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Completing complex transactions, investment procedures, and deals is never easy. With the amount of work and pressure exerted over businesses, in-house legal teams must be versatile, nimble, and ready for everything.Taking a closer look at all the Deal 5 interviews that CEE In-House Matters has conducted over the years, we sought to map out the biggest challenges that got in the way of smooth sailing. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most frequent challenge that in-house teams and General Counsels working on some of the most important deals across CEE have mentioned was multitasking, or working in multiples. 

Looking at the CEE In-House Matters Deal 5 interviews over the past three years, approximately two-thirds of GCs said that the reason behind choosing a specific legal counsel was their successful cooperation in the past. We identified and structured those key elements and criteria they used in making their decision, with the most salient arguments presented below.

Based on 130 CEE In-House Matters Deal 5 interviews, we analyzed the fundamental factors that play a role in GCs’ decision-making process in terms of choosing a new law firm to work with. The most frequently brought up factors are described below.

Adam Brzezinski of MoneyGram, Alex Florescu of Nepi RockCastle, Asli Sahinkaya of Setur, Christian Blatchford of Energo Pro, Deniz Sanli of American Gaming Systems, Eleni Stathaki of Upstream Systems, Ernest Jedrzejewski of Amgen, Ioana Regenbogen of ING, Joanna Przybyl of Revetas Capital, Mark Erdelyi of Yettel Hungary, Marta Ziolkowska-Nasinska of Fererro, Mary Chaidou of AIG, Stefan Orosi of Prima Bank Slovensko, Wioletta Kaloska of Symfonia, Zita Toth of Primaenergia, describe what is at the top of the agenda for their compliance and risk functions and how they nurture a culture of compliance within their companies.

Adam Brzezinski of MoneyGram, Andrzej Klimek of Idea Getin Leasing, Clementina Canel of Fepra, Eleni Stathaki of Upstream Systems, Dora Szebeni of the Vanguards Fashion Group, Ingo Steinwender of CA Immobilien, Ioana Regenbogen of ING, Iwona Gajek of BNP Paribas, Judit Miskolci of Teva, Mark Erdelyi of Yettel Hungary, Mary Chaidou of AIG, Nadia Matusikova of RWS Moravia, Radu Culic of Roche, Stefan Orosi of Prima Bank Slovensko, Sylvia Nanovska of Telelink, Tiina Pukk of Kou Mobility, Viktor Fonth of HB Reavis, Zeynep Derman Kucukonder of Coca-Cola, Zita Toth of Primaenergia, Zsuzsanna Lippai of Mercedes-Benz, Zuzanna Kopaczynska-Grabiec of Wonga.pl, and others talk about how they manage their companies' legal functions' budgets.

The last time I wrote for CEELM, we had been discussing how COVID-19 changed a General Counsel’s scope of activity. How everything shifted in a short time frame and how we were waiting to see the world return to a regular pace – different, but still comfortable enough – without the pandemic threat paralyzing us all.

Alex Florescu of Nepi RockCastle, Andrzej Klimek of Idea Getin Leasing, Bora Kaya of Gama Power Systems, Clementina Canel of Fepra, Dora Szebeni of Vanguards Fashion Group, Eirini Florou of Holcim, Eleni Stathaki of Upstream Systems, Gamze Bedirkurum of Ericsson, Gunel Rzayeva of VavaCars, Ioana Regenbogen of ING, Iwona Gajek of BNP Paribas, Judit Miskolci of Teva, Mary Chaidou of AIG, Milan Lomic of L’Oreal, Radu Culic of Roche, Ramona Ene of ADM, Sylvia Nanovska of Telelink, Viktor Fonth of HB Reavis, Wioletta Kaloska of Symfonia, Zita Toth of Primaenergia, Zuzanna Kopaczynska-Grabiec of Wonga.pl, and others share their approach to working with and managing external legal counsel.

Adam Brzezinski of MoneyGram, Alex Florescu of Nepi RockCastle, Andras Levai of Market Epito, Andrzej Klimek of Idea Getin, Eleni Stathaki of Upstream Systems, Gunel Rzayeva of VavaCars, Ingo Steinwender of CA Immobilien, Ioana Regenbogen of ING, Iwona Gajek of BNP Paribas, Mark Erdelyi of Yettel, Marta Ziolkowska-Nasinska of Fererro, Nadia Matusikova of RWS Moravia, Stefan Orosi of Prima Bank Slovensko, Sylvia Nanovska of Telelink, Tiina Pukk of Kou Mobility, Zeynep Derman Kucukonder of Coca-Cola, Zita Toth of Primaenergia, Zuzanna Kopaczynska-Grabiec of Wonga.pl, and more share their insights into how their in-house legal teams have been evolving and their best practices on managing in in-house legal function.

I suppose it comes as no surprise to anyone working in an in-house legal team that we are often asked to do “more with less.” Although this may be feasible on some occasions, it is clearly not an ideal or sustainable way of doing (legal) business. In fact, what often happens is that we end up just doing “less with less” – which may not be a bad thing, after all, provided it is done in the proper way.

Paulina Sosnowicz, Director of the Legal Department at Centrum Uslug Informatycznych we Wroclawiu, uses GetBack in Poland as a case study of potential pitfalls to avoid in the compliance function.

This past month, for the first time in over a year, I traveled across a border. I was both excited and nervous about it. I had to navigate a whirlwind of mixed messages. I was unsure of the conditions under which I could travel, what I needed to do to avoid a quarantine both when leaving and returning, and how likely it was that the rules might change over the three weeks I was planning to be away. 

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