CEELMDirect Profile Pick: A series of interviews with partners and firms with profiles on the new CEELMDirect online legal directory. Today’s interview: Mojmir Ostermann, Managing Partner of Ostermann & Partners in Zagreb.
CEELMDirect: How was the first half of 2022 for you, your firm, and your clients?
Ostermann: It was very active, especially on the M&A front, while our Disputes team was busy as always. At the end of period, the headline deal we worked on regretfully did not come through but, in turn, the second half started with interesting finance mandates. We noticed that, despite sharp inflation, prices on the legal market remained at the same level.
CEELMDirect: In an interview with you back in April 2020 that appears on your CEELMDirect profile (here), you reviewed the Croatian government’s early response to the then-new COVID-19 crisis. Looking back on it, how do you think Croatia handled the crisis, and do you think there are things that could have been done better?
Ostermann: I would say that, in general, Croatia handled the crisis very well. We had a successful tourism year in 2020, unlike those Mediterranean countries that followed the lockdown path, and that helped many small businesses survive. On the other hand, after a great start, the government lost credibility in the public eye for some mismanaged political decisions.
CEELMDirect: On a personal note, how did you get into the law? What first inspired you to pursue a legal career?
Ostermann: As a kid in the early 80s I used to watch LA Law, and I liked the idea of being a trial lawyer. In the final year of high school, I considered studying history, but my history teacher told me not to be nuts and that I should study law, while I can always read (history) books in my leisure time. It turned out to be great advice. As a lawyer I do not happen to have much leisure time, but law is truly my favorite discipline. I cannot imagine myself now reading history books.
Ostermann: We see the platform as a means to enhance the visibility of lawyers in the CEE region, as well as the region itself. It is a great source of information and practically the only legal platform that focuses specifically on the CEE region, so it made perfect sense to join.
CEELMDirect: Finally, are there any major or significant changes or initiatives underway at Ostermann & Partners you’re proud of and would like to tell us about?
Ostermann: Last year we invested a lot of time and resources in developing a new, custom-made IT application for case management. The project has taken more time than planned but, finally, in the second half of this year, we are going on cloud, when our billing application will be merged with the case management application. It is one of probably-less-than-five Croatian tailor-made legal applications. This will help us be far more data-safe, while our case management and reporting will enable us to be even more efficient.