The western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia share the desire to join the European Union. Two of these countries — Albania and Macedonia — are particularly close to accession. we spoke to several lawyers to learn more about how accession could affect the business landscape and the work of lawyers in the two countries.
CR Partners has acted as local counsel to National Bank of Greece S.A. on the February 2, 2018 sale of NBG's entire stake in its Albanian subsidiary, Banka NBG Albania Sh.A. to American Bank of Investments SHA. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer served as international counsel to MBG on the sale, while Kerameus & Partners advised ABI.
On Thursday, November 30th, leading legal practitioners from across Central and Eastern Europe gathered in Prague to help CEE Legal Matters celebrate its fourth successful year as the leading chronicle of the legal industry in the region, participating in an expert Round Table conversation about the year just concluded and enjoying an evening of dinner, drinks, and bonhomie.
The Buzz in Albania, according to Perparim Kalo, the Managing Partner at Kalo & Associates, is not as bleak as many who listen to the complaints of his countrymen might believe. "It is common to complain in the Balkans,” he says with a smile. "We usually consider positive trends or developments as less important than failures. It is a kind of a complaining culture.”
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.
4th and 5th of October 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco
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.
Very little has changed in the Albanian legal market, according to Besnik Duraj, Partner at Drakopoulos, apart from the judicial reform introduced last year to incentivize foreign investors who have been discouraged by the judicial corruption and political instability in Albania (as described by Besnik in The Buzz he provided CEE Legal Matters on July 20, 2016).
In “The Buzz” we interview experts on the legal industry living and working in Central and Eastern Europe to find out what’s happening in the region and what legislative/professional/cultural trends and developments they’re following closely. Because the interviews are carried out and published on the CEE Legal Matters website on a rolling basis, we’ve marked the dates on which the interviews were originally published.