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.
Some might say that Serbia’s banking sector is blooming and steadily consolidating. Others may argue that actual consolidation is still far away. Either way, players on the local market are changing. This is clear now following the exit of Societe Genarale, BNP’s Findomestic, and two Greek banks, followed by the bold revamp of Hungary’s OTP and the strengthening of domestic investors such as AIK and Direktna Bank.
The wide usage of benchmark rates and their key role in the financial system requires that they be reliable and defiant to any manipulation. To ensure this, the EU undertook to reform the benchmark rate determination process and improve market confidence in them, resulting in the adoption of the EU Benchmarks Regulation (the BMR).
This April, the new EU foreign investment screening regulation entered into force, with terms scheduled to become applicable on October 11, 2020. The regulation was conceived and designed to provide member states with a valuable tool to employ in defending their strategic interests. We spoke to several experts in the region to learn more.
Pharmaceutical products have been in the spotlight of the Council of the European Union’s Product Liability Directive since its adoption in 1985. Despite the amount of time that has passed, some legal uncertainties remain that strike directly at the notion of defectiveness, as well as the causal link between the defect and the damage (which proved to be even more important in the case of pharmaceutical products). Establishing such causal link in cases involving vaccines is notoriously difficult, especially from the perspective of a lay consumer. This has led some EU member states, such as France, to introduce case law aimed at facilitating the burden of proof in specific sectors.
At the end of 2018, the Government of the Republic of Serbia extended the validity of the Decree on Incentive Measures for the Production of Electric Energy from Renewable Energy Sources and High-efficiency Cogeneration of Electric Energy and Thermal Energy (the “FIT Decree”) until the end of 2019. The FIT Decree was initially valid until the end of 2018.
After a few troublesome years during the global financial crisis, it seems like Slovenia is on a positive economic route again. On December 14, 2018, S&P Global Ratings affirmed an “A+/A-1” credit rating for Slovenia with a positive outlook. Slovenian GDP has grown in the last two years between three and four percent annually, with a growth forecast for 2019 of 3.4 percent.
A transformation of the legal profession is happening globally, and its effects are also felt, slowly but surely, in the law firms of Southeast Europe. Due to the changing expectations concerning the quality, speed, and commerciality of services, we are seeing a move towards even more client-oriented solutions. Traditional sectors are being replaced with emerging industries, and where we previously had slow processes, with low profit margins, we see value being generated at lightning speeds. Also, a new generation that entered the workforce recently is slowly imposing their own values and approaches, necessitating changes in structure and the values of traditional legal practices.
It is not uncommon for post-communist societies to wrestle with the idea of competition enforcement. Executives of a more old-school bent are often confounded by having something which once was common market practice, sometimes even mandated by the state, now scrutinized and considered a serious infringement of law. This is why competition advocacy is a crucial tool for relatively inexperienced competition authorities – it would hardly be fair to beat upon market players legitimately unaware of changes to the modus operandi.
Representatives of more than sixty law firms from across Central and Eastern Europe and from as far away as the United States, United Kingdom, and China came together in Prague on June 6, 2018, for the first ever Dealer’s Choice international law firm conference and CEE Deal of the Year Awards Banquet.
Until a few years ago, the narrative within legal practices, as in most service industries, focused mainly on austerity, small growth numbers, and the crises. Most legal practitioners feared an uncertain future and all the risks it held, including evolving client expectations, financial pressure, and the long-term impact of the global economic crisis.