EXPERT INSIGHT 84 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUN 2022 About Filip Petráš Filip Petráš is a founding partner of the law firm Advokátní kancelář Petráš Rezek, s.r.o., currently rated as one of highly recommended law firms in Czechia. In 2006, he graduated from the Faculty of Law of Masaryk University in Brno, Czechia. In his practice, he predominantly focuses on litigations and his key cases include responsibility for the legal representation of more than 1000 creditors in one case. About Advokátní kancelář Petráš Rezek, s.r.o. Law firm Advokátní kancelář Petráš Rezek, s.r.o., based in Prague with additional offices in Zlín, Brno and Uherské Hradiště, has been providing its clients with professional legal services since 2018. The firm is among the most highly recommended in Czechia in the field of health law and recommended in the areas of intellectual property law, information technology law and labour law. The law firm has become the main representative of the World Law Alliance for Czechia. Through its network of partner law firms, the firm is able to offer services to clients in more than 100 countries. Filip Petráš Founding Partner Advokátní kancelář Petráš Rezek, s.r.o. 2. května 7134, 760 01 Zlín, Czechia Tel: +420 725-293-766 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.petrasrezek.cz How can the use of emerging technology expedite the debt collection process? It is hard to imagine a field that would not be affected by the development of new technologies in recent years. The same applies to the area of debt recovery. In general, the use of modern technologies is allowing us to process increasing volumes of data. Their use in the debt recovery process allows better management of the portfolio, for instance by the automatic tracking of individual payments or sending reminders to debtors. This eliminates errors and saves costs and time spent on the administration of receivables that can instead be used for finding the most suitable solution for both creditors and debtors. Another indisputable advantage of the use of modern technologies is the facilitating and acceleration of collaboration and communication, including through qualified means of communication such as data boxes (an electronic documents delivery system launched by the Czech Ministry of the Interior) or online video conferencing tools, in order to find consensus when the parties have to cooperate remotely. In what ways has the debt recovery field changed since you began your practice? Since the beginning of my legal practice, the field of debt recovery has significantly changed. These changes are due to the development of legislation and case law, but also due to changes in society. For instance, development of case law in the matter of validity and invalidity of arbitration clauses – which in practice has significantly affected the use of arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution process – has tightened the conditions for the selection of arbitrators and the conditions for the enforcement of consumer loans. What is the first piece of advice that you would give to a client seeking advice on recovering? There is still a lot of misleading information persisting in society about the high-value debt recovery process. However, we at Petráš Rezek know that most cases are neither as complicated nor financially demanding as they may seem at first glance, provided that the basic rules of precaution are observed. First of all, we recommend our clients take enough time to check their potential business partners. This is not always easy, but in Czechia there are easily accessible public registers from which the information can be drawn without issue. In case there are any potential risks identified, and the contract has not yet been concluded, we recommend including stricter conditions on guarantees and payments in the contract. Second, the effective establishment of contracts, framework agreements and general terms and conditions with the business partners – thus potential debtors – is crucial. Such documents should be revised periodically to reflect changes in legislation or case law. We strongly recommend concluding the contracts and other arrangements in writing. It is ideal to have all communication with the counterparty in writing, or at least confirm the essential points of the agreement in writing, for example via email. Last but not least, in case of any problems, we recommend not to hesitate to ask for legal advice from a professional as soon as possible, as an early correction of the problem often prevents many future complications.