The Legal 500

Serbia

Editorial

Serbia remains gripped by an economic malaise with debt equivalent to 70% of GDP, in addition to which the country was hit by record floods in 2014. Although foreign investment is low and infrastructure projects have been slow to progress, the latter half of 2014 produced a modest uptick in legal instructions. There has been investment from Abu Dhabi in agriculture and commercial development, such as the €3bn Belgrade Waterfront project. New laws require the privatisation of approximately 500 state-owned companies to be completed by the end of 2015 and the need for private companies to sell assets to repay debt will provide private equity investment opportunities. Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts made its first investment in Southeastern Europe (SEE) in 2014 when it acquired cable and satellite operator SBB/Telemach from Mid Europa Partners; the bidding process and regional deal, co-ordinated from Serbia, provided work for numerous law firms. Also in the headlines is the sale of troubled Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank’s entire Balkan business.

Serbia’s small but competitive legal market is led by a handful of sophisticated, domestic firms competing for international transactions with the large CEE/SEE regional players. Among the home-grown talent, Karanovic & Nikolic has led the way in Balkan expansion and competes head-on with global firms such as CMS.

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
  • Amendments to Transfer Pricing Rulebook

    In our Newsletter 17/2013 , we presented novelties introduced into Serbian transfer pricing regulations by the new Rulebook on Transfer Pricing and Arm's Length Methods Applicable to Determination of Prices in Transactions Between Related Entities (" Rulebook "), which elaborates on the statutory requirement for mandatory transfer pricing documentation for FY 2013 and onwards.
  • Serbian brewery fined in Bosnia for abuse of dominance

    On 20 November 2013, the Bosnian Competition Council issued a decision establishing that the Serbian brewery "Apatinska" abused its dominant position on the relevant market of beer distribution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Council imposed a fine on the brewery in the amount of BAM 430,000 (EUR 215,000).
  • Photographs and the current events exception in Serbian copyright law

    The High Court in Belgrade and the Appellate Court in the same city have issued a few decisions in 2013 rejecting arguments by the defendants that their use of photographs, without the authorization of the copyright owners, was lawful because the photos were used within the context of reporting about current events. While the outcome in each case was identical, the judgments differ in the interpretation of the law. A reader is left unsure as to what the Serbian copyright law actually says about the current events exception to copyright infringement.
  • Serbian parliament adopts amendments to Competition Act

    Amendments to the Serbian Law on Protection of Competition were published in the Official Gazette on 31 October 2013 and will come into force on 8 November 2013. The adopted amendments to a large extent follow solutions from the draft which the Government submitted to the Parliament back in July this year. We devoted two earlier blog posts to various drafts of the amendments (apart from the Government's July draft , we also analyzed the initial draft published in April). Now that the amendments have ripened into law, it is worth providing an overview of the most important changes to the competition legislation.
  • Serbian competition authority publishes its annual report for 2012

    The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition has published its Annual Report for 2012 . Because the Commission publishes its decisions and opinions randomly, the report offers an informative scan of the authority’s activities in the course of the previous year.
  • Opinion issued on public procurement and consortium agreements

    The Commission for Protection of Competition has issued an opinion(1) on public procurement and consortium agreements concluded between competitors in tendering and public procurement procedures.
  • Opinion issued on public procurement and consortium agreements

    The Commission for Protection of Competition has issued an opinion(1) on public procurement and consortium agreements concluded between competitors in tendering and public procurement procedures. The commission views consortium agreements as restrictive agreements, as they inevitably set prices and other commercial requirements for performing specific transactions. Therefore, such agreements must be submitted to the commission for an individual exemption.
  • Competition Authority clears three-to-two concentration in sugar market

    In February 2013 the Competition Authority cleared the takeover of Hellenic Sugar Industry SA by Sunoko doo, subject to structural and behavioural measures. Hellenic Sugar is the only producer of sugar in Greece which also owns two sugar production plants in Serbia. Sunoko, on the other hand, is a producer of sugar in Serbia, part of MK Group, a vertically integrated producer of agricultural products and also has various other activities related to agricultural production. The authority prohibited the takeover at first, but clearance was issued on a second attempt.
  • Competition Authority publishes results of petroleum derivatives market analysis

    In February 2013 the Competition Authority published the results of its sector analysis of the petroleum derivatives markets in Serbia in 2011. The analysis, carried out between April and
  • Mergers & Acquisitions 2013. Chapter 37 Serbia.

    This guide provides corporate counsel and international practitioners with a comprehensive worldwide legal analysis of the laws and regulations of mergers and acquisitions. This article appeared in the 2013 edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Mergers & Acquisitions; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London. www.iclg.co.uk.

Press Releases worldwide

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