COMPETITION / ANTITRUST – BAND 1
D&B David si Baias is widely acknowledged as a leader in the competition market acting on complex contentious and advisory issues. Defends major European corporations in investigations carried out by the Romanian Competition Council into vertical agreements, horizontal price fixing and bid rigging in public tenders. Has further experience in appeals against Council decisions and in assisting clients with disputes arising from procedural breaches during dawn raids. Strong offering on compliance matters, providing day-to-day assistance or specific advice on the design of distribution models to a variety of large, multinational clients operating in the pharmaceutical, telecoms and logistics sectors.
Clients highlight the “high-quality legal services” delivered by the firm, emphasizing the practice area expertise it demonstrates: “The team is very knowledgeable, has well-rounded business acumen and is always ready to help with the most complex competition law issues.” Another client says that the lawyers are “very good in competition law, they know exactly how each step must be approached. We received a clear presentation of the possible risks to our company,” adding that: “We were surprised by how fast they understood all the details about our company and processes. They were, and are, a real support for us.”
D&B advised Cargill, Glencore, Nidera and ADM on the closure of an investigation by the Competition Council into the alleged sharing of sensitive information and assisted NIS with a project to define its Serbian product markets, assess dominance, draft its discount policies and determine its market position.
Sorin David, Eminent Practitioner in Competition/Antitrust, has a long-standing reputation as a leading competition law practitioner. He is well versed in compliance issues, merger clearance and disputes with the Competition Council. Clients say he is “a brilliant adviser and a very down to earth, reliable and pragmatic person. He sees things that others do not – we were very pleased with his work and performance.”
Climbing the table, Manuela Guia – band 1 lawyer in Competition/Antitrust, is a highly regarded lawyer who offers expertise in competition law analysis of her clients’ distribution networks. She is also strong on abuse of dominance investigations, dawn raids and compliance. Often working with companies from the pharmaceutical, telecoms and energy sectors, she is well regarded by clients, who say: “She is a creative and resourceful lawyer, very reliable and trustworthy – she is concerned with finding the best legal options that make the most business sense. She is a fantastic co-ordinator of a well-structured and very coherent team.”
Managing Associate Bianca Naghi assists clients with market position assessments, dawn raids and investigations into matters such as the exchange of sensitive information. Clients commend her diligence and say: “She is very detailed in all her work, she learns and understands our process very quickly.”
TAX – BAND 1
D&B`s Tax Department specializes in contentious tax matters and has proven expertise in proceedings before Romanian and EU courts to challenge adverse tax assessments. Handles cases relating to VAT, corporate income and environmental tax law. Offers tax advisory services through its strong connection to PwC. Recently worked with clients from the banking, manufacturing and energy sectors.
Sources enthuse: “They understand our needs and respond fast.” Clients also cite the “remarkable results” the firm achieves, adding that “they are very efficient.”
D&B advised Marfin Leasing on a dispute with the tax authority, overturning a EUR4.2 million VAT assessment decision and assisted Central International CDG with a claim for the annulment of a EUR3.4 million VAT assessment.
Dan Dascălu, band 1 lawyer in Tax, is acclaimed as “one of the most reputable tax litigators on the market.” He advises on all manner of tax disputes and represent clients in front of administrative bodies and the tax authorities, assisting with the annulment of VAT, environmental and corporate income tax.
CORPORATE/M&A – BAND 3
Frequently mandated by entrepreneurs on M&A transactions, most notably on the sell side. Also increasingly active on buy-side deals, post-merger integrations and corporate restructurings. Further expertise lies in mergers, spin-offs and share exchanges. Regularly acts for clients from the energy and retail industries, and is supported by strength in its competition, regulatory and tax practice groups.
Sources laud the firm for its adeptness in corporate governance matters, saying that the lawyers offer “practical advice and a wealth of experience,” going on to add: “In practice a lot of issues are new territory, so you need someone who can answer on the spot.” Other interviewees report that the team is “well regarded for its work.”
D&B acted for Solina Group in its acquisition of Supremia Grup and advised Elpreco on the transfer of its roof tile business to Bramac Romania. Significant other clients: CRH, OMV Petrom, ADAMA Agricultural Solutions, HeidelbergCement, Mediterra Capital.
According to clients, Sorin David, Eminent Practitioner in Corporate M&A, brings “an impressive academic background, practical perspective and sharpness of mind.” He has considerable experience in both corporate advisory and transactional mandates, and is also an eminent figure in the field of competition law. He represented Oresa Ventures in its acquisition of La Fantana from Innova Capital.
Anda Rojanschi, band 3 lawyer in Corporate M&A, advises clients on the structuring of corporate and real estate deals and assists with post-merger integration matters. She assisted Henkel Romania with the spin-off of its marketing and distribution business to another Henkel group company.
DAN DASCĂLU, band 5 lawyer
Dan Dascălu, D&B David si Baias Partner, is hailed as “an excellent expert in tax” and regularly represents clients in VAT disputes. Interviewees comment that: “he is very well prepared” in court. He advised Lear Corporation on litigation relating to the payment of VAT and other liabilities.
EU AND COMPETITION – TIER 1
At D&B David şi Baias, Manuela Guia, Sorin David and Bianca Naghi are the key names. The team is representing Energobit in an investigation concerning alleged bid rigging in the smart meter market.
TAX – TIER 1
D&B David şi Baias has a strong reputation for handling employment, corporate and VAT tax litigation, with the latter dominating the team’s recent workload. Dan Dascălu assists Grup Servicii Petroliere with the annulment of a €30m VAT payment; the group successfully represented the same company before the Supreme Court of Justice for a suspension of the payment. Managing associate Ana-Maria Iordache is also recommended.
TMT (TELECOMS, MEDIA, TECHNOLOGY) – TIER 2
D&B David şi Baias has ‘well-rounded business acumen’. Practice head Manuela Guia is ‘very reliable’; she is assisting Castel Film Studios and MediaPro Distribution with an ongoing petition to the Romanian authorities to develop a state aid scheme to incentivise the film industry.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION – TIER 3
VAT, public procurement and competition litigation features prominently in D&B David şi Baias’s caseload. Clients include Nidera Romania and Lear Corporation. Dan Dascălu is the key name.
COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A – TIER 3
D&B David şi Baias’s ‘solution-driven’ team has experience in mergers, spin-offs, share purchases and acquisitions. Sorin David has ‘an uncanny grasp of complex matters and a wealth of experience’; he and the ‘extremely deal oriented’ Anda Rojanschi are the practice co-heads. The duo assisted Praktiker Romania’s shareholders with selling 27 stores to Kingfisher.
PPP AND PROCUREMENT – TIER 3
D&B David şi Baias is known for assisting local authorities and bidders with public procurement matters. Manuela Guia is the key contact.