A transformation of the legal profession is happening globally, and its effects are also felt, slowly but surely, in the law firms of Southeast Europe. Due to the changing expectations concerning the quality, speed, and commerciality of services, we are seeing a move towards even more client-oriented solutions. Traditional sectors are being replaced with emerging industries, and where we previously had slow processes, with low profit margins, we see value being generated at lightning speeds. Also, a new generation that entered the workforce recently is slowly imposing their own values and approaches, necessitating changes in structure and the values of traditional legal practices.
Kinstellar, Shearman & Sterling, and Radonjic Associates have advised Masdar on its acquisition of a 49% share in Krnovo Green Energy from a subsidiary of Akuo Energy. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Karanovic & Partners advised Akuo Energy, while Allen & Overy acted as general counsel for the lenders.
"Two major things are happening right now which are the focus of our practice: The Tech Industry and Chinese Investors,” says Ivan Nonkovic, Partner and independent attorney at law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners in Belgrade. "Both things are happening all over the region,” he concedes, ”so not exclusively in Serbia, but they’re definitely significant here too."
It is not uncommon for post-communist societies to wrestle with the idea of competition enforcement. Executives of a more old-school bent are often confounded by having something which once was common market practice, sometimes even mandated by the state, now scrutinized and considered a serious infringement of law. This is why competition advocacy is a crucial tool for relatively inexperienced competition authorities – it would hardly be fair to beat upon market players legitimately unaware of changes to the modus operandi.
Maravela | Asociatii has assisted Precision for Medicine in connection with Romanian law aspects of its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of contract research organization Argint International. Bird & Bird was lead counsel to Precision for Medicine on the deal. Kinstellar's advised the sellers on Romanian, Czech, and Hungarian aspects of the deal, working with lead counsel Osborne Clarke.
Representatives of more than sixty law firms from across Central and Eastern Europe and from as far away as the United States, United Kingdom, and China came together in Prague on June 6, 2018, for the first ever Dealer’s Choice international law firm conference and CEE Deal of the Year Awards Banquet.
“It is pretty quiet on the dispute resolution market, as hearings are not held in the summer,” says Ivana Disovic, Partner and attorney in law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners. “In contrast, we see high activity in the M&A market,” she says, pointing in particular to China’s Zijin Mining becoming a strategic partner in Serbia's RTB Bor copper complex, which K&N advised on.
Until a few years ago, the narrative within legal practices, as in most service industries, focused mainly on austerity, small growth numbers, and the crises. Most legal practitioners feared an uncertain future and all the risks it held, including evolving client expectations, financial pressure, and the long-term impact of the global economic crisis.
As Serbia is gearing up for EU accession, harmonizing with EU legislation and business practices becomes not only mandatory, but also a market necessity. Although there are discrepancies between business practices in Serbia and in the EU, one thing seems to be unanimous: local businesses, just like their international counterparts, think ahead when it comes to securing their assets. This applies to every type of business, but it is prevailingly visible in local medium-sized to large businesses which predominantly handle and/or deal with IP portfolios. Nowadays, in the ever-evolving digital world, where almost information is at the reach of one’s hand – even to those located in remote corners of the world – attention and focus are being switched to ensuring the adequate protection of trade secrets. This process is happening in Serbia as well.
The constitutional and legislative structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is complex since it is composed of two entities – the Republic of Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) – and Brcko District (BD) as a separate unit, and the legislation is adopted on the state level, entity level, and – in FBiH – on the cantonal level. This means that in BiH as such there is no unified Law on PPP, but rather 12 laws on PPP. While the RS and BD adopted their PPP laws in 2013 and 2010, the FBiH drafted a Law on PPP in 2009 which remains in the adoption process. In addition, the cantons in the FBiH have their own set of PPP laws.