STOICA & ASOCIAȚII > Bucharest, Romania > Firm Profile


Romania > Dispute resolution Tier 1

The ‘excellent‘ disputes team at STOICA & ASOCIAȚII has a solid track record in representing major multinational companies, domestic entities and public bodies in contentious matters in Romania. The group has seen an increase in contentious telecoms work, as well as in environmental issues, often involving tax aspects. The practice is jointly led by arbitration expert Cristiana Stoica and Valeriu Stoica, who has extensive expertise in handling civil and commercial litigation. Rareş Răducanu focuses on administrative and competition law litigation, and Andreea Stoica and Bogdan Popescu bring experience advising on IP disputes. Managing partner Dragoș Bogdan and senior partner Cătălina Dicu are highly regarded practitioners in the arena. Managing associate Mihai Stănescu is a name to note.

Practice head(s):

Valeriu Stoica; Cristiana Stoica

Other key lawyers:


‘ Andreea Stoica and Alin Oprea from Stoica & Asociatii stand out compared to other lawyers with whom we have collaborated before, through the preparation and intuition to find the most solid legal arguments to support our claims or cases.’

‘The team of Stoica & Asociatii – Attorneys at Law has a diversity in many law areas and practices, being able to provide legal assistance and dispute resolution solutions. They are always available for complex tasks and provide comprehensive opinions for our needs. In our opinion, Stoica & Asociatii has attorneys at law specialized in domains such as: constructions, corporate governance, capital markets, civil and fiscal law, that make us confident that the outcome of our disputes shall be in our advantage.’

‘During our collaboration with Stoica & Asociatii – Attorneys at Law, we had the pleasure and opportunity to collaborate with the following: Valeriu Stoica, Cristiana Stoica, Bogdan Popescu, and Dragos Bogdan. They had always demonstrated high level of professionalism and dedication to our causes.’

‘Devoted to their work. Great listeners.’

‘We’ve worked with Stoica & Associates mainly in tax and administrative disputes, where their expertise and extensive experience contributed significantly to positive results in the court.’

‘The preparation and support of Stoica & Asociatii in litigation makes us appreciate that the chances of winning are quite high.’

‘Mihai Stanescu and Dragos Bogdan form an excellent team and are a great interface between the client and their extended team. Their advice is well argued and documented, analyzing matters from all possible angles. ’

Key clients

Lightman Management S.R.L.

Teva Pharmaceuticals S.R.L.

Metroul S.A.

Roche Romania S.R.L.

Tioss Commerce S.R.L.

Girexim Universal S.A.

Reliantco Investments LTD

Banca Română de Dezvoltare – Groupe Societe Generale S.A. (BRD GSG S.A.)

UTI Group S.A.

Ariston Thermo Romania S.R.L.

Work highlights

  • Representing Lightman Management in a claim brought against an insolvent debtor.
  • Assisting Roche Romania with litigation concerning claims for damages brought by one of its distributors.
  • Representing Girexim Universal in a dispute arising from a public tender procedure.

Romania > Intellectual property Tier 3

Bayer, Icom Oil and Carpathian Springs are among the clients of STOICA & ASOCIAȚII‘s IP department, which is led by Dragoș Bogdan, who has assisted and represented Romanian and foreign clients in numerous IP disputes in his career. The ‘simply fantasticAndreea Stoica and Yolanda Beșleagă are among the other contacts to note, along with Mihai Stănescu.

Practice head(s):

Dragoș Bogdan


‘Andreea Stoica and Yolanda Beșleagă are simply fantastic. They have always won us cases They have become our consultants on a permanent basis.’

‘They are extremely knowledgeable and what they don’t know they verify by going back to the client with the solution and a clear and precise explanation of their strategy.’

Key clients

Icom Oil S.R.L.

Valvis Holding and Carpathian Springs S.A.

Bayer S.R.L.

Allegria Turism S.R.L.

Landoll S.R.L.


Work highlights

  • Representing Bayer in securing its patent rights by obtaining a preliminary injunction against an international generic medicine producer, preventing the latter from effectively entering the Romanian market.
  • Representing Valvis Holding and Carpathian Springs in litigation regarding alleged infringing of a community trade mark concerning the shape of a water bottle belonging to a competitor.
  • Assisting Icom Oil with a litigation against the holder of the trade mark “icom oil” registered by a Romanian association after more than 20 years as of the date of the setting-up of the client.

Romania > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 3

At STOICA & ASOCIAȚII, the insolvency and restructuring practice is well known for acting for banks in major insolvency proceedings; Banca Comerciala Romana and BRD – Groupe Societe Generale are two prominent names in the firm's client base. Cătălina Dicu heads up the practice; other key practitioners include Valeriu Stoica, Dragoș Bogdan, and Carmen Mureşan.

Practice head(s):

Cătălina Dicu

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Banca Comerciala Romana S.A. (BCR)

BRD- Groupe Societe Generale S.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisting BCR with the case management of a portfolio of over 1,000 insolvency cases of micro-enterprises across Romania.
  • Representing BRD in the insolvency of a former Romanian aeronautical company.

Romania > TMT Tier 3

STOICA & ASOCIAȚII fields an experienced media and telecommunications team, advising a range of local and multinational companies. It provides both dispute resolution services and day-to-day regulatory guidance, with experience of both national and EU guidelines. Dan Rareş Răducanu, ‘a highly skilled and experienced litigation lawyer’, co-heads the team with Dragoș Bogdan, and Andreea Stoica, the latter of whom is particularly experienced in competition law cases and international arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

Andreea Stoica; Dan Rareș Răducanu; Dragoș Bogdan

Other key lawyers:


‘Highly experienced practice, that provides excellent legal service.’

‘Founding partner Valeriu Stoica has outstanding and extremely diversified experience as a pleading lawyer.’

‘Senior partner Dan Rareș Răducanu is a highly skilled and experienced litigation lawyer, with excellent expertise in his field.’

‘The lawyers from Stoica & Asociatii are good professionals and objective in their relationship with our company.’

‘Highly skilled in offering top customer experience, will always go the extra mile. Would also highlight their constantly spotless performance in litigations.’

‘Excellent results in litigation are a constant feature when working with Dan Rareș Răducanu. Outstanding, continuous learning capabilities differentiate him and make him a great asset for customers with diverse legal needs.’

‘Valeriu Stoica – founding partner. Having him on your side takes away all concerns regarding adequacy, there likely is no situation or legal question he doesn’t have an answer for. Even more, he is intrinsically a stand-up ambassador for his customers.’

Key clients


Telekom Mobile Romania S.A.

Orange Romania S.A.

Netcity Telecom S.A.

Work highlights

  • Assisting and representing RCS & RDS S.A. in a litigation with a major impact on the current client management activity in telecom sector against the Romanian Data Protection Authority in the special appeal proceedings.
  • Representing Netcity Telecom S.A. in connection with various important civil and administrative dispute resolution matters.
  • Representing Telekom Mobile Romania S.A. in a complex dispute with the Romanian fiscal authorities for the purpose of cancelling certain fiscal control decisions with considerable financial impact.

Romania > Real estate and construction Tier 4

The ‘unique and devoted individuals’ who make up the real estate offering within STOICA & ASOCIAȚII‘s civil law team advise developers, sponsors, contractors, landlords and tenants in their transactional projects. The team particularly stands out for its dispute resolution capabilities in the sector and is experienced in representing clients before Romanian courts, administrative agencies, and arbitration tribunals. Cătălina Dicu, team head, has particular experience advising financial services clients.

Practice head(s):

Cătălina Dicu


‘Nice young team that is willing and devoted to helping the client. They were very helpful and at the same time tried to maintain an objective perspective on the case.’

‘Unique and devoted individuals. Highly professional,  I would definitely recommend them.’

‘This law firm has an absolutely unique way of blending the alert, systematic and demanding mode of working (specific to law corporations) with the hands-on approach and attention to detail.’

‘I appreciate their initiative of going beyond what is asked of them. They independently decide to conduct additional research that often translates into new arguments that may tilt the balance in their clients’ favour.’

‘Valeriu Stoica has exceptional experience and oratory skills.’

Key clients

One Modrogan S.R.L.

Vista Bank S.A.

Log Center Ploiesti S.R.L.

Theda Mar S.A.

Ana Tower Offices S.R.L.

Euroholding Land S.R.L.

Cordia Homes Group (Cordia Project Development SPV2, Cordia Project Services SPV3, Cordia Navigatorilor Project)

Euroholding Land S.R.L. and AIC Land Development

Private persons

Work highlights

  • Assisting and representing One Modrogan S.R.L. within the extraordinary appeal phase of a dispute bearing on the request for annulment of the Zonal Urban Plan filed by a political party.
  • Assisting and representing Vista Bank S.A. in a litigation initiated by a public institution of national interest for the recovery of real estate.
  • Assisting and representing Log Center Ploiești a real estate litigation regarding the annulment of a logistics warehouse building permit.

Romania > EU and competition

Contentious matters are prominent in STOICA & ASOCIAȚII's workload, however the practice is equally adept at assisting with the full range of state aid and competition law issues. Dragoș Bogdan is the key name to note.

The firm: STOICA & ASOCIAȚII was established in November 1995, by two distinguished Romanian lawyers, Valeriu STOICA and Cristiana I STOICA. The founding partners committed their extensive legal and academic experience and practice to building one of the most reputed business law firms. STOICA & ASOCIAȚII ’s team has over 50 members of which 39 lawyers, having a strong professional background, achieved in prestigious law schools from Romania and abroad. Business-like, pragmatic and responsive, the lawyers from STOICA & ASOCIAȚII graduated from the most reputable Romanian law schools, have excellent command of English and French and are familiar with the high professional standards of the legal practice that the law firm has adopted and constantly applied.

Since its establishment and up until the present, the lawyers at STOICA & ASOCIAȚII have proved that they are a strong team, always abiding by the underlying principles of this law firm Fidelitas, Integritas, Fortitudo.

STOICA & ASOCIAȚII is a member of the Bucharest Bar. The firm’s international professional contacts and affiliations include International Union of Lawyers, International Bar Association and World Link for Law.

Areas of practice: Since 1995 until present, STOICA & ASOCIAȚII advised, assisted or represented a large number of clients, Romanian or multinational companies, large or small and medium size companies, local authorities, non-profit organisations and clients from the public sector. The management of the clients’ portfolio was performed by the two founding partners, Valeriu Stoica and Cristiana I. Stoica, with the support of the partners and associate lawyers.

STOICA & ASOCIAȚII offers advisory, assistance and representation services in litigations in the following practice areas: civil law, intellectual property, corporate law, restructuring and debt recovering, insolvency, banking, insurance, capital markets and financing, domestic and international arbitration, enforcement proceedings, administrative, tax law and constitutional contentious matters, competition law and state aid, public procurement, labour law and social security, consumer’s protection, environmental law, human rights, ECHR procedures, and criminal law.

Moreover, STOICA & ASOCIAȚII ’s expertise in the economic sectors offers the possibility to efficiently address the needs of the clients within the working groups specialised in specific industries and services: energy and natural resources, media and telecommunications, pharmaceutical industry, food and beverage industry, automotive industry, urbanism, infrastructure, civil and industrial constructions.

Department Name Email Telephone
Civil law Cristiana I. Stoica (+4021) 402.09.30
Civil law Valeriu Stoica (+4021) 402.09.30
Intellectual property Dragos Bogdan (+4021) 402.09.30
Corporate law Daniel Aragea (+4021) 402.09.30
Restructuring and debt recovering Catalina Dicu (+4021) 402.09.30
Insolvency Catalina Dicu (+4021) 402.09.30
Insolvency Catalina Dicu (+4021) 402.09.30
Banking, insurance, capital markets and financing Catalina Dicu (+4021) 402.09.30
Banking, insurance, capital markets and financing Dragos Bogdan (+4021) 402.09.30
Domestic and international arbitration Cristiana I. Stoica (+4021) 402.09.30
Domestic and international arbitration Laura Elena Mihalache (+4021) 402.09.30
Domestic and international arbitration Daniel Aragea (+4021) 402.09.30
Enforcement proceedings Catalina Dicu (+4021) 402.09.30
Administrative, tax law and constitutional contentious matters Rares Raducanu (+4021) 402.09.30
Competitive law and state aid Dragos Bogdan (+4021) 402.09.30
Competitive law and state aid Bogdan Popescu (+4021) 402.09.30
Public procurement Rares Raducanu (+4021) 402.09.30
Public procurement Andreea Irina Stoica (+4021) 402.09.30
Labour law and social security Andrei Buga (+4021) 402.09.30
Consumer protection Rares Raducanu (+4021) 402.09.30
Environmental law Catalina Dicu (+4021) 402.09.30
Human rights/ECHR procedures Dragos Bogdan (+4021) 402.09.30
Criminal law Veronica Dobozi (+4021) 402.09.30
Photo Name Position Profile
Dragoș  Bogdan photo Mr Dragoș Bogdan Managing Partner
Cătălina Dicu photo Ms Cătălina Dicu Senior Partner.
Irina Andreea Micu photo Ms Irina Andreea Micu Partner.
Dan Rareş  Răducanu photo Mr Dan Rareş Răducanu Senior Partner.
Cristiana I. Stoica photo Dr Cristiana I. Stoica Founding Partner.
Valeriu Stoica photo Hon-Prof Dr Valeriu Stoica Founding Partner.
Mihai Stănescu photo Mr Mihai Stănescu Managing Associate.
Number of lawyers : 39
World Link for Law
International Wine Law Association (AIDV)
American Chamber of Commerce in Romania (AmCham)
Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce (AHK Rumanien)
British Romanian Chamber of Commerce (BRCC)
Bucharest Bar

Romania: Dispute Resolution


The dispute resolution practice in 2022 reflected the most pressing economic and social challenges Romania was confronted with: the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and the surging rate of inflation. Since all these situations are not expected to be worked out very soon, we believe that the dispute resolution practice at the end of 2022 could give us a glimpse of what lies ahead of us in 2023 in the courts of justice.


Many of the Romanian small and medium enterprises are still in the process of recovering from the financial turmoil caused by the Covid-19 isolation period, when almost the entire economic activity was frozen. Businesses already confronted with serious financial distress were struggling in 2022 with new challenges: the energy crisis and the rising inflation.

Thus, at the end of 2022, many undertakings were on the verge of losing the fight with the cost of raw-materials, labour, and utilities. As STOICA & Asociatii is currently involved in insolvency proceedings for several creditors battling hundreds of insolvency files, the increase is visible from the court perspective as well.

As per the official data published by the National Trade Register Office, by the end of November 2022, 6022 undertakings filed for insolvency, meaning an increase of 10,64% in comparison with last year’s numbers. This could be explained by the fact that, even though the economic conditions were not favourable in 2021 either, enterprises were not affected at that time by the energy crisis and the severe effects of the war in Ukraine. Against this severe economic background, in 2023, the insolvency fillings may considerably increase.

However, this unfortunate forecast could be changed if the new insolvency prevention measures prove effective. These have been modified, in order to comply with the European standards and to become, more efficient. Thus, it is possible that the improved procedures will help companies get on the right track.

Regarding the business sector, it should be pointed out that, despite the present unfavourable economic context, more and more companies are set up in Romania. The official statistics show that, by the end of November in 2022, 143.828 legal entities or authorized natural persons registered with the Trade Registry, meaning  an increase of 2,99% in comparison with 2021. Regardless of the fact that official information pertaining to the number of registrations in December 2022 is not yet published, pundits already estimate that the total number will exceed 150,000, a record-value for Romania.

The areas of growth in terms of newly registered enterprises, are the extractive industry, with 623.23% more registrations than the previous year, and production and supply of electricity and natural gas, with a growth of 196.07%.


As the energy crisis does not cease to burden both the consumers and the energy suppliers, the applicable legal framework is constantly updating, to ensure a prompt response to the evolving problems on the energy market.

The measure with the highest impact is the price compensation scheme, which allows consumers to pay a capped price, with the state budged offsetting suppliers for (a part) of the actual purchase price. However, since its entry into force, this mechanism has been constantly amended, application criteria and categories of beneficiaries changing from one month to another.

The instability and, in some cases, the lack of clarity of the legal provisions made it difficult for the concerned parties to keep up with the ever-changing legislation. This was reflected in many litigation cases arising from different interpretations of the same regulation by the contractual parties or its applicability to a certain situation or period of time.

As STOICA & Asociații regularly advises businesses involved in all sectors of the energy market (producers, distributors, suppliers, large consumers) which must find proper responses to countless questions on the interpretation of the constantly changing legislation, we observed that the energy sector was characterised by a growing sense of uncertainty.

As regards the litigation practice in this area, it concerns, mainly, either the execution of the contracts concluded between the consumer and their energy supplier, or the relation between de suppliers, distributors and producers, on the one hand, and the regulatory authority, on the other hand.

Regarding the former, it is visible that the instability of the legal framework, as well as the rising energy prices seriously reduced the possibility of the parties to fully comply with their contractual or legal obligations.

In 2022, numerous disputes arose from consumer’s financial incapacity. Faced with the surging inflation rate, as well as with the unexpectedly high energy prices, many individuals/ enterprises, failed to meet their payment obligations.

Even though the compensation scheme has proved to be a real aid to the consumer, it becomes one of the main causes for the suppliers’ financial distress. From this perspective, the shortage derives mainly from the difference between the regulated selling price and the market energy price they have to pay . As mentioned above, theoretically, the state budget should have reimbursed the suppliers for part of the difference between those two values.

However, the payments are delayed leading to cash flow shortages for energy suppliers.

The compensation scheme has recently been extended to all categories of beneficiaries who, depending on the circumstances and the actual consumption, will benefit from a certain price cap. Moreover, the scheme’s application has been extended until March 2025.

As for the relationship between those involved in the energy supply chain, on the one hand, and the authorities, on the other hand, starting with the past few years, the national regulatory authority started a campaign of investigations among the participants to the market. For example, since 2018, the Romanian Energy Regulatory Authority (Ro. ANRE) has initiated a number of 68 investigations in the wholesale market of electricity and natural gas.

In 2022, the number of complaints from the consumers filed with ANRE also increased. Many of these investigations have led to sanctions, the total amount of fines imposed by ANRE in 2022 was amounting to 29.753.685 lei (approx. 6 million Euro).

However, we observed that one of the main reasons leading to litigation cases is the unclear nature of the legal provisions pertaining to the secondary legislation, as well as, in some case, its often incongruity with the primary legislation. This “regulatory nightmare” can easily lead to misinterpretations and, as a matter of fact many of the sanctions applied by ANRE are challenged in court.

Even if we believe that 2023 will have the same trends, it cannot be ignored that the energy market, as well as the relations and conflicts established in relation to it, are more unpredictable than other areas of practice. Thus, the way in which energy practice will evolve depends on the legislative solutions that will be adopted, both internally and at EU level.

For example, we are expecting new EU regulations on energy issues to enter into force, since many proposals are in the pipeline, such us the proposal for introducing REpowerEU chapters in national recovery and resilience plans. Therefore, such new measures may play a key role on the energy market and, subsequently, in the energy dispute resolution practice.


The general increase in prices also impacted the banking sector, currently fighting with the devaluation of the national currency and the increase of benchmarks. These are essential elements for the banking activity, as they set the interest rates in most cases.

In Romania, it is not uncommon for an individual to have more than one credit contract and it is known that the banks had granted in the past a great number of long-term credits that now are turning to be an outstanding debt for the consumers. Thus, in addition to the general increase of the cost of living, many Romanians are also challenged with considerably increased interest rates. Many of them are failing to meet their payment obligations, which leads to them being subject to enforcement proceedings.

Currently, the number of banking related court litigations initiated by consumers have gone down in comparison with few years ago – ie the number of pending litigations is three times lower in 2022 than it was in 2015-2016 -, as a direct consequence of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms which have been since implemented. Considering that STOICA & Asociații represents several banks in nationwide litigations cases, we can confirm the decrease especially in consumer protection related litigations with regard to inter alia the currency denomination of the loan agreements.

We believe that 2023 could bring a slight increase in this area of practice, amid the worsening of the conditions of the financial market. Thus, since the start of 2021, ROBOR 3M index, frequently used as reference for interest rates, increased from 2,01% to 7,57 %, at the end of December 2022.

Considering that neither the current economic situation, nor the ROBOR and EURIBOR forecasts are optimistic, it is possible that 2023 will show an increase in the number of recovery disputes .

As the current tendency shows, the individuals’ response to this kind of distress is to bring before the court any action that might help them reduce the debt burden. As a consequence, we can expect Romanian courts to be faced with more challenges to enforcement proceedings, as well as claims for declaring unfair terms in credit contracts and litigation regarding the application of the Giving in Payment Law.

The growth of the banking practice may also be fuelled by the increase in the number of credit agreements concluded. The graphic below shows that the number of loans that banks have granted has increased steadily since the beginning of 2021, until the end of 2022.[1]

Even though the instability of the local currency and the increase of the interest rates might deter some persons from entering a credit agreement, the same circumstances may be the reason for others to seek obtaining a loan, in order to refinance their debt. These refinancing agreements might add up to the already extensive dispute resolution practice in this field.


In 2022, the real estate practice was faced with numerous disputes regarding district zoning plans, which culminated with an administrative blockage for the developers who were interested in initiating real estate projects.

Bucharest should have had a new General Urban Plan ever since 2016. As it failed to do so, the city’s districts have unilaterally initiated their own Coordinating Urban Plans, but these have either been already annulled or are in the process of being scrapped by the administrative courts. Previously, district zoning plans (PUZ) have been suspended by the Municipality. Since the district zoning plans are suspended, it is impossible to initiate new real estate projects, which directly concern the developers that intended to invest in real estate in Bucharest.

The real estate litigation practice in 2022 also involved cases where the local authorities classified or maintained private real estate as green spaces.

Our practice in this field shown us that authorities often confuse the concept of limiting the exercise of the prerogatives of the right of ownership with the suppression of the possibility of exercising the right of ownership. If the owner cannot exercise any of the attributes of his property rights, this is considered as de facto expropriation, according to ECHR case law.

This practice has brought numerous case files before the court and the judges repeatedly dismissed this abusive conduct.

Without a clear change in the attitude of the authorities or a legislative amendment that clarifies the delimitation between public and private interests in this specific matter, we can expect such disputes to dominate the real estate practice in the coming year as well.


The public procurement practice was influenced to a certain extent by the legislative changes that have occurred.

The increase in the price of construction materials, combined with the hike in electricity and natural gas prices, had as consequence the enactment of new pieces of legislation pertaining to price adjustment of inter alia public procurement contracts. Thus, these new laws cover any fluctuation of costs on which the price of works contracts was based, in addition to the cost of construction materials.

In addition, the local public procurement legislation has undergone many changes as well. For example, according to the Government Emergency Ordinance no. 26/2022, the contracting authority has the right to apply the negotiation procedure without the prior publication of a notice of participation for the award of public procurement contracts when, for reasons of extreme urgency, the deadlines for inter alia open tender procedures cannot be respected.

Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement was also amended, as to show a greater concern for the environment over protecting economic interests. Thus, as provided therein, the contracting authority will not use the lowest cost/ price as an award criterion in the case of certain categories of public procurement contracts that have an impact on the environment.

In the matter of disputes, prior to bringing an action before the court, the National Council for Solving Oppositions (Ro. NCSO) is the competent authority for solving any disagreements with regard to the awarding of public procurement contracts.

The party concerned has the right to challenge the decisions given by NCSO. However, if we sum up the decisions issued by the NCSO from its establishment until the end of 2021, we will notice that out of the 65,231 decisions only 2.43% have been amended/overturned/annulled by the competent courts of appeal.

It results that from September 2006 to December 2021, the total number of decisions that remained final after their appeal was 63,645, meaning that a percentage of 97.57% of the total decisions remained as initially issued by NCSO.


As regards the dispute resolution practice concerning family relationships, we have seen a spike in post-pandemic separations between spouses. Since, in many cases, separations occurs due to misunderstandings and conflicts, those situations can only be resolved before a court. From this perspective, the year 2022 brought an increase in the litigation proceedings concerning family law.

Important legal amendments have been adopted in the field of protection of persons who, for various reasons, do not have the capacity to represent the consequences of their own actions.

Until recently, a rather drastic procedure was in force in order to limit the legal capacity of these persons and to appoint a representative to manage all their patrimonial interests.

Following a decision of the Constitutional Court of Romania, the whole system was reformed in 2022. The above-mentioned procedure was replaced with measures with a differentiated effect on the person’s ability to manage their affairs, so as to be as appropriate as possible to the particular situation of the person concerned.

As provided therein, the cases of all persons who were, at that time, under the effect of the restrictions provided by the previous regulation, will have to be reviewed by the court, upon request or ex officio, within the first three years from the date of entry into force of the new law. Thus, we should expect that in 2023 the number of court cases pertaining to this issue will increase considerably.


The Covid pandemic was a real challenge especially for the court system, as the isolation period precluded both the parties and the judges to participate to hearing proceedings as usual, face to face.

In order to ensure the optimal functioning of the courts’ activity, legal provisions were adopted to allow court hearings to be held online, by means of audio-visual telecommunication. This measure was intended to be applied only for reasons related to the covid pandemic. However, it was considered appropriate and convenient to extend the possibility to use this option.

In this regard, a new law was adopted in 2022, establishing that, in civil matters, hearings can be held online, provided the parties agree, without any further consideration regarding the reasons that may prevent the parties or the judges from physically appearing in court. According to the new regulation, it will be applicable only for a period of one year from the date of its entering into force, namely until July 2023.

In practice, court hearings are generally held as usual, with the parties appearing physically in front of the court. However, the opportunity created by this new law really comes in handy when the parties have their residence in another city or even in another country. It is thus possible that, to preserve the benefit of these measures, the law could be amended to further extend its’ application.

One of the biggest improvements that the Covid-19 measures brought to the court system pertains to electronic service of documents. Currently, not only parties can submit documents by electronic means, but more and more courts send subpoenas or decisions in this way.

Electronic service is starting to become the standard and generally accepted practice not only in court, but in relation with all state authorities. For example, post-Covid regulations provide for electronic communication in relation with fiscal authorities, as well as the Trade Register.


For the areas of practice where this option is viable, namely commercial disputes or other disputes concerning rights at the parties’ disposal, choosing arbitration over the proceedings in front of national courts may be very appealing.

Even though there are some disadvantages that cannot be as easily observed, arbitration has several undeniable advantages.

First of all, international arbitration empowers the parties with a greater control over the whole process. Thus, starting with initiating the arbitration proceedings and continuing with choosing the procedural rules and the arbitrators, all these aspects are decided by the involved parties.

Maybe one of the most important matters, that draw more and more parties towards arbitration, is the possibility of choosing the arbitrators. Thus, arbitrators can be chosen based on their professional qualifications and performance, based on their opinions on certain legal problems or any other criteria that the parties may consider relevant.

This eliminates or, at least, considerably reduce the potential mistrust in the professionalism or impartiality of the arbitrarily appointed national judge.

Another benefit is the privacy of the proceedings. As opposed to national court proceedings, arbitration proceedings are not public and, also, the award given is not published.

In addition, arbitration proceedings are deemed more efficient and much less time-consuming. However, this is not always the case, as there can be incidents arising during arbitration proceedings which require a longer time for solving.

For example, arbitration proceedings, especially those held in front of an international arbitration court, present a risk that does not usually appear in the national court proceedings. It is highly possible that the foreign appointed arbitrators are not familiar with the provisions of the national law applicable in the dispute. In such case, they would usually,   request an expert opinion for the matter at hand. This situation will obviously prolong the dispute and, also, will increase the proceedings costs, due to the fact that the concerned party will have to pay the expert a commonly agreed fee.

Regarding the financial matters, arbitration also involves other expenses. Thus, as opposed to normal court proceedings, arbitration fees, as well as the arbitrators’ remuneration are to be paid by the parties. All of these make arbitration to be an option which could prove to be more expensive than bringing an action in front of the national courts.

Another downside of the arbitration proceedings is that there is not a double degree of jurisdiction, as no appeal can be filed against the award given. An award can only be challenged in front of a judicial court with an action for annulment, for certain grounds regarding, mainly, the legality of the decision and of the process itself.

Both international arbitration and proceedings before national courts have advantages and disadvantages, so it is up to the parties to decide which characteristics are more important to them – duration, impartiality, efficiency, private nature, and costs.

[1] The graphic was drawn up based on the data published by the National Bank of Romania.