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Ion Dragne, Managing Partner

Ion Dragne explains how the firm is adapting to clients’ changing needs

1) What do you see as the main points that differentiate Dragne & Asociatii from your competitors?

We have been recognized over the years as a leading law firm on the Romanian legal market and in order to maintain such a position, our firm has set the goal of providing continuously improved services. We are responsive and sensitive to our clients' needs and we do our best to understand the specific of the business developed by each client. This preoccupation appeared as a prerequisite of high quality services, both in light of the evolution of the society, and of the ever-changing necessities of our clients. One of the main features that differentiate us from our competitors is the organization of multidisciplinary teams of lawyers and a work ethic based on excellence and the highest professional standards, which has substantially contributed to the recognition and praise of our clients.

Likewise, having in view that, on the legal market, the professionalism and the quality of legal services is mainly influenced by the prompt adjustment to the newly enacted or amended legislation, our firm has implemented an internal program of legal training. We encourage our lawyers to take an academic interest in their areas of practice and a significant number of our partners and associates regularly address seminars and conferences, both internally and locally.

During the internal seminars, we organize lectures regarding new enactments or amendments in the national, European or international legislation, as well as distinctive court decisions.

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

The Litigation & Arbitration team, the Real Estate & Construction and also the Banking & Finance practices have been very busy in 2017 and I deem that these departments’ projects and also those in the field of Restructuring & Insolvency will continue to represent the main part of our practice.

Also day-to-day advice to our clients on employment issues, data protection, and consumer protection remain an important part of our work.

Within the last years, our firm’s activity in the economic crimes field has also developed and we have legitimate expectations that such area will maintain its growing tendency throughout the next year. Fraud, bribery and business and financial crime legislation has seen many changes in recent years. Business crime is an area that is being enforced more vigorously and clients are looking for lawyers to protect them against injustice.

Moreover, Corporate/ M&A which has always been one of the core practices of our firm will continue to grow bearing in mind the economic evolution of Romania in 2017. This will lead to the development of the existing investments and the outgrowth of new ones.

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

In order to attend to clients’ needs more efficiently we tried to continuously develop and improve the professional quality of our lawyers. We constantly review every aspect of what our team does, to make sure we maintain an environment that will offer the very best for our clients.

We have also adapted our policy on flexible billing arrangements and are concentrating on building lasting relations with all our clients.

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

Technology means efficiently communicating with our clients, thus such cannot be missing from a lawyer’s activity. Technology has changed the way we interact with our clients, and continues to rapidly evolve. It provided us important tools to interact with our clients and collaborators via teleconferences, voice or video calls and it allowed us to attend online seminars too.

In the future we will look to maximise the use of all available technological tools, with a view to providing the best services to our clients and we will continue to invest in this sector as the latest technology helps us provide high level, cost effective services and, in the same time, ensures an enhanced protection of the client’s rights and interests.

However, even if technology has become an important part of any business both internally and in relationship with the clients, the most important part of such relationship as concern our firm remains the personal interaction.

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

We regularly help clients add value to their business primarily by the pattern we use in our day-to-day activity, by swiftly responding to their needs, while considering all of the potential consequences of the envisaged legal actions, including economic, social and cultural aspects.

For example, we assisted a client, one of the largest construction companies, in a complex negotiation procedure in order to avoid the termination of the contract. The construction works were developed on one of the largest cultural institutions in Romania and the fact that we were actively involved in the process helped to successfully avoid litigation and allowed the continuation of the construction. We are confident that our deep understanding of what was important not only to our client but also to the other side in this transaction led to the successful resolution of the dispute.

Likewise, one of our lawyers has been assigned to work in the internal legal team of one of our clients in a period when one employee was on leave, while our legal assistance and representation activities also continued for the same client. The fact that one of our lawyers worked every day with the legal counsels of the client has added value to the business, since our colleague was able to better implement the procedures and manner of working, as well as to improve our communication with the client’s team. In the end, our relationship to the client has significantly developed and we were able to understand in deeper detail the objectives and concerns of our client.  

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

Ever since our law firm was founded, in 2010, we have tried to develop our activity in line with our clients’ businesses and we have managed to develop and maintain the relationship with most of our clients over the years. We do our best to help our clients understand the legal environment from their businesses perspectives, giving them directions and by explaining the legal options for their cases in order to be able to develop the most suitable strategies.

We expect that our firm will constantly continue to grow and develop the team and the number of projects dealt with, to provide high quality services, while continuously adapting to any new developments.

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