At Gecić Law, we proudly look back at the past year and remember it as a year of significant achievement. Some of our accomplishments singled out in this review testify not only to the ability of our team to quickly adapt to radically different circumstances, but to see them as an opportunity to affirm our core values, to build on them and to grow. We rose to the challenge, learned and developed, and in the process, we helped our employees, clients, and business partners gain the strength to overcome the uncertainty and grow together with us. These are the highlights of our great story.
Law Firm of the Year 2020 – Eastern Europe and the Balkans
Gecić Law’s innovative approach, drive and perseverance in pushing the envelope ever further were recognized at the highest level at the very end of this challenging year. We picked up two leading legal accolades at the prestigious The Lawyer European Awards 2020 ceremony, which took place online on December 1. The Lawyer is a leading global legal publication.
We are tremendously proud that Gecić Law truly reached new heights when it was named “Law Firm of the Year: Eastern Europe and the Balkans” in particularly strong competition this year, ranking above many exceptional law firms hailing from the entire region.
Remarkably, we also ranked among the top five contenders in the “European Competition or Antitrust Team of the Year” category for 2020, lining up alongside true international and regional legal market heavyweights from the entire continent. This recognition is a key achievement for us, as competition and antitrust law are very close to our hearts. We built our reputation through successes in these areas, which has included pioneering work for our clients and landmark cases.
This double achievement is especially impressive as Gecić Law was the only law firm in its region to be recognized in more than one category, after being repeatedly nominated in multiple areas for several years. The 2020 awards judging panel, comprised of foremost legal experts and senior officers from leading international corporations and law firms, commended the Gecić Law team for its innovativeness, perseverance and drive to reach the highest levels of expertise and achievement.
High-profile legal proceedings
Our Energy practice team continuously demonstrated its experience and expertise in devising unique opportunities and solutions for our clients across the region.
We are particularly proud to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina in the most important process in the region before the Energy Community, in a high-profile case related to the construction of Block 7 of the Tuzla Thermal Power Plant, the total value of the project being USD 1.1 billion, with co-counsel Marić & Co. Law Firm based in Sarajevo. In 2018, the Secretariat of the Energy Community, launched a process against Bosnia and Herzegovina, based on allegations that a guarantee granted by the government for a loan from the Chinese EXIM Bank for the construction of Block 7 of the TTPP constituted state aid.
This complicated process has seen many challenges, marked by continuous bids to preempt outcome, violation of due process and the right to defense, as well as threats of sanctions to be imposed against Bosnia and Herzegovina based on the allegations. However, we have recently seen important procedural wins which brought the case back to due process, giving a strong sense of optimism in this ongoing case.
This process proves that the premium service and value we bring to the table know of no political boundaries and, as a law firm headquartered in Serbia, we have been entrusted to fiercely defend the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Covid 19 – our success in building the new normal
The global Covid pandemic radically changed the way we conduct our business. From the outset, our foremost objectives were to protect the well-being of our employees and to continue delivering impeccable service to our clients. We introduced new tools and systems which are helping us navigate through a regime of combined remote and offline activity. Through a continuous survey, our staff is free to decide at any time whether they prefer to work from home or the office, as the pandemic evolves.
We also introduced our industry-leading proprietary GLaw Corona Hub website, with aim of providing general online guidance to our clients, the business community and the wider public to ensure that the social, business, and economic risks posed by COVID-19 pandemic are mitigated as much as possible. This virtual gateway to around-the-clock contact, industry news and analysis and our client-centered approach to managing the pandemic were featured in The Lawyer, one of the leading global publications in the legal field, as part of their “Virus diaries” series, while TerraLex, the global network of leading law firms, introduced its own Coronavirus Business Response Resource Center inspired by our unique initiative.
Our pro-bono and community work
During the past year, we continued to deliver on a core element of our culture and our promise to continuously strive to make a positive contribution to our community. This year we became the first law firm to join the Responsible Business Forum of Serbia, an organization founded by some of the largest companies in Serbia, dedicated to improving local communities by applying the principles of sustainable development. This year we co-organized a series of webinars offering insight into the latest developments in the legal field and the application of the principles of corporate social responsibility as they apply to owners and managers of small and medium enterprises. This educational effort was met with great interest from participants and stirred constructive discussion.
In line with our commitment to the development and education of young talent in the legal field and beyond, we are a founder and proud supporter of the annual Taboroši Scholarship, established in memory of Professor Svetislav Taboroši, by family members and former students who have been inspired by the Professor’s work and dedication to academic research and innovative problem solving in the practice of business law. The Scholarship is awarded annually to a student of the senior year at the University of Belgrade’s School of Law who best exemplifies his spirit of academic exploration and promotion of research amongst peers specializing in law and economics.
In this vein, we continued with our commitment to creating opportunities for the best and the brightest students of law. Our Summer Associate Program is designed to provide exceptional students with an intense training program to hone their skills and knowledge to prepare them for a career in law. Through our Internship Program, we provide young professionals aiming to pursue a career in law and other related disciplines with the exposure, multi-disciplinary training, and opportunities necessary to succeed at the onset of their career.