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Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) consists of two distinct administrative entities – the Federation of BiH (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS) – and the special administrative unit Brcko District of BiH (BD). In accordance with the constitutional division of competences, factoring activities – a type of debtor finance in which a business sells its accounts receivable (i.e., invoices) to a third party (called a factor) at a discount  – fall under the competence of individual parts, resulting in several sets of legislation but two regulators: the Federal Banking Agency (FBA) in FBiH and the Banking Agency in Republika Srpska (BARS), with BD able to choose either of the two.

BDK Advokati and Kirkland & Ellis have advised BC Partners on its agreement to acquire a majority stake in United Group B.V. from KKR, which retains a substantial minority stake. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

October 30, 2018, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Belgrade

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2018 Balkan General Counsel Summit is now open. The event will take place in Belgrade’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on October 30, 2018.

Among the biggest challenges in Bosnia and Herzegovina is attracting foreign investment, says Naida Custovic, Partner at Law Office Custovic in Cooperation with Wolf Theiss. “Our economy relies heavily on foreign investments,” she says. “Unfortunately our legal system and overall investment climate is not yet satisfactory.”

The constitutional and legislative structure of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is complex since it is composed of two entities – the Republic of Srpska (RS) and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) – and Brcko District (BD) as a separate unit, and the legislation is adopted on the state level, entity level, and – in FBiH  – on the cantonal level. This means that in BiH as such there is no unified Law on PPP, but rather 12 laws on PPP. While the RS and BD adopted their PPP laws in 2013 and 2010, the FBiH drafted a Law on PPP in 2009 which remains in the adoption process. In addition, the cantons in the FBiH have their own set of PPP laws.

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).

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. 

The latest financial crisis revealed a number of weaknesses in the Bosnia and Herzegovina banking system, just as it did in most developed countries. In an attempt to preserve a sound banking system in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (‘FBiH’), both BiH Entities have adopted new Banking Laws.

Lawyers in Bosnia and Herzegovina are especially busy, says Stevan Dimitrijevic, Managing Partner at Dimitrijevic & Partners of Banjaluka, benefitting, among other things, from the complicated decentralized nature of his country, which leads to a “lot work for lawyers.”  Dimitrijevic claims that, for clients, it is a “necessity to retain a good advisor to cut through the complexity,” whereas, “with good advisors, of legal and financial vocation, everything is much easier and quite predictable.”

Taxes are the most important instrument for the collection of revenues in the Bosnian and Herzegovinian economy and represent the largest portion of revenues for the country.

On the morning of October 2, 2017, representatives from many of the leading law firms in Bosnia – and two senior in-house counsel – gathered in the Sarajevo offices of Wolf Theiss Bosnia & Herzegovina to discuss the state of the legal market in their uniquely structured country.

Tkalcic-Dulic, Prebanic, Rizvic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner, Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, says that no significant laws or regulations have been passed in Bosnia & Herzegovina recently that could influence the work of lawyers or the business sector, although they are much needed.

Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners (RPPP) has advised Enterprise Investors on the acquisition by the Polish Enterprise Fund VII, which it manages, of 100% of shares in sporting good retailer Intersport ISI in a carve-out transaction from Mercator Group. According to RPPP, "the value of the transaction is up to EUR 34.5 million and the transaction transaction is conditional upon obtaining customary regulatory approvals." RPPP — a member of the TLA alliance — reports that "all other TLA law firms from the region, including JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic from Serbia, Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic, Rizvic and Jusufbasic-Goloman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska from Macedonia" were involved as well. Slovenia’s Jadek & Pensa and Serbia’s Prica & Partners advised Mercator on the transaction.

Women’s Day is behind us, but the subjects of gender equality and equal opportunity are of year-round concern. This, the first part of a special two-part CEE Legal Matters article on women in private practice in CEE, provides the numbers and percentages from leading law firms across CEE, as well as a more thorough snapshot of one representative market. Part II of the report, in the June issue, will pull back the curtain even more, providing feedback and perspectives from lawyers across the region.

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