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“A lost year” is how Gjorgji Georgievski, Partner at ODI in Macedonia, describes the current state of deal-making in his country. “From April onwards things got really slow because of the culmination of the ongoing political crisis,” he explains, adding: “Since the formation of the new Government in June it was normal for things to calm down but soon after we got into a state of waiting for the local elections which eventually took place on October 15, 2017. 

ODI has advised SKB Banka D.D. Ljubljana as a financial creditor on the court-sanctioned procedure of preventive restructuring of approximately EUR 200 million of financial debt of the DZS Group companies Delo Prodaja, d.d., Terme Catez d.d., and DZS d.d.

In The Corner Office, we invite Senior and Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. For this issue, we asked them to describe their least favorite part of their jobs. 

The National Assembly of Slovenia has adopted the new Transnational Provision of Services Act regarding the posting of workers (the “Act”). The Act, which is scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2018, implements European Enforcement Directive 2014/67/EU and imposes new conditions for employers posting workers to and from Slovenia.

On-site inspections conducted by the Market Inspectorate of Slovenia in the last decade have shown that approximately 9% of all software installed on company computers lack the necessary permission of the rightful copyright holders. At the same time, over 40% of inspected companies had at least one unlawful computer program installed when inspected. Results show that SMEs are especially prone to such practices.

ODI has advised Fersped, a Slovenian transport company and a subsidiary of Slovenske Zeleznice (the Slovenian national railway company), in acquiring 100% control over logistics company VV-LOG.  Debernardi & Partners advised sellers Daniel Tomljanovic and Dean Persic on the sale agreement, which was signed with several conditions precedent, including approval by the Slovenian Competition Authority. RMG advised Slovenske Zeleznice.

In The Corner Office we invite Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. The question this time around: Is your personal practice more or less the one you anticipated when you finished law school, or did it change somehow in the interim?

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.

Things are stable in Slovenia at the moment, according to ODI Law Managing Partner Uros Ilic. "The last few year were extremely busy because of the previously-distressed situation in Slovenia," he explains, "but now things are back to normal. On the M&A side you will not have as many large deals as in recent quarters, since the privatization work stream has completely dried up. A few deals in the pipeline, but nothing of a very big size. The sale of Cimos has finally been successfully concluded, the Gorenjska Banka sale and Cinkarna Celje are in process, and a few transactions are still in the pre-marketing stage  It seems that we are also no longer the hot spot for NPL buyers, hedge funds and the like, as normal growth activities/business activities are back."

The Personal Data Protection Act 2005 (the “Act”) is the key legislative act that regulates personal data protection matters in Macedonia, including transfers of personal data outside of Macedonia. The Act is aligned with the EC Directive 95/46/EC (the “Data Protection Directive”). Macedonia’s obligation to align the Act with the Data Protection Directive derives from its status as a European Union candidate country, for which implementation of the EU legislation is mandatory. The Directorate for Personal Data Protection (the “Directorate”) is the Macedonian independent agency competent to oversee the Act’s implementation.

Due to technological advances, it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to effectively manage the way their personal information is being collected and stored. It is thus quite surprising that the provisions of the Slovenian Personal Data Protection Act have managed to stay unchanged for almost ten years. But that does not mean that there have been no recent developments in the information privacy regulatory framework.

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.

Currently, one of the main issues in Slovenia is the ruling in late October 2016 of the Constitutional Court of Slovenia regarding constitutional rights violations suffered by investors in five major Slovenian banks when both their equity capital and the subordinated instruments were written off as a result of extraordinary measures exercised by the Bank of Slovenia between December 2013 and December 2014 as a result of the systemic banking crisis. 

In The Corner Office, we invite Managing Partners at law firms from across the region to share information about their careers, management styles, and strategies. For this issue, we asked them to describe the first major deal or client matter they generated themselves, and how they did it. 

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ODI at a Glance

ODI is one of the leading independent corporate law firms in South-Eastern Europe and one of the fastest growing in the region with a team of 40 lawyers which provides legal services to a wide range of premier clients, including local and multinational corporations and financial institutions.  With permanent presence in all ex-Yugoslavia countries by offices in Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia and working desks for Bosnia and Montenegro ODI provides seamless service in the region for all cross-border projects and prides itself on an unmatched understanding of the business cultures in the region. The 4 core practice areas are M&A, Corporate Restructuring, Banking Finance and Dispute Resolution. ODI team has a reputation for successfully managing large and complex multi-jurisdictional transactions, disputes and projects, and delivering outstanding outcomes for clients.

Firm's website: http://www.odilaw.com/