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Hot Practice: Bojana Bosnjak-London on Maric & Co’s Corporate/M&A Practice in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Hot Practice: Bojana Bosnjak-London on Maric & Co’s Corporate/M&A Practice in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Although Bosnia & Herzegovina is relatively small, and despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Bojana Bosnjak-London, Partner in the Corporate/M&A practice of Maric & Co in Sarajevo, reports that her team has been busy, noting that they were “lucky to land quite a few good deals.”

Specifically, Bosnjak-London points to the agreement signed in April by Aluminij Industries d.o.o., the Bosnian subsidiary of Israel's M.T. Abraham Group, to restart production. According to her, with over 1,000 employees, Aluminij Industrie used to among the most influential aluminum producers in the region, but production was shut down last year due to growing debt. The recent deal, Bosnjak-London reports, followed lengthy negotiations between M.T. Abraham and the government. “Things are now looking very good," she says. "Some of the employees have already been re-hired, and production is expected to start soon.”

The firm also recently advised Shandong International, and its Bosnian subsidiary SDHS-CSI BH Banja Luka, on the Banja Luka-Prijedor-Novi Grad highway construction project: the first concession for a highway construction project in the country.

Finally, Bosnjak-London says, the firm is providing ongoing advice to the Fortenova group, which was formed from Agrokor. “They have 11 subsidiaries here and we are advising them on all the settlement implementation issues that are coming up,” Bosnjak-London says, explaining that a settlement was achieved following the procedure of extraordinary administration imposed on Agrokor, which included the transferring of the company's business activities to the new group.

“There is not much to report in terms of trends since the market is pretty much dead,” Bosnjak-London says. “We benefited from a trend of Middle-Eastern investors looking at the country, but that was last year, and while losing that is slightly compensated by Chinese activity, with the pandemic we are not overly-optimistic about the general attractiveness for investors.” Her practice's pipeline keeps her busy. “M.T. Abraham should be a long term project and Fortenova will also likely continue to supply work for a few years." Beyond that, she says, the firm is “probably looking at quite a lot of restructuring and insolvency work in the near future – we are not really expecting too much in terms of FDI, irrespective of how much it is needed.”

Maric & Co at a Glance

Maric & Co Law Firm stands on the shoulders of more than 70 years of experience and practice in the legal market of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Having in mind that it is difficult to find a small country with such a complicated political and legal system, we are fully aware that quality advice requires deep understanding of different areas of law. In a country where legislation is created on state, entity and cantonal levels, without proper harmonization, and where the same regulation can be applied differently by two different courts, only domestic lawyers who are well-versed in local regulations and court practices, and who are highly specialized in their practice area, may actually help their client.

With this understanding, today, the firm Maric and Co is the largest law office in the country dealing exclusively with business law. This means that we provide wide expertise in resolving all issues that domestic and international investors encounter when setting up and operating businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The scope of the office allows each of our attorneys to highly specialize in their fields, whilst the size of our team ensures delivery of premium advice and seamless service. Our firm seeks long-term partnerships with clients with the aim of providing the best and most complete solution to the client's legal needs. We are proud to say that our clients do not leave us.

We apply the same principles to our international affairs, aware of the fact that no foreign lawyer can have the same understanding of legal regulations of a country as a domestic lawyer. Therefore, our philosophy is not to open branches in countries where our clients do business, but to closely connect with top tier lawyers in those countries. Our law firm is one of the founding members of SEE Legal – a group of ten leading national law firms from 12 South East European countries. This network enables us to provide the best advice and representation in these countries. Additionally, as a result of our strong relationship with the majority of global law firms, we are able to provide law services anywhere in the world.

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