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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.
Search News and Articles
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
VEGAS LEX experts discuss Russian roads and PPP projects at the fifth international specialized exhiRoad 2014, the 5th international specialized exhibition and forum held in Moscow earlier this month and attended by VEGAS LEX, focused on effective development mechanisms for Russia's public road system and on legal aspects of public-private partnership projects
The VEGAS LEX law firm has held a seminar, Signing a Concession Agreement: an Insider's Insight , for the staff of Bank of Moscow legal department and business divisions.
Julia Tormagova, head of VEGAS LEX Commercial Group, will speak about trends in the law enforcement practice on the market for pharmaceuticals in 2014.
Popov & Partners Law Office was chosen by Ministry of Finance once again for consultant service of MPopov & Partners Law Office is finishing successfully and before the appointed time, its work on concluded in May 2013 contract with Ministry of Finance for conducting subsequent control of public procurements financed by Operational programme "Administrative capacity". As a result of the quality and effective implementation, in the beginning of September 2014, Ministry of Finance entrusted a second time team of the Law Office for implementing activity for subsequent control of public procurements financed by Operational programme "Administrative capacity", as choose Popov & Partners Law Office for executor of a public procurement. Term of the second contract concluded with Ministry of Finance is until the end October 2015. During its implementation, Popov & Partners Law Office will aim increasing transparency and efficiency in the field of implementation of projects, financed by European social fund, and will contribute for lawful utilizing of funds on Operational programme "Administrative capacity".
Goltsblat BLP , the Russian practice of the leading international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) , is providing the Italian clothing brand TWIN-SET Simona Barbieri with legal support for its entry on to the Russian market, including setting up a joint venture and opening a number of own-brand stores across Russia.
Leading Hungarian law firm, Lakatos, Köves and Partners, has been advising Bayerische Landesbank ("BLB") on the sale of its Hungarian subsidiary MKB Bank Zrt. which closed on Monday 29 September 2014.
Kyiv, 17 October 2014 - AstapovLawyers has advised Lexmark International Technology S.A. (Switzerland) on legal matters pertaining to the signing of distribution agreement with a Ukrainian company. The advice included review and adjustments of the wholesaler contract, drafting arbitration clause and on Ukrainian law matters applicable to the contract.
Zavadetskyi Advocates provided for tax clearance of the transaction for cross-border transfer of the loan portfolio from the balance sheet of the Ukrainian bank to the balance sheet of the UK bank of a Greek banking group. As a result of this work an official tax clarification has been obtained that allowed favorable conditions for the transaction.
Kyiv, 11 August 2014 - Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the following three export financing credits:
Kyiv, 2 September 2014 – Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the acquisition of an electrified railway of over two kilometers long and a power line.