Baker McKenzie, CMS win Law Firm of the Year Titles


Ákos Fehérváry (left) and József Vági at the IFLR Europe Awards on May 5. Photo courtesy of Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker McKenzie

Photo courtesy of Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker McKenzie

The Budapest offices of two international law firms enjoyed success in the annual spring round of awards.

CMS was awarded Law Firm of the Year in Hungary and Poland at the Chambers Europe Awards 2022, held on April 22 in Madrid for the second consecutive year.

Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker McKenzie, which turns 35 in 2022 (see sidebar), was named Law Firm of the Year for Hungary at the IFLR Europe Awards on May 5, also for the second year in a row.

The Chambers Europe Awards recognize a law firm’s pre-eminence in key jurisdictions in the region. They reflect achievements over the past 12 months, including strategic growth and excellence in client service. They honor the work of national and international law firms across the region based on research conducted for the most recent edition of the Chambers Europe directory.

“It’s fantastic to be named as this year’s leading law firm in Hungary for the second consecutive year,” confirmed Erika Papp, managing partner for CMS in Hungary.

Significant Transactions

“We are pleased to have supported our clients on some of the market’s most significant financial sector transactions, including advising German Commerzbank AG on the sale of its subsidiary; Hypo-Bank Burgenland on the sale of Sopron Bank; and Corvinus Plc. on the acquisition of Aegon Hungary General Insurance Plc. and Union VIG Insurance Plc.,” Papp said.

“We also pride ourselves in offering innovative managed legal services out of the country, providing global support to some of the largest global companies. We are delighted that Chambers has recognised our market-leading position and unwavering commitment to our clients,” she added.

CMS was also shortlisted in the Law Firm of the Year categories for CEE and Germany and the Pro Bono: Outstanding Firm section in Hungary. Sam De Silva, a CMS partner in the United Kingdom, was nominated for his outstanding contribution in the Diversity & Inclusion section.

The recognition follows CSM’s win at the 2021 CIJ Awards back in November in Hungary, where it was awarded the “Law Firm of the Year” title for its standout work in the real estate sector.

Over at Baker McKenzie, meanwhile, the Budapest office was named Law Firm of the Year for Hungary at the prestigious IFLR Europe Awards. The recognition is said to be based on legal innovation, and focuses on deals that break new legal ground, set precedents, and develop the legal environment for cross-border M&A and corporate finance transactions.

Status Testament

This award is a testament to Baker McKenzie’s status as a market-leading international law firm in Hungary and a reflection of the work of its outstanding teams on complex cross-border transactions, the law firm said in a press release.

“It also shows our dedication to legal innovation, which we continuously develop in order to ensure the best and most comprehensive advice to our clients on all mandates,” the company statement continued. The award was received on the night by partners Ákos Fehérváry and József Vági.

“Our M&A and banking and finance teams work seamlessly and that makes us outstanding when it comes to cross-border, high stakes transactions,” said Fehérváry, co-head of the corporate/M&A business line.

“We deliver not only sound legal advice but timely and precise execution of complex cross-border transactions. We are glad that our teams’ efforts get recognized by this award.”

Vági, head of banking and finance, added: “We would like to [...] thank our clients for their trust and to congratulate our colleagues for their dedication and leadership, which are so important in our commitment to our clients’ success.”

Baker McKenzie’s 35th Budapest Anniversary

Established in Budapest in 1987, Hegymegi-Barakonyi Baker McKenzie celebrates its 35th anniversary this year.

“We take pride in the growth and success we have achieved in the past 35 years, and this is entirely down to our fantastic team and loyal clientele,” commented Zoltán Hegymegi-Barakonyi, managing partner of Baker McKenzie Budapest.

“We are thankful to our clients from various industries for their continued trust in our services and appreciate the dedication and hard-working attitude of our colleagues. Servicing our clients to the highest standards will remain our main goal,” he said.

But while it reflects on the past, the firm says it remains committed to continuing its role as what it calls the “new lawyers:” remarkably talented industry experts driven by thought leadership and leveraging technology, underpinned by the core principles of integrity and quality.

Reflecting on the twin IFLR Europe Hungarian law firm of the year Awards in 2021 and 2022, Hegymegi-Barakonyi said, “This recognition is testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams, not just this past year but since we first opened 35 years ago.”

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of June 3, 2022.

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