One of four new members to join TEN, The European Network of Law Firms, in 2020, Zpartners was founded in 2014 by its managing partner, Jaroslav Zahradník. Based in Prague, the nation’s capital and home to one in four of the country’s 10.6 million people within its metropolitan area, Zpartners provides full-service consulting solutions to company and private clients from the Czech Republic and around the world.
The companies that make up the group are registered respectively with the Czech Bar Association and the Chamber of Tax Advisers of the Czech Republic. This enables Zpartners to combine their expertise in legal and fiscal issues, particularly in regard to issues such as international taxation disputes and strategic company restructuring to the benefit of their clients and even other law and accountancy firms.
“Our main advantage is that we offer both tax and legal advice,” Zahradník continues. “We see the whole picture and speak the same language. We’re more flexible than many of the big consultancy firms, less conservative than more traditional legal firms, and we can react quickly and propose new solutions to our clients problems because we have such a wide range of interests.”
The group’s ethos reflects Zahradník’s own professional background – he qualified as an attorney-at-law and a tax advisor, and previously worked for a big consultancy firm in the Czech Republic before leaving to set up his own firm – and his deep understanding of the concerns that affect international clients who wish to do business and invest in the Central European country, as well as those of Czech nationals and businesses who have interests in other jurisdictions.
Having grown in six years into a team of 15 experienced professionals, including five lawyers, tax advisors, accountants and compliance specialists who can work in five languages, Zpartners “has a broad client base,” Zahradník says. “I started on my own with people I knew and friends, but didn’t take any clients from my previous employers. Today, some of our biggest clients are active in sectors like insurance, car-sharing and educational services for universities. We also work with a large German NGO covering everything they need.”
Because of Zpartners international vocation, Zahradník had long been interested in taking part in a cross-border alliance of professional service providers to complement his firm’s existing contacts abroad. Prior to joining TEN, his firm was approached by a “rival from the UK”, but he wasn’t convinced by their offer. So he asked his colleagues in the office to do some research into which association they should join.
They soon found TEN and, uniquely for member firms to date, Zahradník reached out to express an interest in being its representative in the Czech Republic. At the AGM in October 2020, held online due to the COVID-Coronavirus pandemic, Zpartners became one of the latest members to join The European Network of Law Firms, taking the total to 23: “I´m really looking forward to meeting people in person next time,” he adds, optimistically.
Zahradník has already been in contact with his counterparts at Sylwan and Fenger-Krog in Sweden and TEN Advocaten in the Netherlands. And, considering his current client base, he sees the most potential for collaboration with TEN member firms in Germany and Italy in the near future.
“The greatest advantage of TEN is clear,” Zahradník declares, “when we have clients who need advice on legal issues abroad, we can now recommend our known and trusted colleagues in the network. Our ambition now is to see steady growth, both in terms of people and revenue, as in our business one drives the other. We believe that being part of TEN will help us achieve this.”
When not working on behalf of clients, Zahradník enjoys active sports such as tennis, skiing and mountain biking. Born and raised in Prague, where he still lives, he completed Masters’ degrees in both the law and economics, before carrying on his studies to earn Doctorate qualifications. He also worked at a Big Four company and a large Czech law firm before setting up Zpartners.