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When I was presented with the opportunity to share my views on lawyering in Serbia and the current legal market, one of my first thoughts was where we were 20 years ago, when Serbia had just opened its doors to foreign capital, privatization started, and international banks and investors began their search for the same quality of advice and advisers they had back home. The bar was dramatically increased, traditional law firms thought they were untouchable, and only a handful of new-generation lawyers, although with very modest international experience, was able to adapt and meet this challenge.

CEE Legal Matters spoke with CMS Partner and Head of Environmental Law Practice in Poland and CEE Agnieszka Skorupinska and CMS Turkey Managing Partner Done Yalcin about the impacts of the EU Green Deal and the rise of ESG in Europe and beyond.

On February 18, 2021, following a five-year preparation period, the Saeima – the parliament of the Republic of Latvia – adopted amendments to the country’s Advocacy Law, addressing, inter alia, the proper corporate form for law firms. Going forward, in Latvia, a law firm must either be a partnership (either general or limited) or a limited liability company. CEE Legal Matters spoke with several Latvian lawyers about the newly amended law.

The introduction of new e-services of the Serbian Business Registers Agency and the beginning of the application of online-based fiscalization are rapidly bringing the Serbian corporate environment to the corporate standards of developed countries.

Mining is significant for North Macedonia, a country with one of the longest mining histories in the Western Balkans and vast natural resources including iron ore, copper, zinc, gold, lead, and lignite. Hence, mining significantly contributes to the development of the Macedonian economy and, in particular, to the development of local governments. Specifically, a local government receives 78% of the fee paid for each concession on its territory. The regulatory framework governing mining is therefore critical for the sector’s future expansion and investment possibilities.

According to the applicable legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH), domains are not considered as intellectual property rights (IP). The owner of the national domain .ba is the state of BH and any legal or natural person is considered a user of the registered domains, for as long as the yearly maintenance fees are paid regularly.

On October 11, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that Gecic Law had Launched a new ESG Practice, co-headed by Partner and Head of Corporate/M&A Ognjen Colic and Head of Operations Hristina Kosec. CEELM spoke with Gecic Law Founding Partner Bogdan Gecic and Colic to learn more about the new practice.

In issue 8.3 of the CEE Legal Matters magazine, we spoke with Amberlo Co-Founder and CEO Aidas Kavaliauskas to learn more about the company’s cloud-based case management software built for legal professionals. With this issue’s focus on the Baltics and with the company being, at its roots, a Baltic one, we spoke with several law firms in the region that were early adopters of the solution, to learn about their experience using the platform and what advice they have in terms of selecting such a tool for a law firm.

Distribution agreements, also termed vertical agreements, are currently subject to a block exemption regime (the VBER) from the general antitrust prohibition. The VBER is due to expire on May 31, 2022. In this context, the European Commission has engaged in extensive public consultations and has already published a proposed new regime, the revised VBER and Vertical Guidelines, scheduled to enter into force on June 1, 2022. These are, in our view, the four key topics that suppliers should be aware of when preparing for the revised regime:

In recent years, the growing concern that employers’ market power in labor markets has led to reduced or suppressed wages and working conditions has heated up the discussions on the competition authorities’ potential interference over competition violations within labor markets. These discussions have not remained theoretical and the competition authorities have started to launch investigations into labor markets. The Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) has kept pace with this global trend. On April 20, 2021, the TCA announced on its official website that it has ex officio launched a full-fledged investigation against 32 companies, mainly active in digital markets, to determine whether they violated the Law on the Protection of Competition through gentlemen’s agreements in labor markets in Turkey.

Over the past year, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has been closely scrutinizing business structures involving corporate investment funds during the review of merger control notifications. In particular, the regulator is interested in relations of control among asset management companies, corporate investment funds, and their shareholders. Depending on the regulator’s position, the list of parties to a concentration can be significantly wider than one may probably realize.

Over the past year, the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has been closely scrutinizing business structures involving corporate investment funds during the review of merger control notifications. In particular, the regulator is interested in relations of control among asset management companies, corporate investment funds, and their shareholders. Depending on the regulator’s position, the list of parties to a concentration can be significantly wider than one may probably realize.

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