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Legal market overview
Croatia’s economy remains sluggish and while recent elections have given hope that the government will now concentrate on moving forward with its plans, thereby instructing law firms on new work, foreign direct investment has slowed and many law firms have resorted to debt recovery work to fill billable hours. Croatia will accede to the European Union as a full member in June 2013, and this has increased the amount of compliance mandates received by law firms with relevant expertise. Firms are also hopeful that a series of proposed privatisations could provide substantial mandates.
The market remains characterised by small Croatian law firms staffed by one or a few partners with junior support, and the occasional split whereby ambitious younger lawyers form new firms.
Bogdanovic, Dolicki & Partners, Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, Hanzekovic & Partners, Porobija & Porobija, Savoric & Partners and Zuric i Partneri are among the largest of the local firms. In addition, the firms of CMS, Schoenherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH in co-operation with Croatian Lawyers and Wolf Theiss – Zagreb branch all have offices locally. The Balkan regional law firm of Karanovic & Nikolic opened an office in Zagreb in September 2012, and now has offices in six jurisdictions.
The chapter includes a new Dispute resolution section, and the newly renamed Privatisation, projects and energy practice area recognises the numerous energy projects now underway in Croatia, but note that energy related M&A is covered under the Corporate and M&A heading.