East Legal Team

Different legal environments. One approach. One practice.

East Legal Team – European Economic Interest Grouping (ELT) is an alliance of independent law firms from the Central and Eastern European region with the main purpose of providing their clients a wealth of advantages arising from our interdisciplinary professional cooperation, as well as from their ability to provide unified services at regional level.

East Legal Team EEIG was established in March 2008 by founding members Balazs & Hollo Law Firm and Stratula Mocanu & Asociatii and is subject to the provisions of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2137/85 of 25 July 1985 on the European Economic Interest Grouping. Over the years, new law firms have become part of our alliance, and since 2014 ELT has its seat in Bucharest, Romania. It covers the area of the following Central and Eastern European countries:

  • Albania
  • Austria (observer)
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria (founding member)
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus (founding member)
  • Czech Republic
  • Greece
  • Hungary (founding member)
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Poland (founding member)
  • Romania (founding member)
  • Russian Federation
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia (founding member)
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

In addition to the directly covered countries by its Statutes, ELT also welcomes any law firms who want to join us as associate members or observers and who share our values and principles and want to be professionally active in the ELT’s region, be it from Europe, the USA, or from any other corner of the world. Our current observers come from Austria and Italy.

All current ELT members are business law firms with a remarkable reputation in their countries of origin, sharing not only sound ethical values and principles but also a rich, business oriented legal practice as their main business card.

ELT aims to provide at an international level the same top quality and integrated legal services each of the members offers in its home jurisdiction, both to international clients who seek to enter the region, as well to those who want to expand their already existent business to more than one country in this area.

On a business market under continuous expansion and intensification, mainly due to the accession to the European Union of the countries in the region, ELT aims to reconcile the paradox most investors face when, although they act on highly similar business markets, they are at the same time subject to considerably differentiated legal systems.

Thanks to the cohesion and unified practice among the ELT members, our clients are kept safe from the many encumbrances usually faced when entering a new market, thus being able to better and more profitably pursue their business pursuits.


News

  • Whistleblowing – legal situation in Bulgaria February 2015
    Despite the noble idea, which stands behind whistleblowing, in Bulgaria, and most likely in many of the former Eastern European countries, whistle blowers are not referred to as role models and a champions for a better society, but rather as snitches and informants. Given the lack of explicit legislation, the private sector is generally free to introduce such systems in a manner and form as each company sees fit. Although as mentioned above the whistle blowing procedures and systems implemented by the companies do not encourage anonymous reports as well. Furthermore, the absence of effective legislation means that any whistleblower can effectively be threatened led by legal action on claims of defamation.
  • Whistleblowing – legal situation in Cyprus February 2015
    It is notable that there is no national legislation to protect such witness in Cyprus as the concept of ‘whistleblowing’ is relatively new and it only emerged to the surface recently but mostly in respect to public or semi-governmental organisations. In 2011 a new non-governmental organization was founded named ‘Transparency International-The Global Coalition Against Corruption Cyprus’, which since its foundation aims with its proposals and work to help the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus to realise and understand how important the institution of whistleblowing is.
  • Whistleblowing – legal situation in Hungary February 2015
    Although some countries apply specific rules for the so-called “whistleblowing” within the private companies for a long time, this topic only appeared in Hungary’s legal regulation in 2014. Since 2014, private companies have been entitled to apply specific internal regulations which entitle their employees for filing notices to the employer about other employees. The law describes the general requirements of the notice and the investigation procedure. The Hungarian regulation shall always be applied by the company or the affiliated company operating in Hungary in order to obey the laws and avoid any lawsuits or fines.
  • Whistleblowing – legal situation in Poland February 2015
    So far, the uniform regulation regarding the problem of “whistleblowing” has not been adopted in Poland. The current regulation of the “whistleblowing” issue in Poland is insufficient to provide full legal protection. The legislation does not systemically protect a whistleblower against disclosure of identity, and clearly does not protect against the loss of jobs or conditions of existing work. Also more advanced solutions provided in other countries, including United States, as the prohibition of using so-called “gagging clauses” or financial incentives to report irregularities, obviously do not exist.
  • Whistleblowing – legal situation in Romania February 2015
    Romania has a specific law on whistleblowing protection since 2004 – Law no. 571/2004 on the protection of personnel within public authorities and institutions disclosing violations of the law, shortly referred to as “Romanian Whistleblower’s Law”, and was the first country in the continental legislative system to have a comprehensive whistleblower protection act. However, mention should be made that the Romanian Whistleblower’s Law covers the personnel from the public sector alone, while employees within the private sector are not protected by this Law, but, as the case may be, by the general labor legislation or by the witness protection legislation.
  • Whistleblowing – legal situation in Slovenia February 2015
    In 2008 Slovenia ratified the UN Convention against Corruption. Article 33 of the Convention defines, that each country (state party) shall consider incorporating into its domestic legal system appropriate measures to provide protection against any unjustified treatment for any person, who reports in good faith and on reasonable grounds to the competent authorities any facts concerning offences established in accordance with this Convention. For the first time in Slovenia, the Civil Law Convention on Corruption was ratified in 2003. To fill the “empty area” of not having any law, which would regulate whistleblower protection and which would have also sanctions, when such rules are violated, Integrity and Prevention of Corruption Act was adopted in 2010 (and later amended). This act also brought new regulations regarding whistleblowing protection as it is defined in UN Convention against Corruption.