Having run the Budapest office of Kinstellar since its launch in 2008, and its predecessor Linklaters’ office for two years before that, Csilla Andrékó is standing down as managing partner. The Budapest Business Journal spoke with the firm about the rationale behind the move.
BBJ: What exactly is changing at the office?
Kinstellar Budapest: There will be a change in the management of Kinstellar Budapest office; Kristóf Ferenczi will take over the role of the Budapest office managing partner from Csilla Andrékó as of January 1, 2020.
The management change is due to Csilla’s request for a more flexible arrangement with Kinstellar in order to allow her to spend more time with her family. It is part of a pre-planned and mutually agreed transition process at Kinstellar Budapest, which takes place at a time of growth and continued success following the first 11 years of our operation as Kinstellar. Kristóf represents continuity in the management of the Budapest office as he has been working with Csilla for more than 15 years and was part of the management alongside her for a long time.
BBJ: What does it mean for the firm and its clients?
Kinstellar Budapest: No major overhaul is planned to the way the office has run its business. As previously said, Kristóf has for quite some time been part of the management of the Budapest office and, since 2018, of the whole firm, and as such he shares the philosophy in which Csilla has managed the office.
Kristóf Ferenczi: Whilst keeping much of the direction of the Budapest office, I will concentrate on capitalizing further on its core practices, as well as exploring the potential for building out new practice areas, business lines and legal service models through which Kinstellar can best service its clients in the 21st century’s fast changing business environment and, generally, bringing the office even closer to our clients.
BBJ: Why now?
Kinstellar Budapest: The office has been very successful and stable for many years, it has grown substantially both financially and regarding its clientele. Our practices are viewed among the market leaders and we have a very experienced, high quality team with strong culture and integrity. We have been contemplating this change for some time and have been preparing for it in the last two years. As such, this seemed the right time to transition into this management change.
BBJ: What role will you play, Csilla, moving forward?
Csilla Andrékó: Having led the Budapest office for 11 years as Kinstellar – and even before that as managing partner of Linklaters Budapest – and working as a partner for 20 years, I wanted to have a more flexible arrangement with the firm which involves less management responsibilities and a more business and client development focus going forward.
I will remain owner and partner of the firm and will continue my roles as head of Kinstellar’s and the Budapest office’s banking and finance practice. I will focus on further developing the relationship with regional and global banking clients, international law firms and will also pursue other, firm-wide initiatives, including exploring potential business opportunities on the Italian market, where I will spend more time partly due to my family ties, running the firm’s virtual “Milan desk”.
Kinstellar describes itself as Emerging Europe and Central Asia’s leading independent law firm. It was formed in November 2008 from offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest and Prague spun-off when U.K.-based Magic Circle law firm Linklaters decided to move out of the region and concentrate on larger markets. Kinstellar (the name is an anagram of Linklaters) has since expanded into Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.