Dispute resolution

Resolving disputes efficiently and cost-effectively.

Ever since the onset of the global financial crisis Serbia has experienced an increase in the volume of litigation coming before its courts, with ‘bet the company’ commercial cases at the forefront. Add to that the growth in arbitration and the continuing development of different ADR techniques, increasing cross-border cooperation between regulators, and the speed with which – in these highly connected times – a crisis can escalate, and you have the template for a complex and challenging legal environment.

At Stankovic & Partners (NSTLAW) we have handled some of the largest, most complicated disputes in the region, either alone or as local counsel in conjunction with well-known international law firms. We act in a wide range of disputes, from general commercial and shareholder litigation, to real estate, environment and construction disputes, banking litigation, IP and IT disputes, employment litigation, and competition disputes, among other areas. Our particular experience in the energy sector means that we are a first choice for resolving the problems that arise in this field, while our premier position in large-scale bankruptcy proceedings has given us an outstanding grasp of all aspects of insolvency-related litigation.

We also understand the importance of resolving disputes as quickly and cost-effectively as possible, especially where the parties may want to maintain a business relationship in the future. So wherever possible we aim to help our clients achieve effective resolutions without expensive litigation and without compromising on their key objectives. Our talented team includes a number of lawyers who are listed as arbitrators with the Arbitration institute of the Chambers of Commerce & Industry of Serbia, and we also have experience of a range of ADR techniques. Just as importantly, we are experienced in undertaking risk management and regulatory audits to help prevent disputes from arising in the first place. Whatever the matter, however, we always aim to learn as much as possible about our clients’ businesses, so that we can give them the best possible advice tailored to their particular circumstances.

The team has represented some of the largest clients in agriculture (including UAB „ARVI” ir ko, part of ARVI Enterprises), media and entertainment (Kolosej Group – Serbia’s biggest cinema and bowling operator; European Broadcasting Union), energy (Brikel – major Bulgarian power company), construction, real estate and development (INGRA – major Croatian construction company; Marina Dorcol, part of Kimberly Enterprises NV; TM IMMO member of CA IMMO GROUP), engineering (Slovenian Fori Group), food and drink (Apatinska brewery, member of Molson Coors Beer Company; Imlek AD Beograd), financial services (Uniqa insurance – a leading CEE insurance group; Rand Edgar Investment Corp – Canadian specialist in early stage investment; CCBill – leader in Merchant global billing services; EBRD), mining and minerals (Jelen DO doo, part of Carmeuse group), life sciences (Novartis) and other sectors.

Recent highlights:

  • representing clients in a €70 million investor state dispute against the Republic of Serbia in which international investors alleged the violation of bilateral investment treaties that Serbia concluded with Canada and Cyprus;
  • providing advice to Brikel EAD, a major Bulgarian power company, regarding a substantial investment dispute arising from the termination of the privatisation agreement for Trayal AD, a Serbian tyre factory, which is currently in the process of adopting a pre-pack reorganisation plan;
  • acting in a high profile case against the Republic of Serbia before the European Court of Human Rights brought by an individual whose privatisation agreement had been terminated via the retrospective application of statutory provisions;
  • acting in a €26 million claim brought by a Croatian party against Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia concerning the transfer of Government bonds in a Middle Eastern country;
  • representing a large Serbian leisure company in a long-running €36 million dispute with a well-known Serbian shopping mall concerning a lease agreement between the two parties;
  • acting in a major €35 million claim by the Land Directorate of Belgrade and counterclaims made by our client in relation to a lease agreement for prime real estate in the city;
  • advising a Bulgarian investor in the mining and energy industry on an investment dispute with Serbia relating to the alleged illegal termination of a privatisation agreement;
  • representing the Serbian arm of a large European corporation in a number of collective law suits involving over 200 parties relating to unpaid undistributed profits;
  • acting for a waste management company in relation to a dispute concerning the ownership of a number of real estate assets in the centre of Belgrade;
  • representing a road construction company in proceedings for the annulment of a tender for the construction of highway Corridor X through Serbia;
  • representing Uniqa and Wiener Stadtische in damages claims due to a breach of the public procurement regulations brought against the State Healthcare Fund of the Republic of Serbia.