Romania's Mares & Mares law firm and Moldova's Dolea & Co have entered into a strategic alliance aimed at, according to Mares & Mares, “providing integrated legal services in Romania and the Republic of Moldova in the field of white-collar crime, investigations, international disputes, as well as commercial and investment arbitration."
The new version of the Moldovan Civil Code, which came into force pursuant to the Law to Modernize the Civil Code and to Amend Certain Legislative Acts 133/2018 (the “Law”), reformed several features of the private law and turned out to be a real challenge for all kind of individuals and organizations, from natural persons and entrepreneurs to public authorities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a certain degree of inflexibility and lack of vision with regard to employment regulations and rules, especially in Eastern Europe, where countries which were slower to adjust than their Western European counterparts. Unfortunately, Moldova was no exception, and Moldovan businesses have frequently found themselves in positions where there were no obvious legal and commercial options available to their specific situation during this pandemic.
The time is gone forever when our lawyers would sit down in a physical data room to dig through tons of documents provided by the target’s head of legal or corporate secretary. We will miss the personal contact, but it’s fair to say that the due diligence process has become more streamlined and efficient in Moldova, making it possible to shrink the timing of M&As and close deals in weeks rather than months.
I was born in Moldova and obtained my first degree in law from a Moldovan university 20 years ago. Since its independence in 1991, Moldova – a small landlocked country located between Ukraine in the East and Romania in the West – has struggled to survive, being torn apart by various geopolitical interests, political havoc, corruption, and economic fluidity. The legal industry has struggled as well. Although a lot has changed in my time as a lawyer, I cannot confidently say that the legal industry in Moldova has witnessed tremendous growth.
Over the past few years CMS advised the OTP Bank Group on an extensive series of acquisitions across Bulgaria, Moldova, and former Yugoslavia. This series of separate deals was shortlisted for CEE Legal Matters’ CEE Deal of the Year in each of the countries involved, actually winning the 2018 Deal of the Year for Bulgaria and the 2019 Deal of the Year Award for Montenegro. We reached out to Eva Talmacsi, who led CMS’s multi-jurisdictional team, to learn more about the firm’s impressive work on OTP’s behalf.
The Spring of 2020 brought the pandemic to CEE, with its “perfect storm” of ingredients – including significant legal ramifications. Whether you are an individual, a business, or a governmental official, the storm made you ask at least one of these questions: “What are my rights in pre-existing contract?”, “Am I still bound to pay?”, “Can I get my money back?”, “Will I be liable for this?”, and “What legislation is needed to help ease the impact on the public?”
“Naturally, nobody in Moldova was prepared for this situation,” says Roger Gladei, Managing Partner of Gladei & Partners in Chisinau. “Still, even though the first reaction of the Government was sporadic, in the end, they were able to put resources together and come up with an articulated response to the crisis."