Central and Eastern Europe 2017 – GC Powerlist
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Central and Eastern Europe 2017

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  • Powerlist

Adina Calfa-Dudoiu

Legal director | Rosia Montana Gold Corporation

Materials and mining

With over 14 years of experience in both private practice services and in-house legal counselling, Adina Calfa Dudoiu has experience of handling legal matters in the mining, telecommunication, media, audio-visual...

Adrienne Benedek

Legal director | Generali CEE Holding

Financials

Serving as Philips’s first in-house lawyer in Central Eastern Europe since 1996, Dr. Adrienne Benedek is responsible for establishing the internal legal function in the region and over several years...

Agnieszka Deeg-Tyburska

General counsel, director of legal, organisational, compliance and IP division | Polpharma Group

Healthcare

Starogard Gdanski-based pharmaceutical company Polpharma manufactures genetic drugs used in cardiology, gastroenterology and neurology. Besides providing full legal support to the company’s seven manufacturing plants, Agnieszka Deeg-Tyburska is in charge...

Agnieszka Modras

Chief legal counsel | Bank Pocztowy

Financials

Leading a team of 10 individuals in her role as chief legal counsel at Bank Pocztowy, Agnieszka Modras has displayed her outstanding legal knowledge and business-centric advice Since moving in-house...

Alan Neradny

Country legal and compliance counsel and local legal team lead | accenture

Commercial and professional services

Accenture requires little in the way of introduction, being the first name most will think of when it comes to management consultancy, and some of the company’s current statistics are...

Aleksandra Popovic

Director of legal affairs (Serbia and Macedonia) | Atlantic Group

Food, beverages and tobacco

As the director of legal affairs for Atlantic Grupa, one of the leading food companies in the region, Aleksandra Popovic has spearheaded a number of its most pivotal and strategic...

Alexey Amvrosovs

Head of legal (Russia and CIS) and lead counsel (Global Business Services, CEE) | IBM

Information technology

IBM, the largest technology and consulting employer in the world, has been present in Russia and the CIS for over 40 years and is a leading provider of high-value solutions...

Andras Levai

Head of legal (CE), Ethics and Compliance (Hungary) | Tesco

Consumer products

Hungary was the location of British supermarket giant Tesco’s first foray into Central and Eastern European markets and where it established its first store in 1995. It has since expanded...

Andras Pete

Head of department | OTP Bank

Financials

As the head of the legal department of OTB Bank, the largest financial services provider in Hungary, Andras Pete is responsible for all its corporate legal and regulatory matters. No...

Andrey Osipov

Head of legal and corporate at lifecell | lifecell Ukraine

Telecommunication services

Described by a former colleague as ‘a deep-thinker with great analytical experience’ and praised heavily by peers for his attention to detail and superior communication skills, Andrey Osipov’s 17 years...

Andrzej Klimek

Head of legal department | Idea Leasing

Financials

Having overseen and implemented several changes in his current role, Andrzej Klimek, head of the legal and compliance department for financials company Idea Leasing has also participated in a number...

Andrzej Kurzydło

Head of legal department | BP Europa SE Polska

Energy and utilities

BP Europa SE was founded in 2010 after the merger of BP’s national organisations in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland together with Deutsche BP in Germany. The following year,...

Anna Atanasow

General counsel - global markets | CCC

Consumer products

CCC is the second largest Polish retailer and the market leader in the Polish footwear retail space, owning more than 67 registered brands of goods and operating over outlets across...

Anna Kamińska

Head of legal department | Grupa Pracuj

Information technology

Grupa Pracuj is an online recruitment internet company and job portal that operates within a market experiencing ‘very fast and constant changes and technological progress’ that requires business partners to...

Anna Ryzhova

General counsel | Ciklum Group

Information technology

Founded in 2002, Ciklum is a global Ukrainian software engineering and technology partner that delivers software engineering excellence to Fortune 500 and fast-growing organisations around the world. After a successful...

Anna Szczodra-Kowalczyk

Legal director | EDF Polska

Energy and utilities

Anna Szczodra-Kowalczyk has a reputation within the in-house market as a ‘very capable general counsel who has deep expertise of the market’ and is a ‘reliable, operative and very trustworthy...

Attila Bocsak

Head of legal | Turk Telekom International

Telecommunication services

Attila Bocsak oversees the legal and compliance functions of the entire CEE operation of Türk Telekom International (TTI), one of the leading regional telecommunications operators consisting of 14 companies and...

Bogdan Plesuvescu

Executive director, chief legal officer | Banca Transilvania

Financials

Bogdan Plesuvescu is the executive director and chief legal officer in Banca Transilvania, one of the three largest banks in Romania. Throughout the years Plesuvescu has occupied management roles with...

Borut Lekše

Deputy director-general for legal affairs and head of the legal service | Krka

Healthcare

Krka ranks among the top generic pharmaceutical companies in the world, primarily producing and selling prescription pharmaceuticals, non-prescription products and veterinary products in more than 70 countries. In the position...

Božidar Ristić

Manager of legal services department | Jubanka

Financials

A lawyer of 29 years, Božidar Ristić, currently serves as the manager of the legal and general services division of Jubanka, one of the leading banks in Serbia that provides...

Christopher Fischer

General counsel EMEA | Western Union

Financials

Christopher Fischer is an outstanding international business lawyer with upwards of 20 years of experience of managing legal affairs at major blue chip corporations. Currently serving as vice president and...

Danijela Popadic

General counsel and company secretary | Air Serbia

Transport and infrastructure

General counsel and company secretary for Air Serbia, Danijela Popadic has led the Serbian flag carrier’s in-house legal team on a number of novel and complex deals. Most recently he...

Dariusz Chudy

General counsel CEE | BNP Paribas Real Estate

Financials

Head of legal at international investment bank BNP Paribas’ Central and Eastern European real estate business is Dariusz Chudy, who, according to a private practice source has ‘an extensive experience...

Dawid Książczak

Chief legal officer | AmRest

Hotels

AmRest Holdings is the largest independent restaurant operator in Central and Eastern Europe with a growing international presence, operating nearly 1,450 category restaurants with 30,000 employees. Since its formation in...

Denis Golubovich

Head of HR and legal department | ERGO Group

Financials

ERGO’s Denis Golubovich is a multidimensional lawyer capable of seamlessly navigating cross-functional teams and implementing new process innovations to achieve speed and efficiency when delivering legal advice. Having headed the...

Denys Melnykov

Head of legal department and department of land relations | UKRPROMINVEST-AGRO

Food, beverages and tobacco

During the last calendar year at the powerful agro-industrial producer in Ukraine, UKRPROMINVEST-AGRO, Denys Melnykov contributed directly to the registration of 15,000 land lease contracts, alleviating the risk of loss...

Dominik Wolski

Head of legal department | Jeronimo Martins

Consumer products

‘An extremely well-rounded and adaptable in-house legal professional’, is how one nominator describes Dominik Wolski, director of the legal department for Poland at food and consumer products group Jerónimo Martins....

Dominika Niewiadomska-Siniecka

Head of legal | P4 (Play Mobile)

Telecommunication services

One of Poland’s leading in-house lawyers in the telecommunications sector, Dominika Niewiadomska-Siniecka receives praise from peers for her reliability and initiative, as well as her in-depth understanding of several areas...

Drahomira Brejchova

General counsel (Czech Republic) | L'Oréal

Consumer products

A highly versatile lawyer who has spent time at a number of prominent companies in in-house roles and spent time in legal academia to boot, Drahomira Brejchova became general counsel...

Edit Rosta

General counsel (Central Region) | 3M

Industrials and real estate

Managing legal affairs for Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic for the US multinational conglomerate 3M is general counsel (Central Region) Edit Rosta. Since taking the role in 2016 she...

Ekaterina Kovachevich

Legal coordinator CEE | Rewe Group

Consumer products

REWE Group, a German diversified retail and tourism co-operative, has a number of significant operations in Central and Eastern Europe through its portfolio of companies. Among them is Billa, the...

Ervin Shpori

Chief legal, regulation and competition officer | Albtelecom

Telecommunication services

Established 105 years ago as Albania’s state telecommunications services company, Albtelecom has grown into the country’s largest fixed-line telephone business operating a fibre optic network throughout all major Albanian cities....

Ferdinand Trauttenberg

Head of group legal and compliance officer | Abfall Service

Commercial and professional services

Abfall Service is Austria’s leading waste management company, providing broad general waste solutions for the municipal, industrial, commercial and retail sectors as well as for domestic households. In the capacity...

Florian Wirth

General counsel, head of group strategy and group compliance officer | Lenzing Group

Materials and mining

Headquartered in Austria and with a history dating back almost 80 years, Lenzing Group is a world leader in supplying the global textile and nonwovens industry with high-quality, botanic cellulose...

Gábor Kukovecz

Company secretary and legal counsel Hungary (head of legal) | Diageo

Food, beverages and tobacco

As the company secretary, legal counsel and head of legal at Diageo Hungary, Gábor Kukovecz, leads a team of 10 professionals to provide various legal services within the Diageo Group...

Gabriela Popescu

Legal attorney, Romania | Microsoft

Information technology

Gabriela Popescu is one of Romania’s most experienced in-house legal professionals, boasting a career of over 20 years managing legal affairs at leading multinational companies. In October 2017, she joined...

Gligorije Brajkovic

Head of legal department | UniCredit Bank Serbia

Financials

UniCredit Bank Serbia offers local expertise, an international reach and accompanies and supports its clients globally by providing clients with access to leading banks. Gligorije Brajkovic is the head of...

Gracjana Jakubowska-Szarek

Legal advisor and head of commercial finance (Poland) | Siemens Finance

Financials

One of the top Polish financial sector lawyers, Gracjana Jakubowska-Szarek has impressed with her work on restructuring the scope of the legal department at Siemens Finance. Since joining the company...

Grzegorz Marzec

Head of legal | Bank Millennium

Financials

Bank Millennium has been providing universal financial services to clients from all segments of the market through its nationwide network of branches, individual advisors and electronic banking channels for 25...

Iliana Byanova

Chief legal and compliance officer | First Investment Bank (Fibank)

Financials

Headquarted in Sofia, Fibank aspires to be one of the finest banks in Bulgaria and the Balkan region. Iliana Byanova has been at the bank, one of Bulgaria’s largest, since...

Ioana (Bosinceanu) Regenbogen

Director, head of legal and corporate affairs | ING Bank Amsterdam Bucharest Branch

Financials

Ioana Regenbogen is the director and head of legal and corporate affairs for ING Bank Amsterdam Bucharest Branch, the Romanian company that operates as a branch of Dutch multinational financial...

Iwona Gajek

Country legal head and managing director of legal line | Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas

Financials

Leading a team of approximately 60 people including 40 lawyers, Iwona Gajek, country legal head and managing director of legal line for the Polish branch of BNP Paribas, has a...

Jacek Jastrzębski

Deputy head of legal | PKO Bank Polski

Financials

Bright and dynamic in-house lawyer Jacek Jastrzębski has been praised by sources for his ‘broad knowledge and skills’, his participation in leadership discussions of complex problems and his generation of...

Jakub Kudła

Head of legal | Ringier Axel Springer Poland and Onet

Healthcare

Established as a joint venture between Swiss Ringier and German Axel Springer, Ringier Axel Springer Media manages 165 digital and print products in several expanding markets in the CEE region....

Jan Klouda

General counsel | Vodafone Czech Republic

Telecommunication services

Now with over three million customers, Vodafone Czech Republic is one of the largest mobile providers in the country, and is at the forefront of technological innovation in this highly...

Jan Pitonak

Chief legal and corproate affairs officer | Slovak Telekom

Telecommunication services

Part of Deutsche Telekom, Slovak Telekom is the largest telecommunications and multimedia company operating in Slovakia. Having joined the company back in 2010, current chief legal and corporate affairs officer...

János Miklós Jakab

Legal director | Coca Cola HBC

Food, beverages and tobacco

Able to speak in English, German and Japanese in addition to his native Hungarian, János Miklós Jakab is a talented individual with a ‘huge drive’ and ‘positive attitude’ according to...

Joanna Krawczyk-Nasiłowska

General counsel (CEE) | Ghelamco Poland

Industrials and real estate

Ghelamco Poland is a constituent in the Polish real estate industry having operated in the country since 1991 and has since become one of the leading commercial real estate companies...

Judit Pettkó-Szandtner

Chief legal counsel | UniCredit Bank Hungary

Financials

Judit Pettkó-Szandtner has worked in Hungary’s banking sector for more than twenty years and currently leads the Hungarian legal department of UniCredit Bank as chief legal counsel. She initially joined...

Julia Friebel

General counsel | OMV

Energy and utilities

International, integrated oil and gas company, OMV is one of Austria’s largest industrial companies with over 24,000 employees. Head of all legal affairs and corporate governance matters at this industry...

Kalman Molnar

General counsel | Unilever Hungary

Consumer products

Kalman Molnar is one of the most experienced legal professionals in Hungary having served as an in-house counsel at the global consumer goods company Unilever since 1994. Having joined the...

Karel Budka

General counsel | Invia

Hotels

General counsel since June 2016 of the largest internet-based travel company in the Czech Republic, Invia, Karel Budka emphasises the ‘cross border character of [his] work involving all major economies...

Katie Schoultz

Group general counsel | P3 Logistic Parks

Industrials and real estate

A high-powered lawyer with a formidable legal skillset built from operating at the upper echelons of the profession, Katie Schoultz is a hugely respected legal professional who transitioned from an...

Katja Tautscher

Chief legal and procurement officer | Borealis

Materials and mining

As Borealis’ chief legal and procurement officer, Katja Tautscher is accountable for all legal affairs, insurance matters as well as the ethics and compliance programme for the entire Group. Tautscher...

Libor Vojtek

General counsel | Tatra

Consumer products

Tatra is an extremely prestigious Czech company, being the second-longest running automobile manufacturer in the world. It has pioneered a number of innovations in the industry since its inception, including...

Lucie Anna Melková

General counsel - legal, regulatory and corporate affairs | CRIF

Commercial and professional services

Italian-headquartered CRIF is a credit bureau and business information services provider with a presence on four continents. Lucie Anna Melková is general counsel for the Czech Credit Bureau arm of...

Lucie Kovacova

CE legal director | Tesco Central Europe

Consumer products

With over a decade’s tenure at international supermarket giant Tesco, Central Europe legal director Lucie Kovacova knows the company’s sprawling operations inside out. Beginning her career with Tesco as a...

Lucie Kubenova

Head of legal | Sanofi

Healthcare

Dynamic lawyer, Lucie Kubenova leads the legal team of Sanofi in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Upon joining the company in August 2014 Kubenova to the position of legal director,...

Luka Pavleković

Legal sector director | INA Group

Energy and utilities

A leader in the exploration, production and processing of oil and gas, INA Group holds a dominant position in Croatia’s oil market. Describing his move to the company in 2009,...

Łukasz Sławatyniec

General counsel (CEE) | Eli Lilly and Company

Healthcare

Nominated for his outstanding advice to leading pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, Łukasz Sławatyniec dispenses commercially-minded, timely and accurate legal advice in his role of general counsel for the Central and...

Maceij Szczepański

Head of legal | OLX Poland

Consumer products

A highly-respected in-house legal counsel Maciej Szczepański has a formidable academic legal resume to accompany his significant professional achievements. Aside from postgraduate and doctoral studies in a range of subjects...

Marcin Czapiewski

Head of legal and compliance department | TU Europa. and TU na Życie Europ

Consumer products

An excellent lawyer with a range of experience across various in-house legal roles, Marcin Czapiewski leads a 14-person team of lawyers that provide support to two large insurance companies, TU...

Marko Denadic

Head of international legal department | Strabag

Industrials and real estate

Marko Denadic is an International construction lawyer and managing director with CML Construction Services, a service company within the Strabag Group, one of the world leading construction companies. The focus...

Martin Letko

Legal director | Unipetrol

Energy and utilities

Now in charge of an 18-person in-house legal team at major Czech oil company Unipetrol, general counsel Martin Letko cooperates closely with other elements of the company’s operations, as well...

Martin Lisa

General counsel Czech Republic | Atos IT Solutions and Services

Information technology

IT services powerhouse ATOS’ presence reaches worldwide from the company’s dual headquarters in Bezons and Munich. Utilising its information technology base, the company is a world leader in cutting edge...

Martin Matula

General counsel | CPI Property Group

Industrials and real estate

Leading on perhaps the most significant real estate deal of the year in Central and Eastern Europe, general counsel of CPI Property Group Martin Matula can look back on an...

Martin Strnad

General counsel | Y Soft Corporation

Information technology

In charge of a compact but highly efficient team, Martin Strnad operates a very close relationship with other business units and favours a policy of collaboration at all times. Preferring...

Maryna Korniyenko

Legal counsel | STB

Sports and media

STB (Ukrainian: СТБ) is Ukraine’s leading television network that covers 85% of the country’s territory. Maryna Korniyenko joined the company over 10 years ago, supervising the activity of the channel...

Mateusz Bączkowski

Acting director of legal | LOT Polish Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

Established in 1929, Warsaw based LOT Polish Airlines is the flag carrier of Poland and one of the world’s oldest airlines still in operation. Acting director of the legal department...

Mateusz Wrzesinski

Legal director (Eastern Europe and Middle East Africa) | Bacardi

Food, beverages and tobacco

Bacardi is served in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa regions by legal director Mateusz Wrzesinski, who brought almost a decade of top international law firm experience upon joining...

Michaela Jandova

General counsel (Central Europe) | Deloitte Legal

Commercial and professional services

Now the Central European general counsel for Deloitte, Michaela Jandova has proven herself time and again to be capable of succeeding at a wide range of in-house legal roles during...

Mihaela Popescu

Legal and compliance director | Getback Recovery Romania

Financials

Beginning her career in 1999 in the Financial and Private Equity Fund division of a Romanian bank, gave Mihaela Popescu the opportunity to gain experience in the highly competitive environment...

Mihaela Scarlatescu

Head of legal and compliance department | A&D Pharma (Central and Eastern Europe)

Healthcare

With over ten years of in-house experience, Mihaela Scarlatescu stands out for her success as a leader in the pharmaceutical industry with a wide range of previous experience in representing...

Milan Lomić

General counsel (Adriatic and Balkan) | L'Oréal

Consumer products

As L’Oréal’s general counsel for the Adriatic and Balkan region, Milan Lomic is responsible for setting up and developing L’Oréal’s legal function in the region, covering Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria...

Minerva Ionita

Legal team leader | Arctic

Consumer products

Starting her legal profession at a private practice, Minerva Ionita had plans to cultivate her professional expertise and for this reason chose to work for a multinational company when joining...

Miroslav Bašta

Legal director | Generali CEE Holding

Financials

Miroslav Bašta has had a long and glittering career in the in-house legal ranks. Though he had a successful three year spell with CSOB as a treasury lawyer, his most...

Mirosław Świerk

Head of legal | Samsung Electronics Polska

Consumer products

Starting off as a legal advisor within the Polish business of Samsung Electronics in 2014, Mirosław Świerk has quickly progressed through its ranks, taking charge of the entire legal function...

Mirosław Zapała

Director of legal and administrative affairs | Teva Pharmaceuticals Polska

Healthcare

The Israeli multinational pharmaceutical company Teva Pharmaceuticals recently solidified its position as the leading generic drug manufacturer in the world by completing the acquisition of Actavis Generics (the generic drug...

Monika Głowacka-Różańska

Legal director (CE North) | GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

Healthcare

Having an immediate impact at the pharmaceutical giant upon starting in the role of head of legal consumer healthcare CE North, Monika Głowacka Różańska joined GSK in 2014 from Colgate...

Naďa (Mráčková) Matušíková

General counsel | Moravia

Commercial and professional services

One of the largest translation and localisation companies in the world, Moravia allows international companies to transition to international markets with unprecedented ease. It is by nature an international company,...

Nada Rostek-Spustova

Head of legal | Slovnaft

Energy and utilities

Based in Bratislava, Slovnaft is an oil refinery with Slovakia’s largest retail distribution network. At the helm of company’s legal function since 2016 is the experienced and talented head of...

Natalya Bondarenko

Director corporate affairs | Philip Morris Ukraine

Food, beverages and tobacco

The global cigarette and tobacco company, Philip Morris International (PMI), has been operating in Ukraine since 1994. Today it operates a state-of-the-art production facility in Kharkiv, manufacturing a range of...

Nikola Kavedžić

Head of legal department | Mirabank a.d. Beograd

Financials

Nicola Kavedžić heads the legal department of Mirabank, forming and defining the direction and workload of the entire function. A significant part of this defining process entails drafting the general...

Nikola Lapčević

Head of legal | Erste Bank Novi Sad

Financials

Erste Bank Novi Sad’s head of legal, Nikola Lapčević, has been mentioned by nominators for his extensive legal career within a number of leading financial companies. Lapčević joined Crédit Agricole...

Olga Lukyanova

Head of legal department, corporate governance and policy officer | Henkel Ukraine

Materials and mining

The German multinational company Henkel, which is active both in the consumer and industrial sector, has operated in Ukraine since 1998. Today, Henkel Ukraine has four production facilities and two...

Olga Prokopovych

General Legal Counsel, Eurasia Region | VEON

Telecommunication services

Beginning her career in 1997, Olga Prokopovych has developed into one of the most respected in-house lawyers in Ukraine. ‘In my almost 20 year legal career, I was fortunate to...

Pal Kara

General counsel | MOL Group

Energy and utilities

Having served as MOL Group’s vice president for legal and general counsel for the last 16 years, Pal Kara is a well-respected and highly experienced lawyer in Budapest, Hungary. MOL...

Pavel Kovářík

Head of legal department | ING Bank Česká republika

Financials

Earning his stripes as an in-house lawyer with Československá obchodní banka (ČSOB) from 2000 until 2002, Pavel Kovářík made the move to ING Bank Česká republika in early 2003, and...

Pavel Rozehnal

Chief legal officer and chairman of the board of directors | Home Credit International

Financials

With ultimate responsibility for a large legal team worldwide, chief legal officer of a global consumer finance institution Home Credit Group, Pavel Rozehnal is one of the most high-profile lawyers...

Peter Gyurovszky

Head of legal and compliance department | Ezpada

Energy and utilities

Peter Gyurovszky, head of legal and compliance for energy wholesaler Ezpada, is fully committed to in-house legal work despite a foray into private practice with Squire Sanders in the early...

Petr Dušek

General counsel | AXA Česká republika

Financials

Petr Dušek is a financial services legal specialist who has had a succession of impressive in-house legal roles at a number of reputable institutions. From 1994 until 2003, he was...

Petr Josefi

Senior Head of Legal Services | T-Mobile Czech Republic

Telecommunication services

T- Mobile is the largest mobile phone network in the Czech Republic, serving approximately 6 million customers in the country. The German-headquartered company has a rich history of serving Czech...

Petr Michník

Manager of legal department | Hyundai Motor Manufacturing

Consumer products

A highly experienced legal officer in the automotive sector, Petr Michnik is a Hyundai veteran that has been with the Czech arm of the company since its inception in 2006....

Petr Prouza

General counsel | Česká telekomunikační infrastruktura (CETIN)

Telecommunication services

Petr Prouza’s vast experience of legal work prior to his role with Česká telekomunikační infrastruktura (CETIN) was drawn exclusively from external legal roles at top international legal firms. Nevertheless, when...

Piotr Bielarczyk

Regional legal director Central Eastern Europe | Philips Lighting

Industrials and real estate

‘Be innovative and always try to see the broad perspective. Remember that in every effective company, business comes first before law. Therefore, lawyers ought to be business-oriented but in a...

Piotr Jakubowski

Head of legal department | Asseco Poland

Information technology

Piotr Jakubowski has been providing outstanding counsel in the corporate world since 1984, when he worked as an assistant in the executive board at Foundation Huk-Verband in Warsaw, and subsequently...

Radu Culic

Legal director | Roche Romania

Healthcare

Radu Culic currently services as the legal director for Roche Romania, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic research-based companies, offering clinically differentiated drugs in the field of oncology,...

Rafał Kwiatkowski

Board member and chief operations officer | Echo Polska Properties

Consumer products

Rafał Kwiatkowski, board member and chief operations officer has a multi-faceted role at leading real estate investment company Echo Polska Properties (EPP) that includes heading EPP’S legal operations. EPP was...

Rafał Poznalski

Head of legal and compliance department | LG Electronics (Central Europe)

Consumer products

South Korean multinational electronics company LG has a footprint in the Central European region, and leading the legal and compliance department in this operation is the highly-distinguished Rafał Poznalski, working...

Ramona Ene

Legal manager (Romania and Bulgaria) | Cargill

Industrials and real estate

Starting her first in-house experience with Cargill ten years ago, Ramona Ene has stuck to this role ever since, claiming that she fell in love with the industry and company...

Richard Bacek

General counsel | Siemens Česká republika

Industrials and real estate

Richard Bacek moved to Siemens in 2009 off the back of a highly impressive private practice career that saw him rise to the level of local partner with CMS Cameron...

Sergey Fominykh

Deputy CEO, director of legal and corporate affairs | Naftna Industrija Srbije

Energy and utilities

As deputy CEO, director of legal and corporate affairs for Naftna Industrija Srbije (NIS), a Serbian multinational oil and gas company, Fominykh has been involved covering all legal matters relating...

Simon Baier

Head of legal services | Austrian Airlines

Transport and infrastructure

A subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group, Austrian Airlines is Austria’s national flag carrier and largest airline operating a worldwide network of around 130 destinations. In Central and Eastern Europe alone,...

Sławomir Łoboda

Vice president of the management board and head of legal | LPP

Consumer products

As the largest garment producer in Central and Eastern European region, LPP operates a network of over 1,700 stores, including a flagship store on London’s Oxford Street and 20 stores...

Sorina Ilie

Head of legal | Agrana Romania

Food, beverages and tobacco

Austrian food company Agrana has operated in Romania since 1998 and is now a company listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange market, and the country’s most important sugar producer with...

Srdjan Sisic

Legal director | Telenor Serbia

Telecommunication services

Srdjan Sisic currently serves as the legal director for Telenor Serbia, Telenor’s wholly owned subsidiary and the country’s largest mobile operator. Sisic has consistently displayed his competence by being dually...

Stanisława Świst-Zawada

Legal counsel, head of legal and compliance | LINK4

Financials

Stanisława Świst-Zawada leads a team of 12 individuals at insurance company LINK4, a company she returned to in October 2016 after a previous nine-year tenure there from 2002 to the...

Stefan Orosi

Head of legal and compliance | Prima Banka Slovensko

Financials

Stefan Orosi is deemed a talented business-orientated legal counsel by peers, with vast in-house legal and management experience in the banking sector. His legal career encapsulates an abundance of senior...

Svitlana Romanova

Chief legal officer and general counsel | Metinvest

Materials and mining

Based in Ukraine, Metinvest is an international vertically integrated mining and metallurgical group of companies that manages every stage in the production chain of value creation, from the extraction of...

Szilvia Bognar

General counsel (law and compliance) | Bayer Hungária

Healthcare

Having a presence in the country for over 100 years, German conglomerate Bayer currently operates all of its Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Health and Crop Science divisions in Hungary. Bayer Hungária’s general...

Tetyana Moroko

Legal director | Bel Shostka Ukraine

Food, beverages and tobacco

Part of the French Le Groupe Bel, Bel Shostka Ukraine is a leader in Ukraine’s cheese market. After joining Bel Shostka Ukraine in 1994, Tatyana Moroko has simultaneously risen through...

Thomas Schobel

General Counsel Austria and CEE | Siemens

Industrials and real estate

With vast resources, German conglomerate Siemens is able to recruit the most talented counsels for senior legal positions within its organisation. Managing legal topics for Siemens in Austria and 19...

Tobiasz Adam Kowalczyk

Head of legal | Volkswagen

Consumer products

Described by one nominator as ‘one of the best figures among the Polish general counsel’, Tobiasz Adam Kowalczyk indeed has an impressive portfolio to support this statement. A results driven...

Vladislav Nikolov

General counsel | Overgas

Energy and utilities

An experienced lawyer in the fields of competition, negotiations and litigation, Vladislav Nikolov was appointed general counsel at EnduroSat, one of the few global companies producing small satellites, in the...

Wojciech Stromczynski

Legal counsel, legal director | PZL Mielec

Industrials and real estate

Since joining PZL Mielec, a subsidiary of the American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, in 2009 Wojciech Stromczynski has worked on providing day-to-day advice and timely resolution of issues that...

Wolfgang Hussian

General counsel | Porr

Industrials and real estate

Since its founding in Vienna in 1869, PORR has grown into one of the largest construction companies in Europe and Austria’s biggest building contractor in the domestic building industry. As...

Yaroslav Teklyuk

Director for legal affairs and government regulations | Naftogaz of Ukraine

Energy and utilities

One of the largest companies in the country, Naftogaz of Ukraine is a leading fuel and energy company engaged in the full cycle for the production and distribution of gas...

Zita Tihanyi

Head of legal and compliance | Raiffeisen Bank

Financials

Having accrued over two decades of experience at notable financial institution Raiffeisen Bank, it is evident that Zita Tihanyi – in the role of the bank’s head of legal and...

Zoltan Fenyi

Head of legal | Sberbank Hungary

Financials

Zoltan Fényi currently serves as the general counsel for Sberbank Hungary – the domestic subsidiary of major state-owned Russian banking and financial services company, Sberbank. Leading the legal department for...

Zsuzsanna Lippai

Legal and compliance manager | Mercedes-Benz Hungária

Consumer products

Serving as the legal and compliance manager for Mercedes-Benz Hungária for the last ten years Dr. Zsuzsanna Lippai has gained much respect from peers in the industry. Among her key...

Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, many of the national economies in Central and Eastern European (CEE) have been steadily transitioning and today are flourishing thanks to investments led by EU development funds, a strong labour force and thriving activity in the Eurozone, the region’s key trading partner. Low unemployment rates are a particularly promising feature of CEE countries with Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania all below the European average and at their all-time low. Supportive fiscal policies are another factor in the region’s recent robust growth, with fiscal deficits being kept in check by strong government revenues resulting from the responsible management of economic progression.

Directly related to the economic growth in the region, companies operating in CEE have also been thriving over the last quarter of a century. The region now boasts a plethora of successful domestic and international businesses operating in all major sectors with financial services, energy, retail and telecommunications all representing major industries. In accommodating the growth of companies, in-house lawyers in CEE have had to adapt too. Transitioning from the traditional in-house role, many counsel in the region now enjoy positions as business partners with an expanding role of competencies supplementing knowledge of legal affairs with commercial nous.

The in-house lawyers contained within these pages, and on The Legal 500 website all possess excellent legal knowledge as a matter of course – they are all technically gifted and highly trained but this is not necessarily what sets them apart. Rather, it is their ability to utilise their legal knowledge strategically alongside keen business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success that place them among the top in-house legal counsel in the region.

I would like to express my personal thanks to our sponsors for supporting this publication: , Kochański Zięba & Partners, Aequo, Forgó, Damjanovic & Partners Law Firm, Gecić Law and Maravela|Asociaţii. A special mention must also be made for in-house lawyers that took time to speak to us throughout the process, and for the research team that worked on this GC Powerlist publication.

David Burgess
Publishing Director

Kochański Zięba & Partners

Kochański Zięba & Partners logo

We at Kochanski Zieba & Partners are very pleased to congratulate the general counsel who have been admitted to The Legal 500’s first GC Powerlist: Central and Eastern Europe. It is a privilege to support and facilitate a publication that celebrates the in-house function in a geographical region which is growing in significance.

We also wish to congratulate the nominated general counsels who this year did not make it to the list.

With a combined population of just under 200 million (roughly the equivalent of the UK, France and Germany combined), Central and Eastern Europe is a major legal market. It is easy to forget that many of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe have only existed as free markets for a period of no more than 30 years. The progress that has been made in this time is nothing short of remarkable.

The general counsels that have made it on this year’s list reflect this progress. An increasing number of multinational companies have established a dedicated in-house legal function to the Central and Eastern Europe market.

Moreover, there has been considerable recent growth in companies and funds operating in various industry sectors, emanating from the Central and Eastern European region now conducting business in the wider global economy. In-house lawyers at Central and Eastern European companies and funds now find themselves on a par with Western European and US in-house counsel in terms of the demands placed on them. To a greater extent they find themselves coordinating international legal teams, and are more and more involved in strategic decision making.

With a changing geopolitical and macroeconomic climate, the past year has been especially challenging. General counsels have needed to be abreast of legal developments and be adept at positively reacting to these, which makes this year’s list of counsels especially deserving of recognition.

Our firm is shaped to stand alongside our Polish clients from their inception and to provide comprehensive expert assistance to their general ounsel and in-house teams in the long term, to assist them in achieving their goals and objectives. It is our conviction that preserving long-standing relationships, allows us to understand their business and industry better, to understand their objectives, and in doing so we are not only able to adapt accordingly, but more importantly, to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in a fully trusted relationship at every step of their development both in Poland and on the international market.

An in-depth understanding of the Polish and Central European market means that we are also well-placed to assist in-house counsel of international companies and funds that operate in Poland, including those that have existed on the Polish market for some time, as well as those taking their first steps in what can be a volatile new market. Our aim is to pass on our knowledge, to educate, to foresee problems before they arise and to aid general counsels in the performance by adding value to their functions at every stage.

We look forward to continuing our good working relationships with general counsel, and embrace the possibility of working with general counsel that we are yet to have the opportunity of working with.

Once again, huge congratulations to everyone that made this year’s GC Powerlist: Central and Eastern Europe.

Aequo

Aequo logo

Aequo is honoured to partner with this very first GC Powerlist: Central and Eastern Europe. On behalf of our team – congratulations to the corporate counsels, dedicated legal professionals and in-house teams of the region recognised by this international ranking!

In the world’s ocean of data, The Legal 500 has gained a strong reputation as one of the most reputable, reliable and long-established sources of information enabling in-house counsel to make the right choice in selecting external legal advisors in many areas of expertise across various jurisdictions worldwide. It is often the case that clients view The Legal 500’s recognition as one of the key criteria in when selecting its legal panel.

Closely collaborating with general counsels, we appreciate the fact that the job of in-house lawyers is more challenging than ever before. Today, Ukraine is gaining much stronger momentum. It is open for business and improving its investment climate. GCs are becoming crucial to the success of local and international business.

Large-scale judicial, banking sector, corporate, competition and IP legislation reforms are all part of the government’s agenda aimed at deregulating entrepreneurial activity, improving the business climate, enhancing public sector governance and ensuring harmonisation of Ukrainian legislation with EU regulations. We are honoured to contribute to these reforms, as change of this magnitude will lay the foundations for long-term economic growth. As a result of these unprecedented reforms, in the first half of 2017 capital investment exceeded pre-crisis levels in Ukraine. This positive outcome is strengthening the position of Ukraine in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking.

In addition to legislative reforms, there is a boost in innovations in legal business. Albeit at its nascent stage, legaltech is also changing the way legal services are delivered and helping to ensure a competitive edge. Investment in legaltech is growing in Central and Eastern Europe. Law firms are looking for new ways of improving efficiency due to budget pressures and growing workloads.

At Aequo, we strongly believe and invest in innovations driving legal market growth. Recently we launched a first-of-a-kind outsourcing platform, AEQUO Friends. It’s focus is to react promptly to unplanned increases in work volumes, enhance business processes and improve the client care experience, as well as to build an effective talent pool and to ensure effective outstaffing of lawyers to clients in the future.

The launch of AEQUO Legal Tech Challenge, an annual innovation competition in legal services, pursues a number of ambitious goals challenging traditional views on the provision of legal services, and developing the legal industry through innovation and technology by creating an innovation-friendly environment in Ukraine.

In addition, Aequo’s initiative, the easy-to-use Rate Your Judge App – an efficient ranking tool to monitor the judicial system – has already gained recognition and a number of awards. Rate Your Judge App aims to provide legal professionals with a unique opportunity to rate and review the performance of judges, and track their interactions with them.

All these initiatives are changing the legal industry in a consistent way with growing expectations of general counsels, whose role is increasingly taking centre-stage. It is great to see The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Central and Eastern Europe recognising this important development.

Forgo Damjanovic

Forgo Damjanovic logo

We are honoured to be the Hungarian partner of the inaugural GC Powerlist CEE.

We would like to congratulate all those, who made it into the top 100 in the whole region. CEE – while consisting of a number of independent jurisdictions – is a group of countries that is often viewed and dealt with by investors as one, and thus during the many years of our work, we have had the opportunity to work together with a number of GCs not only from Hungary, but also from the other CEE countries.

There is a natural flow of talent from high-profile law firms to GC positions (and also the other way) and we are proud that we have been able to grow talented people who are now highly respected GCs, and some of them have even made it to the top 100!

During the past decade or so, the work of GCs and in-house counsel has become more and more difficult and widespread; they typically have a stronger role in decision-making processes, they are often members of the board or the important decision-making/management bodies and there is another major field that they are often responsible for (though these tasks nowadays tend to get separated and given to a standalone department), ie compliance, which itself has grown into a much larger set of tasks than what it used to be only a few years ago. Needless to say, being a GC today is much more challenging than it used to be 10 years ago.

Since the fall of communism, Hungary has been a hub for many multinationals for their CEE operations (in the early ‘90s, Budapest’s only contender was Prague; this has changed since) or often for an even wider geographical scope and many have established their SCCs here. This means that many Hungarian GCs are often in charge of managing lawyers in a number of other jurisdictions in addition to running the Hungarian legal team.

Not only has the rapidly changing legal environment (let’s just name GDPR and the more and more vigorous competition law authorities and practice, as two new emerging difficulties for in-house counsel) resulted in new and new challenges for GCs, but so does the rather adverse attitude of the Hungarian government towards multinationals and foreign investors. In times, when the Hungarian PM’s main purpose seems to be to establish a totally new elite from family and friends, and enable these new oligarchs to be strong competitors to those who have been on the market for the past 15-20 years,
life for multinationals and foreign investors gets tough and it is often the locals who are expected not only to explain to their foreign colleagues what is going on and how that could be done, but also to help find ways to overcome these very difficult situations.

All these pose difficulties to GCs and so do to us, who try and assist GCs and their corporations in navigating the Hungarian legal landscape. Nevertheless, more difficulties mean more intellectual challenges for all of us and we enjoy working with such great counsels on trying to counterbalance the state’s and the oligarchs’ pressure.

We once again congratulate the GCs who got listed among the top 100 and hope to meet most of them in beautiful, historic Prague.

Maravela|Asociaţii

Maravela|Asociaţii logo

Maravela|Asociații is thrilled to be the partner of the very first GC Powerlist focused on Central and Eastern Europe.

We are happy to see that The Legal 500 is dedicating this edition to the CEE region and we warmly congratulate all acknowledged GCs!

Today’s GCs are business enablers and a key factor for excellent cooperation between corporations and external counsels. They translate legal views into practical business-oriented guidance that enables success. They oversee budgets, mediate between law and business and handle challenging external relationships in an ever-changing law firm landscape.

We hereby reiterate our sincere congratulations to each and every nominated individual and extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to all GCs we have worked with throughout our careers.

GC Summit Vietnam 2024

The Legal 500’s second GC Summit: Vietnam built on the success of the 2023 gathering to provide an even more informative, illuminating and rewarding agenda of sessions for the country’s top in-house legal minds. With almost 200 people in attendance, including general counsel of large MNCs and Vietnamese companies and backed up by the key law firms of the countr,  this was the most significant gathering of the Vietnamese legal community in recent years.

The event commenced with opening remarks by Joe Boswell, followed by Hong Le of GSK, who eloquently outlined the challenges and opportunities awaiting in-house counsel in Vietnam. Le’s insights set the tone for the day’s discussions, highlighting the importance of adaptability and strategic legal counsel in navigating the evolving legal landscape.

Throughout the day, attendees were treated to a series of engaging panels and presentations, covering a wide range of topics vital to legal practitioners in Vietnam. First up was Tilleke & Gibbins’ wide-ranging session ‘Pressing issues facing general counsel in 2024. Moderated by Michelle Ray-Jones and Chuyen Hong Huu Le of Tilleke & Gibbins, the discussionprovided valuable insights into the evolving role of general counsel amidst transformative technological and regulatory changes. Panellists from Novartis and Nestlé Vietnam shared their perspectives on data privacy, managing legal budgets, and harnessing AI for legal efficiency.

Practical guidance on sensitive employee terminations was up next alongside Russin & Vecchi. After an introduction by Nguyen Huu Minh Nhut, Dao Thi Ai then offered practical strategies for managing employee terminations ethically and effectively, safeguarding both company reputation and employee rights in the process.

Mark Fraser and newly announced partner Gwendoline Brooker of Frasers Law firm then moderated a discussion on ESG matters in Vietnam. Noted leading in-house counsel Minh Vu of Haleon and Tran Long Ha of AES fed in to the discussion, which provided thoughtful analysis on ESG principles, emphasising their growing importance in Vietnam’s journey towards sustainable development. The various implications for legal teams of local and international businesses were also analysed.

Pham Duy Khuong and Nguyen Tien Hoa of ASL Law then provided invaluable insights into compliance with new regulations on personal data protection, IP law, and global minimum tax, crucial for businesses engaging in M&A, both from a buy and sell-side perspective.

Minh Duong and fellow panelists Duc Tran of Credit Vietnam and Hao Tran of BW Industrial Development then shed light on the elevated view of risk management for modern general counsel in their discussion, emphasising proactive crisis prevention and effective crisis management strategies as well as liaising effectively with business leaders.

A panel featuring experts from LNT & Partners, including managing partner Hoang Nguyen Ha Quyen, along with in-house counsel Le Anh Tuan of FWD Insurance, explored the intricacies of data protection regulations in Vietnam, offering practical guidance for ensuring compliance and safeguarding sensitive information in the digital era. This session led to an extended Q&A with the audience, who were keen to learn from the experts on-stage.

Dr. Oliver Massmann of Duane Morris Vietnam then took to the stage and, in his own inimitable and highly energetic way, provided insights into conducting business compliantly in Vietnam based on his extensive experience over multiple decades. He outlined the factors that are crucial for companies navigating the local legal landscape when organising deals and getting them over the line.

The conference concluded with a freewheeling session on the banking and finance outlook in 2024, offering predictions and insights from various perspectives, including private practice and corporate viewpoints. Moderated by partner Ho Thuy Ngoc Tram of Frasers Law Company, the panel benefited from the viewpoints of two highly experienced legal counsel. Thuy Ngoc Tram of Cathay United Bank gave a thorough overview of the banking and finance landscape in Vietnam, while Yin Ee Ong of Warisan TC Holdings, who flew in from Kuala Lumpur especially to input to the panel discussion, spoke of her experiences in setting up Hong Leong’s Vietnam branch in her prior career.

The GC Summit Vietnam 2024 was a roaring success, and generated hugely positive feedback from attendees in the post-summit drinks reception. The Legal 500 will be back in Vietnam for our GC Powerlist 2024 edition in Q4 this year. If you are a leading in-house lawyer who would like to be considered for inclusion, or know of one who should be, you can get in touch with joe.boswell@legal500.com to make a nomination.