Solicitors governing body: Slovak Bar Association
Competition authority: Antimonopoly Office Slovak Republic
Financial regulator: National Bank of Slovakia
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
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.
Allen & Overy is one of the leading international firms in the Slovak Republic as evidenced by its top tier rankings.
In banking and finance deal highlights include work on a number of loan portfolio sales and corporate and real estate financings for clients including Deutsche Bank, IFC, ING and Tatra banka.
In the capital markets the firm advised HB Reavis Group on the establishment of a bond programme and acted for the lead manager on a bond issue by CPI, Eurovea and Gevorkyan.
In M&A deal highlights include work for ENEL on the sale of a stake in Slovenske elektrárne, work for Fortuna Entertainment Group on the acquisition of Hattrick Sports Group, work for Asahi on the acquisition of SABMiller CEE beer brands.
Staffing changes include the transfer of finance senior associate Peter Redo from the Madrid office.
Balcar Polanský & Spol is active in both the Czech and Slovak Republics and focuses on M&A work.
During the research period the firm acted on general corporate matters for the likes of Aspen, DS Smith and ZTE.
Bartošík Sváby has been active in the real estate sector during the research period including acting for Immocap AM on financings and refinancings.
In the M&A space the firm also took on work for Immocap Am on the sale of shopping centre CENTRÁL. The firm also advised Galaxy Optical on the acquisition of an optical branch from Tesco.
“Excellent lawyers, in-depth knowledge of law and business in Slovakia and abroad, extremely responsive, favourable rates.” – Banking and finance
“Igor is a star, he thinks like a business partner with a detailed knowledge of law and the Slovak market. A pleasure to work with.”
BBH is active in both the Czech and Slovak Republics on banking and finance and M&A areas.
In the banking space the firm advised PPF banka on a financing provided to Trenčín Retail Park.
In M&A the firm acted for Erste Group Immorent Slovensko on the sale of a shopping centre, and worked for O2 Slovakia on the sale of O2 Business Services.
Beatow Partners is a domestic Slovak firm active across both the finance and corporate spheres.
Although of the firm’s work is confidential, in banking and finance it can be said that it has acted on corporate and real estate financings and refinancings and a trade receivables transaction.
In the M&A space the firm acted on acquisitions, disposals and restructurings in sectors such as real estate, TMT and utilities.
“Beatow Partners are a solid national law firm with clever lawyers. Even though we are competitors we very much enjoy working with them. They are reasonable, responsive and capable. Overall a very good law firm.” – Banking and finance
“Experienced top-tier local law firm.” – Asset finance, M&A
“Very responsive and smart lawyer. We can cooperate smoothly with Michal.”
“A professional with a focus on the client’s needs, willing to help at any time.”
bnt has offices across the CEE with strength in Central Europe and the Baltic region.
The firm has been particularly active in the real estate sector including acting for SEE RE One and Invest4SEE RE investment Holding and PointPark Properties.
In the M&A space the firm acted for SHT Haustechnik on the sale of 95% shares in SHT Slovensko.
bpv Braun Partners is active across Central Europe including offices in both the Czech and Slovak Republics. The firm has picked up a number of deals in the real estate sector during the research period.
In the banking space the firm acted for Capital Bank-GRAWE on a real estate financing restructuring and advised BAWAG Leasing on the restructuring of a real estate leasing financing.
In M&A much of the firm’s work was cross border between the Czech and Slovak Republics including advising the likes of SSE Holding and Unilabs/Apax. The firm also advised the WM Group on the sale of six shopping centres.
Čechová & Partners is one of the Slovak Republic’s leading independent firm active across both banking and finance and M&A.
In banking and finance the firm has been active on general corporate and acquisition finance matters.
In M&A a clear highlight saw the firm advise bauMax on the sale of central Europe DIY operations. The firm also acted Supernova Privatstiftung group on the sale of three retail warehouses
Staffing changes include the addition of partner Lenka Subenikova from Wolf Theiss.
“Čechová & Partners has a well-staffed and dedicated M&A team which is able and willing to give you responses on short notice and meet those short notice deadlines. They are problem-solvers.” – M&A
“Very quick and profound feedback in complex M&A procedures; drafting of contracts took place within a short period of time and were completed to a high quality.” – M&A
“Katharina Čechová is on top of things and leads her team in a way that answers come smoothly without loss of information.”
“Very high quality.”
“Works hard and is focussed.”
Dentons has an extensive network across the CEE and in the Slovak Republic is known for its finance and projects work, particularly in the energy and real estate sectors.
In banking and finance the firm advised Tatra banka on the refinancing of Eurovea, work for Slovenská sporiteľna on the financing of two wind farms. In the real estate sector the firm acted for Československá obchodná banka on the financing of the construction of the Panorama Business buildings in Bratislava.
In M&A the firm acted for GEP on the sale of SPV Goodman Senec 3 and 4 and advised TPG Real Estate on the acquisition of certain companies of the Trigranit portfolio.
Staffing changes include the addition of finance counsel Patricia Gossányiová from Komerční banka.
“Deep market knowledge and excellent ability to transpose international banking legal concepts into local legal environment.” – Banking and finance
“Very knowledgeable and professional.” – M&A
“Excellent negotiation skills, deep market knowledge.”
“Very knowledgeable and professional. Stayed on schedule.”
Dvorák Hager & Partners is active in both the Czech and Slovak Republics.
In the banking space the firm acted for the borrower on a real estate financing. The firm also advised on derivatives matters.
In the M&A area a clear highlight was work for Societé Générale group on the acquisition of PSA Finance. The firm also advised Atalian on the acquisition of AB Facility and on its reorganisation.
In the projects area the firm acted on renewable energy projects and work on a public procurement matter in the transport sector.
Staffing changes include the addition of Tomáš Richter Urban from Čechová & Partners.
The Slovak legal arm of the EY global network, EY Law, has mainly focused on M&A work during the research period.
All of the firm’s work is confidential but it can be said that it has been active in the engineering, food and beverage and real estate sectors.
Giese & Partner is active in both the Czech and Slovak Republics and is active on banking and finance and M&A matters, particularly in the real estate sector.
All of the firm’s work is confidential but it can be said that it has advised on a refinancing in the automotive sector, restructurings and on real estate financings.
In M&A the firm has again been active in real estate. The firm also picked up work in the insurance sector.
“Although the law firm is rather small, they are in a position to reply immediately and are even in urgent cases ready to assist. I appreciate their reliability and accurate work.” – Banking and finance
“Very responsive, thorough and friendly.” – M&A
"Giese & Partner is a law firm strongly focused on project and real estate financing. All of the attorneys are highly competent and have extensive practical experience in the area of finance and commercial law. They are very keen to support and guide the foreign client in specificities of Slovak law and if faced with a complexity or an obstacle, finding the most practical solution.” – Project finance, Real estate finance
“Specialised knowledge of real estate financing in small countries with good local language knowledge too. Long track record, good communication skills, quick in answering.” – Real estate finance
“Giese lawyers are highly experienced and knowledgeable. For work assigned they always offered a team that was suitable for the task not overbuilt and not understaffed or lacking experience. Their products are concise clear on time and contain the right conclusions.” – M&A
“Always present, practical and hands on in crucial stages of the transaction and negotiations.”
“Good knowledge of the industry, great deal of experience in the various aspects of Real Estate Financing, client focused.”
“Highly knowledgeable and experienced reliable and providing clear and concise products.”
“Responsive and accurate.”
Glatzova & Co is active across both banking and finance and M&A but is best known for its general corporate work. It is active in both the Czech and Slovak Republics.
In banking and finance the firm acted for TFS Europe on a trade finance facility and advised eternal Mode Holding on a refinancing.
In the corporate and M&A space the firm has acted for the likes of Amadeus group, Mazda Motor Logistics Europe, Nufarm Group and Tchibo group.
“I highly appreciate their engagement, expertise and client-orientation.” – M&A
Hillbridges are an independent Slovak law firm active on both finance and corporate work.
In the banking and finance area a clear highlight saw the firm act for the lenders on the financing of the acquisition of Partner in Pet Food Group by Pamplona Capital Management.
In M&A the firm acted for LG Hausys on the acquisition of a majority stake in C2i.
On the projects side highlights include advising a consortium on the construction of a new university hospital in Bratislava.
Kinstellar has a network of offices across the CEE and has gained traction in the Slovak Republic in recent years.
In banking and finance clear highlights include work for Bank of China as a lender on the financing of Asahi’s acquisition of SABMiller’s CEE beer brands and work for Inter Cars on its refinancing.
In M&A a clear highlight saw the firm act for Sberbank on the sale of its Slovak subsidiary. The firm also advised GIC ion the acquisition of P3 Logistics Parks.
In the projects area the firm has been involved in two of the key infrastructure projects in the country in recent years including advising the ViaDunaj Consortium on the D4 Highway R7 Expressway PPP and advised Assuta Medical on its bid for the concession of the Bratislava university hospital.
Staffing changes include the addition of senior associate Dominika Bajzáthová from Ružička Csekes.
“Excellent knowledge of insolvency and collateral enforcement measures.” – Banking and finance
“Engages in meaningful and thoughtful discussion on commercial issues, and is responsive.” – Capital markets
“Professional, flexible and quickly reacting to the questions; communication in English.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“Kinstellar is very responsive, quick to understand the issues and see the big picture, very polite and communicative and I am feeling safe that we are in good hands. Lawyers are very process oriented, they fight for us at the meetings. Kinstellar is saying not only that we have issues but also provides us with solutions.” – M&A
“The service is professional. The firm chose the best way for us to deal with the liquidation without any serious conflict with the employees.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“He is diligent and will reply to us at the soonest time when we ask him for any questions.”
“Experienced professional always ready to advise.”
“Responsive, provides reasoned responses and takes a commercial approach.”
“Very polite lawyer and responsive. He has a deep knowledge of the legal areas.”
“Viliam is a lawyer with drive, he is definitely a frontman at the meetings, he is very quick to understand the issue, provides us with a response, he is always flexible. He sets the bar high for other lawyers and counterparties.”
Legate is focused on M&A work and although all of the firm’s work is confidential it can be said that it has acted on M&A, asset transfers and restructurings in the agriculture, aviation and oil and gas sectors.
Paul Q Law Firm is active across banking and finance, M&A and project development matters.
In M&A the firm acted for a consortium on the sale of Benestra and work for ASBIS on the merger of a number of its group entities.
In the projects space the firm has acted for the Slovak Government on the acquisition of the National Football Stadium. The firm also advised an international consortium on a concession related to the new university hospital in Bratislava. The firm also acted on a number of real estate matters.
“Very professional, reliable firm with pro-business approach.”
“Excellent lawyer, understands client needs and very responsive.”
Peterka & Partners has a number of offices right across the CEE region. In the Slovak Republic it acts on banking and finance and M&A work.
In banking the firm advised Burgundy Ventures Slovakia on a refinancing linked to a real estate transaction.
In M&A a clear deal highlight was work for Banque PSA Finance on the sale of its Slovak subsidiaries. The firm also advised AWT on the sale of an industrial wastewater treatment plant and advised Swiss Re on a divestment.
The firm hired finance associate Jana Palcikova from Wolf Theiss during the research period.
Poláček & Partners has been focused on the energy sector during the research period mainly acting on court matters. The firm also acted on the sale of a solar power plant and a tender relating to electric vehicle charging stations.
The main staffing change at the firm was the addition of energy senior associate Juraj Ondrejka from Vojčík & Partners.
PRK Partners is active in the Czech and Slovak Republics and in Hungary and is best known for its M&A work.
A clear standout deal in M&A saw the firm advise SABMiller on the sale of its CEE businesses. The firm also acted for the likes of Ringier Axel Springer, LEGRAND and Würth.
In the projects space the firm took a role on one of the largest infrastructure projects in the country advising the winning consortium on the D4 Highway R7 Expressway PPP.
Ružička Csekes split from the CMS network in 2017 and now acts as an independent Slovak firm.
In the banking and finance space the firm acted for Erste Group Bank on the financing of Blackstone’s acquisition of logistics assets. The firm also advised Česká spořitelna on the grant of a loan to Fortuna Entertainment Group.
In the corporate and M&A area the firm has acted for the likes of ALPIQ Energy, GlaxoSmithKline and MOL Group.
In the projects space a clear highlight saw the firm advise the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic in relation to the new university hospital in Bratislava. The firm also took a role advising Hochtief Concessions in relation to D4 Highway R7 Expressway. The firm also acted on a number of projects in the rail sector.
“Great approach, understanding of customer needs, understand risk appetite.” – M&A
Austrian firm Schoenherr has offices across the CEE and is active on both banking and M&A in the Slovak Republic.
In banking and finance deal highlights include work for Albea Group on the financing of the acquisition of Scandolara Tub-Est and work for the lenders on the refinancing of the Schaeffler group.
In M&A the firm advised Lindsay Goldberg on the acquisition of Schur Flexibles Group and work for immigon portfolioabbau on the sale of shares in ROGER Jedna.
Taylor Wessing e|n|w|c can take advantage of the firm’s global network and the firm has a number of offices across the CEE.
In banking and finance the firm acted for ARKON on financing linked to the shopping centre Galeria Lucenec and advised Česká exportní banka on the restructuring of Slovakia Steel Mills.
In M&A the firm advised Slovofruit on a real estate sale and KUAG on the sale of its Slovak subsidiary.
Staffing changes include the hires of Lenka Michalová and Adam Oleš and the departure of Lucia Žitňanská.
White & Case is one of the few international firms, as opposed to regional players, active in the Slovak market and is considered to be one of its leading firms in financial and corporate.
In banking and finance deal highlights include work for P3 on its refinancing, work for Československá obchodní banka on the refinancing of the VGP Parks portfolio and work for PPF banka on the financing of the acquisition of Mall.cz by Rockaway Capital.
In the capital markets the firm has acted for the banks on sovereign bond deals undertaken by the Slovak Republic. The firm also acted on a bond issue by HB Reavis.
In M&A the firm acted for Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets on its acquisition of logistics assets and advised P3 and TPG on the sale of the former to GIC.
In projects the firm advised NFŠ and Tehelné on the development of the Slovak national football stadium.
Austrian firm Wolf Theiss has offices across the CEE and is active on financing and M&A work in the Slovak Republic.
In banking and finance the firm advised Erste Group Bank on the financing of Slovenská sporiteľňa and the refinancing of a portfolio of six OBI DIY stores.
M&A deal highlights include work for Amundi Group on the acquisition of Pioneer investments and advised Rockaway Capital on the acquisition of INVIA.
Staffing changes include the addition of finance partner Lubos Frolkovic and counsel Lenka Subenikova.
“Quick and responsive with excellent knowledge about the sector and the country.” – Real estate finance
“Excellent work, very supportive in each transaction, quick responses.”