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Our Tradition

Ninkovic Law Office has its origins in 1938 when Milorad Ninkovic opened law offices in central Belgrade with three partners, Messrs. Boskovic, Jajagin and Rajic. Prior to setting up in private practice Milorad had worked as an Associate to a Commercial Court Judge. Initially, his practice focused on corporate and commercial law and civil litigation. Later he also took up criminal litigation work and developed a very good reputation as litigation counsel.

In the early 1970s both of Milorad’s sons, Djurdje and Branislav, joined the family practice introducing new areas of expertise such as aviation, banking and finance, international private law and insurance law. It was at the beginning of the 1970s that Ninkovic Law Office was initially instructed to act on behalf of the Lloyd’s insurance market and it continues to do so today. In 1980 intellectual property was added as another area of expertise, when Mirjana Ninkovic, Djurdje’s wife, a registered patent and trademark agent, also joined. Over the last 25 years the firm’s practice has expanded substantially establishing a good reputation for advising international investors in Serbia.

Today, Ninkovic Law Office has more than ten attorneys and associates providing legal advice and representation to domestic and international clients. It is a modern, forward-looking and vibrant law firm with the capability to handle the largest and most complex transactions and cases in Serbia while retaining a friendly, family firm atmosphere.

It is listed by several international directories as one of the leading law firms in Serbia.



If you would like to read more about the history of Ninkovic Law Office please see below:

Early years: 1938-1970
Growth of the practice: 1970-1990
Support for democracy: 1989-2001
UK branch office: 1993-2000
Looking to the future: 2000-present day



Early years: 1938-1970


Ninkovic Law Office has its origins in 1938 when Milorad Ninkovic opened law offices in central Belgrade with three partners, Messrs. Boskovic, Jajagin and Rajic. The initial practice of the firm focused on corporate and commercial law, civil litigation and banking and finance.

Prior to setting up in private practice Milorad had worked as an Associate to a Commercial Court Judge in Belgrade. He had graduated in law from Belgrade University in 1936 and had previously trained as a Cavalry officer (1931-32) and studied history for two years at Université de Clermont in France (1929-1931).

At the beginning of World War II he served as a Cavalry officer in the Royal Yugoslav Army defending the northern borders of Serbia. He was captured but managed to escape and return to Belgrade. The original law firm disbanded during the war as Belgrade was under occupation but Milorad continued an informal practice offering pro-bono advice.

In 1945 Yugoslavia was subjected to communist rule. This caused Milorad some difficulties because of his support for democracy and his family background. His father, Djurdje S. Ninkovic, had built hotel Astoria in the centre of Belgrade in 1938 and had been a prominent hotelier and businessman as well as an honorary judge of the Commercial Court. Djurdje S. Ninkovic had been awarded the Order of the Yugoslav Crown for services to the judiciary in 1939.

For a period of time Milorad had his license to practise law revoked for not being a “supporter of the new (communist) regime”. He was accused of various alleged transgressions of newly imposed communist regulations in an ad hoc peoples’ court. For many years he could not obtain a passport to travel outside Yugoslavia. In 1948 his entire family’s property was nationalised by the communist government as it introduced a centralised command economy.

In spite of the difficult circumstances Milorad carried on working as an employed lawyer for a well-known Belgrade advocate, Mr Ignjatovic, until his license to practise law was reinstated in 1952. He then set up his own practice with an associate, Dr. Milojevic, an eminent lawyer who had also been subjected to communist persecution. They opened an office in southern Serbia and in Belgrade in a small apartment in hotel Astoria, focusing on commercial law, civil litigation and criminal litigation. Ninkovic Law Office remained based in hotel Astoria for more than 50 years. Milorad retired from practice in 1979 having worked in law for 42 years.

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Growth of the practice: 1970-1990

In the early 1970s both of Milorad’s sons, Djurdje and Branislav, joined the family practice introducing new areas of expertise such as aviation, banking, corporate & commercial and insurance law. In 1980, intellectual property was added as another area of expertise, when Mirjana Ninkovic, Djurdje’s wife, a registered patent and trademark agent, also joined.

The practice grew substantially between 1970 and 1990 principally providing advice and representation to domestic and international clients in civil litigation, commercial law, international trade and insurance law matters. Ninkovic Law Office was first instructed on behalf of the Lloyd’s insurance market in the early 1970s and it still continues to act for the market today.

Djurdje Ninkovic provided specialist advice to a number of Embassies in Belgrade on various international private law issues for more than 20 years. Most notably he regularly advised the Embassy of Sweden and was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star for services to the Swedish judiciary in 1988.

In the 1980s and at the beginning of the 90s several successful commercial lawyers joined the expanding practice including, Dejan Ducic, Borjana Subotic and Majda Vrhovsek. Foreign investment in Serbia was on the increase and a number of international companies opened representative offices and undertook joint venture projects, providing new areas of work for the firm, which developed a good reputation for advising international investors in Serbia.

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Support for democracy: 1989-1993

In late December 1989 the Founding Committee of the Democratic Party met regularly at Ninkovic Law Office in hotel Astoria and drafted the first political program proclaiming multi party democracy. The Democratic Party was the first opposition party to be formed in Yugoslavia after World War II.

The party program was published on 10 January 1990 and Djurdje Ninkovic was one of the 22 signatories, Members of the Founding Committee, supporting its publication along with the late Zoran Djindjic (Prime Minister of Serbia 2001-2003) and Vojislav Kostunica (President of Yugoslavia 2000-2003 and Prime Minister of Serbia 2004 - ). For the first few months the administrative central office of the Democratic Party was based at the Ninkovic Law Office in hotel Astoria.

At the first Democratic Party convention Djurdje was elected to the General Committee. He was also elected the Secretary of the Executive Committee in 1990 and 1991. He was selected to stand as a candidate in the first, flawed, parliamentary elections in 1990. In 1991 and 1992 he represented student protesters who had been brutally beaten and arrested in massive protests against the continuing dictatorship and the onset of tragic civil wars. During that period Djurdje published numerous articles in the "Demokratija" newspaper, of which he was a founding director.

In July 1992 the pro-DEPOS democratic coalition wing of the Democratic Party led by Vojislav Kostunica split from the Democratic Party and founded the Democratic Party of Serbia. For the first few months the administrative central office of the Democratic Party of Serbia was based at the Ninkovic Law Office in hotel Astoria.

In 1993 when Djurdje moved to the UK, he became the London representative of DEPOS and the Democratic Party of Serbia.

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UK branch office: 1993-2000

Between 1993 and 2000 Djurdje and Mirjana set up a branch office of Ninkovic Law Office in the United Kingdom in order to facilitate the continuing provision of professional legal services to international clients at a time of UN sanctions and the violent break-up of Yugoslavia. At this time Djurdje acted as a Yugoslav law expert in a number of proceedings in the UK and Switzerland as well as continuing to offer advice and representation to international clients in Yugoslavia in conjunction with the Belgrade office.

He was an active member of the British South Slav States Law Association (BSSSLA) promoting professional co-operation between lawyers in the UK and Serbia. He published a number of articles on Yugoslav and Serbian law in various journals including European Current Law, IMPACT and The South Slav Journal and was a regular contributor to the BSSSLA Newsletter. Between 1998 and 2000 he was a member of the Executive Board of the Independent Serbian Information Center in London. He was a regular speaker at international conferences on Yugoslavia and was invited to speak to British MPs in the Grand Committee Room of the Houses of Parliament and also at The Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House.

At this time Djurdje’s brother Branislav Ninkovic led the Belgrade office in very difficult circumstances of extreme political tension, centralized government control, hyperinflation, UN sanctions and NATO bombing. He was supported by a team of dedicated and professional lawyers including Dejan Ducic, Majda Vrhovsek, Petar Stojanovic and Aleksandra Rabrenovic who continued providing high quality professional legal support to clients throughout this period.

In August 2000 Djurdje returned to Belgrade to assist the DOS democratic opposition coalition in preparations for the September elections, which they won. On 5 October 2000 democratic regime change took place, following a popular uprising against the manipulation of election results.

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Looking to the future: 2000 - present day

Following the election victory of the democratic DOS coalition, Djurdje served on a number of Democratic Party of Serbia Committees, including as the chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Legal Affairs Committees, and as a member of the party’s General Committee. In 2001 he served as the Deputy Minister of Justice in the DOS Coalition Government of Serbia led by the late Zoran Djindjic.

Olga Serb-Gretic and Ivan Krsikapa, two very experienced lawyers, joined the team with new opportunities after democratic regime change and the opening up of the Serbian economy to foreign investment. Recently, Ninkovic Law Office has advised a number of international purchasers in privatization transactions and has also provided advice to the seller in one of the biggest privatizations in Serbia valued at more than EUR 500m. It has also provided advice to a number of international firms setting up Serbian operations.

Between October 2004 and June 2007 Parivodic & Associates law office founded by Milan Parivodic temporarily merged with Ninkovic Law Office. During this period Milan Parivodic served as the Minister for International Economic Relations in the Government of Serbia, while Milan Samardzic and Nevena Jankovic made a substantial contribution to the work of the merged law office.

Today, Ninkovic Law Office has more than ten attorneys and associates providing comprehensive legal advice and representation to domestic and international clients. It is a modern, forward looking and vibrant law firm with a good reputation in the Serbian market. It has the capability to handle the largest and most complex transactions and cases in Serbia while retaining a friendly, family firm atmosphere.

It is listed by several international directories as one of the leading law firms in Serbia.

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address: Balkanska 49, 11000 Beograd, Serbia
telephone: +381 (0) 11 7617188 | facsimile: +381 (0) 11 7613832
e-mail: legal@ninkovic.rs