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Despite a still-shaky business environment in the Adriatic region we have again experienced another very exciting year, which once made our transaction teams busier than they were the year before.

The Adriatic Legal Network has announced that Bosnia & Herzegovina's Sajic and Macedonia's Pepeljugoski law firms have joined the alliance formed in June of last year by Serbia's Joksovic, Stojanovic and Partners, Slovenia's Miro Senica and Attorneys, and Croatia's Kallay and Partners law firms.

The unique political and administrative landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina has resulted in far too many legislative levels and regulations for a country of its size.

The past half year has been a tumultuous one for Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH). Labor reforms, which strike at the very heart of the socio-economic structure of every nation, are under way in both entities of BH – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBH) and Republika Srpska (RS). The adoption of new labor legislation was prompted by the Reform Agenda for BH 2015-2018, the implementation of which is an imperative in BH’s search for EU integration. 

Three well-known law firms in the former Yugoslavia have announced the creation of a new alliance — the new South East Legal Alliance (SELA) — which they describe as "a formal regional network of independent law firms advising clients on their operations across South East Europe."

Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners (RPPP) has advised Enterprise Investors on the acquisition by the Polish Enterprise Fund VII, which it manages, of 100% of shares in sporting good retailer Intersport ISI in a carve-out transaction from Mercator Group. According to RPPP, "the value of the transaction is up to EUR 34.5 million and the transaction transaction is conditional upon obtaining customary regulatory approvals." RPPP — a member of the TLA alliance — reports that "all other TLA law firms from the region, including JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic from Serbia, Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic, Rizvic and Jusufbasic-Goloman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska from Macedonia" were involved as well. Slovenia’s Jadek & Pensa and Serbia’s Prica & Partners advised Mercator on the transaction.

Prior to 2010, examiners working for the Intellectual Property Institute of Bosnia and Herzegovina examined applications for trademarks on all grounds in a lengthy process that resulted in a significant backlog. The application-to-registration timeframe at one point rose to an unacceptable period of six years, inevitably leading to the absurd situation where an application would be reaching its tenth year and have to be renewed – without ever being registered. 

Milan Lomic is the General Counsel Adria & Balkan at L’Oreal, a company that he joined in October 2012. Prior to that he worked for Metro Cash & Carry as a Legal Advisor and Antitrust Officer. He has also worked as a Legal Advisor at Unicredit Bank Serbia and as an Assistant to the Judge at the Fifth Municipal Court in Belgrade.

Dino Aganovic is the Head of Legal and Compliance at HETA d.o.o. in Sarajevo (former Hypo Alpe-Adria-Leasing). During the Hypo days, he represented the bank in the General Assembly of Chamber of Commerce FBiH between August 2014 and January 2015 and as its Director of the Legal Team earlier. He still is a Member of a Supervisory Board of Hypo’s Fund Management Company. Before joining Hypo, Aganovic was the Head of Legal and HRM at Intermerkur Nova d.o.o. Sarajevo and Mersteel d.o.o. Sarajevo (Merkur).

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