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According to Ibrahimovic & Co Managing Partner Adi Ibrahimovic, “the EU’s engagement with Bosnia and Herzegovina has gone through sporadic periods of intensifying cooperation and uncertain situations,” leading Dimitrijevic & Partners Partner Davorin Marinkovic to summarize the current status as: “frankly speaking, the public perception is that nobody actually knows.”

According to the applicable legislation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH), domains are not considered as intellectual property rights (IP). The owner of the national domain .ba is the state of BH and any legal or natural person is considered a user of the registered domains, for as long as the yearly maintenance fees are paid regularly.

Distribution agreements are a necessary legal basis for any distribution chain across industries, and are very important both for the cooperation of companies within individual countries, and for the cooperation of distribution chain companies coming from different countries. In an attempt to retain or conquer the market, certain companies (manufacturers or main distributors) may try to restrict local distributors or wholesalers to selling only their products or to selling at certain prices, by imposing specific distribution conditions on them in (exclusive) distribution agreements. Most of those companies are not aware that such imposed distribution conditions are prohibited by law and that very high penalties are prescribed for such actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Radovanovic Stojanovic & Partners and Cerha Hempel have advised AIK Banka, Gorenjska Banka, and Agri Europe Cyprus on their acquisition of Sberbank Europe’s shares in six CEE banks. Noerr advised the buyers on Hungarian law, while Maric & Co, Zuric and Partners, Tos & Partners, and Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners reportedly advised the buyers on Bosnian, Croatian, Slovenian, and Russian matters, respectively.

On June 23, 2021, the lower chamber of the Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, the House of Representatives, passed a decision instructing the Government to “analyze the existing legal framework in relation to the construction of small hydroelectric power plants and to initiate the parliamentary procedure of amending the existing laws in order to protect the rivers and the environment.” Such a broad and generic decision comes after months of campaigning by several NGOs, supported by local and Hollywood celebrities, aimed against the construction of SHPPs on Bosnian rivers, citing environmental concerns.

Up until the adoption of the Laws on Property Rights in Republika Srpska (in 2008) and in the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina (in 2013), the only legal basis to obtain a construction permit and erect a lawful building was to first acquire ownership over the land on which the building is to be constructed, usually through a purchase agreement, as, according to the provisions of the applicable Laws of Physical Planning, as well as the general legal framework of Bosnia and Herzegovina, an investor must obtain construction rights over real property to obtain a construction permit for that property.

Akin Gump, Bogdanovic, Dolicki & Partneri, Maric & Co, Isailovic & Partners, Harrisons, Zdolsek Attorneys at Law, Boga & Associates, Popovski & Partners, and Forgo Damjanovic & Partners have advised Croatian conglomerate Fortenova Grupa d.d., on the EUR 615 million sale of its frozen food business to Nomad Foods. Norton Rose Fulbright, Lakatos, Koves & Partners, and five firms from the SEE Legal alliance advised Nomad Foods on the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

On December 15, 2020 CEELM gathered legal experts from across the region for its annual Year-in-Review Round Table conversation. In a wide-ranging discussion, participants shared opinions and perspectives on their markets, on strong (and less-strong) practices across the region, and the effect of the COVID-19 crisis on both, as well as on how technology is changing the legal industry, and what the industry will look like in 2021.

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