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In The Corner Office we ask Senior and Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: “What is the one skill, ability, or characteristic that fresh law school graduates in your country most commonly lack?”

The brain drain of highly trained and otherwise qualified professionals is increasingly felt in all industry sectors of Romania. We have lost people from all professional backgrounds and levels, low- and high-skilled alike. Statistics are disconcerting: in 2017, nine Romanians left the country every hour and we were second in the world after war-stricken Syria in emigration rankings. In the space of only ten years, about 17% of Romania’s population left the country. How many of them will ever come back? Romania needs a strong country project, sustained, ongoing efforts meant to encourage return migration, and policies to dissuade those who consider leaving the country. In 2018, the centenary year of Romania’s Great Union, I wish for a stronger, more united Romania, looking for ways to entice the next generations away from emigrating and into returning to their home country.

While 2017 was characterized by various fiscal changes, experiments, and abandoned proposals, the tax landscape at the end of 2018 underpins the competitive edge of Romania in the region. Still, there are reasonable threats with regard to the predictability of the tax system, considering the current macroeconomic trends and the budgetary constraints faced by the Romanian government.

Joerg Menzer is a German citizen based in Bucharest, where he coordinates Noerr’s CEE practice for international clients. He specializes in M&A transactions and concentrates on structuring major foreign investments and business expansion projects in CEE.

The Deal:  In July 2018, CEE Legal Matters reported that Reff & Associates had advised Dutch shipbuilding group Damen on its take-over of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd.’s participation in Romania’s Daewoo Mangalia shipyard. DSME was advised by CMS. The yard, which was renamed the Damen Shipyards Mangalia, is now operated as a joint venture with the Romanian Government, with Damen assuming operational control. We reached out to both firms for more information.

In the context of the ever-changing labor market general framework, in 2018 Romania took decisive steps to align its legislation with the country’s economic landscape.

The Vouchers Directive, which regulates the VAT treatment of vouchers across the EU Member States, was agreed upon by the Council of the EU in 2016, and caught the attention of Romanian authorities, tax advisors, and businesses at the end of 2017. Together with other Member States, Romania must design and enforce an appropriate legal framework to ensure the application of the Directive starting in 2019.

This year marks Maravela | Asociatii’s fifth anniversary. To mark the occasion, we sat down with Maravela | Asociatii Partner Alina Popescu to learn more about the challenges the firm has overcome in its first five years, its successes, and its plans for the future.

Deloitte Legal has been registering impressive growth in the CEE region. CEE Legal Matters sat down with Andrei Burz-Pinzaru, Head of Deloitte Legal in Central Europe, to learn more about what fueled the development of Deloitte’s legal services function and what the firm’s plans are for the future.

Law firm spin-offs are a familiar phenomenon in CEE. To find out what challenges lawyers have to deal with when they leave established firms to start new ones in the current climate, CEE Legal Matters sat down with several partners who have done just that to get their perspectives on the process.

1999 was the year I started my career as an attorney, as a young graduate from the law school at Bucharest University, just accepted to the Bucharest Bar. Times then were so much different than today, and as 20 years have gone by, I look at what those years have meant for Romania and for me, and how much things have changed for the country I continue to live in and build my personal and professional life in.

Adina Calfa-Dudoiu is Legal Director at Rosia Montana Gold Corporation S.A., the gold mining project of Canada’s Gabriel Resources in Romania. Before joining RMCG in February 2017, she spent three years as Legal Director of UPC Romania, and another ten in private practice with CMS.

Recent practice in the Romanian dispute resolution landscape has shown a rise in (i) litigation involving wrongful decisions concerning unpaid tax, lack of liquidities, and consequent lack of debt settlement, and (ii) cases of fraudulent acts linked to insolvent companies, mostly committed prior to the commencement of the insolvency proceedings.

Romania’s Competition Council is one of the country’s most active and demanding regulatory authorities, with hundreds of sector inquiries and investigations conducted in two decades of activity and significant fines being levied against offenders each year. The powers of the RCC have increased in recent years, as a result of efforts to encourage and protect whistleblowers, new developments in forensic procedures, and cross-border cooperation and action. In addition, the European Commission’s March 22, 2017 proposal to empower national competition authorities is expected to increase the RCC’s reach and efficiency.

At a global scale, trends in the financial sector are undoubtedly oriented towards digitalization. By employing new technologies, financial institutions are striving to meet clients’ surging demand for contracting financial services via digital channels. In other words, the spotlight is turning from branch-proximity to digital-technology, as the use of paper-based documentation and the need for clients to be present in person when contracting financial services are shrinking.

In The Corner Office we ask Managing Partners across Central and Eastern Europe about their unique roles and responsibilities. The question this time around: Who was your mentor, and what was the most important lesson you learned from him or her?

It was in early 2009, within a London Business School program, when I was first faced with a clearly articulated and empirically supported argument about the advent of legal technology and the structural transformations in the legal services market that were likely to ensue.

Romanian Knowledge Partner

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociații is a full-service independent law firm, employing cross-disciplinary teams of lawyers, insolvency practitioners, tax consultants, IP counsellors, economists and staff members. It also operates a secondary law office in Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and has a ‘best-friend’ agreement with a leading law firm in the Republic of Moldova. In addition, thanks to the firm’s dedicated Foreign Desks, the team provides the full range of services to international investors seeking to gain a foothold or expand their existing operations in Romania. Since 2019, the firm and its tax arm are collaborating with Andersen Global in Romania.

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is providing legal services in every aspect of business, covering all major areas of practice: corporate and M&A; litigation and international arbitration; corporate tax; public procurement; TMT; employment; insurance; banking and finance; capital markets; competition; healthcare and pharmaceutical; energy and natural resources; environmental; intellectual property; real estate; regulatory legal services.

Țuca Zbârcea & Asociaţii is a First-Tier law firm in all international legal directories and a multiple award-winning law firm both locally and internationally. It received the CEE Deal of the Year Award (DOTY Awards 2021) and the Law Firm of the Year Award: Romania (IFLR Europe Awards 2021). 

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