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Legal market overview
Croatia acceded to the European Union as a full member in June 2013, bringing with it hope of EU funding and private investment for future. As of yet, though, Croatia’s economy remains sluggish and new foreign direct investment slow. Debt recovery work is now a staple of practice for many law firms and the recently introduced Pre-Bankruptcy Act added another layer of negotiation and regulation to existing laws, generating substantial mandates to advise clients as creditors or debtors. Firms are hopeful that government plans to privatise or part-privatise state assets could provide substantial mandates; the privatisations of Croatian Post Bank and insurer Croatia Osiguranje are two such examples.
The market remains characterised by small Croatian law firms staffed by a few senior partners with junior support, and the occasional split whereby ambitious younger lawyers form new firms. In 2012, Krehic Lacmanovic Law Office was dissolved and the respective name partners founded new firms, namely Law Office Krehic and Law Office Lacmanovic.
Bogdanovic, Dolicki & Partners, Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, Hanzekovic & Partners, Porobija & Porobija, Savoric & Partners and Zuric i Partneri are among the largest of the local firms. The international law firms CMS, Schoenherr Rechtsanwälte GmbH in co-operation with Croatian Lawyers and Wolf Theiss – Zagreb branch all have offices locally. Karanovic & Nikolic in co-operation with local lawyers’ office, which opened in Zagreb in September 2012, is now a fully functional part of the firm’s regional network across the Balkans, and Eastern European intellectual property firm Petoševic is also present in the market.
The chapter this year includes a new, dedicated Intellectual property section.