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Serbia Builds Bridges: A Buzz Interview with Uros Popovic of Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners

Serbia Builds Bridges: A Buzz Interview with Uros Popovic of Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners

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When talking about notable recent developments in Serbia, Bojovic Draskovic Popovic & Partners Senior Partner Uros Popovic reports of an evolving business landscape in the country, marked by the substantial influence of foreign companies and dynamic sector activities, with a burgeoning real estate market and a quickly developing renewable energy sector.

Focusing on the transaction landscape in Serbia, Popovic says that "the last few months have seen a shift toward smaller-scale transactions, many of which are propelled by capital that has left Russia, enabling the investors to continue being able to operate worldwide." There has also been a noticeable increase in cross-jurisdictional cooperation and synergy, he notes. "For example, PEPCO has been expanding successfully in Serbia, with well over 100 stores now open here and already dozens in Bosnia," he reports, adding that this dynamic has kept their firm's workload heavy and diverse.

"Over the past two years, we've observed a significant increase in companies leaving Russia to establish a presence in Serbia and continue trading with their international partners," Popovic shares. "This wave of new entrants has reached its peak, and while the number of new setups has begun to subside, the impact of these early movers, particularly major players backed by capital leaving Russia, continues to shape the market. These companies, often with headquarters in various European countries, have brought substantial influence, especially in sectors like software and electronics," he explains.

To cope with such a vibrant workstream, Popovic reports that their office has been investing in personnel education, primarily focusing on artificial intelligence and technology. "AI's potential and implications are immense, prompting us to invest heavily in educating our lawyers," he says. "We regularly send our team to training sessions and seminars to ensure they are well-versed in the legal aspects of technology."

As far as specific sector activity of note is concerned, Popovic tackles the always-active real estate market. "Belgrade's real estate market has been booming for the last two decades, with significant acceleration in the past two years. We've seen a massive influx of people, some staying temporarily and others settling down permanently, which has driven up rent and acquisition prices," he reports. "Although there have been talks of a bubble, prices continue to rise. Recently, there's been a slight adjustment, but demand still far outstrips supply; we're heavily involved in commercial leases and some sales, mostly through special purpose vehicles."

Furthermore, the renewable energy sector, as alluring in Serbia as it is anywhere else, has been generating more and more traction. "The legislation surrounding renewable energy in Serbia has been cumbersome and incomplete, but we are seeing it gradually improve," Popovic says. "Recent years have brought progress in wind and solar projects. However, some legislative changes, such as those proposing storage capacity to manage balancing capacities, are adding significant costs to these projects," he stresses. "On the other hand, while securing grid connections has been a challenge of late, recent reforms are expected to streamline this process."

Serbia Knowledge Partner

SOG in cooperation with Kinstellar is a full-service business law firm in Serbia that provides foreign and domestic clients with premium-quality legal advice and assistance across a wide range of key areas of corporate law. The firm was founded in 2015 by a group of seasoned, internationally-trained lawyers. SOG has developed a distinctively dynamic culture, bringing together top talent, fostering entrepreneurship, and maintaining exceptional relationships with its clients.

SOG has achieved consistent growth in the volume of its business, accompanied by an exponential increase in the number of hired associate lawyers and the firm’s network of business contacts. SOG has a robust client base of multinationals, investment and private equity firms, and financial institutions. Clients praise SOG for being commercially minded, very responsive and knowledgeable.

Establishing permanent cooperation with Kinstellar is part of realising SOG's long-term development strategy to be the leading provider of legal services in the Western Balkans market.

Firm's website: https://www.kinstellar.com/


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