Mergers & Acquisitions, Equity Transactions
M&A advice forms a core of practice of Čechová & Partners. It has been involved in advising a number of foreign investors and multinationals on a broad range of transactions involving acquisition of shares or other equity interests, direct sale of a number of local enterprises and companies as well as mergers of multinationals’ local subsidiaries followed by international acquisitions and implementation of joint ventures. Čechová & Partners has advised its clients on privatisation tenders for the acquisition of majority equity participation in major Slovak companies, including the two biggest international airports, monopoly telecommunications operator and the largest Slovak banks.
Antitrust and Competition
A considerable proportion of the expertise of lawyers at Čechová & Partners is represented by a broad range of competition and antimonopoly matters, in particular assistance in antimonopoly clearances for domestic and foreign transactions and agreements restricting economic competition. Our lawyers have been involved, among others, in the antimonopoly clearance for the acquisition of shares in a major Slovak paper producer, acquisition of one of the largest Slovak bank as well as local clearances for numerous world-wide transactions of multinationals, particularly in the chemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. Assistance relating to competition restricting contracts constitutes also a significant area of practice. In addition, we represent clients in proceedings concerning investigations of abuse of dominant position or competition restricting contracts.
Corporate and Business Law
Our lawyers are involved in a large number of standard and non-standard corporate matters and procedures, advising either local subsidiaries of multinationals on local legal matters or multinationals on the establishment, operation and acquisition of local subsidiaries. Such assistance has frequently developed into a continuing working relationship.
In our practice, we provide full assistance in the area of contract drafting and reviewing, including the areas of commercial, financial, civil and specially regulated contracts.
Čechová & Partners has assisted clients in a number of project financing matters, including advisory to a foreign sponsor on the largest project finance transactions in Slovakia in the energy, gas and water industries. We have also advised clients on the acquisition, financing and development of a variety of real estate developments, in particular shopping centres, hotels and office facilities.
Insolvency and Restructurings
We regularly advise our clients on insolvency and restructuring matters and represent them in related legal proceedings. Our team of lawyers has participated in long-term assistance provided to a co-ordination committee of a group of leading international and local banks in financial restructuring and reorganisation of the largest steel producer in Slovakia. We have also advised on the restructuring of a major local producer of corrugated and wrapping material. Čechová & Partners has also been involved in the sale of bad debts from major state-controlled Slovak banks through a special-vehicle company.
Banking and Financial Transactions
Čechová & Partners has established its good reputation throughout the banking and financial sector. The firm’s clients include foreign and Slovak banks, facility arrangers, foreign investors, security houses, financial institutions and insurance companies, either private companies or partially or fully state-owned companies. Some of them outsource their legal work to us. The firm’s expertise covers loan transactions and other financial product transactions, financial restructuring and reorganisation. We have acted as an advisor to clients on a number of Eurobond issues which at that time represented the first transactions of this kind in the Slovak Republic.
Real Estate Law
Čechová & Partners regularly advises clients on the acquisition, finalising and development of various real estate, in particular shopping centres, hotels, offices, as well as accommodation facilities in the Slovak Republic. Among others, we have advised a leading foreign construction company on participation in one of the largest projects concerning the development of business, office and accommodation facilities in Bratislava; and a leading foreign bank on the financing of the reconstruction and development of a historical hotel facility.
Within the financial law expertise of our lawyers, advising on insurance matters constitutes a significant part. Our team of lawyers has advised on the establishment, licence proceedings, incorporation, commencement of business activities, including the processing of complete agenda of insurance contracts and related documentation of one of the leading life insurance companies, a subsidiary of one of the largest financial groups in the world, entering the Slovak insurance market and on a number of other transactions in the insurance sector.
Labour and Employment Law
We provide a full employment and labour law assistance to our clients. This includes in particular employment contracts, employment termination, liability for damage in employment relations, collective bargaining and works councils, pre-employment relations and antidiscrimination, employee data protection, health and safety at work, employee pensions and employee benefits.
Čechová & Partners advises on a complex range of regulatory issues as their significance is on the increase after the EU enlargement. A broad range of matters includes pharmaceuticals, health care, energy, water management, environment, telecommunications, the Internet, data protection, consumer protection, product safety and various transportation sectors.
Telecommunications Law, IT Law, Data Protection
This area of law forms a growing portion of our advisory activity. In the area of telecoms, we advise providers in all parts of the market on issues relating in particular to the Slovak implementation of the EU Electronic Communications Framework. IT companies form a significant part of our clientele and we advise on a broad range of IT issues, including intellectual property rights, contracts and data protection. Data Protection is however an area touching nowadays vast majority of our clients. In this area we draw from our experience in the legislative process in the area of data protection and our leading involvement in the launching of the Slovak registry of bank credit information.
Intellectual Property & Media
Čechová & Partners’ practice covers also legal services in the area of intellectual property law. Our team of lawyers advises on trademarks, their domestic and international registration, submission of appeals against registration of trademarks, trademarks licensing and transfers, including analysis of registration ability of a trademark and of relations between a trademark and other intellectual property rights. Our lawyers have gained experience also in the area of copyright law, including rights to software.
Our lawyers represent clients in various types of disputes, including court disputes, arbitration and administrative proceedings. Our lawyers also regularly participate in arbitration proceedings held by foreign arbitration tribunals.
European Union Law
With the accession of the Slovak Republic to the European Union, the acquis communautaire plays a more and more important role in the Slovak legal regulation. We provide our clients with complex assistance on legal matters having an EU-regulated aspect. We offer advice and assistance to our Slovak clients in particular in the areas covering competition, state aid, public procurement, dumping and anti-dumping, data protection, free movement of goods and regulatory issues (telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food, transport and energy).
Consumer Protection Law
Due to the influence of Community law, the consumer protection law becomes an issue of growing interest to clients. Our involvement in this area concerns in particular product recalls, product liability, warranties and issues of advertising.
Our law firm frequently advises on issues of pharmaceuticals (clinical trials, registration, prescription, marketing, advertising) health insurance (payments for certain services, inclusion of drugs and health care services in the public heatlh insurance scheme) and other health care regulations (e.g. protection of patients’ data).