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Successful challenge to an initial tax report, in a multimillion EUR tax case with the Tax Authority

Sector: Regulatory, Corporate Taxation

Practice Area: Dispute resolution, Tax & Regulatory

Following a negative initial tax report by the inspectors, in a multimillion taxation matter covering issues of VAT applicability, the firm was engaged to assist with challenging the initial report and addressing the various related matters – including preliminary measures.

The firm successfully represented the client, a large international corporate entity with significant business presence in Serbia, managing to overturn the initial report already at the stage before the first instance tax decision.

It is very rare that the Tax Authority agrees to revoke their arguments in the preliminary stage before the first instance decision, by way of an amended initial report. However, by raising a number of substantive and procedural objections at this early stage and pro-actively engaging with the authorities, the client managed to overturn the initial findings, and the Tax Authority completed the relevant control without any irregularities found.

Constitutional Court of Montenegro finds a violation of our client’s right to freedom of movement in arbitrary and disproportional restrictions imposed by the High Court

Sector: Constitutional law; International law; Human Rights; EU Law

Practice Area: Dispute Resolution; White-Collar Crime

Acting for a private client in high-profile white-collar proceedings before the High Court in Podgorica, Montenegro, the firm challenged the measures which restricted the movement of the defendant. The various measures have been extended multiple times by the Decisions of the High Court in Podgorica, restricting the defendant’s movement for more than a year. The firm lodged a Constitutional Appeal on behalf of the defendant against these Decisions arguing, inter alia, that these Decisions are violating defendant’s right to freedom of movement provided by Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 of ECHR and Article 39 of the Constitution of Montenegro. It was found that the Courts, instead of citing specific and relevant circumstances, automatically imposed arbitrary and disproportionate measures on the defendant, which lacked adequate reasoning and violating the protected rights of freedom of movement. The Constitutional Court adopted the Constitutional Appeal, accepted our arguments and determined that these Decisions have violated the defendant’s right. Importantly, the Court found that in this particular case, the Higher Courts have cited identical circumstances in all its decisions. The Constitutional Court recalled that in a large number of the cases, the ECHR found a violation of rights where the accused were subjected to automatic and blanket determination of supervision measures without consideration and review of the justifications and proportionality and without reference to the individual circumstances. The Constitutional Court concluded that repeating and rewriting the same reasons that allegedly justify the extension of the measures demonstrates just a formal review which does not meet the quality and scope of a judicial review required by Article 2 of Protocol 4 of the ECHR. The Constitutional Court found that the High Court’s reasoning points to arbitrariness in relation to the determination and extension of these measures. It was also concluded that there was no adequate assessment of the proportionality between the stated measures and the goal that was to be achieved.


Overturning an Extradition Order – the firm successfully represents a shareholder of an international trading company before the Court of Appeal

Sector: Extradition; Regulatory; International law

Practice Area: Dispute Resolution, Private Client

In what is a rare complete overturn of an extradition order, the Court of Appeal fully accepted the firm’s arguments, and finally resolved the relevant matter, resisting to extradite the individual to the requesting state.

The Court of Appeal was faced with a first instance decision ordering an extradition of a high-net-worth individual, a shareholder in an international trading business, as requested by an extradition request from a CIS country. The firm appealed the first instance decision, raising a number of arguments why both the extradition request and extradition order are contrary to the legal order of the Republic of Serbia, rules of international law, European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution. The Court of Appeal accepted the arguments of the defence and has completely overturned the first instance decision, producing a final judgment on this matter, with the result that the private client will not be extradited to the relevant country. With respect to one of the main points of the appeal – the interpretation of the “duality” requirement, the Court of Appeal correctly found that while this requirement does not require a strict formal and grammatical identity between the foreign and domestic norms, that the nature and essence of the norms and offences still have to be the same. This stance taken by the Court of Appeal is a welcome precedent indicating that the domestic courts must rigorously investigate extradition requests which attempt to elevate general misdemeanour offences and non-criminal behaviour as a basis for criminal extradition.

Resisting an Extradition – the firm successfully represents a private client before the Court of Appeal

Sector: Extradition; Regulatory; International law

Practice Area: Dispute Resolution, Private Client

In what was a rare case of the Appellate Court ruling in the favour of the defendant and quashing the First Instance Court on the merits, the firm successfully represented a private client – a shareholder of an international trading company – who was facing an unjustified extradition request from a CIS country.  In May 2023, following what is a strong practice of deferral to reasons provided by the requesting states, the First instance Court – High Court in Belgrade, Special Department for Organized Crime, issued an extradition order.  Following this, the firm appeared before the Court of Appeal, and raised a number of arguments why the extradition request was legally unsound and that the conditions for extradition have not been met.  The firm argued that the first instance decision was contrary to the Constitution, legal order of the Republic of Serbia and the generally accepted rules of international law. The decision of the Court of Appeal reiterated the importance of one of the mandatory conditions for extradition – duality of the criminal offence in both legal systems – and that the condition cannot be interpreted loosely, so that mere regulatory misdemeanours cannot be elevated to the level of criminal offence based on the practice of the requesting state.   

12th Annual Investment Meeting in Abu Dhabi

Area: Conference, Investment, Business

The firm had the pleasure to attend the 12th Annual Investment Meeting this May organized by the AIM Foundation, and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.

The conference afforded opportunities for engaging discussions with respect to a variety of topics and investment opportunities – especially in the start-up, energy, infrastructure and real estate sectors – across the globe.

The firm also participated in the focused Credit Management & NPL Forum of the conference, organized by the DDC Financial Group, which allowed for interesting discussions concerning opportunities and challenges of investing in distressed assets and non-performing loans.

Issue of UK patents & successful milestone in tech JV

Sector: Start-ups & Venture Capital, Energy

Practice Area: Commercial & Corporate

The firm advised a Swiss and Serbian-based JV with respect to a technology start-up joint venture set up for the commercialization of certain energy sector technologies on a global scale.

After successfully closing the JV structure and incorporating the collaboration agreement, as well as implementing asset transfers concerning various IP, the firm advised, in cooperation with the Patent Attorneys in the relevant jurisdiction, the parties on a UK Patent application.

In accordance with the JV milestones, the relevant applicants were granted a UK Patent with respect to the technologies covered by the collaboration and have successfully completed a major milestone in their collaboration agreement.

Tomanovic Law Firm has advised on a number of commercial and corporate aspects, including cross-border tax matters, and was assisted by the cooperating law firms from Switzerland and the UK.

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