Banking and finance in Serbia

BDK Advokati AOD

BDK Advokati AOD has a 'strong position on the local market and great expertise in financing transactions.' The finance department is noted for high-profile, cross-border lending transactions and the financing of large and complex infrastructure projects; it also has niche expertise in both derivatives and payment services. Managing partner Tijana Kojović has substantial transactional experience, and senior partner Dragoljub Cibulić is an expert in greenfield real estate, energy and infrastructure projects. 'Extremely responsive and competent' senior associate Dragoljub Sretenović advises banks and corporate borrowers on acquisition, project, and working capital financing.

Practice head(s):

Tijana Kojović; Dragoljub Cibulić

Other key lawyers:

Dragoljub Sretenović

Testimonials

Strong position on the local market and great expertise in financing transactions.

Senior associate Dragoljub Sretenović is extremely responsive and competent, and addresses and resolves all issues immediately.

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

IFC

OeEB

JPMorgan

Société Générale

BC Partners

Komerční banka

Bank Zachodni WBK S.A.

Bank of Cyprus

Multinational bank

EFET

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders, EBRD, IFC, and OeEB, on the €300m-plus project financing for a waste management public-private partnership project in Belgrade.
  • Advised Société Générale  and the note trustee on the issuance of senior secured notes, the proceeds of which were partly used to refinance an acquisition debt.
  • Advised JPMorgan and UKEF on a €800m UK Export Finance-guaranteed loan to the Republic of Serbia for the construction of a 110-km motorway from Pojate to Preljina.

Harrisons Solicitors

The only English law firm in Serbia, Harrisons Solicitors consistently handles a large number of transactions for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Finance Corporation. It is also a go-to adviser for major investment banks in relation to derivatives and capital markets. Consultant Ines Matijevic-Papulin, who has a wealth of experience in banking, securities and other financial transactions, heads the finance and capital markets group; and senior associate Jovan Cirkovic advises banks on debt restructuring, securitisation, and acquisition and project finance.

Practice head(s):

Ines Matijevic-Papulin

Other key lawyers:

Jovan Cirkovic; Mark Harrison

Key clients

EBRD

IFC

Agrokor (Fortenova)

DEG

AFD

Citibank

Erste Bank

JP Morgan

Swedfund

Unicredit Bank

Raiffeisen Bank

Apollo (Gordian Holdings)

Heta Asset Resolution

OTP Banka

Visa International

ENEF

Work highlights

  • Advised Fortenova Grupa (indirectly managed by former creditors of the Agrokor Group of companies), on the Agrokor Group restructuring.
  • Acted for a group of international banks and financial institutions on a major financing, which related to the acquisition of SBB group and its subsequent expansion, as well as several subsequent refinancings.
  • Advised EBRD on a loan to Javno gradsko saobracajno preduzece Novi Sad, a public transport company that is owned by the City of Novi Sad.

Karanovic & Partners

Karanovic & Partners consistently works on large regional project financings, particularly those involving real estate development, and energy and infrastructure. It also has robust capital markets experience and advises on high volumes of NPL-related matters in Serbia and regionally. The group is headed by Darko Jovanović, who specialises in infrastructure and energy financing, construction projects and PPP developments; and Maja Jovančević Šetka, who assists with large-scale financings, regulatory matters, structured finance and distressed deals. Katarina Gudurić provides additional support, while Mina Srećković is an experienced senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Darko Jovanović; Maja Jovančević Šetka

Other key lawyers:

Katarina Gudurić; Mina Srećković

Testimonials

A team of professionals who know the banking industry very well and who can meet even the most challenging job demands.

They are very approachable and easy to work with, and at the same time they provide exceptional legal advice on finance-related matters. Every team member is accessible, highly professional and pays attention to detail.

It is obvious they have vast experience and extensive knowledge in financial services. Also, they are able to provide advice for multiple regional countries, which we highly appreciate.

The team is focused on clients and their issues; they are capable of bringing broader viewpoints to each issue with complete professionalism.

The Belgrade banking and finance team stands out through its dedication to the entire project cycle, in addition to its significant and extensive expertise. Its advantage is its ability to answer questions, not only in relation to Serbian law matters, but also to co-ordinate work through its Western Balkans regional coverage. I would especially recommend them for cross-border project financings.

Darko Jovanović is open, solutions oriented and very detailed, with great knowledge of banking and financial matters.

Maja Jovančević Šetka and Darko Jovanović lead an exceptionally strong domestic and regional practice; it is a true pleasure to work with the team in Serbia and further afield.

Maja Jovančević Šetka is my first point of contact at Karanovic & Partners for all banking and financial matters. She is a true professional, really committed, highly experienced, grasps complex matters, and comes up with practical solutions. We always feel she is truly devoted to help us achieve our commercial goals in the best possible manner.

Key clients

PPF Group

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

PPF Group

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Airport City

Africa Israel Group (AFI Group)

USAID

Bechtel

Citi Group

Work highlights

  • Advised, alongside an Austrian law firm, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs (as joint bookrunners) on the IPO of Addiko Bank .
  • Advised the IFC (a member of the World Bank Group) and the EBRD on the €215m financing of Čibuk 1, a large wind farm project.
  • Advised the City of Belgrade, as part of a consortium of advisers, on the financing of the Belgrade waste-to-energy project.

Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr

'Outstanding in terms of productivity, experience and professionalism', Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr's practice covers syndicated lending, energy and infrastructure project finance, property development, and investment grade corporate lending. It also has a strong track record in NPL sales, restructurings, capital markets, derivatives, and banking-related M&A. Nikola Babić, a banking and finance, capital markets and restructuring and insolvency specialist, and Petar Kojdić, who advises on cross-border and local financings, co-head the group. Jovan Barović, Jelena Arsić and Dušan Obradović are also key team members.

Practice head(s):

Nikola Babić; Petar Kojdić

Other key lawyers:

Matija Vojnović; Vojimir Kurtić; Jovan Barović; Jelena Arsić; Dušan Obradović

Testimonials

The lawyers in Schoenherr’s banking and finance practice group are always up to date with market developments, both internationally and locally. The team is well organised, professional and provides solution-oriented advice on any aspect of banking and finance.

The firm has a long-established practice in complex transactions; it is great at handling capital markets, financing and energy. Its service is also executed with care, very professionally and often sooner than expected.

‘The firm is always ready to make an extra effort to guarantee that clients are pleased with the service they receive and satisfied with their projects’ results.

I strongly recommend this firm. It is outstanding in terms of productivity, experience and professionalism, with its lawyers responding promptly to the various issues that arise in the banking sector on a daily basis.

They are probably the only firm on the market that is capable of advising on any banking and finance legal issue; I’ve co-operated with several law firms, but the service provided by Schoenherr’s lawyers is exceptional. They really stand out in the market for client service and availability.

I have been working with Petar Kojdić for years, and he is one of the best banking and finance lawyers on the market. He has a broad knowledge base, noteworthy experience, knows the banking industry well and (most importantly) I can always rely on him.

Nikola Babić is a brilliant lawyer that I have known for years – one of the very best finance experts in the entire region. He is very analytical and quick at finding easily applicable solutions to any complex situation. Although most of the time we work on opposite sides, I still really enjoy working with him.’

Attorney at law Jovan Barović is pragmatic, hardworking and extremely responsive.

Key clients

Deutsche Bank

UniCredit Bank

Credit Suisse International

Commerzbank AG

Renaissance Capital

National Bank of Greece SA

Erste Bank

Banca Intesa

HETA Asset Resolution

Bank Of Cyprus

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)

Société Générale

OTP Bank

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

PNB Paribas (Suisse)

Magyar Export-Import Bank Zrt

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

Citigroup Global Markets Limited

VTB BANK (EUROPE) SE

Deutsche Bank AG

J.P. Morgan Securities plc

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of major regional and international banks on a €125m project finance deal for the development of the region’s (reportedly) largest shopping mall.
  • Advised Société Générale on the sale of its banks in Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova to OTP Bank.
  • Advised Erste Group Bank, as mandated lead arranger and lender, on structuring and implementing a €90m loan facility for major Serbian and regional agricultural conglomerate, MK Group – Sunoko.

BOPA Bojanovic & Partners

At 'premium law firmBOPA Bojanovic & Partners, the 'strong banking and finance team' specialises in general banking, finance, financial regulation, capital markets, syndicated lending, PPPs, and derivatives and structured finance. It is also experienced in restructuring, insolvency and assisting financially distressed companies.  'A distinguished banking professional who focuses on goals', Vladimir Bojanović heads the banking and finance department; his significant sector expertise includes energy and infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, automotive, TMT, and food and beverage.

Practice head(s):

Vladimir Bojanović

Testimonials

A strong banking and finance team! It responds swiftly and provides insightful, well-rounded answers, balancing deep knowledge of the applicable law with the reasoning of the public authorities, commercial considerations and the specific transaction’s needs.’

This team has very senior banking professionals.’

They handle the most sophisticated finance work for us.’

Great market presence, industry knowledge and a hands-on approach. They have handled some of the most difficult projects in Serbia’s recent history with great success.

A premium law firm for very sophisticated clients with quality control that is unseen at local levels.

Vladimir Bojanović is a lawyer with an amazing range of practice, and a consummate negotiator with deep understanding of clients’ needs.

Vladimir Bojanović is the person of choice for any major international bank.

Vladimir Bojanović is a distinguished banking professional who focuses on goals.

Key clients

EBRD

Zagrebačka banka dd

Fevo Inc.

Nutanix

Alpha Bank

Alumil

Blue Sea Capital

Rhinestone

MasterCard

Balkaneum

Magyar Cukor

Paramount Pictures

NLB Group

Generali Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Zagrebacka banka dd Zagreb, Croatia (member of UniCredit Group) on the enforceability of collaterals (mortgage over agricultural land) in Serbia .
  • Acted for Alpha Bank and the National Bank of Greece, on a complex financial transaction involving a Serbian colour manufacturer.
  • Provided banking regulatory advice to MasterCard.

Joksovic, Stojanovic & Partners

Joksovic, Stojanovic & Partners has significant experience in advising multinational, regional and local companies (as well as banks) on banking and financing law. The team's expertise includes insurance sector-related regulatory issues (under the supervision of the National Bank of Serbia), foreign exchange transactions, subordinated loans, and debt restructuring. Highly regarded name partner Petar Stojanovic is experienced in major NPL transactions, regulatory matters and finance agreements. Milan Joksovic is another key contact at senior partner level.

Practice head(s):

Milan Joksovic; Petar Stojanovic

Testimonials

We are very satisfied with the service we receive from JSP in terms of efficiency, detail, and legal knowledge. We believe that these strengths distinguish them on the market.

Key clients

Qatari Diar

Infrastructure Development and Construction

GrECo International

Payback

La Fantana Srl

AVAG Holding

Work highlights

  • Advised IDC on a financing agreement involving the purchase of equipment and materials.
  • Advised Romania’s La Fantana on a cross-border loan agreement that was financed by a consortium of banks.
  • Acted for Payback in relation to the provision of financial services in the Republic of Serbia.

JPM Jankovic Popovic & Mitic

Highly rated for its experience in headline banking and finance deals, JPM Jankovic Popovic & Mitic fields sector specialists in relation to telecoms, energy and infrastructure, IT, agriculture and maritime. Senior partner Jelena Gazivoda, who heads the mining and energy department, is a key banking and finance department member; Gazivoda regularly acts on major Serbia and CEE-related projects. Leading the corporate department, the practice of Nenad Popović (also a senior partner) includes significant banking and finance deals.

Other key lawyers:

Jelena Gazivoda; Nenad Popović

Law Office Miroslav Stojanovic, in cooperation with Wolf Theiss

Law Office Miroslav Stojanovic, in cooperation with Wolf Theiss' banking and finance team regularly works alongside the firm's regulatory, litigation and restructuring teams. With over 20 years' experience, Belgrade managing partner Miroslav Stojanović is a recognised expert in PPP projects, energy and infrastructure, and bankruptcy and restructuring; and Nataša Lalović Marić has a longstanding, broad banking and finance practice that includes capital markets. At counsel level, Katarina Stojakovic assists with complex banking and financial transactions in Serbia.

Practice head(s):

Miroslav Stojanović; Nataša Lalović Marić

Other key lawyers:

Katarina Stojakovic

Key clients

Addiko Bank AG

Addiko Bank (Serbia)

North Channel Bank GmbH & Co. KG

The European Fund for Southeast Europe. S.A.,

Unicredit Serbia jsc

UniCredit S.p.A., Milan, Italy

NLB d.d., Slovenia

Komercijalna banka a.d. Beograd

Erste Group Bank AG

Erste Banka a.d. Novi Sad

Suez Groupe SAS

Environment Investments Ltd

Beo Čista Energija d.o.o.

Work highlights

  • Advised Beo Cista Energija (and its shareholders) on its approximately €150m financing of a PPP project, which involved the treatment and disposal of residual municipal solid waste in Belgrade.
  • Advised a multinational banking syndicate on a transaction that included €65m loans for the refinancing of two Belgrade hotels, as well as the borrower’s corporate restructuring.
  • Advised a syndicate on a €70m cross-border facility for the development of a shopping centre in Belgrade.

Petrikic & Partneri AOD in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz

Petrikic & Partneri AOD in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz's 'knowledgeable, professional, efficient and available' banking and finance team is particularly well known for cross-border lending, and acquisition, leveraged, project and real estate finance. It also fields experts in structured commodity and trade finance, debt restructuring and NPL portfolio sales. With a practice that includes both project finance and capital markets, Milica Popović is Belgrade team head and Ksenija Boreta is an experienced attorney at law.

Practice head(s):

Milica Popović

Other key lawyers:

Ksenija Boreta

Testimonials

Knowledgeable, professional, efficient and available.

Key clients

OTP Bank Group

Syndicate of banks led by ING and UniCredit London

DenizBank AG and Ziraatbank

EBRD

IFC

Banca Intesa and Delta Real Estate

EBRD and Raiffeisen Bank Serbia

DDM Group

EIB

Sberbank

Syndicate of banks led by Wilmington Trust and UniCredit London

Commerzbank

MoneyGram

Eurobank

UniCredit Bank

Chubb Limited

Wallis Automotive Europe Kft

Work highlights

  • Advising the syndicate of banks (led by ING and UniCredit London) on the refinancing of the Danube Foods Group portfolio in Serbia.
  • Advised DenizBank AG and Ziraatbank on the financing for the design and construction of two motorway projects in Serbia.
  • Advised the EBRD and the IFC on post-closing matters concerning the financing of Hystead’s acquisition of of a shopping centre.

Bojovic Draškovic Popovic & Partners

Acting in high-profile financings, Bojovic Draškovic Popovic & Partners' expertise includes derivatives, along with structured, project, acquisition and leveraged finance. Marija Bojović is practice head, with key support provided by corporate and commercial and M&A leader Vuk DraškovićUroš Popović, who is both Serbia and US qualified; and the 'highly efficient' senior associate Milica Pešterić.

Practice head(s):

Marija Bojović

Other key lawyers:

Vuk Drašković; Uroš Popović; Milica Pešterić

Testimonials

The whole team treats us with special attention, and is always fast and responsive, while covering all aspects of the transaction.

I only have praise for Vuk Drašković; he is professional, capable of covering all aspects of a deal, and completely committed to our needs and success.

Senior associate Milica Pešterić is a highly efficient lawyer.

Key clients

HPS Investment Partners

FitPass Serbia

Clifford Chance

Tenpay Payment Technology Co.

WinsedSwiss Eduaction Group

MSC Global Shipping Company

Shyft

Amadeus IT Group

Advertima

Delta Real Estate Group

Samsung

Dornano Partners

Servier

Work highlights

  • Provided local advice to a Hogan Lovells International LLP client (investment fund HPS Investment Partners), in relation to the refinancing of a €1.1bn priority loan that was initially granted by Knighthead Capital to Croatian Fortenova Group.
  • Worked alongside Dentons China, advising China Railway International Co on the legal feasibility of a tripartite contract structure surrounding the Hungary-Serbian railway project.
  • Advised on the refinancing of an existing loan, through a high-value syndicated facility that included local and cross-border lending.

Joint law office Marić in cooperation with Kinstellar

Kinstellar/Zajednicka advokatska kancelarija Maric & Mujezinovic is now known as Joint law office Marić in cooperation with Kinstellar, following the departure of former name partner Selma Mujezinović to found Law Office Mujezinović. Branislav Marić acts on banking, restructuring and insolvency, energy and project-related financings, and capital markets. Tijana Arsenijević is an experienced senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Branislav Marić

Other key lawyers:

Tijana Arsenijević

Testimonials

The legal team is well versed in different legal fields; and being present in several different countries, it can service clients that need cross-border legal assistance.

A great team with fast responses and readiness to work under pressure.

Very collaborative and organised.

The team is very experienced in Serbia, with a strong understanding of the legal environment and precedent transactions.

As part of the Kinstellar network, the team in Belgrade has access to resources in other geographies (including specialists in areas such as asset finance) and operates to the standards expected of a major international law firm.

Branislav Marić is very hands on and is supported by a very strong team of associates.

‘Branislav Marić stands out for his experience in the banking and finance sector and his approachable attitude.

‘Branislav Marić is the outstanding individual in the team, and his broad legal knowledge and expertise are extraordinary – he is very well regarded in the local legal community.

Key clients

NLB

China Development Bank

Export–Import Bank of China

Vojvođanska banka a.d. Novi Sad

Exportno-importná banka Slovenskej republiky

Goldman Sachs Lending Partners LLC

Management Financial Group Jsc

Mastercard Europe SA

HSBC

GE Capital Financial Services

Banca Intesa a.d. Beograd

Erste Bank a.d. Novi Sad

Sberbank Europe AG

Work highlights

  • Advised NLB, Slovenia’s largest banking group, on the acquisition of Komercijalna banka a.d. Beograd, the largest state-controlled bank in Serbia.
  • Advised Export–Import Bank of China on the financing of the construction of a heating pipeline project.
  • Advises MasterCard Europe (on an ongoing basis) in relation to the introduction of a range of novel payment solutions.

Prica & Partners

Prica & Partners' 'well-connected' banking and finance department is headed by managing partner Mihajlo Prica, whose expertise includes general lending, acquisition, project, asset and structured finance, and NPL portfolio acquisitions. Prica also assists with loan and debt structures, establishing collateral, and loan agreements. Experienced partner Tijana Lalić is the other principal contact.

Practice head(s):

Mihajlo Prica; Tijana Lalić

Testimonials

Very responsive and straight to the point, with deep knowledge of local banking and finance law, as well as the market.

Well connected in the region.

Easy to approach, ready to assist and responsive; the team is also knowledgeable, motivated, experienced and cost efficient.

Key clients

The Rohatyn Group (TRG Management LP)

ING Bank NV (Shanghai Branch)

Banca Intesa

Government of the Republic of Serbia

Komercijalna Banka a.d. Beograd

Mercator S

Istrabenz Plini

Crédit Agricole

OTP Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised on the privatisation process of Komercijalna Banka a.d. Beograd, the country’s second largest bank.
  • Assisted with the provision of a revolving €45m loan to Serbia’s MINTH Automotive Europe.
  • Assisted the Rohatyn Group (TRG Management LP) with obtaining a €24.5m loan.

Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović Law Firm

'Great for responsiveness, knowledge and experience', Samardžić, Oreški & Grbović Law Firm assists large domestic and international banking entities on the full range of banking, securities, and related regulatory matters. Miloš Velimirović's broad practice includes financial services regulation and project finance, while Milan Samardžić is also a key partner. Milan Novakov is the senior associate to note.

Practice head(s):

Milan Samardžić; Miloš Velimirović

Other key lawyers:

Milan Novakov

Testimonials

In an environment where it is difficult to find professional help in legal matters, they have managed to establish Western standards.

Consistent quality of service is provided to clients. We consider them to be one of the leading Serbian banking and finance practices, and would particularly highlight their ability to provide high-quality financial regulatory advice.

Great for responsiveness, knowledge and experience.

Senior associate Milan Novakov is available at any time of the day to conduct meetings or give advice.

Key clients

AKV INVEST 1 d.o.o.

Republic of Serbia – Deposit Insurance Agency of Serbia

Banca Intesa ad Beograd

DB Schenker Serbia

USAID

AIG Europe Limited

Eiffel Investment Group

Yihai Property Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on assistance given to the Ministry of Finance and Securities Commission of the Republic of Serbia, in relation to bylaws implementing the Alternative Investment Funds Act.
  • Advised AKV Invest 1 on the collection of distressed receivables.
  • Advised Schenker d.o.o, a branch of DB Schenker, (logistics provider), on the financial leasing of equipment and vehicles.

Stankovic & Partners (NSTLAW)

Banking and finance is a core area for Stankovic & Partners (NSTLAW), which 'always meets deadlines'. The team acts for financial institutions and borrowers on cross-border financings, as well as restructurings and insolvency matters. Nenad Stankovic's banking and finance expertise covers project finance, restructuring and insolvency, and real estate, infrastructure and PPP projects.

Practice head(s):

Nenad Stankovic

Other key lawyers:

Tijana Kovacevic

Testimonials

Clients are left feeling very good about this firm.

Competent and precise answers that are very professional, with a team that always meets deadlines.

Key clients

Banjalucka pivara JSC (Bosnia & Herzegovina)

Banjalucka pivara LLC (Serbia)

Edelweiss Balance AG

Edelveys Holdings BV

Beauvallon Europe S.A., SPF

Brif Tres doo Beograd

Brif-TC doo, Beograd

Teddy S.p.A.

British American Tobacco

Titantex SRL Unipersonale

Siemens

Apatinska pivara

Aelius SARL Luxembourg, affiliate of EMS SA

Galenika, affiliate of EMS SA

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Monster Energy

Serbian Innovation Fund

Heta Asset Resolution AG

Celanova (group of companies)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Banjalucka pivara with numerous matters, including securing financing.
  • Advised Edelweiss Balance on several matters, including the assignment of an intercompany loan.
  • Acting for foreign and domestic clients in a large ongoing banking litigation matter.