The Legal 500

Serbia

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Legal market overview

Despite local reports of renewed momentum in corporate transactions, the air of uncertainty which hangs over Serbia’s economic and political stability has increased the difficulty of getting deals across the line. Headline transactions included KKR’s acquisition of leading pay-TV and broadband provider SBB from Mid Europa Partners; the privatisation of national airline Air Serbia; and Telenor’s share purchase of KBC Bank.

Serbia’s leading bracket of law firms is clearly defined by three domestic leaders: Karanovic & Nikolic; Jankovic, Popovic & Mitic o.d.; and, more latterly, BDK Advokati/Attorneys at Law. These firms compete with a small contingent of international firms for top-end work: Petrikic & Partneri AOD in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz; Harrisons Solicitors; Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr; and Law Office Miroslav Stojanovic, in cooperation with Wolf Theiss.

The market is also home to a large number of smaller specialist firms, in many cases the product of partners breaking away from larger counterparts. The most recent of these are Bojovic & Partners / Attorneys at Law, which was established by Marija Bojović, former senior and name partner of BDK Advokati/Attorneys at Law; DBP Advokati, formed by lead corporate partners from Karanovic & Nikolic and Jankovic, Popovic & Mitic o.d.; and, at the tail-end of 2013, Zavisin Semiz Law Office, which was opened by two partners from Petrikic & Partneri AOD in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz and one from Harrisons Solicitors. These new, hungry firms will further intensify the level of competition in the legal market, in which reports of low-balling and fee-dumping are not uncommon.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

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

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014

    The Exempted Limited Partnership Law, 2014 (the New ELP Law ) has replaced the Exempted Limited Partnership Law (2013 Revision) (the Previous Law ). The New Law includes significant changes to the Cayman Islands' statutory framework regulating exempted limited partnerships ( ELPs ) that will increase the attractiveness of ELPs and will be appreciated by managers, investors and creditors alike. Private equity sponsors in particular will notice substantial improvements that are indicative of Cayman's continuing commitment to balanced and commercially sensible legislation. Read more...
  • Restructuring and insolvency in Luxembourg (part 2)

    RESTRUCTURING - COURT PROCEDURES
  • Enhancements to the Companies (Jersey) Law 1991

    On 23 May 2014, the States of Jersey passed the Companies (Amendment No. 11) (Jersey) Law 201- (the Amendment Law ).  This will now be sent to the UK Privy Council for consideration, then laid before the States of Jersey for a final time before coming into force.  The latest information we have is that the Privy Council will be approving the law on 19 July 2014 and it may come into effect as soon as 4 August 2014.
  • Joost Fanoy appointed partner at BarentsKrans

    The Hague, 4 July 2014 - BarentsKrans has appointed Joost Fanoy as a partner in the Antitrust & Public Procurement department, effective as of July 1, 2014. Joost specializes in European law in general with a particular focus on European and Dutch competition, public procurement and state aid law and is the head of the Antitrust and Public Procurement Practice Group. Joost is also a member of the Cartel damages team of BarentsKrans.
  • PineBridge Acquires 50% Stake in Romatem

    PineBridge Investments Middle East, a global multi-asset class investment manager with regional headquarters in Bahrain, and nearly 60 years of experience in emerging and developed markets, has acquired a 50% equity stake in Romatem, the leading physical therapy and rehabilitation services chain in Turkey.
    - Paksoy
  • Isbank Issued USD 750 Million Notes

    Isbank issued 750 million USD notes under its GMTN programme established in 2013. The notes are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 5 % with a maturity date 2021. Mr. Omer Collak (partner) and Mr. Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have acted for the joint lead managers Barclays, Citigroup, HSBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi and The Royal Bank of Scotland.
    - Paksoy
  • Halkbank Issued USD 500 Million Notes

    Halkbank issued five-year term fixed interest rate US currency notes, with a total amount of USD 500 million  with an interest rate of 4.765 %  and an annual coupon rate of 4.750 %. The notes offered the lowest borrowing rate in the first five-month period of 2014, and total demand rose nearly nine-fold due to high investor interest. The note issuance drew great interest from international investors settled in the Middle East and Asia, as well as those investors based in the US and Europe. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised the joint lead managers.
    - Paksoy
  • Turkiye Finans to Issue Ringgit Sukuk to Raise Up to MYR 3 Billion In Malaysia

    Turkiye Finans issued the first ringgit sukuk originating from Turkey. The bank initially raised MYR 1 billion with a five-year commodity sukuk on June 30, with an annual return of 6 %. The sukuk under the programme will have tenure of one to 20 years. Funds raised will go towards general corporate purposes. The sukuk will be issued through TF Varlik Kiralama A.S., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turkiye Finans. Malaysia's RAM Ratings has accorded the programme an indicative long-term rating of AA3. HSBC Amanah Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq were the joint advisers. Mr Omer Collak (partner) and Mr Baris Kencebay (head of tax practice) have advised Turkiye Finans and the issuer TF Varlik Kiralama A.S.
    - Paksoy
  • Ziraat Bank Established GMTN Programme to Issue Bonds Worth USD 2 Billion

    Ziraat Bank, the largest state owned bank of Turkey, established GMTN programme on 21 May 2014, for the notes to be issued up to  USD 2 billion listed on Irish Stock Exchange. The notes are unconditional, unsubordinated and unsecured obligations, and rank  pari-passu with Ziraat Bank's other senior unsecured obligations.
    - Paksoy
  • Vakifbank Sells EUR 500 Million Notes Under USD 5 Billion GMTN Programme

    Vakifbank issued EUR 500 million 5-year unsecured and unsubordinated notes under the first GMTN programme of Turkey established in 2013. The notes are listed on Irish Stock Exchange and bear interest at the rate of 3.5 % p.a. with a maturity date 17 June 2019. This is the very first EUR denominated RegS offering of a Turkish entity.
    - Paksoy