Solicitors governing body: Odvetniška zbornica Slovenije (Slovene Bar Association)
Competition authority: Slovenian Competition Protection Agency
Financial regulator: Bank of Slovenia; Agencija za trg vrednostnih papirjev (Securities Market Agency)
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Slovenia declared its independence on June 26 1991 from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and became a member of the EU in 2004. The country is a civil law system backed by the constitution. Due to its historic role as part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and Yugoslavia, the legislation has been influenced by the German and socialist systems.
In Slovenia, lawyers practice under the title Odvetnik/Odvetnica. Slovenian lawyers must be registered with one of 11 regional assemblies ultimately regulated by The Slovene Bar Association and the Bar Act.
As a member of the EU, Slovenia allows lawyers from EEA countries to practice foreign law, set up local offices and practice as foreign legal consultants. They can also re-qualify as Slovenian lawyers.
There are few restrictions for EU law firms setting up in the country. though non-EU firms may only establish as unlimited partnerships. There are no naming restrictions.
The legal market is largely made up of local firms, though regional players such as CMS, Karanović & Nikolić, Schoenherr and Wolf Theiss also have offices. Recent years has seen a number of firms look to establish alliances with other Balkan firms.
Austrian firm Schoenherr established an office in Ljublijana in 2001. The branch employs five lawyers, including two partners.
Established in 1950, Schoenherr is a leading Austrian firm with a European network that includes offices in 15 jurisdictions.
Focusses / specialisms
The firm’s Slovenian branch has a strong financial and corporate offering especially in cross border banking and M&A.
In the banking area the firm is experienced in advising on NPL sales and debt restructuring on the creditor side.
The firm worked with important financial institutions including French bank Société Générale, KBC Insurance, the Belgian insurance group, and DDM group, a specialised acquirer of distressed assets. The firm also advised important domestic clients like DZS, the Slovenian publishing house, and SALUS, the Slovenian wholesalers of pharmaceutical products.
Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)
During the research period the firm was active across banking, capital markets, M&A and projects.
In banking work the firm advised lenders on refinancing and has been working with creditors on restructuring borrower’s debt and advised buyers in the acquisition of an NPL (non-performing loan) portfolios.
In the capital markets area it advised issuers in bond sales.
In M&A the firm advised sellers in cross border transactions in financial services and real estate, and assisted individual shareholders in the sale of shares. The firm advised companies on other corporate mandates including joint ventures, mergers and changes in corporate structure.
In project development the firm advised private parties on public tender contracts.
Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)
EOS and ALFI acquisition of NPL portfolio
Immofinanz acquisition of real estate portfolio
OTP bank acquisition of SKB Banka
Pošta Slovenije €100 million acquisition of Intereuropa
Save Re acquisition of NLB Vita
Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)
“The team at Schoenherr is organised, knowledgeable, good at record keeping and follow up, and good at providing useful answers to difficult, complicated legal questions.”
“High work ethic, professionalism, hard work.”
“We are really very satisfied Schoenherr. The quality of their service is surely the best on the Slovenian market. They take a very personal approach, they are knowledgeable and very solution oriented. They make sure they understand exactly what you need. They are technically excellent, responsive and we have absolute trust in them. Really nothing but praise for them.”
“They are really very impressive. Knowledgeable, quick, responsive, solution oriented. Best firm on the market in our opinion.”
“They delivered excellent legal services tailored to our needs and expectations. Their pragmatic and systematic way of doing things saved us time and money. It was a great experience working with them.”
“The firm handled the matter perfectly and even exceeded our expectations.”