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In public procurement, the term bid rigging (also called collusive tendering) describes unlawful agreements between bidders with the intention of distorting the competition in award procedures and allowing a preferred tenderer to win the public contract while giving the impression that the process is truly competitive. The hidden agenda is often to force a high contract price that is not appropriate given the state of the market.

In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.

In 2023, Croatia’s M&A market faced unexpected challenges on several fronts. Lovric, Novokmet & Partners Partner Mate Lovric and Divjak, Topic, Bahtijarevic & Krka Senior Partner Damir Topic discuss the market’s slowdown in the year behind us.

Infobip General Counsel Tomislav Pifar first joined the company in 2011 and has been a witness to the company’s remarkable growth over the past 12 years. In reflecting on his journey, he explores the evolution of in-house legal work and international exposure, placing a particular emphasis on the transformative impact of AI on daily operations.

An in-depth look at Iva Miskovic of Miskovic & Miskovic covering her career path, education, and top projects as a lawyer as well as a few insights about her as a manager at work and as a person outside the office.

In Croatia, the legal landscape governing insolvency and restructuring is meticulously outlined in the Insolvency Act (Official Gazette no. 71/15, 104/17,36/22) providing a comprehensive framework for the initiation and execution of pre-insolvency and insolvency proceedings, outlining the ensuing legal consequences, and delineating the respective rights and obligations of debtors and creditors. With the recent amendment to the Insolvency Act introduced in 2022, solutions from the European Union have been adopted to encourage early restructuring of sustainable businesses, maintaining the continuity of company operations, and preventing insolvency. With these new changes, emphasis is being placed on insolvency prevention while also providing a strong framework for the protection of the creditors.

Against the backdrop of a turbulent legal landscape, Krehic Law Office Managing Partner Tarja Krehic underscores the recently ended strikes by commercial court judges and the subsequent impact on court proceedings and business registrations as the hot topics on the docket for Croatia, with women's participation in executive roles as the next big issue.

Divjak Topic Bahtijarevic & Krka has advised borrower Zadar Resort and sponsor Dogus Croatia on a EUR 31.2 million loan with Privredna Banka Zagreb and the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development as the mandated lead arrangers. Mamic Peric Reberski Rimac advised Privredna Banka Zagreb and the CBRD.

Harrisons, Maric & Co, Lambadarios, and Wolf Theiss, working with Linklaters, have advised a banking consortium led by UniCredit Bank London on the United Group's EUR 1.7 billion issuance of four tranches of senior secured and PIK notes as well as on the increase and extension of its EUR 410 million revolving credit facility. Selih & Partnerji, working with Paul Weiss, advised the United Group. Schoenherr, Koutalidis, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, and Elvinger Hoss Prussen reportedly advised the United Group as well.

One of the most important questions within every M&A deal is whether the transaction at hand is subject to merger clearance. The answer to said question might impact the timeline and (potentially) the successful completion of the deal itself. Up until Towercast cases (C-449/21), the analysis was straightforward by applying the clear turnover-based rules defining the applicability of the Regulation No 139/2004 (“Merger Regulation”).

Changes to the Croatian Labor Act, governing work for digital platforms, took effect on January 1, 2024. Croatia opted to regulate platform work before the formal adoption of the EU Platform Work Directive. What are the main novelties?