Biriş Goran was ranked from the very beginning by prestigious international publications as one of the top law firms in Romania for the quality of legal work, pragmatic work and solid understanding of the legal environment.
Chambers Europe rankings
Tax, Band 1
The firm: Domestic firm Biriş Goran is ‘one of very few firms providing tax law – and they do it exceptionally well’, reported clients. The boutique has a ‘strong dedicated tax group’ that works on all tax disciplines, including direct and indirect tax, auditing and litigation. Gabriel Biriş is the driving force behind the tax team and is ably assisted by partner Luisiana Dobrinescu, with an additional four lawyers to call on for support when needed. International clients turn to the firm for advice on how to structure their operations in Romania to comply with local legislation and to maximize their share-holder’s returns. European Future Group, a real estate investment fund based in Jersey and active across CEE, instructed the firm on tax restructuring matters.
The Lawyers: Gabriel Biriş is the undisputed leader in the tax field, with peers describing him a ‘the biggest tax expert in Romania’ and clients praising his ‘impressive and effortless knowledge of tax law, friendly demeanor and reliability’. His previous work in the tax department of a major company has undoubtedly given him a competitive edge in the market, as clients value his practical experience. Significant work has seen him advise Immoconsult, an Austrian-based real estate firm, on tax due diligence relating to a company that owned real estate assets worth more than EUR 75 million.
Clients / Work Highlights: The team advised Baneasa Investments, the group building the largest commercial/multi-use project in Romania, on tax restructuring services relating to the entire group and valued at EUR 200 million.
Real Estate, Band 2
The Firm: Fielding a team of ‘well-organized, intelligent and determined’ lawyers, this group is also valued for its hard work and dedication. Poaching Christian Mîndru from Gide Loyrette Nouel has added invaluable financial expertise to the practice, which is particularly important given the firm’s propensity to act for borrowers. It recently represented a Greek-UK consortium on the sale of two office buildings and two other real estate sites.
The Lawyers: International clients single out Victor Constantinescu for combining ‘superb local knowledge’ with a Western outlook. He is also appreciated for his fluency in English.
Corporate/M&A, Band 4
The Firm: This ‘internationally minded’ group of young lawyers, previously with Salans, have imposed themselves in an increasingly competitive market by concentrating on a few areas of expertise: real estate, private equity, tax and competition. Clients are keen to report a ‘dynamic set which responds to client needs and is more commercially oriented than larger firms’. An emblematic example of the firm’s strategic success thus far is its mandate from one of the largest real estate developers in Romania, on work valued at around EUR 250 million. Other significant work in recent months includes assisting investments funds in forays into the Romanian pharmaceutical and IT sectors. Three of the firm’s five partners are also licensed to practice in the USA.
The Lawyers: Sources point to Daniel Vişoiu as an excellent professional sought after for his international experience, which includes time spent in the USA and Hungary.
Clients / Work Highlights: The firm assisted the sellers of a majority of shares held in Romstal Leasing, a large Romanian leasing company, to a major European banking institution. This deal was valued at EUR 75 million. The team also advised the sellers of a majority stake in a leading Romanian brokerage house to a leading US investment bank. Other clients include AIG/Lincoln; Holcim; ING Lease; Procter & Gamble and SAAB.
Banking & Finance, Other Notable Practitioners
Christian Mîndru’s arrival at Biriş Goran SCA from Gide is expected to raise the firm’s profile in banking and finance and provide strong support for its well-established real estate practice. Mîndru is described as ‘highly technically able, with vast knowledge to structure a deal and translate this into a contract.’ Acquisition, real estate and project finance are his areas of strength.
Competition/Antitrust, Other Notable Practitioners
Gelu Goran, of Biriş Goran SCA, is ‘thorough, client-oriented and an excellent communicator’ with over ten years of experience. He undertakes a great deal of compliance and auditing work for multinationals. Clients include Procter & Gamble, Holcim and Siemens. He has been admitted to the New York Bar and is held in high esteem by peers.
Legal 500 rankings
Real Estate and Construction, second tier
Biriş Goran’s partner Victor Constantinescu is particularly recommended by clients. He is supported by Raluca Năstase, whom one client describes as ‘one of the strongest negotiators I have met in Romania and the perfect person to help you navigate Romania’s ever-changing legal system’. In 2007, the firm acted for European Future Group (EFG) in a JV with Immoeast in the construction and development of ten logistics centers across Romania – including the Pantelimon Warehouse Logistics Center in Bucharest – with a combined project value of €300m. The firm also advised Cefin on the sale of Industrial Park A1 to Teesland IOG for €70m. According to clients ‘Victor Constantinescu excels in structuring and closing complex and time-sensitive real estate transactions.’
It, Telecoms and Media, third tier
Biriş Goran SCA has experience advising on IT-related private equity deals. Florida Bar member and partner Daniel Vişoiu brings the expertise to deliver the standard ‘Silicon Valley’ English Language documents that multinational clients in the sector and hedge fund clients demand. Vişoiu also specializes in website law and, according to clients, ‘has an eye for detail in agreements’. In media, the firm represented a major TV holding group in 2007, advising on extending its news channel through Romania.
Corporate and M&A, fourth tier
At Biriş Goran SCA, Raluca Năstase became a partner on 1 January 2007, bringing the tally of partners to five. Tax expert Gabriel Biriş is the best-known personality of the firm, with a reputation for being, as one client described him, the ‘tax Pope of Romania’. Partner Daniel Vişoiu heads corporate and M&A work for the firm. In 2007, the firm acted for Romstal Imex on the sale of its holding in Romstal Leasing to KBC in a transaction valued at in excess of €70m. The firm also provided advice to a leading real estate developer in Romania on the tax and corporate restructuring of the group companies holding real estate assets with a value exceeding €250m. Clients note: ‘They continue to impress on all fronts. They advise us commercially and tell us when they think we should get another opinion. The level of professionalism of the partners and dedication to us as a client and the overall focus is super’.