"I can't possibly accept an internship abroad with two children, can I?"
"Even with a one-year-old son?"
"Yes, of course. We often move about for work reasons. It’s only so complicated for you here."
This was Dr. Vladimira Glatzova’s reaction in 1992 when offered an internship at the London law firm Freshfields.. This was shortly after the Velvet Revolution when foreign law offices were organising internships for attorneys from Central and Eastern Europe.
Dr. Glatzova’s original intention was to spend only four months in London with her family and a nanny to take care of her two young children. Instead it was two years before she returned home. After a year interning in London, she was invited to work at the leading German firm of Hengeler Mueller, Weitzel & Wirtz in Frankfurt. After four months with this top German law firm, she was presented with another challenge, this time from the Paris office of Freshfields. The office urgently needed a Czech lawyer in order to handle completion of construction of the Mochovce nuclear plant. She accepted, and with the support of her husband and children, she left to Paris.
After several years abroad, Dr. Glatzova decided to make her dream of establishing her own law office in Prague come true. It would be an office on the same level with those she had worked with abroad, and would be able to compete with the branches of leading international law offices located in Prague. Combining her knowledge of Czech law with her experience abroad, she established the law office in 1994. It soon became one of the largest and most respected in the Czech Republic. In 1996, Dr. Vit Horacek joined Glatzova & Co as a partner, leaving the firm of Bubnik & Myslil where he specialised in mergers, privatisation projects, trademark law and arbitration. In 2002 Mgr. Renata Zbrankova, who had started working at the firm when still a student at the Law Faculty of Charles University in Prague, became the firm’s third partner. Since January 2005, Dr. Dana Schweigelova, who also came to Glatzova & Co. during the firm’s first years while still a student at the Law Faculty, has also been a partner.
The firm’s partners have created a superior working team of nearly sixty employees. Not wanting the team to grow in fits and starts, the partners do not take on a mass of new employees in the face of any single large project, but would instead prefer not to sleep for a couple of nights while handling the project. All partners are as demanding on themselves as on the people around them.
This may also be one of the reasons why Glatzova & Co. has acquired its reputation as a leading law office, although thanks must of course also go to the fact that the firm is highly professional, flexible, efficient, effective and sensitive to the needs of its clients.