Our story

We believe that segregating legal services is an antiquated and impractical way of practising law. In the day-to-day provision of a high standard of legal services, it is not enough to have a thorough knowledge of the law. We must also be able to apply legislation correctly and demonstrate a deep understanding of the sectors in which our clients do business. This principle underlying our consulting work is also reflected in the way that the firm’s teams are structured to specialise in the areas of operation and economic sectors of the clients they work for. This gives us the foundation we need to engineer back-to-back solutions to their problems. We follow clients into their fields, in the belief that there is no other way of fully grasping their needs.

Law Firm of the Year

CSR, Restructuring and Insolvency, Public Procurement, Corporate Compliance, Criminal Law

Corporate INTL Global Awards

Czech Republic – Commercial Law Firm of the Year 2022
Czech Republic – Public Procurement Law Firm of the Year 2022

Global Law Experts Listing

Czech Republic – Commercial Law Firm of the Year 2022
Czech Republic – Public Procurement Law Firm of the Year 2022

Institutions we support

First steps

First steps leading to the establishment of one of the most successful law firms in the Czech Republic were initially headed in a different direction altogether. In the wake of the Velvet Revolution, Pavel Smutný and Jaromír Císař, both fresh-faced doctors of law, envisioned setting up an institute for the study of democracy. However, lacking the funds to pursue this dream, they decided to establish their own law firm instead and joined forces with Otomar Boček, the former president of the Supreme Court, to open Juris Consult. Boček died shortly after they had founded their first firm, prompting the young lawyers to look for another experienced partner to team up with. They approached their former professor, Zdeněk Češka, , and, in 1993, the law firm CÍSAŘ, ČEŠKA, SMUTNÝ was born.

Growth

Despite its humble beginnings, the firm quickly made a name for itself and began to thrive. Czech clients were joined by others from further afield, especially from France and Italy. The firm started doing most of its work in the public sector, banking, energy and transport sectors, and as the number of clients and the scope of business grew, it became necessary to relocate from a small office in Pernerova Street to more spacious premises in Dlouhá Avenue.

A period of rapid but steady growth followed. Numerous individuals of note have spent time at the firm, including the former justice minister Robert Pelikán, his mother and European General Court judge Irena Pelikánová, and another justice minister – the former chief prosecutor Marie Benešová. However, of far greater importance to the firm’s future was the arrival of Petr Michal, a student who started working with the firm in his first year at university and who, at the age of 32, became one of the youngest partners of a large firm on the Czech law market. Another pivotal moment was the arrival of Jakub Hollmann and Jan Sůra, who are now part of the firm’s management.

Bohemian Heritage Fund

The firm’s success gave its equity partners the opportunity to pursue their original objective of undertaking a project that would benefit society. In 2009, they established the BOHEMIAN HERITAGE FUND to support outstanding Czech cultural achievements through private patronage. This is one of the reasons why the firm has repeatedly been named Law Firm of the Year for its pro bono and CSR work. In that same year, Pavel Smutný was made president of the Czech-Israeli Mutual Chamber of Commerce. Through these activities, the firm has been heavily involved in promoting international investment, Czech exports and broader international cooperation.

City Tower

The firm’s most recent relocation was in 2010. It now occupies the 26th floor of Prague’s tallest building, City Tower, commanding stunning views across the whole of Prague.

As it continues to experience steady growth in client numbers and turnover, the firm is delivering outstanding results. In 2019 alone, it handled 532 cases for 95 clients and, in the 13 most consequential disputes, won or saved them CZK 16 billion. It also excels consistently in the fields of competition and public procurement, commercial law, and corporate social responsibility. In 2019, the firm’s management was expanded when Roman Kyral was named a non-equity partner.

The story continues

More than a quarter of a century has passed since the firm was founded. Unlike most large law firms, however, the equity partners do not merely lend their names to the firm’s title. The founding members continue to play a hands-on role in the management of the firm and guide the direction it takes. Significant changes have also been made to the management team – Jakub Hollmann, who first joined the firm as a student, has been named a new equity partner, and Markéta Šlejharová and Kateřina Šveřepová have become non-equity partners.

The story of Císař, Češka, Smutný is set to continue.

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