North Macedonia

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Macedonian Bar Association

Competition authority: Commission for Protection of Competition

Financial regulator: National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Financial and corporateProject development

Jurisdiction overview

The modern Macedonian state was formed following independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The country has a civil law system backed by the constitution which was formulated in the same year. 

The country has few restrictions on foreign law firms and lawyers practicing, requiring only (if the lawyer is an EU national at least) that the individual is registered by the Macedonian Bar Association.

Despite this, the size of the country and its economy means that very few international firms have established offices with Balkan regional firm Karanović & Nikolić the only significant player in the financial and corporate space.

As is the case throughout most of the Balkans, lawyers tend to be generalists and not specialised in one practice area.

The country, like a number of its neighbouring jurisdictions has made a concerted effort to bring commercial legislation in line with EU benchmark. Formal accession to the Union has not begun due to diplomatic issues with Greece, but it does remain a long term goal.

Financial and corporate
Apostolska & Partners

Apostolska & Partners is a full service firm that is a member of the South East Legal Alliance (SELA) regional network.

The firm’s transactional experience includes work in M&A where it generally acts as local legal counsel on cross border deals. 

The Macedonian branch of Strabag, the largest Austrian construction company, and Colgate-Palmolive are two notable clients the firm advises on a range of corporate and regulatory matters.

Client feedback

"We are very pleased with their work as they are extremely responsive and thorough in their approach. Partners Emilija and Igor are a pleasure to work with because they not only possess the requisite knowledge and experience, but also have a keen business-oriented approach, which our clients especially appreciate." – Banking 

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz

The Skopje office of CMS opened at the end of 2017; however, the firm had been active in the jurisdiction for some years through its Macedonian desk in Serbia.

The firm acts in conjunction with its regional offices on multijurisdictional transactions with the Skopje office handling the local aspect. It has recently been active on acquisitions in the banking sector and often advises foreign investors on the takeover of Macedonian entities. 

The firm hired corporate lawyer Dushan Bosiljanov from Kimova Law office recently.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Steiermärkische Sparkasse acquisition of Ohridska Banka 

Client feedback

"We are very satisfied with the services of the law firm. They are committed and reliable lawyers providing valuable contribution in the overall process - from due diligence to the SPA inputs." – M&A 

"The lawyers engaged in the work possessed strong knowledge of substantial and procedural law. They are also very competent, experienced and reliable. The tasks were completed in timely and agreed manner. The work was efficient and the delivered product was of good value." – M&A 

Karanović & Partners in cooperation with local lawyers

Regional firm Karanović & Partners in cooperation with local lawyers has a strong team locally in North Macedonia. Its regional network provides it with resources to take on the larger deals in the jurisdiction. 

The firm primarily focusses on deals for large international clients, advising them on investments in North Macedonia or on the local as part of larger regional or global deals. 

M&A work for leading foreign clients and private equity firms tends to keep the firm busy. Irceetly it has also worked for lenders on financing for wind farms and acquisitions. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Bogoslovec 36MW wind power plant

•Central Asia Metals €160 million refinancing

•Central Asia Metals €340 million acquisition of Lynx Resources and SASA Mine

Law Office Cakarovska

Law Office Cakarovska is a corporate firm that advises local and foreign clients and has some notable IT sector clients. 

The firm has recently advised local business in various sectors on due diligence for mergers. It is also experienced in share transfer deals.

Client feedback

"Law Firm Cakarovska has very dedicated personnel that is always up to date with all legislation changes and giving to us amazing support with all legal issues." – Banking 

"Excellent job! Knowledgeable, timely delivery and reliable." – Banking

"Top level law office and legal services." – Capital markets: structured finance and securitisation

"I would like to say that the company has a good and helpful staff. They are very professional and efficient in their work." – Project development

"Dance Cakarovska, as the owner and lead person in the Law office, has great theoretical and practical insights that helped us optimise the org structure and the number of working positions while keeping the social responsibility and the image of the company." – Restructuring and insolvency

Mens Legis

Mens Legis is active in M&A. The firm works alongside large international firms to provide local legal counsel on large cross border transactions. 

The firm also dos work for mining and telecoms clients on concessions in North Macedonia. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Ilovica-Shtuka Mine

Client feedback

"Excellent communication, commitment to work and clear explanations." – M&A

"The company adheres to our standard when problem solving executring with great expertise and knowledge. They work transparently and regularly informs us on the implemented activities." – M&A

"Very responsive. They provided us with clear information." – M&A

"They have an excellent response time - also during weekends and holidays, which is highly appreciated. Additionally, they have a very practical business-oriented approach and besides pointing out legal issues, they help us find legal solutions that will be realised in real time for the business. They duly send their invoices and are very well organized." – M&A

"I was very pleased with their work. They responded very quickly, informed me about the necessary steps to be taken and documents to be provided. They acted immediately and provided all kind of helpful support in a very professional manner." – M&A 

"Mens Legis has been very detail-oriented and a pleasure to do business with. They provide very quick responses, in spite of our time difference." – Project development  

"It is the first law company in Macedonia and has a lot of experience in the field of project development. Dedicated and diligent work are their characteristics since their establishment." – Project development 

"Very good indeed! A high degree of responsibility throughout." – Project development 

"Reliable, very responsive and very accurate in their work." – Project development 

Polenak Law Firm

Polenak Law Firm is one of the leading firms in North Macedonia and has expertise in banking and finance and M&A transactions. 

The firm typically advises foreign entities and EBRD counts as one of its clients. Often mandated by the financial institutions, the firm advises on the financings for SMEs in the market. It is also able to advise on rarer financing transactions for Macedonia, including advising international banks on Islamic finance and lessors on aircraft leasing. 

In M&A the firm has recent experience of working on deals in the healthcare sector. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Diaverum €11.5 million acquisition of PZU Diamed

•Global Special Opportunities €60 million acquisition of Feni

•Macedonia 10MW photovoltaic power plant

Client feedback

"Maximum dedication and very professional approach in their legal support for the need of our company." – Banking 

"High quality legal service, responsiveness and professionalism." – Banking 

"Very good - probably the best in the market; good value for money." – Banking 

"Excellent and professional." – Restructuring and insolvency

Kristijan Polenak

"Top lawyer by international standards."

"Exceptional legal professional."

"He has good general legal knowledge and good sense for local circumstances. Fair in billing."