Category: Corporate / M&A

14 Jan 2022

Making the Most of FDIs in Serbia

For several years in a row, Serbia is ranked among the leading destinations for foreign investors.  According to the Greenfield FDI Performance Index, in 2019 Serbia was ranked first among 105 states observed by the index.  A similar status was maintained throughout the subsequent years as Serbia ranked fifth in 2020, and sixth in 2021.  According to the World Bank Doing Business rankings, Serbia is ranked among business-friendly jurisdictions, whose ease of doing business index grows regularly. The willingness to invest raises concerns regarding the legal and institutional framework of the host economy.  Bilateral investment treaties (“BIT”) have been presented […]

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21 Dec 2021

Miodrag Jevtić held online training session on cross-border insolvency

Senior Associate Miodrag Jevtić delivered a training session on cross-border insolvency on Monday, December 20. The event was organized by The Bankruptcy Supervision Agency of the Republic of Serbia, within a project supported by the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Serbia and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (“SECO“). Miodrag gave an overview of the legal framework for cross-border insolvency and the best practices in the field, analyzing the UNITRAL Model Law of Cross-Border Insolvency. Dr Marko Radović, a judge of the Commercial Court of Belgrade also spoke at the webinar. The event was held as part […]

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07 Dec 2021

E-fiscalization: Changes to be expected

This year brought numerous changes to businesses in Serbia, and digitalization was particularly in focus. Instead of the Fiscal Cash Registers Act, Serbia now has the Fiscalization Act, which will start to apply on January 1, 2022 (the “Act“).  Entities who have the obligation to record the turnover of goods and services in retail through the fiscal cash register are obliged to harmonize their business with the provisions of the Act by April 30, 2022. The transition period began on November 1, so that taxpayers can now gradually adjust their businesses to the new fiscalization model. So, what does the […]

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30 Nov 2021

What does the E in ESG stand for?

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” —Wendell Berry   Environmental Social and Governance (“ESG”) are the three main elements that companies increasingly consider when deciding whether to cooperate with or invest in a company.  It is also a term used in capital markets when assessing corporate behavior and a method of linking the performance in these three areas with the – future financial performance of corporations.  The term is sometimes referred to as sustainable investing, responsible investing, impact investing, or socially responsible investing. Nevertheless, once enough data has been obtained, they are integrated into the investment process […]

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22 Nov 2021

Gecić Law experts discuss sustainability at CSR Forum 2021

Gecić Law’s sustainability experts took part in two sessions at this fall’s CSR Forum organized by the Responsible Business Forum and Smart Kolektiv. Gecić Law and the Responsible Business Forum hosted a panel on responsible business practices on November 22.  The event was held as part of the CSR Forum and was titled “Strategies for Sustainability – from CSR to ESG policies.” Our Partner and Head of Corporate / M&A Ognjen Colić moderated the panel. Meanwhile, speakers at the event were Erste Bank Senior Expert for Corporate Social Responsibility Sonja Konakov Sirčev, Nelt Operations Manager Milenko Ribić, Lidl Serbia CSR […]

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22 Oct 2021

Does the New Act Provide Greater Consumer Protection Opportunities?

On September 9, 2021, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia adopted a new Consumer Protection Act (“Act”), which entered into force on September 19, 2021.  The Act shall become applicable three months following its entry into force i.e. on December 20, 2021 (save for the articles regulating out-of-court settlements of consumer disputes, which shall become applicable six months following the entry into force i.e. on March 20, 2022). The Act’s main objectives are the improvement of consumer protection, more efficient implementation of statutory solutions and the comprehensive harmonization of consumer rights in Serbia with EU consumer protection law, […]

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13 Oct 2021

What is ESG and why is it important?

Multinational entities and governments are pushing for more action regarding Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. As a result, enterprises increasingly integrate the ever-changing social and environmental factors into their business strategies. The concept of business success has changed and so must the actions they take. But what exactly is ESG? ESG is a set of standards to guide corporate policies to ensure sustainable development in the fields of environment, social and corporate governance. How Did We Get to ESG? Only twenty years ago, if one would ask a group of individuals with a business background about the main objective […]

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07 Oct 2021

Gecić Law Expands with ESG Practice Launch

Gecić Law is pleased to announce that we have become the first independent law firm in the region to expand into the sphere of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) by launching a new practice that will focus on the needs of businesses in this increasingly prominent area.   The practice will be co-headed by Partner | Head of Corporate/M&A Ognjen Colić and Head of Operations Hristina Kosec. The formal development of the ESG practice is a natural expansion of our corporate law activities and complements existing practices at Gecić Law.  Our firm’s multijurisdictional, holistic, and cross-disciplinary approach will be coupled with […]

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04 Oct 2021

EU Proposes the Prolongation of the State Aid Temporary Framework

The European Commission has proposed the prolongation of the State aid Temporary Framework until 30 June 2022, in order to expedite the ongoing Covid-19 economic recovery in Europe. The Temporary Framework was initially adopted on 19 March 2020 and to this date, it was amended and prolonged five times (more information available here and here). Margaret Vestager, the Executive Vice-President, who is in charge of the competition policy said that we are finally seeing improvements in the EU economy after the big crisis that hit the EU due to Covid-19.  She also added: ’’[W]e need to be aware of disparities […]

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27 Sep 2021

China sends shockwaves across global markets

China again demonstrated the potential of its impact on the global economy as its actions and signals sent ripples through world markets last week. China’s central bank reiterated last Friday that all cryptocurrency-related transactions are illegal and will be outlawed, delivering the clearest signal yet of the country’s determination to crack down on the industry to “preserve economic, financial and social order”. The move comes after Chinese authorities banned cryptocurrency mining earlier this year. Chinese authorities have said they will coordinate their efforts to ensure the end of cryptocurrency trading.  The People’s Bank of China stated that cryptocurrencies may not […]

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23 Sep 2021

Ognjen Colić Elected Partner at Gecić Law

We are immensely pleased to announce that our own Ognjen Colić was elected partner at Gecić Law. This is a greatly important milestone marking five years of continued successes.  Ognjen’s independent practice joined Gecić Law in 2016, complementing its corporate arm and contributing to the strengthening of common values. Ognjen has since headed our Corporate/M&A, Labor and Energy, Infrastructure & PPP practices, taken them from strength to strength and will continue driving their growth as a partner.  Ognjen’s career path has been remarkable, with more than fifteen years of professional experience across the Western Balkans (Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, North […]

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30 Aug 2021

Instagram Reels vs TikTok – an IP perspective

The struggle for existing and new users between companies that develop applications is relentless as our lives have been practically moved to the Internet over the years.  It seems that the opposing sides do not choose the means anymore, so this is an IP perspective on Instagram Reels vs TikTok. Back in 2010, when Instagram was launched, social media (“SM”) networks were used to post personal content and maintain contacts, and Instagram focused on creating a photo-sharing platform.  As the popularity of SM networks increased, sales came into focus and advertising content became a widespread feature.  An SM network collects […]

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23 Aug 2021

Schrems, Facebook and Data Privacy

Why Schrems?  The EU’s trust in the processing of personal data seems to be shaken. With the famous case Maximillian Schrems v Facebook Ireland Limited pending before the Austrian Supreme Court (“Court“) for a while now, Maximillian Schrems requested the Court to refer four questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU“) concerning the lawful use of personal data of all Facebook users from the EU.   So, who is Maximilian Schrems? Maximillian Schrems is a law student from Austria and a personal data protection activist who has been extremely vocal about data protection before EU authorities. […]

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20 Aug 2021

(Un)limited possibilities for digital assets placement

We live in the era of digitalization.  Changes in technology inevitably affect our lives.  One such innovation in Serbia are digital assets, which can be virtual / cryptocurrencies or digital tokens.  Although the local legislation has only recently recognized this institute, an increasing number of companies that operate in Serbia now work in the sphere of cryptocurrencies.  The Digital Assets Act (the “Act”) provides options and opens many doors for the use of digital assets, primarily cryptocurrencies. Therefore, the question whether cryptocurrencies are our future or our present arises.  Opportunities for the use of cryptocurrencies are yet to be fully […]

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16 Aug 2021

No imposition of vaccination, raise the awareness of your employees, Ministry says

During the COVID-19 pandemic, our usual work habits changed completely.  From the well-established mechanism of going to the office, we moved to an armchair in our living room.  Are we now returning to work from business premises?  What are the conditions for us to return to the office?  What are employers allowed to do to implement occupational health protection measures and what are they not allowed to do?  All these issues have not yet been fully resolved, although it is evident that their resolution is becoming increasingly important day by day. For this reason, the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans’ […]

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22 Jul 2021

Internet of Things: A New Brainiac in the Hood

A phenomenon known as the Internet of Things (“IoT”), which has been at the forefront of the global tech changes, recently caught the European Commission’s (“Commission”) attention.  The Commission’s Preliminary Report and Q&A on this tech & business sector is a big step towards acknowledging IoT as a market of the future, while simultaneously pointing out some potential dangers of this groundbreaking technology. Internet of Things – a Brief Explanation Let’s imagine this situation: you are not only an ardent coffee drinker but also a sleepyhead.  Your alarm wakes you up at 7.00 am.  You have little precious time to […]

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19 Jul 2021

Digital Property and Tax: Tomorrow is Now?

In the past few years, virtual currencies have become very attractive to investors across the globe.  Their importance for world capital and money flows is constantly growing, which resulted in the need for them to be regulated.  That was the precise reason for the Republic of Serbia to adopt the Digital Property Act at the end of last year.  Its significance is recognized in defining digital assets for the very first time, thus introducing them into regulated economic flows. However, this Act alone could not resolve all issues and questions related to digital property.  For example, the Digital Property Act […]

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13 Jul 2021

Serbia Passes New Protection of Business Secrets Act

The last decade has completely changed the way we do business.  Developments in technology have led to tremendous progress in nearly all sectors, leading to previously unknown issues in the process. One of the questions raised is how to protect business secrets in the knowledge economy. Recognizing the problem, the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, after nearly a decade, passed a new Protection of Business Secrets Act (“the Act“).  The Act was passed on May 27, 2021 and entered into force on June 5th this year.  The Act harmonizes Serbian regulations with the regulations of the European Union. […]

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21 Jun 2021

Serbia: One small step for a legislator means one big step for the EU acquis alignment

In the process of gradually aligning its legislation with the EU acquis the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted two bylaws on 11 March 2021 in the field of state aid, complementary to the recently adopted new State Aid Control Act. All this adds value to the start of talks on the Chapter 8 – Competition Policy of Serbia’s negotiation process and may speed up Serbia’s EU accession. Regional Aid Regulation This regulation is designed to promote economic development of the least developed regions or the development of regions with a high level of unemployment. It also allows state […]

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14 Jun 2021

Gatekeepers and Digital Markets – EU Digital Saga continues

Some reports say that it would be impossible to live in the digital world outside of the ecosystem created by Big Tech giants.  The concentration of power in a small number of platforms has allowed some tech companies, popularly known as the Four Horsemen” to exercise unparalleled economic power and social impact almost without any oversight by regulators.  These companies have complete market dominance, each in their respective field of expertise: Apple in consumer electronics and mobile operating systems;  Facebook in the social media, Google in online searches, video-sharing and mapping-based navigation; and, finally, Amazon in the e-commerce market.  Hence, […]

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10 Jun 2021

The Status of Influencers in North Macedonia

The imaginary familiarity with a famous person through platforms such as Instagram is more common when the other party is a so-called influencer – a person that enjoys appreciation of a large number of users due to their reputation.  The imaginary closeness is, on the other hand, a very powerful tool in hands of influencers as users often aspire to emulate their lifestyle.  However, the lifestyle the influencer presents is not always genuine as the content presented often includes (some form of) promotion.  When an influencer shows on their profile that they use a certain product, there is a great […]

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08 Jun 2021

Ognjen Colić Discusses Local Projects at 4th Serbian PPP Conference

Ognjen Colić, head of Gecić Law’s corporate practice, spoke at the 4th Serbian Public Private Partnership Conference, a hybrid event held today, organized under the auspices of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, the British Embassy in Belgrade, the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure of the Republic of Serbia. Opening remarks were delivered by several high government officials and experts, including Tomislav Momirovic, Minister of Construction, Transportation and Infrastructure and Andjelka Atanackovic, Minister of Economy of the Republic of Serbia.  Besides high government officials, developers, contractors and service providers engaged in public-private partnerships also attended […]

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07 Jun 2021

Amazon Wins Major Tax Battle Against EU

The EU’s second-highest court sided with Amazon.com (“Amazon”) recently, saying it did not owe millions to Luxembourg in unpaid taxes.  On May 12, 2021, the General Court (“Court”) overturned the European Commission’s (“Commission”) order to Amazon to pay EUR 250 million to Luxembourg, as reimbursement of illegal State aid. The Court held that the European Commission’s primary finding of an alleged advantage was based on an incorrect analysis.  Precisely, the Court argued that none of the findings set out by the Commission in the contested decision were sufficient to demonstrate the existence of an advantage for the purposes of Article […]

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31 May 2021

The status of influencers in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Legal Framework for the so-called influencing  To say that there is no special advertising act in Bosnia and Herzegovina (“BiH”) is not completely true.  Namely, certain forms of (illegal) advertising are regulated by the Prohibited Advertising Act.  This Act regulates the protection of merchants from illicit advertising, the protection of procedures and determines forms of illicit advertising.  On the other hand, advertising as such is regulated indirectly at the level of the Federation. In this regard, the Consumer Protection Act is applicable, considering that BiH is one of few European countries that has neither a media act nor an electronic […]

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27 May 2021

Global Corporate Tax (R)evolution

Joe Biden’s first big clash with the largest businesses in the US came as a result of his proposal to increase corporate tax and raised quite a few eyebrows.  Although Corporate America initially welcomed the massive government spending plan, it later expressed genuine concerns on the topic.  International corporate taxation has long presented a challenge for tax authorities worldwide, causing them losses in billions of tax dollars.  The US has been one of the largest backers of negotiations on a large-scale reform of international corporate taxation that have been going on for quite some time. However, an agreement is yet […]

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24 May 2021

Influencers in the Western Balkans – Croatia

Influencer marketing is a fast-growing discipline, and the number of influencers is growing every day in our region.  Like Serbia, Croatia is also “fertile ground” for influencer marketing and numerous extremely “influential influencers”.  Testimonies of many, both “micro” and “macro” influencers from Croatia, demonstrate that this indeed amounts to a full-time job. So, how does one hire an influencer?  In a nutshell, after “becoming famous”, influencers receive offers to promote various products and services on a daily basis, but how is this activity legally regulated in Croatia? Stay tuned, as we discuss below in greater detail the legal position of […]

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13 May 2021

TikTok May Have Gone Too Far in Child Data Collection

What do Facebook, WhatsApp and TikTok have in common?  Well, they are social media giants, with billions of users all around the world.  But there is something else that these platforms have in common that is worthy of attention.  Lately, they have all been “hunted down” by regulators over their data policies.  So, we wanted to take the time to say a few words on the TikTok case. What makes the TikTok case special?  As most of you already know, TikTok is a social media platform used to make short-form videos that last between 15 and 60 seconds.  The videos […]

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10 May 2021

Gecić Law’s Head of Corporate/M&A Ognjen Colić quoted in FAZ

Gecić Law’s expertise was yet again called upon by international media last Friday, as Head of Corporate/M&A Ognjen Colić was quoted in the leading German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (“FAZ”) where he commented on Serbia’s latest Decree on Incentive Measures for Immunisation and Prevention and Suppression of the Infectious Disease COVID-19.  In the article, Mr. Colić noted that the Official Gazette is yet to publish the latest decree on the new COVID-19 sick leave payment rules after the Serbian Government announced that only those vaccinated would be eligible for an incentive to on top of regular salary reimbursements.  Those infected […]

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10 May 2021

Many have asked us … what is the status of influencers in the Western Balkans?

Who are “influencers”? Developments in technology and the significant influence of social networks on modern life, have resulted in the development of a completely new breed of digital marketers – influencers[1].  Increasingly, successful brands now recognize influencer marketing as an extremely effective way to advertise their business which in turn expands their reach and increasing the sales of products and services. The term influencers originated in the English language, and many other languages, including Serbian, use anglicisms to refer to influencers to denote influential people within a certain group of people.  We are familiar with their work today on various […]

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06 May 2021

Uber drivers are now workers in the UK – What else is coming down the road?

The UK Supreme Court ruled on February 19, 2021 that Uber drivers must be treated legally as workers.  After a five year long legal battle, Mr. James Farrar and Mr. Yaseen Aslam (who jointly initiated the legal process), as well as all their fellow Uber drivers, celebrated the fact that they are finally recognized as workers of Uber, with all privileges and rights (e.g. minimum wage, right to paid holidays, right to unionize) that come with the status. However, in late March Uber stressed that the Supreme Court’s decision meant its drivers were “workers” but not “employees.” Nevertheless, the distinction […]

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28 Apr 2021

What does the New Act on Archival Material and Archival Activity bring?

In addition to numerous novelties and changes in Serbian legislation, the beginning of this year was also marked by the legal regulation of archiving materials and similar documentation, which attracted significant attention.  The new Archival Material and Archival Activity Act (the “Act“) is not only an important step towards improving the protection of archival material and regulating archival activity but also towards developing awareness of the importance of preservation of archival material, since that helps “protect” the history of our country. Until recently Serbia did not have a specific act that would comprehensively regulate the issue of archival material and […]

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26 Apr 2021

Cartel Ties Prompting Disqualification

“Three Strikes, You’re Out!”, or, as in the practice of the UK’s watchdog, “third time is a charm”, but the fourth is not.  Let us check out the rules of fair play when it comes to protecting competition in the UK market. In the early 2020 Associated Lead Mills Ltd (ALM) and H.J. Enthoven Ltd (trading as BLM British Lead), two of the UK’s largest suppliers of rolled lead,  admitted to forming a cartel and thus breaking the law four times by colluding on prices, sharing the rolled lead market by arranging not to target certain customers, and purposely not […]

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02 Apr 2021

EU Digital Saga Continues – Digital Services Act: A Service to Consumers, but a Disservice to Businesses?

After a short break from our previous reflections on the EU’s new set of regulations concerning digital markets (more details available here), we are back with an even more vivid and thorough breakdown of the proposed regulation. To pick up where we left off, we will be taking a closer look at the Digital Services Act (“DSA“ or „Act“). As we have already familiarized ourselves with the EU’s goals and ambitions regarding new digital market regulation, we can now fully indulge ourselves by taking a closer look at the Act.  We hope that you managed to catch your breath because […]

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05 Mar 2021

Our Energy practice is growing every day

Our Energy practice team has repeatedly demonstrated its credibility by devising unique opportunities for greenfield and brownfield investments for our clients. We provide comprehensive solutions related to privatization, regulatory compliance and due diligence in cooperation with eminent regulatory, corporate and financial experts. Counsel to Norwegian NBT AS on Wind Farms Project in Serbia Our latest accomplishment in the energy sector is providing counsel to NBT AS, Norway, a utility-scale wind power developer (exceeding 100 KW of power), in partnering with WV International (formerly Windvision).  WV International has been developing wind farm projects in Serbia since 2010 and has been active […]

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24 Feb 2021

Information Society Service through the Eyes of the CJEU

On December 3, 2020, the Fourth Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered a judgement in the case Star Taxi App SRL v Unitatea Administrativ Teritorială Municipiul Bucureşti prin Primar General and Consiliul General al Municipiului Bucureşti providing some extremely interesting conclusions, to say the least.  But let us leave the conclusions for later, and first touch upon the factual bits and pieces of the case. The Romanian company SC Star Taxi App SRL is a manager of an application which places users of taxi services directly in touch with taxi drivers all over Romania.  […]

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12 Feb 2021

EU Digital Saga – the Beginning of the End for Big Tech Supremacy?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the Internet has been a key factor in driving globalization and economic growth in recent years.  Along the same lines, leading internet intermediaries have played an essential role in expediting this growth and providing companies of all sizes with the means to capitalize on all the benefits the digital era has to offer.  Thus, it is hardly surprising that many Internet intermediaries, such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google, are among the world’s most successful companies.  However, there are genuine concerns that their economic prosperity and progress are indirectly being encouraged by legislation that shields […]

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09 Feb 2021

“Roam Like at Home” in the Western Balkans as of July 1, 2021

The Necessity of the Digital Single Market… Not only is the global economy flourishing, it is going digital also. Information and communications technology is no longer a specific business sector but the foundation of all modern innovative economic systems. The Internet and digital technologies are transforming the lives we live, the way we work –personally, in business, and in our societies as they increasingly weave their way into all sectors of our economy and community. Consequently, our lives and, especially, our businesses need to follow global trends such as competitive strategies, marketing techniques, and business models, and that would not […]

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05 Feb 2021

Serbia set to allow entrepreneurs to declare bankruptcy: what are the potential solutions and does it set the stage for personal bankruptcy?

The Serbian Ministry of Economy formed a working group to draft an act that will regulate the bankruptcy of entrepreneurs (the “Draft“) following the Program for resolving problem loans for 2018-2020 of the Government of Serbia (the „Program“). Serbian bankruptcy legislation should now be complete since the Bankruptcy Act does not provide for a procedure in which creditors of an entrepreneur could collectively settle their claims. The view of the Government of Serbia stated in the Program, is that bankruptcy in the case of entrepreneurs should be regulated in a way that it could be carried out quickly and efficiently […]

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02 Feb 2021

Removing Competition and/or train tracks?

As you already know, we make it our business to bring you news of cases that are out of the ordinary and interesting in so many ways.  But this one is a first.  It is not new as in recent, because it all began 10 years ago, but new in the context of originality.  What you are about to read is the story of probably the most flagrant “abuse of dominant position” ever. Factual originality Providing the backdrop to this story is a business relationship in the Baltics between Lithuanian Railways (“LR”), the state-owned rail company in Lithuania, with responsibility […]

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29 Jan 2021

Tax Regime Changes on the Horizon & the Tax Administration Crusade Against the Gig Economy (Fact or Fiction)?

    The subject of adequate and/or fair tax regulation is always a hot topic.  Not only because it affects a country’s economy, but also people`s everyday lives.  Updates to tax regulations are almost always controversial.  This article gives an overview of amendments to Serbia’s Value Added Tax (“VAT”), and the wrangling between members of the gig economy and the Tax Administration.  The Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Serbia published the Value Added Tax Amendment Bill (“Bill”). The main changes are as follows: Open-end investment funds and alternative investment funds will be liable to VAT; VAT on speculative […]

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22 Jan 2021

The WhatsApp Case: The Love & Hate Relationship between Big Tech and Data Protection

Is there another earthshattering change in the tech sector that will be making headlines for the next few weeks?  Tech behemoths have certainly kept journalists and bloggers on their toes lately due to many recent dramatic changes and major decisions. WhatsApp, a company owned by Facebook, wanted to go the whole nine yards to become the most successful messaging and calls application, so its executives have quite recently reached a decision to update its privacy policy.  As it rolled out the latest updates for Android and iOS, the internet exploded with claims that this encrypted messaging app, whose major selling point […]

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19 Jan 2021

Act on Digital Assets – creating a new market

Digital assets. A somewhat contradictory notion, but for a short period of time, the digital assets managed to put to question the millennial legal perception of assets as something purely material. And that would not be so interesting if it were not for the digital assets’ ability to financially transform into money. Mining and cryptocurrencies have been filling newspaper columns for years now and the first thing that catches the eye is their monetary value. Behind these terms is a legally unregulated business creating a significant fortune for individuals who, as simple as it gets, just sit in front of […]

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04 Jan 2021

Amazon – One of “The Biggest Deals” for EU’s Antitrust Practice

Unbelievable numbers: 840,000 employees, USD 280 billion in revenue for 2019, USD 11.5 billion profit (for the same year) and first centi-billionaire owner ever.  Today, one of the biggest undertakings in global trade.  But, on the other side, one of “The Biggest Deals” for the EU, ever.  We bring you a story of to-ings and fro-ings between Amazon and the EU Commission. Short Recap Rewind to July 17, 2019.  On that day, the Commission opened an investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct by Amazon.  More precisely, an investigation was opened to assess whether Amazon’s use of sensitive data from independent retailers […]

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16 Dec 2020

PayPal expands its services to cryptocurrencies

After many years of speculations on its interest in cryptocurrencies, this year PayPal finally announced that it will enable its users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as well as to safe keep them in crypto wallets on their accounts.  With the money from the sale of cryptocurrencies, users may freely buy goods and services. PayPal, the American company whose main business activity is the provision of payment services related to electronic money, has been long present in the payment services market.  PayPal is not a bank, because it does not use the funds of the users for its own needs, […]

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23 Nov 2020

Are Major High-Tech Companies “Skirting the Law” in Serbia Regarding Personal Data Protection?

Although it has been more than a year since the new Personal Data Protection Act (“Act”) entered into force in Serbia, some of its provisions are not yet fully applicable.  One clear-cut example is Article 44 of the Act, which requires foreign companies (therefore those who does not have a registered business seat in Serbia) to appoint a Personal Data Protection Representative for Serbia (“Representative”). Who is the Representative? This provision, (as well as the majority of the Act’s provisions), was adopted from Article 27 of the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) and refers to any personal data controller and […]

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04 Nov 2020

Montenegro Airlines: The Next Accession ‘Shipyards’ Case?

Here we bring you a more detailed overview of the State aid package granted to Montenegro Airlines A.D. Podgorica, Montenegro’s national airline. We touched on the topic a few weeks ago. Introduction To recap, just days after announcing a EUR 133 million aid package for Montenegro Airlines the country’s national competition and state aid authority, the Protection of Competition Agency (“Agency“), launched an investigation into the State aid package. The Agency’s investigation found that the MEO test conditions had not been fulfilled, therefore qualifying this boost to Montenegro Airlines as State aid. On foot of that finding the Agency ordered […]

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12 Oct 2020

The New Public Procurement Act: How Does it Help in the Fight Against Bid-rigging

The New Public Procurement Act (“new Act”) was adopted in December 2019 and came into force on January 1, 2020.  The key objectives of the new act are increased transparency within the public procurement procedure, elimination of the administrative burden and increased competition between the participants in the procedure. If conducted legally, the public procurement process should result in the acquisition of the highest possible quality of goods or services for the lowest possible price.  However, collusion between bidders, i.e. “bid-rigging”, eliminates genuine competition and hinders the interests of both purchasers and taxpayers. Bids can be rigged through secret coordination […]

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31 Jul 2020

It’s the Final Countdown in Slovenia – Agrokor and AVK

On July 29, 2020, the Slovenian Supreme Court (“Court“) reached a decision by which it ordered that the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (“AVK“) shall restore the Croatian Agrokor d.d.’s shares in the Slovenian retailer Mercator.  In its press release, the AVK stated that the decision by which it ordered the withdrawal of shares held by Agrokor was rendered in accordance with Article 201 of the Slovenian Misdemeanor Act (Zakon o prekrških) in 2019.  Article 201 enshrines that anyone’s property may be confiscated in cases there is likelihood of the perpetrator hiding or fleeing the country during the procedure before the […]

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10 Jun 2020

Serbia signs and ratifies the so-called Convention 108+

Whenever you leave your home, buy something, apply for a job or pay bills these days – pretty much almost whatever you do –  your personal information is used, collected or processed.  In order to protect your right to private life regarding the automatic processing of your personal data, the Council of Europe adopted the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data – ETS No. 108 (“Convention 108”). (No) Need to Modernize the Convention Convention 108 is the first binding international instrument protecting individuals against abuses that may accompany the collection and processing […]

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24 Apr 2020

Taxation: revised EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (“the Council”) on 18 February 2020 adopted revised conclusions on the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes (“the EU list”).  The EU list (Annex I) includes non-EU countries or territories which had not made sufficient commitments in response to the EU‘s concerns about taxation arrangements.  The State of play section (Annex II) lists the jurisdictions which had responded with sufficient commitments.  Therefore, the jurisdictions that do not yet comply with all international tax standards but have committed to reforms are included in Annex II.  These countries need to take effective actions to […]

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27 Jan 2020

The UK’s CMA: Facebook and eBay to Tackle Fake Reviews

We don our Facebook spyglass once again.  However, unlike the last time it was on our radar, Facebook is now a model co-operator. With the goal of putting their products and services on the map, and bringing home the bacon, many users on social media and other online platforms have been involved in trading fake and misleading reviews as a way of reaching their selling point.  The thing is, Facebook and eBay users have been using word-of-mouth marketing to go viral.  Creating a buzz around your product/service is certainly what sells in this digital age. Good for them!  What is […]

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22 Jan 2020

Ognjen Colić enlisted by World Bank as a Local Expert in Agriculture Law

It is our great pleasure to announce that our Senior Counsel Ognjen Colić participated in the World Bank’s “Enabling the Business of Agriculture in Serbia 2019” by providing the World Bank’s Agriculture team with responses to an exhaustive legal questionnaire addressing key legal matters for businesses and individuals intending to invest in or expand their investments in agriculture in Serbia. As a token of appreciation of Ognjen’s contribution to the project and the Serbian agriculture law expertise he and his team provided, he has been enlisted by the World Bank as one of a select few local agricultural law experts. […]

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22 Nov 2019

Gecić Law and Zdolšek Attorneys advise Gorenje Slovenia on the sale of Gorenje TIKI Serbia

Gecić Law assisted GORENJE doo gospodinjski aparati, Slovenia, as local legal counsel, in the acquisition of GORENJE TIKI doo Stara Pazova, Serbia by Swedish NIBE Industrier AB. Katja Zdolšek of Zdolšek Attorneys, Slovenia, led the advice. Gorenje Tiki is Gorenje’s Serbian affiliate and is proud to be one of Europe’s main water heater producers. Author: Ognjen Colić

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25 Oct 2019

Ognjen Colić in panel discussion at Winter Vivaldi CFO Forum 2019

It is our great pleasure to announce that our Senior Counsel Ognjen Colić will be a panelist at the Winter Vivaldi CFO & LEGAL Forum, which will take place from 27th to 29th November 2019 in Mokra Gora. This year’s Forum will focus on Financial and Legal Security topics. Speakers and panelists of various profiles and industry sectors will present some of the major challenges and risks faced by companies. Ognjen Colić will participate in the closing panel discussion named “How to Avoid the Balkan Spy Scenario”*, where alongside other colleagues from the legal sector he will take an in-depth […]

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09 Oct 2019

Social Media Giant Faces Scrutiny: Facebook Challenged

Is bad stronger than good? It is a fact that people are far more inclined to remember negative criticism or comments, than praise.  It takes so many positive events to make amends for just one negative event. The Court of Justice of the European Union issued a Press release on October 3, concerning judgement in the case in which Mme Eva Glawischnig-Piesczek sued Facebook Ireland before the Austrian courts.  She requested the removal of the notably harmful comment by a Facebook user which Austrian courts found insulting and defaming.   The news immediately hit the headlines! The plain and simple truth […]

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19 Jun 2019

Flying on the edge

“I want to get away, I want to fly away”, Lenny Kravitz sang. Ok Lenny, but which airline will you choose? The cheapest one? Way to go! But let’s check something first. Have you noticed the disparity in ticket prices between EU and non-EU airlines, which in turn has a knock-on effect on who you chose to fly with, Lenny? Oh, so, you haven’t noticed? Who cares, right? You usually take to the skies in your private jet so matters as trivial as these don’t concern you. Well, guess what Lenny – THE EU CARES! Aviation is widely regulated throughout […]

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19 Apr 2019

Gecić Law Continues Its Bullish Run in the Legal 500 Rankings

Gecić Law is delighted to announce yet another commendation by The Legal 500 EMEA, one of the most eminent and prestigious directories of the legal world.     Our Banking & Finance practice continues its bullish run to the national top.   Its head Nikola Aksić was named to the guide’s  “Leading Individuals” elite list of outstanding lawyers in the country, only one year after being recommended by the guide.   The practice also went up in the overall rankings, securing a Tier 2 recognition. And we haven’t stopped there.  Our Corporate/M&A practice is not lagging behind.  The practice head Ognjen Colić […]

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11 May 2016

Gecić | Law Advises on €46 million Asset Sale of Železara Smederevo

Gecić | Law advised Železara Smederevo and the Government of Serbia on EU, regulatory and corporate matters in connection with the €46 million ($52 million) sale of assets of Železara Smederevo’s through a public tender procedure to the Chinese company Hebei Iron and Steel Company Limited (HBIS).  Under the transaction, HBIS pledged to invest at least $300 million in a new company and to utilize the acquired assets to develop its global layout and to provide better service for its customers in Europe. Leading Serbian Steel Manufacturer Železara Smederevo is Serbia’s leading producer of steel and is the second-largest Serbian […]

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