Solicitors governing body: Česká advokátní komora - The Czech Bar Association
Competition authority: Úřad pro ochranu hospodářské soutěže - The Office for the Protection of Economic Competition
Financial regulator: Česká národní banka - Czech National Bank
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking, Capital markets, M&A, Restructuring and insolvency
Energy and infrastructure (published June) - Energy and infrastructure
Czech Republic’s legal market is diverse. Large domestic firms with regional networks and local boutiques vie for mandates with branches of Austrian firms, members of the magic circle and some of the leading advisors from across the Atlantic.
International firms with the most prominent presence in Prague are Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance, CMS, Weil Gotshal Manges and White & Case. Among the local firms BBH, Glatzová & Co, Kocián Šolc Balaštík and PRK Partners are arguably the stronger when it comes to transactional work.
For historical and geographical reasons, Czech Republic and Slovakia’s economies have ties. Until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, the two countries were one. Consequently, a number of local firms have offices and clients in Bratislava.
The contingent of international firms in Prague is not as large as it once was. In the recent past, the Czech economy has had its ups and downs, with perhaps more of the latter. After the financial crisis, FDI shrank as the economy contracted, and those foreign firms largely dependent on inbound business suffered. In some cases to the extent they withdrew from the country entirely. In quick succession in 2014 both Hogan Lovells and Norton Rose Fulbright announced they would be exiting Prague. There have been rumours that others may follow, but the local economy has recovered well in the last 18 months and there have been no further departures.
Deal work for firms in Czech Republic is typically bank financing and M&A or private equity. Corporate restructuring and insolvency work increased after the crisis, but most of the substantial cases have been resolved or in the process of being. Czech corporates do not typically use the capital markets for financing, preferring more conventional methods. But debt capital markets work is becoming a busier area for law firms with an increasing amount of corporate bond issues.
Ben Naylor - Journalist - EMEA
ZCH Legal is active across the financial and corporate space, particularly in real estate law.
Iva Horackova, a senior attorney in corporate, left the firm in the research period.
“Rigorous. Accurate. Efficient.” – Asset finance
“Very professional company with bright knowledge, not only on the CZ market. Thanks to this law firm we were able to manage the insolvency procedure of our parent company.” – Restructuring and insolvency
Allen & Overy’s Prague office has one of the market’s leading capital markets teams and a strong lending practice.
In the banking and finance area the firm is more often seen on the side of the lenders’ side and generally secures work on large cross border acquisition finance or syndicated loan deals.
In the capital markets area the firm is most notable for being the best derivative’s specialist in Prague and had a role in drafting relevant local regulation as Isda’s local counsel. In terms of transactions in the capital markets area, the firm can commonly be seen on large bond issues representing arrangers, but it has recent notable issuer experience too.
The firm is experienced in public and private M&A, working on working deals involving strategic buyers and financial sponsors.
Recent Deal Data highlights
• Ceske Drahy Kc1 billion 2.17% bond issue
• Liberty One Methanol Kc1.9 billion 5.3% bond issue
• NET4GAS $119.43 million 2.75% eurobond issue
• NN Group €155 million acquisition of Aegon’s Czech Republic and Slovakia insurance businesses
• PPF Group acquisition of 95% in Nova Broadcasting Group
• Sazka Kc6 billion bond issue
“Great and easy to work with, deep knowledge of the matter and market standards / best practices, were able to explain this thoroughly and easily to understand.” – Banking
“Strengths: competent, very professional, pro-business solution.” – Banking
“Excellent knowledge and time flexibility.” – Banking
“Good understanding of needs, keep to deadlines, proactive approach.” – Banking
“They are very flexible, accurate and well representing interests of their client. Big advantage is their global footprint and network.” – Banking
“The A&O team on this transaction provided flawless and expedite service, and fully delivered on their promises despite very stretched timing and strong complexities of the deal, which were implied by not only its multiple cross-border elements but also the fact that a US issuer had never issued Czech law governed bonds on the local market before.” – Capital markets : Debt
“Good coordination of other A&O offices involved. Responsiveness, excellent technical knowledge, good commercial understanding, and well balanced team. Strong leader of the team and a commercial and creative approach.” – Capital markets : Debt
“Great cooperation, reasonable costs.” – Capital markets : Derivatives
“Great access to the international network, industry pace setting firm.” – Capital markets : Derivatives
“Great service and attention to detail, excellent legal knowledge and overview.”
“A&O is a very professional firm which is able to provide to our company valuable outcomes in set deadlines and competitive pricing.”
“Allen & Overy has consistently provided a very high-quality service. It is one of the few law firms that has the resources to advise on complex financial transactions, under time pressure and in most countries in which we are active.” – Project finance
“Very good in depth-knowledge of the project and the documentation; very good management skills; very good commercial understanding of the relevant project issues; very quick turnaround.” – Project finance
“Very professional client oriented approach.” – Project finance
Badokh is a boutique specialising in restructuring work also recognised for its work in finance and M&A.
During the research period the firm advised borrowers, arrangers and lenders in the financing for purchases, acquisitions and real estate transactions.
In capital markets the firm provided regulatory advice to the issuer ZOOT, a distressed e-fashion and home décor company, on its subordinated bonds issue amid its ongoing restructuring.
In M&A the firm advised the sellers, buyers and investors in acquisitions in the energy, real estate, infrastructure and machinery sectors, including transactions for distressed companies. It also worked closely with Bohemia Energy in establishing joint ventures.
In project development the firm mainly worked in energy and manufacturing sectors, though all deal details are confidential.
In restructuring and insolvency it advised debtors-in-possession and distressed companies in reorganisation. It worked with a hard coal producer, machinery and engineering product supplier and automotive suppliers.
In staffing changes Michael Mullen, a partner in banking and finance and M&A, joined the firm from PwC Legal, Josef Otčenášek, a partner in capital markets, joined from Rutland Ježek, while Robert David, a partner in bank finance, left to join Wolf Theiss.
“Competent, attentive to details, highly efficient and professional, with a system approach to emerging challenges.” - Competition
“Top-notch advice. Overall level of service and expertise is excellent.” – M&A
“High professional standards.” – Project development
“Overall satisfaction, high professionalism.” – Project development
“Overall satisfaction.” – Project development
“Very in-depth and thoughtful advice with an understanding of both the legal and commercial aspects of the transactions.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“Highly effective and competent, accountable, client-oriented”
“Understanding of the problem. Suggesting the right approach.”
“Petr is one of the most brilliant lawyers I have had a chance to meet in my 20+ years career in corporate restructuring and distressed situations in CEE region.”
In Prague, Baker McKenzie is better known for its corporate transactional work, namely M&A and restructuring. But it has an experienced bank lending team and secures some capital markets work. The firm is particularly active in the energy sector thanks to a few key local clients in this industry.
In banking and finance the firm tends to secure a mix of borrower and lender work and is typically seen on corporate finance and some acquisition finance transactions.
In the capital markets area the firm generally secures a few roles on bond issues and equity transactions and recently advised an originator on a securitisation.
M&A work for the firm often includes roles on large cross border deals, or on the Czech aspects of larger regional or international transactions that the firm is working on as a whole.
In the restructuring and insolvency area the firm is experienced on both the creditor and debtor sides of large national cases.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•CTP €250 million refinancing
•ERB Bank liquidation
•Penam Kc380 million acquisition of United Bakerie
•PKN Orlen takeover of Unipetrol
•THQ Nordic €42.8 million acquisition of Warhorse Studios
“Cooperation was always strongly above standards without any problems.” – Banking
“Top services as an overall assessment, plus a stable team of lawyers specialising in real estate” – Banking
Balcar Polanský & Spol is active in M&A and restructuring and insolvency.
During the research period the firm advised as local counsel to sellers in acquisitions in real estate, pharmaceuticals, IT, indoor equipment production and customer care. Some key clients include Aspen Pharmacare Europe and Conduent Incorporated.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised creditors, lenders, security agents and facility agents in insolvency matters.
The Prague team of Czech/Slovak firm BBH is an expert in banking and financial services regulatory work and can often be seen on large on large M&A and acquisition finance deals. It’s also notable for advising on uncommon work in the capital markets area (locally).
The firm’s banking team is generally active on regulatory mandates and advises the Czech National Bank in this respect. The firm also has experience on the borrower side of large acquisition finance deals, working for local or regional investors as borrowers.
In the capital market area the firm – like most of the market active in this area – is typically seen on bond issues and more often on the issuer side. It is also notably one of the most experienced firms in Prague in the area of regulatory capital instruments issues, where it has done a good share of work for banks as issuers.
As one of the firms that works for several of the country’s largest investors, PPF in particular, the firm generally secures work on a few large Czech M&A deals each year.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•CPI Kc2 billion 5.1% bond restructuring
•Neuraxpharm acquisition of Farmax
•Poliklinika Anděl / Respimed merger
•PPF €160 million Tier 2 bond issue
•PPF Group takeover of Škoda Transportation
“Detailed expertise in the field of regulatory matters.” – Banking
“Value for money.” – Banking
“Definitely strong in coordinating all parties in legal documentation process including English law documents.” – Capital markets : Debt
“Consistently provides solutions to any new situation or complication in transactions.”
“Very pragmatic, out-of-the box thinker. Diligent, business-oriented, and provides on point advice.”
“Timely and experienced.”
The Prague office of bpv Braun Partners is active in banking and finance, M&A and project development work.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders in acquisition and project financing in deals involving borrowers commercial infrastructure and real estate. It also advised creditors on loan restructuring and refinancing.
In M&A the firm advised sellers and buyers in acquisitions and undertook many due diligence roles. It saw transactions in metal manufacturing, healthcare, transport infrastructure, and media sectors.
In project development the firm advised investors and operators. It had advisory roles on regulation, including representing photovoltaic power plant operators in connection to the incorrect implementation of an EU directive on electrical equipment.
“Very good service. They understand our business and because of the long-term relationship they know our agenda and cases.” – Project development
“Excellent practice, top-tier legal services, very responsive, international reach, perfect language skills in Czech, English, German and also French. They can deal with documents in all languages.” – M&A
CHSH Kališ & Partners is active in banking and finance, M&A and restructuring and insolvency.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders, financial institutions and investment companies on financing. It also advised on a client’s application for a large-scale payment institution license.
In M&A the firm advised the buyers and sellers in acquisitions, seeing transactions in commercial infrastructure, industrial, waste management, telecommunications and electronics sectors.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm mainly advised debtors in pre-insolvency, insolvency, debt restructuring and the sale of assets, though it also advised creditors in restructuring. The firm represented clients including VEBA, Vítkovice Heavy Machinery, Vneshekonombank, and ESSA Czech.
Staffing changes include hires Eva Ruhswurmová, a senior associate formerly from Dvořák Hager & Partners, and David Kučera, a partner hired from BBH. Matěj Bolek, a corporate senior associate, and Marie Lauter, a senior associate in M&A, joined the firm from Wilson & Partners and BBH respectively.
Recent deal data highlights
•Pilsen Group insolvency
•Vítkovice Heavy Machinery insolvency
“The overall impression of the cooperation is entirely positive. CHSH showed great expertise in this area of banking practice, and quickly responded to any of our comments or questions. For our own internal purposes they provided us with Russian translations of Czech documents and if there was any issue, CHSH quickly organized a conference call to clear any potential risks. All CHSH’s prepared documents were in high professional quality.” – Banking
“Most legal work which is rendered for our bank by CHSH is through winning of tender for provision of legal services on given matters, which itself implies that the winning office have to have a skilled legal team, great references and particular knowledge on specific problems. We perceive CHSH as reliable office, with great knowledge on matters relating mainly to export financing, with a skilled team of lawyers.” – Banking
“Highly professional with deep knowledge in industry sector.” – Banking
“Excellent and very professional work.” – Financial services regulatory
“We have been using this firm since 2016 and we are very satisfied with this cooperation, there is nothing we would change. With all cooperating lawyers, in particular Martin Kartner, David Kučera, Hana Maláčová or Barbora Kábrtová, from CHSH, we have only had good experiences, they always react quickly and provide only necessary information, with clear outcome.” – M&A
“We are very satisfied with services provided by CHSH, which is proven by very long cooperation. Even though it is a big international law firm, and they are very professional, they always keep the important personal approach. They also try to understand aspects of our business which is much appreciated.” – M&A
“Very good work! The team of CHSH Kalis & Partners is very fast, precise and understands very well the client's needs.” – M&A
“We are very satisfied with CHSH Kalis. They provide reliably, accurate and useful answers and solutions with very quick turnaround times when necessary, and they are very personable with a positive approach. Nikol Španvirtová is professional and trustworthy and she has always shown a keen understanding of the client's needs. We enjoy working with her.” – M&A
“Good knowledge in real estate acquisition projects and excellent knowledge of the regulations concerning the public tenders.” – Project development
“We are very satisfied with CHSH, there is nothing that could be improved. They are always available and ready to meet any extreme deadlines. They are always very determined and skilled, mainly in the areas of financing and restructuring, insolvency proceedings and internal corporate matters. We can always relay on the team.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“We assess the overall services provided by CHSH as very professional. We appreciate that lawyers from CHSH are very straightforward, have a family-like environment and their advice is always straight to the point. They are always available.” - Restructuring and insolvency
“We are very satisfied with the firm’s work. Lawyers of CHSH are all professionals with great experience, particularly in the light machinery industry, which is appreciated. We appreciated that teams of CHSH work in close cooperation, and all work is always provided by agreed deadline. Work is always professional and precise.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“I am very satisfied with the work which CHSH produces. CHSH's team stands out for its extraordinary expertise in the legal area, bright deal negotiation skills and commercial thinking, and business-like access when solving issues and reaching a deal. The team (Petr Kališ, Nikol Čišecká and others) was well structured and coordinated. Petr Kališ has extensive experience in transactions and is a knowledgeable strategist. Nikol Čišecká was our daily contact. She answered all our questions, proactively and quickly resolved all crisis situations and was available at any time (even on weekends). Always very professional, efficient and kind. Their exceptional technical ability was coupled with a very agreeable personal approach.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“My overall assessment is outstanding. I highlight their ability to work as a team and use the best ideas on the table, making room for all players to develop their creativity and having the capacity to change strategy when things don't turn out as planned.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“Eva has been amazing interacting with us and dealing with tax office and financial entities. Her strengths are her capacity for negotiating under very heavy stress, interacting with parties across the table that have no interest in reaching a deal, and finally finding the points parties have in common to get there. Her knowledge of the legal and financial grounds is very complete and she will know when she needs specialist support.”
“Excellent legal knowledge. Very responsive. Fast and competent worker!”
“Lukáš is very dedicated to his work and provides high quality service to his clients.”
“Lukáš is very dedicated to providing excellent service. He is permanently available and comes up with good solutions to issues connected to our business or deals.”
“Marie Lauter is an excellent lawyer; very skilful and solutions-oriented with clear analysis and a very good understanding of client's issues. We really appreciate the responsiveness.”
“We consider Martin a respectable expert in banking matters. His advice and work is always precise and business-oriented. With Martin you feel like you are in the right hands, he is knowledgeable, always available, replies quickly to emails and calls and is always willing to help.”
“Mr Kartner is a very competent lawyer who participates on most issues handed over to CHSH. Mr Kartner has always shown great problem-solving skills and a particular ability to limit any potential risks. His advice is always effective, prompt, diligent and precise.”
“Highly qualified, very responsive and always prepared to assist in any legal issues related to banking and finance.”
“Martin was our main contact in CHSH from the beginning. He is smart, precise, always reacts quickly and has a great overview in the area of TMT. I have personally seen him in several meetings and he has great negotiation skills.”
“Martin is a great lawyer with vast knowledge about insolvency matters and financing issues. He is great in strategy planning and full of great ideas. He reacts quickly, and everything is always done in due course and with professional quality.”
“Nikol is an experienced and reliable lawyer, who always seeks to find balanced solutions for our client.”
“Petr is our main contact. He participates on bigger projects and is the brain behind all the restructuring and insolvency projects in which we were advised by Petr. Petr is a great lawyer with great experience, and he has a very good sense for the business aspects of each issue.”
“Petr Kališ is the head of the law firm and the team assisting our law firm. We consider Petr the real expert in restructuring and insolvency proceedings. He is also a great strategist and sees around the corners. He is fantastic with business predictions and has great business insight.”
“Petr is a very experienced lawyer with great ideas always tailored perfectly to the needs of our firm. He heads a team of other lawyers who, each time, have provided professional work and understand our needs.”
“Petr Kališ held several meetings with banks and provided legal advice on insolvency matters. He is very flexible, quick and doesn't make mistakes. Petr Kališ communicates professionally and can be very spontaneous in finding solutions.”
The Prague office of Clifford Chance is strong in M&A and particularly prominent on deals in the energy sector. As befitting the firm’s reputation internationally, the firm also has an experienced banking and finance offering.
Within the broader banking and finance area the firm is experienced in advising (mainly lenders) on large cross border export, acquisition and project financings, in addition, to more standard, but still large, corporate loans.
The capital markets practice has more experience on the debt side – advising the buy-side especially – recently and is also capable of advising on derivatives, an area few firms locally are experienced in.
The firm’s M&A practice generally works on strategic deals and has experience on large transactions in all core industry sectors for the country.
The firm is also experienced in restructuring and insolvency work and is generally seen advising creditors.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•CKD Praha insolvency
•EP Infrastructure €600 million 1.698% eurobond issue
•EP Infrastructure €1 billion refinancing
•KMV €245 million financing
•Liberty One Methanol Kc1.9 billion 5.3% bond issue
•Sazka acquisition of 67% stake in SuperSport
“Excellent. Good local knowledge and excellent connections to the rest of the CC network when needed.” – Banking
“Highly professional with well qualified staff.” – M&A
“Availability of the team on the clock, responsibility and quickness were all on the high side.” – M&A
“Very strong combination of M&A and bank finance partners, who were hands-on and very active. Very efficient delivery of practical advice.” – M&A
“Excellent.” – Restructuring and insolvency
In Prague, Dentons has a strong banking and finance practice, an active M&A team and is notable for its experience in restructuring work. Real estate has traditionally been a focus of the firm of the Prague team and it remains one of the leading experts domestically for work in the sector.
The firm’s banking team is active across all types of corporate lending work and has advised on a number of acquisition financings recently in addition to loans for general corporate purposes. The firm does a lot of work for Czech lenders but is active on the borrower side too.
The office’s M&A practice has been active on range of work recently. It has been especially active on power sector deals, including the acquisition of domestic and international infrastructure and company acquisitions, but has worked across other manufacturing industry deals in the region including a number of inbound deals by Asian clients.
The firm’s prominent restructuring team is more active for creditors, and noted for its expertise where matters have a debt component, but is experienced in working on cases for large Czech businesses as debtors.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•CPI Property Group €510 million revolving credit facility
•PFNonwovens acquisition of First Quality Nonwovens
•R2G Heritage €225 million acquisition of Hotel Intercontinental Prague
•Sev.en Energy acquisition of 50% in InterGen
•Sev.en Energy Group restructuring
•Vítkovice Machinery Group insolvency
“Responsive, flexible, get to the point attitude and willingness to go the extra mile.” – Asset finance
“The cooperation is without problems, Dentons is able to bring good solutions that are reasonable for all parties. Expense on them is worth spending.” – Banking
“Good knowledge. Local and international expertise and strong local team.” – Banking
“They understand our needs very well. Good and experienced lawyers.” – M&A
“Very deep knowledge of Czech insolvency legislation, including details, practicalities and also problematic areas. Overall very efficient cooperation.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“Highly professional, used effort finding the most efficient strategy in the case.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“Independent, high quality and professional knowledge” – Restructuring and insolvency
“While working with Dentons, we felt very comfortable with them leading the way thanks to their hands-on and proactive approach. It is clear that they have a very broad network of professionals involved in the insolvency practice, which is always useful. Overall hardworking and trustworthy partner.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“Actually the top firm on the Czech market with restructuring law services (competition faces lack of experienced staff). Strengths: complex view to the cases, including understanding of business consequences; high quality written outputs (e.g. reorganization plans, various court appeals); very good negotiation skills and reputation on the market. Weaknesses - being the top firm on the market sometimes leads to having too many deals at the same time and sometimes the level of focus is affected.” – Restructuring and insolvency
During the research period Dvořák Hager & Partners has been active in finance and M&A especially.
In banking and finance the firm advised on revolving credit facilities, lease financing and refinancing, mainly supporting the lender. It also advised fintech companies on registration procedures concerning small-scale issuers of e-money and providers of payment services.
In M&A the firm advised a mix of buyers and sellers in acquisitions in management solutions, retail commercial infrastructure, global body control systems and energy.
In project development the firm mainly advised on a construction related to Faculty Hospital in Motol.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm mainly advised creditors and insolvency trustees in insolvency proceedings. Some key clients include Gunvor International, TML Investment and MAG Investment.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Raiffeisen-Leasing Kc150 million financing
•Raiffeisen-Leasing Kc140 million lease financing
•Ricardo group £150 million financing
“We are in touch with Dvorak Hager on a regular basis and demand their legal services each month. They are always kind, discrete and helpful in the case to solve our tasks. They respect our deadlines which is really important for us.” – Financial services regulatory
“Highly professional advice, very precise and very good price to performance ratio.” – M&A
“Quick, efficient and knowledgeable.” – M&A
“There is nothing to improve, all services of Bonver team members are 100% and delivered just in time.” – Private equity
“Highly professional, team work, clear outputs.” – Real estate
“High professional.” – Real estate
“Flexibility, experience, customer-focus and intimacy, to-the-point approach and valuable advisor.” – Real estate
“I have worked with this firm since 2005. They are competent, engaged, efficient, oriented and responsive to client's needs, knowledgeable about Czech and EU legislation, and timely in the delivery of its services. I have worked in Prague as a real estate developer and investor for 25 years. In my opinion, the ratio of their professional services in terms of value to price is one of the best available here.” – Real estate
The Czech office of Giese & Partner is active in banking, M&A and restructuring and insolvency work.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm almost exclusively advised lenders in syndicated, real estate, and acquisition financing, particularly acquisitions for retail infrastructure. It also advised on the refinancing of facilities.
In M&A the firm advised on an acquisition and merger in software and, in advisory roles, assisted with internal corporate and compliance matters in IT and manufacturing sectors.
Additionally, in restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised creditors, insolvency administrators and debtors in insolvency proceedings, advising across agriculture, real estate, machinery and media sectors.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•BMO Real Estate Partners €45 million financing
•CTP €54 million refinancing
“Good and reliable service.” – M&A
“Very skilled lawyers, fluent in German and English” – Real estate
“Very professional team, good availability of resources, long-term experience and well connected in the market.” – Real estate
Glatzova & Co is a Czech-Slovak firm that advises large domestic corporates on transactions but also secures local counsel roles on cross border deals. Corporate transactions are its strength and it has prominent automotive and manufacturing clients.
In banking work the firm advises large Czech or regional corporations on the local aspects of corporate finance deals, and represents local lenders on transactions too.
The firm’s recent capital markets experience is mostly on the debt side, working for issuers on bond sales.
In M&A the firm is experienced in local and cross border regional deals in the key local industry sectors of automotive, manufacturing, technology, and real estate.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Bohemia Properties acquisition of Hotel Leonardo
•EC Financial Services acquisition of JET Money
•EMTC Czech Kc3 billion bond programme
•Messer Group €500 million financing
•Pražské služby Kc1.6 billion financing
•Rameder Anhängerkupplungen und Autoteile acquisition of Elsa Group
•Smart Capital Kc5 billion bond programme
“Competent, responsive and cost-effective.” – Banking
“Their work is accurate, they deliver on time and always try to help and bring new solutions.” – Capital markets: Debt
“Strengths: very professional attitude, really experienced and educated.” – Financial services regulatory
“Independent, flexible and quality work at a very high level” – Financial services regulatory
“Very professional and quick.” – Financial services regulatory
“One of the best M&A local law firms. My first or second choice for any acquisition we do.” – M&A
“Overall, the level of service is high and consistent. I feel that we are getting premium care. It is greatly appreciated that Glatzova is available at all times to provide reliable legal support. As a law firm, they cover all aspects of our business (having sufficient number of lawyers specialising in various areas), and at the same time, maintain two senior lawyers who have in-depth understanding of what is generally going on in our company. This is a key aspect which helps to secure continuity and integrity of legal solutions. What I personally value the most is their ability to deliver tailor-made solutions.” – Project development
“Very professional, business focused and solution oriented.” – Project development
“Very strong on details, perfect timing and very good quality of support.” – Real estate
“The complexity of the deal exceeded what would be a normal scope for a more traditional real estate deal. It required unwinding legacy quasi-JV agreements originating about 20 years back, and changed the overall structure of the deal. If I had to highlight one serious strength of the G&Co team it’s that they managed to simplify what was an overly complex deal package whilst covering all likely risks. Regarding weaknesses, so far so good. We really have not enough experience with the firm as to have gone through a crisis or a bad period.” – Real estate
“Very experienced access.” – Real estate
“Knowledgeable, looks for solutions and manages risk”
“All perfect. Very strong, very detailed and always have a solution for issues.”
“Very well-rounded lawyer, no attitude (in the bad sense of "attitude") but strong in negotiations, looks for the simple solutions, not afraid to tell the client when to stop. No weaknesses that I can think of.”
“He is business oriented, easy to work with and extremely keen to achieve results. At all times, he keeps a calm head and is able to absorb pressure and convert it into an effective solution. He seeks consensual solutions - which is usually his key strength, but sometimes a bit of a weakness.”
“A seasoned practitioner with the highest reputation on the Czech market. Extremely flexible, well organized and always supportive. Perfect with entrepreneurs.”
“Responsive, pragmatic, knows what is and is not important for the client.”
“Business terms and conditions. Strengths: professional, high knowledge. Weakness: Long e-mails.”
“Flexibility, knowledge, trust, team work and communication is perfect, nothing to improve from what I can see.”
Havel & Partners is recognised for its work in corporate work.
During the research period the firm represented creditors in insolvency proceedings and advised as the sole legal counsel in matter in relation to credit exposure. A highlight was advising the creditor Sberbank in the insolvency of Královopolská.
Recent Deal Data highlights
Regional firm Kinstellar has a strong offering in Prague that is active across all areas of work covered by the rankings. It is particularly active for clients in the real estate and power sectors or for private equity. Initially formed by a spin-off from Linklaters just over a decade ago, the firm still frequently collaborates with the magic circle outfit its name is anagram of.
In the lending space the firm is experienced in work for borrowers or debtors. It commonly works on real estate financings or financings for clients within the industry. It also does a reasonable amount of LBO work on the bank side, often as local counsel to foreign lenders on regional deals.
The firm has an experienced capital markets head and has worked on some of the few recent large IPOs by Czech issuers recently, some only planned. It has also been active on the debt side recently and worked on some large bond sales.
The firm’s M&A work often is often cross border and regional, and frequently is mandated by international clients including large financial sponsors on acquisitions or divestments. Its done buy and sell side work recently across a range of sectors, but has been especially active on deals in the power and pharma or life sciences industries.
The firm’s most notable project work relates to the development of power or gas infrastructure, advising developers.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Avast LSE IPO
•C4G gas interconnector
•Forum Nová Karolina Kc4.5 billion refinancing
•Liberty Steel € 740 million acquisition of ArcelorMittal's European assets
•Parkhotel Holesovice Kc530 million refinancing
•Portiva Private Equity acquisition of 50% in EAG
•Vítkovice Machinery Group insolvency
“The team was very proactive, expert and kind. We really enjoyed working with them.” - Banking
“Very good quality, pro-active approach.” – Banking
“Very prompt work; quick to reply and would let us know when the answers would be with us. Very professional and high-quality work.” – Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation
“Very good support. Put in a lot of effort, very diligent.” – M&A
“Very good expertise and commercial approach.” – M&A
“Highly professional firm. Partners and associates are always available and very committed. Very good market knowledge in infrastructure projects.” – Project development
“Kinstellar did great job. The team was led by Klára Štěpánková, who is always organised, reachable and business oriented.” – Real estate
“Excellent pragmatic approach and understanding of how legal issues impact business bottom line.” – Real estate
Kocián Šolc Balaštík is experienced in all areas of work covered by the raking tables and has energy sector expertise.
In the banking space the firm often works for local lenders on acquisition, project and real estate financings.
In capital markets work, debt transactions are more often where the firm can be seen and it typically represents issuers.
The firm is consistently involved in mid-sized M&A deals – both local and regional – and is instructed as local counsel on large regional or international deals with a Czech component.
Projects work – particularly in power sector deals – is an area of expertise for the firm but its experience in mining and other utilities projects.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Coca-Cola HBC Cesko a Slovensk acquisition of Toma
•Energo Pro €250 million 4.5% bond issue
•J&T Energy Financing Kc3 billion 5% bond issue
•Karlovarske Mineralne Vody acquisition of Knjaz Milos
“Very quick response and task delivery time. No drawbacks.” – Banking
“Quick and material solutions without any unnecessary and long legal analysis.” – Banking
“High-quality service, professional approach.” - Banking
“The firm is excellent in knowledge areas. They are very strong in regulatory aspects and cross-border regulation issues (legal comparative areas). They could improve slightly in the communication area.” – Banking
“Kocian Solc Balastik provides high-quality legal services in banking and finance. They are especially strong in banking regulation in the Czech Republic.” – Banking
“Excellent, very good knowledge of different transactions. Insight into latest changes in the new legislation issues and very good professional contacts to relevant authorities.” – Capital markets: Debt
“Cooperation went smoothly and well. Strengths: strong experience in the field, expertise and smooth co-working.” – Capital markets: Debt
“Highly qualified and professional, if not elite, Czech law firm. Besides legal competencies, it also has plentiful communication channels with local public bodies.” – Financial services regulatory
“Diligent legal services, goal-oriented with proficient project and account management. Excellent value-for-money ratio.” – Financial services regulatory
“The firm is fast and reliable. I have no complaints.” – Financial services regulatory
“KSB has been an excellent firm since the beginning of our cooperation. They are well known for securities law and have a strong understanding of the very specific field in which we operate. They are subject experts with deep knowledge of the issues we need to solve. We have had a good personal fit with its representatives who we feel are on the same note. They understand our business needs and provide practical advises and guidance. We haven’t had any complaints so far.” – Financial services regulatory
“I was very satisfied. The firm provides clear practical answers based on solid research and arguments.” – Financial services regulatory
“Diligent advisory, detail-oriented as well as focused on overall strategy. Covering in full scope the operational, project and strategy matters. Efficient communication and services.” – M&A
“We are completely satisfied; clear communication, strong support, innovative ability and high-quality solutions.” – Project development
“Perfect cooperation, very quick responses, always helpful information provided and no or very little omissions. Perfectionists.” – Project finance
The Prague office of the global firm Peterka & Partners is active in M&A and banking and finance.
During the research period, in banking and finance, the firm advised lenders in loan financing, working closely with key client Komercni banka. It also advised on anti-money laundering procedures.
In M&A, the firm advised on intragroup mergers and represented a mix of buyers and sellers in acquisitions. It also provided legal assistance to WOLT, a Finnish technology company, in the establishment of its subsidiary, and offered its advisory services to FALCK, an emergency medical service provider, in a buy-out transaction.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm mainly represented the creditor in insolvency proceedings, and advised on the registration of receivables for multiple clients.
Premysl Marek, a partner, director for the Czech Republic branch and leader of private equity, working in corporate and M&A, left the firm to join eLegal.
“Good analysis of local legal requirements for the transfer of private data out of EU.” – Financial services regulatory
“Employees are willing, experienced and flexible.” – Project development
PRK Partners is active across the financial and corporate space, with particular strengths in finance, M&A and capital markets.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders, arrangers, and security and facility agents on syndicated and bridge loan facilities, refinancing, and acquisition and project financing transactions, particularly in real estate. It worked with key clients Raiffeisenbank, Komerční banka, UniCredit Bank Czech Republic and Slovakia, and the J&T group.
In capital markets the firm advised Euromanganese as issuer for its IPO and shares listing in Canada and Australia. It advised issuers for IPOs on the START market, including Fillamentum and UDI CEE. In bonds work the firm advised on issuances and base prospectuses for clients including Equa Bank, Wustenrot hypotecni banka and UniCredit Bank.
In M&A the firm mainly advised buyers and sellers in acquisitions across hospitality, power, IT and real estate sectors. Some of the firm’s highlights include advising a Scandinavian investor in its acquisition of Hotel Don Giovanni in Prague and advising a German utility company on its majority stake acquisition in Innogy Grid Holdings.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised creditors in insolvency proceedings; however, all deal details are confidential.
Michal Matějka joined the firm as a new partner in IT and fintech from Baker & McKenzie.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•EuroManganese ASX IPO
•Fillamentum Prague Stock Exchange (START market) IPO
•SASKA €289 million financing
•Tekro Group €62 million financing
•UDI Prague Stock Exchange (START market) IPO
•Wustenrot hypotecni banka Kc30 billion bond issue
“Highly professional. The firm had the ability to coordinate work internationally across jurisdictions and had a breadth of expertise.” – Private equity
Řanda Havel Legal is active across the financial and corporate space.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders on project financing, including the export financing for the construction of coal-fired power plants in Turkey. It has also advised lenders and borrowers in loan refinancing and acquisition financing, working closely with JUFA Investment Group.
In M&A the firm advised sellers, investors and buyers in transactions. It advised JUFA Investment Group on the restructuring of multiple parts of its business group, involving multiple mergers and acquisitions, and advised Pražské služby (Prague Services) on a squeeze-out of minority shareholders.
In project development work the firm advised Plzeňská teplárenská on obtaining legal titles for the construction and operation of a hot water pipeline project. It provided legal services within power, energy and waste management projects, undertaking due diligence and analysis of documentations in licencing, OHSE and EPC contracts.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised creditors, of which most are sub-contractors, and debtors in insolvency proceedings. The firm advised clients in the insolvency and bankruptcy of ČKD Praha Diz.
Jana Hudáková joined the firm as a senior associate in banking and finance from Dentons.
“Very good support, made the process rather smooth.” – Capital markets: Debt
“Randa Havel Legal is used by our company for most of the strategic and vital plans and development. We highly appreciate their knowledge and expertise in our field of industry.” – M&A
“To me, RHL is a benchmark for other law firms in the Czech Republic. It does not matter how important or how urgent the matter is, we always get absolutely professional and timely services. Unlike other law firms do, every case is treated personally by a senior lawyer or a partner. I am not aware of any weaknesses of RHL lawyers worthy to mention - that is the main reason why RHL handles 90% of our legal agenda.” – M&A
“Thorough experience with legal aspects of energy projects and the related financing.” – Project finance
The Czech branch of Schoenherr is active in corporate and M&A transactional work.
During the research period, the firm advised the buyers and the sellers in acquisitions in industrial, payment card services, printing, and distribution and technology sectors. In other work, it advised on investments.
Highlights for the firm include advising Alpiq Group, a Swiss energy provider and electricity producer, on the sale of its engineering services to Bouygues Construction and advising Mast-Jägermeister, a spirit brand company, in the acquisition of Rémy Cointreau's distribution subsidiaries in Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Bouygues Construction €725 million acquisition of Alpiq Group’s engineering services business
•Rémy Cointreau acquisition of Jägermeister’s distribution units
“Very professional service, fast replies and available on request.” – Banking
Skils was previously part of the international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges before it closed its Prague office at the start of 2019. The firm remains active across the financial and corporate space.
During the research period, in banking and finance, the firm advised on syndicated loan financing in a leveraged buy out. It also worked closely with MONETA Money Bank in an alliance with EVO Payments International to offer payment services to its merchant customers.
In capital markets it advised on notes issuances under Euro Medium Term Note Programs and revised base prospectuses.
In M&A the firm had roles on the buy and sell side of acquisitions in electricity, pharmaceuticals, technology, healthcare and renewable energy. It also advised target companies, like Ceska Sporitelna and Unipetrol in the mandatory squeeze-outs.
In project development it provided legal services in transport and power. It advised on EPC contracts in relation to power plant boiler construction projects. CEZ was a key client for the firm.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised creditors and debtors in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•CEZ €500 million bond issue
“Perfect in quality and timing, highly professional.” – Banking
“Highly professional attitude and concrete valuable results.” – Project development
The Czech office of Squire Patton Boggs is active in banking and finance and M&A transactional work.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders on bilateral financing, revolving facilities, export financing, refinancing and financing for acquisitions.
In M&A it advised buyers and sellers in acquisitions, particularly working with private equity funds.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acted for creditors in insolvency proceedings, including the proceedings of Vítkovice Power Engineering. It was also involved in restructuring Live Nation Czech Republic, MacDermid CZ and Zoom International, the latter before the subsequent sale of its spin off Ytica.com.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Live Nation Czech Republic restructuring
•Redstone Real Estate group €17.4 million acquisition of Čestlice Industrial Park
“We appreciate expertise and find SPB helpful and full of great ideas.” – Banking
“Fantastic cooperation from start to finish. Extremely knowledgeable, worked hard and very ethical along the way. Extremely happy about the choice and would definitely use them again.” – M&A
The Czech office of Taylor Wessing is recognised for its work in banking and finance and M&A.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised lenders on acquisition financing, including lender RiverRock in ASC Investment’s acquisition of shares in Vitrablok.
In M&A the firm advised buyers and sellers in acquisitions, including advising buyer BB Electronics in its acquisition of the Wendell Group.
Janka Brezániová joined the firm as a senior associate in corporate and M&A, while Thilo Hoffman, a partner in corporate and M&A, left the firm.
During the research period in banking and finance Veimelka & Wünsch advised on corporate finance deals and provided legal opinion to BNP Paribas and Euroclear.
In M&A the firm advised on a real estate purchase.
In restructuring work the firm mainly advised creditors in insolvency proceedings. It also advised on restructuring of real estate assets.
The Czech team of the Weinhold Legal is active across the corporate and financial space, with particular strengths in banking and finance and M&A work.
During the research period, in banking and finance, the firm advised financial institutions and borrowers on financing for acquisitions, projects, and real estate and on securitisation. All deal details are confidential.
In capital markets, the firm mainly advised clients on bond transactions, ICOs, and regulatory issues.
In M&A the firm advised on the buy and sell side of acquisitions in healthcare, printing, distribution, heating services, fashion, insurance brokerage, media and display manufacturing industries. Some key clients include Henry Schein, Takota Corp and PORR.
In project development the firm’s work focused on transport, utilities and infrastructure, with a lot of work in public tenders. In publishable highlights it advised on ongoing PPP projects in transport and advised on public tenders for public water and sewage systems.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised debtors, insolvency trustees and creditors in insolvency proceedings. It has also assisted in liquidation, upstream mergers and corporate restructuring.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Key Safety Systems $1.6 billion acquisition of Takata Corp
•Hen Animal Health / Vets First Choice merger
•PORR €12 million acquisition of ALPINE Bau
“WL provided very professional work. WL employ experts who understand the law of the public tenders.” – Investment funds
“Quality of work and service very good.” – M&A
“Very positive. We highly appreciate Weinhold Legal’s professional approach, flexibility and knowledge of the market. Practical solutions.” – M&A
“Professional and swift communication with the client. Efficient and result-oriented approach. The legal work on the merger was not extensive. Nevertheless, Weinhold Legal's approach effectively used the client's time and was finished without any errors or omissions.” – M&A
“Very professional legal services; understood the business of the client and respects deadlines.” – M&A
“The employees of the law firm have excellent expertise. Working together to prepare documentation, and throughout the process, was on a professional level. According to my experience the lawyers in this law firm belong to the best in the area.” – Project development
“Perfect.” – Project finance
“The firm is incredibly thorough and always available. The law firm provides consistent and practical advice. They consistently provide alternatives and are out of the box thinkers. In addition, they provide sound guidance and stand behind their legal opinion. I have confidence in their advice and approach.” – Real estate
“Our company values the overall level of service on a very high level of quality. They do a first-rate job in a short time. They are team players who try to do the best proportionately to the value for money. We see the strength of lawyers in preferential client orientation, fast and complex consulting and in individual access to the solving of daily problems. We did not meet with any weaknesses.” – Restructuring and insolvency
Occupying the top tier in all ranking tables, White & Case in Prague is arguably the firm present in the city with the broadest strength in financial and corporate transactional work.
In the banking and finance area the firm has expertise in most types of large, cross border lending and is commonly mandated to advise on one side or the other of the market’s biggest acquisition, syndicated, export or project financings.
In both debt and equity capital markets work the firm generally consistently secures roles on high-end Czech transactions, although in line with the market this has been especially true on the debt side recently.
The firm has a leading M&A team in Prague for strategic and non-strategic M&A. It’s recently been especially active in deals for real estate clients, both business and property acquisitions, and in transactions involving large Czech investors (acquisitions and divestments) domestically and abroad.
In the project development work the firm is experienced in advising on the construction of all types of infrastructure and has a leading energy regulatory expert within the team. Its recent work has been focussed on power and transport projects.
The firm’s restructuring and insolvency work often sees it advising large banks, either Czech or foreign, as creditors in the cases of large domestic or regional businesses.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Ceske Drahy €500 million 1.5% eurobond issue
•Ceske Drahy Kc1 billion 2.17% bond issue
•D4 highway PPP
•Deka Immobilien €450 million acquisition of CTP Czech logistics portfolio
•EP Infrastructure €600 million 1.698% eurobond issue
•Eurochem $820 million financing
•PPF Group acquisition of Telenor Banka
•PPF Group €2.8 billion acquisition of Telenor's CEE business
The Czech team of Wolf Theiss is recognised for its work in finance and M&A.
During the research period in banking and finance the firm advised borrowers and lenders in corporate, project and acquisition financing.
In M&A the firm advised on transactions in fintech, agriculture, industrials, manufacturing, energy and consumer products, advising on both the sell and buy sides of acquisitions. A publishable highlight was advising the Canadian Tire Corporation on its acquisition of Helly Hansen.
In staffing changes Robert David joined the firm as a partner in, and as head of, banking and finance from Badokh, while Jitka Logesová and Robert Pelikán joined as partners in corporate and M&A, previously working in the Prosecutor General's Office and the Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic, respectively. Václav Staňkovský also joined the firm as counsel in corporate and M&A from Advokátní kancelář Staňkovský.
In departures Jan Kotous, a partner in M&A, capital markets and IT, left the firm to join Deloitte Legal.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Canadian Tire Corporation $985 million acquisition of Helly Hansen
“Very positive impression; very responsive; advice is typically concise and addresses the key issues raised. No notable weaknesses other than how their good people tend to be very busy.” – M&A
“WT is a law firm that has been very dedicated and proactive in managing and overseeing the relevant legal issues. In critical situations, a pragmatic solution could always be identified or short-term assessments required. We were very satisfied with the performance of WT.” – M&A
“They were very responsive and produced good work product under very short deadlines.” – M&A
“Provided support on local law, advice on the provisions of the sale and purchase agreement with the counterpart and led negotiations.” – M&A