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The new Law on General Administrative Procedure ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 18/2016), enacted on February 29, 2016, entered into force on March 9, 2016 ("the Law"). The Law will be applied from July 1, 2017, except for certain provision that will start being applied 90 days after the Law enters into force, i.e. from June 7, 2016.

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.

On 29 December, 2015, the Serbian National Assembly enacted the Law on the Chamber of Commerce (Official Gazette of RS No. 112/2015). This Law will enter into force on the eighth day after publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, except for Articles 10 and 33 of this Law which will be applied as from 1 January, 2017.

The new Decree on the Content and Manner of Submission of Merger Notifications (“Decree”) which entered into force on 2 February 2016, has introduced the possibility of submitting a short-form merger notification, simplifying the procedure before the Commission for Protection of Competition, being the competent authority for protection of competition in the Republic of Serbia.

JPM has advised Delta Real Estate on the sale of its ownership quota in companies that own and operate the Delta City Shopping Malls in Belgrade and Podgorica — and has advised Hemslade Trading Limited on the sale of its ownership in the company that owns and operates the shopping mall in Podgorica as well — to Hyprop Investments Ltd (South Africa) and Homestead Group Holdings Ltd. Harrisons advised the buyers on the deals, which amounted to EUR 202.75 million.

In December 2015 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted amendments to the Law on Agricultural Land. These amendments are aimed at improving the investment climate for investors closely cooperating with the governing Serbian authorities.

One of the characteristics of the Serbian tax system is that it deals very little with the issue of tax treatment of payments resulting from family relationships. Except for the rule specifying that transfer of property directly related to divorce does not count as capital gain, and for tax exemption in the case of gifts between persons first in line to inherit, no other issues that could arise from family relationships are regulated at all.

Adoption of the Law on Enforcement and Security Proceeding in 2011 was of great significance for the Serbian legal system, partly due to introduced novelties in the course of enforcement proceedings, as an important stage in realization of creditors’ rights, and also for having introduced a new judicial profession hitherto unknown in Serbian law - enforcement officers (in practice referred to as private enforcement officers). After more than three years of application of this law it has been noticed that numerous deficiencies could not be remedied by partial changes, only by the adoption of new law as a whole.

Background

Serbia currently has around 250 exploitation fields where mining activities are undertaken, in addition to around 100 exploration fields where some of the world’s largest mining companies are present. Foreign mining companies invest between $10mil and $100mil on a yearly basis on geological explorations in Serbia.

Serbia’s new Energy Law was enacted in December 2014. The principle aim of the new legislation is harmonization with the aquis communautaire and liberalization of the market, ensuring the freedom to conduct business activities and free access to the system for all third parties. The law also imposes an unbundling obligation and prescribes deadlines for harmonization of the operations of the companies active in the energy sector with the new law.

Serbia Knowledge Partner

The oldest full service commercial law firm in Serbia, founded in 1991, JPM with three decades of experience in assisting local and international businesses presence and growth not only in Serbia but throughout the SEE region.

We have accumulated a wealth of knowledge in every industrial and corporate sector, from energy to banking, transport, manufacturing and telecommunications, while remaining true to a pioneering spirit that has always drawn us to follow the latest trends and developments in providing of our services to clients. Today we use the latest legal tech available in serving our clients and are expanding our services to clients from growing industries such as renewable energy, IT and life sciences, by offering innovative solutions and a pro-active approach to broaching new grounds.

Our expertise, experience, and commitment to professional excellence mean we are routinely involved in landmark cases and transactions, while our high standing among clients and peers sees us ranked among the leading law firms by independent guides such as Chambers & Partners, Legal 500, and IFLR1000.

We are known for working closely with clients and treating their problems as our own. Our lawyers pride themselves on being team players, fast and available, specialised in terms of practice area and industry, but versatile and creative in their thinking. We believe our advice should be tailor-made and that even the thorniest issue has a legal solution.

Our membership of Lex Mundi (the world’s premiere network of independent law firms) and the TLA (a regional alliance of leading firms from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) means we have close working relationships with first-rate firms throughout the region and around the world, enabling us to operate as the perfect hub for SEE and other multi-jurisdictional transactions.

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