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The main Buzz in Croatia, says Damir Topic, Senior Partner of Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, remains the ballooning debt of Agrokor that resulted in the passage of a special law that saw the holding company placed under state administration in April of this year, and the ongoing ripple effect that crisis is having on the Croatian economy, which some predict could shrink by 10% or more as result.

Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic has advised Arriva on its acquisition of 78.34% of the Autotrans Group, making Arriva the largest private bus operator in Croatia. Mamic, Peric, Reberski Rimac advised the sellers on the deal, which closed this August upon receipt of a green light from the Croatian Competition Agency for the concentration, which gives Arriva a 25-30% market share.

With Croatia joining the European Union and assuming the obligation to implement EU law, compliance became the key word in the country’s legal market. At first, the complicated regulatory environment produced legal uncertainty in entire industries.

ODI Law has advised the seller -- a private individual -- on the sale of a 42.1218 % stake in Iskra to Taxgroup Gmbh, one of the existing shareholders of the company. The deal also involved the purchase by the firm's client of a share in Caveat Romanae, a Croatian subsidiary of Iskra.

When asked what’s happening in Croatia, Dusko Zuric’s answer is simple: "Agrokor is happening.” Zuric, the Managing Partner of Croatia’s Zuric i Partneri, sighs at the extent of the liquidity fallout from the implosion of Agrokor’s landmark 2013 acquisition of Slovenia’s Mercator, which created one of the biggest food and retail businesses in Central and Eastern Europe, but also resulted in the accumulation of almost EUR 6 billion in debt, leading Agrokor’s president and 95% owner, Ivica Todoric, to seek protection from creditors and to hand control of the group to the emergency administration controlled by the Croatian state and court, all under a newly passed law — nicknamed Lex Agrokor — creating a form of pre-bankruptcy protection for systemic enterprises.

The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.

Divjak, Topic & Bahtijarevic, working alongside Gide Loyrette Nouel, has advised BNP Paribas Cardif Insurance in the sale of its Croatian entity to Croatia Osiguranje, the largest and oldest insurance company in Croatia, making Croatia Osiguranje the sole owner of BNP Paribas Cardif Insurance in Croatia. The signing took place on May 24, 2017, although the transaction remains subject to final approval by the Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency. Croatia Osiguranje was advised by Praljak & Svic.

Even if you are not a lawyer, you must have heard about the so called “right to be forgotten.” You may know that it is a privacy right that allows you to demand removal of your personal information from web search results produced by a search engine and published on the Internet. The question is who is obligated to remove your personal data from the Internet upon your request. The answer is simple – the operator of that search engine, even if it is not located in your country of residence. For some mysterious reason, this simple answer does not appear to be clear to everyone.

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