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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.
Legal Business: country analysis
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
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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, InfraONE take part in meeting of Transport Ministry Taskforce on Extending Moscow Air HubOn November 27, 2014, the Transport Ministry Investment Coordination Council's** Taskforce on Extending the Moscow Air Hub (MAH) Experience to Regional Airports* led by VEGAS LEX Partner Albert Eganyan , chairman of the InfraONE Board of Directors, held its first meeting.
Russian rating of law firms Pravo.Ru-300 recognizes VEGAS LEX as one of Russia's leading law firms, ranking us among top-tier law firms in various categories.
The VEGAS LEX Volga Directorate has organized a roundtable on important theoretical and practical aspects of challenging transactions during bankruptcy proceedings.
VEGAS LEX experts have discussed personal and corporate fraud risk management with business executives
Extended session of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs' Committee for promotion oVEGAS LEX's managing partner Alexander Sitnikov held an extended final session of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs' Committee for promotion of competition dedicated to the critical issues of antitrust regulation with participation of representatives of the Federal Anti m onopoly Service of Russia and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation
On 31 October 2014, Hella KGaA Hueck & Co., one of the world's leading suppliers of lighting and electronic components for the automotive industry, announced its going public in an innovative and tailored structure. Read more...
ImmobilienScout24 expands its activities in the field of Customer Relation Management systems (CRM) and acquires FLOWFACT AG, headquartered in Cologne. FLOWFACT AG is a leading provider of software in the real estate sector in Germany. The company was founded in 1985 and has more than 120 employees at the location in Cologne. Read more...
Siemens sells its Audiology Solutions business to the Swedish investor EQT and the German entrepreneurial family Strüngmann as co-investor for €2.15bn plus an earn-out component. Due to the very attractive offer made by the two investors, Siemens has decided not to further pursue preparations for the public listing it announced in May. Siemens will invest €200m in preferred shares in the equity capital of the audio solutions business and will thereby be able to participate in the future success of the business. Read more...
Rabo Real Estate Group ("Rabo"), the real estate division of Rabobank with headquarters in the Netherlands, has sold the PalaisQuartier in Frankfurt am Main to funds managed by Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management. ECE is participating in the acquisition with a 10 % stake and will manage the "MyZeil" shopping centre. Read more...
Hengeler Mueller advises Axel Springer SE on repurchase of minority share in online classified businAxel Springer and US growth investor General Atlantic have reached a binding agreement on increasing Axel Springer's share in Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH from 70% to 85% with the option to purchase the remaining 15% share. Axel Springer Digital Classifieds GmbH is a strategic partnership in which Axel Springer SE currently holds a participation of 70% and General Atlantic currently holds a participation of 30%. Read more...