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The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Olodar Prebanic of Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman

The Buzz in Bosnia & Herzegovina: Interview with Olodar Prebanic of Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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“Politically, we’re seeing a continuation of last year – even though the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina still has no government, at least the Bosnian Council of Ministers got formed,“ Says Olodar Prebanic, Partner at Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman in Sarajevo. “This is a reflection of the situation in the entire country – the legislative pipeline is frozen, and there are no significant acts being passed on a Federal level."

Thing are running a bit smoother in Republika Srpska, he says, due to the local government there being formed almost immediately following the 2018 elections. “There have been laws enacted in Republika Srpska that are already paying dividends in terms of easing the doing of business – including, first and foremost, the law that enabled legal entities to be incorporated electronically.“ Still, there are constant political clashes, and Prebanic states that “just recently the Canton of Sarajevo saw its government fall apart.“

Prebanic points out that, even though there are hurdles to long term strategic growth in the country, there is a “positive movement – especially with some projects that possess the capacity to create further value.“ In terms of construction projects, he says, “Sarajevo is seeing a strong boom, a few motorway projects – towards the Adriatic and another towards Serbia – have come unstuck after a lengthy tender process. Also, there is a large thermal power plant project in Tuzla, which I believe to be one of the biggest projects yet.“

In addition, Prebanic reports, “one of the most significant projects yet to take place in Bosnia & Herzegovina – the carbohydrate research related to oil and gas – is in the final stages of its tender process. This holds a lot of potential for economic growth and development and has the potential to spill over to other sectors of the economy.“

According to Prebanic, “it is expected that this year will bring an end to the ongoing conflict between lawyers and public notaries in the Federation," which he believes would provide a much more conducive environment for doing business. Still, he concedes, this would require «a whole lot of legislative changes, most notably in terms of cadastral and notary laws.“

Finally, he refers to recent charges that have been brought against the Prosecutor General of Bosnia & Herzegovina. “While these charges are secret, I can say that they have to do with irregularities in performing the duties of the Prosecutor General, illegal expenditures, and having unauthorized personnel conduct investigations.“ Prebanic thinks that these proceedings are a good thing and a sign that “it is possible to criticize the work of the highest state bodies and to hold them accountable.“

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Maric & Co Law Firm stands on the shoulders of more than 70 years of experience and practice in the legal market of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having in mind that it is difficult to find a small country with such a complicated political and legal system, we are fully aware that quality advice requires deep understanding of different areas of law. In a country where legislation is created on state, entity and cantonal levels, without proper harmonization, and where the same regulation can be applied differently by two different courts, only domestic lawyers who are well-versed in local regulations and court practices, and who are highly specialized in their practice area, may actually help their client.

With this understanding, today, the firm Maric and Co is the largest law office in the country dealing exclusively with business law. This means that we provide wide expertise in resolving all issues that domestic and international investors encounter when setting up and operating businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The scope of the office allows each of our attorneys to highly specialize in their fields, whilst the size of our team ensures delivery of premium advice and seamless service. Our firm seeks long-term partnerships with clients with the aim of providing the best and most complete solution to the client's legal needs. We are proud to say that our clients do not leave us.

We apply the same principles to our international affairs, aware of the fact that no foreign lawyer can have the same understanding of legal regulations of a country as a domestic lawyer. Therefore, our philosophy is not to open branches in countries where our clients do business, but to closely connect with top tier lawyers in those countries. Our law firm is one of the founding members of SEE Legal – a group of ten leading national law firms from 12 South East European countries. This network enables us to provide the best advice and representation in these countries. Additionally, as a result of our strong relationship with the majority of global law firms, we are able to provide law services anywhere in the world.

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