EU and competition in Romania

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii has a top notch team led by the hugely impressive Raluca Vasilache, whose over two decades years of experience spans the full range of antitrust, merger control, state aid and compliance issues. While former managing associate Anca Jurcovan now leads the practice at Wolf Theiss, the team's deep bench, including highly-rated managing associate Andreea Oprisan, ensures no drop in quality for existing clients. The contentious side of the practice also regularly appears before the Competition Council and the courts, supporting clients on investigations and challenging fines if and when they occur.

Practice head(s):

Raluca Vasilache

Other key lawyers:

Andreea Oprisan

Testimonials

‘This is, undoubtedly, a very strong competition team, both as a team and individually. I am personally very pleased with their work and would not hesitate to give them complex legal matters to handle. Things go smoothly with them, as they seem to always have the rights answers for us.’

‘We have found their competition team extremely well-placed to advise on any antitrust, mergers and state aid issues, possessing a solid understanding of the local and EU laws and the ability to strategise towards desired outcomes.’

‘The Competition and Antitrust team fully compliments Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii’s calibre and credentials and we would highly recommend their expert team to any partner/ company in Romania or abroad.’

‘Raluca Vasilache is our main contact for competition. She is already a star lawyer in the competition field. Very efficient and thorough. I consider her to be at the very top of her profession. Also, Andreea Oprisan is extremely diligent and hardworking. Very capable and trustworthy, too.’

‘I have been mostly working with Raluca Vasilache and Andreea Oprisan. Their advice is always first-hand and they both show excellent judgment and knowledge of the applicable laws and regulations, as well as a deep understanding of our business goals.’

Key clients

Vodafone Romania SA

Liberty Galati (former Arcelor Mittal Galati)

Girod Semnalizare Rutiera

Generali Romania

Carrefour Romania/ Carrefour Group

ENERGY FINANCING TEAM AG (SWITZERLAND)

Coca-Cola HBC Romania

Novartis Pharma

IPSO

Clever Media Group

BRD Sogelease IFN SA

RD Leasing IFN SA (former IKB Leasing Finance IFN SA)

Merck Romania

Romanian Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers and Importers (APIMAR)

Eco Anvelope

Work highlights

  • Legal assistance to Vodafone Romania on competition/antitrust related matters arising from its €18.4bn of Liberty Global’s operations in several European countries, including Romania.
  • Assisting Generali Romania in connection with an ongoing investigation, as well as court representation in challenging a sanctioning decision issued by the Romanian Competition Council.
  • Legal assistance to Carrefour Romania on day-to-day competition matters, covering internal compliance audits; implementation of ethics walls; review of contracts and the negotiation of contracts to ensure competition compliance.

D&B David si Baias SCA

D&B David si Baias SCA saw some personnel changes to its competition team over recent years, but new practice head Adrian Ster has helped steady the ship. The depth of the team is a major plus, not just in terms of associates such as Lucian Bozian, who attracts huge client praise, but also in the presence of managing partner Sorin David who remains a leading figure in the market. The versatile practice covers the full range of issues, including antitrust and unfair competition claims on the contentious side, and merger clearance and compliance training on the advisory front.

Practice head(s):

Sorin David; Adrian Șter

Testimonials

‘We were extremely pleased with their expertise and know-how in EU Funds/ State aid and Competition and built a strong relationship from then onward.’

‘Very professional attitude, good understanding of client’s objectives, hands-on approach, clear and structured legal opinions, first-class defence of client’s interests.’

‘Puts its clients first and focuses on providing extraordinary service to those clients.’

‘They provided seamless advice on our daily business and performed several compliance tasks on competition issues.’

‘Sorin David is one of the best known lawyers in the market.’

‘Lucian Bozian, was always available for our needs and we received valuable help and advice every time it was necessary. His commitment and great knowledge on complex matters was always treasured by us. Lucian Bozian has a past experience as a competition inspector, which enables him to provide practical insight into the authority’s way of handling investigations. He also has a strong hold of our business and understands the intricacies of the market.’

Key clients

Kronospan Group

CRH Romania

Orange Romania

Tarom

Altex Group

Toneli

OMV Petrom

Volvo Financial Services

CEC Bank

HeidelbergCement Romania

Hidroelectrica

Lukoil Romania

Fan Courier

Uniqa Asigurari

Teraplast Romania

Wetterbest Romania

SNEF

GSP Offshore

NHR Agropartners

Sage Automotive Interiors Inc. (USA)

Work highlights

  • Assisting Volvo Financial Services in connection to the ongoing antitrust investigation carried out by the national competition authority.
  • Assisting several companies of the Kronospan Group in the first Competition Council investigation into the wood acquisition and exploitation sector in Romania, with a view to pursuing potential alternative procedures for concluding the investigation.
  • Assisted CEC Bank in relation to the compliance with the market economy operator principle, followed by a submission of the results of the private investor test to the European Commission.

Filip & Company

Filip & Company has  a top reputation for EU, competition, and state aid related issues. Practice head Cătălin Suliman is a leading market figure, and is shepherding through an impressive range of talent at counsel and associate level. Among them, counsel Georgeta Gavriloiu, and associates Silviu Vasile and Dragos Iordache have strong practices dedicated towards this area. The firm's corporate finance team ensures a strong flow of merger clearance work, and the practice as a whole has good expertise in heavily regulated industries such as telecoms and energy. Investigations and unfair competition claims are major areas of activity.

Practice head(s):

Catalin Suliman

Other key lawyers:

Georgeta Gavriloiu; Silviu Vasile; Dragos Iordache

Testimonials

‘Filip & Company’s competition practice stands out by being highly proactive, responsive and creative, with a remarkable strategic and business-oriented outlook into the legal cases they handle. Greatly engaged in every single project, they give you confidence and a strong sense of risk control that’s invaluable for your business.’

‘Probably the best legal team in Romania, with top lawyers in all the areas. The difference is made by their communication and the capacity to be available all the time, including for short briefs.’

‘The competition practice has the following strengths and capabilities: (1) very good knowledge in this legal domain, both theoretic but also applied to each particular case; (2) the perfect understanding of the business analysed from a competition perspective and the tailor made solutions and opinion; (3) the dedication and support in the required time – an important aspect from operation point of view.’

‘They are bold and innovative in both their approach to the cases as they are in their business strategy as a law firm. Their website is young and fresh, unlike other law firms’, their business events like workshops and webinars are always catchy, engaging and generally very different from the rest. The way they organize their workplace is innovative and friendly with both their lawyers and the clients, it is a pleasure to be inside their Bucharest offices, with so many ergonomic solutions for long hours of work.’

‘Catalin Suliman is a very clever professional, prompt and efficient, focused on results – a problem solver with an impressive track record of cases across virtually all industries. His strong sense of business and sharp strategic thinking make him a brilliant lawyer. Good empathy with the client, logic and well organized speech.’

‘Catalin Suliman and Silviu Vasile as very professional, rigorous, innovative persons. I’m honored to collaborate with them.’

‘Dragos Iordache – I know I can rely on him to deliver high quality materials and outstanding professional conduct.’

‘Silviu Vasile has high attention to detail, innovative solutions and  determination in difficult and complexes cases.’

Key clients

Arctic SA

RCS & RDS (leading regional telecom – 4 play – provider)

VIG Group (Omniasig, Asirom, BCR Asigurari de viata)

Banca Transilvania S.A.

Inform Lykos SA

Strauss

Zentiva (part of Sanofi Aventis Group)

BCR

Work highlights

  • Assisting a major pharmaceuticals distributor and retailer in filing a complaint with the Romanian Competition Council for abuse of dominance, regarding margin squeeze against a pharmaceutical manufacturer, leading to the application of a €10m plus fine.
  • Assisting an insurance company on two high profile investigations conducted by the Romanian Competition Council on the aviation insurance policies market, and also on prices charged by auto repair shops.
  • Assisting an e-commerce company on an extensive compliance program and also one of the first investigations into the online market.

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen is a leading choice for high-end competition and antitrust issues, representing some of the largest companies operating within Romania. The firm advises on a consistent flow of investigations and related court cases, and has a good track record in successfully challenging fines. This is in addition to its merger clearance work, which is a key adjunct to the firm's active M&A practice. Training and compliance work is another key offering to clients from across industry. Practice head Georgeta Dinu has a good reputation, ably supported by senior associate Anca Diaconu.

Practice head(s):

Georgeta Dinu

Other key lawyers:

Anca Diaconu

Key clients

Roche Romania

Rompetrol (KazMunayGas Group)

PepsiCo Romania

Raiffeisen Bank

Selgros Cash & Carry (TransGourmet Group)

Auchan Romania

Mega Image

Edenred Romania

Globalworth Real Estate Investments Limited

Elster Rometrics

Work highlights

  • Represented Roche Romania before the Competition Council in two abuse of dominance investigations on the market of oncological products in Romania.
  • Assisted Elster Rometrics on the court challenge to a competition fine following an electricity meters investigation.
  • Representation of Quadrant Amroq Beverages and Star Foods (PepsiCo Group), and five other companies, on their court challenge to competition fines following the Competition Council’s first retail investigation.

Biris Goran SPARL

Biris Goran SPARL has a multi-faceted competition practice offering strong contentious and non-contentious support to its international and domestic clients. The team has a strong track record defending clients against cartel claims, and has successfully represented companies in high profile antitrust litigations. Merger control proceedings and sectoral investigations are also regular areas of work. Clients come from across a range of sectors, including financial services, manufacturing, retail and energy. Gelu Goran is a well-regarded and experienced practice head.

Practice head(s):

Gelu Goran

Testimonials

‘Biris Goran is an excellent competition practice in Romania.’

‘They have a very pro-business approach, reacting quickly, with a thorough legal analysis behind. The lawyers understand our business and are able to integrate these into their advice.’

‘The lawyers at Biris Goran SPARL are very open minded and always focused on providing legal advice that fits the client’s business model. They offer real business solutions and represent a true business partner, being at the same time anchored in reality. They have a deep understanding of the client’s needs and their high quality legal advice is straight to the point.’

‘They have great flexibility, attending meetings with client’s business people – not only with the client’s in-house legal counsel – to better understand the needs and situations so that they can adapt the legal advice based on this and analyze all angles so that in the end the legal advice is not only very thorough, but also very realistic and suitable for the client.’

‘Gelu Goran is an excellent and responsive competition lawyer.’

Key clients

UniCredit Leasing Fleet Management

UniCredit Leasing Corporation

Profi

Publicis Groupe Holdings B.V.

AON UK Limited

LafargeHolcim

Viessmann

ASLO

Procter & Gamble

General Leasing

MEWI

Lotos Asfalt

Bitholder

Work highlights

  • Advising UniCredit Leasing Fleet Management in connection with a Competition Council investigation focused on an industry-wide information exchange on the operational leasing market.
  • Ongoing assistance to Profi, a leading food retailer, on a wide range of antitrust compliance matters, from market intelligence and dealing with dominant suppliers to pricing, promotions and exclusive partnerships; as well as handling Profi’s antitrust compliance program and assistance in the context of the Competition Council’s sectoral investigation into the food retail market.
  • Ongoing assistance to AON in a Competition Council investigation into the aviation insurance market for alleged bid-rigging and price fixing.

DLA Piper Dinu SCA

DLA Piper Dinu SCA has a dedicated team of lawyers with a strong focus on competition issues. Clients appreciate the firm's international network, especially when it comes to EU-related issues. In Bucharest, Livia Zamfiropol's team offers deep expertise across a range of key sectors and heavily regulated industries. This includes cross-border merger clearance, and support throughout major investigations and subsequent litigations and challenges. Other key individuals include partner Alina Lacatus, counsel Alexandra Radulescu, and recently recruited senior associate Razvan Pele.

Practice head(s):

Livia Zamfiropol

Other key lawyers:

Alina Lăcătuș; Alexandra Rădulescu; Razvan Pele

Testimonials

‘They are very dedicated and always close to the client. The solutions proposed are innovative and in line with the European principles.’

‘DLA Piper’s competition law practice provides excellent services both in terms of legal analysis and commercial thinking. The team demonstrates great skills in handling multi-jurisdictional merger filings, in seamless cooperation with their DLA Piper colleagues abroad. Keywords on this great team is high-end advice provided in a service-minded, solution-oriented, and efficient manner. Recommended!’

‘Livia Zamfiropol has vast experience in advising companies in various important economic sectors with respect to regulatory and competition.’

‘Alina Lăcătuș has important competition expertise in advising and representing clients in front of the Competition Council on sector inquiries and in EU Law support.

‘Alexandra Rădulescu –  a counsel with very good expertise in competition litigation for unlawful competition claims, claims for annulment of decisions issued by the Romanian Competition Council.

‘Răzvan Pele – Senior Associate with very good knowledge in competition law research and innovative solutions offered to the clients.’

‘Partner Alina Lacatus and especially managing associate Cătălin Graure provide excellent advice both in terms of legal analysis and commercial thinking. Appreciated as service-minded, solution-oriented, and very efficient. In multi-jurisdictional merger cases they act effectively in seamless cooperation with their DLA Piper colleagues abroad.’

Key clients

RECKITT BENCKISER

ROMANIAN ASSOCIATION OF THE SELF-CARE INDUSTRY (RASCI)

ASSOCIATION OF DACIA, RENAULT AND NISSAN CONCESSIONAIRES (ACODAREN)

HYDRO EXTRUDED SOLUTIONS AB

GREENWEEE INTERNATIONAL

Work highlights

  • Advising Reckitt Benckiser on complex competition and regulatory matters in the FMCG and pharmaceutical sectors, as well as in a recent sector inquiry opened by the Romanian Competition Council.
  • Assisting the Romanian Association of the Self-Care Industry on the full array of antitrust matters, on potential competition-related risks in the context of interactions between competitors, and on advocacy initiatives related to legislative changes in Romania.
  • Assisted Norsk Hydro in the merger clearance process resulting from the divestment of its Romanian extrusion plant, Hydro Extrusion SRL, to another major player in the sector, Hammerer Aluminium Industries GmbH.

GNP Guia Naghi & Partners

GNP Guia Naghi & Partners is a recently-formed boutique whose lawyers have a top reputation for competition matters forged at larger full-service firms. Antitrust and state aid advice features high on the agenda, including support on major investigations and challenges to the Competition Council. Clients come from across a broad range of sectors, and appreciate the firm's day-to-day compliance advice and training. Highly-rated managing partner Manuela Guia is backed by a strong team, including fellow name partner Bianca Naghi, and associates Otilia Vilcu-Roman and  Tudor Nacev.

Practice head(s):

Manuela Guia; Otilia Vilcu-Roman

Other key lawyers:

Tudor Nacev

Testimonials

‘Extremely solid, has a great track record, is well-appointed and business oriented, providing a perfect mixture of professionalism, experience, creativity and practicality. Their client oriented approach and in depth understanding of business processes and markets are extremely valuable to us. Also, we feel they have the great capability of liaising with the Competition authority while also challenging their every error or procedural mis-handling.’

‘GNP is a unique combination of brilliant legal technicians and very experienced lawyers that have a firm grasp on what the competition authority thinks, targets and implements. They give to the point advice, think strategically, out of the box and never limit their assistance and give us the confidence that our matters are most important.’

‘Professional, business minded, creative, comprehensive in the legal details and unique in the way of handling things.’

‘Manuela Guia and her team are great experts in preparing facts and findings, defining strategy, and going for the customer interest. So far we have had a very good collaboration and progress.’

‘Manuela Guia is a true leader: self-confident, sharp and highly experienced.’

‘Bianca Naghi is the perfect lawyer with the unique capacity to combine all the factors – legal, institutional, business environment, practice. Bianca also has a strong network of specialist in various domains, thus being able to give a complete feedback on the situation.’

Tudor Nacev  is a smart, highly motivated professional always going the extra mile in any project.’

Key clients

Dante International

Compania Nationala de Investitii

Mega Image

Clever Tech

Pfizer Romania

HS Timber (former Holzindustrie Schweighfofer S.R.L.)

Kronospan

Forestar

Euroins Romania Asigurare Reasigurare

CIS Gaz

Amazonen Germany

Novo Nordisk

Vel Pitar

Velrom

Macromex / La Lorraine

Raiffeisen Leasing IFN

Idea Leasing IFN

Food and Beverages Management

Roche Romania

Paralela 45 Turism

Work highlights

  • Advising Mega Image on day-to-day assistance in all related competition matters.
  • Assistance to HS Timber with an ongoing competition investigation into forestry.
  • Assistance to Roche on two investigations concerning abuse of dominance and subsequent litigation.

RTPR | Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu SCA

RTPR | Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu SCA is consistently instructed on major investigations and related challenges. Recently the firm had considerable success defending clients against investigations and related fines. Practice head Valentin Berea is especially strong on the regulatory and litigation front. The firm's corporate clients also benefit from the team's good track record in obtaining merger approvals, an area in which counsel Roxana Ionescu is particularly experienced. The firm also provides clients with comprehensive compliance training and audit programs.

Practice head(s):

Valentin Berea

Key clients

Groupama Asigurari

Electrica

E-Distributie Muntenia (Enel group)

Zenith Media

Ursus Breweries (Asahi group)

Distrigaz Sud Retele SRL

British American Tobacco

Lease Plan Romania

Maspex Romania

Regina Maria

Arctic (Arcelik Group)

Scania Credit

Work highlights

  • Representing Groupama Asigurari in a challenge against the decision issued by the competition authority in a complex antitrust investigation concerning the exchange of commercially sensitive information among insurance companies in Romania.
  • Representing Electrica in the first “facilitator” case in Romania to date in which the client was fined €2.3m for allegedly facilitating a cartel between its meter suppliers.
  • Represented Enel group’s Romanian distribution company in an investigation concerning a complex alleged abuse of dominance case which was ultimately settled with no fine being imposed following commitments by Enel.

Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA

Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA has a versatile and well-regarded team that is equally comfortable on major investigations as it is on merger clearance procedures. The firm's active corporate team ensures a regular flow of the latter, while the experience and reputation of practice head Georgiana Bădescu makes the firm a favoured destination for sensitive contentious issues. The standalone team provides compliance training and regular audits and mock dawn raids. Clients rate its specialised associates, including Mona Banu who worked for ten years in the Competition Council, and Cristiana Manea.

Practice head(s):

Georgiana Bădescu

Other key lawyers:

Mona Banu; Cristiana Manea

Testimonials

‘The firm covers all types of competition projects, from compliance to enforcement and litigation. They are great in liaising with the competition authority. They have a good-size team, with a perfect balance between theoretical knowledge and practical experience. They understand that their advice on competition compliance needs to be implemented on all company levels and are able to deliver said advice in a form that is easily translated into business terms.’

‘Their competition team is very business-minded and easy to approach. They only do competition work – unlike the competition teams in other major firms, that have double- or multiple- specialisations – so you can trust you will receive quick and top-class answers.’

‘They deliver first-class advice, communicate smoothly with the competition regulator and seem to know exactly what legal buttons to push to get the right outcome for the client. They think outside the box and were able to come up with some creative solutions for our project.’

‘Attention to detail, great professionals, client oriented, great understanding of the client’s needs and expectations.’

‘Georgiana Badescu, who runs the competition practice at Schoenherr, has a superb legal and business mind. She is definitely one of the leading competition lawyers in the Romanian market. She has a strong team working with her, with Mona Banu and Cristiana Manea building good names for themselves in the market as well.’

Key clients

Allianz-Tiriac Asigurari

Auto Italia

Carbo Europe

Gothaer Asigurari

Knauf Gips

OMV Petrom Marketing

Policolor

PHOENIX Pharmahandel

Sika Group

S&T AG

Work highlights

  • Assisting several leasing companies in a major investigation conducted by the Romanian Competition Council for alleged competition breaches in Romania’s leasing market.
  • Assisted OMV Petrom Marketing inn obtaining the merger clearance for its acquisition of eight fuel distribution stations from Art Petrol Service, including assistance before the Romanian competition authority.

Bondoc si Asociatii SCA

Bondoc si Asociatii SCA has a strong EU and competition offering, navigating clients through the full range of issues. These include preventive measures and training, merger clearance advice, support on investigations and industry-wide enquiries, as well as challenging decisions before the courts. Clients come from across a range of industries, though the firm is especially strong in areas such as retail and pharmaceuticals. The firm's close links to White & Case LLP's Brussels office also adds value on the EU side. Lucian Bondoc and Raluca Voinescu are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):

Lucian Bondoc; Raluca Voinescu

Testimonials

‘They have a lot of experience and they are also very strong in IT&C and commercial law and understand our business. They are our go-to law firm for some time now. Large team with diverse backgrounds. Very professional/prompt.’

‘Lucian Bondoc is very, very good, with a holistic and pragmatic approach. Managing Associate Andreea Lungu is experienced and fast responding.’

Key clients

Advanz Pharma

Clubul Fermierilor Romani (Romanian Farmers’ Club)

Dante International SA (e- MAG) – largest online retailer in Romania

Egis

ENGIE ROMANIA SA

Fresenius Medical Care Romania SRL

Johnson & Johnson Romania SRL (Janssen Group)

PPF Fund

Merck, Sharp & Dohme

Netcity Telecom/Direct One SA

Oltchim SA (largest chemical company in Romania)

Pfizer Romania SRL

Pronetis

Sanofi SA

Sandoz

SAUDI ARAMCO DEVELOPMENT COMPANY

Work highlights

  • Assisting Oltchim SA in challenging the EU Commission’s decision that Oltchim has benefited from over €330m in illegal state aid.
  • Assistance in an infringement investigation launched by the Competition Council concerning certain commercial practices between Netcity and its customers, allegedly amounting to an abuse of dominance on the part of Netcity.
  • Assisting Dante International SA on a complex cross border joint venture project that required competition law advice on horizontal and vertical agreements, dominance related issues, and the structuring of joint ventures.

bpv Grigorescu Stefanica

bpv Grigorescu Stefanica has a well-regarded practice that is especially noted for its advice to clients in the technology sector. The team offers strong support across a range of areas, particularly in compliance programs and training companies and staff on how to deal with inquiries and investigations. Other areas of expertise include merger clearance advice and assistance on Competition Council investigations, and any subsequent challenges that might be required. Cătălin Grigorescu is highly experienced in this area. The team also includes associates Cristina de Jonge and Iulia Dragomir.

Practice head(s):

Catalin Grigorescu

Other key lawyers:

Cristina de Jonge; Iulia Dragomir

Testimonials

‘The team is highly efficient and competent. They provide highly appreciated guidance in its jurisdiction which is less commonly known. The firm is highly flexible when it comes to meeting the client’s process needs. Cristina de Jonge and Catalin Grigorescu are a extremely talented lawyers who have an excellent understanding of the legal system and also of the needs for explanations of international clients.’

Key clients

Google

Beiersdorf Romania

Raben Management Services Sp. z o.o.

WBV Weisenburger Bau + Verwaltung GmbH

Raiffeisen Ware Austria Aktiengesellschaft (RWA)

MVGM

Work highlights

  • Ongoing legal advice to Google on obligations and requirements under Romanian law in connection with the client’s services and products.
  • Advising Beiersdorf on the full range of issues including various commercial agreements concluded with clients and suppliers.
  • Advised MVGM on structuring the acquisition of the property management business of JLL Romania.

CMS

CMS's team of competition lawyers is particularly active on the merger clearance side, a regular flow of which comes from the firm's strong corporate practice. The firm's regional network also ensures a smooth process in cross-border transactions. The group is also experienced in advising on investigations and challenging fines. Corporate partner Horea Popescu heads the practice, with help from senior counsel and regulatory and compliance specialist, Cristina Popescu.

Practice head(s):

Horea Popescu

Other key lawyers:

Cristina Popescu

Key clients

Liberty Global (with its former Romanian subsidiary – UPC)

Zentiva

Innova Capital

CEE Equity Partners

Master Chem Oil SRL

AFI

OCP Group

Work highlights

  • Advised PPF on the merger clearance required for the acquisition of 50% of the share capital of Temsa, one of Turkey’s leading bus and midi-bus manufacturer Temsa.
  • Advised OCP Group on a joint venture with Al Dahra Group as well as on the complex merger filing stemming from the 50-50 structure of the joint-venture and from the previous acquisitions made by Al Dahra Group on the Romanian market.
  • Advised Innova Capital on the competition implications relating to its acquisitions of Optical Network and Optiplaza.

Dentons

Dentons is notable for providing merger clearance support and investigations advice. The team, led by Raul Mihu, regularly advises on complex contentious issues, including unfair competition claims and regulatory investigations. The firm is also noted for its risk assessment services, guiding clients past potential pitfalls through the use of antitrust audits, training and compliance programs. The firm's strong regional and international presence also gives it an edge on cross-border and EU related issues.

Practice head(s):

Raul Mihu

Testimonials

‘Exceptional acumen in legal matters, whether on competition and antitrust regulation, commercial dispute resolution or other business-related matters (domestic and European. Excellent communication skills and highly refined use of common and specialized language. Outstanding capacity to deal with complex issues in time-sensitive cases, very good sense of strategic and tactical approach, with round-the-clock availability and top-level client relations.’

‘Dentons takes client oriented advice to the next level. It is close to the business and proactive, demonstrated fast and accurate understanding of the legal issue.’

‘Raul Mihu provided our company with valuable advice on different subjects, especially on competition law issues. The emphasis on prevention and the business acumen are just two of his outstanding qualities.’

Key clients

Auchan

Bittnet Systems SA

Metro

Dual Man

Work highlights

  • Advised and successfully represented Auchan in obtaining the annulment of a  €5m fine imposed by the Romanian Competition Council on Real Hypermarkets, a company formerly owned by Metro Group, and which merged with Auchan following its acquisition from Metro.
  • Assisted Bittnet Systems SA in the merger clearance required for its acquisition of the IT integration business of Crescendo International.
  • Successfully defended Dual Man in an investigation initiated by the Romanian Competition Council on the road signage market.

Musat & Asociatii

Musat & Asociatii is noted for its joined-up approach, fielding a cohesive team that handles the consulting and litigious aspects of competition law. The firm was instructed on several high-profile investigations and its litigation strengths make it a reliable choice for challenges against Competition Council decisions. The team, led by Paul Buta, is also experienced on the merger clearance side and day-to-day compliance procedures and audits. It is particularly popular with clients in the life sciences and energy industries.

Practice head(s):

Paul Buta

Testimonials

‘This is one of the most experienced competition teams we have worked with and we like the fact that they keep to the highest standards of legal knowledge, even in the most pressing moments. We also like the fact that they understand our business and that they understand the benefits of working together with the client rather than delivering a document. They have always found time to work with us on our project and have worked harder to keep very tight deadlines while not ever compromising on the quality of the work.’

‘We greatly appreciate the fact that we have worked with the same core team throughout the project, the practice having integrated litigation and consultancy together which has saved time, has prevented loss of important information in such a complex case as ours, and has ensured consistency in our legal arguments.’

‘One innovation was that has had most impact on their service was their integration of the specialized dispute resolution with the specialized departments. Musat handles the specialized litigation with a cross functional approach i.e. with the involvement of the attorneys in the specialized departments. This clearly provides a better service and the approach is more comprehensive and leads to positive outcomes and success rates.’

‘Paul Buta is both a litigator and consultant, which means that the strategy devised at the beginning was followed throughout the project. He is also excellent at strategy, planning ahead and taking everything into consideration. He is also always open to learning new things, like the technical issues in our project, which makes working with him easier.’

Key clients

DAMEN SHIPYARDS GROUP

SERVIER/SERMEDIC

ELECTROLUX

FRIESLAND CAMPINA

KAUFLAND

REWE

SIG SAUER

ECRO

VIBRACOUSTIC

ELI LILLY

ELECTROMAGNETICA

DAIMLER

GENESIS PHARMA

INTACT GROUP

MONSANTO CORPORATION

TRANSAVIA S.A.

CLUJ AVRAM IANCU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Work highlights

  • Assisting Electrolux in challenging a sanctioning decision issued by the Competition Council in connection with an alleged cartel between electronics and electricals producers and distributors, and WEEE collecting associations in the form of buy-back campaigns.
  • Advising Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport, concerning an investigation for abuse of dominance in the ground handling market at airports.
  • Assisting and representing Electromagnetica S.A., a major Romanian electronics manufacturer, in a Competition Council investigation into the Romanian market for electricity meters and energy measuring systems, with a view to identifying bid rigging and other collusive/ market sharing practices.

Noerr

Noerr regularly handles compliance programs and audits on behalf of clients, as well as antitrust investigations and merger control procedures. Through practice co-head Iulian Sorescu, the firm has also established a strong and dedicated state aid department, with a good track record advising clients on related issues. Fellow co-head and corporate department head Rusandra Sandu is also highly experienced in related transactional matters. Counsel Luiza Bedros is also active in this area.

Practice head(s):

Rusandra Sandu; Iulian Sorescu

Other key lawyers:

Luiza Bedros

Testimonials

‘The lawyers from Noerr are very good professionals, extremely prompt and oriented towards offering practical solutions, respecting the legal provisions. Compared to other firms, Noerr stands out by offering consultancy based on strong experience and detailed knowledge of legal provisions.’

‘The team of lawyers is their strong point from our perspective. The lawyers are very good professionals, each of them having excellent knowledge in the fields in which they are specialized.’

Key clients

Kathrein

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Stada Group

Samsung Electronics

Chiesi

Universal Alloy Corporation Europe (UAC Europe)

Minet Group

Heraeus Romania

Work highlights

  • Advising an agricultural machinery manufacturer during the ongoing antitrust proceeding initiated by the Competition Council against the company.
  • Advised Kathrein on the sale of its mobile networks antenna business to Ericsson, including complex antitrust issues.
  • Advised UAC Europe on obtaining state aid of approx. €37.4m for its investment in Romania.

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii has a broad array of expertise in EU, competition and antitrust matters. In addition to an active merger clearance practice, the firm's lawyers regularly appear before the Competition Council and the courts, either in responding to investigations or challenging fines. Strong sectoral expertise in heavily regulated industries such as pharmaceuticals adds extra layers of depth. Practice head Mihaela Ion has significant experience in the market.

Practice head(s):

Mihaela Ion

Key clients

Ameropa

Hewlett Packard

Albalact

Akzo Nobel

SIVECO Romania

Medtronic

Auchan

ADRFR

BRD

Philips

Deutsche Leasing

Yandex

Medist

Antibiotice

Fabryo

Norauto

SAP Romania

Xella

Work highlights

  • Advised Auchan in relation to its project of extending the initial consignment agreement to all Petrom gas stations, as well as in merger control proceedings before the Competition Council.
  • Advised Hewlett Packard in a Competition Council investigation for alleged abuse of dominance.
  • Advised SIVECO Romania in the Competition Council investigation for bid rigging.

Reff & Associates SCA

Reff & Associates SCA is a solid port of call for advice and support on complex investigations, state aid issues, and merger clearance, and has been involved in some of the most high profile industry-wide investigations in Romania. State aid is a key area of focus, with lawyers well-versed in issues such as the private investors' test, where the firm's Deloitte connection adds real value. Florentina Munteanu leads the team, which includes experienced managing associate Andrea Grigoras.

Practice head(s):

Florentina Munteanu

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Grigoras

Testimonials

‘Very prompt, business and solution oriented team.’

Key clients

Proinvest S.R.L.

Proagroservice SRL

Banca Transilvania Group

BOC Asset Management S.A.

Otter Distribution

Worwag Pharma Romania

Fildas Trading S.R.L.

CEC Bank

ING Bank

P.P. Distributors Romania S.R.L.

Frasinul SRL

International Alexander Sud S.R.L.

Work highlights

  • Successfully assisted two large financial institutions during the Romanian Competition Council’s investigation into the financial leasing market.
  • Assisted a major distributor of pharmaceutical products in concluding a significant number of complex agreements while ensuring competition law compliance.
  • Assisted International Alexander in the merger control proceeding for its takeover of VIO TRANSGROUP.

Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss reinvested in this area with the arrival of its highly rated new practice head Anca Jurcovan, formerly a lawyer at Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii. The specialised team provides strong transactional support to the firm's M&A practice and also provides standalone litigation and regulatory advice. The firm's domestic and international clients also benefit from the firm's regional presence, providing a seamless service on major cross-border transactions. More recently the firm has secured some impressive panel appointments for clients in heavily regulated sectors such as telecoms and life sciences.

Practice head(s):

Anca Jurcovan

Testimonials

‘The team is extremely knowledgeable, understands not only the legal framework, but also the economic environment and the sector in which we are active, which is critical for competition matters. The team guides us on how we can strategically approach competition related matters and the authorities.’

‘Professional lawyers, highly experienced, business oriented and last but very important – professionals with high ethical standards.’

‘Anca Jurcovan has an excellent sense for what matters, for what arguments are relevant and is incredibly well articulated. Any document produced by Anca will be easy to read, is well structured and stands out for its impeccable logic.’

Key clients

Adeplast

Work highlights

  • Assisting Adeplast on competition law aspects of a planned transaction with SIKA AG.

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners is well-known for its contentious and regulatory expertise, which extends to its well regarded competition practice. The firm also offers an increasing amount of transactional support to clients from across a variety of sectors, including major trade associations, financial services and energy companies. This include merger clearance and advice on distribution agreements and discounting practices. Elena Iacob and Ioana Racoti are the two lead partners.

Practice head(s):

Elena Iacob; Ioana Racoti

Testimonials

‘The team is exceptionally well equipped to handle high-profile competition work because of an outstanding combination of industry and legal knowledge, flexibility and dedication to achieve the best possible results. We always have two partners who coordinate our cases and I think it is the best combination of legal power we could ever get: one is Ioana Racoti – an energy law titan, also well-versed in Romanian and EU competition law – who seamlessly works with Elena Iacob, a top player among competition lawyers in Romania.’

Key clients

KRONOSPAN

IMMOBILIARE ITALO ROMENA

ROMANIAN ASSOCIATION OF BANKS

ELPRECO

MENZIES AVIATION ROMANIA

ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS SERVICES LEADERS IN ROMANIA

Work highlights

  • Advised Immobiliare Italo Romena in an investigation opened by the Competition Council on a possible breach of the national and EU competition laws for the financial leasing services market and the consumer credit market.
  • Advised Kronospan Group in an investigation opened by the Competition Council on a possible breach of the national and EU competition law in the wood processing market.
  • Advised the Romanian Association of Banks on the revision of its competition compliance programme, designed for members and employees, following publication by the Competition Council of a guideline on competition compliance programs for trade associations.