Contributed by Knezovic & Associates, member of Adriala
“The Parliament was disbanded in February and we’re reaching peak election campaign time,“ begins Gjorgji Georgievski, Partner at ODI Law in North Macedonia. “Election day is April 12, and the heat is on.“ Georgievski believes that the election between the ruling Social Democrats and the right-wing opposition VMRO-DPMNE party is going be tight.
If the Western Balkan countries are in your business spotlight, you must have heard about the “Little Schengen” project that was discussed between the governments of Albania, Serbia, and North Macedonia, and the signing of the consequent Declaration on Establishment of Free Movement of People, Goods and Services on October 10, 2019 between the leaders of these countries (“Little Schengen Declaration”). Although it may be argued that the “Little Schengen” project comes as an answer to the fact that the “Big Schengen” is still out of the reach for these Balkan countries, closer economic cooperation between the Western Balkan countries is a trend that’s being going on for a while. In particular, four months prior to the signing of the Little Schengen Declaration, North Macedonia and Serbia signed an agreement to establish joint controls at the border crossing point of the road between North Macedonia and Serbia (the “Bilateral Agreement”).
An interview with the long-time Head of Legal at Eurostandard Bank in Macedonia
In addition to their traditional role guiding companies through legal and regulatory waters and managing disputes, General Counsels are increasingly called upon to provide input on strategic matters. An expert panel at the second annual Balkan GC Summit considered how this change in the nature of the General Counsel role is manifesting itself in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
“The legal market is pretty stable,” reports Popovski & Partners Partner Tatjana Popovski Buloski. “The traditional concept of running a legal business that’s been present in North Macedonia keeps it like that. Not to toot our own horn, but the formation of our firm – and the discontinuation of my partnership with Polenak – was the biggest shift last year.”
Former Polenak Partner Tatjana Popovski Buloski and several colleagues have left that firm to launch Popovski and Partners in North Macedonia.
The main characteristics of the Macedonian banking market are its small size and the relatively large number of players. According to the latest reports of the National Bank of North Macedonia, out of fifteen active banks, five have significantly higher market shares than the rest. The combined market share of these five biggest banks is 74.4%, with a significant discrepancy between the bank that owns the largest amount of assets (a market share of 22.7%) and the one with the lowest (a market share of 0.5%).
Former Wolf Theiss Poland Co-Managing Partner Ron Given has joined Deloitte Legal as its CE Senior Legal Counsel, responsible for all of the firm’s offices in 19 Central and Eastern European countries.
Doklestic Repic & Gajin has announced the establishment of Lex Adria, an alliance of independent law firms in the Adriatic region, to provide what the firm calls “seamless and premium legal support across the area.”
Motieka & Audzevicius has advised Petstart UAB on its exit from a joint venture with a Romanian PET packaging waste company. The buyer was advised by Karanovic & Partners.
It is no secret that North Macedonia is facing the issue of usage of products for plant protection which often fail to meet legal standards. Namely, Macedonian manufacturers producing agricultural products for human and animal nutrition often use unauthorized products which fail to meet safety criteria and may have suspicious origins. Although this issue is not as widely-discussed as air pollution in North Macedonia, it contributes significantly to the existing environmental pollution problem and has a huge impact on the health of plants, people, and the environment.
ODI has advised Turkish aircraft management and rental company Rey Airlines on the winding up of its Rey Airlines Europe LLC JV, which it established in partnership with a private individual in Skopje in 2016.
ODI has advised duty free shop operator ATU Macedonia on the granting of a EUR 0.5 million loan to its sole shareholder, Turkey-based ATU Turism A.S.
The Polenak Law Firm has advised the EBRD on its EUR 5 million loan to SME Aktiva, including transaction advice and security documentation in North Macedonia.
Boyanov & Co in Bulgaria, NNDKP in Romania, and the Polenak Law Firm in North Macedonia have advised Norway's LINK Mobility Group on its June 29, 2019 acquisition of all five of Allterco's telecommunications subsidiaries in Bulgaria, Romania, and North Macedonia. Bulgaria's Forlexa law firm reportedly advised Allterco on the deal.
Kinstellar has advised British steel-maker Liberty Steel on Romanian and Czech law aspects of its EUR 740 million acquisition of ArcelorMittal's European assets.
Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners and the other members of the South East Legal Alliance have become official partners of Italy's Grimaldi Alliance.