An Intelligent Move
The recently announced merger of two of Romania’s local top law firms, Calin Zamfirescu & Associates (CZA) and Racoti – Predoiu (RP), confirms that the Romanian law firm market has consolidated considerably during the last four years. If at the beginning of 2000 there were only three large firms involved in the largest projects, now there are over 10 firms in the run for these projects.
The two law firms to be merged soon, which both opened offices 10 years ago, have developed independently and differently over this period. CZA is mainly specialized in litigation, banking and bankruptcy procedures, while RP offers business consultancy in mergers & acquisitions, corporate commercial, capital market, project finance and privatization for mainly corporate clients. “When analyzing our long-term objectives a couple of years ago, we understood it was necessary to expand some of our departments. That was when we began to analyze the possibility of merging with another law firm,” said Calin Zamfirescu, managing partner of CZA. He said that the services offered by RP were complementary and perfectly matching with the ones his law firm is specialized in. “Together we will be able to offer a complete range of services and to take over much larger projects, while maintaining high standards of quality,” he said.
The two firms will move into a common headquarters, most probably during the second part of the year. However, the firm resulted from the merger will not start operations before August, as issues such as standard internal procedures, firm policies and IT infrastructure, also need to be finalized.
The name of the new firm has not been decided yet, but it will surely include the brands that are already known on the market: Zamfirescu, Racoti, Predoiu. “The firm will offer an integrated portfolio of products and services to its clients, in both business and litigation areas, at the highest standards on the market,” said Catalin Predoiu, Ph.D. in corporate banking and managing partner of the new firm. He added that the firm will pay very much attention to its knowledge management system and client care policies.
Together, CZA and RP will benefit from both national and international networks, thus being able to provide legal assistance to clients, no matter where their businesses are located. CZA has a local network of 13 correspondents throughout the country, while RP is member of the International Lawyers Network, a network that includes over 4,500 lawyers in 61 countries.
The two firms are preparing this complete package of services in the view of the present and contemplated evolutions on the market. If until recently privatizations were the hottest deals for lawyers, from now on mergers & acquisitions, competition, real estate, consumer protection, intellectual property law, alternative dispute resolution and commercial litigation will dominate the portfolio of the law firms. Pundits say that international firms have not yet started massive operations in Romania. Currently only Linklaters has opened an office here, while others are collaborating with local firms on project – basis. However, according to Zamfirescu, who is also the president of the Romanian National Bar Union, within maximum three years, when the local market is estimated to have grown significantly, international law firms from countries such as Great Britain, United States or Germany will decide to be actively involved in this country. Some of them have already initiated talks with Romanian law firms. And their interest will most probably be in acquiring smaller law firms, with up to 20 lawyers, which have simple and elastic structures, but need international management and know-how.