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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Early years (1938-1970)
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