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Bogdan Gecić, Founding partner at Gecić Law; Terri Pepper Gavulic, Chief Business Officer at TerraLex

TerraLex & Gecić Law Reconnecting A Pandemic Stricken World

Gecić Law aspires to be the foremost innovative law firm by building long-term relationships with clients based on reciprocity, trust and highest standards of professional ethics. They strive to redefine the role that a law firm plays in an emerging regional market, in order to produce exceptional results for their clients

With Belgrade hub covering the Western Balkans, Gecić Law offer clients a global reach through exclusive membership in the ‘elite’ global network TerraLex. TerraLex members are collaborate on are virtual litigation/arbitration, trade and transport challenges, investment opportunities, employment issues, supply chain issues…

How did your firm step into the new normal?

Bogdan: The digital era and especially Covid-19 have put our abilities to the test in terms of adapting quickly to new circumstances. To be on point with the new normal, the firm employed an innovative approach to its day-to-day organization by striking a balance between office-based work and remote working. 

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This approach, coupled with an upgrade to our IT systems at the start of the pandemic, gave us the perfect platform to guide our international and local clients through a complex and shifting legal landscape, and establish and maintain their business presence in the region. Our team is knowledge-hungry and looks to advance through best practice sharing and exchange thanks to its membership of the 150-plus strong global TerraLex law firm network. The goal is to transfer this versatile legal knowledge to our clients and the wider business community via online webinars and workshops.

TerraLex’s platform enables its members to support their multijurisdictional clients wherever their needs arise

Terri: Bogdan and the team stepped into the new normal by leveraging their membership in TerraLex, an elite global organization of law firms in more than 100 countries. TerraLex’s platform enables its members to support their multijurisdictional clients wherever their needs arise. This is not dependent on being able to travel, but rather on ensuring that members are top-end firms in their local jurisdiction who willingly adhere to a common set of strict client-service principles and practices. As the pandemic progressed, members found creative ways to connect and collaborate:

• In June over 640 members participated in a Virtual Global Meeting. Lawyers and other professionals, including Gecić Law, shared ideas, and information to meet the challenges of the pandemic and better support their clients.

• Many firms, including Gecić Law, worked to form a virtual team to serve these clients, sometimes across many jurisdictions at once. This helped clients to have seamless services with no need to travel.

• TerraLex members also banded together to provide critical business information to the client community without delay, by developing cross-border guides on the TerraLex website, covering sensitive location-specific information ranging from crisis management to corporate issues and more.

What are the challenges for multinational clients in the times of the pandemic?

Bogdan: The Covid-19 pandemic led to abrupt border controls and restrictions on free movement worldwide, the knock-on effect of which remains a cause for concern as they continue to hamper businesses from operating at full tilt. In particular, labor relations and corporate governance arrangements have had to be reworked, including those for international trade and the distribution of goods. With our Belgrade hub covering the Western Balkans, we offer clients a global reach through our exclusive membership in the ‘elite’ global network TerraLex. This rewarding alliance is an ideal vehicle for providing clients access to indispensable overviews covering various areas of law across multiple jurisdictions and supporting them anywhere their business ideas take them.

Terri: While there are many unique challenges facing multinational companies right now, there are also unique opportunities. TerraLex members are helping these companies address both. Our members are striving to help their clients get back to business as quickly as possible, even if they cannot travel, demonstrating the advantage of having a well-established network and infrastructure to draw on during these turbulent times. Some challenges and opportunities that our members collaborate on are: virtual litigation/arbitration, trade and transport challenges, investment opportunities, employment issues, supply chain issues, and industry specific challenges across a wide range of sectors such as telecom, technology, hospitality, and aviation, to name a few.

Our law firm has driven our commitment to put our clients’ concerns about business continuity to the fore, while availing of innovative approaches to help them safely navigate many diverse challenges

Why innovation is the key for the future success?

Bogdan: Our law firm recognized the stress that the current situation has put everyone under, especially entrepreneurs and business leaders. This has driven our commitment to put our clients’ concerns about business continuity to the fore, while availing of innovative approaches to help them safely navigate many diverse challenges. The most recent example of our dedication to the business community in these times of need is our Coronavirus GLaw Hub portal, which provides thought-leading updates and commentary on measures imposed in four jurisdictions (Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Bosnia & Herzegovina) and their legal implications across 17 practices, from European Law to GDPR. Our new Hub is widely consulted and attracted praise from TerraLex, hitting record visits that saw it top Google’s rankings for several weeks running in all 4 jurisdictions.

Terri: This pandemic proved that those businesses that were adept at innovation were quickly able to gain competitive advantage. TerraLex is a good example of this. For the past few years, our continuous drive towards innovation meant that the organization was able to quickly adapt and provide more value than ever to members and clients over these past several months. Since members cannot easily travel, they found it essential to have their network of vetted premium TerraLex colleagues ready and able to assist their clients wherever the need arose. Clients appreciate the fact that they can call their outside lawyer and, with a short turnaround, get answers to their legal and business queries from jurisdictions around the world, all coordinated by their lawyer. This allows them to spend time and focus their attention on other important matters instead of vetting outside counsel. As the world has collectively seen the impact of this unprecedented global crisis, it is evident that the companies lacking the framework and mindset for innovation are struggling the most. Despite not knowing what’s around the corner, we can prepare for any eventuality by being nimble, flexible, and innovative.

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