shared service centres. The banking sector has also generated a considerable number of transactions through the sale of local, regional and international non-performing loans.

Significant projects work includes the construction of the Hungarian section of a railway line linking Budapest with Belgrade in Serbia, which is undertaken by a consortium led by China Railway Group.

Major new legislative developments of note include the Hungarian Arbitration Act, which is effective from 1 January 2018 and comprises several significant structural changes impacting on Hungarian commercial arbitration.

The legal market includes a mix of local, regional and international firms. Of note was the closure of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP's Budapest office. The entire team joined Knight Bird & Bird Iroda. Elsewhere, the associated law offices of the Big Four accounting firms continue to expand steadily, hiring practitioners to further bolster their commercial, corporate and M&A, finance, intellectual property and tax offerings.

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