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Editorial

Legal market overview

Panama has enjoyed a remarkable economic boom over the past decade. Even in 2009, during the depths of the global recession, annual GDP growth refused to dip below 4%, and for the past few years it has been fluctuating between an impressive 8% and 10%. The country has successfully built on its foundation as a transport hub, thanks largely to its geographic location and of course the presence of the interoceanic canal, but also to the growth of its national airline, Copa Airlines. International businesses are increasingly viewing the country as a hub for the wider region, and this has been coupled with a boom in real estate, hospitality and tourism. Major government-led infrastructure projects, such as the expansion of the canal and the development of the Panama City Metro, have also helped spur on much of the activity in the country.

This has, of course, been to the significant benefit of the country’s leading law firms, such as full-service firms Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega, Galindo, Arias & López and Morgan & Morgan. Firms in the past saw much of their business revolve around ship registrations and financings, as well as Panama’s market for offshore corporate and structuring work; now they offer a broad selection of (primarily) US-educated lawyers with a well-tuned appreciation for what their international clients require from major financings and project financings, as well as cross-border M&A, and real estate construction and development projects. It has not all been plain sailing; most lawyers report that one of the staples of their practices – offshore work – is facing increased pressure from crackdowns in the US, the EU and elsewhere. Fortunately, increased activity in other areas appears to have more than made up for shortfalls on this front.

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  • Karanović & Nikolić Joins The NextLaw Global Referral Network

    Karanović & Nikolić is pleased to announce that it has joined the NextLaw Global Referral Network, created by global law firm Dentons. We are particularly excited by the fact that Nextlaw presents a new type of network, with a unique invitation-only approach in their selection, ensuring that all of its members have the highest quality standards and a proven track record of excellence.
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    After more than a four months and a Phase II (in-depth) investigation, the Competition Commission gave conditional approval, to Sunoko's acquisition of the Star Šećer company and its subsidiary Te-To - the owner of the sugar factory in Senta. No divestments have been required from Sunoko.
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    News reports are informing us that Belgrade will gain another bridge over the Danube river in the near future – this one at the Ada Huja island and over three kilometres long.
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  • Too Big To Hide – European Commission Sanctions Truck Cartel

    Global competition law circles have recently been shaken by the European Commission's record-setting fine of EUR 2.93 billion for collusion on the automotive market, imposed against Volvo, Daimler, Iveco and DAF trucks. The sanctions in question varied amongst the accused parties, with Daimler facing the largest penalty in the amount of more than EUR 1 billion on its own. Iveco's fine was set at EUR 494 million, DAF's at EUR 752 million, and Volvo's fine has been set at EUR 670 million.
  • Cartel Office ensures greater competition in rail sector

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    Video surveillance at the workplace does not inevitably give rise to claims for damages. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Sachsen-Anhalt [Regional Labour Court of Saxony-Anhalt] (Az.: 6 Sa 301/14).
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    Those who still want to withdraw from real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010 should take action now while the right of withdrawal is on its last legs. This get-out-of-jail-free card is set to lapse shortly.