Independent reviews

*Chambers Global 2017
 

Corporate/Commercial - Serbia

"Sources describe Tijana Kojović as a superb lawyer’ who remains a leading figure in the Serbian corporate market. Her extensive work in M&A transactions is bolstered by broad experience in a range of practice areas including real estate, competition and finance. She regularly handles complex multi-jurisdictional mandates and is well versed in matters involving Montenegro."

"Vladimir Dašić regularly handles complex M&A transactions, and his recent caseload includes advising Iron Mountain on its acquisition of Iron Trust. Sources note that he is ‘very good with people – his clients love him.’"

"Dragoljub Cibulić manages the firm's Montenegrin office out of Belgrade. He is noted for his experience in advising foreign clients on their energy and real estate investments in the region. He also has noted expertise in mandates in the construction and infrastructure sectors, including joint venture agreements and privatisations."

Corporate/Commercial - Montenegro

"Dragoljub Cibulić leads on real estate and construction mandates from the firm's Belgrade office. He has particular experience in advising energy companies on infrastructure projects across Serbia and Montenegro. Interviewees say: ‘He's business-oriented, proactive and has a very good understanding of PPPs generally.’ Recent work highlights of his include assisting CGES with its JV with Terna for the joint development of an undersea transmission cable between Italy and Montenegro and the construction of additional onshore transmission capacity."

"...Vladimir Dašić is responsible for the firm's M&A practice across the whole of the former Yugoslavia. He is active on numerous Montenegrin mandates and plays a leading role in commercial transactions in the banking, tourism and infrastructure sectors. Of late, he advised Global Ports Holding on the establishment of a Montenegrin subsidiary."

"Luka Popović manages the firm's Podgorica office and focuses on corporate and banking transactions. One client reports: ‘He is both responsive and precise in his analysis.’ He is additionally noted for his expertise in M&A and real estate matters."

 

  *Chambers Europe 2017
 
 
 
 
 
  

 

Banking & Finance

"Highly regarded banking and finance team with a strong focus on cross-border lending and transactions involving financial derivatives. Advises large international banks and sponsors on complex regulatory projects and project and acquisition finance. Offers noteworthy advice on restructuring and formal insolvencies, with particular experience of NPL transactions.

Clients have high regard for the group's know-how and particularly appreciate the team's ‘good knowledge and experience, good network in Serbia and ability to respond rapidly.

It is a very good law firm. They have knowledge in the banking industry, which is a plus, and they have a good understanding of cross-border transactions.’"

Competition

"Strong, co-ordinated team of lawyers that possesses noteworthy experience in EU competition law. Team members have additional advisory expertise in Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Knowledgeable in merger control cases, antitrust infringements, cartels and state aid. Regularly advises regional and international clients from the pharmaceuticals, software and telecoms sectors on their competition concerns. Boehringer Ingelheim is one of several new client wins for the firm.

Sources admire the team's ‘ability to understand the global context of a major transaction while providing clear and tailored advice which takes into account the local commercial, legislative and regulatory environment – particularly when it came to dealing with the Serbian antitrust authority.’"

Corporate/Commercial

"Market-leading group with long-standing expertise in advising domestic and international clients on transactional and regulatory issues. Widely respected for its excellence in M&A and financing transactions, having specialist knowledge in a range of sectors including TMT, infrastructure and energy. Acts on behalf of domestic corporate and industrial clients as well as international investors and private equity funds."

Dispute Resolution

"Respected firm with a distinguished practice in international arbitration, alongside high-end activity on commercial and criminal litigation. Clients include large-scale industrial groups, state entities and international corporate clients. Proven track record in investment arbitration involving the Serbian state or state entities. Also has specific expertise in construction, shareholder and clawback litigation.

They are very knowledgeable about Serbian law, commercially minded and have experience in arbitration. They have good practical experience of practical matters and can anticipate potential issues.’"

Employment

"Outstanding department that continues to receive commendation from the market. Provides a broad scope of advice on employee-related matters such as immigration, the analysis of dismissals and workplace health and safety. Routinely advises on the impact of EU law on Serbian legislation. Team members have further knowledge of labour litigation, data protection and privacy issues.

One client admires the practice's ‘detailed information and sound advice on legal requirements.

Another source considers the firm ‘very good commercially, realistic and good value for money,’ adding that ‘the lawyers know their profession very well.’"

Energy

"Noted expertise in the renewable energy sector, where it assists international clients, including contractors and investors, with large-scale projects. Also boasts niche experience in advising clients on congestion management and energy trading. Works closely alongside the firm's respected real estate and project finance practices to provide comprehensive legal support to energy clients…

Sources comment that ‘they have offered the most convenient and professional services among several contracted companies, and during the negotiation process they have presented themselves as reliable and flexible.

Other market observers note: ‘They have a deep understanding of the Serbian state public tender process and are seasoned navigators of the Serbian administration.’"

Intellectual Property

"Routinely assists with trade mark prosecution, drafting and reviewing franchise and licensing agreements and copyright litigation. Possesses additional expertise in online IP issues. Acts for major domestic and international corporations, notably from within the media and consumer products sectors. ION Investment Group is one of a number of new clients for the team.

One client praises the team for its excellent level of service: ‘It was a very positive experience because they were involved in everything,’ adding: ‘They have a lot of resources and can provide information very fast.

Sources also appreciate the quality of the advice: ‘They are responsive to our needs and the advice they provide is factual and to the point.’"

Real Estate

"Outstanding real estate team with specific experience of handling FIDIC contract matters and mandates relating to retail developments. Advises on real estate finance, as well as joint ventures and complex asset purchases. Represents major financial clients and public bodies in addition to large international and regional corporations with interests in the retail and hospitality sectors.

Clients affirm that the department has ‘very good knowledge of the retail space’ and is ‘efficient and responsive.

Others describe the team as ‘perfect in real estate and litigation matters.’"

Montenegro - Corporate/Commercial

"Leading regional firm that operates primarily out of Belgrade with support from the Podgorica office. Boasts a strong banking and corporate practice, excelling in M&A transactions, privatisations and a range of finance mandates. Advises companies from an array of sectors, with a notable focus on energy, life sciences and technology...

A client praises the firm's global vision regarding business, adding that they ‘are excellent and very responsive. 

Clients single out the firm for its understanding of different practice areas, adding: ‘The lawyers are knowledgeable; they meet the deadlines.’"

Montenegro - Real Estate

"Regional firm with a respected commercial department which handles a range of real estate matters. Advises clients on the acquisition of distressed assets and in disputes relating to FIDIC-based construction contracts. Also involved in public work projects, and noted for its expertise in coastal resort developments. ...

This outfit is well admired by clients, who describe it as ‘an excellent firm which has handled complex projects for us.’"

 

legal 500 2016
*Legal 500 2017

 

 

 

Banking and finance

"…Practice head Tijana Kojović ‘understands the cross-border implications of a transaction from a practical standpoint’…."

Competition

"BDK Advokati’s team is, according to one client, ‘the best in the local market’. The team is defending new client Imperial Tobacco against allegations of a price fixing cartel... Tijana Kojović has ‘an excellent understanding of business environments’."

Commercial, Corporate and M&A

"BDK Advokati has an ‘outstanding’ team. Practice heads Tijana Kojović and Vladimir Dašić provide ‘competent, quick responses and have excellent knowledge of business and political environments’. Recent highlights include advising new client Hesteel Group on its successful bid to acquire a major Serbian steel plant for €43m, which was sold off as part of the country’s privatisation process. It also assisted new client Ball Corporation with an internal corporate restructuring and asset divestment following the £4.3bn acquisition of Rexam..."

Dispute Resolution

"BDK Advokati has considerable experience handling commercial and investment arbitration, construction and white-collar criminal disputes. Tijana Kojović is representing Alpine Bau in an ICC arbitration against state-owned investment company Putevi Srbije pertaining to the design and construction of the Beška bridge."

Employment

"The ‘exceptional’ Ana Jankov leads BDK Advokati’s practice, which is experienced in advising employers on data protection and privacy matters. The team assisted British American Tobacco with terminating a management agreement."

Intellectual property

"BDK Advokati assisted Google with a copyright infringement risk assessment pertaining to the launch of a recording feature on YouTube. Bogdan Ivanišević’s ‘advice is always comprehensive and clear’."

Real estate and construction

"Recent highlights for the team at BDK Advokati include advising Aviv Arlon on developing three retail parks in Serbia and assisting Starwood Hotels & Resorts with the W Hotel development, part of the Belgrade waterfront project. Practice head Dragoljub Cibulić is ‘resourceful’."

Montenegro – Legal market overview

"At BDK Advokati, recently promoted partner Luka Popović is advising French power producer Akuo Energy on the development of a new 74MW windpower plant. Popović is also assisting Swiss retailer Tally Weijl with corporate matters relating to its Montenegrin subsidiary. Serbia based Dragoljub Cibulić is acting for new client CRBC concerning the construction of the new €800m Bar Boljare motorway."

Bosnia and Herzegovina – Commercial, corporate and M&A

"The ‘very experienced’ lawyers at BDK Advokati have ‘excellent levels of industry knowledge’ and are routinely involved in prominent transactions in the region. Highlights variously included acting on the privatisation of Telekom Srbija in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina; advising the Bulgartabac plant in Banja Luka on domestic tobacco regulations; and assisting British American Tobacco with its post-acquisition absorption of Croatian tobacco producer TDR. Serbia-based partner Vladimir Dasic and associate Dijana Pejic are recommended."


 

*IFLR1000 2016

Financial and corporate - Serbia

"Regional firm BDK benefits from its other offices around the Balkans and in Serbia is best known for M&A work.

A finance and M&A client says: ‘BDK is professional and efficient and provides an excellent level of partner involvement.’ A client who the team advised on regulatory matters says: ‘All of the lawyers in BDK Advokati-Attorneys at Law, and especially partner Vladimir Dasic, exhibit a high level of responsiveness, with accurate, legally astute and commercially-aware legal advice. BDK is our go-to firm in Serbia.’

An M&A client says: ‘Very professional approach plus availability 24/7, capability to give non-standard legal solutions and advice.’ Another M&A client who the team also advised on regulatory matters says: ‘We cooperated with this firm in our recent M&A transaction. Lawyers from BDK are very professional, diligent, responsive and flexible, they have good connections with the local market and can provide helpful advice to their client.’

There is individual praise for Vladimir Dasic: ‘Extremely professional with excellent knowledge,’ says one client, ‘excellent and highly responsive’ says another. A third says: ‘He is experienced in advising buy side or sell side in privatisation transactions and has provided to our clients very helpful advice in relation to privatisation issues and state aid issues.’

Transaction highlights include advising Hebei Steel and Iron Group on the acquisition of Zelezara Smederevo; work for British American Tobacco (BAT) and Tvornica Duhana Rovinj (TDR) on its integration following the merger; work for MTS on the proposed privatisation of Telekom Srbija; and work for HETA Asset Resolution and Leasing on issues related to NPL sales."

Financial and corporate - Montenegro

"Like most leading firms in Montenegro BDK has the advantage of a wide Balkan network and thus can act easily on regional matters.

A corporate client says: ‘High quality professionals with a pro-active and pro-business approach.’ Vladimir Dasic is singled out: ‘Professional, excellent team leader who has organised effective (from time and cost perspectives) work from team members located in different jurisdictions of Balkan region.’

During the research period the firm has advised CGES on a joint venture to construct an undersea transmission cable between Montenegro and Italy; advised Gunvor on restructuring and insolvency related to distressed aluminium manufacturer KAP; advised a confidential client on the acquisition of a hydropower plant; advised Akuo Energy on the development of a 74MW wind power plant in Krnovo; and advised Signature Group on a real estate finance matter."

Financial and corporate - Bosnia and Herzegovina

"Regional firm BDK has enhanced its team during the research period with the addition of Đorđe Dimitrijević from Karanović Nikolić.

A client from an international corporate who worked with the team on M&A matters says: ‘BDK provides an excellent level of partner involvement.’ There is individual praise for Vladimir Dasic who is described as ‘extremely professional and efficient’.

The team has been focused on corporate matters in the research period including work for British American Tobacco (BAT) and Tvornica Duhana Rovinj (TDR) on the post-merger integration of the two companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Elsewhere the team also advised telecom operator MTS on the Bosnian aspects of its role on the proposed privatisation of Telekom Srbija.

New client wins include Heineken, Paypoint, Payoneer and HETA Asset Resolution."

 

*IFLR1000 2015

 Energy and infrastructure - Serbia

"Dragoljub Cibulić is the key contact for energy and infrastructure matters at BDK. The firm had a role on the aborted South Stream gas pipeline project. The team acted for Gazprom and prepared a report comparing the regulatory frameworks in both Serbia and the EU. The project has since been put on hold for the foreseeable future due to escalating tensions between the EU and Russia.

Elsewhere the firm also advised SEE Power Trading on the acquisition of a local energy trading company and the obtaining of the relevant licences and agreements. In the same sector the firm also acted for German renewables firm Repower on the development of a 50MW wind power plant in Serbia.

In the transport sector the firm assisted Russian Railways on issues related to the reconstruction and redevelopment of parts of Serbia’s rail infrastructure."

Energy and infrastructure - Montenegro

"Dragoljub Cibulic is the key contact for energy and infrastructure matters at BDK in Montenegro. The firm had a role in the tender process for the exploration of offshore oil and gas advising Eni on its involvement in the bidding process.

In the energy space the firm took a role advising Akuo Energy on the development of a wind power plant including real estate, regulatory, corporate and construction issues. The firm also acted for a Montenegro based energy auction house on the process surrounding the foundation of a bilateral bidding process for energy as part of the process for creating a regional power market."