Interview with: Martin Hrdlík, Partner

KPMG in Czech Republic | View firm profile

Martin Hrdlík, who leads the legal firm, explains how his team is approaching clients’ changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate KPMG Legal from your competitors?

Our clients want complete and comprehensive solutions. It is therefore a big advantage that our team benefits from close cooperation with the audit, tax and advisory departments of KPMG Czech Republic and other KPMG member firms. Our team is thus able to combine its broad legal expertise with the outstanding business expertise of the international network and in this way add value to the business of our clients and provide a wider perspective. In addition to our multidisciplinary and global approach we also possess a deep expertise in industry, with a special focus on the finance and industrial firm sectors.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

I am confident that the next year is going to be really intensive and our colleagues will be busy finding solutions in areas such as labour law or tax disputes. I also want to highlight our increasing activity focused on family businesses where we build on our strong relationships with private individuals and our ability to act as a trusted advisor in various matters. We are prepared to offer our advice in a more proactive way, with an evidence-based and strategic approach. The reason for this is to be able to act as true partners for the business and help our client to become more resilient.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We are investing in our people and in technologies and the results prove that we are going in the right direction. With our talented colleagues we have helped our clients to set corporate processes in order to achieve the maximum possible effectiveness and flexibility, in close accordance with changing regulations and technological development.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

We focus on providing forward-thinking and technology-led approaches and client services, in addition to more traditional legal service offerings. This has been important over the last challenging months, during which we nonetheless developed impressive business opportunities and managed to find high quality solutions for our clients.

The role of legal teams is changing quickly. The businesses they support are going digital. The regulatory environment is getting more complex, and the digitalization of legal functions continues at a fast pace and we embrace these changes.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

There is always a great deal of satisfaction when achieving a victory for a client. Even more rewarding is when our work has an impact over the whole market and changes the way things are traditionally done and rights some long-term wrongs. W helped a client with claims for interest from withheld VAT deductions compensating for the lengthy withholding of tax overpayments. This has been a complex subject matter in the Czech jurisdiction due to the nonconformity of Czech legislation with the European directives. The Supreme Administrative Court in a landmark case represented by our legal attorneys confirmed the clients right to the interest from withheld VAT deductions in the amount claimed by the client. This is a landmark case with an impact on the whole market.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We have set out an ambitious plan for our growth while sustaining the highest quality of services.

What will define us in three years’ time is our innovative and bold approach and our ability to challenge the legal services market and move the things forward.