White-collar crime in Romania

Serban & Asociatii

Serban & Asociatii is a popular choice for the defence of high-profile money laundering, abuse of office, and bribery claims. The firm's caseload includes several significant matters including a multimillion-euro money laundering and tax evasion claim in the energy sector. The team is also representing an insurance company accused of criminal association and tax evasion. Adrian Pichler is the key practitioner. Mihai Jiganie-Serban left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Pichler

Budusan & Asociatii SPARL

Budusan & Asociatii SPARL is a top-notch white-collar criminal law boutique and often the first port of call for the defence of major claims. Clients include key domestic corporates OMV Petrom and Digi and it has a strong reputation in the market. International law firms also frequently refer work to the team. The firm's expertise covers a broad range of areas, and its lawyers regularly interact with domestic and European-level agencies and regulatory bodies. Senior partner Ovidiu Budusan has established a strong reputation. Gabriel Albu and Ana Popescu left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Ovidiu Budusan

Testimonials

‘Their focus on white-collar crime is quite unique. This allows them to stay focused and not dilute their expertise with other types of legal work.’

‘Very knowledgeable, not only about the Romanian criminal system and process, but also about US and EU expectations in internal investigations. Smart, capable, and client focused.’

Key clients

Rompetrol/KazMunayGas

Dedeman

Carmistin

OMV Petrom

Novartis

RCS & RDS/Digi

UniCredit

Western Union

Enel

Intrarom

Work highlights

  • Acting for KazMunayGas International/Rompetrol in allegations of fraud, embezzlement and abuse of office in relation to privatisation procedures and state debt issues.
  • Defending Digi/ RCS & RDS in a court trial regarding allegations of bribery and money laundering concerning its acquisition of football TV rights.
  • Representing Rominserv, a subsidiary of Rompetrol Group, in a case involving manslaughter and health and safety offences.

Mares & Mares

The 'outstanding' white-collar criminal law team at boutique firm Mareș & Mareș is led by managing partner Mihai Mareş. Mareş is one of the leading figures in the market, and the firm regularly represents clients before the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), and the National Anticorruption Directorate (DNA). The firm has expertise defending charges of bribery, corruption, tax fraud, money laundering, as well as helping clients fight extradition. Dan Lupascu and Lucian Danilescu left to etablish their own respective firms.

Practice head(s):

Mihai Mareş

Testimonials

‘I strongly recommend Mihai Mareş for complex white-collar crime matters in Romania. He can cut through a mountain of facts to get at the truth. A seasoned criminal lawyer with a fantastic reputation’

‘Mihai Mareş is a very experienced lawyer with extraordinary experience in the field of white-collar crime. In a real crisis he is a rock.’

Key clients

Peters & Peters

Dechert

Firon Barnir

Aversa Manufacturing

Lowe Romania

Comvex SA

Gas Plus

Toyota Romania

ABC Val SRL

Abbotwoods

Work highlights

  • Representing a former CFO in the energy industry in a criminal investigation related to accusations of tax evasion and money laundering.
  • Representing Denisa Turcu, the vice president of International Railways System, in a high-profile cross-border case involving allegations of tax fraud, money laundering and other financial crimes.
  • Defending Rudel Obreja, a prominent figure in boxing, who is being tried alongside the former Romanian Minister for Tourism, in one of the country’s most high-profile criminal cases.

Musat & Asociatii

White-collar criminal defence law is a key component of Musat & Asociatii's market-leading disputes team. The group has an excellent track record handling major domestic and cross-border criminal investigations and litigations, and has a large international client base. Disputes partners Gheorghe Muşat and Gheorghe Buta are both active in this area, and fellow practice head Liviu Togan is highly specialised in this field. Managing associate Bogdan Lamatic is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gheorghe Muşat; Gheorge Buta; Liviu Togan

Testimonials

‘They are reliable, never let you down and always find the right solution.’

‘Bogdan Lamatic is probably the most reliable and experienced lawyer I have met.’

Key clients

Teamnet International

Pharmnet Plus

MHS Truck & Bus

Rompetrol Rafinare

Leoni AG

R. Capital Solutions

Kaufland Romania

ENGIE

ENEL Romania

Paul Sorin Stanescu

Irinel Popescu

Vlad Oprea

Bogdan Padiu

George Scutaru

Varga Ioan Gheorghe

Work highlights

  • Representing Rompetrol Rafinare in a complex €1.4bn case involving allegations of tax evasion and money laundering, with company assets and stock being frozen as a result.
  • Successfully represented cable and wiring company Leoni Group in various cases involving allegations of €40m worth of fraudulent cross-border transfers.
  • Acting for Romania’s largest retailer, Kaufland, in relation to a corruption claim involving a large commercial and real estate transaction.

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii has a growing team of lawyers focused entirely on criminal law. The firm's success in this field is demonstrated by the high-profile nature of its cases and the quality of its client base, which trust its lawyers with their most sensitive issues, including allegations of fraud, tax evasion and organised crime. Disputes partner Robert Roşu leads the team, which includes experienced criminal lawyer Manuela Gornoviceanu.

Practice head(s):

Robert Roşu; Manuela Gornoviceanu

Key clients

Ericsson Telecommunications

Philip Morris

The Romanian Football Federation (Federația Româna de Fotbal – FRF)

Teamnet International

ArcelorMittal

Atos IT Solutions Services, a member of the Siemens group of companies

Bergerat Monnoyeur

BRD Groupe Societe Generale

Carrefour

CEZ Romania

Coca-Cola HBC România

Depozitarul Central (the Central Depository)

Euroins Asigurare Reasigurare

Generali Romania Asigurare Reasigurare

Microsoft

Müller-Guttenbrunn Recycling

Municipality of Constanta

Schneider Electric Romania

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Romanian Football Federation in various criminal cases concerning offences of failure to enforce court orders.
  • Defending a major leasing company against allegations of organised crime, fraud and use of forged documents.
  • Acting for a major international consumer goods company in a criminal case involving allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and false statements.

CMS

CMS is noted for its strong criminal litigation expertise. Managing partner and disputes head Gabriel Sidere is highly rated by clients and peers alike, and he is ably supported by partner Horia Draghici. The firm's lawyers do much of their own advocacy, and clients benefit from a 24-hour incidence response team to help with dawn raids and business-critical criminal investigations. Mihai Jiganie-Serban heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Mihai Jiganie-Serban

Testimonials

‘CMS is one of the few large firms active in Romania that has a stand-alone white-collar crime practice. I know they also have an internal investigation, fiscal and compliance unit and also the support of the international team they are part of, which helps them assist their Clients promptly and in a professional manner without the need for outsourcing any activities.’

‘Gabriel Sidere stands out. He is a motivational powerhouse in the arena of incident response, government enforcement and reputational management. Gabriel is extremely tenacious, thoughtful and pragmatic. He impressed us with his thorough and technical preparation, as well as his vigorous and energetic advocacy. His engaging personality makes him exactly the kind of lawyer you want on your side.’

Work highlights

  • Defending a company operating in the energy sector against allegations of tax fraud.
  • Successfully representing an infrastructure company in a criminal investigation involving allegations of fraud and money laundering.
  • Acting for a major technology company in a corruption claim linked to a government contract.

ENACHE PIRTEA & Associates

Established in 2018, white-collar criminal law boutique ENACHE PIRTEA & Associates might be a relatively new arrival in the market, but its partners Madalin Enache and Simona Pirtea have considerable experience. The firm acts for a mix of international and domestic companies, as well as businessmen and public figures. Its expertise includes money laundering, corruption, abuse of office, embezzlement of EU funds and cybercrimes.

Practice head(s):

Madalin Enache; Simona Pirtea

Testimonials

‘The firm came highly recommended and from the very beginning I knew I  made the right decision to contact them to defend me and my family, as well as our financial interests, in this case, replacing the former attorneys I had. They are very goal oriented, came up with a broad-spectrum defensive and offensive strategy, in both criminal and civil components, and I see in the firm my shield against a lot of wrongdoings performed in the last years against us.’

‘The firm is a unique blend of young spirit and professional experience at top level. Their expertise is both theoretical and practical and, still, their approach is as applied as it needs to be for a client or legal partner, like ourselves. They provide the business criminal law advice needed, from the simplest analysis to complex memorandum or legal opinion, being at the same time thorough and convincing.’

‘Simona Pirtea is always available for providing advice. An outstanding combination of kindness and firmness.’

‘Madalin Enache is very effective and results oriented, and one of the best lawyers that I have met till now.’

Key clients

E-Distributie Muntenia

Alpha Finance Romania

Stefan Lungu

Great Atlantic Impex

Prompt SA

Fotbal Club CFR 1907 Cluj

Rebecca Walter

M&M Company Construct

Ioan-Gheorghe Varga

Work highlights

  • Representing E-Distributie Muntenia in a manslaughter investigation following a gas explosion on its site.
  • Successfully defending Ioan-Gheorghe Varga in a complex and high-profile real estate corruption case involving allegations of bribery and money laundering.
  • Successfully defending George Scutaru, a former National Security Counsellor to the Romanian President, against money laundering charges.

Kinstellar

Kinstellar has an experienced team of litigators, well versed in investigations, enforcement proceedings, compliance, strategic risk management and white-collar criminal defence. The firm's CEE network makes it a strong choice for international clients with regional anti-corruption issues. Practice heads Bogdan Bibicu and Remus Codreanu have considerable experience.

Practice head(s):

Bogdan Bibicu; Remus Codreanu

Testimonials

‘An experienced team with excellent rapport with law enforcement.’

‘The team is strong and reliable. In this very difficult case, I have been able to appreciate the quality of the legal advice and, more than anything, the quality of their approach. Top team.’

‘Bogdan Bibicu is a leading lawyer in white-collar crime.’

‘Remus Codreanu and Bogdan Bibicu are available any time, dedicated to the case, the client and, they have been able to be fully part of the defense team.’

Key clients

WTA Tour

Building Developments

Biogen

EBRD

Citi

ING Bank

UniCredit Bank

Work highlights

  • Acting for the WTA Tour in a complex €6m case involving cross-border issues, as well as tort, regulatory and sports law.
  • Representing Biogen in a complex claim involving the US Department of Justice, as well as white-collar crime and life science regulatory issues.
  • Representing an international technology company in a white-collar crime case concerning several projects in Romania.

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii has a solid practice led by Alexandru Ambrozie, who has a strong focus on white-collar crime, fraud, corruption and regulatory enforcement investigations. The firm has achieved some notable successes for clients facing multi-faceted corruption and fraud enquiries, often with a cross-border element.

Practice head(s):

Alexandru Ambrozie

Key clients

SIVECO Romania

Hidroconstructia

Swietelsky

Work highlights

  • Defending two shareholders and directors of an international manufacturer against EU funds fraud charges.
  • Successfully defending a commodies trading company against tax evasion charges.
  • Representing a major retailer in its succesful defence of a criminal investigation alleging tax evasion and money laundering.

Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA

Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA is one of the few international firms in Romania that has a dedicated compliance and criminal defence team. The firm has defended several companies against criminal claims, including tax evasion, and also advises companies on compliance, internal investigations and crisis management. Criminal law specialist Magdalena Roibu is especially well regarded in the market.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Guțiu; Emeric Domokos-Hancu

Testimonials

‘Schoenherr is one of the few large firms active in Romania that has a stand-alone white-collar crime practice. From what I understand, they also have an internal investigation and compliance unit, which helps them assist multinationals with keeping an eye on what their subsidiaries are doing over here. I guess their main stronghold is that they are able to deliver international-level services in a field that is otherwise fundamentally local, such as criminal law.’

‘Magdalena Roibu stands out among the white-collar crime practitioners who are currently working in large business law firms. She owes this to her professional standing, experience and the fact that she has a good name among practitioners. I would recommend her to anyone who faces a white-collar crime case.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a company accused of having acted as an accessory to tax evasion.
  • Representing a major company as a claimant pressing charges for cybercrimes affecting its business.

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners has a notable practice that is popular among major corporates and banks looking for a one-stop service. The highly-rated team, which is led by Valerian Cioclei, works closely with colleagues in other departments so that clients receive seamless advice in related areas such as administrative litigation, competition law, tax and health and safety. Calin-Andrei Zamfirescu is also noted for his strong expertise in this area.

Practice head(s):

Valerian Cioclei

Testimonials

‘The law firm has a very good team of white-collar crime litigators, combining an excellent consultancy and representation in the court with a full understanding of a long term perspective and risks of the matter.’

‘The white-collar team is part of the firm and thus they are able to involve other departments depending on the demands of each case. When we are working with one team on a particular case, we are actually working with the whole firm. With all proceedings in the same pair of hands, a common strategy can be developed and we are sure that our company is being watched over in every single aspect of the business.’

‘All the lawyers are gifted and skillful.’

Key clients

Banca Transilvania

Cyprus Popular Bank

BERG Sistem Gaz

Depozitarul Central

Engie Romania

ICON Plc

ING Bank Romania

JT International (Romania)

Kronospan (Group)

Marfin Bank – Marfin Leasing IFN

Philip Morris (Group)

Piraeus Bank

Raiffeisen Bank

RSK Environment

Safege SAS

UCO Tesatura

Unicredit Bank

WNS Global Services (Romania)

Work highlights

  • Representing Alpha Bank, Unicredit Bank, NBG Bank, BRD, and Unicredit SpA Italia, in a criminal case relating to a real estate development.
  • Representing Kronospan Romania in an investigation into alleged bid rigging in public auctions organised by the National Forest Authority – Romsilva.
  • Acting for Raiffeisen Bank and its employees in over 18 criminal procedures involving the investigation of various banking transactions linked to allegations of money laundering.

Bondoc si Asociatii SCA

Bondoc si Asociatii SCA has good expertise acting for clients in internal audits, investigations and criminal proceedings. The firm regularly handles judicial, administrative and tax claims, and is noted for its experience of ancillary civil claims. The team, which is jointly led by Lucian Bondoc and Viorel Dinu, is highly experienced in advising clients in the life sciences sector.

Practice head(s):

Lucian Bondoc; Viorel Dinu

Testimonials

‘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. They provide deep analysis combined with clear practical guidance. Always very prompt, flexible and reliable.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a retail company in a significant criminal and tax evasion investigation.
  • Advising a pharmaceutical company throughout an inquiry by the anti-corruption directorate with regard to its interactions with healthcare professionals.
  • Advising an agricultural company on an internal investigation concerning its compliance with subsidies regulations.

Popescu & Asociatii

Popescu & Asociatii has a very good reputation for litigation, which also extends to white-collar crime and related fraud and regulatory disputes. Octavian Popescu and Adrian Chirvase are the main partners in this field, and regularly handle financial fraud, corruption, e-commerce, organised crime and corporate espionage claims.

Practice head(s):

Octavian Popescu; Adrian Chirvase

Testimonials

‘One of the most powerful law firms in Romania for white-collar crime. The differentiator is that they operate in consistent teams, meaning that I get a better, more satisfying senior partner focus and advice. ‘

‘The white-collar crime and litigation team is one of the best you can get in Romania – they are highly skilled and experienced, have the necessary resources to deal with intricate and sensitive cases and are always able to react promptly. Their lawyers are properly equipped to handle truly large disputes.’

‘Octavian Popescu enjoys a stellar reputation in Romania when it comes to effective white-collar crime and dispute resolution matters resolution. He is one of the finest tacticians and strategists in the country and beyond, a tremendous lawyer and client advocate. Partner Adrian Chirvase is a thoughtful, intelligent lawyer who also has an extremely good manner with clients. He can decrease the pressure in the room, and his depth of knowledge about our business and his overall experience handling complex white-collar crime matters is impressive.’

Key clients

Banca Transilvania

Leoni AG

Teamnet International

Kaufland Romania

Chamber Of Commerce And Industry Bucharest

Electrica Furnizare

Work highlights

  • Representing Leoni in several criminal, civil and labour disputes related to an investigation into an informatics fraud.
  • Representing Kaufland in a complex case concerning an investigation into alleged criminal offences over the issue of land titles.
  • Acting for the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as its president, in a major anti-corruption investigation.

Vernon | David

Vernon | David's experienced team has a strong track record in compliance and internal investigations work, where it represents clients from across a wide range of industries. Recent work has included defending clients against allegations of tax evasion, fraud, criminal liability for industrial accidents, and breach of environmental regulations. Daniela David, Charles Vernon and Maria Nica are all active in this area.

Practice head(s):

Charles Vernon; Maria Nica

Key clients

BC Strategy UK

TMK Artrom

Raycap Corporation

Xannat Minerals

Spearhead Group

Freyrom (a subsidiary of Freyssinet International & Cie group)

SBR (a subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy)

Peace Corp

Xannat Minerals

Calarasi County Hospital

OCHR