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Three Trends Building in Slovenia: A Buzz Interview with Aleksandra Jemc Merc of Jadek & Pensa

Three Trends Building in Slovenia: A Buzz Interview with Aleksandra Jemc Merc of Jadek & Pensa

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A surge in small and mid-sized M&A deals, the rising trend of collective legal actions, and some major infrastructure developments are at the top of lawyers' agendas in Slovenia, according to Jadek & Pensa Senior Partner Aleksandra Jemc Merc.

"Recently, there has been a noticeable uptick in small and medium-sized M&A deals in Slovenia," Jemc Merc begins. "It's interesting to observe this surge and, while pinpointing a single reason can be challenging, it appears we're witnessing a generational transition," she says. "Following Slovenia's independence in 1991, there was a shift from socialism to capitalism, leading to the emergence of many businesses. Now, 30 years later, the founders of these successful companies are looking to exit. Additionally, people who have accumulated significant wealth are now reinvesting in new emerging Slovenian investment funds and acquiring other companies," she explains.

Moving on, Jemc Merc reports another interesting wave – collective actions. "Over the past few years, we've seen several notable collective actions. One significant case involved Apple in 2021, filed by a certain association. The court of first instance ruled that this association didn't meet the threshold of representing consumers adequately and we are currently awaiting a decision from the high court, which could significantly impact future actions, particularly those against banks related to practices when interest rates were below zero (EURIBOR floor clauses)," she highlights. "Additionally, there has been a wave of collective actions against telecommunications operators; a consumer protection NGO has recently joined these efforts. These actions are just beginning, and we might expect more in the near future," she says.

Additionally, Jemc Merc reports that infrastructure development is a hot topic. "One of the most significant projects is the plan to build a second nuclear power plant," she shares. "The government has ramped up its activities around this project, and a referendum is expected to gauge public opinion. This project enjoys broad political support and various sectors, including law firms and advisors, are positioning themselves to contribute to the process," she explains. The new power plant is slated to begin operations around 2040, should everything unfold according to plan.

"Another key project," Jemc Merc continues, "is the so-called 'third development axis,' which involves constructing an expressway across Slovenia to connect and assist in further development of the northern and southern parts of the country." The project is at different stages, she points out, "with some parts already under construction, others awaiting permits, and some still in the planning phase. There's a lot of activity and also some litigation surrounding these developments, as permits are granted and construction begins," Jemc Merc concludes.

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