Dispute resolution in Romania
The nine-partner practice at Ţuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is well regarded for both domestic and international arbitration. It represents Gabriel Resources (Canada) and Gabriel Resources (Jersey) in proceedings initiated against the Romanian state regarding a proposed breach by the Romanian government of the Agreement for the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments made with Canada, Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The team also represents Alstom Transport in a dispute with CFR in relation to public acquisition contracts totalling €290m. Robert Roşu, Cornel Popa, Ioana Hrisafi-Josan and Levana Zigmund are the names to note.
Dragne & Asociaţii SCA handles a broad range of proceedings including commercial disputes, administrative law, criminal law, enforcement, public procurement and arbitration. The six-partner team is headed by Ion Dragne and is currently assisting Deutsche Bahn Cargo Romania in relation to an alleged breach of obligations arising from a rail freight transport agreement. In another highlight, the team successfully represented a company engaged in the wholesale and retail of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics in a series of disputes regarding the misconduct of several healthcare authorities. Stelian Garofil is an expert in corporate recovery and commercial litigation and Ioana Oprea and Andreia Oana Dumitrescu have respective expertise in large-scale construction projects and privatisation disputes.
Filip & Company excels in competition, construction and corporate litigation and has particular energy sector expertise. Practice head Catalin Alexandru and recently promoted partner Mihnea Sararu represent RCS & RDS in a dispute with international film studios concerning internet movie piracy. Alexandru is also representing Hidroelectrica in challenging a fine levied by the National Energy Authority for the direct sale of electric energy on the Hungarian market; the matter is due a preliminary referral to The European Court of Justice. The recommended Alexandru Gosa has been promoted to counsel.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen's team is praised as ‘the best in the market’, ‘simplifying complex aspects and proposing intelligent approaches’. Recent highlights include representing Gruppo Fri-El in a dispute over the duration of concession agreements concerning 13,000ha of agricultural land and representing The National History Museum of Romania in public procurement litigation pertaining to its modernisation. Emil Bivolaru has ‘strong technical and strategic skills, coupled with an excellent client service’ and Valeriu Mina, one of five new partners in the team, is praised as a ‘very competent and skilful lawyer’. Ana Diculescu-Sova leads the practice, which also includes the recommended Sorina Olaru and Radu Damaschin. The group handles a wide spectrum of work including civil, commercial, labour, administrative, fiscal and constitutional disputes.
Energy-related litigation is a core strength at Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii. Ciprian Donțu is representing Enel Energie in pursuit of an annulment made by the National Regulatory Authority for Energy, which set the competitive price component that the client is able to charge. Elsewhere, the team acted for Fondul Proprietatea in litigation pertaining to the sale of its shares in Romanian state-owned company Electrica and its four subsidiaries. Additional spheres of expertise include corporate, property, IT, public procurement and capital markets disputes. Ilinca Ștefănescu-Goangă heads the practice jointly with Donțu.
Valeriu Stoica’s team at STOICA & Asociaţii – Attorneys at Law is active in the banking and finance, telecoms, food and beverage, energy and pharmaceutical industries. It defended Romanian telecoms regulator ANCOM against a claim by a postal services operation alleging that sanctions imposed upon it were illegal. It also represented Orange Romania in a matter concerning alleged contractual debts and acted for ArcelorMittal in a challenge to environmental taxes established by local authorities. Other notable clients include BRD – Groupe Société Générale, Telekom Romania Communications and Banca Comercială Română.
Calin-Andrei Zamfirescu, Stan Tirnoveanu and Cosmin Vasile jointly head the practice at Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners. Vasile successfully defended the National Agency for Mineral Resources in a claim brought by Chevron relating to the termination of three shale gas concessions. Proceedings also included a counterclaim of $73m, which was successful in favour of the client. It also assisted Uzuc Romania with bringing a successful claim for damages for defect liability against India-based Prakash Steelage. Areas of expertise include corporate and commercial litigation and international arbitration.
Bondoc si Asociatii SCA in alliance with White & Case acts for Engie Romania in approximately 80 disputes arising from delays in the erection of a housing complex and represents Profi Rom Food in a dispute with an advertising agency. Mihaela Bondoc specialises in tax and employment-related disputes and Lucian Bondoc is adept at energy, competition and life sciences-related litigation. The pair head the practice alongside Viorel Dinu, who has expertise in enforcement matters as well as international litigation and arbitration.
Clifford Chance Badea handles antitrust, healthcare, employment and construction litigation as well as arbitration and public procurement disputes. It successfully represented BRD – Groupe Société Générale in a claim pertaining to interest rate swaps. Simona Neagu, who heads the team alongside Vlad Peligrad, successfully represented Pfizer in a dispute concerning the Romanian Ministry of Health's public procurement procedure for the acquisition of a vaccine.
The ‘outstanding’ team at CMS displays an ‘exceptional service mentality’ and is praised for its ‘accuracy and punctuality’. Practice head Gabriel Sidere is supported by Horia Draghici, who has ‘exceptional expertise in international commercial and dispute law’. The team handles a broad range of issues including commercial disputes, insurance coverage, employment and international arbitration.
The ‘client-focused’ team at DLA Piper Dinu SCA ‘captures all potential perspectives for solving a specific case’. It acted for Wizz Air in several employment disputes relating to salary rights, alleged discrimination and employee terminations. Hillside (bet365 group) instructed the team in a claim against the National Office for Gambling, seeking reimbursement for payments made to the Romanian state and recovery of its right to operate online gambling activities in Romania. Radu Balas heads the practice.
Kinstellar's team is jointly led by Bogdan Bibicu and Remus Codreanu; it handles commercial, civil, employment, administrative, public procurement, construction and sports-related disputes. In a recent highlight, it successfully defended a pharmaceutical laboratory and a pharmaceuticals company in the High Court of Cassation and Justice in a claim relating to alleged unlawful termination of a distribution agreement. The team also advised a global automotive supplier on two potential disputes with suppliers based in Romania and Hungary over a breach of contractual clauses and defective products.
Muşat & Asociaţii is well regarded for disputes in the commercial and corporate, administrative and fiscal, real estate and employment spheres. Practice heads Gheorghe Musat and Gheorghe Buta represent KMG International in relation to commercial and civil liabilities claims totalling €1.6bn. The firm also hosts a reputed arbitration practice, with Buta representing the Romanian National Railway Company in international arbitration regarding an infrastructure project in Romania financed by the European Investment Bank and the European Union. Octavian Popescu left to establish Popescu & Asociatii.
RTPR Allen & Overy (Radu Tărăcilă Pădurari Retevoescu SCA in association with Allen & Overy LLP) is noted for representing Hollywood studios such as Walt Disney, Warner Bros and Twentieth Century Fox in a claim against internet service providers intended to block pirate movie websites. Elsewhere, the team had success in the High Court of Cassation and Justice, representing Midtown Retail in real-estate litigation arising from a restitution claim on a plot of land now housing a supermarket. Valentin Berea and Prof Lucian Mihai head the practice, which is experienced in handling antitrust, administrative and real estate litigation in addition to domestic and international arbitration. Răzvan Nănescu left the firm to establish Nănescu.
Schoenherr şi Asociaţii SCA maintains ‘professional standards of the highest level’ and has ‘proven extensive expertise and deep knowledge of even the most complicated legal issues’. The team is well regarded for handling tax, insurance, corporate and public procurement disputes, as well as international arbitration cases. ‘Visionary lawyer’ Sebastian Gutiu has an ‘impressive capacity for synthesis and analysis’ and Emeric Domokos-Hancu is a ‘great strategist and litigator’. The two head the practice alongside Adina Jivan, who with Gutiu is defending a Romanian electricity company against a claim alleging the non-fulfilment of post-privatisation obligations.
Luminița Popa heads the practice at Suciu Popa and is supported by recently promoted partners Roxana Fercala and Iulian Cioienaru. The team is reputed for its work on international arbitration and recently acted for Italy-based Enel Investment in an ICC arbitration against the Romanian state regarding a put option arising from a privatisation contract. In another highlight, the team acted for Dumor, a supplier of digital print finish equipment, in relation to counterfeit products and unauthorised import into the European Union. The group’s predominantly international client roster includes names such as Colas Group, Hidroelectrica and SIF Transilvania.
Wolf Theiss has ‘an excellent, experienced team’ led by the ‘competent, proactive and solutions-oriented’ Ligia Popescu. It successfully defended Northern Ireland-based Northstone in a first instance claim alleging the failure to perform management services and moral damages under a joint venture procurement agreement. In another highlight, it defended nonprofit Fundaţia Conservation Carpathia in a claim brought against it for alleged reputational damages. Senior associate Andreea Zvâc provides an ‘excellent service’.
Buzescu Ca covers a wide range of litigation and arbitration matters including competition, state aid, tax, employment and debt recovery. The client roster features multinational companies such as Wizz Air who the team recently represented in damages claims arising from alleged state aid and anti-competitive behaviour. Adrian Tomescu heads the practice, which is particularly active in the pharmaceutical and oil and gas sectors.
Dentons successfully obtained an annulment of a fine levied on client Auchan's Real hypermarkets by the Romanian Competition Council. Practice head Tiberiu Csaki led on the matter and also achieved a positive outcome for Ovidiu Development on a claim for annulment of a building permit at the largest Romanian wind farm. The team handles a broad range of disputes in the energy, automotive, infrastructure, manufacturing, chemicals and retail industries.
Leroy si Asociatii
Leroy si Asociatii ‘has the capacity and makes the effort to resolve issues in an optimal way'. Notable clients include Engie Romania, WIROM Gas and Expert Petroleum. Key client Vitalia Group instructed the team on several disputes concerning damages suffered and payment for services already rendered. Iulia Stanciulescu, Luminita Busuricu and Madalina Ivan are singled out for their ‘quality of work and good performance’. Stanciulescu heads the group alongside Bruno Leroy.
Noerr's practice, led by Alexandru Ene, handles commercial and civil disputes, arbitration proceedings, restructuring and insolvency and compliance investigations. Ene is representing a global commercial vehicle supplier in several disputes totalling €1m and acts for a German media company in a dispute concerning re-transmission rights. Industries of expertise include retail and electronics, IT&C, energy, manufacturing and banking.
VASS Lawyers hosts a ‘proactive and result-oriented’ team that provides an ‘exceptional service’. ‘Impressive lawyer and consultant’ Iulia Vass heads the practice, which has particular expertise in public procurement litigation and also handles contract, intellectual property and administrative disputes and arbitration. Lawyers are ‘easy to communicate with’ and combine ‘deep knowledge’ and ‘dedication’ with the ‘capacity to handle very complex cases’.
Berechet Rusu Hirit's team, led by Madalina Berechet and Valentin Hirit, possesses ‘vast litigation experience’. It handles a broad range of litigation including real estate, construction, corporate, contract, energy and tax disputes. Hirit ensures ‘that things are in order and goal-oriented’ and Berechet finds ‘innovative solutions’ and is ‘brilliant in the level of detail she works with’.
Biriş Goran SPARL has a focus on tax litigation but also handles administrative and antitrust matters. Practice head Mihai Nușcă represented BCR in a high-profile audit of its financial transactions, including drafting the tax appeal against the decision of the Romanian tax authorities and acting on the mutual agreement procedure. Industries of expertise include telecoms, energy, transport, oil and gas, gambling and real estate.
Technology, procurement, employment, tax and debt recovery disputes form the recent caseload at bpv Grigorescu Ştefănică. Practice head Daniel Stefanica defended Bancpost in a series of disputes pertaining to alleged abusive contractual clauses contained within the client’s loan contracts. Notable clients include Google and Bucharest City Hall.
Cunescu, Balaciu & Asociatii's team is ‘talented, enthusiastic and highly resourceful’ and noted for its ‘excellent legal expertise’. The group is assisting on a matter being heard before the United States District Court for the Central District of California, through which the plaintiffs are seeking compensation and claiming inheritance of an art film post production laboratory. Beatrice Onica Jarka counts among the ‘most talented and imaginative attorneys’ and heads the practice alongside Dinu Petre and Monica Badescu.
D&B David si Baias SCA's team 'provides perfect guidance' and 'handles its part perfectly', particularly excelling in administrative and tax law litigation. Acting for Grup Servicii Petroliere, practice head Dan Dascălu successfully obtained the suspension of a €30m tax assessment decision in the Supreme Court of Justice.
Eversheds Sutherland Romania's practice head Sorin Susnea is experienced in civil, commercial, insolvency and administrative litigation. She acted for The Financial Supervisory Authority in the opening of bankruptcy proceedings against insurance company Carpatica Asig. Clients include Volvo Romania, OMV Petrom and Telekom Romania Communications.
Ionescu si Sava, SCA
The ‘professional’ and ‘focused’ team at Ionescu si Sava, SCA receives praise for its ‘extensive competencies’. It assisted Mercedes-Benz Romania in a number of litigation and foreclosure proceedings. Alina Neagu is ‘a professional in the true sense of the word’ and heads the team together with George Ionescu. Particular strengths include administrative litigation in the pharmaceutical sector.
MPR Partners | Maravela, Popescu & Roman's team is ‘highly devoted to solving its clients' legal issues with dedication and excellence’. Ioan Roman, who jointly heads the practice with Gelu Titus Maravela, is currently representing Project Developer in several disputes concerning a public acquisition contract. The team covers the full spectrum of disputes including commercial and investment arbitration, insolvency proceedings, tax litigation and fraud.
STALFORT Legal. Tax. Audit. is ‘characterised by a high level of professional competence' with practice head Mihai Macovei praised for his ‘tailor-made support’. The team regularly handles insolvency, fiscal and administrative, commercial and contractual disputes. In a recent highlight, Macovei represented Continental Automotive Products in numerous disputes with UMT concerning rights of use at an industrial platform.
Stratula & Asociatii
Stratula & Asociatii's client base includes multinational and blue-chip companies as well as notable Romanian entities and private investors. EU funds disputes are a particular strength; other areas of expertise include commercial, real estate and administrative litigation. Sorin Stratula and Oana Stratula jointly helm the practice.
Vernon | David's highlights included representing TMK-ARTROM in a Court of Appeal dispute with the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority and the Romanian government. Practice head Daniela David is an ‘excellent lawyer with extensive knowledge’. Strengths for the team include civil, labour, administrative, tax, environmental and insolvency disputes.