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Legal market overview
The Romanian economy is slowly but steadily recovering, notably with the agricultural and automotive sectors picking up, and the real estate market was also more active in 2014. There is positivity in the market, with banks being increasingly willing to finance projects and foreign investors returning to the market; the largest share of foreign direct investment has been coming from Austria, the Netherlands, France and Germany. Due to the government’s reduction of renewable energy subsidies, new project investment has stalled and the dynamism of the energy sector has been sharply reduced, providing a challenge for law firms with strong renewables practices. A controversial regulatory change regarding television advertising by broadcasters has kept TMT lawyers busy.
Much of the market’s work is handled by Musat & Asociatii, Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen and Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii, the largest firms on the market, with Peli Filip and Popovici Nitu & Asociatii also prominent. These local firms have substantial experience in international deals and compete with international law firms such as CMS, Clifford Chance Badea, Dentons, and RTPR Allen & Overy (Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu SCA in association with Allen & Overy LLP). Notable boutiques include Dragne & Asociatii SCA, which excels at dispute resolution, and Vass Lawyers, which focuses on public procurement matters. A number of new law firms have been founded. Vilau & Mitel was renamed Mitel & Partners after Dragoş Vilău’s departure.
Firms in the spotlight
Popovic Nitu & Associatii
Popovici Niţu & Asociaţii is a leading Romanian independent law firm. Established in 1995 as one of the first incorporated partnerships, the firm brings together strong local resources, with exceptional credentials, outstanding records and distinguished careers in law, business and academia. The firm aspires to offer legal excellence by combining awareness with knowledge and understanding.
Legal Business: country analysis
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
Click here to read the feature.
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Disputes in Romania are settled in court in the vast majority of cases, under procedures regulated mainly by the new Civil Procedure Code (CPC). The CPC entered into force on 15 February 2013, has carried out a systemic and extensive overhaul of the Romanian dispute resolution model. With a specific focus on acceleration of trial proceedings, the new regulation has reformed both the schedule and the content of proceedings taking place in various phases of the lawsuit, while attempting to clarify many of the controversies raised by interpretable provisions in the former regulation.
Initiated late November 2013 and adopted by the Romanian Parliament on 17.12.2013 (to be published upon the President's confirmation), the law regarding purchase of agricultural lands by non Romanian EU Citizens is setting the ground rules expected for the past 7 years, since Romania's accession to EU.
Before 1989, when the Communism regime fell, mineral resources in Romania were exploited by state-owned companies. Although these exploitations were advertised as big economic successes of the communist governments, in reality, most of them were using outdated technology and some caused significant pollution in the mining perimeters. Moreover, in the context of Romania's negotiations to join the European Union, some of the mining exploitations had to be shut down as they were far from being compliant with the European environmental standards.
September 2013 - Projects, Energy and Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Buzescu Ca. More articles by this firm.
Although its stability over time represents the essence of the Romanian Constitution (the “Constitution”) and of any constitution, such fundamental law within the Romanian legal system should at the same time, at any moment, represent both a frame of reference for the Romanian social, political and economical life and a reflection of such. Given the accelerated changes within the society, in order for the Constitution to be brought in line with the overall social, political and economical evolution and perspectives, a procedure for its revision and also the limitations in what regards the possibility for the Constitution to be revised are established by this fundamental law itself. .
1. Background The Romanian Competition Law no. 21/1996 (the " Law ") has been adopted and amended on various occasions so that it reflects the evolution of the competition law provisions in the EU. On 6 July 2010 the Law has been substantially amended, introducing among other institutions the commitments procedure for anticompetitive practices. Previously, the commitments were available only in merger cases under the form of remedies. The commitments procedure has been detailed in RCC guidelines issued in December 2010 (the " Guidelines "), which have been amended at the end of year 2012.
If the Romanian taxation system were under any sign, it would surely not have been Libra this year. Hence, the unbalanced practice of abrupt or disputed changes to the tax legislation persisted in disregarding the principles set forth in art. 4 of the Romanian Fiscal Code, whereby (i) the code is to be amended solely based on a law, (ii) the amending law must be advocated for, as a rule, six months prior to its entry into force, and (iii) any amendment to the code will enter into force starting the 1st of January following the year it was adopted.
Authors: Luminita Popa, Partner Musat & Asociatii, Iulian Popescu, Partner Musat & Asociatii
After the New Civil Code entered into force on October 1, 2011, significant amendments were brought to the legal framework regulating the guarantees’ field, either by effective legislative changes to the existing institutions or by introduction of new types of guarantees. The New Civil Code also changed the terminology in the field (e.g. “mortgage” designates both securities over real estate and movable assets, while “pledge” is now referring only to a security interest with dispossession).
Romania: Buzescu Ca wins victory for Wizz Air in court case regarding commercial and state aid issueRomania : Buzescu Ca wins victory for Wizz Air in court case regarding commercial and state aid issues
Romania: Buzescu Ca wins victory for Wizz Air in court case regarding commercial and state aid issueBuzescu Ca is pleased to announce that it obtained victory for Wizz Air, the leading Central and Eastern European low cost airline. The case, pending in courts since 2011, involved a claim filed against Timisoara Airport regarding non-payment of outstanding multimillion marketing fees for the marketing and promotion of Timisoara Airport as a flight destination. The High Court dismissed the appeals filed by Timisoara Airport, and Carpatair which contested the validity of the Marketing Agreement, and alleged respectively that this represents state aid.
Global Arbitration Review (GAR), a publication launched in 2006 and which is currently "recognised as the leading resource on international arbitration news and community intelligence", has recently revealed its lists of winners at a ceremony held in Paris on February 12th.
Bucharest, December 17th, 2013: Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii has made up three partners as part of a 13-strong promotion round. The appointments are effective from January 1st, 2014.
Romanian independent outfit Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii advised US giant Electronic Arts Inc. on the largest transaction in the office market in Romania so far.
Buzescu Ca advised Beach Energy Ltd. with regard to the acquisition of a second Participating Interest in a Black Sea offshore block.
Bucharest, November 5th, 2013: Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii acted for the Polish financial group Getin Holding as it sealed its first deal in the Romanian market.
Cessna Aircraft Company is the leading designer and manufacturer of light and midsize business jets, utility turboprops and single engine aircraft.
Bucharest, September 12th, 2013: Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP score a major arbitration victory before the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).