In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners at law firms across the region important questions about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: What was your favorite course in law school, and why?
The European Commission has just published its comprehensive proposal for the so-called "New Deal for Consumers", which aims to strengthen EU consumer rights and enforcement. This includes the proposal for a new Directive enabling certain qualified entities to seek redress on behalf of consumers who have been harmed by an unlawful commercial practice.
The first recorded energy performance contracting project in Slovenia was carried out in 2002, and was soon followed by a number of other similar projects, notably in the public sector. Thus, energy performance contracts are not a new concept in the Slovenian business sphere, although it was not until 2014 that the country’s newly adopted Energy Act transposed Directive 2012/27/EC on energy efficiency and introduced a comprehensive definition of an energy performance contract.
For the past five years the financial market in Slovenia has been characterized by a process involving the selling of non-performing loan and leasing receivables (“Receivables”), mostly to foreign investors. According to information published by the Bank of Slovenia, Slovenian banks still have approximately EUR 1.5 billion of non-performing loans on their balance sheets, and we expect to see more of these loans being sold in the next two years.
“Like everywhere else, there is a lot of talk about the GDPR right now in the market, and about blockchain, because Slovenians are very blockchain-conscious people,” says Partner Gregor Famira from CMS Ljubljana, who adds that he believes the country has the most bitcoin owners among all European countries.
The EU has always acknowledged the positive effects of foreign investments into member states and thus has one of the most open regimes in this regard. But in light of recent security issues in Western countries, the EU’s view on foreign investments has slightly changed, and out of concerns for both security and public order direct foreign investments could soon become subject to a so-called “screening mechanism,” in which they would be reviewed by the member state where the investment is planned, by the European Commission, and by other member states.
On December 20th, 2016, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Slovenian metal-processing company UNIOR had completed a syndicated debt refinancing process with a group of six banks. We interviewed Darko Hrastnik, the Chairman of the Board and CEO at UNIOR, who was directly responsible for handling the transaction and managing the external counsel.
ODI has represented a consortium of NLB, Banka Koper (Intesa Sanpaolo Group), Sberbank, Abanka, NKBM and Gorenjska Banka on a EUR 113 million syndicated debt refinancing of UNIOR, an advanced international company in metal-processing filed and active in tourism. UNIOR was represented by Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesniki & Partners.
Rojs, Peljhan, Prelesnik & Partners (RPPP) has advised Enterprise Investors on the acquisition by the Polish Enterprise Fund VII, which it manages, of 100% of shares in sporting good retailer Intersport ISI in a carve-out transaction from Mercator Group. According to RPPP, "the value of the transaction is up to EUR 34.5 million and the transaction transaction is conditional upon obtaining customary regulatory approvals." RPPP — a member of the TLA alliance — reports that "all other TLA law firms from the region, including JPM Jankovic Popovic Mitic from Serbia, Tkalcic-Djulic, Prebanic, Rizvic and Jusufbasic-Goloman from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Debarliev, Dameski & Kelesoska from Macedonia" were involved as well. Slovenia’s Jadek & Pensa and Serbia’s Prica & Partners advised Mercator on the transaction.
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.