Dr. Ákos MESTER
Candidate for Board-Member-at-large
Dr. Ákos MESTER
Ákos Mester has been in the private legal practice ever since his graduation from the Faculty of Law at the József Attila University, Szeged in 1994. He also studied international trade law and European law at the University of Turku, Finland. He was admitted to the Budapest Bar in 1996.
In his legal career Ákos Mester focuses on transactional matters: mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project finance and capital market deals. He frequently counsels on various investments, real estate and private equity transactions; drafts and negotiates real estate purchases and lease agreements as well as technology transfer agreements; and works with clients across a number of industries: manufacturing, financial services, real estate and communications.
Ákos Mester has been working with international law firm, Squire Patton Boggs, previously known as Squire Sanders, since 2000. He was admitted as partner of the firm in 2007. While with Squire, Ákos Mester as an associate was seconded to the firm’s San Francisco Office in 2001 to 2002 and worked as a resident partner in the Doha, Qatar office in 2016.
In the early phase of his legal career Ákos Mester was employed by law firms Nagy és Trócsányi, Bruckhaus, Westrick Heller Löber, as well as Arent Fox.
He regularly speaks at conferences, authored a series of professional articles on a variety of legal topics and co-authored a handbook titled Hungarian Business Law, published by Kluwer Law International.
Ákos Mester, besides his wine enthusiasm, enjoys travelling and cooking as well as sports, especially swimming and skiing. He is married with three children at ages 22, 19 and 12. In addition to his native Hungarian, he is fluent in English and German and possesses conversational Russian.
Why do you think membership in the American Chamber of Commerce is important for businesses operating in Hungary?
AmCham represents a top-tier brand in the Hungarian business community since its formation and marks a clear orientation point not only for the members, but also for every business organization committed to market economy. The values the chamber represents and advocates are supposed to be the gold cover in every market economy, integrity, transparency, trust, accountability, to name just a few; and this fact makes its existence vital in Hungary for the time being. From a practical perspective, any member organization can count on the chamber as a source of general business related information and phenomena prevailing in the overall economy, as well as more sector specific knowledge and best practices. In addition, the chamber is instrumental, especially to businesses below the top-tier segment, to let the members’ voice be heard by the government and other clusters of the national economy. Last, but not least, the various events AmCham organizes serve as premier networking opportunities for the leaders of businesses in every size and industry.
What motivates you to be an AmCham Board Member/Supervisory Board Member?
My current law firm, Squire Patton Boggs (earlier Squire Sanders) has been a member of AmCham from the early 1990s. I have been working for this law firm for nearly two decades. Since 2007 when I became a partner of my law firm, I have attended more frequently the various events. At the chamber’s events I attended to exciting presentations and inspiring discussions and made some good friends as well. By now, being a long-standing attendee of the various events and reaching a degree of seniority as a business lawyer in an international legal practice I thought it is just time to give back to the community some of my experience, share my vision more actively with the follow members’ representatives at the board and outside the formal meetings. I am well aware that the board membership at the same time represents great deal of responsibility, since a member of the board, is the ‘face’ of the chamber not only for other members’ representatives, but also outside the organization. I am standing by to take the challenge.
Why do you feel you are qualified? What skills do you bring to the position of Board Member/Supervisory Board?
Over my legal career, I have worked with clients in a number of industries. I had the privilege to service as legal counsel many member organizations, including some of the most prominent members and fellow patron members. I am quite confident that I became familiar not only with the members’ legal issues whom I represented, but more broadly ‘the’ business issues they are facing. I can proudly state, I contributed to some of the members ‘successes as well. With my current firm, I counselled in landmark investments and major acquisitions to members and clients. I am personally very committed to the values AmCham represents and advocates. And last, but not least, being an international business lawyer with a practice of more than 25 years, some of which I spent in the US and the Middle East I can contribute my experience, ‘a’ lawyer’s experience, to the benefit of the board and probably the overall activity of the chamber.
How have you been active in AmCham over the course of the last two years?
I work in the chamber’s regulatory committee. In addition, in the last two years as a representative of a patron member, I regularly attended patron dinners and special events organized for such members. I frequently attended other events as well and served as a delegate on my firm’s behalf at the annual general meetings. In 2017 I participated on the sessions of the policy task force working group. Earlier I undertook speaking engagements and moderated sessions and panel discussions as well. While working in Qatar in 2016 I attended with great interest a number of AmCham events there as well.