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27. september, 2017

Slovenia adopts Class Actions Act

On 26th of September 2017, Slovenian National Assembly adopted the Class Actions Act, introducing institutions of class action and class settlement to the Slovenian legal system. The Act aims to accelerate court proceedings and enable easier access to justice for individuals in the event of mass harm situations, particularly in situations where many injured individuals might otherwise not seek redress due to costly legal proceedings and small amounts involved in individual claims.

Class actions can be filed by a senior state attorney or by a non-profit legal person of private law whose activities are directly related to the rights that have allegedly been breached. However, a class action must meet certain additional criteria in order to be approved by the court. Most importantly, it must refer to the same type of claims, based on same or at least similar factual and legal questions. Those claims must be made by a defined group of people numerous enough, where individual lawsuits or other forms of legal protection available to the claimants would not ensure equally effective protection of their rights.

Upon approving the class action, the court will decide whether the system of inclusion or exclusion is to be used in the proceeding. In case of the former, every injured individual has to expressly state that he or she wishes to take part in the class action proceeding (opt-in system), whereas in case of the latter, all injured individuals are automatically included, unless they expressly state that they do not wish participate (opt-out system). In either case, injured individuals are not formally considered parties to the procedure. They are represented by the person who filed the class action and who has a legal duty to protect their interests. Nevertheless, injured individuals will have the option to participate in the procedure and submit comments and evidence to the court.

By providing injured individuals with an easier and more effective way of protecting their rights, the Act also seeks to discourage potential infringers from illegal activities, as it is now more likely that injured parties will seek judicial protection despite small individual claims. The Class Action Act will come into effect on 21st of April 2018, but it is worth pointing out that once the Act enters into effect, class actions can be filed in cases of mass harm situations that occurred prior to the aforementioned date.

5. julij, 2017

Changes to the Commercial crime section of the Slovenian Criminal Code

On 2nd July 2017 the amended Slovenian Criminal Code (the KZ-1E amendment) came into force. Among other novelties, the KZ-1E amendment introduces some significant changes in the description of the criminal offence of abuse of position or trust in commercial activity pursuant to Article 240 of the Slovenian Criminal Code. This particular offence is typically referred to as the “Managers felony” as its offenders are usually directors, managers, board members, etc…

The most important modification is the introduction of the oblique intent (dolus eventualis) as an element of the criminal offence. The criminal offence of abuse of position or trust in commercial activity is an intentional felony; prior to the KZ-1E amendment the criminal offence had to be committed with deliberate intent (dolus directus) and, in addition to that, the perpetrator had to have criminal purpose to acquire illegal benefit or to cause damage to the company’s assets. After the changes introduced by the KZ-1E amendment the oblique intent (dolus eventualis) is now sufficient to prosecute criminal offenders. This means that the offender does not have to strive for the realization of the criminal result (as in the case of dolus directus) but it is sufficient that the he views the criminal result as possible and accepts it. Furthermore, acquiring illegal benefit/causing damages to the company is now defined as a consequence of the criminal offence, which means the offender’s intent in this regard is no longer required.

The above mentioned changes aim at facilitating the prosecution of the offenders of the criminal offence of abuse of position or trust in commercial activity. The introduction of the dolus eventualis as an element of the criminal offence makes it even more important for the management to diligently consider all aspects of their business decisions and support them by appropriate legal analysis.

For additional information please contact: uros.divjak@zdolsek.com.

21. maj, 2017

The EU Antitrust Damages Directive is now transposed into the Slovenian legal system

On May 20, 2017 the Amendment of the Slovenian Competition Act (ZPOmK-1G) entered into force. A new body of provisions aims at transposition of the EU Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages actions into the Slovenian national legislation. The amended Competition Act facilitates the private enforcement of the competition law before the national courts by, inter alia, providing easier access to evidence in actions for damages and extending the limitation period for damage claims in relation to competition regulation infringements to 10 years. The previously attempted comprehensive reform of the competition law proceedings before the Slovenian Competition Protection Agency (including introducing a system of administrative fining, new investigative powers and changes to the merger control regime) was left for a later time.

Our competition lawyers have participated in the expert consultation on the implemented changes of the competition legislation.  For further information on the topic, please contact irena.jurca@zdolsek.com.

11. april, 2017

Chambers2017

Many thanks to our clients for the excellent reviews of our team featured in Chambers Europe 2017:

The team receives glowing reports from clients, with one stating that “the team is flexible with the optimal size to maintain a close relationship with the client while being amazingly passionate about their job and eager to satisfy the needs of their clients.”

They are particularly known for their commercial understanding: “They are really very personable and know our field and industry – very business-oriented.” Another client enthuses that “they produce comprehensive solutions supported by top-level expertise.”

Stojan Zdolšek enters the rankings as a leading individual due to excellent feedback.

For more information please see: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/Europe/firm/22924528/zdolsek-attorneys-at-law.

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