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I can pinpoint the exact moment when my interest in the law first flourished: I was 13 years old and my mother had given me a book called The Courage of their Convictions by Peter H. Irons, about 16 Americans who had fought for their rights and taken their cases all the way to the Supreme Court, and what I read resonated deeply within me. It later turned out that my mother had only given me the book to improve my English. But it opened the door to so much more.

In The Corner Office feature of CEE Legal Matters we ask Managing Partners at leading law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. In light of current events, the question for this online occurrence of the feature is: "How are you managing your team working remotely during this challenging period?"

Attendees to the 2019 CEELM Winter Party were cornered, over the course of the evening, and asked, without warning or an opportunity to prepare, what achievement over the past 12 months they were proudest of.

Against a backdrop of global uncertainty fuelled by Brexit, a US-China trade war, and a weakening German economy, Central and Eastern Europe has proven itself economically resilient in the face of a challenging year. Led by Hungary, Poland, and Romania – all of which reported more than 4% GDPs growth – many emerging European countries have comfortably outshone the sluggish economies of Western Europe. It is, therefore, unsurprising that foreign investors flocked to the region in 2019 in search of healthy returns.

Whew! Managing the CEE Deal(s) of the Year submission process isn’t easy – and it’s getting tougher every year. But the arduous first stage of the process – collecting and organizing the submissions, creating the ballots, and transmitting them to the various shortlist panels – is over, and I now have a total of two whole weeks to focus on other things before the completed ballots will be returned to me and I will need to calculate the results, create the shortlist ballots, and send them out to the Final Selection Committee.

Balazs Kantor, the Head of Tax at Lakatos, Koves & Partners in Budapest, discusses his career and his role in creating a leading practice in Hungary

As has been this editor’s tradition in recent years, I managed to switch off my outlook over the last few days of the year and spend the winter holidays right: on a sunny, warm spot by the beach, getting my vitamin D fix. I paid my dues when I returned to cold Budapest, though, as the first signs of a flu appeared on my first evening back.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was the most useful or valuable piece of software or new technology your firm has acquired in the past five years?

Concerns about how the legal profession will be impacted by the ongoing technological revolution are rampant across the industry. Artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology (blockchain), and robots, among other things, are already altering the way lawyers serve clients in fundamental ways, and the influence of these new tools and technologies will almost certainly increase in years to come.

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