Katarina Mihalikova of Majerník & Miháliková Law Firm tells us about servicing clients with business interests in Slovakia.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Katarina Mihalikova: I am happy to say that we are healthy, but the situation is getting tiring, especially for the kids staying home, with minimum social contact with their peers.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Majerník & Miháliková Law Firm.
Katarina Mihalikova: I am an attorney, and I started my career working for a large international law firm in Bratislava and London. After 5 years of a pretty intense ride, I was at a cross-road. I either had to quit the law entirely or change something dramatically. I quit my job, traveled, then applied for university in London and did my master’s degree. Again, I had to decide between staying in the UK and returning to Slovakia. I chose to come back and founded my own law firm. Since 2005 my team and I are servicing clients with business interests in Slovakia.
How does Majerník & Miháliková Law Firm innovate?
Katarina Mihalikova: We are working in a rather conservative sector, and saying that, I realize that the more conservative the sector, the better space for innovation. Working for start-ups and being active in the start-up ecosystem for the last 13 years keeps us on the lookout for interesting ideas and innovations. Over the years, we have engaged more sophisticated tools in literary everything we do – from hardware and IT solutions, through use of social media, communication with the outside world, selection of new colleagues, and last but not least, actual legal work, whether it is research or templates drafting.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Katarina Mihalikova: At the moment, it does not significantly, even though we are “throwing money out of the window “by paying rent for our offices, and we had to invest in support for the creation of home office working stations for our colleagues.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Katarina Mihalikova: The opposite is true. We are still looking for top-notch people, and if we get a chance to hire a lawyer who piques our interest, we do that. This shows that good people are still scarce on the market.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Katarina Mihalikova: Our contacts with clients moved from the real world to the virtual one, even more than before. The character of our work is well suited for this. We mainly use the same communication platforms as everyone else. The chance to speak to people, share the documents, discuss the changes and implement them while everyone else can see and comment makes our lives much easier. I do not expect this to change much, even once the pandemic is over.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Katarina Mihalikova: No
Your final thoughts?
Katarina Mihalikova: It was nice to work from home for a bit. But now, it is taking too long. We have realized that we are missing to work in a team, meet colleagues, talk to them, be part of each other’s lives.