The Legal 500

Serbia

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Editorial

Leading individuals

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It was another challenging year for Serbia’s saturated legal market, with a dearth of big-ticket transactions and projects. The much anticipated privatisation of 526 state-owned assets has ignited interest from around the world, but continues to stall amid political and social pressure. In early 2015, for example, the reprivatisation of the Železara Smederevo steel mill collapsed when US steel producer Esmark withdrew its bid; and, in December, what was hoped would be the deal of 2015 – the proposed sale of the most valuable of all Serbia’s state-owned companies, Telekom Srbija, which has generated work for numerous law firms – fell apart when the government decided not to sell.

The legal market comprises a leading pack of six to seven firms consisting of domestic heavyweights BDK Advokati/Attorneys at Law; JPM Jankovic Popovic & Mitic; and Karanovic & Nikolic, plus the local operations of three international/regional firms that dominate the Balkans: CMS; Schoenherr; and Wolf Theiss. Also firmly entrenched in the local scene is Harrisons Solicitors, founded by UK lawyer Mark Harrison. Behind these key players is a group of mid-sized firms with standout expertise in key areas. These firms are, perhaps, well positioned in the current climate of small, price-sensitive transactions.

Firms in the spotlight

TSG - Tomic Sindjelic Groza
www.tsg.rsm

TSG law office Tomic Sindjelic Groza is one of the leading national law offices in Serbia with an international orientation. It provides services to national and international clients in Serbia in English, German, Russian and Serbian. The law office was founded in 2000 by a group of Serbian lawyers of the younger generation with international education. Today this law office is known in the market for providing to its clients highly efficient services with a personal and experienced touch.

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Legal Developments in Serbia

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New Merger Control Regulation Enters Into Force Today

    The New Merger Control Regulation, governing the content and the manner of submitting merger filings to the Serbian Competition Commission, entered into force today, 2 February 2016. The new Regulation represents a modern legal document, fully aligned with the relevant EU acquis, and will  significantly facilitate the merger filing process to the benefit of the applicants, as well as the overall efficiency of the Competition Commission.
  • Karanović & Nikolić Participates In 2016 Guide To European Employment Law

    Karanović & Nikolić labour law experts from multiple jurisdictions have taken an active role in the preparation of a new 2016 guide to European employment law. Karanović & Nikolić participated here as a member of the World Service Group, an association of international independent leading legal, accounting and investment banking firms. Shepherd and Wedderburn, a leading UK law firm and the founding member of World Service Group, has organised the publication of this useful international guide for investors, and our team has provided a contribution for Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia. The 2016 edition of the popular guide summarises recent changes to labour laws across 20 European jurisdictions and highlights the major changes and trends in this area. The chapters referring to countries covered by Karanović & Nikolić may be found available for download below, while the entire publication may be downloaded from Shepherd and Wedderburn site
  • Ministry Of Labour Held A Round Table Discussion On The New Law On Secondment

    Employment law expert, Mirko Kovač, attended a Roundtable discussion on the new Law on Conditions for Secondment of Employees Abroad and their Protection organised by the Ministry of Labour on 13 January 2016. Our office previously analysed this law in more detail and additional information on the novelties it introduces may be found on our website ( http://www.karanovic-nikolic.com/2015/11/16/serbia-adopts-law-on-conditions-for-secondment-of-employees-abroad-and-their-protection/  ). Mirko has been personally invited by representatives of the Ministry of Labour to take part in this discussion, as a recognised expert in the area of secondment regulations. The discussion was lively and mainly focused on the practical aspects of the new law's application, as well as its impact on the protection of our citizens abroad. Trade union representatives – present at the discussion – raised their concerns regarding certain aspects of the law and the level of protection provided to employees abroad, noting how they expect state authorities to closely monitor that employers fully abide to this law in practice. For more details on this Roundtable, please refer to http://www.minrzs.gov.rs/lat/aktuelno/item/4391-od-danas-primena-zakona-o-privremenom-upucivanju-na-rad-u-inostrantvo-zaposlenih-lica
  • Serbia Adopts Law on Conditions for Secondment of Employees Abroad and their Protection

    The Parliament of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Conditions for Secondment of Employees Abroad and their Protection (the “Law”). The Law will be applicable two months following its coming into force, i.e. 13 January 2016.
  • Amendments to Macedonian Labour Regulations

    Pursuant to recent labour regulation amendments, an employer could be released from the obligation to pay mandatory social contributions ( "Contributions" ) for the hired replacement of an employee on a maternity leave, if certain conditions are met. The main intention of these amendments is to increase the protection of female employees and to decrease the risk of termination of an employee due to pregnancy. In order to rely on this exemption, the employer must:
  • Croatia: The New Bankruptcy Act Aims to Accelerate Bankruptcy Proceedings and Resolve Non-Liquidity

    The recently adopted Croatian Bankruptcy Act (" SZ ") [1] sets out a new integrated pre-bankruptcy and bankruptcy regime. SZ has entirely replaced the previous bankruptcy act that was in force for 18 years, as well as provisions regulating pre-bankruptcy settlement proceedings prescribed under the Act on Financial Operations and Pre-bankruptcy Settlement [2] . read more
  • New regulation on reporting of credit operations with non-residents in Macedonia

    The National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia (“NBRM”) has adopted a new Decision on the Manner and Terms of Recording and Notification of Executed Credit Operations (“Decision”), which applies to credit operations of Macedonian residents with non-residents. This Decision was adopted at the beginning of October, and came into force on 1st November.
  • Macedonian ‘Safe Harbour’ agreement ruled invalid by the European Court of Justice

    On 6 October 2015, the European Court of Justice deemed the “Safe Harbour” agreement that allowed for the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US to be invalid. The “Safe Harbour” agreement was concluded in 2000 between the European Commission and the US government and essentially guarantees protection of personal data transferred by American companies from the EU to the US. In practice, it allowed companies (such as Facebook, Google, Apple etc.) to self-regulate the protection of EU citizens’ data in carrying out exports to US data centres.
  • New Law on Consensual Financial Restructuring

    As of 3 February 2016, the new Law on Consensual Financial Restructuring (“Law”) will introduce an improved framework for voluntary debt restructuring in Serbia (“Restructuring”). The Law was adopted as a part of a national strategy to address the increasing number of non-performing loans in the country, which was adopted in August 2015 (“Strategy”).[1] The Law will replace the existing Law on Consensual Financial Restructuring of 2011, which produced modest results in practice.
  • The Rulebook Governing VAT Registration of Foreign Entities Enacted

    In accordance with the latest amendments to the VAT Law, the Ministry of Finance has adopted a Rulebook on the Manner and Procedure of Approving Tax Representation for the purpose of Value Added Tax ( Rulebook ). The Rulebook outlines the procedure and documentary requirements for VAT registration of foreign entities in Serbia.

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