White-collar crime in Romania

Serban & Asociatii

Serban & Asociatii has a top notch reputation for criminal defence work, regularly representing companies and individuals in high-profile white collar crime cases. The versatile team acts for clients across several sectors, and has a good track record on money laundering, abuse of office, tax evasion and bribery claims. Senior partner Adrian Pichler and managing partner George  Serban remain leading figures in the market, and are backed by strong teams of criminal law specialists. Mihai Jiganie-Serban recently left the firm to join CMS.

Mares & Mares

Mares & Mares has established an excellent reputation for high-stakes domestic and cross-border white-collar crime cases. The firm is regularly used by major corporates and individuals, and has achieved considerable success defending clients in recent years. The practice covers the full spectrum of criminal law issues, including money laundering, bribery, corruption, corporate fraud and insider dealing claims. The team has an especially strong following in the investment fund community, for which it also provides strong compliance support. Mihai Mareş is a leading figure in the market, and the practice recently recruited several experienced associates, including Otilia Ghenici.

Practice head(s):

Mihai Mares

Other key lawyers:

Otilia Ghenici

Testimonials

‘Mares & Mares law firm came up with the most professional and efficient solutions which suits our needs and gave our cases all the time and attention that were needed to be successful in court. They were an invaluable resource when it came to protecting our interests.’

‘Strong reputation in business crime and corruption cases at the highest level.’

‘Mihai Mares is one of the leading Romanian lawyers in cross border criminal cases. ’

‘Mihai Mares is an expert in his field, he invest a lot of time and effort in understanding the client’

‘Mares & Mares is an elite white-collar crime practice in Romania. Mihai Mares is our main choice for criminal matters. He is a star of the Bar, being extremely meticulous and has great oral skills, while dealing with a variety of cross-border matters related to the Romanian jurisdiction’

‘Mihai Mares runs the best white-collar crime team in Romania and is a star of the criminal Bar. Cristian Mares is highly recommended for issues related to asset tracing, capital market manipulation and fraudulent insolvency.’

Key clients

SIF 1 Banat Crisana

SIF 4 Muntenia

Dac Air SA

Eurobox

Key Ways Group

tesa SE

Abbotswood Sal (holding)

Naguma Medical

SkyLight Residence

Tobago Properties

Work highlights

  • Representing the Romanian airline, Dac Air, in multi-million dollar asset tracing and criminal litigations against former administrators, as well as against the Romanian Government.
  • Advising the alternative investment fund SIF 1 Banat Crisana in various criminal proceedings and asset tracing matters linked to companies from its portfolio of investments.
  • Successfully defended a former Laiki Bank official in a huge corruption trial with allegations of bribery involving the former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus. The trial ended with all charges in Cyprus being dropped.

Musat & Asociatii

Musat & Asociatii has a highly-rated dispute resolution team, of which white-collar crime work is a key component. The firm is regularly involved in major domestic and cross-border investigations and disputes, and is popular with international companies operating within Romania. The firm also has good expertise assisting clients with sensitive internal investigations and related compliance issues, particularly in relation to conduct at employee and board level. Senior partner Gheorghe Buta co-heads the team with criminal law expert Liviu Togan. Managing partner Gheorghe Muşat also has good experience.

Practice head(s):

Gheorghe Muşat; Gheorghe Buta; Liviu Togan

Testimonials

‘Good ability to work in an extended team of lawyers on very complicated matters. ’

‘Liviu Togan has the flexibility and skills to achieve results through different angles.’

Key clients

Profi Rom Food

Pharmnet Plus

MHS Truck & Bus

Rompetrol Rafinare

Leoni AG

R. Capital Solutions

Kaufland Romania

ENGIE

ENEL Romania

Paul Sorin Stanescu

Irinel Popescu

Varga Ioan Gheorghe

Work highlights

  • Defending Rompetrol Rafinare (including the companies within the KMGI group), one of the largest gas and refining businesses in Romania, in a white-collar crime related case.
  • Representing Leoni AG and its Romanian subsidiary in relation to an IT fraud investigation across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Representing Profi Rom Food, a leading Romanian supermarket chain, in relation to an internal investigation relating to an employee’s criminal conduct.

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners

Zamfirescu Racoti Vasile & Partners' top-notch litigation expertise extends to its specialised white-collar crime team. The firm represents individuals and domestic and international companies on their most high-profile matters. The team works closely with specialists in other disciplines to offer deep expertise in corporate, financial, IP, public procurement, capital markets and tax-related criminal matters. The group's versatility was demonstrated by its successful pro bono representation of 43 claimants following the tragic fire at the Colectiv nightclub, which had four separate criminal case files. Criminal law specialist Valerian Cioclei and Calin-Andrei Zamfirescu are the two main contacts.

Practice head(s):

Valerian Cioclei

Other key lawyers:

Călin-Andrei Zamfirescu

Testimonials

‘People with a passion for building lasting relationships. It’s a pleasure to work with. ’

‘Responsive lawyers who ask great questions and actively listen to answers, providing innovative thinking and solutions, and anticipation of problems.’

Key clients

Central Securities Depository

Engie Romania S.A.

ING Bank Romania

Imedica S.A.

Intrasoft International S.A.

Kronospan

National Bank of Greece

Philip Morris

Raiffeisen Bank

RSK Environment

Unicredit Bank

WNS Global Services (Romania) SRL

Safege SAS Nanterre France

Alpha Bank

Banca Transilvania

Cyprus Popular Bank

First Bank

UCO Tesatura SRL

Unicredit SpA Italia

Vista Bank – Vista Leasing IFN

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Alpha Bank, Unicredit Bank, National Bank of Greece, BRD Societe Generale, and Unicredit SpA Italia, in challenging a criminal judgement before the High Court of Cassation and Justice.
  • Successfully represented an international online trading company in a case involving allegations of €10m worth of fraudulent cross-border transfers.
  • Successfully represented over 43 claimants before the Bucharest Tribunal following the Colective nightclub fire tragedy. The court ruling in granted the clients over €10m in moral and material damages.

Albu Legal

Albu Legal is a highly rated boutique formed after founder and managing partner Gabriel Albu left Budusan, Albu & Asociatii. Albu has an extremely strong pedigree for white-collar crime advice and litigation. The firm has a large international client base, representing several companies from heavily regulated industries. Key areas of activity include criminal tax cases and ones concerning EU funding-related fraud, as well as corruption charges, financial mismanagement, and securities and public procurement fraud. Albu is joined by an experienced team of associates, including Ana Popescu and Mihai Lemnaru.

Practice head(s):

Gabriel Albu

Other key lawyers:

Ana Popescu; Mihai Lemnaru

Testimonials

‘This is a young practice established by an experienced partner with a proven professional record and a distinctive focus on the area of white-collar crime.’

‘The team combines a an extensive knowledge in the field with a strong understanding of the business environment, as well as complex know how in other relevant areas of law. The communication is fast and smooth. This company has all the ingredients necessary to be one of the leaders on the market.’

‘The team at Albu-Legal is very professional and dependable, top of the market. They communicate in real time and give clients security that they are well attended. They understand complex issues, the judicial system and deliver results. Above all, they are very realistic, do not unnecessarily complicate things, do not get bogged down into unnecessary details and administrative issues. ‘

‘Gabriel Albu clearly stands out in this practice area. He impresses with his high-level understanding of the complicated intricacies of a case, his prediction of its unfolding and the out-of-the-box approach to achieving results. He communicates clearly, keeps the client informed and delivers. ‘

‘Gabriel Albu is the lawyer to go to in this practice area. In addition to a stellar academic and professional acumen, he has a clear crystal mind and cold blood. He sees way ahead the potential developments of a matter. He organizes his team very efficiently, both in terms of work product and costs. Mihai Lemnaru is an associate worth mentioning. He is a very serious and dependable young lawyer, with a great professional future ahead.’

Key clients

Rompetrol / KazMunayGas

RCS & RDS / Digi

ROMINSERV SRL (part of ROMPETROL GROUP)

Work highlights

  • Advising KazMunayGas International/Rompetrol on allegations of fraud, embezzlement and abuse of office in relation with privatization procedures and state debt rescheduling.
  • Representing RCD-RDS-DIGI in a trial regarding allegations of bribery and money laundering in connection with the acquisition of football related TV rights.
  • Representing Rominserv on a case involving allegations of manslaughter and health and safety offences.

Budusan & Asociatii SPARL

Budusan & Asociatii SPARL, formerly Budusan Albu Asociatii, continues its strong practice around managing partner Ovidiu Budusan, who is a highly-experienced litigator and a former prosecutor-in-chief of Division for the Prosecution of Corruption and Organized Crime. The firm's strong track record is built around a team of highly specialised white-collar crime lawyers, including partners Liana Iacob and Florentina Frumusanu. The firm represents clients from across a range of industries, and its expertise includes public procurement fraud, tax evasion, corruption and capital markets offences. Firm co-founder Gabriel Albu left to establish his own firm.

Practice head(s):

Ovidiu Budusan

Other key lawyers:

Liana Iacob; Florentina Frumusanu

Key clients

Grup Feroviar Roman S.A.

Dedeman S.R.L.

Vista Bank Romania S.A.

Vascar S.A.

Artmark Group

Kastamonu Romania

Credit Europe Romania S.A.

Unicredit Romania S.A.

Murfatlar Group

Somaco Group

CMS

CMS is one of the few international firms in Romania capable of offering strong support on cases concerning allegations of corruption, economic crimes, securities fraud and money laundering. Clients will miss former managing partner and disputes expert Gabriel Sidere, who recently left the firm, but this was somewhat offset by the arrival of practice head and criminal law specialist Mihai Jiganie-Serban from Serban & Asociatii. The firm has a 24-hour incident response team and also provides strong support on day-to-day compliance issues, as well as training for employees and board members. Disputes partner Horia Draghici is also experienced in bribery and corruption investigations.

Practice head(s):

Mihai Jiganie-Serban

Other key lawyers:

Horia Draghici

Testimonials

‘CMS is the only law firm in Romania that has a well-established practice capable to handle complex crisis management situations and conduct meaningful internal investigations into allegations of wrong-doing. They are very proactive in their approach and it is a pleasure to work with the CMS team.’

ENACHE PIRTEA & Associates

ENACHE PIRTEA & Associates is a relatively new white-collar crime boutique whose lawyers have considerable pedigree in related investigations and disputes. The firm offers a strong advisory service, assisting clients with internal compliance procedures and investigations. The team has had success defending major corporates, as well as several high-profile public and private sector figures against charges of corruption, fraud, money laundering and embezzlement. Managing partner Simona Pirtea and senior partner Madalin Enache lead the practice, which was recently boosted by the arrival of partner Bogdan Lamatic, formerly a managing associate at Musat & Asociatii.

Practice head(s):

Simona Pertea; Madalin Enache

Other key lawyers:

Bogdan Lamatic

Testimonials

‘EPA came highly recommended and after meeting them, I understood how real criminal lawyers should be: professional, knowing every detail of the file and what needs to be done, attentive to me but also to my needs, in charge of a full-fledged strategy to defend me with all legal means available. They are the perfect ally in my fight against injustice.’

‘Good ability to spend the extra effort to understand the particularities of the situation, combined with good decisions based upon a mixture of analysis, wisdom, experience and judgment. The amount of work produced by the team members is amazing; even unreasonable or difficult time targets are met.’

‘We had excellent references in relation to EPA and this was confirmed by their immediate support and involvement in defending our interests. They were exactly what we knew we needed: swift but thorough in their work, very experienced and resourceful in finding the right legal solutions to employ for us, highly professional, and, most of all, extremely efficient. For us, this project was just the beginning of our professional collaboration because we know we can rely on EPA for top-level legal advice and relentless commitment, especially in criminal matters.’

‘Enache Pirtea has a very solid team providing fast feedback on matters. They stand in line with the very best on the market regarding white collar crime practice. Very supportive and easy to work with.’

‘Madalin Enache and Adrian Rusu are my main attorneys and I can really say they are extremely professional in everything they do, in how they handle the case and in their off- or in-court activity. I feel protected by the best team possible and I am very confident we will obtain a positive result.’

‘The project was coordinated by Madalin Enache, and his outstanding reputation in the field  is exactly what we needed and what he delivered. He has huge know-how of both criminal law theory and procedural practice, he was extremely resourceful in finding the right legal avenue for us, and his and his team’s legal work, both in relation to us and with the criminal authorities, was fast and extremely effective. He knew how to handle the matter from all perspectives and he did it in a flawless manner, the reason for which we will continue working with him and his team at EPA.’

Key clients

E-DISTRIBUTIE Muntenia

ALPHA FINANCE Romania

Stefan LUNGU

Ioan-Gheorghe VARGA

CLEVER Tech

Rebeca WALTER

Fotbal Club CFR 1907 CLUJ

GREAT ATLANTIC Impex / Zhengping WANG

OPUS Land Development

Alin PAUNESCU

PROMPT

Mircea MACOVEI

NEI CO Grup

Bogdan Alexandru STANCU

Cristian POPESCU

Ion TUDOR

ROMASTRU Trading

SAISEB TOR DI VALLE SpA

HANNER Imobiliare

Leontin TATOMIRESCU

NITRO NOBEL GROUP

Alin Vivian MARINESCU

M&M COMPANY CONSTRUCT

Radu-Viorel VRACIOIU

Laurentiu IACOB

Work highlights

  • Assisting and representing the former CEO and CFO of a leading global energy company in a criminal case regarding accusations of tax evasion and intellectual forgery.
  • Representing a global rail company in relation to a complex administrative and criminal investigation of an incident involving over €7m in civil and criminal damages.
  • Assisting a Romanian medical and healthcare company with various matters including sensitive internal investigations, compliance and regulatory issues, and ongoing criminal  and administrative investigations.

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii

Popovici Nitu Stoica & Asociatii is a reliable choice for white-collar compliance and defence work, and fields several criminal law experts. The firm has had success defending clients against several sensitive criminal investigations, particularly in relation to IP infringement, public tender manipulation, tax evasion, bribery, and EU funds fraud. Several of these have had a significant cross-border component, where the team worked closely with leading international law firms. Alexandru Ambrozie heads the practice, with strong support from experienced litigation associate Alexandru Nicolae.

Practice head(s):

Alexandru Ambrozie

Other key lawyers:

Alexandru Nicolae

Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA

Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA is commended for its strong white-collar crime and investigations practice, which fields several highly rated in-house specialists. The experienced team handles of mix of fraud, tax evasion, cybercrime, bid rigging and corruption claims, representing both claimants and defendants. Criminal defence is a key area, but the team also advises on internal investigations and related crisis management. Managing partner Sebastian Gutiu leads the team which also includes the highly rated criminal law specialist Magdalena Roibu.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Guțiu

Other key lawyers:

Magdalena Roibu

Testimonials

‘The firm has an excellent, professional and well organized team, able to cover a lot of specialized expertise. The lawyers are well connected with the market and keep us updated with all relevant matters. They’re also immediately reachable.’

‘One of the most respected law firms for German speakers is growing and they are focusing on the white-collar crime practice. A small but very motivated team that will continue to rise in this practice area. ’

‘They have extensive knowledge of the applicable legislation and can easily understand the complex schemes specific to white-collar crimes. Thus, they can easily provide the support needed by clients involved in white-collar crimes. ’

‘I worked closely with Magdalena Roibu and she is one of the most ambitious, well-trained and results-oriented lawyers in the market.’

‘Magdalena Roibu is a lawyer dedicated to excellence and proficiency, and these are not just words. A difficult problem does not discourage her, but on the contrary she aspires to find the solution.’

‘Sebastian Gutiu is a well experienced attorney, with excellent knowledge about how to organize and successfully implement the defense in white-collar crimes files. ’

Work highlights

  • Assisting a major insurance company in a long-term complex white-collar crime and tax evasion case that involves over 100 distinct parties.
  • Assisting a major chemicals company active in Romania as the aggrieved party in several white-collar crime cases, including cybercrimes committed against the company, as well as potential tax evasion charges against some of the company’s business partners.
  • Successfully represented a forestry property owner, called to appear in a highly mediated corruption case as an ‘interested party’. The Criminal Division of the High Court of Justice ruled in the client’s favour, thus avoiding the risk of losing its ownership rights on a €30m forestry property.

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii

Tuca Zbârcea & Asociatii brings a strong multi-disciplinary approach to its well-regarded white-collar crime practice. The team benefits greatly from the expertise of managing associate Manuela Gornoviceanu, a criminal lawyer with 30 years' experience. Clients come from the full range of sectors, seeking support on a broad suite of white collar crime concerns, including the mismanagement of public funds, money laundering, fraud and tax evasion. Internal investigations, risk mitigation and compliance training also form a key part of the overall offering.

Practice head(s):

Manuela Gornoviceanu

Testimonials

‘Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii is outstanding in all respects, offers good solution, the lawyers are reliable and they really know the area of law.’

‘Very professional and well equipped to handle white-collar crimes. They are very professional and well aware of the laws and regulations.’

‘The team members we have interacted with were extremely responsive, well prepared and helpful, always flexible to provide extended amounts of information on our request. ’

‘The team’s strength and key capabilities are in the way they cooperate with each other, always showing high professionalism, always being able to be there for me, their client, to fulfill my needs when confronted with legal  situations. As a client, I’ve never felt neglected.’

‘They are high professionals and they really care about their client. Manuela Gornoviceanu is a magnificent lawyer, who is always innovative, finding the best legal ways for defending her client. She is very aware of the novelties coming from the European Court of Justice which she wisely implements in her cases. She also coordinates her team in a very good way. Constantin Matei is a very supportive lawyer, with very good ideas and works hard to fulfil his client’s legal needs.’

‘Manuela Gornoviceanu and Bianca Cercel are creative and they have practical problem solving abilities combined with rigorous attention to detail in arriving at the most efficient and satisfactory solution for the client.’

‘Constantine Matei deals with cases very diligently and communication with the client is very fluid. ’

Key clients

Ericsson Telecommunications

Philip Morris

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

Teamnet International

ArcelorMittal

Atos IT Solutions Services

Bekaert

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

VFS INT ROMANIA IFN S.A.

Bondoc si Asociatii SCA

Bondoc si Asociatii SCA is a solid choice for advice on internal audits and investigations, and regularly assists major corporates with compliance and training exercises. The team has a good litigation arm and assists clients on civil fraud claims and related administrative and tax proceedings. Managing partner Lucian Bondoc is highly experienced in sensitive litigation and criminal and administrative investigations. Disputes partner Viorel Dinu is also very active in this area.

Practice head(s):

Lucian Bondoc; Viorel Dinu

Kinstellar

Kinstellar has a broad stable of domestic and international clients who regularly use the firm's compliance, risk and sensitive investigations team. Contentious and non-contentious white collar crime forms a core function of the practice, including advice on internal investigations, cybercrimes, corruption allegations, money laundering, tax evasion and organised crime. The highly experienced Remus Codreanu leads the team. Bogdan Bibicu has recently retired from the law.

Practice head(s):

Remus Codreanu

Key clients

WTA Tour Inc.

Nitrogénművek/BH Chemical

CMC Electronics Aurora LLC

IKEA Romania SA

APM Terminals Romania SRL

Dow Europe GmbH

Biogen Inc.

Work highlights

  • Successfully advised and represented WTA Tour Inc. in a high-value, complex and sensitive court case involving cross-border issues, including coordination with lawyers in the US, Cyprus and Spain.
  • Advising APM Terminals Romania S.R.L. in relation to the findings of an internal investigation into potential criminal law issues relating to its Romanian subsidiary.
  • Advised IKEA Romania S.A. on two complex white-collar crime cases involving both criminal and civil law angles related to certain property ownership matters.

Popescu & Asociatii

Popescu & Asociatii's strong dispute resolution practice feeds into broader strengths in white-collar crime, civil fraud and regulatory matters. The firm represents several leading companies and financial institutions, and has good expertise in anti-money laundering initiatives and cases concerning EU-related fraud. Other areas of strength include financial fraud, corruption and corporate espionage claims. Founding partner Octavian Popescu has often represented clients before the criminal courts. Adrian Chirvase is also highly experienced in this area.

Practice head(s):

Octavian Popescu; Adrian Chirvase

Key clients

BANCA TRANSILVANIA

ING BANK ROMANIA

KAUFLAND ROMANIA

TEAMNET INTERNATIONAL

BUCHAREST CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

2NA FARM

AGEXIM SPEDITION

Work highlights

  • Assisting Banca Transilvania on complex judicial procedures in order to resolve the regulatory conflict initiated by National Bank of Romania (NBR) regarding the bank’s money laundering compliance.
  • Successfully represented Kaufland Romania, which was summoned to an appeal hearing in  a complex case concerning alleged criminal offenses committed by the former mayor of Bucharest District 6, in connection with the issuance of land titles.
  • Representing the Bucharest Chamber of Commerce and Industry on an investigation initiated by anti-corruption prosecutors alleging EU-related fraud.

Vernon | David

The main focus for the well-regarded team at Vernon | David is compliance and internal investigations, where it advises clients from across various industries. The firm has three certified compliance officers, and has experience of handling claims of fraud, tax evasion, and possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which is key for its large international client base. Managing partner Charles Vernon, corporate partner Maria Nica, and litigation head Daniela David are all experienced in this area.

Practice head(s):

Charles Vernon; Maria Nica

Other key lawyers:

Daniela David

Testimonials

‘ Good multidisciplinary approach by engaging financial forensic specialists, information analysts and field detectives, under the coordination of a specialized white collar lawyer. ’

‘Charles Vernon is a visionary, as he is able to identify multidisciplinary solutions in all complex and sensitive cases. His can do approach generates proactive scenarios that lead to great negotiations and avoid time-spending in Courts.’

‘Vernon David has handled multiple matters with regard to investigations by State authorities, including labour inspections, pensions, taxes and work accidents leading injuries to personnel. All were potentially criminal in nature and all were handled with consummate professionalism, care and excellence. They are strategic thinkers who consider the big picture. Their advice has been exceptional. Very creative too. Great lawyers.’

‘Our primary contact is Daniela David. She is very, very good. ’

Key clients

Oracle

Elite Insurance

Peace Corp

BC Strategy UK Ltd

TMK Artrom SA

Raycap Corporation SRL

Xannat Minerals SRL

Spearhead Group

Freyrom (a subsidiary of Freyssinet International & Cie group);

SBR (a subsidiary of Soletanche Bachy)

Calarasi County Hospital

OCHR

Work highlights

  • Representing TMK before the state investigative authorities in relation to the death of several employees due to a work place accident.
  • Represented Elite Insurance with regard to a series of fraudulent insurance policies and their attempted enforcement.
  • Assisting SBR Soletanche Bachy Fundatii with a criminal complaint regarding fraudulent payments.