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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”