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The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Western Balkans right during a period of accelerating economic activity and a promising economic outlook for 2020. The rapid spread of the virus forced the governments of the Western Balkans countries to introduce protective measures, lockdowns, and temporary business shutdowns. These restrictions had a devastating direct economic impact on a wide range of sectors – particularly the hospitality and transport industries – and the measures had many indirect side effects that significantly decreased economic activity.

There is an interesting legal tool in the Competition Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina (originally adopted in 2005), that is seldom seen in other jurisdictions. Per the legal framework, the governing body of the local competition authority, the Competition Council, consists of six members appointed in order to reflect the complex ethnic structure of the country: two Bosnians, two Croats, and two Serbs.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: ”What is your single most favorite client matter in your career?”

Although Bosnia & Herzegovina is relatively small, and despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Bojana Bosnjak-London, Partner in the Corporate/M&A practice of Maric & Co in Sarajevo, reports that her team has been busy, noting that they were “lucky to land quite a few good deals.”

Former Karanovic & Partners Partner Patricia Gannon has announced the establishment of Gannon Advisory, which she describes as "a holistic strategic advisory business."

The SEE Legal law firm alliance has announced the formal launch of two new practice groups, one dedicated to Employment and Immigration, headed by Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli Counsel Maral Minasyan, and one dedicated to Intellectual Property, headed by Selih & Partnerji Partner Natasa Pipan Nahtigal.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) is a contracting party to the Energy Community. As such, it has undertaken the obligation to align its energy sector legislation and transpose the Third Energy Package in the gas sector, among others. Such alignment in the gas sector requires the adoption of state and entity-level legislation to ensure unbundling, third party access, the liberalization of the wholesale market, end-consumer protection, and adequate interconnectivity.

Maric & Co has successfully represented the interests of Swietelsky Baugesellschaft m.b.H in the Constitutional Court of Bosnia & Herzegovina in appellate proceedings regarding a tax dispute against the country's Office for Indirect Taxation.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2019 CEE Deal of the Year Award winners – the most important, complicated, significant, and valuable deals across Central and Eastern Europe.

A scandal shaking the pharmaceutical market of Bosnia and Herzegovina for several years now related to the unlawful delisting of foreign medicines manufacturers has moved to a silent but almost thriller-tense phase as the country awaits the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s final decision. The current countdown was preceded by a unique crisis in 2018, when two subsidiaries of foreign pharma giants that had been delisted decided to fight back, even as a number of smaller players liquidated their companies and withdrew from the market. 

“All activities in Bosnia & Herzegovina in the past two months have had to do with the state of emergency caused by the crisis, as they will for the foreseeable future,“ says Dino Aganovic, Head of Legal and Compliance at Heta Asset Resolution in Sarajevo. Nonetheless, he says, as dangerous as the virus is, he believes in being cautious about the steps taken to address it. “I must admit that I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to complete shutdowns,“ he says. “The global economy is sliding into a recession that is bound to impact poorer societies in terrible ways. We need to be thinking about the future as well, not just the present.“

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