Slovak Republic

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Slovak Bar Association

Competition authority: Antimonopoly Office Slovak Republic

Financial regulator: National Bank of Slovakia

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Banking and finance, M&A, Project development

Jurisdiction overview

The modern Slovak Republic was formed following the dissolution of Czechoslovakia following the 1989 Velvet Revolution. The country has a civil law system that is strongly influenced by former communist law and, more recently, EU law. Because of their former union the legislative system also has a lot of overlap with the law of the Czech Republic.

The official title of lawyers in the Slovak Republic is Advokát. Lawyers must be registered by the Slovak Bar Association if they are to practice. As with other states in the EU, the country allows free movement by lawyers from other EEA countries, though they must partner with a Slovak lawyer if they wish to practice Slovak lawyer. Foreign lawyers from outside the EU cannot practice under the title of their home country.

The main restriction on foreign firms is that only law firms from EEA countries can open an office in the country and those firms may only employ Slovak or European lawyers.

The market itself is a mix of domestic firms, many of who have offices in both the Czech and Slovak republics, UK and regional CEE firms. A small number of US firms are also present where the office is a branch of their European operations.

Lawyers in the jurisdiction have a degree of specialisation, usually focusing more on finance or corporate matters.

Financial and corporate
Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy is one of the strongest firm in Slovak Republic and ranks highly across all practice areas.

In banking and finance, the firm is largely active in financing mandates acting for international banks as lenders, arrangers and global co-ordinators. One of the key mandates saw the firm advise the global co-ordinators in the financing of PPF Group’s acquisition. On the borrower’s side, the firm advised Kruk on the financing of structured loan portfolio sales.

In capital markets work, the firm advised the issuers on bond issues and acted for the dealers on Západoslovenská energetika’s EMTN programme.

In M&A, the firm is notably prominent on the buy side, but is equally active for the sellers on private and public acquisitions. Notable highlights include advising SZRB Asset Management on the acquisition of stake in GA Drilling following its share offerings, and advising Fortuna Entertainment Group on the acquisition of Hattrick Sports Group.

In project work, the firm has been appointed by the concessionaire, Zero Bypass, to advise on the legal aspects of D4/R7 Slovak road project.

Key clients include Unicredit, Bank of China and Raiffeisen Bank.

Client feedback

"Allen & Overy employs the best lawyers in the Slovak Republic and provides a very professional and high level form of legal services. I consider that among the strengths of this firm is their focus on client relationships. Moreover, the experience of its lawyers, in particular within the M&A area, is a guarantee of first-class legal advice." – Capital markets, M&A

"Allen & Overy is a local leader in banking and finance transactions. The firm provides reliable, high-quality services." – Banking

"Flexible professionals with deep knowledge, relevant skills and experience in offering creative solutions." – Capital markets, M&A, regulatory

"Professional and possesses expert knowledge." – Regulatory

"Very professional staff." – Banking, project finance, restructuring and insolvency

Balcar Polanský & Spol

Balcar Polanský & Spol has offices in Slovak Republic and Czech Republic and is active in the corporate area.

Recent changes include to the departure of corporate lawyer Marek Olekšák.

Recent clients include ZTE and DS SMITH Plastics.

Bartošík Šváby

Bartošík Šváby has been active in capital markets and M&A during the research period. 

In capital markets the firm acted on the increase of a company’s equity capital, and advised Immcap on the creation of bond issuance platforms.

In M&A the firm acted on several real estate transactions, advising Heitman on its sale of several administrative buildings.

Client feedback

"They are excellent lawyers with an in-depth understanding of the business." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, project development, restructuring and insolvency

"The small team that I am working with is very professional with a wide scope of legal knowledge and experiences, in regard to labour and trade union law. The team works extremely precisely, reflecting not only the law, but also the courts' latest decisions as well. Very recommendable." – Banking 

"Very professional and trustworthy law firm, with a great business sense." – Banking, project development

BBH

BBH has been active in M&A and banking recently.

In banking and finance the firm picked up several financing mandates for PPF Group, working on due diligence, recovery and security of receivables concerning its position as a creditor. 

In M&A the firm is active in industrial, real estate and electricity sectors advising a mix of buyers and sellers including ČEZ ESCO and Erste Group. One publishable highlight was in the real estate sector where it advised YIT Slovakia on the sale of Reading Tower 2.

Key clients include ČEZ ESCO, Erste Group, PPF, and Nordic Investors.

Beatow Partners

Beatow Partners is a relatively new firm, yet it is establishing a reputation for corporate work. It is also a member of Meritas, a global network of independent firms.

While the firm’s work is mostly confidential, it can be said that it has acted for domestic and foreign lenders on financing transactions as local legal counsel, and offered regulatory advice on data protection issues and anti-money laundering.

In M&A the firm has advised private investors on acquisitions and the sale of their stakes in Slovak companies, and acted as local counsel for global firms on acquisitions across the banking and real estate sectors.

Client feedback

"They are a mid-sized local law firm active in the field of medium-sized finance transactions. They are to the point, quick, reasonable and deal-oriented." – Banking

Čechová & Partners

Čechová & Partners is one of the leading Slovak Republic firms and is active across all areas but strongest in projects.

In finance transactions, the firm has primarily been active on the borrower’s side acting for auto companies on refinancing of existing credit facilities. In regulatory mandates, the firm has been advising foreign banks, investment firms and insurance companies in relation to Slovak regulations.

In M&A, the firm assisted Karlovarské minerální vody in the acquisition of PepsiCo’s operations in Slovak Republic. It also acted for private equity and investment funds on acquisitions across Slovak businesses.

The firm’s project work has mostly involved advising foreign clients on Slovak operations’ efficiency and sustainability working for clients involved in the renewables and communication sectors.

Client feedback

"Attorneys at Čechová & Partners are client-oriented. They are hands-on and understand the business and the constraints of the client. They make Slovak law particularities easy to understand for foreign clients. Katarina Čechová and her team are great professionals." – Restructuring and insolvency

"Čechová & Partners is one of the key players in the Slovak legal market. They are very responsive and have good knowledge." – M&A, restructuring and insolvency 

"Kind and professional approach. The firm has responsive and knowledgeable staff who provide good insights on the particular matters." – Banking, restructuring and insolvency 

CHSH Šiška & Partners

Šiška & Partners is part of Austrian firm CHSH’s network which spans a large part of the CEE region. 

During the research period, the firm picked up work in the energy sector where it advised ICW Investment Europe on the acquisition of land plots for the purposes of constructing a biogas power plant. Elsewhere, it was the seller’s counsel on one of the largest Slovak transactions in the online business area, acting on the sale of online domains to Ringier Axel Springer.

Key clients include ICW Investments Europe, Solartec Holding and TFC Cable Assemblies.

Dentons

Dentons has a strong network across the CEE region and has a strong corporate and projects practice. This year, the firm had a strong year in banking and finance area.

In the finance area, the firm has been primarily advising lenders including UniCredit on financing transactions. It is particularly active on project finance where it advised the lenders on financing the construction of national stadium and Sky Park Residences. On the borrower’s side it advised a pharmaceutical company on a senior leveraged dividend credit facility.

The corporate team has been active on private and public M&A, advising the likes of Agate Medical investments on sale of shares and acting for CNIC Corporation on acquisition of Prologis Park. In the pharmaceutical sector, it advised Sanofi on the post-merger integration of a business. The firm also advised a Japanese company in acquisition of shares in Slovak manufacturing company. 

Key clients include Mitsui & Co, Sanofi, Zentiva and UniCredit.

Client feeback

"Very professional team that provide excellent co-operation and have perfect time management." – Banking

Dvořák Hager & Partners

Dvořák Hager & Partners has offices in Slovak Republic and Czech Republic. It is active across all areas of work covered by the IFLR1000 and is commended for its project work.

In banking and finance the firm’s non-confidential roles included advising RICOH and Vodafone on detailed analysis of cash pooling and leasing arrangements with banks. 

In M&A the firm’s highlight work saw it act as local advisor to Kingspan on its cross border acquisition of Brakel Group. 

In the projects space, the firm has been active in real estate development where it advised project developer Sisban Holding on all aspects of the development of logistics centre in Western Slovakia.

Key clients include Kingspan, Atalian, Vodafone and ContourGlobal.

Giese & Partner

Like other local law firms in Slovak republic, Giese & Partners also operates in Czech Republic. Active in banking and finance, the firm’s strength lies in real estate. 

In banking and finance the firm has been advising lenders on several real estate financing transactions. Highlights include advising Deutsche Pfandbriefbank on the financing of Prologis Bratislava Park, and acting for Helaba Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen on its exit from the financing of Europa.

In M&A the firm engaged in merger mandates, advising CTH Invest on local anti-trust and competition issues, and provided due diligence support to Jones Day on Lincoln Electric Holdings’ acquisition of a Slovak target.

CTH Invest, UniCredit Hungary and Deutche Pfandbriefbank are some of the notable clients the firm has advised during the research period.

Client feedback

"The firm are very accurate in their work and are good at describing the risks of a transaction. Nonetheless, they intend always to find good solutions for legal problems. Another strength is also their capability to communicate in German, alongside English and Slovak." – Banking

"Giese & Partner is a very reliable firm in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. They are very responsive and understand the client's needs very quickly. Their highly skilled attorneys provide us continuously great support." – M&A

"They have an in-depth knowledge of Slovak and Czech law." – Regulatory

Glatzova & Co

Glatzova & Co is active in both Czech Republic and Slovak Republic with experience in banking and finance and M&A work.

In banking and finance the firm has primarily acted on the borrower side recently, advising on refinancing and structuring and negotiations of local security documents. 

In M&A the firm has recent experience in automotive sector where it acted as local counsels to investment firms and private equity funds on high value acquisitions.

Client include Western Union, International Automotive Components Group and Eterna Group.

Client feedback

"It it is good value for money. The firm provides a professional approach, long term partnership, and key personal stability." – M&A, regulatory

"Professional, accurate and reliable."  - Banking, project finance

Veronika Pázmányová

"Accurate and responsible."

"Always delivers expectations and has excellent client communication."

Hamala Kluch Víglaský

During the research period, Hamala Kluch Víglaský has been active in real estate finance and rail sector M&A.

In banking and finance, the firm advised the lenders on financing of Jarošova building and financing the acquisition of Reding Tower 2. On the borrower side, it advised MedicoPharm on the extension of its warehouse.

In M&A the firm picked up mandates in the rail sector where it advised Budamar Logistics on two acquisitions of railway components manufactures and a joint venture with Railtrans International. Elsewhere it advised Cresco group on real estate joint venture with Avestus Capital partners.

Key clients include Budamar logistics, Cresco Group and Unicredit.

Client feedback

"Hamala Kluch Víglaský is working to our full satisfaction. Their expertise is very wide and allows them to give us their advice in various areas of supplier contract issues. Another advantage is that they work very fast." – Project development

"I am always satisfied with the quality and timing of their work, and I like my co-operation with the banking and finance team. They are not only professionals but also very nice people." – Banking

Hillbridges

Hillbridges is active in corporate area but its main strength lies in project work.

The corporate team has picked up an equal amount of M&A mandates on the buy and sell side. However, its’ highlight deals are on the sell side where it advised M-Market and Sanofi on the sale of businesses to private equity. Elsewhere, it has been acting on general corporate work for the likes of Transpetrol, Grand Circle and Pixel Federation.

In project development, the only publishable work is the firm’s advisory role to Goodman international on the expansion of its logistic park in Senec.

Key clients include M-market, Sanofi, and Zenteva.

Kinstellar

The banking and finance team has been largely active on the lenders’ side advising the likes of UniCredit on construction finance for facilities in automotive and biochemical sectors. It also acted for the underwriters on the private placement of Slovak governed bonds to finance the construction of nursing home. Elsewhere, it advised Credium on the sale of its loan portfolios. 

The firm has had a strong M&A year advising sellers and buyers on cross border transactions involving manufacturing and power companies. The firm’s advisory role to Prologis Development Holding on the sale of Galanta logistic park is the clear publishable highlight in M&A.

In project development, the firm worked for the sponsors on D4R7 and R1 Expressway advising on public procurement and commercial contract issues, and the shareholders structure.

During the research period, the firm has advised the likes of Stiga, Prologis Development and UniCredit.

Client feedback

"Very supporting and motivated." – Investment funds, project development, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency

"The firm are pragmatic, result-focused and charge fair rates." – Banking 

"Very good quality and responsiveness." – M&A

Legate

Legate is known for its work in M&A. Its recent work includes deals in oil and gas, renewable energy, and the agriculture sector, where it advised a mix of buyers and sellers on share purchase agreements and due diligence work.

Paul Q Law Firm

Paul Q Law Firm has near three decades of experience and is active in all areas covered by IFLR1000. Its biggest strength lies in corporate work. 

In banking and finance, the firm has mostly acted on portfolio restructuring work for the likes of Hörnlein Group.

In M&A the firm picked up work in the agriculture sector and food industry, with one example being its work for Edenred on the acquisition of Slovak companies. It also advised Edenered Slovakia on post-acquisition merger with Vaša Slovensko. Elsewhere, the firm has primarily engaged in day-to-day corporate work for the likes of ArcelorMittal Construction, FCA Group and Merck. 

The firm’s project work revolves around real estate where it acted on acquisitions and leasing of lands and buildings. For example, it advised SAFRA Slovakia on land acquisition, tendering and obtaining permits in relation to its new residential project in Košice.

Key clients include Banca IMI, Dan-Slovakia Agrar and RIMO.

Client feedback

"Paul Q has deep knowledge on topics related to international M&A with a strong focus on local laws and regulations." – Banking, M&A

"Personal, with a thorough knowledge of real estate matters." – Banking, project development, project finance 

"We are very happy and satisfied with the overall level of service provided. The team has proved to possess deep industry knowledge, are fully available in assisting us with various tasks, very quick to react, and are always providing tailored solutions. We are confident that they are providing excellent value for money at any time." – Investment funds, M&A, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency 

Peterka & Partners

Peterka & Partners is a regional firm with several offices across the CEE region. In Slovak Republic, the firm is active in banking and finance and M&A.

In banking and finance the firm’s recent borrower side work includes advising Bibby Financial Services on its loan facility agreement with HSBC and assisting YCE Housing I on financing the acquisition of residential project in Bratislava. Elsewhere, it acted on regulatory work concerning e-payment services and cash pooling system.

In M&A the firm has primarily acted on transactions related to the sale and acquisition of Slovak subsidiaries. Highlights include advising Schreiber Foods and European Road Transportation Services on the sale of its activities and subsidiaries in Slovakia. 

Some of the firm’s notable clients include Nissens Slovakia, Bibby Financial Services and Veolia.

Poláček & Partners

Poláček & Partners is widely known for its energy and litigation practices. It is also active in corporate work where it recently advised on the sale of water cooler business.

In the energy sector the firm has been active representing clients in court proceedings and has participated in the preparation of energy legislation. 

Elsewhere the firm has also represented clients in relation obtaining permits for various infrastructure work, including oil and gas exploration and water pipeline construction.

Client feedback

"The firm provides an analytical, straight forward approach, and produces satisfactory deliverables." - Regulatory

"Good quality. The team is dynamic, flexible and productive." – M&A

"They are absolutely professional, and make fair conditions, while possessing very good communication skills." – Regulatory 

"They are strongly focused on attaining positive results for their clients and discuss every detail with their clients directly. They use understandable and plain language, which I appreciate." – Regulatory

Ružička and Partners

Ružička Csekes’ recent internal restructuring saw the firm part ways with CMS and is now acting as independent Slovak law firm. Active across all areas, it is notable for project work.

In banking, the firm represented the creditor on debt restructuring mandate and advised the lender on debt refinancing of Dúbravka Centrum. It also acted for the lenders on financing the construction of new football stadium.

Due to firm’s confidentiality request its notable M&A work cannot be highlighted however it can be said that the firm has acted for private equity and leading domestic corporates advising on acquisitions and mergers.

In the projects space, the firm has advised the grantors including the government on public procurement in the construction of intermodal terminals, new football stadium and a university hospital. 

Peter Šimo left the firm following the termination of cooperation with CMS. Ján Hanko joined the firm’s banking and finance team.

Key clients include UniCredit and OTP Banka

Client feedback

"Knowledgeable, very helpful and reliable service on a more or less permanent basis." – M&A. regulatory, restructuring and insolvency

"The law firm is very reputable, namely in public procurement law." – Project development, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency

"The law firm provides a reliable service for a reasonable price." – Regulatory

Ján Marták

"Business-oriented professional"

Dana Nemčíková

"Very stable, wise and goal-oriented approach backed up with long-term business relationship."

Jaroslav Ružička

"Excellent, diligent and reputable"

Schoenherr Slovakia

Schoenherr Slovakia, the Slovak office of the leading Austrian law firm, is active in banking and finance and M&A. 

In banking and finance, the firm’s clear highlight work recently saw the firm act as local counsel to syndicate of banks on the financing of Schaeffler. It also advised Permira on financing Steadfast Capital’s acquisition of German Fortas’s subsidiaries.

In M&A the firm has worked on a mix of domestic and cross border mandates acting as local counsel to Franz Haniel & Cie on its joint venture with Rentokil Intial and advising Immofinanz on its acquisition of WM Group’s retail park portfolio. 

Key clients include UniCredit Group, Immofinanz and Global Logistics Properties.

Client feedback

"Good work under time pressure." – M&A 

"The work of Soňa Hekelová's team is excellent. They are client-orientated, pragmatic, and responsive, and have a very good knowledge of their practice which extends to various areas of law." – Banking, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

Škubla & Partneri

Škubla & Partneri has an office in Bratislava and operates in Czech Republic. It has notable M&A and banking practices, and good activity in project finance work.

The firm’s recent project finance work comprises advising debtors on financing the construction of several residential project including the Sky Park and Rezidencia Pri Mýte projects. Elsewhere, it has acted for both debtors and lenders on acquisition financing and refinancing transactions.

The firm’s M&A team has acted on deals in the media sector such as the acquisition of Ringier’s magazines division and Autobazar.eu where in both cases it advised the buyers. Other highlight deals took place in the banking sector where it advised shareholders on the merger of Prima Banka and Sberbank.

Staffing changes includes the departure of banking partner Vladimír Polička to Kinstellar. Former CMS lawyer Marián Šulík joined the firm as a banking and finance partner.

Key clients include Central European Holding, Penta Investments, News and Media Holding and Dr Max.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs in Slovakia is active in banking and finance and M&A.

In banking and finance, recent clear highlights saw the firm advise a major Czech bank on two financing transactions of European operators of food retail stores. 

During the research period the firm’s corporate team mostly acted on general corporate matters, advising on changes in members of the boards and corporate law. It also advised Liberty Global on its split from Liberty Latin America.

Key clients include Československá obchodní banka, Raiffeisen Bank and Liberty Global.

Client feedback

"Excellent team, with good English language skills and a professional approach. They are experts in many areas of law." – Banking

Stentors

Stentors is a new addition to IFLR1000. During the research period the firm acted on M&A and project development work, with a focus real estate transactions.

Recent deal highlights include advising a foreign client on its entry into Slovak market via acquisition of land plots for the purposes of constructing a warehouse, and advising an international property developer on the acquisition of two industrial parks. It also provided due diligence service to a regional real estate funds manager on the acquisition of shopping centre.

Taylor Wessing e|n|w|c

Taylor Wessing e|n|w|c is an international firm with expertise in cross border mandates thanks to its global network and presence in the CEE region.

One of the firm’s highlight deals saw the firm advise CentralNic on the purchase and financing of SK-INC. Elsewhere, it advised one notable Polish bank on several regulatory matters including the implementation of new banking regulation. 

In M&A, the firm’s recent work includes advising Arkon on two separate acquisitions of machinery factory and minority share in Seak Energetics.

Key clients include Arkon and CentralNic.

White & Case

White & case is one of the leading firm in Slovak Republic with strength across all practice areas.

In banking and finance, the firm has acted for PPF Banka on financing the acquisition of Mall.cz and a mixed-use industrial and office complex in Budapest. In project finance, the firm acted for the borrowers in relation to the financing of the development of national football stadium. 

In capital markets, the firm advised issuers in relation to EMTN and covered bonds programmes. The firm also advised lead managers on the issue of Slovak Republic bonds and notes.

In M&A, the firm has acted for private equity and insurance companies in the acquisition of leading Slovak businesses in automotive and insurance sector.

In projects area, the firm has been advising the state government on the construction of D4 Bypass and R7 Expressway. It also acted for the Czech government advising on the construction of D4 highway, the country’s first PPP infrastructure/road project.

Allianz, PPF Group and MetLife are some of the firm’s key clients. 

Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss has a strong presence across the CEE region and the Slovak office works closely with its counterparts on cross border transactions

In banking and finance, the firm has acted for the likes of Raiffeisen and UniCredit banks on cross border financing of a real estate company. The firm’s publishable highlight includes advising HSBC as local counsel on a receivables finance facility agreement.

In M&A, the firm mostly acts as local counsel in the high value cross border mandates advising the likes of Nidec Corporation on the acquisition of Secop Group. 

Publishable key clients include HSBC and Bain Capital.