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Kosovo

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Editorial

Legal market overview

Kosovo’s most significant industries include agriculture, metals and mining, and the manufacture of construction equipment, yet Europe’s youngest country does not attract many big-ticket transactions. Nonetheless, increased investment and consumption levels are anticipated, as a result of low labour costs, noteworthy natural resources, and a business-friendly tax regime; consequently, the World Bank recently raised its 2018 GDP growth estimate for Kosovo to above 4.2%.

The country’s leading legal practices can also expect to win infrastructure-related deals, such as the construction of highways to neighbouring countries, the anticipated upgrade to Kosovo’s buoyant international airport terminal, and the construction of a power plant. Other sectors that are expected to attract foreign investment include telecoms, healthcare, energy, food products, and mining.

Regularly instructed by international law firms, Pallaska & Associates dominates much of the legal market’s high-profile work, while Albania-headquartered Kalo & Associates has an active office in Kosovo. Judex Law Firm and Boga & Associates are other key names in the market.

Foreign firms also frequently advise on Kosovo-related matters from outside the country. Leading central, eastern and south-eastern Europe law firm Wolf Theiss has a Kosovo desk, which is led by its Vienna and Tirana offices; key names include Vienna-based Christian Mikosch, who heads up the Kosovo desk, and counsel Katrin Eisler, as well as managing partner of the Tirana office Sokol Nako.

Pallaska & Associates’ client base is largely comprised of international and multinational companies that operate in Kosovo or in the wider region; and although the firm remains independent, it benefits from relationships with law firms in central, eastern, south-eastern and western Europe and the US. Core sectors for the team include telecoms, energy and mining, financial services and insurance, as well as construction, pharmaceutical, defence and retail. Gazmend Pallaska, who is highly regarded for administrative law, corporate law and IP matters, and Dastid Pallaska, who specialises in banking and finance law, project finance and M&A transactions, are the firm’s managing partners. Adelina Sokoli, who was recently made up to partner, has a remit to expand the firm’s media and IP practice areas and to broaden the firm’s French-speaking client base; other recent promotions include Ilire Vitija being made senior associate.

Judex Law Firm’s practice covers commercial and civil law, IP matters, and administrative law and criminal law. Recent matters include the team advising a leading Kosovo bank on its reorganisation process, employment matters, litigation, and contractual issues. It also assisted a financial institution with several loan agreements. Kujtim Kërveshi is managing partner and senior partner Adem Vokshi is a former judge. Office director Florin Lata specialises in IP rights.

Albanian law firm Kalo & Associates opened its Pristina office in 2008 but has longstanding experience in advising businesses that are involved in Kosovo. Acting for domestic and multinational companies, the team’s workload includes handling advisory matters for Bechtel, Philip Morris, Vodafone, and Morgan Stanley. Gazmend Nushi and Ahmet Hasolli, who are admitted to Kosovo’s Bar Association, are highly rated for their expertise in commercial and business law.

Albania-headquartered Boga & Associates provides a legal service alongside its tax and accounting offering. The firm has notable sector experience in insurance, construction, energy, real estate and TMT, and also regularly advises clients in the professional services, transport and infrastructure, and consumer goods industries. The practice has significant expertise in corporate and commercial matters, banking law, dispute resolution and IP. Albania-based Sokol Elmazaj, who is the Kosovo country manager and divides time between the Tirana and Pristina offices, recently led advice to an energy company on a share purchase agreement, which included drafting the incorporation documents of a special purpose vehicle company, as well as handling competition law issues. Senior associate Delvina Nallbani is registered at the Kosovo Bar Association.

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