Romania - Dispute Resolution Lawyers & Law Firms - Europe - Chambers and Partners
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Europe Guide

Dispute Resolution — Romania

Overview

The Year Ahead: Litigation and Arbitration in 2018

2018 is expected to be a year of sustained growth. Last year Romania reported the highest economic growth in Europe and one of the lowest unemployment rates. The pace of growth will probably moderate slightly in 2018, largely reflecting a slowdown in the global economy, but there are interesting perspectives which can be cleverly capitalised. Although political risk will remain high and there will surely be a number of political hot topics, this will not undermine the country's robust economic outlook. Against this background, the dispute resolution legal market is bound to maintain its ascending trend, focused on energy related disputes, disputes deriving from white-collar crime and the misuse of EU funding programmes, ever-growing fiscal disputes and insurance related litigation.

Energy, healthcare, oil & gas, IT and real estate remain attractive areas of interest and significant related transactions are expected in 2018, with a corresponding demand in contentious advice. Notably, it should be mentioned that disputes in the energy sector will continue to increase both before the national courts and in international arbitration.

We have seen over the past year, following the adoption of the new public procurement laws transposing the EU Directives (in 2016), that Romania has made important progress. For example, in 2017 the implementation of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) has significantly reduced the number of necessary documents for the participation in tendering procedures in the qualification stage. However, the contracting authorities are still struggling with correctly interpreting the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) criteria for awarding contracts and a significant part of the public procurement disputes focus (and will continue to focus) on this issue.

For infrastructure works, it should be noted that as of July 2017 a new Taking Over Regulation applies in Romania. This replaces the former 1994 regulation which was problematic in construction disputes. Also, in early January 2018 a Government decision has been adopted replacing the FIDIC Conditions of Contract with new forms of public procurement contracts mandatory for public works. The new conditions of contract bring significant changes to the claims/dispute resolution procedure, including the removal of the DAB from the contractual mechanism for dispute settlement and the referral of the dispute to the national arbitration court – the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.

The beginning of 2018 has also marked the modernisation of the main arbitration institution in Romania, as the much-expected new arbitration rules have come into force. The rules have now been simplified and a series of concepts from the rules of the most established international arbitral institutions have been implemented (e.g. emergency arbitrator, bifurcation, partial awards etc.), in response to the needs of corporate clients most familiar with international arbitration. Such change is expected to help maintain the steady growth trend of national and international arbitration before the Romanian Court of International Commercial Arbitration.

As for investment regulations, although in March 2017 Romania enacted legislation approving the termination of the Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between Romania and the European Union Member States (targeting the 22 intra-EU BITs entered with Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK), no further developments have been reported. The termination of each BIT will take effect either when Romania issues a unilateral notification or concludes agreements with its counterparts to terminate the BITs, but there is no clear agenda on the further steps in either direction yet, which should leave investors at ease.

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Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Market-leading practice with long-standing and broad litigation expertise, especially regarding financial, competition and commercial matters. Clients include major domestic and international companies from a variety of sectors, including financial services, pharmaceuticals, energy, real estate and infrastructure. New clients include Globalworth, FRI-EL and Piraeus Real Estate.

Strengths Clients praise the department's "deep knowledge, very quick understanding of the matter and clear communication."

The lawyers' "excellent presence in court" also stands out.

Work highlights Represented Rompetrol Downstream in damages claims proceedings filed by the Bucharest public transport authority relating to alleged failure of contract execution.

Assisted Anglo-Rom Agriculture and Delta-Rom Agriculture in litigation proceedings against local authorities relating to agricultural land concession agreements.

Notable practitioners

Ana Diculescu-Şova has a strong reputation as "a good court lawyer." She acts on disputes relating to bankruptcies, tax and public procurement and represented FCC Construction, Astaldi and Contratas y Ventas in litigation concerning the tender awarded to the consortium by the Romanian National Railways Company.

Sorina Olaru regularly assists clients with competition and finance disputes. She advised Mega Image on a dispute against the competition authority challenging a price-fixing fine. Sources emphasise her "thorough and dedicated" approach and report that she is "really nice to work with."

Emil Bivolaru focuses on tax disputes, recently assisting a major gas supplier with litigation concerning exemption from tax for the supply of gas to individuals. He additionally advises on construction litigation. Interviewees highlight his client-facing skills and praise his "understanding of business practice."

Praised as "a good litigator," Radu Damaschin represents clients in public procurement and projects-related cases. Interviewees highlight his "exceptional ability to take in an impressive volume of information and distil it to the key points that are of essence to the strategy of a case."

About the Team (content provided by Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen)

With more experienced litigation lawyers than any other firm active in Romania, we have accumulated highly-specialized expertise and demonstrated practical commercial awareness that uniquely positions us as leading legal advisors to be entrusted with the most sensitive or intricate business disputes.

Lining-up ten Partners coordinating a team of over 50 practitioners, we are particularly equipped to handle complex multi-party or long-standing disputes. We have the resources, coupled with the  flexibility, experience and the practical know how to deliver cost-effective results in thousands of cases each year.

We consistently propose creative, yet practical solutions to our clients when conflicts arise, along with sustainable strategies to reduce future potential risks – in fact, many of the court cases in which members of our team represented clients have developed into precedents that  shaped and strengthened the current domestic case law.

In addition, lawyers, IP and tax consultants across our firm bring their practice and industry-specific knowledge and business insights to enable our litigators to handle even the most complicated issues in:

  • commercial relationships
  • construction and engineering
  • product liability
  • environmental law
  • planning and regulatory
  • fiscal law
  • intellectual property
  • competition and antitrust and unfair competition
  • public acquisition procedures
  • insolvency and bankruptcy
  • property law

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Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Prominent team offering a full service in litigation and arbitration. Assists with an array of disputes pertaining to contract law, tax, insolvency and corporate and commercial matters. Clients include banks and domestic and foreign companies in the transport, infrastructure, real estate and insurance sectors. Strong focus on public procurement disputes and international arbitration.

Strengths Sources laud the firm's "top-notch contentious work," adding: "We can really count on their advice no matter how complex the challenge."

A second interviewee praises the team's "proactive and innovative approach."

Work highlights Advised Alstom Transport on a EUR290 million contract dispute with CFR.

Assisted Astaldi with public procurement litigation in connection with the contract for works on a subway in Bucharest valued at EUR40 million.

Notable practitioners

Cornel Popa specialises in arbitration proceedings and advises clients on both domestic and international disputes. He represented Atos in an arbitration against the Ministry of European Funds relating to an EU financing supply agreement. Sources are impressed by his "diplomatic and innovative" style, and one client adds: "I feel I am in safe hands with him, and we always find his advice trustworthy and dependable."

Robert Roşu's practice covers litigation in banking and finance, public procurement and telecoms. Clients remark that he is "sharp, and everything he says is very clear." He led GFR's dispute against Veneto Banca Romania relating to the annulment of promissory notes issued in connection with Rovit's insolvency.

About the Team (content provided by Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații)

The lawyers in Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii have unrivalled experience in the practice of Litigation and Arbitration, dealing with contentious matters in various areas of practice.Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii’s litigation team reflects the strengths and diversity of the firm’s considerable resources.

We have represented clients at all levels of the local judicial system, from the lower courts to the High Court of Justice and Cassation, as well as in special proceedings in the Constitutional Court and in international or domestic courts of arbitration. Our lawyers have an in-depth working knowledge of various arbitration procedural rules, such as Rules of Arbitration of the Court of International Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania, ICC, UNCITRAL and ICSID and have dealt with complex substantive law issues in specific litigation circumstances.

Also, we have significantly developed our bankruptcy/liquidation and insolvency practice over the past few years. Our department comprises lawyers with extensive expertise in debt recovery, bankruptcy and liquidation matters, including certified mediators and insolvency practitioners.

Scope of Practice

  • Administrative Contentious
  • Bankruptcy
  • Corporate Disputes
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Commercial and Civil Litigation
  • Competition
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Employment
  • Enforcement Procedures
  • Family Law Disputes
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Arbitration
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Sports Law
  • Taxation
  • Torts

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Zamfirescu Racoți & Partners Attorneys at Law (ZRP) - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Top player in the market with a long-established litigation and arbitration practice. Has a particular focus on the energy, construction and banking sectors. Notable experience in consumer protection law and criminal cases. Clients include major multinationals, leading Romanian companies and public bodies. Recently added UNIQA Asigurări and Kronospan to its client roster.

Strengths Clients are impressed by the team's "attention to detail" and "focus on the key strategic aspects."

Sources also laud "the quality and effectiveness of the service" and note that the lawyers "have a deep understanding of the business."

Work highlights Advised SAPE on disputes against E.ON and Enel relating to energy privatisation contracts.

Represented the Romanian state in a large-scale investment arbitration relating to the termination of two electricity supply contracts with companies owned by Alpiq, which follows on from the insolvency of Hidroelectrica.

Notable practitioners

Hailed as a "sharp and goal-oriented" adviser, Calin Andrei Zamfirescu represents clients both in arbitration and in litigation proceedings. He advised Kronospan on a dispute with the Alba Environmental Protection Agency relating to an environmental permit for the operation of its factory.

Clients laud Cosmin Vasile as "a brilliant mind" who stands out for his "excellent strategic skills and commercial awareness." His areas of expertise include insurance and competition disputes. He is also very active in the energy and natural resources industry, recently advising Oradea Water Company on a litigation relating to the rehabilitation of its water and sewage system, which is one of the many cases he has recently handled on behalf of Romanian public authorities and private companies with respect to infrastructure and construction disputes.

Alina Tugearu rises in the rankings following strong client recommendations, with one source describing her as an "impressive litigator with a hands-on approach, and care for the impact of the disputes on the client’s business," adding that she is "very hard-working and astute in implementing the chosen strategy." She advises on a broad range of disputes, including construction, insurance and employment. She assisted Philip Morris with two termination of employment disputes against former employees.

About the Team (content provided by Zamfirescu Racoți & Partners Attorneys at Law (ZRP))

Dispute Resolution is a key practice of our law firm, accounting for more than half of our work.

With an undisputed position of leadership on the Romanian market, we offer local and international litigation and arbitration practice. Our prestigious litigators and arbitrators have tried and tested experience, thus keeping us at the very top of our profession. We work in integrated multidisciplinary teams and are always well informed about all aspects of our clients’ business.

Our top-tier litigation practice always provides focused and valuable service and has an outstanding national and international reputation. We act for a broad spectrum of clients, particularly in the corporate and financial sectors, but also for government and state-owned entities. 

Our Dispute Resolution Practice offers fully integrated advice in:

  • ​Contractual disputes
  • Banking litigation
  • Arbitration
  • Administrative contentious and fiscal litigation
  • Competition
  • Intellectual property
  • Employment disputes
  • Enforcement and debt recovery
  • Real estate litigation
  • Criminal law
  • Insolvency / Restructuring

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Dragne & Asociatii - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Covers a wide range of issues, including commercial litigation, employment disputes and debt recovery issues. Clients include financial institutions and companies from the energy, telecommunications and healthcare sectors. Also active in civil litigation and arbitration under domestic and international rules. CFR is a significant new client win for the team.

Strengths Interviewees value "the high quality of technical advice on each file and the promptness with which they respond to the clients' requests."

Clients also remark that the lawyers are "open-minded, reactive and understand the wishes of the client."

Work highlights Assisted European Drinks in an arbitration before ICSID against the Romanian state relating to the state's alleged failure to comply with the obligations of the foreign investment bilateral treaty.

Advised Hidroelectrica on various disputes against energy traders relating to sale-purchase contracts.

Notable practitioners

An "impressive litigator," Ion Dragne's expertise covers a broad range of matters, including commercial contracts and public procurement. He represented Orange in contract disputes with telecoms services distributors.

Andreia Dumitrescu assists with contract, insolvency and insurance litigation, and is active in the energy and food and drinks sectors. She advised TEB Energy on an insurance contract dispute. One client appreciates that "she is always available," while another praises her "good communication with the client."

About the Team (content provided by Dragne & Asociatii)

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Mușat & Asociații - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Respected full-service offering that regularly works with domestic and international clients, including those from areas such as retail, energy, media, insurance and banking. Well known for work in international arbitration as well as commercial, anti-corruption, competition and white-collar crime litigation. Especially active in construction and infrastructure disputes. Societatea Romana de Radiodifuziune and Trelleborg Automotive recently became new clients of the department.

Strengths Clients value the lawyers' "experience and responsiveness."

Clients also appreciate that the team "understands the client's needs and business background."

Work highlights Represented Leoni in an informatics investigation relating to fraudulent activity which cost the company over EUR40 million.

Assisted Omniasig with multiple disputes concerning amounts to be recovered from the Romanian Insurance Guarantee Fund.

Notable practitioners

A seasoned practitioner, Gheorghe Buta is one of the firm's managing partners. He represents clients in civil and criminal cases and assists with a broad scope of mandates. He advised the Romanian Academy on copyright litigation relating to the translation of a classic text. Clients value his "unmatched experience, impressive academic background and clear thinking."

Octavian Popescu has received considerable admiration from clients for his "unrivalled court presence, impressive responsiveness and relentless pursuit of his clients' goals." His expertise covers public procurement contracts, insolvency and white-collar crime. He represented Electrica Furnizare in insolvency-related litigation against Oltchim for the recovery of debts of over EUR40 million. Clients also praise his "innovative solutions and relaxed approach."

About the Team (content provided by Mușat & Asociații)

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STOICA & Asociaţii - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-regarded dispute resolution practice representing both domestic and international clients in litigation. Experienced in handling contentious cases from a variety of sectors, including construction, environment and financial services. Additionally acts on arbitration cases.

Strengths The department is regarded as "a good team in the market."

Notable practitioners

The "excellent" Valeriu Stoica has a strong reputation in litigation. Sources highlight that "he is extremely good in presentations" and add that "he has a lot of experience." He advises on domestic and cross-border civil and commercial mandates.

About the Team (content provided by STOICA & Asociaţii)

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Clifford Chance Badea - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Notable practice with both civil and criminal experience. Acts on a wide range of domestic and international matters, including financial, regulatory and white-collar crime cases. Increasingly active in energy, construction and consumer goods disputes, including international arbitration. Client roster features financial institutions, real estate developers, multinational companies and investment funds.

Strengths Clients appreciate that the lawyers "specialise in a large number of areas of practice."

Interviewees also highlight the department's strong "support in international trade matters."

Work highlights Advised a real estate fund on litigation relating to the insolvency of a Romanian developer.

Represented a collection company as creditor in connection with an international insolvency case.

Notable practitioners

Sources enthuse that Simona Neagu is "a very good litigator" and "an excellent lawyer." Clients appreciate her "communication style, which is always to the point and never superfluous" and are "impressed with her depth of analysis in litigation cases." She represents clients in both litigation and arbitration, and guided Pehart Tec Group and Samus Constructii on a challenge against the control minutes issued by ANAF Antifraud Department concerning accusations of fraudulent activity.

Vlad Peligrad advises on insolvency, white-collar crime and contract disputes. He represented an affiliate of Carrefour in a dispute concerning a tenancy contract. Clients highlight his proactive approach, noting: "He took the time to go beyond our request."

About the Team (content provided by Clifford Chance Badea )

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Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Established litigation team advising on a range of corporate and civil disputes, as well as international arbitration. Areas of strength include bankruptcy proceedings, debt recovery, competition and tax. Particularly active in the energy and finance sectors.

Strengths One client highlights the firm's "unmatched expertise and highly creative solutions, including in matters regarding transaction strategy, negotiation skills and practical project management."

Another client says that the team is "detail-oriented and diligent."

Notable practitioners

A seasoned lawyer, Ciprian Dontu is praised as "a good litigator." Clients note that he is "very reliable" and are impressed with his availability and responsiveness.

About the Team (content provided by Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații)

Our litigation team has wide experience in a whole spectrum of commercial and civil disputes. Our lawyers combine the expertise and understanding of the dispute resolution field with industry knowledge, all senior members having extensive experience in various fields of law covering virtually the whole spectrum of sectors/industries.

Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații acts for the benefit of its clients before all the Romanian courts and other judicial bodies regardless of their level or jurisdiction, including the Constitutional Court and the High Court of Cassation and Justice.

We assist clients in each and every stage, from drafting sophisticated dispute resolution clauses, to the conduct of proceedings in the most favorable and cost efficient manner and ultimately to challenging and enforcing judicial and arbitral awards.

The practice includes legal assistance and representation in:

  • legal assistance and representation during all litigation stages or any requested phase of complex commercial and corporate disputes;
  • wide range of civil, administrative, tax, labour, competition, public procurement, capital markets disputes;
  • debt recovery procedures including order for payment procedures;
  • bankruptcy proceedings;
  • recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments.

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CMS - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for International firm recognised for litigation and arbitration work in many areas, including employment, M&A, insurance and tax. Acts for a range of domestic and international clients, with additional multi-jurisdictional disputes expertise provided through the firm's wider network. Noted criminal defence practice that is increasingly active in white-collar crime cases. Additionally active in litigation relating to insolvency cases.

Strengths Clients underline the department's "valuable practical guidance" and add that the lawyers are "very responsive and attentive to details."

Another interviewee values the team "for high-risk and very sensitive cases."

Notable practitioners

Clients are impressed with Gabriel Sidere's thorough approach and "strategic mind," with one source commenting: "He is extremely well prepared and mindful of every detail that could influence the implementation of a strategy." He advises on domestic and cross-border disputes and is also noted for his "experience in investment arbitration."

About the Team (content provided by CMS)

Department profile not yet provided by CMS. Please see their firm profile.

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Dentons - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Well-known commercial disputes practice, with particular strength in competition, employment and insolvency litigation. Advises a wide range of corporate clients including those from the retail, security, manufacturing and agriculture sectors. Experienced in domestic and international arbitration, aided by the global knowledge of Dentons' network. Recently gained new clients, including Asel Dencizlik and Grupo Empresarial Magenta.

Strengths Sources consider the litigation team to be "available and customer-friendly" and note that the lawyers "understand the details."

One client says that the department is "very reactive and business-oriented."

Work highlights Represented Auchan in proceedings to annul a EUR5 million fine imposed by the Romanian Competition Council on a subsidiary company.

Led an infrastructure-related public procurement dispute on behalf of ICM.

Notable practitioners

Tiberiu Csaki advises on a broad scope of contentious matters, including competition, employment and shareholder disputes. He recently acted for Louis Berger Group on two employment termination disputes. Sources describe him as "a loyal, honest and trustworthy lawyer."

About the Team (content provided by Dentons)

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DLA Piper Dinu SCA - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Represents both international and domestic clients across all areas of commercial disputes. Has notable involvement in employment and environmental cases, and is increasingly active in criminal litigation. Represents clients from a range of sectors, including gambling, oil and gas, aviation and IT. SPEED BUCOVINA is a new addition to the department's client portfolio.

Strengths Clients say: "They are responsive and understand the market."

Interviewees also comment that the lawyers "have a good track record and know the business very well," as well as working "quickly and in a cost-effective manner."

Work highlights Assisted AstraZeneca with tax litigation proceedings against the National House of Health Insurance.

Represented a Russian-based distributor of chemical products, SPEED BUCOVINA, in a dispute concerning the imposition of tax by customs authorities.

Notable practitioners

Radu Bălaş acts on tax and contract litigation, and has recent experience in the gambling and energy and natural resources industries. He represented WHG International in litigation relating to retrospective taxation of the company's operations since 2010.

About the Team (content provided by DLA Piper Dinu SCA)

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PeliFilip - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Broad corporate litigation and arbitration offering that is particularly active in telecoms, insurance, employment and competition disputes. Represents leading international companies in litigation before local courts, as well as providing local expertise in cross-border cases before the ICC. Particularly active in the energy sector, recently welcoming WIEE Romania as a significant new client.

Strengths Clients describe the team as "well grounded with always good and smart ideas," adding: "They really help to achieve quick and conclusive decisions."

Sources also stress that the team's "analysis and reports are very informative and helpful."

Work highlights Advised RCS & RDS on a string of lawsuits relating to an abuse of dominance claim and a defamation claim, as well as a lawsuit concerning an alleged fraud.

Represented Coca-Cola in litigation against a former employee claiming over EUR50,000 in damages.

Notable practitioners

Cătălin Alexandru is experienced in both litigation and arbitration proceedings. He assisted Bayer with disputes relating to the recovery of clawback tax. One interviewee is "impressed by his acumen and positive approach," and another source appreciates that his "analysis and reports are logical and practical."

About the Team (content provided by PeliFilip)

Our litigation practice is built on the principle that the key to a successful strategy is in-depth awareness of the case, the client’s business and its objectives.

We believe that our impressive success rate (over 80% each year starting with 2009), combined with the importance of our clients and the sensitivity of the projects we manage, as well as the constant growth of our team are fair indicators of our abilities and expertise. This is why we have been selected by our clients to represent them in several cases standing as cornerstones on the Romanian market.

Our excellent dispute resolution practice covers all areas of civil and business law dispute resolution.

With international arbitration and commercial disputes standing at the core, the department also masters tax and administrative, energy and real estate litigation. Other areas of significant involvement include corporate litigation, fraud investigation, labour disputes, enforcement and insolvency, real estate litigation.

SELECTED CREDENTIALS:

Assisting the leading Romanian telecom operator in several high profile disputes, including (i) a ground-breaking challenge of the existing monopoly in the electricity distribution sector involving proceedings against the national energy regulator, the Romanian Government, the relevant Ministries and the incumbent distribution companies; (ii) a case against several global companies involving online piracy; 

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Bondoc & Asociatii in alliance with White & Case - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Disputes team with significant activity in heavily regulated industries, such as life sciences and energy. Regularly advises prominent individuals and international clients on tax, public procurement and commercial matters. Noted expertise in international litigation, as well as criminal cases. New client wins include Aero Vista and Opel.

Strengths Sources emphasise that the team is "prompt and business-oriented."

Clients are impressed with the group's "very good knowledge" of the industry and "quality legal support."

Work highlights Advised Sanofi on litigation relating to additional fiscal charges imposed after an investigation.

Represented the Municipality of Sinaia in a tax dispute with the regional fiscal authorities relating to VAT charged on a cable car purchase.

Notable practitioners

Viorel Dinu heads the department and is the main client contact for this team.

About the Team (content provided by Bondoc & Asociatii in alliance with White & Case)

To learn more about our practice, please visit: whitecase.com/law

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NICULEASA Law Firm - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Boutique dispute resolution firm specialising in tax litigation, with additional expertise in regulatory, IP, employment and commercial disputes. Represents domestic companies and subsidiaries of international groups in a variety of sectors, including technology and transport. Notable advisory roles in labour, tax and real estate matters. Also represent clients in tax-related white-collar crime disputes.

Strengths Clients say: "They are very thorough, responsive and clear in their input," adding: "They are also very knowledgeable and quick to understand the business."

Interviewees also remark on the lawyers' ability to "find the essence of the problem even from a short briefing."

Work highlights Assisted Alfredo Seafood with a USD20 million dispute against the fiscal authorities relating to the deductability of VAT on imports.

Advised Murfatlar on litigation in connection with the taxation of alcoholic beverages.

Notable practitioners

Madalin-Irinel Niculeasa is well known for his tax litigation practice, recently advising Straco Grup and Alpenside on litigation in connection with anti-fraud inspections and challenging tax decisions. Clients note that "he is a very responsive and experienced lawyer with a great ability to explain the details, strengths and risks."

George Trantea specialises in tax litigation and assisted Credidam with disputes relating to fiscal inspections. He also represents companies in employment litigation. Sources highlight that "he is very organised and always delivers on time." Another client appreciates "his litigation abilities, as he is very creative and able to build solid cases."

About the Team (content provided by NICULEASA Law Firm)

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Schoenherr si Asociatii SCA - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for International firm with an established team advising on both litigation and arbitration. Proven track record in the energy, forestry and construction industries. Broad practice representing clients in employment, insurance, insolvency and contract disputes. Recently also active in capital markets and IP litigation.

Strengths Clients note that "they are very good at developing case strategies."

Sources also underline that the lawyers are "well equipped with expertise and capabilities to handle litigation and arbitration work."

Notable practitioners

Sebastian Gutiu is a key point of contact for this practice.

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Stratula Mocanu & Asociatii - Dispute Resolution Department

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Band 5

第五等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

What the team is known for Broadly active across litigation and arbitration, offering a wide-ranging spectrum of advice supported by corporate and IP expertise. Advises domestic and international clients from the media, energy, healthcare and real estate sectors. Demonstrates notable experience in administrative, employment and IP disputes as well as consumer protection and debt recovery. Notable EU claims focus, acting for a number of domestic clients on EU financing matters.

Strengths Interviewees highlight the department's "depth of analysis, attention to detail and understanding of business particularities."

A second source is also impressed by the team's "strategy and approach to the case."

Work highlights Defended BAT in a dispute where a former employee claimed EUR200,000 in damages following an incident.

Advised Mondelez on litigation proceedings against a local division of the National Authority for Consumer Protection relating to the distribution of chocolate products.

Notable practitioners

Cosmin Mocanu assists with disputes relating to debt recovery, contracts and IP. He advised Ram Integrity on litigation in connection with the termination of a sale-purchase contract. One client appreciates his track record of winning cases, as well as his ability to "foresee what happens."

Sorin Stratula is praised by clients for being "incredibly meticulous and paying attention to all details," as well as for his strategic and decision-making skills. He is active in the energy, media and food and drinks industries and represented E.ON as a contractor in a EUR3 million public procurement dispute following the cancellation of the procurement.

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Overview

The Year Ahead: Litigation and Arbitration in 2018

2018 is expected to be a year of sustained growth. Last year Romania reported the highest economic growth in Europe and one of the lowest unemployment rates. The pace of growth will probably moderate slightly in 2018, largely reflecting a slowdown in the global economy, but there are interesting perspectives which can be cleverly capitalised. Although political risk will remain high and there will surely be a number of political hot topics, this will not undermine the country's robust economic outlook. Against this background, the dispute resolution legal market is bound to maintain its ascending trend, focused on energy related disputes, disputes deriving from white-collar crime and the misuse of EU funding programmes, ever-growing fiscal disputes and insurance related litigation.

Energy, healthcare, oil & gas, IT and real estate remain attractive areas of interest and significant related transactions are expected in 2018, with a corresponding demand in contentious advice. Notably, it should be mentioned that disputes in the energy sector will continue to increase both before the national courts and in international arbitration.

We have seen over the past year, following the adoption of the new public procurement laws transposing the EU Directives (in 2016), that Romania has made important progress. For example, in 2017 the implementation of the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) has significantly reduced the number of necessary documents for the participation in tendering procedures in the qualification stage. However, the contracting authorities are still struggling with correctly interpreting the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) criteria for awarding contracts and a significant part of the public procurement disputes focus (and will continue to focus) on this issue.

For infrastructure works, it should be noted that as of July 2017 a new Taking Over Regulation applies in Romania. This replaces the former 1994 regulation which was problematic in construction disputes. Also, in early January 2018 a Government decision has been adopted replacing the FIDIC Conditions of Contract with new forms of public procurement contracts mandatory for public works. The new conditions of contract bring significant changes to the claims/dispute resolution procedure, including the removal of the DAB from the contractual mechanism for dispute settlement and the referral of the dispute to the national arbitration court – the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.

The beginning of 2018 has also marked the modernisation of the main arbitration institution in Romania, as the much-expected new arbitration rules have come into force. The rules have now been simplified and a series of concepts from the rules of the most established international arbitral institutions have been implemented (e.g. emergency arbitrator, bifurcation, partial awards etc.), in response to the needs of corporate clients most familiar with international arbitration. Such change is expected to help maintain the steady growth trend of national and international arbitration before the Romanian Court of International Commercial Arbitration.

As for investment regulations, although in March 2017 Romania enacted legislation approving the termination of the Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) between Romania and the European Union Member States (targeting the 22 intra-EU BITs entered with Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK), no further developments have been reported. The termination of each BIT will take effect either when Romania issues a unilateral notification or concludes agreements with its counterparts to terminate the BITs, but there is no clear agenda on the further steps in either direction yet, which should leave investors at ease.

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Eminent Practitioner

Mușat & Asociații

From the Chambers Europe guide

A seasoned practitioner, Gheorghe Buta is one of the firm's managing partners. He represents clients in civil and criminal cases and assists with a broad scope of mandates. He advised the Romanian Academy on copyright litigation relating to the translation of a classic text. Clients value his "unmatched experience, impressive academic background and clear thinking."

^ See whole ranking table

Eminent Practitioner

Ana Diculescu-Şova

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Ana Diculescu-Şova has a strong reputation as "a good court lawyer." She acts on disputes relating to bankruptcies, tax and public procurement and represented FCC Construction, Astaldi and Contratas y Ventas in litigation concerning the tender awarded to the consortium by the Romanian National Railways Company.

^ See whole ranking table

Eminent Practitioner

STOICA & Asociaţii

From the Chambers Europe guide

The "excellent" Valeriu Stoica has a strong reputation in litigation. Sources highlight that "he is extremely good in presentations" and add that "he has a lot of experience." He advises on domestic and cross-border civil and commercial mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Eminent Practitioner

Calin Andrei Zamfirescu

Zamfirescu Racoți & Partners Attorneys at Law (ZRP)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Hailed as a "sharp and goal-oriented" adviser, Calin Andrei Zamfirescu represents clients both in arbitration and in litigation proceedings. He advised Kronospan on a dispute with the Alba Environmental Protection Agency relating to an environmental permit for the operation of its factory.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Dragne & Asociatii

From the Chambers Europe guide

An "impressive litigator," Ion Dragne's expertise covers a broad range of matters, including commercial contracts and public procurement. He represented Orange in contract disputes with telecoms services distributors.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Clifford Chance Badea

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sources enthuse that Simona Neagu is "a very good litigator" and "an excellent lawyer." Clients appreciate her "communication style, which is always to the point and never superfluous" and are "impressed with her depth of analysis in litigation cases." She represents clients in both litigation and arbitration, and guided Pehart Tec Group and Samus Constructii on a challenge against the control minutes issued by ANAF Antifraud Department concerning accusations of fraudulent activity.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Zamfirescu Racoți & Partners Attorneys at Law (ZRP)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients laud Cosmin Vasile as "a brilliant mind" who stands out for his "excellent strategic skills and commercial awareness." His areas of expertise include insurance and competition disputes. He is also very active in the energy and natural resources industry, recently advising Oradea Water Company on a litigation relating to the rehabilitation of its water and sewage system, which is one of the many cases he has recently handled on behalf of Romanian public authorities and private companies with respect to infrastructure and construction disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sorina Olaru regularly assists clients with competition and finance disputes. She advised Mega Image on a dispute against the competition authority challenging a price-fixing fine. Sources emphasise her "thorough and dedicated" approach and report that she is "really nice to work with."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații

From the Chambers Europe guide

Cornel Popa specialises in arbitration proceedings and advises clients on both domestic and international disputes. He represented Atos in an arbitration against the Ministry of European Funds relating to an EU financing supply agreement. Sources are impressed by his "diplomatic and innovative" style, and one client adds: "I feel I am in safe hands with him, and we always find his advice trustworthy and dependable."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Mușat & Asociații

From the Chambers Europe guide

Octavian Popescu has received considerable admiration from clients for his "unrivalled court presence, impressive responsiveness and relentless pursuit of his clients' goals." His expertise covers public procurement contracts, insolvency and white-collar crime. He represented Electrica Furnizare in insolvency-related litigation against Oltchim for the recovery of debts of over EUR40 million. Clients also praise his "innovative solutions and relaxed approach."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Popovici Nițu Stoica & Asociații

From the Chambers Europe guide

A seasoned lawyer, Ciprian Dontu is praised as "a good litigator." Clients note that he is "very reliable" and are impressed with his availability and responsiveness.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Madalin-Irinel Niculeasa

NICULEASA Law Firm

From the Chambers Europe guide

Madalin-Irinel Niculeasa is well known for his tax litigation practice, recently advising Straco Grup and Alpenside on litigation in connection with anti-fraud inspections and challenging tax decisions. Clients note that "he is a very responsive and experienced lawyer with a great ability to explain the details, strengths and risks."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații

From the Chambers Europe guide

Robert Roşu's practice covers litigation in banking and finance, public procurement and telecoms. Clients remark that he is "sharp, and everything he says is very clear." He led GFR's dispute against Veneto Banca Romania relating to the annulment of promissory notes issued in connection with Rovit's insolvency.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

DLA Piper Dinu SCA

From the Chambers Europe guide

Radu Bălaş acts on tax and contract litigation, and has recent experience in the gambling and energy and natural resources industries. He represented WHG International in litigation relating to retrospective taxation of the company's operations since 2010.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Emil Bivolaru focuses on tax disputes, recently assisting a major gas supplier with litigation concerning exemption from tax for the supply of gas to individuals. He additionally advises on construction litigation. Interviewees highlight his client-facing skills and praise his "understanding of business practice."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Dentons

From the Chambers Europe guide

Tiberiu Csaki advises on a broad scope of contentious matters, including competition, employment and shareholder disputes. He recently acted for Louis Berger Group on two employment termination disputes. Sources describe him as "a loyal, honest and trustworthy lawyer."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

Răzvan Dincă & Asociații

From the Chambers Europe guide

Răzvan Dincă of Răzvan Dincă & Asociaţii advises on a broad range of contentious matters. He represented BRD – Groupe Société Générale in various litigation proceedings concerning insolvency, debt recovery and breach of contract. Clients note that he is "experienced and an excellent speaker."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

CMS

From the Chambers Europe guide

Clients are impressed with Gabriel Sidere's thorough approach and "strategic mind," with one source commenting: "He is extremely well prepared and mindful of every detail that could influence the implementation of a strategy." He advises on domestic and cross-border disputes and is also noted for his "experience in investment arbitration."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Cătălin Alexandru

PeliFilip

From the Chambers Europe guide

Cătălin Alexandru is experienced in both litigation and arbitration proceedings. He assisted Bayer with disputes relating to the recovery of clawback tax. One interviewee is "impressed by his acumen and positive approach," and another source appreciates that his "analysis and reports are logical and practical."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen

From the Chambers Europe guide

Praised as "a good litigator," Radu Damaschin represents clients in public procurement and projects-related cases. Interviewees highlight his "exceptional ability to take in an impressive volume of information and distil it to the key points that are of essence to the strategy of a case."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

D&B David si Baias

From the Chambers Europe guide

Dan Dascălu of D&B David si Baias is hailed as "an excellent expert in tax" and regularly represents clients in VAT disputes. Interviewees comment that "he is very well prepared" in court. He advised Lear Corporation on litigation relating to the payment of VAT and other liabilities.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Stratula Mocanu & Asociatii

From the Chambers Europe guide

Cosmin Mocanu assists with disputes relating to debt recovery, contracts and IP. He advised Ram Integrity on litigation in connection with the termination of a sale-purchase contract. One client appreciates his track record of winning cases, as well as his ability to "foresee what happens."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Clifford Chance Badea

From the Chambers Europe guide

Vlad Peligrad advises on insolvency, white-collar crime and contract disputes. He represented an affiliate of Carrefour in a dispute concerning a tenancy contract. Clients highlight his proactive approach, noting: "He took the time to go beyond our request."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Suciu Popa

From the Chambers Europe guide

Luminiţa Popa of Suciu Popa advises clients from the energy and construction industries on disputes relating to contracts. She is highly active on matters involving infrastructure projects and assisted Colas with a EUR22 million arbitration against the Romanian state concerning a road project contract. Clients highlight that she is "extremely involved and hands-on," adding that "her attention to detail and capacity to see the overall picture make her a great strategist."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Stratula Mocanu & Asociatii

From the Chambers Europe guide

Sorin Stratula is praised by clients for being "incredibly meticulous and paying attention to all details," as well as for his strategic and decision-making skills. He is active in the energy, media and food and drinks industries and represented E.ON as a contractor in a EUR3 million public procurement dispute following the cancellation of the procurement.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

NICULEASA Law Firm

From the Chambers Europe guide

George Trantea specialises in tax litigation and assisted Credidam with disputes relating to fiscal inspections. He also represents companies in employment litigation. Sources highlight that "he is very organised and always delivers on time." Another client appreciates "his litigation abilities, as he is very creative and able to build solid cases."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 5

Zamfirescu Racoți & Partners Attorneys at Law (ZRP)

From the Chambers Europe guide

Alina Tugearu rises in the rankings following strong client recommendations, with one source describing her as an "impressive litigator with a hands-on approach, and care for the impact of the disputes on the client’s business," adding that she is "very hard-working and astute in implementing the chosen strategy." She advises on a broad range of disputes, including construction, insurance and employment. She assisted Philip Morris with two termination of employment disputes against former employees.

^ See whole ranking table

Up and Coming

Andreia Dumitrescu

Dragne & Asociatii

From the Chambers Europe guide

Andreia Dumitrescu assists with contract, insolvency and insurance litigation, and is active in the energy and food and drinks sectors. She advised TEB Energy on an insurance contract dispute. One client appreciates that "she is always available," while another praises her "good communication with the client."

^ See whole ranking table