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The Czech Republic Checks All the Digital Boxes: A Buzz Interview with Tomas Scerba of DLA Piper

The Czech Republic Checks All the Digital Boxes: A Buzz Interview with Tomas Scerba of DLA Piper

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The Czech Republic appears to be in the middle of rapid advancements in digital transformation and cybersecurity, according to DLA Piper Partner Tomas Scerba, who sheds light on the significant legislative changes propelling the country to the fore of digital innovation.

“The Czech Republic has made significant progress in digitization in recent months,” Scerba begins. “New laws have been introduced, enhancing the development of digital infrastructure. The transition from paper documents to digital versions is remarkable, including the implementation of digital ID cards from January 1, 2024,” he reports. This digital shift also extends to employment contracts, streamlining recruitment and termination processes.

“Cybersecurity is a key aspect,” Scerba continues. “The Czech Republic was the first in Europe to enact comprehensive cybersecurity legislation – we contributed to designing the EU's NIS1 directive, and now we're moving towards the NIS2. The new cybersecurity bill, which is in the intergovernmental process, is expected to be enacted by the end of October 2024,” he reports. According to him, this will significantly elevate cybersecurity standards across the country. “The cybersecurity changes are profound,” he goes on to say. “The upcoming legislation will impose higher fines, similar to GDPR breaches, affecting a wide range of companies. This has created numerous opportunities for legal experts in technology – our lawyers, for instance, have been advising the national agency and are well versed in this area.”

Moreover, Scerba says that AI is another hot topic. “Currently, we don't have specific AI laws, so we're relying on the civil code and copyright laws. The debate mainly revolves around authorship, with three views: it could be the AI user, the AI software developer, or a joint authorship between both. We don't have a landmark code for guidance, so it's an area of ongoing discussion and exploration,” he elucidates.

Focusing on other areas of note, Scerba shares that “ESG reporting is becoming a crucial part of compliance. The EU directive, soon to be transposed into national law, will come into force in two months.” He says that this is a “significant change, especially for larger and financial companies, as it imposes more stringent compliance requirements.”

Additionally, he reports that “the energy sector and companies focusing on ESG compliance are doing well. Household names like LEGO and IKEA are navigating supply and labor shortages successfully and there's also a noticeable uptick in the gaming industry and a recovery in the restaurant sector.” Finally, Scerba notes that there is even some “cautious optimism about the M&A sector – we expect a rise in activities soon,” he concludes.

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PRK Partners, one of the leading Central European law firms, has been helping clients achieve their business objectives almost 30 years. Our team of lawyers, based in our Prague, Ostrava, and Bratislava offices, has a unique knowledge of Czech and Slovak law and of the business environment. Our lawyers studied at top law schools in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland and elsewhere. They also have experience working for leading international and domestic law firms in a number of jurisdictions. We speak your language, too. Our legal team is fluent in more than 15 languages, including all the key languages of the region.

PRK Partners has one of the most experienced legal teams on the market. We are consistently rated as one of the leading law firms in the region. We have received many significant honours and awards for our work. We represent the interests of international clients operating in the Czech Republic in an efficient way, combining local knowledge with an understanding of their global requirements in a business-friendly approach. We are one of the largest law firms in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Our specialised teams of lawyers and tax advisors advise major global corporations as well as local companies. We provide comprehensive legal advice drawing on our profound knowledge of local law and markets.

Our legal advice delivers tangible results – as proven by our strong track record. We are the only Czech member firm of Lex Mundi, the world's leading network of independent law firms. As one of the leading law firms in the region, we have received many national and international awards, in some cases several years in a row. Honours include the Chambers Europe Award for Excellence, The Lawyer and Czech and Slovak Law Firm of the Year. Thanks to our close cooperation with leading international law firms and strong local players, we can serve clients in multiple jurisdictions around the globe. Our strong network means that we can meet your needs, wherever you do business.

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