Legal Market Overview
An unprecedented and exceptionally difficult year for public health began with a profound changing of the guard at the heart of government. Following the resignation of centre-left prime minister Marjan Šarec in January, Janez Janša–leader of the nationalist, right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party, assumed power as the head of a broad coalition comprising the social liberal Modern Centre Party, the broadly liberal Democratic Party of Pensioners of Slovenia and the conservative New Slovenia. The coalition was confirmed early in March, in the midst of the first wave of the pandemic. Since then, Janša’s government has been mired in a series of controversies, including the suspension of public financial disclosures to the anti-corruption commission, and the regular slander of political opponents and members of the press.
As expected, Covid-19-related market turbulence profoundly shaped the first half of 2020. With public life and judicial proceedings paused, the overwhelming majority of pending M&A transactions were subject to significant delays, or aborted entirely. Nevertheless, the quick implementation of a state-funded stimulus package and emergency insolvency legislation alleviated many of the most severe economic consequences of the first wave.
Slovenia’s prosperous economy, highly-educated workforce and strategic location between Western Europe and the Balkans make it an attractive prospect for CEE-region neighbours, especially in Austria, Germany, Italy and France. Automotive and electronics manufacturing is a key source of foreign investment. As in previous years, real estate is also a significant focus for multiple firms even amidst the Covid-19 crisis, especially in the capital city Ljubljana where demand is strong and prices are well above the national average.
All in all, Slovenia’s economy is expected to shrink by 6.7% this year, with future recovery efforts projected at a rate of approximately 4% year-on-year. A favourable forecast for the country’s key trading partners, adoption of an EU-wide recovery programme and appeal to foreign businesses seeking to relocate from the UK post-Brexit are all regarded as contributing factors.
In Slovenia, the majority of the most high-value transactions are handled by a mix of strong local firms, including ŠELIH & PARTNERJI Law Firm, Jadek & Pensa, Law Firm Kavcic, Bracun & Partners, o.p, d.o.o., Law Firm Kavcic, Bracun & Partners, o.p, d.o.o. and Law firm Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners o.p., d.o.o. Austrian firms Wolf Theiss and Schoenherr Slovenia also have established impactful local offices in Ljubljana.