The work of lawyers, and in general jurists, is seldom recognized in Hungary. This is especially true of awards granted by the legal profession in an organized fashion. Wolters Kluwer wanted to recognize the work of legal counsels and corporate lawyers alike, honoring excellence by individuals and in teamwork year after year, rather than a career path. We asked Tóth Gábor, CEO of Wolters Kluwer, to tell us more.
How is the award broken down?
One part of the award was addressed to lawyers and law firms, and the other goes to corporate lawyers, legal counsels and legal teams. Within these two segments of the profession we were looking for excellence and innovation in the fields of labor law, competition law or dispute settlement.
How was an application for the award made?
Fundamentally, law firms were expected to submit a description of a specific case that the firm handled or an innovative solution it offered for its clients. As for corporate lawyers, the description of a legal project or problem, or their effective collaboration with the authorities or an external law firm was expected.
How does this award differ from international recognition such as the Chambers & Partners or Legal500 awards?
First and foremost in that it is tailored for Hungary, for Hungarian lawyers. The Hungarian branch of Wolters Kluwer (and its predecessors) has been working for decades to help the legal profession in Hungary, and it is our wish to reward the best of the best, based on our own principles. The awards mentioned above are designed for the global market, are somewhat difficult to enter and entail a lengthy procedure, and they are traditionally inclined to favor larger firms. On the other hand, we support smaller firms and firms from outside Budapest as well; legal innovation is an activity that is not necessarily dependant on size or money. Moreover, the financial reward of unreasonably overlooked lawyers is just as important for us as the lawyers themselves.
What comes with the award?
Winners can use the title for one year, on their website, in the press or in their corporate stationary. Not only the winners are rewarded; we included the best material submitted in each category on a shortlist, one of whom was given the prize for that category. The largest PR value lies in the fact that early next year we will publish the introductory materials of all the participants – nominees and winners alike – in Hungary’s leading economic magazine and share them with business leaders and decision-makers, including representatives of the legal profession. The award ceremony was held in the Hotel Boscolo during a gala dinner yesterday evening (December 15).
What were the criteria for awarding the prizes?
Innovation and a client-oriented approach were the leading criteria; that is how Wolters Kluwer operates, so that is what we were looking for in the legal teams as well. We were not looking for the largest transaction, the largest case in terms of money or the largest team; rather we were looking for solutions that may be offered even by a small firm to make a client’s life easier, or a unique solution that may serve as an example for the legal profession as a whole.
And the most important question: who were the winners?
Best legal team in competition law is Szecskay Attorneys in Law.
Best legal team in labor law is Réti, Antall & Partners Law Firm PwC Legal.
Best legal team in public procurement law is CHSH Dezső & Partners Law Firm.
Best legal team in banking, capital market and insurance law is Schoenherr Attorneys at Law.
Best legal team in tax law is Deloitte Legal.
Best law firm in real estate law is Fazakas and Partners Law Office.
Best legal team in M&A is DLA Piper Horváth & Partners Law Firm.
Best legal team in dispute settlement is Dr. Sütő Ágota Law Office.
Best in-house team in banking and insurance law is the legal team of Budapest Bank.
Best lawyer in leasing and factoring is Dr. Tamás Böde – MKB Euroleasing.
Best in-house TMT legal team is NNG Ltd.
This year’s best legal counsel is Dr. Dávid Kozma – Uniqua Insurance Group.
On behalf of Wolters Kluwer, allow me to congratulate the winners and to express my gratitude for all applications submitted. See you next year for the 2017 legal awards.