Júlia Szarvas

Leaders in Law endorses Júlia Szarvas as our exclusively recommended expert in Hungary. If you wish to get in touch with Júlia, please use the contact information provided above.

Júlia Szarvas has spent 16 years of her professional career at law firms working in association with different BIG4 firms and one of the largest accounting firms in Hungary. She has broad experience in transactions when legal, tax and accounting aspects need to be considered parallel.

She understands the tax and accounting requirements and knows the legal answer. Julia has advised clients in different M&A transactions and setup of joint venture structures.

Julia advises several international clients holding investment in Hungary and provides day-to day advice for their legal compliance in corporate, commercial and HR matters. She is specialized in certain special regulated areas, including data privacy law and legal aspects of electronic signatures.

Areas of Expertise

  • M&A Law
  • Joint Venture
  • Real Estate
  • Employment Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Privacy Law

Firm Description:

Szarvas and Partners Law Firm is a small boutique firm with international clientele. We focus on legal support of foreign INVESTMENTS IN HUNGARY and on legal compliance of clients DOING BUSINESS IN HUNGARY.

The firm specializes on complex advisory and transactional services, when legal support needs to be provided in consideration of tax and accounting aspects and in cooperation with professionals of such areas. We are an independent law firm, having smooth cooperation with several independent financial and tax advisors and accounting firms, as well as with law firms in numerous European countries.


Richard Schmidt LL.M

Leaders in Law endorses Richard Schmidt as our exclusively recommended Commercial Litigation Law expert in Hungary. If you wish to get in touch with Richard please use the contact information provided above.

Richard is recognised as a skilled and solution-driven attorney who provides clients with a prompt and efficient legal advice.

Besides seeing all the pieces of a legal puzzle, he has the ability to focus only on those things that really count, without wasting time on the unimportant. Familiar with both the courtroom and the boardroom, his advice represents added value to any discussion.

Richard is graduated from the Faculty of Law of Budapest, Hungary, and acquired his LL.M degree in International and European Business Law in Belgium.

His hobbies include, playing the piano, he is also fond of classic and contemporary jazz.

Practice Areas

  • Litigation & Arbitration
  • Commercial Law
  • Corporate Law


  • Hungarian
  • English
  • German
  • French


  • HCCI – Arbitrator listed by the Permanent Arbitration Court of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • VIAC – Arbitrator listed by the Vienna International Arbitration Court
  • HAA – Board Member of Hungarian Arbitration Association
  • ICCA – International Council for Commercial Arbitration
  • ASA – Swiss Arbitration Association
  • ECAM – European Centre of Arbitration and Mediation
  • ILF – Board Member of International Law Firms network

Firm Description:

SMARTLegal/Schmidt & Partners is located in Budapest, Hungary and serves international corporate clients and individual entrepreneurs doing business in Hungary. Practices include corporate and commercial law, drafting and negotiating contracts and agreements, intellectual property, information and technology, employment law, real property, litigation, arbitration and part-time general counsel services.

Managing Partner, Dr. Richard Schmidt, LL.M., graduated from the Faculty of Law of Budapest, Hungary and acquired his LL.M degree in International and European Business Law in Belgium. With more than a decade of professional experience, he is comfortable in both the courtroom and the boardroom.

The firm is comprised of a team of business and litigation lawyers who are solutions-driven and offer meaningful advice. SMARTLegal brings a multi-faceted approach to complex cases, while offering value-based pricing along with skilled and knowledgeable representation.


Ildikó Rátkai

Leaders in Law endorses Ildikó Rátkai as our exclusively recommended Labour & Employment Law expert in Hungary. If you wish to get in touch with Ildikó please use the contact information provided above.

Dr. Rátkai LLM in HR Law and LLM in Employment Law, works as an employment lawyer and attorney at law. After having graduated as a lawyer (2000) and as an economist (2003) she acquired professional experience in the governmental side of the EU harmonization of employment law, then worked at law firms, mainly supporting multinational clients’ employment issues.

She is the head of her independent Hungarian law firm specialized in employment law, social security and HR law since 2004. Rátkai Law Firm mainly carries out legal advice related to employment law and HR issues, including cross-border cases (outsourcing, posting, TUPE) and legal representation in employment law litigations before court and authorities. The Law Firm typically offers its services to employers; next to the multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises can also be found among the clients.

Dr. Rátkai is a member of the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA) She is a co-founder of HR Lawyers Network.

Having wide practical experience in employment and HR law issues, Dr. Rátkai regularly gives lectures on employment law and HR conferences and in-house trainings. She is the author/co-author of numerous professional books and articles related to employment law and HR law.


  • English
  • German

Firm Description:

Ratkai Law Firm – as a “boutique” law firm – focuses on employment law, social security issues and HR law. We believe that a company’s HR activities and HR decisions require not only employment law support but also the professional knowledge and experience of areas of practices related to employment and of HR processes. We render our legal services in Hungarian, in English and in German.

We are members in several HR professional organizations at local and global level which allows us to learn the latest trends and best practices in employment law and in HR issues.

  • Hungarian Employment Lawyers’ Society
  • HR Lawyers Network
  • European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA)
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Hungary (AmCham),
  • American Bar Association (ABA), Labor and Employment Law Group.

We also regularly take part in the events of the UK Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) and the Europäische Rechtsakademie (ERA)


Erika Papp

Leaders in Law endorses Erika Papp as our exclusively recommended Banking & Finance Law expert in Hungary. If you wish to get in touch with Erika please use the contact information provided above.

Erika Papp is the managing partner of CMS Budapest and the Head of Finance in CEE/CIS.

Erika advises financial institutions and other companies on financial transactions and regulatory projects across the CEE region. She has several years’ experience in advising clients on real estate and project finance as well as corporate lending. She is also well-regarded for her expertise in financial institution regulation, and advises banks and businesses on capital markets, derivatives and investments in Hungary as well as in CEE. Her clients include most of the largest financial institutions in the region as well as large corporates with commercial activities in energy, real estate, telecommunications and manufacturing.

Erika participated in developing the “Budapest rules”, the Hungarian adaptation of the London rules of financial restructuring, a system of support for companies in financial difficulty, usually involving the cooperation of a number of creditor banks. She is also an arbitrator at the Permanent Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the leader of AmCham’s Banking Regulatory Committee in Hungary.

Erika regularly speaks at international conferences and LMA seminars. She has published numerous articles and has co-authored several finance law related publications.

Erika is the founder of a charitable foundation at the Law School of Debrecen.

Erika is widely recognised as a leading individual in her field by professional legal directories such as Chambers and Partners and Legal 500. She is highly regarded in several categories, including Banking and Finance, Project Finance and Capital Markets.

Relevant experience

  • An international financial institution on preparing a new restructuring/reorganisation law in Hungary and on preparing a comprehensive report containing an analysis of the capital market regulation for CSDs in Target Markets.
  • The financial services company of a major OEM on its CEEU-compliance steering project for ten jurisdictions and a high-profile banking regulatory assignment also involving commercial legal advice that focused on defining the “status quo”.
  • Two major commercial banks on the multi-jurisdictional restructuring of an Italian meat manufacturing company with facilities located in Hungary, Poland, Italy and Spain.
  • A number of commercials banks and foreign investors on financing major photovoltaic projects.
  • OTP Bank, Budapest Bank, Commerzbank, K&H Bank Hungary on a complex syndicated loan to refinance Pannonia Bio, the largest bio ethanol producer in Hungary.
  • Hungarian oil & gas company MOL on a EUR 750m revolving credit facility provided by a group of 13 banks.
  • Erste Bank on a significant number of portfolio transfers, M&A transactions, project financing, refinancing, restructuring, and regulatory matters.
  • OTP Bank on portfolio transfers and on several financing, refinancing and restructuring projects related to the real estate, hotel and leisure industries.
  • Raiffeisen Bank on numerous high-profile project and real estate financing transactions.


  • 1996 – General legal studies, Law School of the University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  • 1995 – LL.M. in Banking, Securities and Corporate Law, Law School of Fordham University, New York, USA
  • 1992 – Doctor of Law, József Attila University, Szeged


  • Amcham’s Regulatory Committee
  • Arbitrator, Permanent Arbitration Court attached to the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Member, Budapest Bar Association


  • The Changing Banking Sector in Hungary and its Legal Challenges, CEE Legal Matters, 2020
  • Pandemic Proves Law can Work Digitally, Budapest Business Journal, 2020
  • Inside Out: Pannonia Bio Bond Issuance, CEE Legal Matters, Hungary, 2020
  • Hungary’s National Bank Fintech Strategy Combats Digitisation Lag, Fintech Futures, 2019
  • The Hungarian National Bank Seeks to Cool Down Over-Heated Real Estate Market – CEE Legal Matters, 2018
  • From Fintech to Solar Financing: What Moves the Banking Sector in 2018? – BBJ, 2018
  • FinTech in Hungary: Overview. Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law, 2018

Lectures list

  • 2020 – CEE: Green, Grey and Danger Zones – Competition Compliance in Bank Syndications
  • 2020 – Restructuring & Insolvency series – Bankruptcy procedure
  • 2020 – Banking Law: Financial market institutions, organisational and operational rules, sectoral laws
  • 2019 – CMS Banking Summer School
  • 2019 – LMA Conference in Budapest
  • 2019 – CMS Restructuring and Insolvency Business Breakfast Series
  • 2019 – MNB – the Academy of Financial Law (Pénzügyi Jogi Akadémia)
  • 2019 – ISDA Competence Centre Conference in Budapest
  • 2018 – Portfolio Conference: Financial IT and Disruptive Technologies

Firm Description:

Ranked as a Top 10 Global Law Firm, CMS can work for you in 71 cities in 43 countries and with 77 offices worldwide. 4,800 CMS lawyers offer you business-focused advice tailored to your needs, whether in your local market or across multiple jurisdictions.

With the coming together of CMS, Nabarro and Olswang on 1 May 2017, we have created a new future-facing firm, one that is well equipped to help our clients face the future with confidence.

This means putting our clients’ interests and priorities at the very heart of everything we do. And, in a world of ever-accelerating change, that demands unwavering sector focus combined with quality practice specialism.

Across our six core sectors – Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure and Project Finance, Lifesciences and Healthcare, Real Estate and Technology, Media and Telecommunications – we don’t just have some of the brightest and most creative legal minds.  Our lawyers are fully immersed in the world our clients’ operates in; genuine experts in their fields, knowledgeable about the issues you currently face, and those that may lie just around the corner.

We offer various added value services, including Law-Now and the Interactive Media Award winning RegZone which provide practical and timely knowledge relevant to your business and numerous webinars for training at your desk.

As a future-facing firm, we are driven by technology and readily embrace the possibilities it opens up for developing new and better ways of delivering legal services.

We are united in our vision and values, and focused on driving a culture of high ethical standards. Diversity & Inclusion and CSR are a huge priority for us.

And all this with the advantages of true global scale. Across your world, through 72 offices in 40 countries, we’re locally grounded, well connected, and completely familiar with the terrain. Our approach to service delivery is the same in all our offices, based on a common training program and a shared understanding of what our clients value. All CMS lawyers, both those we recruit and those we train in-house, are focused on providing quality advice and quality service. We are smart on the detail because the detail matters. We recruit, value and nurture top talent and through regular, independent evaluations, we identify opportunities to make improvements in our service and feed this back to our lawyers.


Dr. Zoltán Tenk

Leaders in Law endorses Dr. Zoltán Tenk as our exclusively recommended Insolvency Law expert in Hungary. If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Tenk please use the contact information provided above.

Zoltán Tenk is managing partner at TENK Law Firm. With more than 15 years of experience he is a specialist of complex transactions with special regard to venture capital and private equity investments, distressed M&A and distressed finance transactions. Dr. Tenk also regularly advises clients on local and cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters.

Zoltán Tenk is a regular speaker at conferences with special focus on restructuring and insolvency related topics. Since 2013 Dr. Tenk is regularly ranked by Chambers Europe in the field of Restructuring and Insolvency.

Firm Description

From complex strategic advice, to the everyday, our clients can rely on our business approach, innovative thinking and client-focused services in all situations.

Our consulting activity primarily focuses on those areas of specialization and sectors where we have considerable knowledge and experience. We do this in order to provide  premium legal services in every situation to our clients, consisting of a wide range of businesses from multinational corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises and fast-growing start-ups to private individuals.

We operate in Budapest with several senior, junior and trainee lawyers. However, we assist wherever our clients need us to be, both within Hungary and internationally.


Soma Kölcsényi

Dr. Soma Kölcsényi is a family lawyer specialised in cases involving non-Hungarian clients having family legal issues under Hungarian jurisdiction. Enlisted in the official Hungarian registry of certified family law mediators. Graduated at the Janus Pannonius University of Pecs, Hungary. Experienced lawyer in Family Law, founder and partner at the Kolcsenyi & Nemethi Lawfirm. Former lecturer at the Eotvos Lorand University Faculty of Social Sciences.

  • Member of the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL)
  • Member of the Hungarian and the Budapest Bar Associations (HBA & BBA)
  • Delegated expert of the HBA to the European Judicial Network

His practice areas embraces a wide range of marital and divorce law related matters. Out of personal conviction primarily focuses on child custody and visitation issues by providing attentive representation to clients facing contested divorce, as well as to those able to seek a more amicable settling through uncontested divorce.

Kölcsényi & Némethi Law Firm:

Kölcsényi and Némethi Law Firm specialises in cases involving non-Hungarian clients with family law issues under Hungarian jurisdiction and family law matters involving cross-border elements. The vast majority of our clients are non-Hungarian individuals facing marital legal difficulties in Hungary.

Practice areas include: adoption, appeals, child care/public law, child custody/residence/visitation/contact, child support, cohabitation, divorce, domestic abuse/violence/protection orders, emergency procedures/injunctions, enforcement: child custody, enforcement: child support, enforcement: spousal support, Hague Convention/Child Abduction, modification/variation: child custody, modification/variation: child support, modification/variation: property division, modification/variation: spousal support, parentage/paternity, pre-nuptial/post-nuptial agreements, relocation/removal from jurisdiction, spousal support/maintenance/alimony.

János Zafír

János Zafir, Head of the firm, born in 1949 and graduated from ELTE University’s Faculty of Law in 1975. Following his graduation hewas working as a company lawyer, later as Head of the Legal Department at one of the biggest international freight forwarding companies in Budapest. He founded his law firm in 1987 with three of his colleagues. Mr. Zafir is a lawyer specialised in international trade; his areas of expertise are International Freight Forwarding Law and International Insurance Law. He has published several books and articles in these fields, was a lecturer at the Institute of Post-graduate Legal Studies as well as at the College of International Management and Business in Budapest.

Trade Law Practice:

We prepare national and international contracts of sale and contracting agreements; we provide legal assistance in Corporate Law cases and represent our clients in legal proceedings before the Courts and Arbitration. Our main areas of expertise are International Freight Forwarding-Transport Law and International Insurance Law; our firm being one of the most prominent ones in these areas in Hungary.

Zafir Law Office:

Zafir Law Office was established in 1987 as one of the first law firms specialising in Economic Law cases. Besides possessing a Juris Doctor masters, our members all have specialised post-graduate qualifications in International Trade Law, Insurance Law or Company Law and gained professional experience at the legal departments of big corporations. Our firm cooperates with well-known Western European, Asian and American law firms. We have been working with a number of prestigious Hungarian and international corporations.

Tamás Balázs


Construction law, FIDIC-contracts, corporate law, law of real property, litigation and arbitration in high value lawsuits, labour law, immigration law;


Law Faculty of JATE Szeged University, 1983-1988; graduated with summa cum laude, 1988; Juris Doctor, admitted to the bar in 1991, member of the Budapest Bar. Postgraduate course on the “American Legal System” at the University of South Carolina, US 1989; special course on the “Legal system of the European Community” at the University of Trier, Germany, 1991; scholarship at “La Sapienza University”, Rome, Italy, 1989, 1990, 1991; course on “International Business and Financial Law” at the Academy of American and International Law, Dallas, US, 1992; courses in legal Russian, Saint-Petersburg 1984 and 1988. FIDIC-Contracts Seminar (Rome, 2011, Cornerstone Seminars);

Other professional activities:

Associated professor at the Law Faculty of ELTE Budapest University; has about 40 professional publications, regular member of the Academy of American and International Law of Dallas since 1992; member at the Deutscher Anwaltverein since 1999 (a member of the section of construction law and of the group of international construction law); he has about 40 professional publications. He is a member of the Legal Committee of Hungarian Association of Real Estate Management. He takes part in writing studies and giving lectures in connection with EU-law. He is a member at the Arbitration Court of the Polish Chamber of Commerce (Warsaw). President of Eastern European Lawyers’ association, EAST LEGAL TEAM EEIG (2008-2012);


Fluent in German, Italian, English, Russian, Spanish and Hungarian

BALÁZS & KOVÁTSITS Legal Partnership:

The professionals of BALÁZS & KOVÁTSITS Legal Partnership have thorough and widespread experience in business law and civil law and in many other special legal fields. The two partners of the partnership, Dr. Tamás BALÁZS and Dr. László KOVÁTSITS have known each other for more than twenty-five years and have more than a twenty-year legal and collegial experience.

We serve our clients with complex services in special fields and also with special services in cases which require complex and widespread knowledge, expertise and experience. In all of our cases we believe that the most important thing is to study the demands of our clients and only after that do we develop our personalised services in six languages besides the Hungarian language.

We regularly represent clients from different European, CIS countries and other states. We are the members of several professional organisations in Hungary and abroad. We also support the foreign activities of our Hungarian clients by our cooperating law firms abroad.

We can offer complex services to our clients with the assistance of the cooperating partner firms of ours in particular with business and investment consultancy, tax consultancy, accounting, auditing and real estate sales.


Gábor Kordoványi


Mannheim Business School, Mannheim/Germany (MBA 2015)
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest/Hungary (Dr.iur 2006)

working experience

Correspondent Law Firm of a Big Four Firm, attorney at law, Budapest/Hungary (2010-2016)
Correspondent Law Firm of a Big Four Firm, trainee lawyer, Budapest/Hungary (2006-2010)


Hungarian, English, German


Our main ambition is your commercial success and satisfaction as our client. We know that ready-made answers or legal nitpicking are not an option for our clients. We provide flexible, creative, and personally-tailored solutions – always on the highest level of corporate law on both the national and international level.

Legal issues are often very complex. At schoenherr, we ensure that they don’t become perplexing as well. Clear and effective communication is a hallmark of our dialogue with clients. Also within schoenherr, it is one of the highest priorities of our corporate culture.

Schoenherr was one of the first international law firms to move into the dynamically developing CEE market. Today, schoenherr is among the largest law firms in this region and has an outstanding reputation.