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The Buzz in the Czech Republic: An Interview with Barbara Kusak of Noerr

The Buzz in the Czech Republic: An Interview with Barbara Kusak of Noerr

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According to Barbara Kusak, Partner at Noerr in Prague, the Czech Republic is currently preparing for its upcoming general elections. She also notes that the Czech economy shows no signs of contraction, despite the country’s abysmal COVID-19 infection rates, and that the infrastructure, IT, and e-commerce sectors are on the rise.

“We are expecting general elections in October, so we are in the typical pre-election mood,” Kusak says with a smile. “It is difficult to make predictions, but I think that a major topic of the elections will be the country’s poor epidemiological situation and response, which heavily impacted the budget,” she says and notes that the country amassed a USD 20 billion deficit in the wake of the pandemic. Kusak also notes that the government keeps busy with the Czech Republic’s upcoming presidency of the Council of Europe.

As for the economy, Kusak reports that, overall, it still seems unfazed by the pandemic. However, she admits that certain negative effects are tangible. “The inflation is growing and our need for workforce remains,” she says and explains that the country lost potential investors due to not having enough manpower for certain projects.

Looking at individual industries, Kusak notes that e-commerce is doing very well. “We recently had a substantial investment in online grocery delivery platform Rohlik,” she says (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on March 9, 2021). Unsurprisingly, the IT sector is also booming, according to Kusak. She lists NortonLifeLock’s landmark Merger with Avast as one of the key transactions in the sector. In addition, Kusak reports that there has been no shortage of infrastructure projects. She points to the D4 motorway extension as one of the most recent examples (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on May 14, 2021). However, she notes that infrastructure projects aren’t really the primary drivers of the economy, with the Czech Republic already being quite developed.

Furthermore, according to Kusak, the automotive industry is getting back on track, after it was forced into shutdown by the pandemic, as well as the shortage of parts and materials. Also, Kusak says that the logistics sector is currently hot and has been for a couple of years. However, she explains that most of the deals are related to acquisitions, rather than the development of logistics centers, as there isn’t enough room and people “are complaining about having warehouses in their backyard.”

Finally, Kusak reports that there has not been much legislative activity in the last few months. However, she notes that the new FDI regulation, which imposes restrictions on foreign investments in strategic sectors, has been implemented in May 2021.

Czech Republic Knowledge Partner

HAVEL & PARTNERS, attorneys-at-law, with offices in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Pilsen, Olomouc, and Ostrava, has a team of 250 lawyers, tax advisors and 500 employees in total, is the largest independent law firm in Central Europe.

Our clients include large international companies, leading Czech and Slovak firms, including strategic state-owned companies and public sector authorities, as well as medium-size businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and investors. We advise approximately  150 of the Fortune 500 companies, almost 50 of the Czech Top 100 companies and 20 of the TOP 100 Slovak companies. HAVEL & PARTNERS currently provides its services to a total of 2,500 clients. We have the most comprehensive international support available to both Czech and Slovak law firms. We provide legal and tax advice in 12 languages in more than 110 countries around the globe. Up to 70 % of the transactions we deal with involve an international aspect.

HAVEL & PARTNERS was named the best law firm operating in the Czech Republic by the prestigious global rating agencies Chambers and Partners (2020, 2021) and Who’s Who Legal (2018, 2019). It is also the most successful law firm, providing the most comprehensive legal services in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, based on the total number of all nominations and awards in all years of the Law Firm of the Year awards. The firm became the absolute winner of this competition four times in the last six years, receiving the main award Domestic Law Firm of the Year in the Czech Republic (2015, 2017, 2018, 2020) and ranking as one of the most recommended law firms in all categories of law. Our company is also a four -time winner of the Law Firm of the Year award for Best Client Services (2015, 2016, 2019, 2020). In the field of M&A, HAVEL & PARTNERS is the best law firm in the Czech Republic based on the annual International Advisory Experts awards (2018, 2019). Prestigious international rating agencies EMIS DealWatch and Mergermarket have ranked HAVEL & PARTNERS among the leading law firms by the number of transactions completed in the Czech Republic since 2010. Based on annual awards of the Acquisition International magazine, HAVEL & PARTNERS has become the Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the M&A category in the CEE region.

Firm's website: https://www.havelpartners.cz/en/

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