Naumović & Partners is a medium-sized law firm with professionals and experts who have been working on the most fascinating and complex legal issues in Serbia since 1995. In recent years, they have been recognized as experts in information technology law.
IT contracts and disputes are specific because they carry risks that can often lead to immeasurable damage and costs, and the problem is that there are as yet no specialized ICT court departments in Serbia.
Almost a quarter of a century ago you founded your own law firm, which today is one of the leaders in Serbia. At that time you probably didn’t imagine specializing in information technology law. Is this area of law currently seeing its fastest expansion?
– We have been in the Corporate-IT-IP magic triangle almost from the beginning, and today it is our unique expertise in the market that is the essence of ICT law. ICT law today is multidisciplinary: in addition to software, intellectual property rights, corporate, status and contractual issues, there is employment, data protection, GDPR, internet services, trade secrets, know-how, e-commerce, criminal law in terms of cybercrimes, not to mention blockchain technology, 3d printing, IoT (Internet of things), AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning, social media, influencer contracts, smart contracts, tax issues related to all these, and much more.
The fact is that ICT law is experiencing its greatest expansion today. This trend will continue, since we are probably on the threshold of a new revolution, it is only a question of which new technology will be the smash hit of that technological revolution.
Clients are advised to regulate an ICT relationship by means of a contract and if necessary be judged by the contract
How are IT contracts and disputes different from others?
– Contracts and disputes related to information technology are specific because they carry risks that can often lead to immeasurable damages and costs, which in our practice is known as “Contract Disaster” and even may result in the shutdown of large companies.
Often the contract itself is good, but the “legal mechanisms” under which that contract operates, that is, the acts or other contracts or relations over certain rights within the contracting party, are not good, that can become a trigger for a chain of damages affecting the contractor, subcontractor, users, company, etc. As for disputes, the problem is that we do not yet have specialized ICT court departments yet, so the outcome of disputes is uncertain. That is why our advice is: regulate a relationship with a contract, to ensure trial by the contract, and not by law.
For IT law, do only big IT companies, developers, come to your law office?
– We mainly work with high-tech companies that are not necessarily in the IT industry, but with companies both in and out of the IT sector that encounter IT contracts or that need to reduce or manage IT risks. We have also recently been approached by start-ups that are becoming aware of the risks they face when developing products and services or collaborating with or selling their company, and with funds when they are assessing certain start-ups.