Romania > Legal market overview
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Aside from a booming energy sector, the Romanian market remained fairly subdued in 2012 – new-money project financings were rare, and three new governments in the first five months of the year only served to contribute to the uncertainty in the market. The passing of the new Romanian Civil Code, a milestone piece of legislation, has increased pressure on the country’s banks and legal sector to implement changes.
The three largest and most prestigious domestic firms are Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen, Musat & Asociatii and Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii, with Peli Filip, Popovici Nitu & Asociatii, Voicu & Filipescu SCA, and Kinstellar all challenging these larger competitors.
Prominent international firms include CMS, Clifford Chance Badea, RTPR Allen & Overy (Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu SCA in association with Allen & Overy LLP), and Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA.
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In the Legal Insights edition of 18 March 2013, we presented the potential changes to the Romanian renewable energy scheme, resulting from an unofficial working draft Government Emergency Ordinance (GEO) circulated on the market. This Tuesday (2 April 2013), a draft Government Emergency Ordinance on the amendment of Law no. 220/2008 was officially published on the website of the Ministry of Economy. The public is invited to submit comment within the next 30 days, to the e-mail address email@example.com .
Romania seems to be one of the most attractive CEE jurisdictions for renewable energy investments, due to the generous support scheme which generated increasing enthusiasm over the past few years. Implemented in 2005, the support scheme for renewable energy (RES) consisting of tradable green certificates (GCs) combined with mandatory acquisition quotas was improved in 2008 and subsequently in 2010, but was only applicable as of mid-2011, upon state aid clearance from the European Commission (EC).
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. .
Government emergency ordinance no. 8/2013 for the amendment and supplementation of Law no. 571/2003 regarding the Fiscal Code and the regulation of certain financial and fiscal measures (published in the Official Gazette no. 54/23.01.2013) enters into force starting from 1 February 2013. GEO 8 introduces a number of important amendments and supplementa-tions in the fiscal legislation. We shall further present some of the amendments related to di-rect taxation, respectively to social insurance.
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.
Friday (11 January 2013), the Romanian energy market regulator (ANRE) published on its website for public consultation a proposal for a procedure and regulation on OTC electricity trading (the "Proposal"). ANRE has invited stakeholders to submit their comments by 21 January 2013.
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
The absence of a contract regulating the duration and termination of a distribution relationship does not necessarily entitle a party to abruptly terminate the agreement without facing financial exposure to the other party. In particular, a reasonable notice period should be given to allow the other party to adapt its business operations.
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).
Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii’s Structural Funds Department has contributed to the release of more than 1,000 pages containing the inspection authorities’ Notices of Findings on the application of financial corrections in the structural fund projects implemented by local administrative authorities over the last four years. Along with the Institute for Public Policies (IPP) and the Romanian Association of Municipalities, Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii has issued, for the first time in Romania, a systematic case law directory on local and county authorities’ management/control of EU funds.
Tax advisory firm Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii Tax, the youngest specialist division of Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii, has announced the expansion of its management team with the promotion of Alin Chitu to Tax Partner. He has more than nine years of professional experience with Big4 companies such as Deloitte and KPMG. Along with Alexandru Cristea, Alin Chitu will be coordinating all tax procedural matters of the affiliated tax consultancy firm, while working closely with the firm’s contentious administrative practice group and lawyers specialising in tax disputes.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP) was selected to represent Romania in the European Commission's initiative supporting gender diversity.
Romania - Andra Musatescu Law & Industrial Property Offices
Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii acted for Eureko SAFPP SA in challenging the decision of the Romanian Competition Council regarding a EUR 70,000 fine for an alleged cartel on the mandatory private pension funds market. A team of highly experienced pleading and competition lawyers from Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii represented Eureko SAFPP SA in its final appeal before the Supreme Court in the case of the private pension fund administrators v. the Romanian Competition Council.
schoenherr is further strengthening its standing as a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe by appointing seven attorneys as new local partners in its offices in Poland, Slovenia and Romania. Agata Demuth joins schoenherr as a partner in its Warsaw office, while Maja Žgajnar joins the firm as a partner in Ljubljana. In Bucharest, five longer-serving attorneys were promoted to local partners: Oanu Alexandru , Simona Chirică, Monica Cojocaru , Mădălina Neagu and Silvia Popa .
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen Intellectual Property Counseling (NNDKP IP) announced that it was ranked first by WTR 1000 (2013), one of the most appraised international IP guides.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP) announces that the High Court of Cassation and Justice (ICCJ) re-adjudicated and dismissed the second appeal filed by one of the clients of Banca Comerciala Romana. Thus, the court reversed the only case (that of Mrs. Steluţa Vodă) where it had intervened in a loan agreement and had changed the parties' initial interest rate and had replaced it with Euribor + 1.5%.
Popov&Partners has concluded a long-term consultation contract with the Ministry of Regional DevelopPopov&Partners Law office has won the competition by the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works for executor of a public procurement to provide expert legal service. Competitors for the first place were some of the leading law firms offering legal counsel in the field .
Acquisition International's Legal Awards for 2012 published