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Linklaters' Central and Eastern Europe practice has suffered a setback, with six lawyers defecting from the firm's Romania practice to launch their own start-up.
Former Linklaters managing associate and coordinator of the firm's Romanian banking and finance department Adrian Bulboaca is spearheading the group and establishing the new firm in his own name - Bulboaca & Asociatii.
Bulboaca has long been rated a star of the local market and was poached by Linklaters from Taylor Wessing back in 2001. Since establishing the new firm Bulboaca has been joined by a second partner, Corina Gabriela Ionescu, from leading Romanian firm Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen. Bulboaca & Asociatii also boasts seven associates and specialises in corporate M&A and finance work, while also offering capabilities in competition, litigation, real estate and IP/IT.
When his defection was first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (8 January), speculation was rife that Bulboaca was going to follow in the footsteps of another rated local lawyer Daniel Badea, who followed a similar path of establishing his own independent firm before linking up with Clifford Chance.
His presence is largely responsible for Clifford Chance's strong position in the market.
Bulboaca was in London last week, where The Lawyer caught up with him. He said: "When we left Linklaters our aim was to be independent, and it still is. But we have to be business-orientated people. We do have discussions from time to time with international firms, and really, why not?"
It is hard to argue with that, and although Bulboaca declined to name firms he has had discussions with, it is likely that whatever path he chooses for his firm, it will be a successful one. David Middleton