Swimming with the local sharks

Newsroom 05/05/2008 | 15:47

The tough local competition coming from local law firms may trigger a more cautious approach from international law firms and even a longer preparation for market entry. The latest entrant was White & Chase, and others are expected to follow.
DLA Piper has already been rumored to be showing more than a slight interest in Romania.
Of the five law firms in the UK's Magic Circle, only Linklaters and Clifford Chance are present in Romania. Allen & Overy has tackled business in Romania while representing firms interested in privatizations here, without opening a local office. For Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and for Slaughter & May, Romania was not convincing enough.
Meanwhile, Linklaters has been rumored to be closing its local office and restructuring its CEE business. By the time Business Review went to print, Linklaters had not issued any official position on the matter.
Of the top 100 law international firms recently ranked for turnover by The Lawyer, only five are present in Romania: Linklaters, Clifford Chance, White & Case, CMS Cameron McKenna and McGuire Woods.
The local market for business legal services was estimated to reach EUR 200 million in 2008, and according to estimates, the biggest piece of this pie stays in local hands.
Chambers and Partners' most recent ranking of law firms in Romania puts Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen (NNDKP) and Badea Clifford Chance in the top tier for banking & finance services. Chambers' second band for banking and finance includes CMS Cameron McKenna, Linklaters, Musat & Asociatii and Salans. The third tier includes Bulboaca & Asociatii, Gide Loyrette Nouel, Noerr Stiefenhofer Lutz, Popovici, Nitu & Asociatii, Schoenherr, Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii, Wolf Theiss, and Zamfirescu Racoti Predoiu.
Chambers' corporate and M&A practice for Romania includes in the top band Linklaters, Miculiti, Mihai & Asociatii, NNDKP, with CMS Cameron McKenna, Musat & Asociatii Popovici, Nitu & Asociatii and Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii in the second band.
The third band is shared by Badea Clifford Chance and Salans, while the fourth one includes Buzescu Ca., Austrian Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati, French Gide Loyrette Nouel, N

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