With a growing tech sector, an increasingly attractive real estate market, and a significant number of energy and infrastructure projects, Hungarian law firms report a strong year for transactional activity. Big-ticket cross-border M&A remain prevalent, however local deals continue to be a focus of corporate practices.
The real estate sector continues to see a substantial amount of activity. Despite a number of strategic portfolio disposals, there is increasing demand for new developments and for existing commercial buildings. As property prices rise, Budapest continues to be an attractive prospect for international real estate investors, and the automotive and hospitality sectors are also benefitting from increasing interest.
The promotion of renewable energy projects in Hungary has translated into a spike in energy sector transactions; many firms report an increase in solar projects and expect this trend to continue into 2019. Elsewhere, a new Civil Procedure Act has impacted dispute resolution practices as it aims to modernise processes to increase efficiency; it places greater emphasis on the preparatory stage of disputes. TMT departments report a significant amount of transactional and restructuring activity, and the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation led to a surge in data protection and data privacy instructions.
Home to local and international law firms, Hungary’s legal market has seen significant changes in the past few years, such as the exit of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP at the beginning of 2018. There have been several key lateral moves in the market, notably the departure of a team from Wilkinson European Community Jurist Office/Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, including former corporate and M&A head Ákos Erős, to Wolf Theiss Faludi Erős Ügyvédi Iroda; Noerr's recent hire of Ákos Mátés-Lányi from Andrékó Kinstellar, to head its corporate and M&A team; and the arrival of Ildikó Csák at KPMG Legal Tóásó Law Firm.