White and Case's Slovakia outpost to be independent firm The US-based firm will continue client consultations with Aldertree through 'exclusive alliance White & Case is biding adieu to its Bratislava office that is set to become an independent firm at the end of the month. Juraj Fuska, executive partner at White and Case will lead Aldertree. As part of the exclusive alliance, 10...
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White and Case's Slovakia outpost to be independent firm
The US-based firm will continue client consultations with Aldertree through 'exclusive alliance
White & Case is biding adieu to its Bratislava office that is set to become an independent firm at the end of the month.
Juraj Fuska, executive partner at White and Case will lead Aldertree. As part of the exclusive alliance, 10 other lawyers will work closely with the New York firm.
The Bratislava office is White & Case's third office to leave Central and Eastern European (CEE) network. Its Romanian arm became Bondoc & Asociatii in 2014 while its Budapest office joined Dentons in 2015.
"We are committed to supporting our clients' cross-border needs in Central & Eastern Europe, where we will continue to be recognised as a market leader for complex legal work in the region. We would like to thank Juraj and the team in Bratislava for their contribution to White & Case, wish them every success and look forward to a close and ongoing working relationship under the exclusive alliance," said a spokesperson about the development.
Joining Fuska at the new firm are White & Case partners Zoran Draškovič, Vladimír Ivančo and Michal Pališin.
White & Case has been present in Slovakia from 1997 and is recognized as a top-tier firm by the legal directories in line with a handful of international firms like Allen & Overy Bratislava, CMS, Dentons, Squire Patton Boggs, Taylor Wessing Slovakia and DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte.
In 2021, the firm's team of lawyers advised Wood & Company, European Emerging markets bank on it acquiring majority stake in retail developer and operator AUPARK in a joint venture with Tatra Asset Management, to the tune of €450m. It was a first of its kind real estate acquisition of this scale in the Slovak market.
With operations in Slovakia wound up, White & Case's CEE network now includes offices in Poland, the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey.
White and Case's Moscow office, however, remains open. With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the firm said last week that it was reviewing its Russian and Belarusian client representations and 'taking steps to exit some representations in accordance with applicable rules of professional responsibility'.
Linklaters and Norton Rose Fulbright have shut their Moscow offices, following the invasion news, whereas CMS is keeping its office in Moscow under 'critical review'.
Kinstellar, a Central and Eastern European firm acquired DLA Piper's office in Kyiv in June 2021, whereas Allen & Overy (A&O) ended its longstanding alliance with its Romanian ally in 2020 following six-partner Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu moving to unveil standalone practice.
However, not many international firms are retracting their presence in CEE. Last week, Osborne Clarke, a Top 30 UK firm hired 30 lawyers through local practices to open a Warsaw office, its maiden physical base in CEE region.