The former Partner in charge of the Bosnia practice of Karanovic & Nikolic has split from the regional firm to establish Dimitrijevic & Partners.
The initial announcement came Saturday morning, when Karanovic & Nikolic declared that: “As of this week we have formally terminated our co-operation with Partner Stevan Dimitrijevic…,” explaining: "It turned out that we do not share the same vision and values, which makes our further co-operation impossible.” The firm announced that: "In line with our firm values and approach to client work we have always operated as one team in Bosnia and will continue to serve clients across all of Bosnia in the top quality manner that clients have come to expect from Karanovic & Nikolic.”
When contacted by CEE Legal Matters, Dimitrijevic also pointed to a difference in visions but claimed that it was, in fact, his team that had initiated the termination of the cooperation as they "wanted to preserve a local team and local flexibility in terms of, among other things, pricing, not to compromise the quality over the volume of work and number of clients, as well as to retain a reasonable level of autonomy as local Bar rules proclaim.”
According to Dimitrijevic, he is followed by "the whole Banja Luka team except for one of my trainees." This team, he said, consists of 4 more fee earners, aside from Dimitrijevic, including Davorin Marinkovic, who will be a Partner in the new firm, plus a trainee. The team will be complemented by 2 people in support functions. In terms of his new firm's set-up, Dimitrijevic told CEELM: "The office is already furnished and the leasing has just started. People are in parallel moving with me. Since this type of services, legal services, is always a work in progress, there is no practical clean cut. One may say that we have been already established our practice. I am working separately already today.” In terms of immediate steps, he added: "We have already connected ourselves through best friends network of firms both in the other part of Bosnia as well as the whole region, to be able to provide the clients with similar reach as before and possibility to group in bigger teams should a need arise.” He mentioned that there is a "plan – and we already went quite a way down in concrete measures – to form new regional network through Balkans, so our clients remain served also regionally,” but he declined to provide more details. As to the team itself, in terms of fee earners it consists of Partners Stevan Dimitrijevic and Davorin Marinkovic, Senior Associate Nina Vjestica, Of Counsel Tanja Savicic, togehter with a new trainee coming in as of beginning of March.
"K&N still has the Sarajevo team, which seems will remain on the ground,” according to Dimitrijevic. Indeed, Karanovic & Nikolic informed CEE Legal Matters that Sarajevo-based Partner Nihad Sijercic will lead the Bosnian practice going forward, with the support of Sarajevo-based Senior Associates Lana Sarajlic and Mirna Milanovic-Lalic, Sarajevo-based Associates Ivana Vragovic and Jasmina Dzaferovic, Banja Luka-based Associate Dorde Dimitrijevic, all complemented by Counsel Andrea Wilson.