EU and competition in Romania
Filip & Company is 'very focused on competition matters and very innovative'. The practice has been kept busy recently advising on investigations and merger clearances, and has strong expertise in heavily regulated sectors such as telecoms. Practice head Cătălin Suliman 'has a deep knowledge of the sports industry and excellent knowledge of national and European competition law as well as the approach of the Romanian competition authority'. Clients also rate Georgeta Gavriloiu and associate Dragos Iordache.
‘Very focused on competition matters and very innovative. They take on the challenges positively and with a flexible approach.’
‘The team is relaxed in the interaction with the client without any impact on their professionalism. It is easy to get a hold of them and there is no need to speak only with the head of the department. Connecting with any of the team members will suffice and you will get all information required.’
‘The firm, especially partner, Cătălin Suliman, is the perfect choice. With an excellent understanding of the business needs.’
‘Cătălin Suliman has a deep knowledge of the sports industry and excellent knowledge of national and European competition law as well as the approach of the Romanian competition authority.‘
RCS & RDS
National Association of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies in Romania
Octavian Radu (shareholder of RTC Holding)
- Advising electrical appliance manufacturer, Arctic, on a range of day-to-day issues, including compliance training.
- Acting for Banca Transilvania in merger control proceedings linked to its acquisition of Bancpost and two non-bank financial institutions.
- Representing telecoms company, RCS & RDS, in a dispute pertaining to an abuse of dominance claim.
Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen's experienced team not only provides strong merger clearance support to its M&A practice, it is also extremely active on the investigations front. In recent work, the team has acted for several clients in successfully challenging fines imposed by the competition authorities. Georgeta Dinu's department is also well versed in state aid matters and day-to-day compliance advice.
‘They are well trained professionals who constantly update their legal knowledge. Georgeta Dinu knows not only to solve professional problems, but also knows how to organize the relationship with us as a client.’
Globalworth Real Estate Investments
Vitol Bitumen Investments
Bouygues Energies & Services
- Acted for Honeywell Group subsidiary, Elster Rometrics, in challenging a €2.4m competition fine imposed following an investigation into the electricity meters market; the fine was reduced on appeal.
- Representing Auchan, Quadrant Amroq Beverages, and Star Foods, in their challenge against a €10m fine imposed by the competition authority following an investigation into the food retail market.
- Assisting Edenred with the merger clearance for its takeover of independent Romanian benefits platform, Benefit Online.
Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii has an excellent grounding in competition and antitrust issues, representing clients from across a range of heavily regulated industries, including telecoms and energy. Raluca Vasilache is 'simply excellent', according to one client; she has built up a very strong reputation in the market, both for advisory and compliance work, as well as investigations and related appeals and dawn raid advice. Managing associate Anca Jurcovan left the firm to join Wolf Theiss.
‘Whenever we face a competition issue, we know we are on the safe side of it having Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii with us.’
‘We have been together is several cases, probably the most difficult in the local market. The team has a unique way of support – they try to understand the business, they are pragmatic, they are next to you and together you succeed. ‘
‘Raluca Vasilache is simply excellent. With an exquisite knowledge of competition practice, she is capable to deliver excellent advice whatever the topic at hand is.’
Carrefour Romania/ Carrefour Group
Coca-Cola HBC Romania
AEGON Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń na Życie S.A., Florești branch
NN Asigurări de Viață (formerly ING Asigurări de Viață, the life insurance division of ING)
ENERGY FINANCING TEAM AG (SWITZERLAND)
BRD Sogelease IFN SA
- Advising Vodafone on competition issues linked to its takeover of Liberty Global’s operations in several European countries, including Romania.
- Successfully advising life insurer, NN Asigurări de Viață, on an investigation opened by the Competition Council into alleged exchanges of sensitive information within the industry.
- Acting for Energy Financing Team in its appeal against the Competition Council’s decision to sanction Hidroelectirca and its suppliers for entering into long-term power supply agreements.
Biris Goran SPARL's team has 'a very pro-business approach'. It is popular with multinational clients and is also regularly referred work by major international law firms. The practice has considerable expertise in the financial services and the consumer goods sectors, and has a strong pedigree for cartel cases. Gelu Goran leads the highly experienced team, which has strong depth and experience, with Radu Jianu and Dan Jalba among those attracting praise.
‘In terms of competition, they are able to understand in a holistic manner the internal processes and they are able to set up the client’s strategy with minimum involvement of the clients’ resources.’
‘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.’
‘Gelu Goran is a lawyer with the business understanding of a good CEO. As a client, I am happy when I know that Gelu is involved in a competition matter, as I know he has a clear understanding of the business and has the necessary skills to set up the best strategy.’
‘Dan Jalba has an outstanding power to filter the noise from the business information and flows such as to pin point the competition risks’.
‘Radu Jianu has a fantastic power to filter huge amounts of information and come up with the most appropriate legal competition judgement.’
Publicis Groupe Holdings
UniCredit Leasing Corporation
Procter & Gamble
- Representing Publicis Groupe in a high-profile dispute related to a Competition Council fine for an alleged failure to seek merger control clearance.
- Assisting a major media company with an investigation into Romania’s movie distribution market.
- Advising Aon on an investigation into the aviation insurance market relating to alleged bid rigging and price fixing.
bpv Grigorescu Stefanica has built up a strong pedigree for high-end merger clearance work, competition training, and investigations support. It is commended for its ability 'to work in international teams according to the needs of international transactions / complex international cases'. The firm has notable experience representing clients in the technology sector. The highly rated Cătălin Grigorescu leads the team, which includes experienced associates Cristina de Jonge and Iulia Dragomir.
‘A great team that is perfectly able to work in international teams according to the needs of international transactions/complex international cases. Excellent knowledge of both national and international competition law. They are extremely strong as to new questions of antitrust & digitalization.’
‘The team is providing the comfort that they understand our business model well enough to design and implement the best strategies for tackling competition concerns in new markets.’
‘Cătălin Grigorescu sees beyond the legal framework and can provide real strategic business input.’
‘Cristina de Jonge: a compendium of knowledge in competition law.’
- Advised Dutch property management company, MVGM, on merger clearance issues linked to its acquisition of JLL Romania.
- Assisted Immofinanz on the merger clearance for its acquisition of S Immo.
- Counsel to Infineon Technologies on a review of its internal competition policies, including dawn raid procedures.
D&B David si Baias SCA has a strong track record in contentious and non-contentious competition and antitrust matters. As well as providing transactional and day-to-day support, the firm has assisted clients in several major Competition Council investigations into alleged cartel abuses and anti-competitive behaviour. Adrian Ster was a new arrival from Wolf Theiss.
- Advising Pfizer on domestic competition rules relevant to its implementation of an emergency line alternative distribution model for Romania.
- Acting for Energobit, a metering equipment company, throughout a Competition Council investigation into market practices and alleged cartel behaviour.
- Assisting Volvo Financial Services with an antitrust investigation launched by the Competition Council into the financial leasing market.
Musat & Asociatii handles the spectrum of competition work but is particularly strong on the investigations and contentious front. The experience of highly rated litigator, and deputy managing partner, Paul Buta is especially sought after in this regard.
‘Highly respected team with excellent knowledge of the field, they offer good solutions and they are able to understand the most complex legal cases. They firm provide exceptional quality of work with a great team of lawyers displaying depth of knowledge.’
‘Paul Buta is an exceptional litigator, and very involved and dedicated to his clients.’
Damen Shipyards Group
- Assisting Damen Shipyards Group with merger clearance for its acquisition of joint control over Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industries, which operates a shipyard in Mangalia.
- Advising Kaufland and meat producer Transavia on a Competition Council investigation into potential anti-competitive behaviour in the food products sector.
- Representing Electrolux in challenging a decision issued by the Competition Counsel relating to alleged cartel behaviour.
RTPR | Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu SCA is extremely experienced in litigation, where it has been been involved in some of the Romania's largest competition disputes. The contentious side was further strengthened by the arrival of counsel and administrative litigation expert Alexandru Stănoiu from KPMG Legal. Given the firm's strong transactional track record, Valentin Berea's team is also highly experienced in merger clearance work. Counsel Roxana Ionescu is also recommended.
‘RTPR Allen & Overy team has shown remarkable professionalism in providing advice in the competition law field, while providing an extensive understanding of the banking and financial activity.’
‘They are very responsive and have a deep knowledge of competition law, it is always a great pleasure to work with them.’
‘Valentin Berea stands out, providing comprehensive advice, highly customized for the specific project.’
Zenith Media (Publicis group)
Arctic (Arcelik group)
British American Tobacco Trading
Lease Plan Romania
Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations
British American Shared Services
- Representing Electrica in the first ‘facilitator’ case in Romania, following a €2.3m fine for allegedly facilitating a cartel between its electricity meter suppliers.
- Representing Groupama Asigurari in its appeal against a €50m fine for the alleged exchange of commercially sensitive information between insurance companies.
- Acting for food producer, Maspex Romania in successfully annulling a €35m fine imposed by the Competition Council following an investigation into the food sector.
Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA is a popular choice for contentious and non-contentious competition matters. Recently, the firm has represented clients in several significant investigations into the financial leasing, construction materials, and insurance industries. Practice head Georgiana Bădescu has a strong reputation for compliance and regulatory issues, as well as state aid matters.
‘They have a great and dedicated team that provides professional and efficient advice even in very complex matters such as our competition litigation in Romania.’
‘An excellent understanding of client needs, flexibility and transparency in terms of fee structure.’
‘Georgiana Badescu always provides a high level of engagement, with high efficiency and proficiency in delivering the tailored legal advice as per her exceptional knowledge of our industry.’
Eurobank Ergasias SA
PHOENIX Pharmahandel GmbH & Co. KG
- Assisting paint company Policolor with a Competition Council investigation into alleged breaches in the auto-paint market.
- Acting for commercial refrigeration company, EPTA, on obtaining merger clearance for its acquisition of a 90% stake in Romanian company, DAAS Impex SRL.
Dentons has good experience advising on the full range of matters, including restrictive practices, merger control, investigations, audits and training. Raul Mihu's well-regarded team acts for clients from several highly regulated sectors, including healthcare, life sciences, financial services and energy.
‘They exceeded our expectations with their in-depth understanding of both the legal framework and the inner functioning of the markets (domestic, intra-EU and international), by their up-to-date knowledge of the actors involved, by the accurate, timely and judicious advice they gave us, as well as by their initiative to train our own personnel on the best practices in this sensitive area.’
‘Raul Mihu’s advice is always prompt, succinctly worded and strictly to the point, thoroughly based both in law and in practice, offering exhaustive pros and cons for every point of choice and suggesting strategies and tactics in approaching the matter at hand.’
- Successfully acted for Auchan in overturning a €5m fine imposed on Real Hypermarkets, which was recently acquired by the client as part of its takeover of the Metro Group.
- Advising Bittnet Systems on the merger clearance related to its €16m acquisition of Crescendo International’s IT integration business.
- Assisting Dual Man with an investigation into the road signage market.
Livia Zamfiropol (Constantinescu) leads the well regarded team at DLA Piper Dinu SCA, which also includes Alina Lacatus. The group has been involved in several high-profile investigations into the telecoms and automotive sectors, and is also noted for its strong expertise in the life sciences industry.
‘They are open for co-operation, proactive lawyers, easy to contact and conduct the issues well, which gives comfort to the in-house lawyer.’
‘Alina Lacatus is very professional, active and has an out-of-the box way of thinking’.
Romanian ASsociation of the Self-Care Industry (RASCI)
Association of Dacia, Renault and Nissan Concessionaires (ACODAREN)
- Advising Reckitt Benckiser on a range of competition issues, including an in-depth review of its internal practices.
- Acting for Rasci on a variety of issues including requests for information from the Competition Council linked to its inquiry into the market for over the counter drugs, food supplements and self-use medical devices.
- Assisting Acodaren with an ongoing cartel investigation concerning the relationship between Acodaren members and the insurance industry.
Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii has a strong standing in the market for contentious and non-contentious advice. The firm is instructed by several major domestic and international companies to assist with merger clearance, compliance, state aid, and investigations by the authorities. Mihaela Ion leads the highly regarded team, which also benefits from the expertise of senior partner Silviu Stoica.
- Advising Auchan on merger control proceedings concerning a consignment agreement with OMV Petrom in which Auchan will acquire control of the food and beverage business in all Petrom gas stations.
- Advising Orange on competition issues linked to its network sharing agreement with Vodafone, which was upgraded to include 4G technology in rural areas.
- Acting for Albalact in successfully reducing a fine following three investigations by the Competition Council into Romania’s butter market, which included allegations of of bid rigging.
Reff & Associates SCA has strong experience across all areas of competition law, including investigations, compliance programmes, state aid, and merger clearance. It acts for clients from a range of sectors, including those operating in highly regulated markets such as pharmaceutical companies. Practice head Florentina Munteanu has considerable experience in the competition space.
Banca Transilvania S.A.
P.P. – Distributors Romania
Chimcomplex S.A. Borzesti
- Represented Proinvest throughout a cartel investigation into the agricultural machinery market.
- Acting for travel agency Happy Tour during a cartel investigation into the tourism market.
- Advising Banca Transilvania Group on an investigation launched by the Competition Council into the financial leasing market for consumer credit.
Bondoc si Asociatii SCA is equally adept at advising clients on merger clearance matters as it is defending them in investigations and contentious state aid matters. Managing partner Lucian Bondoc has almost 20 years' experience acting for public and private sector clients on the full range of issues, while newly promoted partner Raluca Voinescu has good expertise in cartel investigations and other non-contentious issues.
‘Excellent response times, open to any discussions, high level of business understanding, and they provide fast solutions.’
‘Raluca Voinescu and Lucian Bondoc have a very high level of professionalism, are extremely skilled, and a real help when needed.’
Dante International SA (e- MAG)
Mid Europa Partners
ENGIE ROMANIA SA
Merck, Sharp & Dohme
Johnson & Johnson Romania SRL (Janssen Group)
Netcity Telecom/Direct One SA
Pfizer Romania SRL
Fresenius Medical Care Romania SRL
Leading Edge Material
- Advising Oltchim on the merger clearance for its acquisition of Chimcomplex’s bundle of business assets.
- Acting for chemicals producer Oltchim in challenging the EU Commission’s decision that the company had benefited from over €330m in state aid.
- Representing Netcity Telecom, an internet fibre provider, in an abuse of dominant position investigation.
CMS' competition team provides strong support to the firm's active corporate practice, with merger clearance advice accounting for the bulk of its work. The team also has experience of antitrust investigations. Corporate partner Horea Popescu runs the team, with strong day-to-day support from senior counsel Cristina Popescu.
Horea Popescu; Cristina Popescu
Erste Group Bank AG
Romanian Petroleum Exploration and Production Companies Association
- Advising Liberty Global on the competition aspects of the sale of its European assets to Vodafone, including its Romanian operations.
- Advising a major client in the transport industry on an abuse of dominance investigation by the Competition Council.
- Assisting Zentiva with the merger clearance needed for its acquisition of the Romanian pharmaceutical company, Solacium.
GNP Guia Naghi si Asociatii S.C.A. is a new entrant that was established by the former head of competition at D&B David si Baias SCA, Manuela Guia, and her partner Bianca Naghi. Both have an excellent reputation for regulatory matters, related investigations and disputes work.
Noerr advises on merger control procedures, as well as major compliance audits, state aid issues and antitrust investigations. The team recently saw significant success in several high-profile investigations into the retail sector. Corporate partner Rusandra Sandu is highly experienced in the merger clearance side, while Iulian Sorescu heads the state aid department.
Rusandra Sandu; Iulian Sorescu
‘They, either collectively or individually, are just the perfect match of vision, clarity, strategy and power to blend in with the business. Working alongside Noerr is always a pleasure.’
Skyview Capital LLC
Universal Alloy Corporation Europe (UAC Europe)
- Advising Samsung on a range of related issues, including competition advice related to its distribution activities.
- Assisting pharmaceutical Stada Group with several antitrust and regulatory matters.
- Advising microbattery manufacturer, Varta Microbattery on complex state aid matters linked to obtaining state aid of over €5.4m.