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Montenegro

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Editorial

Legal market overview

Harrisons Solicitors provides a ‘pragmatic and efficient’ service to major domestic and international clients across the spectrum of corporate and commercial, banking and finance, and real estate matters. Mark Harrison has handled many of the most significant privatisation projects in the country and is currently advising Abu Dhabi Ports, as the potential purchaser, on the tender process to privatise port operator Luka Bar. Senior associate Vera Vucelic Radunovic has a focus on banking and finance transactions and is advising the International Finance Corporation and Erste Bank on financing provided to the municipality of Podgorica to facilitate the construction of a €60m bypass. Consultant Goran Martinovic and senior associate Svetlana Curic are acting for Adriatic Marinas and Damen Shipyards as the joint purchasers out of bankruptcy of the only ship repair yard in Montenegro.

Primarily led out of Serbia, Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr provides a ‘responsive and intelligent’ service to local and international clients, and with five partners focusing on Montenegrin matters has the critical mass to handle a significant volume of ongoing mandates. Slaven Moravčević is ‘one of the best lawyers in the market’ for corporate and real estate matters; he is advising State-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore on the financing, development and construction of the second block of the 250MW thermal power plant in Pljevlja. Moravčević has also recently secured a number of notable victories for the Montenegrin government in investor-state arbitrations including successfully defending it in cases initiated by foreign shareholders relating to the privatisation and restructuring of the two largest Montenegrin companies. The ‘focused and creative’ Miloš Laković regularly handles energy and infrastructure matters including his work for Enemalta and Shanghai Electric Power on the €100m acquisition and development of the 46MW Mozura wind park in Montenegro. Construction law expert Ivana Panić is ‘a pleasure to work with’ and is ‘highly specialised in dealing with contracts for construction under FIDIC rules’.

BDK Advokati is ‘very knowledgeable about the Montenegrin legal environment’ and provides ‘a responsive service’ to an impressive roster of clients including Google, Gi Group and Aecom. The ‘proactive and knowledgeable’ Luka Popović is increasingly active advising Turkish and Chinese clients on their investments into the country and recently advised Turkey-based Net Holding on drafting the requisite management agreements to facilitate its operation of three casinos in the country. The team also regularly receives assistance from lawyers in the firm’s Serbia office including Dragoljub Cibulić, who recently worked alongside Popović in assisting Eni with a tender procedure and concession contract for hydrocarbon exploration and production with the Montenegrin government.

At CMS, Milica Popović handles a broad array of corporate, banking and finance, real estate and projects work. Popović recently advised on the refinancing of a debt portfolio and is acting for General Electric on its pivotal role on the €148m construction and development of the 72MW wind farm in Krnovo. The team also regularly works alongside other Central and Eastern European network offices, including Serbia, on mandates requiring a multi-jurisdictional approach.

Karanović & Nikolić is praised for its ability to ‘provide a solid service in accordance with high international standards’, and is able to resource matters utilising lawyers on the ground in Montenegro, as well as across the Balkans (including Serbia and Croatia). Led out of Serbia by Darko Jovanović and assisted by ‘excellent’ senior associate Milena Roncević in Montenegro, the firm is advising Akuo Energy on financing the development of the 72MW wind farm in Krnovo. Roncević is also involved, alongside Serbia-based Dejan Nikolić, on the firm’s work for Vas Invest concerning the development of a multi-functional hotel and residential complex near the coastal town of Budva.

At Prelevic Law Firm, Dragan Prelevic has ‘a strong reputation’ for corporate and real estate work and is a key member of a four-partner team that also includes Wolfram Zeihe, Aleksandar Vojinovic and Radomir Prelevic. Clients include Ericsson, Ford, T-Mobile, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Associated Press and Philip Morris International.

Since its establishment in 1971, Law Office Vujacic has been at the forefront in advising domestic and international clients on various high-profile mandates across a range of industry sectors including financial services, telecoms and energy. Sasha Vujacic has vast experience advising international companies on establishing offices in the country and assisting with their ongoing legal requirements. Jelena Vujisic regularly handles litigation for corporate clients.

Praised for its ‘professional and competent’ approach and willingness to ‘provide a realistic and honest assessment of each legal issue at hand’, Serbian firm Joksovic, Stojanovic & Partners’ three-strong Montenegrin desk has ‘strength-in-depth’. It routinely acts for private and public sector clients engaged in M&A, privatisation, litigation and real estate matters. Petar Stojanović has ‘an in-depth knowledge of the legal system’ and provides ‘a highly strategic perspective’ on complex M&A deals and privatisation mandates. Assisted by associate Goran Vučić, Stojanović is advising the Montenegrin government on the implementation of the contract for the construction of highway Bar-Boljare – the largest infrastructure project in Montenegro.

Law Office Miroslav Stojanovic, in cooperation with Wolf Theiss handles a significant amount of corporate and real estate-related Montenegrin work from its Zagreb office. Miroslav Stojanović is advising QD Hotel and Property Investment Montenegro on all real estate and other legal matters regarding the development of a large luxury hotel and residential complex in Tivat, Montenegro.

At NKO Partners, Djordje Ivanovic advises Prysmian Powerlink and Nexans Norway on various aspects of local law in relation to the Monita project for a new submarine power link between Montenegro and Italy. Ivanovic is also assisting Deloitte and Cogent Communications with their Montenegrin operations, including recently advising the latter on developing templates of subscriber agreements, general terms and conditions and other mandatory regulatory documents and obtaining approval from Montenegro’s telecoms agency for these documents.

At Ana Dukanovic Attorney at Law, name partner Ana Dukanovic has a strong reputation across a range of substantive areas of law including those spanning the corporate, real estate and litigation practice areas. Marko Hajduković is also recommended.

At Radonjic Law Firm, Vladimir Radonjic is ‘very well known’ for handling an array of corporate, real estate and litigation work in Serbia and Montenegro.

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  • Recent Amendments to Montenegrin Tax Legislation

    The Montenegrin Parliament recently enacted the new Law on Tax on Coffee and amendments to the Law on Value Added Tax, the Law on Real Estate Tax, the Law on Tax Administration and the Law on Mandatory Social Security. The purpose of these changes is to clarify existing provisions of these tax laws in order to improve their enforcement and to better control the tax liabilities of non-resident taxpayers. Changes to the Law on Real Estate Tax have introduced higher taxes, but also tax benefits aimed at stimulating the development of high-end tourism in Montenegro.
  • Law on Prevention of Illegal Business - Montenegro fights gray economy

    The Law on the Prevention of Illegal Business ( Zakon o spre čavanju nelegalnog poslovanja, „Official Gazette of tthe Republic of Montenegro" no.29/13) came into force on 23 June 2013. Its nature is largely declaratory, aimed at showing the declared intent of the state to fight corruption and black market. 

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