Germany: Unsung heroes

Germany: Unsung heroes

Europe has been ravaged by the debt crisis and Germany has been far from immune, but the resilience of one segment of the economy is a boon to domestic law firms. Meet the Mittelstand

Germany’s hidden champions are keeping its law firms in the pink. While European law firms continue to feel the effects of the prolonged hangover caused by the eurozone crisis and general economic malaise, a number of German domestic law firms are seeing work pour in from German family-owned, small-to-medium sized businesses, the so-called Mittelstand.

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Corporate review – Welcome back to the new normal

Corporate review – Welcome back to the new normal

The overall success of M&A in 2012 hinges on the eurozone but there is much to be positive about, you just have to be prepared for a scrap

Confidence is a funny thing. During the first eight working days of this year, there was a sense that 2012 was going to be different. Deals had to be done, investors had to get their hands out of their pockets. Renewed optimism or even hope seemed to be a welcome antidote to the relentless doom and gloom that dominated the media for much of 2011. But then on Friday the 13th of January, talks collapsed over the restructuring of the Greek government’s debt and the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the debt of nine eurozone countries, including France. The new-year optimism vanished overnight.

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Austria part 2 – competitive spirit

Austria part 2 – competitive spirit

Austria’s competition authority is one of the smallest enforcers in Europe, but recently it hasn’t shied away from taking on tough cases against major companies

What do beer, sugar, lifts, freight forwarders and plumbers all have in common? They were all industries subject to big cartel cases in Austria in the past few years. The once-sleepy Bundeswettbewerbsbehorde, or Austrian Federal Cartel Authority (FCA), has displayed new bite: it’s taken on several big new investigations against major companies and is keen to issue some hefty fines. It has caused consternation in the market with its tough new approach, knocking on the doors of major corporates in dawn raids, and has even started issuing press releases while cases are ongoing. All of this has meant an interesting, and very busy, few years for Austria’s select band of specialist cartel lawyers.

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Italy 2.0

Italy 2.0

The Italian legal market has modernised over the past decade as local firms have reacted to greater client demands and the influx of foreign practices. Now there’s greater pressure on fees and billing arrangements

Over the past decade the Italian legal market has gradually been modernising, entering its own 2.0 era. Firms have taken a more business-focused approach to how they run their firms. Italian lawyers who traditionally prided themselves on their ability to advise on a wide range of areas have become more specialised. Continue reading “Italy 2.0”