Firm Profile > Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr > Belgrade, Serbia
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr Offices
BULEVAR VOJVODE BOJOVICA 6-8
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr > The Legal 500 Rankings
Banking and finance Tier 1
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr has a proven track record in syndicated lending, restructuring-related senior financing, energy and infrastructure project finance, and property development. Nikola Babić is a public finance and sovereign debt expert, and Petar Kojdić is a cross-border and domestic finance specialist.
‘This is the best banking and finance legal team in the country and probably in the region. Its performance is always superb. The lawyers are impeccably trained, both abroad and locally, they are well experienced when it comes to all areas of banking practice, they have second-to-none matter management skills, and their client service is the best around.‘
‘The practice’s exceptionally high quality of service is provided by a highly professional legal team with a solutions-oriented approach.‘
‘They always perform exceptionally well and to the highest international industry standards. Other client services that are valued are exceptional matter management and people skills that are developed in the lawyers.‘
‘For a small market like Serbia, the team has strength in depth.‘
‘Nikola Babić is a seasoned finance lawyer who is the regional leader for Eurobond transactions. He is also well known for his public finance experience.‘
‘Nikola Babić is the best finance lawyer in Serbia. He knows the law, the products, the market and the clients.‘
‘Nikola Babić is a very well-known banking lawyer who is well connected and business oriented.‘
‘Petar Kojdić is one of the best banking and finance lawyers in the market. He has a broad knowledge base, noteworthy experience, knows the industry exceptionally well and, most importantly, is always reliable.‘
HETA Asset Resolution
Bank Of Cyprus
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
International Swaps and Derivatives Association
ABN AMRO Bank
PNB Paribas (Suisse)
Magyar Export-Import Bank
Raiffeisen Bank International
Citigroup Global Markets
VTB BANK (EUROPE) SE
J P Morgan Securities
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr is widely praised for its management of highly complex landmark CEE projects. The team particularly stands out for its M&A experience in the banking, TMT and automotive sectors, as well as in distressed deals. Matija Vojnović works on M&A transactions for both strategic investors and private equity firms, and Luka Lopičić is experienced in high-end deals involving Croatia, Bulgaria, Hungary and Albania. Slaven Moravčević focuses on the telecoms and energy sectors, and recently promoted partner Vojimir Kurtić advises on both buy-side and sell-side M&A.
‘When push comes to shove, this is the only firm to use. Clients are fully satisfied with the service provided.’
‘A key strength is the ability to provide pragmatic advice and act quickly. No weaknesses are identified.‘
‘The team provides high-quality advice, interfacing very well with the regulators and local management and counterparts. They understand the needs of very sophisticated and highly demanding clients, enabling successful closing.‘
‘Schoenherr is clearly one of the best firms in the Serbian market when it comes to corporate law. High level of expertise and professionalism is what clients value the most during collaborations. Their availability, technical knowledge and superior service are some of their key strengths, and their teams are well-organised, so they are capable of handling various issues on a daily basis despite demanding deadlines.‘
‘The lawyers at Schoenherr are top professionals, very detailed and ready to meet all deadlines.‘
‘The team is professional and supportive; it is also well organised and knows how to explain complex legal terms and situations into easy-to-understand language. The lawyers are very reliable and a have strong reputation as a leading M&A practice in the region.‘
‘With an outstanding track record and know-how, Slaven Moravčević has an exceptional understanding of the market. Because of that, the combination of his competence and problem solving skills means that he can provide the best service every time under any circumstances, which is of a great value for clients.‘
‘Slaven is always highly professional and ready to respond to any request. It is a distinct pleasure for clients to work with Slaven and have him on their side of the table.‘
‘Matija Vojnović has a great deal of M&A experience and his involvement in transactions is valuable as he knows what to do in any situation. His negotiation skills and style are impressive.‘
‘Vojimir Kurtić is a great lawyer. He is very experienced in M&A and clients have complete confidence in him, including his strategic thinking and ability to be a step ahead all the time.‘
Swiss Auto Group
Smurfit Kappa Group
HETA Asset Resolution
Competition Tier 1
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
Dispute resolution Tier 1Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr stands out for its handling of complex investment and commercial disputes, particularly multi-jurisdictional matters. Slaven Moravčević and Jelena Bezarević Pajić are both investor-state and commercial arbitration experts. Nataša Lalatović Đorđević is active in commercial and corporate litigation as well as investment and commercial arbitrations. Attorney at law Tanja Šumar specialises in handling defences for respondent states.
‘All of the lawyers are very experienced and professional; what especially makes them unique is their passion for work and dedication to the matters they work on.‘
‘Schoenherr’s arbitration team is the best, not only in Serbia and Montenegro, but also internationally. It is always one step ahead. The lawyers’ proficiency, experience, knowledge, devotion, great communication skills and, above all, readiness to be there for clients are features not often seen elsewhere.‘
‘This is a unique law office when it comes to the quality of analysis, preparation, and implementation of legal knowledge and instruments in any given dispute. The lawyers are never surprised by circumstances or opposing parties, and they always provide the highest standard of service.‘
‘Slaven Moravčević is a very well-known attorney in the region, who in recent years has devoted a lot of his time to arbitration. He has an amazing energy and makes matters move forward.‘
‘Slaven Moravčević is a perfect team manager. He prepares a strategy for each case that results only in victory. Everyone respects him and has full confidence in his opinion.‘
‘Jelena Bezarević Pajić is a highly experienced litigator with exceptional legal reasoning. She is hardworking and completely devoted to the task at hand, as well as being very well prepared every time she speaks with clients.‘
‘Jelena Bezarević Pajić is absolutely one of the best lawyers around and a real expert in arbitration and court matters. She handles cases in a most efficient and professional manner. Her organisational skills are excellent and her knowledge of law enormous. She is a problem solver and very devoted to cases, which is crucial for each success.‘
‘Attorney at law Tanja Šumar is very competent in arbitration and court matters. Her knowledge of law in general and especially arbitration is remarkable, and she is dedicated to the work she does. It is impressive how she manages to hold every detail of a case in her hands and develop strategy and argumentation on the spot.‘
Government of Montenegro
Ludwig Pfeiffer Hoch & Tiefbau GmbH & Co KG
Mera Investment Fund
Employment Tier 1
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr specialises in internal employment frameworks, executive exits and management agreements. The team also focuses on M&A-related employment issues, and fields sector experts in automotive, real estate and construction. Marija Vlajkovic is mostly focused on employment matters, while attorney at law Bojan Rajic advises international clients on market entry issues.
‘They are very responsive and reachable at any time. The advice is always accurate, prompt and on time.‘
‘Attorney at law Bojan Rajic is flexible, fast and always up to date. He tries to find solutions to every problem that companies are faced with.‘
SAP West Balkans doo
Projects and energy Tier 1
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr Miloš Laković's multi-disciplinary group advises on energy transactions, development projects, M&A, privatisations, and PPPs. Other areas of strength include regulatory matters, public procurement, competition law and dispute resolution. Energy department head Miloš Laković has a strong track record in electricity generation projects; Slaven Moravčević is an energy specialist; and Matija Vojnovic's practice covers both M&A and projects. Senior associate Aleksandra Petrović assists with major energy and industrial projects.
‘The lawyers of Schoenherr in Belgrade are responsive, hardworking and efficient, and they provide clear and reliable advice on Serbian law. They are very experienced in large-scale construction projects procured through international contracts.‘
‘The lawyers’ level of English is high, they support clients during the drafting of contracts, and give ongoing legal advice during the execution stage of construction contracts in Serbia. Their experience in international arbitration proceedings is also especially valuable in avoiding disputes.‘
‘The overall experience, including everyday communications, fulfilment of agreed schedules, quality of advice and reliability represent good value for money and makes the firm a real partner in all business situations.‘
‘The firm has developed a full-range projects and energy practice over the years, not just in Serbia but also in the region, and it handles complex projects with great success. Apart from the main partner Miloš Laković, the practice comprises senior lawyers and is supported by other brilliant teams.‘
‘Miloš Laković has outstanding industry focus, which is very rare for Serbia. He has both legal and leadership skills.‘
‘Senior associate Aleksandra Petrović completes the team. She is a great individual and very professional, and can be relied on in all business situations with the confidence that clients’ business activities are covered legally.’
Siemens Wind Power
Montenegrin power utility – Elektroprivreda Crne Gore
Government of Montenegro
Shanghai Electric Power
City of Belgrade
New Power Generation International
Real estate and construction Tier 1
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr advises on prominent commercial property transactions in Serbia and the region. Representative matters involve shopping and retail centres, office buildings and infrastructure construction. Ivan Pantović specialises in real estate in Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina; and Slaven Moravčević is experienced in real estate development, including the financing and construction of energy projects. Ivana Panić is a construction expert and attorney at law Dijana Grujić is a real estate project development specialist.
‘The team around Slaven Moravčević and Ivan Pantović stands out for its utmost reliability, high levels of responsiveness and excellent, wide spectrum of knowledge. The cross-sector M&A, real estate, construction, corporate and finance practice adds value to clients’ business by granting swift and reliable legal advice.‘
‘The team is driven by a practical approach, successfully seeking solutions to problems and always considering all parties involved.‘
‘It is recommended to any professional business party looking for high-end legal support combined with excellent value for money.‘
‘Ivan Pantović stands out for his reliability and practicability. He is also a highly skilled lawyer in relation to all aspects of real estate and construction.‘
‘Ivan Pantović can draw on a lot of experience in real estate projects. His advice is very sound.‘
‘Ivana Panić is a valuable adviser on real estate investments and developments.‘
‘Ivana Panić is highly recommended. She regularly advises international investors on construction projects in Serbia and the wider region, and she has vast experience with FIDIC contracts. This makes her stand out. She is a good negotiator, quick-witted and clear in her legal advice.‘
‘Attorney at law Dijana Grujić combines excellent knowledge with high levels of responsiveness. Her inputs are always reliable, professional, quickly generated, concise and goal oriented. Furthermore, she stands out for a client-oriented approach that cannot be found in competitors.’
‘Attorney at law Dijana Grujić is a good, highly dedicated lawyer.‘
City of Belgrade
UNIQA Real Estate
Intellectual property Tier 2
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr has a strong media sector-related track record. The team assists with trade mark registrations as well as technically highly complex matters, such as software infringements and IP litigation. Andrea Radonjanin is an IP, IT and life sciences expert.
‘The practice has an exceptional track record, ranging from advising local start-ups to multinational corporates. It is very easy to work with and highly efficient – highly recommended to anyone seeking IP advice.‘
‘Schoenherr’s IP team meets the highest standards. All of their lawyers are professional and competent in their work. The thing that impresses the most is their flexibility and openness to new ideas. Their IP practice is second to none.‘
‘One of its main strengths is the fact that it is a full-service law firm. It is important to corporate clients to have general corporate, employment, financial and IP advice from the same law firm. It is also an international law firm that has certain work quality and communications standards that are, unfortunately, not easy to find among local law firms.‘
‘The team is very reliable. With Schoenherr, clients feel confident that all their legal matters will be taken care of.‘
‘Clients are impressed by the lawyers’ responsiveness. They provide quite complex legal advice very quickly and clients gladly recommend them to anyone looking for a capable international law firm covering the entire region.‘
‘This practice is unique because of the high quality of the advice it provides and its abilities, which are hard to match on the market. The key strengths are expertise and matter management skills.‘
‘Andrea Radonjanin is an experienced IP lawyer who has worked for some of the most eminent companies present in the region. She is very knowledgeable and what clients appreciate about working with her the most is her strategic approach.‘
‘Andrea Radonjanin always thinks strategically, taking into consideration things other lawyers would most probably neglect – this firm is the right choice.‘
‘Andrea Radonjanin is able to translate technical issues into easy-to- understand language and she is a pleasure to work with.‘
‘Andrea Radonjanin takes the initiative and solves problems in a highly professional manner, and she is always available and very easy to work with.‘
Maggie Sottero Designs
Taiyaki factory doo Beograd
Coca Cola Srdja
Altria Client Services
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr's banking practice is 'professional, knowledgeable and experienced', and frequently handles cross-border matters including asset refinancing issues, high-value claims and project financing work. Serbia-based Matija Vojnović leads the team, which includes Petar Kojdić and Minela Šehović in Sarajevo. Banking expert Vladimir Markus departed the firm to establish his own practice.
‘Petar Kojdic’s knowledge impressed me. His main strength is his ability to understand highly complex finance issues and find easily applicable solutions to them. He also has a lovely personality.’
‘I appreciate the teams’ solution oriented approach and sound business reasoning. A true pleasure to work with.’
VTB Bank (Europe) SE
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr's corporate group is led by Belgrade-based duo Matija Vojnović and Luka Lopičić; Minela Šehović in Sarajevo serves local clients. The firm's CEE reach ensures the group is efficient in cross-border transactions and advises regional and international clients including investors on acquisitions and loan agreements. Vladimir Markuš left the team and now practises independently.
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr is 'highly recommended and fields a great team', which is led by Serbia-based Srdjana Petronijević. The practice handles merger control issues and compliance matters for regional industry leaders, and represents an array of clients in investigations. Minela Šehović, who divides her time between Belgrade and Sarajevo, is noted for her experience advising clients across various sectors on market entry issues.
‘The good combination of regional experience and young forces from local market.’
‘Srdjana Petronijevic is the main point of contact for all issues, possesses unquestionable expertise, trusted adviser to our business. She presents advice in a straightforward manner, staying concise and practical.‘
‘Danijel Stevanovic has thorough expertise in the legal, economic and regulatory aspects of telecommunication matters. He has a skill to analyse these aspects in an easily, understandable and straightforward manner.’
‘Minela Sehovic, a BIH licensed lawyer, proved to be great support throughout different proceedings we had in BIH in last couple of years. Working with her is easy and valuable. She is a great legal professional.’
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr's projects and energy team is 'professional, knowledgeable and experienced', and is led by Matija Vojnović in Serbia. The team acts for a mix of local and regional clients on energy, real estate and infrastructure matters. Key contacts include M&A expert Bojan Rajic, who is praised by clients for his expertise, and Minela Šehović in Sarajevo.
‘Bojan Rajic is a well established lawyer with an impressive track record in advising on energy and corporate matters in BIH. His main strength is his vast experience, knowledge, project management and negotiation skills. He is very pragmatic, dedicated and understands Bosnian market very well.’
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr > Firm Profile
The firm: Schoenherr is a leading full service law firm, with 15 offices and several country desks in the Central and Eastern Europe. As one of the first international law firms to move into CEE/SEE, the firm has grown to be one of the largest firms in the region.
Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr has been active on Serbian market since 2002. With a team of more than 50 lawyers, it is among the largest law firms in Serbia. In addition to the Serbian practice, Moravcevic Vojnovic and Partners in cooperation with Schoenherr is frequently engaged in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro and North Macedonia. This combination makes the firm exceptionally well suited for cross-border or multi-jurisdictional investments and transactions in the West Balkan countries.
Areas of practice: The firm’s main practice areas are corporate, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, real estate, dispute resolution, competition, compliance and white collar crime, labour and employment, intellectual property IT and life sciences, insolvency and restructuring, insurance, regulatory and energy.
Among the firm’s frequent clients are companies from the telecommunication, banking, insurance, construction, oil and gas retail, real estate development and IT industries. The firm acts for governments and governmental bodies, investors/contractors, sellers/buyers, employers, developers, engineers, architects and other stakeholders and thus has experience in handling and protecting these different interests, giving the firm’s lawyers particular insight into the opportunities and risks relevant to any project. The firm has played a major role as legal advisor in many of the high profile deals of recent years in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Macedonia.
|Banking, finance and capital markets||Nikola Babic|
|Banking, finance and capital markets||Petar Kojdic|
|Compliance and white collar crime||Srdana Petronijevic|
|Dispute resolution||Jelena Bezarevic Pajic|
|Dispute resolution||Nataša Lalatovic Dordevic|
|EU and competition||Srdana Petronijevic|
|Insolvency and restructuring||Nikola Babic|
|Insolvency and restructuring||Petar Kojdic|
|IP, IT and life sciences||Andrea Radonjanin|
|Labour and employment||Marija Zdravkovic|
|Labour and employment||Nataša Lalatovic Dordevic|
|Real estate||Slaven Moravcevic|
|Real estate||Ivan Pantovic|
|Regulatory and energy||Miloš Lakovic|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 52
LanguagesBosnian Croatian English German Macedonian Serbian
OtherOther offices : Austria (HQ) Other offices : Belgium/EU Other offices : Bulgaria Other offices : Croatia Other offices : Czech Republic Other offices : Hungary Other offices : Moldova Other offices : Montenegro Other offices : Poland Other offices : Romania Other offices : Slovakia Other offices : Slovenia Other offices : Turkey Other offices : Albania Other offices : Bosnia & Herzegovina Other offices : North Macedonia Other offices : Ukraine
Press Releases31st March 2020 Once again, Schoenherr has advised on a billion-euro transaction in the CEE region: An international Schoenherr team assisted UNIQA on the acquisition of AXA subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia for a purchase price of around EUR 1bln.
31st March 2020 Schoenherr is strengthening the ranks of equity partner, contract partner and counsel with new promotions effective as of 1 February 2020. With Pawel Halwa and Thomas Kulnigg, Schoenherr promotes two longstanding Schoenherr experts to equity partners. Constantin Benes, Leon Kopecký, Günther Leissler, Laurenz Schwitzer, Manuela Zimmermann, Georgiana Bădescu, Mădălina Neagu and Miloš Laković are promoted to contract partners, and at counsel level, Dominik Hofmarcher and Clemens Rainer have moved up in the ranks.
Legal Developments26th September 2017
A landmark decision was issued yesterday (Judgement Bărbulescu v. Romania), a source of debate in the media, in which the European Court of Human Rights clarified the restrictions on monitoring employees in the workplace.
22nd September 2017
The Hungarian Ministry of the Interior recently submitted a legislative proposal to the Hungarian Government to amend the Act on Hungarian National Security Services (the "Proposal"). The Proposal suggests an amendment pursuant to which investors from non-EU and non-EEA countries who wish to invest in Hungary would have to obtain prior permission from the minister responsible for national security (the " Minister.
If adopted, investors from outside the EU and EEA would need to apply and obtain such permission if they intend to acquire more than a 25 % interest in an existing or yet to be established company with its registered seat in Hungary, provided that this company pursues activities that are deemed sensitive for national security.
11th August 2017
On 13 July 2017, the High-Level Expert Group ("HLEG") on Sustainable Finance published its interim report ("Interim Report") setting out concrete steps to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments.
This Legal Insight is part of our dedicated newsletter series on the European Capital Markets Union ("CMU").
The growing awareness of environmental challenges and sustainability risks as well as the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda and the conclusion of the Paris Climate Agreement by the EU in 2015 call for an EU strategy on sustainable finance.
Establishing an EU strategy on sustainable finance is a priority action of the CMU. In December 2016, the HLEG was established to advise on the development of such an EU strategy. The recently published HLEG Interim Report was recently presented in a public hearing on sustainable finance on 18 July 2017. At the same time, the HLEG presented an online questionnaire on the Interim Report aimed at obtaining targeted feedback until 20 September 2017, which would be reflected in the final report of the HLEG scheduled for publication by the end of 2017.
11th August 2017
The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the "Commission") recently intensified its antitrust activities before the new Administrative Act came into effect. In one week alone the Commission initiated four antitrust cases and conducted two dawn raids.
1. What/who will be on the Commission's radar?
11th August 2017
One of the core principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield ("Privacy Shield") is its Joint Review mechanism, which obliges the European Commission, the US Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission to jointly review the functioning of the Privacy Shield on an annual basis, together with its national security and law enforcement aspects. The very first Joint Review is scheduled for September 2017. This first review is considered especially important, as it will be the first opportunity for US and EU regulators to closely analyse the operation of the Privacy Shield, address possible concerns about its functioning, and seek to ensure that the Privacy Shield continues to be a valid legal basis for transfers of personal data from the EU to the US.
21st July 2017
On 10 July 2017, the Commission announced the public consultation on the development of secondary markets for non-performing loans (NPLs) and distressed assets. Following the commencement of this public consultation, the Council introduced its Action Plan for NPLs.
21st July 2017
For the second time in less than five years, the Bulgarian Commission for the Protection of Competition ("Commission") has opened investigation proceedings regarding prohibited agreements and concerted practices against the major fuel companies in Bulgaria and closed them without issuing penalties.
21st July 2017
The Hungarian Parliament recently passed new legislation on arbitration (Act LX of 2017 on Arbitration, the “2017 Act”) that will reform Hungarian arbitration law as of 1 January 2018.
The 2017 Act, considering both the shortcomings of the current Hungarian legislation (Act LXXI of 1994 on Arbitration, the “1994 Act”) and the amendment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration adopted in 2006 (the “Model Law”), repositions arbitration by reforming the choice of arbitrators, the institutional system of Hungarian arbitration panels, and the power of the panels ordering interim measures and preliminary orders. read more...
14th July 2017
The EU Regulation on Insolvency Law 1346/2000 (EIR) was considered a milestone in the cross-border coordination of national insolvency proceedings. The recast of the EU Regulation on Insolvency Law 2015/848, applicable to insolvency proceedings opened after 26 June 2017, considers substantial developments in national insolvency laws. read more...
14th July 2017
The Hungarian Parliament passed an act in June 2017 with the aim of improving Hungary's business competitiveness. Among other things, the amendment has changed the regulation of trusts and their management, hopefully for the better, since the past three years have shown that a lack of such experience still exists. The legal concept of trust was introduced into Hungarian law in 2014, when the new Civil Code entered into force. Contrary to expectations, however, potential market players were hesitant to launch their businesses, mainly due to crippling bureaucracy and the vague regulation of trusts. read more...
14th July 2017
As violations may lead to enormous liabilities, start-up employers are advised from the outset to comply with the applicable laws pertaining to their personnel. In addition to being an underestimated factor when it comes to financial liabilities, employment-law-related mistakes may also result in difficulties in the course of a company's sales process. For a better understanding of what can go wrong in employment relationships, three of the most common mistakes that employers make are listed below. read more...
14th July 2017
After four months of negotiations, the Austrian National Council has finally reached an agreement on the amendment of the Green Electricity Act ("Ökostromnovelle"). The required two-thirds majority was reached by a last minute agreement between the coalition parties and the Green Party. The aim of the new legislation is to increase the percentage of green electricity and to achieve an expansion of renewable energy in Austria. read more...
Austria: Slightly Lower Fees, a Little More Liberalisation – The 2017 Amendments to the Austrian Tra14th July 2017
Following a year of intense political discussion, the Austrian Parliament adopted numerous amendments to the Austrian Trade Act 1994 (Gewerbeordnung 1994, "GewO") at the end of June. While the reform falls significantly short of the outgoing government's original announcements last July with the aim to liberalise market access and to cut red tape for businesses, it nevertheless introduces several material changes to business activity in Austria. read more...
11th July 2017
On 28 June 2017 the Austrian Parliament passed the government's legislative proposal on insolvency law (Insolvenzrechtsänderungsesetz 2017). After lengthy negotiations, the government finally agreed to shorten personal insolvency proceedings to a maximum five years and to abolish the minimum insolvency quota of 10 % under certain conditions. The amendments will be applicable as of 1 November 2017. read more...
5th July 2017
The newly adopted Government Emergency Ordinance No. 39/2017 (the "Ordinance") introduces significant changes to Romanian competition rules. For example, it implements the provisions on actions for damages resulting from competition law infringements, as regulated under Directive 2014/104/EU (the "Damages Directive") and sets out new provisions impacting the food/non-food retail sector, as well as the dawn-raid procedure and fines applicable by the Romanian Competition Council (the "RCC") to non-resident undertakings. read more...
The Austrian Law on the Responsibility of Associations: New tendency to prosecution authorities to t21st June 2017
The Austrian Law on the Responsibility of Associations (Verbandsverantwortlichkeitsgesetz, "VbVG") came into effect in 2006, stipulating that a company can be held criminally liable for certain criminal acts committed by its employees and decision-makers. According to new tendencies of prosecution authorities, the practical scope of the VbVG could expand in the future. read more...
31st May 2017
Lex Agrokor – behind the scenes
The hottest topic in Croatia right now is the Agrokor situation and the newly enacted Act on Compulsory Administration Procedure in Companies of Systemic Importance for the Republic of Croatia (Zakon o postupku izvanredne uprave u trgovačkim društvima od sistemskog značaja za Republiku Hrvatsku; the "Act"). The Act was immediately nicknamed "Lex Agrokor" because of what appears to be its main purpose.
22nd May 2017
On 15 May 2017, the European Central Bank ("ECB") published a guide on fit and proper assessments (the "Fit and Proper Guide"), which reflects the result of a public consolidation launched by the ECB on 16 November 2016.
22nd May 2017
National Room for Manoeuvre Despite the GDPR
About a year before the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into full effect, the Austrian legislator officially started a six-week consultation process for the national Data Protection Amendment Act 2018 (Datenschutz-Anpassungsgesetz 2018). The GDPR will harmonise the EU's data protection laws, but numerous so-called "opening clauses" allow national leeway. Besides, EU Directive 2016/680 requires implementation into national law and provides specific regulations on data processing by security authorities for the purpose of law enforcement. The published draft implements the Directive's provisions in a separate chapter (Hauptstück). read more...
European Commission Proposes EMIR Reform that will Minimise the Clearing Obligation for NFC and Cert16th May 2017
On 4 May 2017, the European Commission published its proposal for an amendment of the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). The Commission calls the proposed amendment a good example of "better regulation in practice" which is "essential to the creation of the Capital Markets Union (CMU)".
2nd May 2017
The Ministry of Justice has circulated its initiative for improving the legal environment with the aim of increasing Hungary's competitiveness by amending certain regulations and institutions. Among other things, the initiative concerns cross-border mergers and operation of trustees, and generally aims to lighten administrative burdens. Most notably, if adopted in its current form, it will reform the Hungarian arbitration regulation. read more...
7th April 2017
On 6 April 2017, the Austrian Parliament adopted significant amendments to Austrian competition law, as set forth in the Austrian Cartel Act ("KartG") and the Act on the Austrian Federal Competition Authority ("WettbG"). The amendments concern three main areas: (i) implementation of the EU Damages Directive; (ii) introduction of an additional transaction value test in merger control; and (iii) certain adjustments to strengthen public enforcement of antitrust infringements. read more...
7th April 2017
Employers may prohibit their employees from wearing Islamic headscarves and other religious or political symbols, subject to certain conditions. On 14 March 2017, the European Court of Justice (the "ECJ") adopted a corresponding ruling in Luxembourg and decided on two cases in this respect, one dealing with a receptionist from Belgium and the other with a software designer from France. read more...
7th April 2017
Slovenia adopted a new law regulating rescue and restructuring state aid, which entered into force in mid-February. When notified to the European Commission as a state aid scheme, it will allow the Republic of Slovenia to support companies and cooperatives in difficulty without having to notify support mechanisms in accordance with the provisions of the law as an individual aid measure to the European Commission. read more...
30th March 2017
What previously was impossible and not foreseen by local legislation is now possible. Starting 1 January 2017, the Tax Code of Moldova (the "Tax Code") was amended by Law 281/2016 to include a separate norm (Art. 136¹) on individual tax rulings ("ITR") for the benefit of entrepreneurs. Within the limits of its scope and in respect of a concrete beneficiary, an issued ITR is binding on the State Tax Service (the "STS"). The Government and the Ministry of Finance are expected to approve the secondary legislation to regulate the details of the procedure. read more...
20th March 2017
Most recently, the Bulgarian Energy Regulator has taken significant steps towards the full liberalisation of the natural gas market: In December 2016, the Bulgarian Energy Regulator adopted legislative amendments to the Rules for Trading of Natural Gas (Правила за търговия с природен газ, "Trading Rules") and the Rules for Access to the Gas Transmission and/or Gas Distribution Networks and the Natural Gas Storage Facilities (Правила за предоставяне на достъп до газопреносните и/или газоразпределителните мрежи и за достъп до съоръженията за съхранение на природен газ, "Access Rules"). Moreover, it adopted new Rules for Balancing of the Natural Gas Market (Правила за балансиране на пазара за природен газ, "Balancing Rules"). read more...
20th March 2017
Even at first blush, it is apparent that arbitration and insolvency make strange bedfellows.
The reason they make such an odd couple is the different underlying policies, objectives, and purposes they stand for. The heart of arbitration lies at the privity of contract and the existence of party autonomy independent from the state. In contrast, insolvency reflects a centralized and to a certain extent state-managed procedure that holds all creditors equal, within a set system of ranking – a transparent and accountable process governed by mandatory substantive and procedural law provisions. read more...
20th March 2017
Policyholders of unit-linked life insurance products pay an agreed sum for the unit-linked insurance to the insurance company, as a regular premium, or in one lump sum. These payments cover the life insurance component as well as the investment, administrative costs, contracting fee and the commissions. The "total cost charged" ("TCC") is an indicator – calculated in line with the rules of Hungarian insurance regulations – showing all costs charged on life insurance policies having a savings element, reflected as a percentage value. The regulation of the TCC in Hungary has been amended effective 1 January 2017. read more...
20th March 2017
On 7 March 2017, the Hungarian parliament adopted a law that increases the minimum sale price of a residential property in the enforcement procedure from the current 70% of its market value to 100% (market value to be understood as the price set by the appraisal of the bailiff), provided that (i) the claim to be enforced stems from a consumer contract; (ii) the real property is the debtor's only real property; and (iii) the debtor resided in that real property for at least six months prior to the initiation of the enforcement procedure. read more...
20th March 2017
In an aim to simplify state administration and support economic growth, the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new law abolishing the registration fee and the publication cost for incorporating limited liability companies ("LLC") (korlátolt felelősségű társaság), limited partnerships (betéti társaság), general partnerships (közkereseti társaság), and sole entrepreneurships (egyéni cég). The new law becomes effective on 16 March 2017. read more...
Legislative vacuum filled: Czech Republic introduces comprehensive new national legislation on e-cig9th March 2017
New legislation regulating e-cigarettes in the Czech Republic entered into force on 1 March 2017, introducing specific safety and quality requirements on e-cigarettes in the country for the first time. read more...
6th March 2017
The amendment aims at alleviating the existing regime for pricing of pharmaceuticals for home treatment of chronic, genetic and/or rare diseases and paid by the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). It affects the interests of individuals with health insurance and the activities of more than 290 authorisation holders, of the wholesalers of pharmaceuticals, and of pharmacies (as retailers). read more...
27th February 2017
2016 has seen a surprising level of deal activity in the (private) Austrian hospital sector: in Vienna, PremiQaMed, a 100 % subsidiary of UNIQA insurance group, acquired a 75 % stake in the renowned private hospital "Goldenes Kreuz", and the hospitals Hartmannspital and St. Elisabeth announced a merger to form the new "Franziskus" hospital. In Linz (Upper Austria), the "Elisabethinen" and the hospital operated by the Sisters of Charity agreed to combine to form a regional player with approx. 1,200 beds. read more...
27th February 2017
On 16 December 2016, the Council of the European Union announced agreement on its negotiating stance in relation to the proposed regulation amending the European Venture Capital Funds ("EuVECA") Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 345/2013) and the European Social Entrepreneurship Funds ("EuSEF") Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 346/2013), which is now at the European Parliament's ECON committee, scheduled to be voted on, on 22 March 2017. On 31 January 2017 the call for expression of interest for selecting a fund manager of the Pan-European Venture Capital Fund-of Funds closed; and tax incentives for venture capital and business angels are expected to be proposed in the course of 2017 to foster investment in SMEs and start-ups, close the funding gap and thereby remove obstacles to economic growth in Europe. read more...
27th February 2017
Most start-ups are founded by first-time founders directly after graduation, with the founding team consisting, also in most cases, of not more than two members. Such founders are naturally not equipped for all of their business challenges. Founders thus often make mistakes, especially at the very beginning of their activities, e.g. in relation to developing and distributing their products, when and how to raise capital and developing or moving into new markets. read more...
22nd February 2017
Albania has one of the highest percentages of electricity produced from renewable energy sources (RES) in its electricity mix – more than 95 % of electricity generated in Albania comes from hydropower generation. In spite of that (or maybe because of that), Albania has not had a comprehensive policy on the support of RES in place to date. read more...
17th February 2017
One last hurdle – the signature of Czech President Miloš Zeman –before the so called Anti-Smoking Bill enters into force on 31 May 2017.
On 19 January 2017, the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic approved the government bill of the Act on Protection from the Harmful Effects of Addictive Substances (the "Bill"), which is due to enter into force on 31 May 2017, subject to signature by the President. read more...
Facilitation or Liability Trap for Foreign Employers? – The Revised Austrian Law against Wage and So3rd February 2017
On 1 January 2017, the revised Austrian Law against Wage and Social Dumping ("Lohn- und Sozialdumping Bekämpfungsgesetz" or "Revised LSD-BG") came into force. The Revised LSD-BG applies to matters arising after 31 December 2016.
23rd January 2017
If there are two or more conflicting water use projects (eg, hydroelectric power stations), the Water Act provides for a special conflict procedure. A pending conflict procedure suspends decisions in all underlying approval procedures. As a result of the conflict procedure, the project which serves public interests best will take priority over the inferior project. read more...
17th January 2017
In 2016, Austrian Criminal Law experienced some substantive legal developments in both, procedural and material aspects. The following overview reflects the most relevant developments in Austrian Criminal Law in 2016.
1. Material changes
1.1. Breach of trust
With effect from 1 January 2016, the offence "breach of trust" in sec 153 of the Austrian Criminal Code ("ACC") has been fundamentally revised. At first glance, sec 153 of the ACC is not a very complex provision. It states, quite simply, that whoever knowingly abuses the authority conferred to him or her shall be liable, if he or she intends to cause and eventually causes financial harm to his or her principal (eg the company). Thus, sec 153 ACC has three prerequisites: (i) an abuse of authority, (ii) financial harm and (iii) criminal intent. With the reform of sec 153 ACC the Austrian legislator finally addressed the concern that the scope of what constitutes an "abuse of authority" is not always easy to assess: read more
Austrian Supreme Court Establishes New Standards as Regards the Decisive Underlying Reasoning of Arb3rd January 2017
The decisive underlying reasoning ( motifs, Begründung) is, without doubt, an essential part of any arbitral award and as such bears the potential of frustrating parties and arbitrators alike. On the one hand, elaborate reasoning in arbitral awards more often than not comes at the price of long waiting periods for the issuance of the awards, and periods of meticulous drafting on the part of the arbitrator(s). On the other hand, a lack of elaborate reasoning may likewise be a headache, since it exposes the arbitral award to setting aside. read more...
The Czech Republic joins other European countries in regulating the sale and advertising of unhealth19th December 2016
From January 2017, selling and/or advertising chips, soft drinks or mayonnaise-filled sandwiches to children in schools will be illegal.
The Constitutional Court of Moldova has spoken: No Need for Acquirer of a Share Stake to Obtain Shar6th December 2016
Through its 27 September 2016 decision ("Decision 27/2016"), the Constitutional Court of Moldova ("Constitutional Court") has declared certain provisions of the local Law on Limited-Liability Companies ("Law 135/2007") unconstitutional. In particular, it ruled that the operation of amendments to constitutive acts cannot constitute a condition and impediment to an acquirer registering its property right over a share stake in the State Register of Companies. read more...
6th December 2016
On 30 November 2016 the European Commission published its "Winter Package" containing proposals for new rules for a consumer-centered clean energy transition. The 500 page Winter Package had been eagerly awaited by the energy industry since it was to contain the major energy regulations for 2020 onwards. As expected, the most substantial measures and amendments proposed concern renewables and energy efficiency in the European Union. In addition, the electricity market design is proposed to be amended. read more...
Protection of new and interim financings in restructuring? – The European Commission’s proposal on e2nd December 2016
Since the European Commission adopted the recommendation on restructuring and second chance in 2014, it has been working on the evaluation of its initiative and the introduction of a European legal framework. In 2015 the Capital Markets Union Action Plan included the announcement of a legislative initiative on early restructuring and second chance. Finally, on 22 November 2016, the European Commission published its proposal for a European Directive on preventive restructuring frameworks and a second chance for entrepreneurs. The proposal includes, inter alia, provisions protecting new and interim financing in restructurings. read more...
22nd November 2016 The Austrian Federal Government agreed in its 2013-2018 work programme, on the implementation of a nationwide ban on speculative financial transactions for the Federation, the Austrian Federal States, Austrian Municipalities, and other public bodies. read more...
The EU Capital Market Union – European Commission establishes expert group to develop strategy on su16th November 2016
On 28 October 2016, the European Commission decided to establish a High Level Expert Group on sustainable finance, one of the European Commission's primary objectives within the EU Capital Markets Union ("CMU").
This Legal Insight is the first part of our dedicated newsletter series on the CMU. We will provide regular updates on CMU-related topics. read more...
16th November 2016
The Slovenian courts were recently asked to rule on companies' right to be heard during unannounced investigations (so-called 'dawn raids') by the Competition Protection Agency. read more...
11th November 2016
As of 20 October 2016, new legal provisions are in place in Romania setting out how consumers should be informed of products that use frozen foods in their preparation. In this respect, the consumer protection authority enacted Order 183/2016 ("Order 183") published in the Official Gazette on 20 September 2016. read more...
Hungary – discouraging litigation?Since 2018, Hungary has a new act on civil court procedures (Act CXXX of 2017 – the Act) which has brought about significant reforms after 50 years. The reforms were aimed at healing previous shortcomings, such as lengthy and tedious procedures, and making court cases concise, yet professional in quite a tight structure. As almost …
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