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Building a successful in-house legal department involves selecting the right people for the right positions, deciding which lawyers to assign to which tasks, instructing and training them, convincing them to work as a cohesive unit rather than a bunch of individuals, and of course addressing and resolving conflicts and crises – all while fulfilling the critical function of legal advisor to the rest of the company. It’s not easy.

Read more: Building and Managing a Legal Team

Concerns about how the legal profession will be impacted by the ongoing technological revolution are rampant across the industry. Artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technology (blockchain), and robots, among other things, are already altering the way lawyers serve clients in fundamental ways, and the influence of these new tools and technologies will almost certainly increase in years to come.

Read more: Lawyering in an Age of Transformation

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

A new procedure in our judiciary system was recently implemented through changes to the Enforcement and Security Act (“Act”) – the procedure of voluntary debt settlement before Public Bailiffs, prior to enforcement procedure. The procedure of voluntary debt settlement is also regulated by the Rulebook on the procedure of voluntary debt settlement before enforcement proceedings (the “Rulebook”) that was enacted on 1 January 2020. Compared to the Act, the Rulebook manages the procedure of voluntary debt settlement in a much more concise and clear manner.

Read more: New Rulebook for Voluntary Debt Settlement – A Cost-efficient Procedure for Debtors and Collectors

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has ratified the FATCA agreement executed earlier that year between the USA and Serbia at the end of 2019.

Read more: FATCA Agreement Ratified – Transfer of Personal Data under FATCA Agreement Still Questionable?

CMS has advised Turkey’s DenizBank and Ziraat Bank on a loan of approximately EUR 220 million to the Ministry of Construction, Transport, and Infrastructure of the Republic of Serbia for the design, construction, and/or reconstruction of the Novi Pazar-Tutin, Sremska Raca-Kuzmin, and Pozega-Kotroman sections of the motorway and a bridge over the River Sava. 

Read more: CMS Advises DenizBank and Ziraat Bank on Financing Infrastructure Projects in Serbia

On 6 December, 2019 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Law on Agency Employment, as well as amendments to the Law on Pension and Disability Insurance, Law on Contributions for Mandatory Social Insurance and Personal Income Tax Law.

Read more: Changes Within Employment Regulation - Staff Leasing and Benefits for Employers

The National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted on 23 December 2019 the Law on amendments and supplements to the Law on games of chance (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 91/2019) (hereinafter referred to as the “Law”).

Read more: Amendments and Supplements to Law on Games of Chance

As with each year, December was one of the busiest months and the Serbian Parliament was especially industrious. The aforementioned resulted in adoption of a very welcome set of amendments to the Serbia’s Company Act by the Serbian Parliament.

Read more: New Year, New Financial Instrument and Old Idea – Granting Equity as Incentive

JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic provided legal support to Gastrans d.o.o., Serbia (a 100% subsidiary of a OAO Gazprom and Srbijagas joint venture) on the construction of Gazprom's 400 km long Turkish Stream gas pipeline through Serbia, which Srbijagas Director Dusan Bajatovic has recently declared complete.

Read more: JPM Advises Gastrans on Construction of Serbian Section of Turkish Stream Pipeline Through Serbia

On 3 August 2019, National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia has adopted the long-awaited amendments to the Enforcement and Security Act (“Act”), which entered into force on 1 January 2020. Having in mind the extent of amendments (more than 170 Articles), we can say the we practically have a new Enforcement and Security Act.

Read more: Amendments to the Law on Enforcement and Security or Has a New Law Been Adopted?

Republic of Serbia (“RS”) has recently amended its tax law provisions on individual income tax by adopting Act on Amendments of the Individual Tax Act, published in the Official Gazette of the RS, No. 86/2019 (“Act”). Among many changes, the one that attracts the most attention is the inclusion of a test on “dependence” and its influence on the tax status of entrepreneurs. The Act sets out the criteria which are to be applied by the tax authorities (“TA”) to determine cases in which the entrepreneur is not actually independent from his client. Entrepreneurs that do not pass this test will be similarly treated as if they were employees, and will, therefore, be subject to a different tax regime.

Read more: New Amendments to Tax Legislation – Casting Light on Blurred Line Between Employees and...

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Karanovic & Partners is a regional legal practice in Southeast Europe with tradition spanning two decades and cooperating offices in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. With more than 100 attorneys at law cooperating across the region, we take pride in our work, dedication and understanding of our clients' industries and needs.

What we do

We work with some of the most respected and reputable businesses in the world, banks, as well as governments, state-owned entities, startups and NGOs. We see our clients as long-term partners.

We focus on straightforward solutions and tailor-made advice. Lawyers cooperating with us are fully immersed in our clients’ culture and industry to ensure that the work is delivered intelligently and reliably.

What sets us apart?

In our company culture, excellence is a must. We are reliable, adaptive and fast.

Karanovic & Partners operates under the “one team” principle, combining our regional reach and local know-how to deliver coordinated legal advice necessary for achieving our clients’ goals.

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