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  • CEE Legal Matters: Issue 9.11

    CEE Legal Matters: Issue 9.11


    December is as good a time as any to look back at the year and reflect on the challenges and the journey that got us to this point. My first instinct – and I’m sure many would agree – was to file the whole year under the “I’d rather that did not happen” category, wishing for it to end already, only so I could say “And good riddance!”

    But then all the cat-poster wisdom came rushing back in and I had to deal with the nagging feeling that 2022 was a complicated beast – not easily filed away. I’ll spare you the lessons learned and the personal-demon fights and cut right to the chase: Yes, 2022 was a shit year. And while I’m not a fan of turkey as food (I think the bird is quite awesome), I discovered I had a bunch of stuff to be thankful for.

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    2022-12-06
  • CEE Legal Matters: Issue 9.10

    CEE Legal Matters: Issue 9.10


    You know the Rock, Paper, Scissors game. That game people play to make such life-altering decisions as who goes out to buy the milk, who picks the kids up from kindergarten, or who gets to write this editorial. It’s all pretty straightforward and there’s even a World Rock Paper Scissors Championship. 

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    2022-11-01

  • My dissertation paper was submitted 28 days in advance of my deadline. I was a star, diligent student, and I heroed. 

    I’m lying. I did submit it incredibly early, by college days standards, but the only reason I did so was that, straight from the student’s office, I went to Heathrow airport and got on a transatlantic flight to corn-all-over Iowa, to spend time with my future-wife-to-be at her campus in Grinnell...

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-10-04


  • Maybe I’m still new at this – but emails are one of those activities that still take up an inordinate amount of my time. I’m particular about writing them. I agonize over tone (am I being too familiar?) and clarity (did I get my point across?) and length (am I taking too much of their time?). Most of all, I’m actively trying not to be an asshole. As always, it’s the little things that make it or break it. If I’m writing to someone in the office, asking for this file, that photo, or the other update – I’m asking kindly but, in essence, I’m issuing an order. It pays to be polite, ask kindly, and say “please.” Still, I take it as a given that my ask will be delivered, and soon. So, I can also end my email by saying “thank you.”

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-09-06


  • I worked on a couple of “Women in Tech” research projects recently, helping companies understand whether a Pink Strategy or a Gender-Blind Strategy would be more suitable for them attracting and retaining female tech talent. Pink would mean focusing on the inclusion and promotion of those benefits that correlate highly with female employees’ preference for a particular workplace. Gender-Blind would focus on identifying and eliminating any roadblocks standing in the way of workplace equality.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-08-02


  • There are two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don’t.” The quote is variously attributed to American humorist Robert Benchley or comedian Groucho Marx. Can you guess what kind of people they were? Still, this was a fun distraction my friends and I used when we were growing up, to pass the time on tedious train rides to the seaside or when just hanging out. There were Friends people and Seinfeld people. Eclair people and Savarin people (don’t ask). 

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-07-05


  • Learn from the best in the new CEE Legal Matters special issue, with in-depth coverage of 20 DOTY winning deals across CEE. Detailed summaries for each and insights from law firms, lawyers, clients, and judges as well as insider interviews await. As a special issue, the new magazine is available to everyone right off the bat. So come one, come all and witness what made each 2021 DOTY winner tick. Subscribers should be receiving their hard copies in a week or two, but we’ll understand if you just can’t wait that long.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-06-07


  • Did you just glaze over the headline without even registering it? I would have. Of the 30 press releases that last hit my inbox, 26 included – in either the opening paragraph or the last one describing the emitting firm – the phrase “leading law firm.” Indeed, it is such a common trope in the industry that I barely even register it when a firm self-identifies as such.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-05-03


  • In the space of a couple of pages in Perdido Street Station, China Mieville manages to illustrate and bring to life the fantasy of an entire legal system based on just one crime: choice theft. To steal something is to deprive others of their choice in using or disposing of that object as they see fit. To hurt someone is to take away their choice to not suffer or live in fear. To lie about where animals could be hunted for food, for example, would mean to take the choice of others to hunt or to eat. There are varying degrees, of course. Some acts of violence, for instance, take away not just immediate choices, but the possibility of making other choices, in the future. 

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-04-05


  • “I hope this e-mail finds you and your loved ones safe. We at CEELM have been following the developments in your country with a deep sense of powerless concern and we hope this unnecessary conflict will come to a swift conclusion.”

    This issue goes to print six days after I sent a note starting with the above lines to our contacts in Ukraine. Both the powerlessness and deep concern were feelings shared by the entire CEELM team. At such a trying time for all our readers, partners, and friends in Ukraine we at CEELM wish to extend our deepest wishes for their safety and the safety of their loved ones. We still hope this unnecessary conflict comes to a swift and peaceful conclusion. 

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-03-01


  • Last year, the April issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine was the first CEELM Index issue that we published. In that editorial, I said that it was a perfect time for such an issue as the region was eagerly awaiting the announcement of the Deals of the Year. 

    If that was a perfect time, turning the page to a new year has to be a perfectER time to put together such a special issue, focused primarily on drawing a line on 2021.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-02-01


  • Full disclosure: I’m a law school dropout. I quite enjoyed studying History in high school and my favorite extracurricular was competitive debating. When the time came to pick a college major, I thought that law school would be a good fit. It wasn’t. 

    The pdf version is available here.

    2022-01-04


  • Yes, this issue is a couple of days late. But we have a good reason for it, we promise, one that no one can really hold against us: We were partying!

    On December 2, between 6 pm and midnight (ahem, and considerably later for those brave enough to carry on), CEE Legal Matters hosted our (kind of) annual Winter Gala. I say ‘kind of annual’ because a certain unnamed virus (I’ve reviewed all too many articles revolving around it in the past months – I choose to avoid naming it in at least my editorial!) prevented us from coming together in 2020.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2021-12-09


  • 92 days of collecting data on 1,164 offices, 1,981 emails exchanged trying to confirm data – all culminating with 8 days of intense data crunching while burning through 17 cans of energy drinks to complement the countless cups of coffee. You guessed it, the new CEE by the Numbers special issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine is now published!

    A source of real pride at CEE Legal Matters, this is our fourth CEE by the Numbers report. Like its predecessors, it includes information not only about the size and gender breakdown of the leading law firms in the region, but also allows readers to track and measure the growth (or decline) of those numbers over previous years.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2021-11-04


  • The period between mid-September and mid-to-late-October is usually my favorite time of the year. The summer heat is slowly fading into memory and people are gradually waking up from the haze of their holiday seasons, rolling up their sleeves, and kicking things into high gear. There’s always a sense of a buzz with everyone hitting the ground with refreshed energies. This is the sweet spot in my book – this particular vibe of “let’s get things done,” not yet contaminated by the end of the year craze when everything goes into overdrive with all scrambling to set budgets, hit KPIs, close deals last-minute, and generally wrap up the year before all offices become a ghost town again.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2021-10-05


  • I joined CEE Legal Matters back in May and found the experience not too dissimilar to moving into a new house – although fewer moving vans were involved.

    I first had to pick the one (job or house) that was right for me, and that would still be right for me maybe ten years down the line. So there was a lot of sorting and unpacking of priorities involved. A significant number of pros/cons lists were drafted. A (much smaller) number of close advisors were consulted during the decision-making process. 

    The pdf version is available here.

    2021-09-07


  • Who has time for summer? Not the CEELM team, to some of the team members' disgruntlement! Not allowing ourselves to be swayed by the summer's lazy pace, we've been busy and are excited to share with you a double launch!

    The special August issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine is out today. Subscribers will be receiving their hard copies soon and, because it is a special edition of the magazine, the electronic version of the issue is also publicly available online. Why is it special? Well, it's an issue celebrating the deals that won the 2020 Deals of the Year awards.

    The pdf version is available here.

    2021-08-03


  • As early subscribers of this magazine will know, CEE Legal Matters was founded by “two guys in a coffee shop”, as we fondly like to recall our early days: David and yours truly. Over time, we grew into playing off each of our strengths – David was always a writer at heart, while I started running out of excuses for not writing up the editorial each month. On the flip side, his eyes would glaze over any excel sheet or financial statement, while I thrived on the rare days when I could lock myself away and make projections as to how we can make CEELM bigger and better. 

    The pdf version is available here.

    2021-07-06


  • With this issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine I conclude my day-to-day connection to the company I co-founded seven and a half years, some 80 issues of the CEE Legal Matters magazine, untold thousands of articles on the CEELM website, four GC Summits, and so much more ago.

    Oh, it’s not a complete severance – I’ll still be around. I will continue to spearhead the CEE Deals of the Year Awards voting, and I will continue to manage the annual Dealer’s Choice International Law Firm Summit held in conjunction with the annual DOTY awards banquet (this year on September 16, 2021, in London!). In addition, I will continue as co-owner of the unique and exciting (and long-in-development) CEE Lawyers online directory, the launch of which is now excruciatingly close.

    The pdf version is available ...

    2021-06-03


  • 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.

    Since working on this CEEIHM issue was at the top of my to-do list, I couldn’t help but reflect: All of these challenges are keeping me in limbo while I am simply trying to plan a quick trip to visit my parents. I can’t even begin to imagine what dealing with this level of ambiguity and fluidity can mean for a GC trying to steer a company through these times.

    2021-05-25