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The Buzz in North Macedonia: Interview with Gjorgji Georgievski of ODI Law

“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.

Read more: The Buzz in North Macedonia: Interview with Gjorgji Georgievski of ODI Law

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”).

Read more: “Little Schengen” Project in a Nutshell – What Does It Mean For Your Business?

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.

Read more: General Counsel as Business Advisors in the Balkans

“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.” 

Read more: The Buzz in North Macedonia: Interview with Tatjana Popovski Buloski of Popovski & Partners

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%).

Read more: Less is More Consolidation of the Macedonian Banking Market Improves Competition

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.”

Read more: Firms in Former Yugoslavia Form Lex Adria Law Firm Alliance

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.

Read more: Motieka & Audzevicius Advises Petstart on Exit from Joint Venture with Romanian PET Waste Company

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.

Read more: New Law on Phytopharmacy in North Macedonia

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.

Read more: ODI Advises Rey Airlines on Winding-Up of Macedonian Joint Venture

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.

Read more: SEE Legal Firms Advise Link Mobility on Acquisition of Allterco’s Telecom Subsidiaries
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