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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.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across CEE about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: How do you do performance reviews, and how important are they to the planning and management of the firm?”

Dentons has advised Slovenian state-owned Slovenski Drzavni Holding d.d., on the sale, made through private placement to institutional investors via an accelerated bookbuild process, of an aggregate of shares and global depository receipts representing 1,999,999 shares in Nova Ljubljanska Banka d.d.  Ulcar & Partnerij advised the Republic of Slovenia on Slovenian law aspects and Shearman & Sterling reportedly advised the syndicate of banks, including Deutsche Bank as sole global coordinator and joint bookrunner with Citigroup. Wood & Company acted as Co-Lead Manager.

“It has been busy in the business arena,” says Marko Ketler, Senior Partner and Attorney at Law in cooperation with Karanovic & Partners, citing ongoing consolidation in banking sector with the potential sale of Abanka, the third largest bank in Slovenia, and recent major M&A transactions, including the sale of Intereuropa, the largest Slovenian logistics company, to Posta Slovenije. "We can expect a busy summer with several large M&A deals pending."

Resentment by domestic law firms in CEE markets against the international and regional firms that have moved in on their once exclusive domain is a common, though perhaps diminishing, refrain. How do domestic law firms in Slovenia feel about the foreign firms that have opened up shop next door?

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.

The new Trade Secrets Act will enter into force on 20 April, introducing further clarity to Slovenian legislation with a renewed definition of business secrets. The new Act comprehensively regulates business secrets, as it uniformly defines the concept of a business secret – which was, until now, regulated in several sector-specific acts. In the event of potential violations of business secrets, the Act also provides for different protective measures and judicial proceedings.

Needless to say, business in the European Union is going through some turbulent times. How this is affecting the CEE region and how business in the region will adapt to this never-ending uncertainty is the million-dollar question that everyone is asking at the beginning of 2019.