Katarína Čechová is a senior partner in Čechová & Partners. During her 33 years of continuous legal practice she advised and represented clients in a wide range of transactions and legal cases, and has gained the most extensive experience and expertise in various areas of Slovak commercial laws, particularly in M&A work, reorganizations and restructurings, domestic and cross border mergers, corporate finance, and project financing. She is also a recognized expert in business dispute resolution and active as an arbitrator in domestic and international arbitrations.
Katarína graduated from the Law Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia and received her Dr. Jur. in 1984. She was the founding partner of the law firm Čechová & Partners. Katarína is a Slovak national and is fluent in English, Russian and Czech. She served as the guest professor of commercial and financial law at the Law Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava since 1996 to 1998. She serves as the arbitrator for international disputes of the Arbitration Court of the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 1997, Vienna International Arbitration Centre since 2017 and the Arbitration Court of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2018.
Katarína is an active member of the International Bar Association; she served as the Co-Chair of the European Forum of the International Bar Association since October 2000 till November 2002 and since 1996 has become a permanent representative of the Slovak Bar Association in the IBA Council.
Active language skills: Slovak, English, Russian, Czech
Passive language skills: German
Areas of Practice
Mergers & Acquisitions
Reorganisation of Undertakings
Bankruptcy and restructuring
Business Disputes and Arbitration
Contract Law and contractual relationships
Project and Corporate Finance
Significant accomplishments in the area of M&A
Katarína served as the lead attorney advising, among others, in the following M&A deals:
- to Intesa BCI in successful acquisition of majority stake of shares in the largest formerly state-owned commercial bank in Slovakia;
- to SKANSKA in acquisition of Banské stavby, a.s., Klimavex, a.s., STAMART Martin, s.r.o. and SkyBau, s.r.o.;
- to Vienna International Airport and members of its consortium in successful acquisition of Košice International Airport;
- to a leading European bank in the tender for acquisition of majority stake of shares in the privatisation of the largest state-owned Slovak savings bank;
- to a leading Austrian telecommunication company as one of the short listed bidders on acquisition of majority stake of shares in the privatisation of the monopoly Slovak telecommunication company;
- to a major Austrian electricity company on the acquisition of the monopoly Slovak electricity producer;
- to an Israeli private equity company in acquisition of 100 % stake in two Slovak market dominant operators of cinemas from a leading European cinema operator;
- to a global provider of market research and consulting services to the pharmaceutical industry in the acquisition of a local Slovak competitor;
- to a German operator of communications and media systems in prisons and forensic commitments in acquisition of a Slovak company providing services in the telecommunication sector;
- to one of the largest transport services operators in Europe based in UK in acquisition of three large bus transportation companies in Slovakia;
- to a Japanese electronics and IT giant in a buy-side M&A transaction that involved acquisition of RSS business division from another world IT giant;
- to a US based group active in the secure card business in sale of its local operations;
- to one of leading European producers and suppliers to global rubber processing market in acquisition of a Slovak producer of machines and components;
- to a member of international newspaper network in connection with acquisition of leading advertising business in Slovakia;
- to a group of Danish investors in the field of agriculture on the corporate, contractual and financing matters relating to their operations in Slovakia and acquisitions of agricultural enterprises and land;
- to an Austrian private equity fund in acquisition of shares in a Slovak IT company and with internal reorganisation of holding of shares in its other Slovak subsidiaries, etc.
Significant accomplishments in the area of reorganisations and restructurings
Katarína served as the leading legal advisor to:
- co-ordination committee of a group of 40 international and local banks on financial restructuring and reorganisation of the largest steel producer in Slovakia;
- key majority creditors in financial restructuring of a leading Slovak producer of heavy metal constructions (such as arms, booms, frames) for agricultural, construction, mining and other machinery;
- Slovak subsidiaries of multinational petroleum company in unbundling of lubricants and fuels businesses;
- a major Slovak producer of corrugated and wrapping materials in reorganisation of all its local subsidiaries;
- local subsidiaries in reorganisation of leading global logistics company;
- local subsidiaries of a multinational leading producer and supplier of tires, brake control systems, driving dynamics control, driver assistance systems, sensors, systems and components for the powertrain and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics and technical elastomers in reorganisation of businesses in Slovakia, etc.
Significant accomplishments in the area of dispute resolution
In dispute cases Katarína has acted, among others, as the attorney of:
- European airport company in a successful significant arbitration case against a state institution before the ICC Arbitration Court with the place of arbitration in Paris;
- leading mobile operator in court proceedings against a Slovak company relating to financial settlement of total value exceeding EUR 5 billion;
- leading European energy company in international arbitration held under the ICC Arbitration Rules in Vienna concerning compensation of damages resulting from acquisition of a Slovak heat producer;
- Slovak brewery in a successful property litigation related to production assets;
- European producer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages in court litigation related claims from breach of distribution contracts;
- Italian minority shareholder of a Slovak production company in a dispute on protection of minority shareholder’s rights, etc.
Significant accomplishments in the area of project financing and banking
Katarína served as the leading legal advisor, among others, to:
- a leading French electricity company in one of the largest project finance transactions in Slovakia in the nuclear energy sector;
- a leading German bank in EUR 150,000,000 facility to a group of producers of technical-purity copper;
- a leading UK bank on a EUR 110 mio secured term loan and revolving credit facility provided to a group of leasing companies based in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic;
- arrangers of a U.S.$ 200,000,000 fiduciary bond issue, guaranteed by the Slovak Republic for financing of the construction and development of water power plants in Slovakia, etc.
Ranking agencies assessing practice and experience of lawyers having their practice in the Slovak Republic issued e.g. the following statements about Katarína:
Chambers Europe 2018
“Katarína Čechová is a highly prominent figure in the market. Known for her work on a wide range of transactional matters, she is particularly knowledgeable on matters involving insolvency and restructuring.“
One interviewee states: “She is one of the most seasoned lawyers in the market, she has seen everything."
Katarína Čechová was named an Eminent Practitioner in Corporate/M&A and recognised in Restructuring/Insolvency.
In 2018 Katarína Čechová has been inducted to the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, this accolade recognises the continued excellence of her work in the field of Commercial, corporate and M&A. In Legal 500 2018 guide she was listed in the elite "Leading lawyers" list in Commercial, corporate and M&A and Real estate and construction.
Other Professional Experience and Qualification
Other Katarína’s qualifications consist of:
- bankruptcy administrator certified by the Regional Court in Bratislava from 1992 to 2005;
- bankruptcy and restructuring administrator registered in the List of Administrators maintained by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic from 2009 until now;
- Guest Professor of commercial and financial law at the Law Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava from 1996 to 1998;
- Arbitrator for International Disputes of the Arbitration Court of the Slovak Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1997 until now.
- International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Governance 2018
- Directors’ Liability and Indemnification. Chapter on the Slovak Republic. United Kingdom: Globe Law and Business, Consulting editor Edward Smerdon, 2016.
- International Arbitration in Europe: Chapter on the Slovak Republic. Peru: Biblioteca de Arbitraje Collection, authors led by Mario Castillo Freyre, 2013.
- Chapter on Insolvency Proceedings in the Slovak Republic; In: The Doing Business 2013 Resolving Insolvency Survey; World Bank, 2013 - 2016.
- Chapter on Trends and Development Affecting Financial Transactions in the Slovak Republic; In: Central and Eastern European Finance Law Workshop, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, London, 2012.
- Chapter on Legal Aspects of Closing a Business in the Slovak Republic; In: The Doing Business 2012 Closing a Business Survey; World Bank, 2012.
- Chapter on Legal Regulation of Construction Permits in the Slovak Republic; In: The Doing Business 2012 Dealing with Construction Permits; World Bank, 2012.
- Chapter on Legal Regulation of Insolvency Proceedings in the Slovak Republic; In: Getting the Deal Through, London, 2011.
- Chapter on Liability of Statutory Bodies in the Slovak Republic; In: Directors’ Duties Checklist; International Bar Association website, 2011.
- Chapter on Legal Aspects of Restructuring and Insolvency in the Slovak Republic; In: Getting the Deal Through - Restructuring & Insolvency 2011 in 50 jurisdictions worldwide; Law Business Research Ltd, 2010.
- Legal Regulation of Insolvency Proceedings in the Slovak Republic; In: Insolvency Laws, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, London, 2009.
- Contribution to The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Governance 2009, and revised and supplemented edition 2011. London: Global Legal Group Ltd., 2009 and 2011.
- Chapter on Foreign Investment Protection in the Slovak Republic. In: Tolley’s International Protection of Foreign Investment / Edited by Dennis Campbell. London: LexisNexis Butterworths Tolley 2003 and the revised and supplemented edition in 2010 and 2011.
- Insolvency Case study: Slovak Republic. IBA/Harvard/World Bank Research Project, 2002.
- Banking system in the Slovak Republic. In: The Regulation of Banking in Eastern Europe and Central Asia / Edited by Andrew Briscoe. London: Carlton Laws of the World Limited 1999.
- History and overview of trade remedy laws and/or regulations. In: The Compendium of Foreign Trade Remedy Laws / Edited by Leonard E. Santos, Stephen J. Powell and Mark T. Wasden. Washington: American Bar Association 1998.
- Litigation in the Slovak Republic. In: Litigation and Arbitration in Central and Eastern Europe / Edited by David W. Rivkin and Charles Platto. Hague: Kluwer Law International and International Bar Association 1998.
Law Practice and Experience
- Law Office No. 1, International Department, Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 1984-1990;
- Law Office Čechová & Partners since 1990 until now, the founder of Čechová & Partners;
- Secondment with Stikeman, Elliott, Montreal, Canada, 1991;
- Secondment with Allen & Overy, London, UK, 1994.
Slovak Bar Association;
International Bar Association (Co-Chair of the European Forum of the IBA in the years 2000-2002; permanent representative of the Slovak Bar Association in the IBA Council since 1996);
Member of the Company Law Committee of CCBE.
Law Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia (Dr. Jur. in 1984);
Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic (International Private Law Course, 1989).