Privatisation, projects and energy in Croatia

Bardek, Lisac, Mušec, Skoko in association with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH (Austria)

Well-versed in the underlying regulatory strictures, and also able to leverage expertise from lawyers within a multi-disciplinary offering which draws together corporate, finance, tax and real estate competences, Bardek, Lisac, Mušec, Skoko in association with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH (Austria) is well-placed to advise a diverse roster of stakeholders engaged in large-scale energy and infrastructure projects throughout the country. Key contacts include team head Marija Mušec, who has niche expertise advising governmental bodies on public procurement matters relating to energy efficient projects; ‘extremely responsive’ corporate/M&A partner Marija Zrno Prošić, who regularly assists renewable energy companies in their efforts to enter the Croatian market; and banking partner Jelena Nushol Fijačko, who regularly advises development banks providing the financing on large infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Marija Mušec

Testimonials

Marija Zrno Prošić is extremely responsive.’

Key clients

Aspect Energy / Aspect Holdings, LLC

EBRD / The City of Split

LOG EXPERT

ORPEA / SENECURA

Maren Maras Elektrik Üretim Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S

FATA SpA / Part of DANIELI Group

Erste Group Bank AG

Work highlights

  • Advising the exploration and energy investment company, Aspect Energy/Aspect Holdings, in connection with the second licensing round in Croatia.
  • Providing full support to LOG EXPERT regarding the  development, construction and lease of logistic centres in Croatia, including due diligence, sale and purchase acquisition, lease agreements, construction and construction related agreements, support with permit issuance for several locations in Croatia.
  • Supporting EBRD on its Croatian WBIF (REEP) projects and providing legal aspects of the technical support for preparing pipeline of ESCO projects in the public sector.

Divjak Topic Bahtijarevic & Krka

Appreciated by clients, including investors, developers and lenders, for its ‘high levels of professionalism, expertise and dedication’, Divjak Topic Bahtijarevic & Krka is regularly engaged in the most significant infrastructure and energy-related investments in the country. Drawing from his vast reservoir of real estate knowledge, including as it pertains to land use, environmental and title issues, managing partner Emir Bahtijarević is an effective conduit for the successful implementation of a myriad of project finance mandates. Mario Krka is also recommended, particularly in the context of renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Emir Bahtijarević

Testimonials

‘The team displays a high level of professionalism, expertise, responsibility and dedication to work.’

Key clients

AKUO Energy

Globe Trade Centre (GTC)

EBRD

RWE Supply and Trading

BOP Immo

Work highlights

  • Continued providing full legal support to AKUO relating to various aspects of its doing business in Croatia, providing energy, permitting, corporate, commercial, employment, etc. legal advice.
  • Advised EBRD in a project related to the construction of the water supply purification plant and extension and upgrade of the water/wastewater infrastructure, in Split and the surrounding area, respectively.
  • Advises BOP Immobilien Gruppe, in business of project developments and the structuring of large volume real estate property investments with two major projects.

Hanzekovic & Partners

Hanzekovic & Partners provides a ‘quality legal service’ to stakeholders across a range of utilities, transport and energy projects throughout Croatia. Team head Jasminka Čorda Truhar is ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ on concession law and the construction-related aspects (contractual arrangements) underpinning major domestic infrastructure projects, particularly within the motorways and public roads segment.

Practice head(s):

Jasminka Čorda Truhar

Testimonials

‘The lawyers are available and one can rely on them to provide quality legal service in reasonable time frames.’

‘Jasminka Čorda Truhar has always delivered what she has promised.’

Key clients

City of Zagreb

LNG CROATIA LLC

Hrvatske autoceste d.o.o.

PIŠKORNICA d.o.o.

Work highlights

  • Advising LNG Croatia as project developer of the first Croatian LNG terminal.
  • Advising City of Zagreb as concession grantor in the Project of the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in Zagreb.
  • Representing Zagreb Airport as the the concession grantor and Project Implementation Unit in the Project on the award of the concession for the construction of the New Passenger Terminal and the Operation of the Zagreb Airport.

Macesic & Partners LLC

Led by Ivana Manovelo, the ‘flexible and responsive’ team at Macesic & Partners LLC has ‘an excellent understanding of the market and in-depth knowledge of legal framework’, enabling it to provide ‘exceptional’ advice to stakeholders across a range of conventional and renewable energy projects, in particular. The ‘outstanding’ Manovelo is appreciated for her ‘great industry understanding and pragmatic approach.’

Practice head(s):

Ivana Manovelo

Other key lawyers:

Zrinka Buzatović

Testimonials

‘The team led by Ivana Manovelo is exceptional and always delivers top-notch legal service. The team is very flexible and responsive and have easily adjusted and maintained the quality of service, even during lock-downs. The team has an excellent understanding of the market and in-depth knowledge of legal framework.’

‘Ivana Manovelo is an outstanding, remarkable lawyer. She stands out with great industry understanding and pragmatic approach, always maintaining high-level legal advice. I especially appreciate that she keeps the big picture in mind, focusing on important issues when trying to find a solution to any issue we may have.’

Key clients

Bureau Veritas Croatia d.o.o.

APM Terminals

Work highlights

  • Represented one of the most important energy enterprises which is now committed to the development of clean energy, in their project of entering the Croatian renewable energy market.
  • Advised an oil and gas company on their entrance into an agreement for the storage of gas with the Croatian company.
  • Advised a company on liability and regulatory risks in relation to the sale and purchase of LNG in Croatia.

Madirazza & Partners

At the vanguard of the domestic renewable energy sector in Croatia, Madirazza & PartnersComparative Guides promotional icon has consequently built up tremendous intel and real world experience, enabling it to provide ‘solutions-oriented and responsive’ advice which is underpinned not only by vast knowledge of the relevant regulations but also how these interact with other relevant laws. Managing partner Josip Madirazza has been pivotal to the firm’s success in the space, and has taken the lead on many financing mandates throughout the development life-cycle, on both the lender and operator side.

Other key lawyers:

Tamara Jakšić

Testimonials

‘For the specific technology – renewable energy projects, it is very important to understand the whole legal framework. It is not enough to know only the regulations directly related to that sector but also the connection with other laws, especially if the regulation is constantly changing, as it is the case in Croatia. The Madirazza team has the experience, but also creativity to solve the situations in such environment.’

‘Josip Madirazza and his young team, mainly Tamara Jakšić, have been advising us for a couple of years re. our renewable energy projects. They are very experienced, focused on finding solutions and responsive.’

Key clients

wpd europe GmbH

Vjeroelektrana Trtar Krtolin d.o.o

Vjetroelektrana Orlice d.o.o.,

Vjetroelektrana Ponikve d.o.o.

Vjetroelektrana Katuni d.o.o.

RP GLOBAL DANILO Ltd.

Vjeroelektrana Rudine d.o.o.

MET Croatia Energy Trade Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised wpd europe GmbH in relation to joint venture projects for development of two wind farms in Croatia.
  • Advised members of wpd Group in the process of obtaining the prolongation of easement and other land registry rights from the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of repowering.
  • Advised Vjetroelektrana Rudine d.o.o. and RP GLOBAL DANILO d.o.o. in the process of obtaining the prolongation of easement and other land registry rights from the Republic of Croatia for the purpose of repowering.

Mamic Peric Reberski Rimac Law Firm LLC

Led by Natalija Perić, Mamic Peric Reberski Rimac Law Firm LLC‘s multi-disciplinary team provides a ‘very reliable‘ service to stakeholders engaged in energy (including renewables, power and oil and gas) and infrastructure projects. As well as regularly handling project finance work, the team also handles capital markets-related work for energy clients.

Practice head(s):

Natalija Perić

 

Testimonials

‘I work in a company that is the only electricity transmission operator in the country. Our job is getting more and more complicated with time when it comes to the complexity level of our legal relations with external parties, which requires very narrowly specialised knowledge. The firm has provided us with good and reliable legal counselling on several occasions.’ 

‘Reliability is what you value in lawyers the most. This is what the firm definitely has.’

Key clients

ERSA

GITONE Kvarner d.o.o.

KARAS

POWERGLOBE LLC

Unit Investment N.V. & Uni Viridas d.o.o. (Unit Group)

Dalekovod jsc

HOPS (HEP Group member)

Calcit Group

Work highlights

  • Advised ERSA in the process of incorporation of the Branch Office of the Turkish construction company specialised for infrastructural and building construction.
  • Advising GITONE Kvarner in a public procurement proceeding project of construction of the biggest marina in Republic of Croatia along with ACI-GITONE d.o.o.
  • Advised KARAS in the process of incorporation of the Branch Office of the Turkish construction company specialised for infrastructural and building construction.

Marohnic, Tomek & Gjoic, Law Firm

Energy-related work is core area of focus for Marohnic, Tomek & Gjoic, Law Firm and it provides ‘high-quality’ advice to private and public sector entities on regulatory and transactional work. Founding partner Josip Marohnic is pivotal to the firm’s success in the area and is praised for his ability to ‘think- outside-the-box’ and his ‘great navigation skills within related laws and regulations’.

Practice head(s):

Josip Marohnic

 

Testimonials

‘Personal approach, quick responses, high quality advisers.’

‘Josip Marohnic is a unique legal advisor and will dedicate 100% of his efforts to deliver legal service to a client. Very quick in his thinking outside-the-box and has great navigation skills within related laws and regulations.’

Key clients

GÉANT

Rigi Real Estate

Medvednica Nature Park Governance Authority

City of Osijek

Work highlights

  • Advising GÉANT, a consortium partner of CERN, in a ground-breaking pan-European public procurement of cloud services for the entire European research community.
  • Acting for Rigi Real Estate on their venture into solar energy, through the development of a MWp PV plant.
  • Drafted procurement guidelines, performed procurement activities and dealt with appeals and made and closed contracts in the most significant redevelopment of the Medvednica Nature Park supported by the ERDF.

Porobija & Porobija

Leveraging its broader finance and corporate expertise, in particular, as well as drawing upon significant underlying regulatory knowledge, Porobija & Porobija is a popular choice on behalf of lenders and sponsors engaged in a range of energy and infrastructure projects throughout the country. The team is co-headed by Boris Porobija and Zeljka Rostas Blazekovic, with the latter continuing to advise the concessionaire of International Zagreb Airport on various commercial matters.

Other key lawyers:

Margita Kiš Kapetanović

Key clients

UniCredit

Zagrebačka banka

BancaIMI

International Zagreb Airport

Work highlights

  • Advising the lenders on the refinancing of existing debt and financing of Phase 2B2-1 of Istrian Epsilon Motorway (Doubling of Tunnel Učka).
  • Providing ongoing advice with respect to commercial matters to the concessionaire of International Zagreb Airport.

Wolf Theiss - Zagreb branch

Praised for its ability to ‘take complex legal items and explain them in ways that are easy to understand’, Wolf Theiss – Zagreb branch’s multi-disciplinary projects team has a strong reputation among stakeholders engaged in transportation and energy-related infrastructure projects, in particular. Team head Saša Jovičić has an excellent reputation advising private sector entities as bidders on public procurement projects relating to infrastructure and energy, with advice extending to work for the successful concessionaire on ongoing commercial/operational matters, as well as in the context of challenges to failed bids.

Practice head(s):

Saša Jovičić

Other key lawyers:

Ana Slovenec

Testimonials

‘They are always very receptive and quick to respond regardless of if they are busy or not. It is a professional and well organised organisation.’

‘Very personable and easy to communicate with. They are able to take complex legal items and explain them in ways that are easy to understand. Very professional.’

Key clients

European Commission

Vermilion Exploration

IC İçtaş İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret

Astaldi

Adriatic Gate

Rudopolje Moje

Global Ports Holding

KELAG-Kärntner Elektrizitäts-Aktiengesellschaft

International Container Terminal Services

ROCA Croatia

Deutsche Bahn

UBER

Algoma

SITA

Work highlights

  • As part of an international consortium consisting of economic and financial experts and technical experts, the team is advising the European Commission in relation to the NESOI (New Energy Solutions Optimised for Islands) project, which is aimed at supporting energy transition on islands of EU Member States.
  • Successfully advised Vermilion Energy on the participation in Round I of a tender for onshore oil and gas concessions in Croatia and are currently advising in Round II.
  • Advised Global Ports Holding, one of the world’s largest cruise port operators, in the proceedings for the award of the concession of the cruise port passenger terminal Zadar.

Šavorić & Partners

The ‘very responsive and detail-oriented’ multi-disciplinary team at Šavorić & Partners has an ‘enriching track-record’ advising stakeholders across the waterfront of work within the energy sector. Mia Lazić regularly advises international energy companies on their proposed activity in Croatia, and is well-versed in regulatory, as well as contractual, financing and corporate aspects of their work. Boris Šavorić is also a key member of the team and is able to provide corporate and M&A support to clients on privatisation mandates, as well as for bidders tendering for major infrastructure and energy projects in the country.

Practice head(s):

Boris Šavorić; Mia Lazić

 

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Ruba

Testimonials

‘The team has extensive knowledge within the energy sector, and an enriching track-record of engagements that highlights the key elements to make or break a deal. There is a lot of experience in both regulatory framework and due diligence on corporate documents, contracts, permits, etc.’

The excellent team is very responsive and detail-oriented.’

‘Very high level of competence and collaboration.’

‘People are always available and ready to help, competent and agile.’

Žuric i Partneri

Drawing upon banking, corporate and real estate expertise from across the firm’s full-service offering, Žurić i Partneri in cooperation with Kinstellar’s multi-disciplinary team is well-placed to advise investors, lenders and sponsors in relation to the investment and financing of energy and infrastructure projects. In this context, as well as being conversant with regulatory concerns, the team is also praised for its ‘out-of-the-box thinking and flexibility’, enabling it to effectively adapt to the necessary transactional structure, including as it relates to PPP, PFI and concession-based projects. Energy-related work accounts for a significant amount of Duško Žurić’s M&A and finance deal flow, while his previous role as Assistant Minister for Privatisation and Industry at the Ministry of Economy, ensures that he is able to provide excellent insight to clients on privatisation mandates. Zuric co-heads the team alongside the ‘knowledgeable and open-mindedMiroslav Plašćar, who is particularly adept at advising on the real estate aspects of energy projects. ‘Solutions-oriented’ senior associate Marija Vuchetich is also recommended and has recently taken the lead on the bank side in relation to several biomass-fired cogeneration plants.

Other key lawyers:

Edin Karakaš; Marija Vuchetich

Testimonials

‘Žuric i Partneri team was available all the time, which was very helpful and sped up the process. All requested information were concrete and were delivered on time.’

‘Marija Vuchetich and Mr. Duško Žurić are very pleasant to work with. They are focused on finding solutions in order to reach targeted goal; respected defined time frame.’

‘Know-how, experience, out-of-the-box thinking, openness and flexibility are key traits of the team.’

‘Miroslav Plašćar – except from being a great lawyer, his personality and way of behaving makes him a unique partner.’

‘Miroslav Plašćar is knowledgeable and open-minded.’

Key clients

OTP banka

Work highlights

  • Advised OTP banka with respect to long term loan agreement granted for financing acquisition of a 13MW biomass-fired cogeneration plant in Slatina.
  • Advising a UAE-based private equity fund regarding a 5* tourist resort development project on the island of Hvar.
  • Advising a Norwegian investment group with respect to exclusive tourist resort development project in Sućuraj, on the island of Hvar.

Gajski, Grlic, Prka & Partners

At Gajski, Grlic, Prka & Partners, public procurement expert Elias Ernst has an excellent reputation advising private sector entities on tender documentation, as well as in any pursuant appeal procedures, regarding infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Mladen Prka; Elias Ernst

Other key lawyers:

Martina Gajski

Key clients

HELECTOR S.A. (Greece)

SGM Informatika LLC

Bagerkop-Roberto LLC

Softline LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised the Greek construction company Helector S.A. regarding the preparation of tender documents for the Piškornica – Regional Waste Management Facility.
  • Advised Bagerkop-Roberto LLC in a public procurement procedure which included two appeals and two administrative disputes. The project is related to the cleaning of the Trakošćan lake from sediments.
  • Regular advising and appeals procedures representation for SGM Informatika in the competitive IT sector.

Schoenherr in cooperation with Croatian lawyers

At Schoenherr in cooperation with Croatian lawyers, Petra Šantić has comprehensive regulatory knowledge relating to energy and environmental law and regularly provides vital input on transactional work relating to a range of conventional and renewable energy projects. Another core area of Šantić’s practice is her work for international and domestic bidders across all stages of procurement procedures in Croatia.

Practice head(s):

Petra Šantić

Key clients

S IMMO AG

Montenegro’s Electrical Power Company’s (EPCG)

Work highlights

  • Advising Montenegro’s Electrical Power Company’s (EPCG) on entering into a joint venture with Austrian Ivicom for developing a 50MW wind power project Green Gvozd.
  • Advised S IMMO AG on the acquisition of an office building, located in the proximity of the Zagreb city centre.