Competition in Serbia
BDK Advokati AOD stands out for its state aid specialisation. Other areas of strength are individual exemptions, compliance health checks, merger clearance, leniency applications and representation in investigations. Tijana Kojović is a competition law expert. Attorney at law Bisera Andrijašević focuses on life sciences-related competition law issues.
China Road and Bridge Corporation
KIA Motors Europe
- Advised Coca-Cola HBC on the antitrust issues surrounding the acquisition of Serbian confectionery firm, Bambi, from Mid Europa Partners.
- Advised China Road and Bridge Corporation on the competition law issues surrounding an agreement with the Republic of Serbia for the joint development of an industrial park in Belgrade.
- Acted for Rio Tinto on the post-accession implications of state aid received prior to Serbia’s accession to the EU.
Gecic Law's regularly acts in precedent-setting and large cases. The team has a strong focus on EU law and Serbia’s EU accession negotiations. Bogdan Gecić's experience includes practising in Brussels, and he has successfully represented multiple clients before the European Commission and the Energy Community of South East Europe. At senior associate level, Miluša Okiljević participates in major competition matters and Ivana Stojanović focuses predominantly on EU and competition law and state aid matters.
‘The team acts efficiently towards achieving considerable results. It is a practice with exceptional ability and commitment. Experience, investigative skills and strategy make the lawyers very well prepared and thorough in providing clients with market-leading legal advice.‘
‘The firm has a team of professionals, who work quickly and efficiently, and anticipate challenges and ensure extraordinary outcomes. The effort that the team puts into the attainment of goals is priceless, and it always keep clients up to date with every step taken. The team is also always ready to clarify everything with patience.‘
‘This firm made its name through leading international cases and fields experts in both national and foreign market and trade rules. The office is absolutely the best for state aids and competition law in Serbia. The lawyers work very hard, never miss deadlines and provide an unmatched quality of service.‘
‘They demonstrate a deep understanding of EU law. The lawyers have the ability to face extremely challenging tasks, are impressive negotiators and their advice is always to the point.‘
‘The team is well co-ordinated, highly motivated and skilled at handling complex situations, both in court and vis-a-vis clients and their counterparts.‘
‘Bogdan Gecić is an extraordinary lawyer. Only a handful of professors, lawyers, researchers and judges can stand up to his supreme knowledge in competition law. His great expertise and intellect are admirable. He is always very proactive and full of innovative ideas that inspire clients to achieve amazing goals.‘
‘Clients only have kind words for Bogdan Gecić. He is an exceptional lawyer with a lot of experience in representing clients before the European authorities. He is a great strategist too, and very focused and determined.’
‘Bogdan Gecić’s methodology is very creative, although he is also very precise and analytical. The way he transmits his knowledge to his team and his clients is dynamic and inspiring.‘
‘Senior associates Miluša Okiljević and Ivana Stojanović closely participate in proceedings. The two of them are accomplished lawyers who are strongly committed and considerate.‘
‘Senior associate Miluša Okiljević progresses unstoppably in her career. She is a wonderful and bright lawyer who is always eager to help.‘
Government of the Republic of Serbia
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia
Bar Association of Serbia
Air Serbia & Etihad
FCA Srbija doo Kragujevac
- Successfully represented EPS Distribution, a regional electricity distribution operator, during appeal proceedings lasting 30 months, which resulted in the annulment of the largest fine ever levied by the Serbian National Competition Authority.
- Advised the Serbian government on the establishment of an industrial park, which included ensuring compliance with EU competition and trade rules.
- Represented the Serbian government in the first steel sector safeguard proceedings involving Serbia (among others) before the European Commission.
JPM Jankovic Popovic & Mitic routinely advises on the Serbian aspects of international mergers and multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. The team also assists with restrictive agreements' individual exemptions. Nikola Poznanović is a highly regarded antitrust and merger control specialist.
‘The team is very knowledgeable, efficient, focused and practical. It is highly regarded in the market and has a well-established contact network.‘
‘The firm has a good team, in which each member has his/her own specialty. Because of this, the lawyers can look at subjects from different angles and cover all eventual legal issues.‘
‘They listen, ask questions, understand completely what clients want, and try to find legal ways to reach their aims. They also answer requests in a very short time.‘
‘Nikola Poznanović is a partner with excellent legal knowledge.‘
‘Nikola Poznanović’s advice is always straightforward and he provides the necessary comfort to clients.‘
Karlovarské minerální vody
Mid Europa Partners
- Acted for Banca Generali and Saxo Bank A/S before the Serbian and Montenegrin competition authorities in complex notification proceedings, which related to the creation of a joint venture for the provision of online trading and investment services.
- Advised Karlovarské minerální vody and PepsiCo on merger control procedures before the Serbian and Montenegrin competition authorities, which were in relation to the acquisition of Knjaz Miloš from Mid Europa Partners.
- Advised insurance group, Assicurazioni Generali, on a merger control procedure surrounding the acquisition of Seguradoras Unidas and Calm Eagle Portugal.
Karanovic & Partners' practice covers merger cases before the competition authorities, compliance, and antitrust investigations and proceedings. The team also has experience in the pharmaceutical, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), media and telecoms sectors. Rastko Petaković assists with complex antitrust matters and Bojan Vučković is an expert in merger control, abuse of dominance and restrictive agreements. At senior associate level, Bojana Miljanović's clients include TMT, FMCG and retail entities, and Veljko Smiljanić focuses on antitrust matters and compliance assessments.
‘A go-to firm for antitrust in Serbia but also in the whole region because it has a good regional network.‘
‘The competition law practice of Karanovic & Partners is very strong, totally up to date on all developments, and provides business-friendly and customer-oriented solutions. They go the extra mile to understand clients’ businesses and industries.‘
‘A strong team with several partners; it is larger than competitors and capable of handling work smoothly.‘
‘Rastko Petaković and senior associate Bojana Miljanović provide an excellent service.‘
‘Senior associate Veljko Smiljanić is particularly strong. He grasps complex matters fast and is extremely hardworking and responsive.‘
‘Veljko Smiljanic is business oriented, and is quick and savvy. You can put him in the courtroom or a board room with same effect- excellent!‘
Mid Europa Partners
METRO Cash & Carry
- Assisted Mid Europa Partners with merger filing proceedings in Serbia, which related to the acquisition of a majority stake in MediGroup.
- Assisted Bain Capital with the merger control aspects surrounding the acquisition of DSM Sinochem Pharmaceuticals.
- Acted for Roaming Electronics, a distributor and retailer of consumer electronics, in a complex matter before the Serbian competition authority that related to its merger with WinWin Group.
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr acts for global and regional clients in antitrust investigations involving alleged cartels and abuses of dominant position, as well as damages actions. The team also assists with merger control proceedings. Srdjana Petronijević acts in multi-jurisdictional merger control and infringement proceedings; and Danijel Stevanović is a specialist in merger control, antitrust investigations and antitrust damages cases. Attorney at law Zoran Šoljaga was formerly a senior legal adviser at the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition.
‘Schoenherr’s law office in Belgrade is not comparable to others because the quality of service is so high. It is great for its dedication and detailed and friendly approach.‘
‘The team has a direct approach and a young way of thinking. The lawyers implement international contemporary experience in local legal environments. They do not hesitate to communicate difficult news but with the right words.‘
‘The firm provides the best legal support, immediate responses and market-oriented solutions.‘
‘The team has extensive knowledge of EU matters and delivers fast response times. It acts on a highly professional level – as a competition team, it is a prime choice.‘
‘Schoenherr is responsive and available. As they have the large team, they can easily meet short deadlines and cover any question and issue.‘
‘Srdjana Petronijević is efficient and responsive, handling complex issues with ease and success.‘
‘Srdjana Petronijević provides great support – not only in terms of specific legal knowledge but also in terms of creating the right strategy and finding new solutions and approaches. Her strength is her commitment to work and finding innovative answers.‘
‘Srdjana Petronijević is a leading authority in the market.‘
‘Danijel Stevanović is extremely fast but also systematic. He knows the markets clients work in and manages to respond to the set requirements in accordance with – and often exceeding – the standards clients demand.‘
‘Attorney-at-law Zoran Šoljaga is knowledgeable, responsive and a very pleasant person, making co-operation easy and smooth.‘
Smurfit Kappa Group
The Boeing Company
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
The Procter & Gamble Company
Japan Tobacco International
- Assisted Banca Intesa with several competition projects, including competition compliance training, antitrust consultation and merger control proceedings.
- Successfully represented Novelis, a global aluminium products manufacturer, before the Serbian competition authority in relation to its proposed acquisition of rival, Aleris.
- Successfully represented the Smurfit Kappa Group before the Serbian competition authority in relation to its acquisition of the largest integrated paper-based packaging businesses in Serbia.
Petrikic & Partneri AOD in cooperation with CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz advises on large, complex transactions in Serbia and successfully acts before the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC) in investigations, individual exemption proceedings, merger control matters, and complaints against other market participants. At attorney at law level, Srđan Janković is an antitrust expert. Since publication, Raško Radovanović and Anja Tasić left the firm.
‘This is a very professional team.‘
‘Attorney at law Srđan Janković is an exceptional lawyer.‘
British American Tobacco
OTP Bank Group
Abris Capital Partners
Generali Insurance Group
Novartis Pharma Services
Steiermärkische Bank und Sparkassen
- Advised Zijin Mining on the merger control aspects surrounding the acquisition of a mine in Serbia.
- Assists Michelin with day-to-day competition law matters in the region.
- Represented British American Tobacco in the first major dawn raid conducted by the Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition and in the subsequent ongoing investigation.
Bojović Drašković Popović & Partners has longstanding experience in merger control matters, antitrust issues and abuse of dominance. The practice has sector specialisms in technology, telecoms, fashion, food, construction and engineering. Qualified to act in both Serbia and the US, Uroš Popović is a competition and antitrust specialist.
‘The legal team is very responsive, with extensive experience, in-depth legal knowledge and flexibility. The partners are easily approachable and always actively work on clients’ matters, which gives clients comfort that their matters are being diligently handled.‘
‘Uroš Popović is an excellent attorney who is dedicated to competition law practice. Clients can always rely on him, and he is very experienced and has broad competition law knowledge. In addition, he is eligible to practice law in the US.‘
Hamburger Recycling Group
- Assisted Prinzhorn Group with the merger control aspects surrounding the acquisition of over 50% of SFT Group’s shares.
- Advised Hamburger Recycling Group on the merger control issues surrounding its acquisition of 3KF doo.
- Advised Mace, an international consultancy and construction company, on competition issues involving a former business partner.
Law Office Miroslav Stojanovic, in cooperation with Wolf Theiss advises on a multitude of transactions requiring competition law expertise. These include merger filings, leniency programmes, restrictive agreements and dominance issues. Recently promoted counsel Maja Stanković handles high-profile merger control and antitrust cases.
‘The team is responsive, well organised, on top of things, takes initiatives and always makes things simple.‘
- Advised Siemens on the merger control aspects of the proposed combination of its mobility business with France’s rail transport company, Alstom.
- Advised Hisense Group Co, a China-based producer of home appliances, on the EU and national merger control issues surrounding the successful takeover of shares in Slovenia-based white-goods manufacturer, Gorenje.
- Acted for KKR & Co on the merger control issues surrounding its acquisition of Magneti Marelli and certain of its subsidiaries.
NKO Partners has specific experience in handling issues arising for companies with large market shares. The team also assists with distribution agreements' potentially restrictive clauses and advises on M&A-related competition law matters. Djuro Otasevic is active in the energy, telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors.
- Advises Actavis Pharmaceutical, and its entities in Serbia, on day-to-day competition matters.
- Acts for Dr Max, one of the largest pharmacy chains in the CEE, on various competition law issues.
- Advises Heineken on various issues, including sensitive agreements pertaining to competition law.
Subotic & Jevtic - Attorneys at Law was established in 2017. Milica Subotić, who has a notable track record in antitrust cases, non-litigious competition matters and merger control proceedings, is the key name.
‘Milica Subotić has great knowledge and her experience is most appreciated. She is always willing to learn new things and focus on getting the most out of every potential business situation that clients may encounter. She takes a 360-degree look at subject matters and offers overall solutions to the issue in question. She is well informed about EU practice and more than willing to share her experience and apply the knowledge, where appropriate.‘
‘Milica Subotić is highly regarded for her structured way of thinking and for offering practical solutions that help clients overcome business obstacles in a very professional and timely manner.‘
‘Milica Subotić is one of the leading individuals in the competition law market. She has gathered together a small, but very strong, and competent team that can address any challenge and compete with the biggest law firms on the market with their service. Milica puts extra effort into providing the best service for her clients. She is also a very passionate lawyer, who is a quick thinker, very analytical and experienced. She brings competition law matters to a higher level and is able to anticipate and resolve very complex issues.‘
‘Milica Subotić is brilliant in explaining efficiently sensitive competition matters to clients, and has substantive knowledge and experience in financial matters, which bring extra value to clients’ competition issues.‘
Business Association of Concrete producers of Serbia
CRH (Srbija) doo
Banca Intesa ad Belgrade
Asseco SEE doo
Agri Business Partner doo
Soko Štark doo
Chip Card ad
- Assisted Wienerberger doo with conducting a mock dawn raid.
- Assisted Payten doo with obtaining unconditional merger clearance for the acquisition of Bassilichi CEE.
- Assisted Banca Intesa with providing information to Serbia’s competition authority in relation to alleged competition law infringement by Visa and Mastercard.
BOPA Bojanovic & Partners mainly handles abuse of dominance and restrictive covenants matters. The team also assists with merger filings. Vladimir Bojanović regularly works with magic and silver circle law firms, as well as white-shoe professional services firms.
‘BOPA Bojanovic and Partners is a team of enthusiastic, experienced and knowledgable lawyers. They are good business connoisseurs who know that time is money.‘
‘BOPA Bojanovic and Partners‘ competition practice is a truly premium legal practice. It manages the most sophisticated domestic and cross-border mandates and the quality of associates across all seniority levels is unrivalled. The value for money is also really high.‘
‘This is a great competition team, with top-quality, outstanding individuals.‘
‘This is a small but skilful team that is very responsive in competition matters.‘
‘Clients’ overall impression of all the lawyers is utterly positive. The way that Vladimir Bojanović handles matters means that the money paid for services is a worthwhile investment.‘
‘This team is mandated for the most complicated matters. The lawyers are resourceful, responsive and have deep industry knowledge.‘
‘Vladimir Bojanović is responsive and business oriented.‘
‘Vladimir Bojanović is a top-notch competition lawyer who is market oriented and business focused.‘
Barry-Wehmiller Design Group
- Advised Triglav on a merger clearance assessment concerning the purchase of Slovenia-based Alta Skladi.
- Assisted the Post Office of Slovenia with the mandatory takeover procedure surrounding the acquisition of Serbian joint stock company, Intereuropa, which included a complex analysis of an abuse of dominant position.
- Advised US-based Barry-Wehmiler, a global supplier of manufacturing technology and services, on the acquisition of 60% of Serbian company Stax Technologies’ shares, which included a complex merger clearance assessment.
Doklestic Repic & Gajin
Doklestic Repic & Gajin advises on restrictive agreements, abuse of dominance, merger control and state aid issues. Dragan Gajin is a competition and antitrust expert. Slobodan Doklestic also assists with competition law matters.
‘Doklestic Repic & Gajin’s competition practice is unique because of its expertise. The lawyers really know what they are talking about. Another thing that stands out is that they always know what is going on in the market and what the competition authority is focusing on, which helps clients in setting compliance priorities. These are counsels who clients want to call when they have problems, either real or perceived.‘
‘Slobodan Doklestic is very punctual and thorough, as well as being practical in the advice he gives. He is the kind of person clients turn to for the most sensitive matters.‘
‘Dragan Gajin always seems to know what is going on and it is often from him that clients hear about new developments which could be of relevance for their companies.‘
Philip Morris International
- Regularly provides competition advice to Magna Pharmacia, a Serbian wholesaler of medical devices.
- Advising Nelt Co, a Serbian logistics and distribution company, on competition law issues in Serbia and the region.
- Assisted Slovak companies Budamar Logistics and Optifin Invest with obtaining merger clearance in Serbia for their acquisition of WBN Waggonbau Niesky’s business.
Joksovic, Stojanovic & Partners is experienced in advising multinational, local and regional companies on competition law. Petar Stojanovic acts on M&A-related competition law issues. He also advises on distribution agreement-related block exemptions.
‘The firm provides the right legal advice and it is always available for clients. It is also quick and responsive and pleasant to work with.‘
Merck Sharp & Dohme
- Advised Renault Nissan Serbia on the competition law issues surrounding its distribution network.
- Handling ongoing competition law training for Robert Bosch employees.
- Advised Nexe Group on the competition aspects of its corporate restructuring in Serbia.
Prica & Partners is experienced in the competition law aspects of corporate acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures. The team also assists with compliance issues. Darija Ognjenović's practice includes restrictive arrangements, block and individual exemptions, and state aid issues.
‘The Prica & Partners team is an invaluable asset to clients. It is rated for its ability, level of knowledge and expertise, which exceed all expectations.‘
‘All questions are promptly and accurately answered, and they always follow through and find the answers to any questions, reporting back promptly. They also anticipate problems before they occur and offer ideas to solve problems that are based on good information and sound judgement.‘
‘The lawyers provide meaningful information to decision makers that helps in the preparation and implementation of projects.‘
‘The team has an outstanding ability to explain matters and it inspires others to do better. It also displays initiative and enthusiasm.‘
dm drogerie markt
Procter & Gamble
- Advised Sandoz Pharmaceuticals on sensitive competition law issues, which related to Serbia’s pharmaceutical sector.
- Acted for Serbian company Payten, which provides payment industry solutions, on the merger notification for its acquisition of local company, Bassilichi.
- Advised Ferrero, an Italian manufacturer of branded chocolate and confectionery products, on the merger notification process surrounding its acquisition of the cookies and snacks business of the Kellogg’s group.
At Stankovic & Partners (NSTLAW), Nenad Stankovic's experience includes acting in alleged cartel and abusive behaviour cases. Of counsel Milos Androvic is noted for merger control and abuse of dominance cases.
Apatinska pivara Apatin
Raiffeisen Bank (Belgrade)
- Advised Imlek AD on whether an agreement relating to the production of milk and dairy products (as an exclusive agreement) would fall under the exemption regime.
- Acted for Apatinska Pivara, part of the Molson Coors group, on the competition aspects of sales and distribution agreements.
Zivkovic & Samardzic Law Office
Zivkovic & Samardzic Law Office is known for abuse of dominance and cartel proceedings and investigations. The team also handles merger control filings. Slobodan Kremenjak has particular strengths in regulated industries, such as electronic communications, broadcasting, energy and financial services.
‘This practice possesses exceptional expertise. The team is highly professional, providing comprehensive and applicable advice. Its reputation is based on an acknowledged technical excellence and ability to provide commercial and practical advice and an in-depth understanding of markets and regulatory regimes.‘
‘The competition law team is led by partner Slobodan Kremenjak. He is a longstanding legal adviser for several established Serbian and international telecoms operators, as well as broadcast, print and online media businesses. Slobodan is creative and insightful and always provides timely solutions.‘
‘The firm and its lawyers are outstanding professionals and their approach towards clients is hands on. They are also technically excellent.‘
Petrol dd, Ljubljana
- Advised Petrol dd, Lјubljana, Slovenia’s largest energy company, on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of a wind farm in Serbia from Austria’s Ivicom Holding.
- Acted for Sava Insurance Group, a Slovenia- headquartered international insurance group, on the competition law aspects of its acquisition of Infond, one of the largest fund managers in Slovenia.
- Advised Kopernikus Corporation on the competition and broadcasting regulatory aspects of its acquisition of national commercial broadcasters, TV Prva, TV O2 and Radio Play in Serbia, and TV and Radio Prva in Montenegro.