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Kinstellar to Take Over Noerr in Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia

Analysis

Photo by Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock.com

Noerr’s practices in Budapest, Bratislava, Bucharest and Prague are to be transferred to Kinstellar, the two law firms have announced.

Noerr and Kinstellar say they have agreed to transfer these practices once the integration details are fully worked out. Several operational and technical aspects, including investments in IT systems and leasehold premises, are being worked out, and the deal will be completed after all the necessary regulatory consents and internal approvals have been obtained. 

According to a press release put out by Kinstellar on April 3, Noerr “delivers the highest level of service to its clients.” Noerr has operated offices in CEE since 1990 and is “very proud of the accomplishments of its team in these places over the years.”

It goes on to say, “As part of the regular review of its organization, Noerr has, however, come to the conclusion that strategic cooperation in the CEE markets represent the most sensible solution for its further development. As a result, the best way forward for its German and international business, its CEE people and, most importantly, its clients, is for Noerr to transfer the teams to Kinstellar.”

The Kinstellar brand was launched in November 2008 when U.K.-based Magic Circle law firm Linklaters decided to move out of the region to concentrate on larger markets and spun off its offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest and Prague. Kinstellar (the name is an anagram of Linklaters) has 400 staff in 12 offices across 11 countries in Central and South Eastern Europe and Central Asia, not counting the Noerr staff who will move across.

“The transfer of the Noerr business in Budapest, Bratislava, Bucharest and Prague to Kinstellar, and the full integration of the Noerr business in these markets into Kinstellar, will bring even higher quality and broader service to clients and significantly increased strength to Kinstellar,” the law firm says. 

“In particular, the significantly increased German language advisory capabilities and the deep connections with German and other continental European clients, coupled with the experience of the Noerr team in these markets, will perfectly complement and enhance Kinstellar’s existing strength in these markets and beyond,” it adds.

Noerr and Kinstellar say they will cooperate on a non-exclusive basis to serve their clients across these jurisdictions following the closing of the transaction. Kinstellar’s senior partner Jason Mogg welcomed the move, saying it would enhance his firm’s strength and capabilities and diversify its expertise and clientele.

“Kinstellar and Noerr share similar values and culture, which will make the integration very smooth. Both firms are highly regarded for their commitment, teamwork approach, strong work ethic and their excellent service to clients. We are confident that this project will benefit the Noerr team in these cities, all our people, and most importantly, our clients,” Mogg said.

Alexander Ritvay, a co-managing partner at Noerr, added, “We see the deal and future cooperation with Kinstellar as very positive and a win-win for our clients, people and firms. It will give Noerr both the possibility to concentrate on achieving its goals in Germany and other Western markets and a reliable and committed first class partner firm in the region.”

Gov’t to Make Establishing Companies Easier for Foreigners

The government is drafting measures that will make it easier for foreign investors, including those from outside the European Union, to set up companies in Hungary, the Ministry of National Economy said in a release on its website yesterday. The measures include the introduction of English-language template contracts for establishing companies, the publication of consolidated English-language information on foreign documents required for the process, and the chance to pick euros or dollars, in addition to forints, as the currency for declaring initial capital. The changes aim to reduce red tape for foreign investors and spur economic growth. The ministry noted that a government-mandated survey had shown that foreign investors couldn’t fully use streamlined procedures for setting up companies mainly because of the language barrier.

Italian Woman Held in Hungary Will Remain in Jail

An Italian woman charged in Hungary with taking part in an anti-fascist group’s assaults on people they viewed as far-right activists will remain in jail after a judge denied her attorney’s request that she be released into house arrest, according to international news wire Reuters. Ilaria Salis, a 39-year-old teacher, is accused of taking part in a serious assault on two far-right militants by a group of anti-fascist activists in Budapest last February. She pleaded not guilty at a hearing in January. Prosecutors are seeking an 11-year sentence. Salis appeared in a Budapest court on March 28 for a hearing at which her attorney requested that she be released into house arrest either in Italy or Hungary. Judge József Sós denied the request, saying there was a risk of her fleeing or going into hiding. Salis’ next hearing is set for May 24.

CPI to Climb Temporarily on Costlier Service Prices, Base Effects

The Consumer Price Index, which has fallen into the central bank’s 2-4% tolerance band for the past two months, will rise temporarily in the middle of the year because of base effects and higher market service prices, the National Bank of Hungary (MNB) said in a report

published on its website March 28. Price rises in sectors such as telecommunications and banking that businesses have put off until now will drive the CPI higher in the middle of the year, András Balatoni, an MNB director, said in presenting the fresh quarterly Inflation Report. Fielding questions, he said CPI would rise “closer to 5% than 4%” on the impact of the base effects and earlier delayed price increases. He noted that although headline CPI had been in the tolerance band, underlying inflation indicators still stood over the band’s upper threshold. Balatoni pointed to two opposing effects on underlying developments: a rise in imported inflation resulting from the weakening of the forint and the disinflationary impact of the weaker cyclical position of the domestic economy.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of April 8, 2024.

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