The Romanian legal market is fast becoming one of the hottest in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) after Spanish leader Garrigues opened an office in Bucharest and Salans made a top-name lateral hire in the same week.
Garrigues has merged with Romanian law firm Mares & Asociatii for its Bucharest launch. Name partner and Mares founder Mihai Mares will join the Spanish firm as a partner.
Mares’s firm has been acting for Spanish clients on investments in Romania for the past five years. It focuses on energy and infrastructure work, as well as banking and real estate.
Mares will manage the Romania office and work with Garrigues CEE managing partner Jaime Fúster.
The new Bucharest office will field a team of 10 lawyers to start with, covering practice areas including construction, corporate, employment and tax, as well as litigation and arbitration.
The venture is Garrigues’ 34th office, following openings in Shanghai, Warsaw and Casablanca over the past two years.
Meanwhile Salans has boosted its Bucharest office with the hire of Septimiu Stoica, former president
of the Romanian Stock Exchange and current president of Romania’s Corporate Governance Institute.
Stoica will join as an adviser in the firm’s Romanian capital markets practice, which acts for issuers, investment banks and shareholders on deals, as well as on the related regulatory and governance.
Salans was one of the first Western firms to open in Bucharest and has had a presence in Romania for 11 years. The office has 38 lawyers, including three partners.
Transactional practice areas, particularly real estate, banking and corporate, are beginning to take off in Romania.
Fúster said Garrigues saw Romania growing
in importance in CEE.
“The core idea is to be able to offer our clients a comprehensive service throughout Central and Eastern Europe,” he said.
For his part, Salans’ Stoica ;described ;the Romanian market as going through “a time of great potential”.