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Deloitte Legal Law Firm

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Reneta Petkova, Partner

Partner Reneta Petkova explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Deloitte Legal Law Firm from your competitors?

Our primary advantage remains our ability to form multi-disciplinary teams with other Deloitte professionals, such as financial analysts, tax advisers, accountants and auditors, among others. This cooperation affords us a deeper understanding of the goals and needs of the client and often translates into added value in terms of quality and time-saving. We are equally as successful in forming multi-jurisdictional teams, which are geared towards providing legal services in an increasingly globalized economy.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Our M&A practice has experienced sustained growth over the past three years and we see no signs of a slowdown. This is primarily owed to our excellent track records in the field, as well as our ability to form large teams that get the job done within tight timeframes.

The unique long-term expertise of our banking and finance team, as well as the increasing number of regulatory requirements and strict supervision in the financial services industry will support continuing growth of our banking and regulatory practice. The fast expansion of regulatory practice is expected in other areas as well such as personal data and consumer protection, anti-money laundering, etc.

Our competition practice also deserves a mention. Over the past year we have established a close and very productive relationship with our financial analytics department, which has expanded our capability to offer multi-faceted merger clearance services.

We also expect significant gains in our energy department as well. Last year’s arrival of Pavlin Stoyanoff to helm the practice has led to an influx of high-profile energy clients of both international and domestic prominence. Given the rapidly developing expertise of our team in the field, and the positive feedback of clients, we expect another strong year for the department.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We opted to move away from the conventional manner of dividing our professionals into small groups, based on legal field of expertise. We substituted this approach with a more complex compartmentalization by field of expertise on the one hand, and business sector on the other. Consequently, we are better equipped to form teams that will subject the client’s needs to a legal, commercial and well as sector-specific analysis. In our experience thus far, this has translated into more productive relationships with clients, fueled by our ability to orient the delivery of our services towards the legal needs, as well as the business goals, of the client and our proclivity to look beyond the limits of the mandate at hand and discover issues that the client themselves have ignored.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

The short answer would be “yes” to both parts of the question. Technology has made us far more mobile in our ability to service a client. This, in turn, has pushed us to become more flexible in the provision of our services and the management of our time.

The introduction of cloud technology has also had a significant impact on our interactions with clients. Data rooms, which are often essential to large-scale projects, have moved almost entirely online. This change has saved us and our clients dozens of hours of technical work. Given the benefit of this technology, the Deloitte network has moved to secure our own cloud services provider. This change has translated in added convenience, security and value to our clients.

In terms of services, technological advancement promises to be a game changer. The rise of online spaces for both business and leisure has prompted the complete reimagining of the data protection legal landscape in Europe. Our firm has been quick to respond to this change. We have formed a dedicated team, comprised of our lawyers, and members of Deloitte’s risk services and consulting departments to offer a full data protection service to our clients. Thus far, the results have been outstanding.

We are also preparing for the future. We are currently in the process of assembling a team of experts in blockchain to be able to service our clients in their use of this rapidly developing technology.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

We recently completed a first stage of a project for a client with a prominent position in the Bulgarian real estate market, whose primary goal was to reduce their debt and to restructure their business. Our involvement in the matter went beyond the routine legal analysis and advice. We cooperated with the client in charting a strategic plan for the restructuring of their corporate group and the reorganization of their business to achieve the necessary financing and to hold the client’s debt commercially viable. Because of the trusted relationship we established, the client has shifted almost all of their legal and other consulting needs to Deloitte.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We see the rapid expansion of our firm to continue in the next three years. We plan to further increase our emphasis on technological improvement, given the clear trend of artificial intelligence and cloud technology becoming cornerstones to the delivery of legal services. In light of this automation, we also stress the development of our lawyers’ ability to deliver a personalized service to our clients by improving interpersonal skills, presentation skills and in-depth sector-specific knowledge.

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