KEEP PACE WITH CHANGE – INNOVATION, MOTIVATION AND AICONTENT
The law firm’s revenue from the sale of legal and tax services in 2022 amounted to CZK 1,058 million. The firm’s total turnover grew by more than 11% year-on-year. Within the Czech offices, the year-on-year increase in turnover amounted to less than 10%, while the Slovak office grew by 17%.
Tax services, in particular, saw significant growth, with turnover increasing by 53%. The turnover of the entire group, which also includes Cash Collectors, a collection agency, and specialised tax consultancy services, exceeded CZK 1,250 million.
In the first half of 2023, the firm recorded double-digit growth – 12% year-on-year – in revenues from net legal and tax services. The Slovak office, in particular, achieved excellent economic results. “We successfully responded to the dynamic market situation with a targeted strategy and adaptation to the current needs of our clients in the first half of 2023. In this period, we recorded an overall positive trend with a good growth rate,” commented Jaroslav Havel, the firm’s managing partner, on the economic results.
The law firm has again succeeded in the TOP Employers award, becoming the most sought-after employer among law firms in the Czech Republic for the ninth time in a row. This year, the law firm also won the first place in the Lawyer category based on results of the voting among university students.
“We value young talents and we open the way to the business world for them. In our law firm, students find the background of a stable company with an outstanding reputation. Above all, we offer them the opportunity to quickly gain experience and practice in top-class counselling. When working with the new generation of lawyers, we in turn appreciate their progressiveness and enthusiasm, which we see as a necessary prerequisite for their further professional growth in our firm to become top professionals in their fields,” said Daniel Soukup, HR Director at HAVEL & PARTNERS, on the results of the survey.
With the start of the second half of 2023, we have traditionally announced internal promotions. Ondřej Florián, the partner leading the firm’s corporate and private client services team, became an equity partner as of 1 July. Kateřina Slavíková, Jaroslav Baier, Ondrej Čurilla, Petr Opluštil and Miroslav Vozáb have moved to the position of partners in the firm. Another 14 lawyers have been promoted to senior positions.
“Ondřej Florián is one of the key members of the firm’s management team, and in previous years significantly contributed to setting and implementing the group’s strategic objectives in the area of corporate law and our services to private clients. As an equity partner, he will be responsible for the further strategic development of these areas and the continuous strengthening of key business relationships with our clients,” commented Jaroslav Havel, the managing partner, on Ondřej Florián’s promotion.
“Further promotions to partner positions are also aimed at developing areas key to consolidating our position as a leader in the Central European legal market, particularly in venture capital, public procurement, ESG, healthcare, and pharmaceutical law. What is also crucial for us is the strengthening of the team in Brno, where another partner will be involved in the management of the local office from July,” Jaroslav Havel added.
Juraj Dubovský and František Neuwirth have been promoted to the position of counsel. Veronika Bočanová, Tereza Hrabáková, Irena Munzarová, Martin Stančík and Karolína Steinerová have been promoted to the position of senior associate and senior counsel. Matúš Holubkovič, Lukáš Jakoubek, Patrícia Jamrišková, Tomáš Kalenský, Peter Košecký, Vojtěch Šváb and Dušan Valent have moved to the position of senior associate.
Is it possible to maintain a balance between workload and free time when working at the top of the legal profession? These are questions we hear more and more often in job interviews, and we see how important this topic is, especially for the generation that is starting their professional careers. What is it like here at HAVEL & PARTNERS? The questions were answered by junior colleagues Anna Sergejko and Vojtěch Zavadil.
You will surely see Anička, a legal assistant in our commercial team, in the firm’s hallways wearing a big smile. She specialises in pharmaceutical law, food regulation and also commercial law, including IP. Outside, she slips out of her pumps and you’ll most probably see her wearing running shoes or carrying a yoga mat over her shoulder. “I know that balance is not just a concept in yoga or running. At HAVEL & PARTNERS, I balance the space for know-how and free time,” said Anna Sergejko.
What does your day at work look like?
Sometimes I sit for a long time writing contracts and other texts, but other times I have meetings half a day. The work is not monotonous and the changes in my activities energise me. I got straight into client work while I was still a student. I can learn a lot from very skilled people. I could also work on more interesting projects earlier. These are mainly interesting technical matters, be it various regulatory assessments or contractual agenda. I assist senior colleagues, and by doing so, I also learn from them.
How can you combine work and school?
There is a lot of work, but at the same time it can be managed in a certain way. We are very flexible – both me, my colleagues and my superiors. If I need to take time off for exams or home office, it’s never a problem and my colleagues and I can always make arrangements. On the other hand, I’m also available when something urgent comes up or a project requires a little more work.
How do you find balance between work and your free time? Do you have enough space to do what you enjoy doing?
I believe that one has to organise the time to be able to do both. In our office, one can balance work and free time. I've been running for about ten years now, and it clears my head. Yoga helps me with that. I think sport is very good for this because one can separate their work day from a day off. Sport activity generally energises me and balances the sometimes more demanding work, which mainly occupies my head.
Does your work help you in any way with your running, and, vice versa, do you use your skills from your running practice at work?
I’ve learned a lot about endurance both while working and running, so this setup helps me in both activities. When things don’t go well, I know how to work on my skills thanks to endurance, and improvement comes almost as a matter of fact. I know from running that sometimes it pays off to overcome an imaginary barrier in your head when you are at work and raise the bar for yourself.
What do litigation and IP law have to do with fencing and history? Vojtěch Zavadil, who combines these hobbies as a junior associate, gives his answers to the question in an interview. “At HAVEL & PARTNERS, I can overcome challenges at work and in my free time,” he said. Vojta is a member of the pro technology team, Vojta specializes in IP and IT law, media law, cybersecurity and legal issues related to artificial intelligence. And he also stays alert after work during his historical fencing practice.
Vojtěch, what do you do at HAVEL & PARTNERS?
I started at HAVEL & PARTNERS as a legal assistant and from the very beginning I have been in the team that does IP, modern technologies, media and e-commerce. I am also interested in AI and the related legal aspects. But I also have a great affinity for history, so I like to look for areas in law that overlap with it. For example, trademarks.
So you enjoy history at work and in your free time...
In my free time, I relax by reading books but also actively – by doing historical fencing. Most people think fencing is done in historical costumes and armour, but the HEMA I do is more of an attempt to understand how fencing really worked. We have modern equipment. My weapon is not a foil or a sabre, but a langschwert (one-and-a-half-handed sword), which must be matched by equipment to protect a man mainly from fractures. But as the medieval adage goes: “If you are fearful, you should not learn to fence.”
What is the historical connection of fencing with law?
Fencing was a very specific form of alternative dispute resolution. The court duel had precise rules and was usually decided by the ruler. Contrary to the idea of many filmmakers, however, don’t expect a 30-minute bloodbath; the fight was usually ended on the first appearance of blood. I see a parallel with law in fencing in that you need trust, predictability, and fast and accurate communication with your sparring partner during training. The same is necessary when dealing with clients.
What helps you keep your balance?
There’s a lot of work, but at least in a good team it goes well and you can often laugh. You have to accept that you don’t have as much time for yourself and as much free time as you would like. How you set your boundaries also has a big impact on your workload. Over time, as I get older 😊, I learn to work with it, to divide tasks better within my team and to find time after work for the things I enjoy. It’s not easy, but it’s feasible.
We have expanded our IP practice with the addition of the H&P Patents team specialised in providing comprehensive services to clients in finding the optimum industrial property strategy involving obtaining patent, utility model or industrial design protection in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and abroad.
“We have established a dedicated group specialising in patents and related matters, which is composed of experts with extensive experience in patent law. Together with our colleagues from the litigation group, who have been successfully dealing with patent disputes for a long time, we have built the largest and most comprehensive IP team in the Central European market,” said Ivan Rámeš, partner at HAVEL & PARTNERS.
The team consists of more than 15 experienced patent attorneys, IP specialists and attorneys with many years of experience that represent clients before patent offices and courts in complex patent disputes. H&P Patents has been strengthened to include Tomáš Pavlica and Ivana Beranová, patent attorneys with more than 25 years of experience.
We are the only law firm in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to be listed in the prestigious The Legal 500 EMEA Green Guide. It publishes a list of the best law firms focusing on sustainability services and promoting green transformation principles in the EMEA region.
“ESG and sustainability consulting is a rapidly growing segment of our services and is an important part of our business strategy. We help clients put key sustainability principles into practice and advise them on new green opportunities. The transition to sustainable business models has quickly evolved from a level of enthusiasm to an obligation that companies must fulfil. This is not only due to tightening regulations, but also to the business and economic implications that already make the transition to sustainable operation a significant competitive advantage in business,” said Jan Koval, a partner.