Interview with: Burz Pinzaru Andrei, Managing Partner
Reff & Associates SCA | View firm profile
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Reff & Associates SCA from your competitors?
We are different from our competitors in several ways:
- For the last 5 years we have consistently been the fastest growing law firm in the Romanian market;
- With more than 70 lawyers, we are one of the top 5 largest firms in Romania, which allows us to achieve high levels of specialisation per each area of practice, gives us resources to invest in developing our people and permits us to handle in the same time multiple complex projects without making any compromise on quality.
- We are global, yet grounded. Being part of Deloitte Legal (over 2,500 lawyers in 85 countries) and the broader “Deloitte family”, we not only have access to legal international best practices but we are distinctive in our ability to combine legal expertise with financial, tax and accounting expertise, handling multidisciplinary projects at a uniquely superior level, to the benefit of our clients. Given the consistent cooperation with other professionals in Deloitte, our lawyers have tax, financial or accounting knowledge superior to other law firms, allowing them to better understand the business needs and issues of the clients and come up with innovative solutions. This combination is appreciated by the clients as being particularly powerful in areas like M&A, Tax Controversy, NPL and finance transactions.
- While we are a mature and leading legal practice in all areas of business law, we are also at the forefront of transformation of the legal profession. For example, we have launched a new service offering, Legal Management Consulting (LMC), a service dedicated to helping General Counsels overcome the challenges that legal departments are facing today. In developing this approach, we brought together leading experts in law, operating model transformation, business and technology to focus on how business could modernize the way legal needs are addressed. As of now, we are the only law firm delivering such services in Romania.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
We contemplate growth across all practice areas of the firm, with Corporate M&A and Litigations as key drivers, followed by Real Estate, Banking and Competition Law. In addition to our long standing track record in transaction work which is fueled by the economic environment, we see a growth in demand for legal risk management services in various areas of practice (e.g., white collar crime, GDPR, personal liability of top management, tax evasion and money laundering risks). Companies are navigating an increasingly risky legal environment, triggering both risks of material fines as well as reputational risks, and we are ideally positioned to assist in these areas given the ability to combine our legal expertise with the broader risk management capabilities in Deloitte.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
There are four pillars on which we focus to the ultimate benefit of our clients: attracting, developing and retaining top talents, dedication of our senior people to addressing our clients’ demands, incorporation of technology in our day to day work so that we can deliver more effectively to our clients and working closely with the global Deloitte Legal network to serve our clients across geographies and put international best practices at work for the benefit our clients.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
We are embracing technology in various ways, from implementing contract automation tools to embedding A.I. and robotics in the way we deliver our work to the clients. Our approach is not limited to only embracing technology, but also tried-and-tested ways of improving processes, which allows us not only to deliver our legal services in a more effective way to our clients, but also help legal departments improve efficiencies and increase the value they deliver back to their business.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Reff & Associates assisted a real estate fund recently in the acquisition of a portfolio, which, at EUR113 mln deal value, is one the largest executed in Romania in 2019. The project was not only highly complex, involving multiple teams (real estate and banking), but also a cross-border project and had to be executed under extremely tight deadlines. Besides the complexity of the transaction per se, has tested our strength, endurance and capacity to work under harsh time constraints which proved once again our ability to deliver at the highest standards.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
We have been growing fast for the last six years and are now one of the largest five law firms in Romania (by headcount). We have a strong foundation based on well-structured service lines, a broad client portfolio and a strong reputation.
We see growth continuing on a platform which was never stronger: the well-structured service lines, the client portfolio and reputation, the close integration with Deloitte fiscal, risk, financial advisory and consulting practices, and the global network. We see ourselves as a progressive firm responding to present-day talent aspirations and to market expectations that law is part of integrated business solutions. In three years’ time, we should be not one of the largest in the country but also a leader of innovation in the legal profession, driving efficiency and profitability through automation of processes and leveraging multidisciplinary and global integration as part of Deloitte Legal.