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TMO Attorneys at Law in association with KPMG Romania

69-71 PLOIESTI STREET, DN1, BUCHAREST 013685, ROMANIA
Email:
Web:
www.kpmglegal.ro
Amstelveen, Amstelveen, Baku, Berlin, Bielefeld, Bogotá and 35 more

Laura Toncescu, Managing Partner

(Laura Toncescu presents KPMG Legal’s vision, values and successes.)

1) What do you see as the main points that differentiate KPMG Legal (TMO Attorneys at Law) from your competitors?

KPMG Legal places trust, professionalism and legal excellence at the top of its priorities. In addition, we believe in truly knowing our clients’ business, industry and culture and we pay close attention to their management’s personal approach to risks and opportunities. Our relationships with our clients exceed legal aspects and we are trusted in strategic matters. One of the key benefits to our clients is our capacity to work in integrated teams with professionals from financial, IT and other backgrounds. Our multidisciplinary approach and our ability to harness subject matter experts from across the KPMG network enables us to deliver projects more efficiently and to proactively anticipate and address legal and business issues even before they arise on our clients’ agendas.

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

The Financial Services practice of KPMG Legal has grown significantly. We cover the full range of legal services required by all types of financial services companies. In particular, we are proud to say that we have assisted banks and asset management companies in transactions with NPL portfolios with an aggregated value of over EUR 2.5 Bil. We have also advised top banks, non-banking financial institutions, e-money issuers, payment institutions and insurers on products and services. Over the last few years we have had a 100% success rate in our regulatory projects, including licensing of Fintech companies with the National Bank of Romania, in projects which were challenging due to the innovative business models they entailed. In the near future, we expect to be involved an increased number of regulatory projects for Fintechs as well as carrying out more work related to the Payment Services Directive (PSD) II.

Our Corporate and M&A practice has grown significantly and we have assisted leading international clients in the FMCG sector in mergers and corporate restructuring processes. The stable environment in Real Estate has led to growth in our legal services related to acquisitions of various assets, as well as financing and development projects. Our strong command of Competition and Antitrust law has made this an important area in the services we offer our clients in relation to transactions as well as market entry legal operations. KPMG Legal’s Labor Law practice provides expert advice to clients dealing with various sensitive situations. Finally, our Tax and Commercial Litigation team has achieved a series of major successes for global clients and we expect more in the future.

The GDPR is an important driver of growth for our Data Protection Practice, which has tripled its number of lawyers this year. We provide comprehensive legal support to international and local clients in cooperation with an integrated team which includes KPMG IT Advisory specialists. We believe the strong experience we have accumulated with our data protection and privacy compliance work across several industries will enable us to grow even more in this important area.

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

The main changes are related to organizational transformations in the context of the future of work. We train and support our people in developing new capabilities that bring real value to our clients and we invest in talent. We treat client service with the utmost importance, based on full responsibility and care as we work for the long term success of our clients. Our new senior colleagues in our Employment, Real Estate, and Data Protection teams bring extensive new legal knowledge. We have organised numerous events and training courses for our clients and partners, to help them gain a better understanding of legal issues of importance to their businesses, as well as to make our contribution to the evolution and development of the people and of the market.

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

Yes. We work closely with other KPMG lines of service worldwide to develop better and smarter tools for client work. We are working on an innovative robotic process automation tool, which will support our clients from a compliance perspective and have plans for further development of the range of digital products we offer our clients to support their internal processes and the delivery of legal services.

We also keep ourselves well-informed about the impact of digital transformation on our clients. The Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) promotes technological innovation. It presents a strong opportunity for banks as well as for Fintechs, which will both require legal and IT support, which we are well prepared to provide. Electronic Signatures may promote digitalization in Insurance, Banking and other financial services sectors as well as other industries. KPMG Legal can help clients to benefit from this. We expect to see a growth in IT companies developing blockchain based applications for various industries, and we have provided legal guidance in relation to the implementation of this new technology. We anticipate that the report of the EU’s Task Force on Blockchain will shed light on the regulatory perspective. We are very open to new technologies such as Big Data, Robotics and AI and we carefully analyze the opportunities and risks for our clients. We keep an eye on EU authorities’ approaches as they appear in various legislative initiatives, such as the Resolution to regulate Robotics and AI, which we gave a presentation on last year.

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

Our added value resides in our ability, as lawyers who constantly work in integrated teams, to link our services with finance, IT, and other professional services, and to design our engagement in a holistic way, which is solutions oriented and tailored to the client’s unique requirements. We see our clients as partners and view our future together as being for the long term, which means we always go the extra mile to ensure client satisfaction. This is how we have been successful in implementing ground breaking projects in Romania. For example in the regulatory area we succeeded in obtaining the first authorizations for e-money issuers, payment institutions, investment funds acquiring qualified participations in regulated entities etc.

6) Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three year's time?

The firm will have a strong foundation built on its three core practices: Financial Services, Corporate and M&A and Litigation, complemented by the extensive knowledge of our specialists in Employment, Data Protection, Competition and Anti-Trust, Insolvency and Re-structuring. We will continue to keep abreast of digital transformation and retain our strong knowledge expertise in industries such as real estate and construction, automotive, retail, FMCG and pharmaceuticals (and their accompanying legal regimes). Above all, we will maintain a strong talent base and combine uncompromising legal excellence with innovation, team spirit and true passion for our profession. Clients want more and more strategic direction from their lawyers and we are well equipped and willing to offer it to our clients.

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