On January 30, 2018, a select group of prominent Serbian lawyers gathered at the Prica & Partners law firm in Belgrade for a CEE Legal Matters Round Table to discuss the current economic conditions in Serbia and the country’s legal services sector.
Patricia Gannon is a founder and Senior Partner at Karanovic & Nikolic, where she focuses primarily on the management, business development, strategy, and expansion of the firm. Gannon qualified as a Solicitor in Ireland and after a short period working at the European Commission in Brussels she moved to Serbia and founded the firm. She is a committed advocate of corporate philanthropy, and was amongst the founding members of the Serbian Charity Forum, an umbrella forum of leading foundations in the country.
Latham & Watkins and Schoenherr have advised Telenor on its agreement to sell its assets in Central and Eastern Europe to the PPF Group for EUR 2.8 billion on an enterprise value basis. White and Case (as lead counsel) and Karanovic & Nikolic advised PPF Group on the deal. Allen & Overy, BDK Advokati, and Boyanov & Co. advised Societe Generale, as agent, and a syndicate of banks on a EUR 3.05 billion credit facility provided to PPF Group for the acquisition, which is expected to close in Q3 2018 and is subject to the relevant merger control and regulatory approvals.
In this era of digitalization, where legal frameworks around the world are rapidly changing to cope with revolutionary developments in the IT sector, the Serbian Government is following a similar path. Serbia is in the EU accession process and is thus obliged to harmonize its legislation with EU laws. One such law is EU Regulation No. 910/2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market (the “Relevant EU Regulation”).
The steady growth of the digital products market and an increasing demand for digital products required an adjustment to the Serbian VAT rules applicable to the supply of electronically supplied services (ESS), and that adjustment finally occurred in 2017. Combined with new rules on the VAT registrations of foreign suppliers, VAT obligations related to ESS became more straightforward.
AP Legal Acted has advised UniCredit Bank Srbija a.d. Beograd (a subsidiary of Elicio) on financing provided it and International Finance Corporation (IFC) for the development of the Alibunar wind-farm by Electrawinds-s d.o.o. Belgrade. IFC reportedly was advised on English law by Allen & Overy and on Serbian law by Karanovic & Nikolic.
Karanovic & Nikolic has advised Societe Generale Srbija on its acquisition of a part of Jubanka AD Beograd's credit portfolio, including housing and cash credits, credit cards, and credits for small and medium-sized enterprises. Zivkovic Samardzic advised Jubanka on the deal, which makes Societe Generale Srbija the third largest bank in Serbia in terms of credit volume.
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.
Macedonian lawyers cooperating with Karanovic & Nikolic have advised Central Asia Metals on its EUR 340 million acquisition of 100% of Lynx Resources, which operates the SASA zinc-lead mine in Macedonia, from Orion Co-investments III and Fusion Capital. The Georgi Dimitrov Law Firm reportedly advised the sellers.
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.