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October 30, 2018, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2018 Balkan General Counsel Summit is now open. The event will take place in Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on October 30, 2018.

Among the biggest challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina is attracting foreign investment, says Naida Custovic, Partner at Law Office Custovic in Cooperation with Wolf Theiss. “Our economy relies heavily on foreign investments,” she says. “Unfortunately our legal system and overall investment climate is not yet satisfactory.”

Wolf Theiss has advised the Chinese home appliance producer Hisense on its takeover offer for 95% of the shares in Slovenian white-goods manufacturer Gorenje. Jadek & Pensa advised Gorenje on the sale. The transaction value exceeds EUR 250 million.

The constitutional and legislative structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is complex since it is composed of two entities – the Republic of Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) – and Brcko District (BD) as a separate unit, and the legislation is adopted on the state level, entity level, and – in FBiH  – on the cantonal level. This means that in BiH as such there is no unified Law on PPP, but rather 12 laws on PPP. While the RS and BD adopted their PPP laws in 2013 and 2010, the FBiH drafted a Law on PPP in 2009 which remains in the adoption process. In addition, the cantons in the FBiH have their own set of PPP laws.

The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

Slovenia: Fine-Tuning of the Tax System

In the beginning of 2018, Slovenia introduced several minor and mainly administrative changes to its tax legislation, mostly addressing and resolving inconsistencies in the legislation that had been detected in practice. 

Lawyers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are especially busy, says Stevan Dimitrijevic, Managing Partner at Dimitrijevic & Partners of Banjaluka, benefitting, among other things, from the complicated decentralized nature of his country, which leads to a “lot work for lawyers.”  Dimitrijevic claims that, for clients, it is a “necessity to retain a good advisor to cut through the complexity,” whereas, “with good advisors, of legal and financial vocation, everything is much easier and quite predictable.”

On the morning of October 2, 2017, representatives from many of the leading law firms in Bosnia – and two senior in-house counsel – gathered in the Sarajevo offices of Wolf Theiss Bosnia & Herzegovina to discuss the state of the legal market in their uniquely structured country.

The commercial legal markets of Central & Eastern Europe didn’t appear automatically. They didn’t develop in a vacuum. They were formed, shaped, and led, by lawyers – visionary, hard-working, commercially-minded, and client-focused individuals pulling the development of CEE’s legal markets along behind them as they labored relentlessly for their clients, their careers, their futures. 

In the era of modern business, where strengthening of existing businesses and encouraging startups is a GDP must, improving the investment environment is common sense, and compliance should serve the benefit of it all, one should stop and wonder at the sight of what we call “twisted compliance.”

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