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At the end of January, the Ministry of Finance invited representatives of business associations to submit their views regarding the possibility of a reform aiming to increase the progressivity of salary taxation. The Ministry emphasized that the framework for the change refers only to salary tax and not to contributions for mandatory social insurance, as well as that any proposals should produce effects that are de minimis budget neutral, both at the level of the entire economy and at the level of local governments.

The Parliament of Montenegro has adopted again the Law on Amendments to the Companies Act with 43 votes in favor, at the extraordinary session of the Parliament held on January 19, 2024, and the Amendments entered into force on January 23, 2024.

A huge new infrastructure project, a historical first USD-denominated bond issuance, and potentially transformative news on price controls and concessions make for interesting times in Montenegro, according to JPM & Partners Senior Partner Lana Vukmirovic Misic.

In The Corner Office, we ask Managing Partners at law firms across Central and Eastern Europe about their backgrounds, strategies, and responsibilities. As we bid farewell to 2023, this time around we turn our attention forward: What is your one main wish for 2024 and what do you see as the biggest potential risk?

The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (“Commission”) has recently determined that the companies KTG Solucije d.o.o. Subotica (“KTG”) and Eco sense doo Subotica (“Eco Sense”) entered into a restrictive agreement that significantly impacted competition in public procurement procedures related to hygiene maintenance materials and services.

On 14 February 2024 the Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Serbia no. IUz-60/2021 was published, which determines that the provision of Article 13, Paragraph 1 of the Law on Financial Support for Families with Children (“Off. Gazette of the RS”, no. 113/17, 50/18, 46/21 – Decision of the CC, 51/21 – Decision of the CC, 53/21 – Decision of the CC, 66/21, 130/21, 43/23 – Decision of the CC and 62/23), is not in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia in the part that reads:

For those familiar with the situation in the world of football in Europe, the end of 2023 was very interesting bearing in mind that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) made two important decisions concerning football organizations FIFA and UEFA.

On February 19, 2024, Tosic & Jevtic and JPM Partners jointly announced their new strategic partnership, with the Serbia-headquartered firm expanding its presence to North Macedonia and Tosic & Jevtic becoming part of JPM Partners.

Quite unexpectedly, 2023 has proven to be a pivotal year for our trilogy on commercial offenses, considering the anticipated surge in the number of commercial cases before the national Commercial Courts attributed to the announced expeditiousness of public prosecutors. In light of such circumstances, we once again urge our readers, if they have not already done so, to check out our Chapter 1 - "A Commercial Offense – A Brief Review of an Unjustifiably Neglected Step Between a Misdemeanor and a Criminal Offense."

Amendments to laws and other regulations must stipulate transitional and final provisions. They regulate, among other things, the date of entry into force of the act, which is, as a rule, eight days starting from the day of its publication in the "Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", while in certain cases later implementation of the act or its certain provisions is foreseen.

On 29 December 2023, the Government of the Republic of Serbia adopted the Regulation on financial support for dual education ("Official Gazette of the RS", No. 120/2023), which entered into force on 6 January 2024 (hereinafter: the Regulation).

Insufficiently precise provisions of the law, unharmonized court practice, as well as the average duration of the employment disputes, were affected creating the “fear of litigation” amongst many employers. Due to the stated reasons, instead of unilateral employment termination, even in cases when there is firm evidence confirming its lawfulness and validity, the employers tend to execute the mutual agreement on employment termination, as well as to pay certain one-time compensation on the said basis.

Arbitration clauses, in their nature, impose on the parties an obligation to refer their disputes to arbitration as set forth in the arbitration agreement. Such agreements are vastly symmetrical – they provide both parties with the equal right to invoke arbitration proceedings.

Last week, we discussed the topic of incentives for the improvement of energy efficiency and energy improvement/rehabilitation, and possibilities for individuals and housing communities in that regard. This time we would like to glance at incentives for energy improvement/rehabilitation for housing communities– residential and residential–commercial buildings connected to district heating systems, which may be obtained through the project called „Energy improvement/rehabilitation of residential, multi-family buildings connected to district heating system– Public ESCO Project“ which is initiated by the Ministry of Mining and Energy in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. 

In light of the latest amendments to the Law on Spatial Planning and Construction, which put the topic of energy efficiency and energy features of the building in the spotlight, it would be interesting to remind ourselves of the already existing legal in regard to energy efficiency improvement in Serbia, and above all, what laws and especially bylaws at the local level offer and provide to housing communities – buildings (in srb. – stambena zajednica) and individuals and in which manner they may obtain financial support in case that they intend to carry out certain measures/works that improve the energy efficiency of the building, i.e. apartment.

JPM Partners at a Glance

We are a full service commercial law firm in Serbia, with over 30 years of successful practice in SEE region and true and lasting partnerships with our clients.

Our diverse teams of lawyers are focused on practice in specific legal areas, handling some of the most high-profile multijurisdictional matters in energy, project development, mining, foreign investments, corporate and commercial. We are highly sought-after for legal advice in creative industries, environmental law and white-collar crime, as well as intellectual property, international arbitration, labor and data protection

As an exclusive member of Lex Mundi – the world’s premiere network of leading independent law firms, we interconnect and reach globally. Regionally, we advise clients in Montenegro directly, through well established partnership with ‘JPM Montenegro Partner Vukmirovic Misic law firm’ and close working relationships with selected first-rate firms in the region. Working together with our domestic and international clients on their most significant transactions and around entry to Serbian market, allows us to operate as the perfect hub for SEE and other cross-border transactions.

Our clients operate in increasingly competitive landscape and we are identifying new methods of using legal technology, to help them increase efficiency, save time and streamline work processes - document management, billing and accounting. By adopting LUMINANCE AI platform for legal professionals, we use machine-learning for contract analyses across our practice groups, as well as eDiscovery revolutionary software to simplify operations in all forms of litigation.

With exclusive access to EQUISPHERE – Lex Mundi Innovative service model, our clients can design their own legal team by choosing the best lawyers in the relevant jurisdictions, sharing documentation and communicating with all teams at any time, from a single point of contact.

Consistently recognized as a top-tier law firm, both by clients and leading independent legal directories Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and IFLR1000, we remain committed to delivering highest quality service to our clients and help them succeed in overcoming cross-border challenges. We remain committed to continuously share our knowledge by regularly publishing articles, giving lectures and organizing international conferences.

Firm's website: http://jpm.rs/