Hungarian corporate boutique Jalsovsky has launched a banking practice after hiring one of the founding partners of HP Legal Hajdu & Partner Law Office.

Former HP Legal name partner, Gábor Pázsitka (the firm's title has been changed since his departure), joined Jalsovsky this month as head of banking and finance. Pázsitka’s new team of three will focus on syndicated lending and project and structured finance. Before establishing his own firm, Pázsitka was a senior associate at Clifford Chance’s now defunct office in Budapest.

A corporate boutique, Jalsovsky, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is one of the country’s leading tax law specialists.

Hungary’s legal market is going through a challenging period. Around five years ago, with the economy in a fairly dire state, the government began taking steps in attempt to remedy the situation. It introduced taxes on banks, restrictions on large foreign-owned retailers and ordered utility bills be kept artificially low.

These measures have seen a variety of foreign owned businesses sold to the state, which some argue was exactly the point. For law firms, particularly those which prefer not to work for the current administration, this has been a drain on business and revenue as clients have sold up and moved out.

Although the legal market has not significantly contracted substantially amid this challenging climate, there were two notable developments last year. Dentons took over White & Case and, when Gide Loyrette Nouel pulled out of Budapest, French rival Jeantet stepped in to take over the office.