You have a lot of experience working with companies of the Nordic countries. How do these companies manage the legal system of Serbia?
– We have been working with Nordic companies in Serbia and Montenegro since 1999. Nordic companies fit well in the business environment in this region. They have a highly developed business culture in the sense that they respect the laws and customs of the host country, which is why they are welcome foreign investors in the region. The fact that the Nordic countries and Serbia have never been in political or any other conflict throughout history has, in our opinion, contributed to Nordic investors being accepted in the best possible way by both the authorities and the citizens of Serbia. Nordic companies understand Serbian laws well. In contract law the Anglo-Saxon practice has prevailed in recent decades, so that contracts are almost the same regardless of whether they are made in Belgrade, Oslo or Stockholm.
Companies that come from the Nordic countries are known for their high standards of management and operations. To what extent are these standards harmonised with standards in Serbia?
– It is known that Nordic countries are leaders in business ethics, the organisation of management and standards of labour rights. However, the Nordics are also “living people” and, just like in our country, those standards have advanced in the last twenty years. What has been emphasised in recent years is zero tolerance for corruption, continuous efforts to reduce operating costs and increase the social responsibility of companies, and therefore the arrival of Nordic investors in a country contributes to the overall economic environment.
What has been emphasised in recent years is zero tolerance for corruption, continuous efforts to reduce operating costs and increase the social responsibility of companies, and therefore the arrival of Nordic investors in a country contributes to the overall economic environment
What are the most common legal disputes that companies from northern Europe have in Serbia and the region?
– Companies from northern Europe, in our opinion, have less legal problems in Serbia and in the region than other foreign investors. This does not mean that there is less work for lawyers, because they have learned to use legal services to ensure that problems do not occur. For every business move they first carefully study the legal side, which most commonly eliminates the possibility of problems. It should be noted that Nordic companies have high expectations in relation to the legal system when it comes to respect for the acquired rights, which has sometimes been known to be a problem in this region. As they respect their obligations that arise from the law, they want to freely use all the rights that they are guaranteed by these same laws. I think that all governments in Serbia in the last fifteen years have recognised that and thanks to that we do not know of the emergence of any significant legal problem for Nordic investors.
What type of legal assistance is most commonly offered by law firm Petrović & Glogonjac?
– Those are numerous different legal services, from the founding of a company to complex legal transactions in the telecommunications sector. Almost all Nordic companies are very interested in the high quality regulating of employment relations and the optimal understanding of tax regulations. We provide individual Nordic companies with complete legal services in all areas of law, i.e. our involvement represents a kind of outsourcing of legal activities. That is very important for new companies that are just starting their operations in Serbia and who want fast and efficient way to fit into the legal and economic system. In addition to the aforementioned, we provide services regarding acquisition of companies in Serbia, preparation of legal due diligence reports and, in the end, if required, representation before the courts.