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White & Case's Prague office has hired a senior public official for the newly-created role of director of government and corporate relations.If the post proves a success, the US firm may look to introduce the model into its other offices.Jan Havelka joins White & Case from CzechInvest, an agency of the Czech ministry of trade and industry.He was director general since the department's inception in 1992.A spokeswoman for White & Case says Havelka will co-ordinate clients who have direct investment projects in the region.He will also advise on government relations, including the negotiation of funding incentives.Havelka says: "The common problem for post-communist countries is attracting investors."I have joined White & Case to help improve, step-by-step, the legal environment."The 215-partner firm currently has no plans for similar positions in other offices.But the spokeswoman adds: "We will be monitoring the success of the role closely."Havelka will be based in the firm's Prague office but will also work with clients in the Slovak Republic, Poland and Hungary.White & Case has 21 lawyers including three partners in its Prague office.Havelka adds: "It is expected interest from multinationals will continue to increase in the next 18 months as the Czech economy comes out of recession and looks towards EU membership."
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