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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%).

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.

Ever since “legal tech” became a thing, lawyers have been dreadfully anticipating the time when technology will disrupt the legal profession. The media has been fuelling lawyer worries, and attention-grabbing headlines like “The robot lawyers are here – and they are winning” or “Lawyers could be replaced by artificial intelligence” have kept lawyers awake at night. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in law has become the talk of the town, and for good reason, as the use of legal technology helps lawyers to get things done more efficiently and cost-effectively. Thus, it does not come as a surprise that legal tech start-ups are becoming the Starbucks of the legal profession – they are popping up on every corner. It is estimated that there are over 1000 legal tech start-ups worldwide and that the legal tech industry is worth USD 15.9 billion globally.

The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).

The western Balkan countries of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and the Republic of Macedonia share the desire to join the European Union. Two of these countries — Albania and Macedonia — are particularly close to accession. we spoke to several lawyers to learn more about how accession could affect the business landscape and the work of lawyers in the two countries.

Slovenia: Fine-Tuning of the Tax System

In the beginning of 2018, Slovenia introduced several minor and mainly administrative changes to its tax legislation, mostly addressing and resolving inconsistencies in the legislation that had been detected in practice. 

Macedonia has started the process of liberalizing and privatizing the energy market as an obligation deriving from the Treaty establishing the Energy Community signed on October 25, 2005 in Athens (the “Treaty”).

Macedonia’s 2013 Law on Takeover of Joint Stock Companies provides a squeeze-out right enabling a majority shareholder who has acquired at least 95% of the shares of an eligible joint stock company on the basis of a takeover bid to require the minority shareholders to sell their securities at a fair consideration.

The last decade of the previous millennium set the Republic of Macedonia on a new course, with EU & NATO integration a number one priority for the country in the Western Balkans. This new course meant that reforms in almost all areas of state management were inevitable.

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. 

Prior to initiating a civil court procedure, parties may try to solve a dispute through out of court negotiations. When these out of court negotiations are not successful or when the relevant statute of limitations is about to expire, in order to protect their rights, the parties can initiate a procedure in the competent court.

The 2017 CEE Legal Matters General Summit took place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Warsaw on June 1-2, 2017, once again bringing together well over a hundred General Counsel and Heads of Legal from across Central and Eastern Europe for two full days (and one entertaining evening) of seminars, panel discussions, best practices review, and networking. This year’s event — the third annual, following the 2015 GC Summit in Budapest and the 2016 GC Summit in Istanbul — was the biggest and most successful yet.

On May 31 and June 1, 2017, CEE Legal Matters was proud to host a rare event: A gathering of those senior lawyers from each Central and Eastern European country identified by peers as being most influential, most important, most uniquely responsible for having created the country’s modern commercial legal market.