Aradszky & Képes Law Firm has turned 20 years old
Twenty years is such a long time. Is twenty years really a long time? Compared to the mid-19th-century establishment dates of our two major clients it is not – but in the life of a local two-person small business it definitely is.
On 15 May 2000 two young lawyers, dr. Zsolt Aradszky and dr. György Képes, who first had sitten next to each other back in 1991 in the auditorium at the first lecture for the first year students at Eötvös Loránd University and have been friends since then, and from December 1997 have been working in different places but always in the same room, have made the decision to establish their own firm.
It would not be fair to compare this decision to the one when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak went first down to that garage, but it is something like that the inspiration was given by. We must try! – we thought. Most of the computers, furniture, household appliances brought by us from home are already gone – although the staunchly pounding microwave oven, the million-times steamed coffee machine and the crockery strictly not for public use still seem to be working –, the old office in Szemere street also lives only in our distant memories, but Aradszky & Képes Law Firm is still alive.
Dr. Zsolt Aradszky, co-founder and managing partner of our law firm, as a recognised expert of not-for-profit law, has established a very interesting and colourful practice in the early 2000's. Subsequently, he has obtained a post-graduate qualification in banking and securities law, and later in labour law as well, and recently his sphere of professional interest has been extended to the new area of data security and data protection law, and he has acquired his third post-graduate diploma in this discipline. He was project leader at a number of our permanent clients in the implementation of GDPR, and he is supporting them in compliance also at the present time.
Dr. György Képes, the other co-founder of our law firm learned competition law, still his favourite professional area, at his first place of employment as the trainee of Dr. Gábor Trinn, attorney at law. In the early 2000's he completed the post-graduate course of European law of Eötvös Loránd University, extending his interest to the competition law of the EU. Further to these, he has been teaching Hungarian legal history at the university since 1996, his graduation year. He has obtained Ph.D. degree in 2006, has been full-time senior lecturer at the Department of Hungarian Legal History since 2011, and in 2019 he has become Doctor Habilitatus. He is the author of four monographic works, and editor of a collection of essays and a textbook.
Further to the professional and scholarly advancement of our co-founders, we are not least proud of those colleagues, lawyers and paralegals, whom we have worked together in the last two decades. Some of them had us as just one stage in their career they continued then at another Hungarian or international law firm, or even as senior counsels at a boradcasting company or at one of the most famous traditional large enterprises in another town of Hungary. However, some of them have been with us since more than ten years, working together with us as employees or as colleagues we co-operate with in the legal affairs of our common Clients. Some of them have retired right from us, and some of them we may look at as part of our hopeful future, because life will not stop, these twenty years are just the beginning.
We are proud to say that our clientele can also be characterised by the word stability. Some of them we have been working with since the establishment of our firm or even for a longer time, since our traineeship. Some of them are big multinational companies, some of them are local small enterprises or not-for-profit organisations. Two decades of loyalty and confidence are values we are appreciating in our every day life. Some of them have become friends of ours, and though our law firm has turned more and more to the commercial and corporate clients and professional portfolio in the last two decades, they have remained our clients as private persons as well we are trying to assist in their legal cases personally if we may or, should the given case not fall into our sphere of professional interest, we are recommending them other reliable colleagues they can address their questions to. Some of them are of course already on another way, but there are always new ones coming too. Whoever comes to us, always arrives based on personal recommendation that – and this is also an experience of more than twenty years – is worth more than any publicity.
We have moved to our current office in the Batthyány street in District I, right below the Castle of Buda, in the spring of 2006, also more than fourteen years ago. This means a kind of stability as well. When we made the decision on moving here, we based it – further to the fact that we like this location very much – on the proximity to the economic, public administration and labour courts. In an earlier stage of our life there had not been almost any day when we had not had a hearing at the ”economic court” of Varsányi Irén street (Economic Collegium of the Central District Court of Pest and the Municipal Court – now Tribunal – of Budapest). Although nowadays litigation is not the most decisive part of our practice, the castle district of Buda is still one of the favourite areas in Budapest for us.
Further to stability, the last twenty years have also meant the requirement of permanent professional development for us. From those codes (comprehensive regulatory acts of given areas of law) that had surrounded our everyday life at the time of establishment of our firm, there is not even one that would still be in effect. We had to learn the new Labour Code and, six years ago, we had to get used to the fact that commercial law has been incorporated – without any precedent in Hungarian legal history – into the new Civil Code of Hungary, a much more complex code than the previous one. Furthermore, we had to adapt to the continuous changes of the rules of public administration and civil procedures, and to the spreading of electronic procedures and administration.
We have already survived a crisis. It was shocking to see how companies established with the assistance of our law firm must have been liquidated at the turn of the 2000's and 2010's. And now, when the economy was just beginning to recover from the 2008 crisis, the pandemic of 2020 has come.
The consequences of this cannot be foreseen yet, but the experiences of the past, the once experienced recovery gives hope to us and our clients as well. We have learned much in these two months of pandemic: our colleagues have worked from home office since 16 March, and our firm is functioning without any interruption. We are performing our tasks via e-mail and other online platforms, through phone calls and video conferences. Our mail, including the acceptance and forwarding of our invoices has been switched to electronic communication.
The brother of one of our co-founders, Gábor Képes, senior fellow at John von Neumann Computer Society, used to quote the ingenious mathematician the society was named after:
”For progress there is no cure.”
This is what we also believe. We look back as well because we respect our past, but we are looking ahead. However, not every quote can be as perfect as the one of John von Neumann: our twenty years is the best proof of the fact that there is friendship in business! We hope and believe that our 25th and further prominent anniversaries will not be celebrated in a ”quarantine”.
Happy birthday, Aradszky & Képes Law Firm!