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According to Ibrahimovic & Co Managing Partner Adi Ibrahimovic, “the EU’s engagement with Bosnia and Herzegovina has gone through sporadic periods of intensifying cooperation and uncertain situations,” leading Dimitrijevic & Partners Partner Davorin Marinkovic to summarize the current status as: “frankly speaking, the public perception is that nobody actually knows.”

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.

Bosnia & Herzegovina is going through the gravest political crisis since the end of the war in 1995, according to Prebanic & Jusufbasic-Goloman Partner Arela Jusufbasic-Goloman, but it is registering a stable financial sector and an increase M&A activity.

Distribution agreements are a necessary legal basis for any distribution chain across industries, and are very important both for the cooperation of companies within individual countries, and for the cooperation of distribution chain companies coming from different countries. In an attempt to retain or conquer the market, certain companies (manufacturers or main distributors) may try to restrict local distributors or wholesalers to selling only their products or to selling at certain prices, by imposing specific distribution conditions on them in (exclusive) distribution agreements. Most of those companies are not aware that such imposed distribution conditions are prohibited by law and that very high penalties are prescribed for such actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

On June 23, 2021, the lower chamber of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, the House of Representatives, passed a decision instructing the Government to “analyze the existing legal framework in relation to the construction of small hydroelectric power plants and to initiate the parliamentary procedure of amending the existing laws in order to protect the rivers and the environment.” Such a broad and generic decision comes after months of campaigning by several NGOs, supported by local and Hollywood celebrities, aimed against the construction of SHPPs on Bosnian rivers, citing environmental concerns.

The Parliament of Federation of BiH adopted the amendments of the Company Law of Federation of BiH and the amendments have been published and entered into force on 23 September 2021. The amendments of the Law are aimed at achieving the goal set in the Reform Agenda of Federation of BiH related to simplification of the procedure for registration of business entities and setting up a one-stop-shop company registration system.

A significant number of updates, changes, and amendments to the legal framework of Bosnia & Herzegovina spells out a very strong positive direction that the country is moving in, according to Saracevic & Gazibegovic Lawyers Partner Emina Saracevic.

CMS' Malgorzata Surdek-Janicka has been appointed as Vice-President of the International Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. Aside from Surdek-Janicka, 33 lawyers from CEE were appointed as members and alternate members of the court.

Up until the adoption of the Laws on Property Rights in Republika Srpska (in 2008) and in the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina (in 2013), the only legal basis to obtain a construction permit and erect a lawful building was to first acquire ownership over the land on which the building is to be constructed, usually through a purchase agreement, as, according to the provisions of the applicable Laws of Physical Planning, as well as the general legal framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an investor must obtain construction rights over real property to obtain a construction permit for that property.

On December 15, 2020 CEELM gathered legal experts from across the region for its annual Year-in-Review Round Table conversation. In a wide-ranging discussion, participants shared opinions and perspectives on their markets, on strong (and less-strong) practices across the region, and the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on both, as well as on how technology is changing the legal industry, and what the industry will look like in 2021.

Squeeze-out of minority shareholders is an important concept for joint stock companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). In the previous socialist system, many then-state-owned joint stock companies issued employee stocks as a form of partial privatization, leading to some companies having hundreds of minority shareholders with miniscule amounts of shares. This complicated the management of these companies, as majority ownership changed from state to private, since many small shareholders are unreachable, as they may be deceased or have relocated with unknown addresses. This situation often makes squeeze-outs essential for majority shareholders in order to efficiently manage these companies.

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