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 | Gabriel Biris, Band 1 | Ruxandra Jianu, Band Up and Coming
The five-strong team at this specialist firm provides tax support to a wide range of clients, from international corporations to high net worth individuals. Wirom Gas and Upground Estates feature on its prestigious client list. Sources praise the group's depth of knowledge, the high quality of its service and its speedy, pragmatic and innovative provision of solutions. "It acts proactively, and I always have contact whenever I need to. When it comes to tax, there is no-one better than Biris Goran. As far as I'm concerned, it is as good as it gets," enthused one client.
Gabriel Biriş is the practice head. He is described by clients as "the authority on tax issues in Romania," and peers note that there are few in the market with his degree of specialism. Competitors comment that he has a "deep understanding of the Romanian legal framework and the complicated structural changes."
Ruxandra Jianu is described by interviewees as "dedicated, flexible and open minded. She acts immediately in response to clients' questions."
Real Estate, Band 2 | Victor Constantinescu, Band 2
This group's recent work includes acting on due diligence, permits and leasing for two major shopping centers. The firm was also adviser to Upground Estates on the EUR100 million sale of an office development to RREEF and EFG Bank. Contentious work has included litigation for Portico Investments following the insolvency of a retailer. Peers comment that the firm's tax expertise gives it an "excellent platform for advising local investors." One satisfied customer says: "The group understands how to maintain relationships with dynamic clients. I have recommended this service to quite a few people." Victor Constantinescu is a founding partner of the firm and practice co-head. Clients are full of praise for his "commercial acumen and practical insight."
Competition/Antitrust, Band 3 | Gelu Goran, Band 2
Biriş Goran has a busy and renowned antitrust practice that also provides advice on commercial merger control work and state aid matters. High-profile clients come from a wide range of industry sectors and include Procter & Gamble, UniCredit Bank and Holcim. Recent work for JT International focused on supply and distribution agreements, as well as significant training in compliance and other matters, including conducting mock dawn raids.
Sources say: “High-quality, independent advice. The firm could one day become a market leader."
Practice head Gelu Goran has a formidable market reputation and is considered by clients to be a “first port of call for competition questions.”
Restructuring/Insolvency, Band 3
Biris Goran joins the rankings following significant market recognition of its developing practice. The team of nine lawyers handles financial restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy issues. The firm recently represented Plus Development as debtor in an insolvency matter and has also acted for Vulcan International. The lawyers are noted for their experience and problem-solving skills in this area. Raluca Nastase and Ana Birchall are the key contacts for the team.
Corporate/M&A, Band 4 | Daniel Vişoiu, Band 4
This firm focuses mainly on domestic corporate and M&A work, acting for both local and international clients. It is well known for its experience in real estate M&A and tax structuring for M&A work, but standout mandates have come from other sectors in the past year. The eight-lawyer team advised Bongrain in its acquisition of a majority stake in Delaco, one of Romania’s main dairy product suppliers. The firm also acted for Publicis Groupe on three acquisitions in the Romanian market. Sources have described the team as “very responsive and high quality.” Heading the department, Daniel Vişoiu is recommended by sources for his comprehensive advice.
Energy & Natural Resources, Band 4
The energy team at this firm now comprises four highly experienced practitioners. Recent highlights include advising on the securitization of carbon trading allowances, as well as on gas trading and distribution. It is also active in the electricity distribution sector, municipal heating and renewable energy projects. Clients include GazProm Marketing & Trading and Wirom Gas. Interviewees approve of the team's experience of common law jurisdictions and comment on the firm's flexibility and openness to client feedback, which "gives a great deal of confidence in its skill." "The lawyers are always available, which means that things get done as quickly and efficiently as possible," add sources.
Legal 500 rankings
Real Estate, second tier
Deemed ‘outstanding’ and ‘excellent’ for its real estate work, Biriş Goran has a full service practice with particular emphasis on acting for developers. The firm Advised Sparkassen Immobilien (Immorent) on a €70m shell-and-core construction agreement, as well as electro-mechanical works agreement and leasing and development matters, for Sun Plaza, the largest shopping centre in Romania. It also advised the Romanian subsidiary of Dachser Logistics, one of Europe’s largest logistics operators, in an acquisition of land outside Bucharest to develop a greenfield warehouse facility, and provided ongoing support for its development. Clients include Portico Investments, Plus Development and Upground Estates. Victor Constantinescu heads the practice and is ‘proactive and fair with the ability to draw on his international experience and apply to the local market’. Raluca Nastase is ‘a true expert in property law’.
It, Telecoms and Media, second tier
Biriş Goran has leveraged its excellent tax practice to develop a significant client base in the media sector. The firm has particular expertise in intellectual property and transactional matters. It is acting for Publicis Groupe with respect to the acquisition of the Romanian operation of Zenith, a leading media agency in the country. Daniel Visoiu heads up the practice and is respected for his ‘professional approach’.
Public Private Partnership and Procurement, second tier
Clients are impressed with the ‘outstanding’ PPP practice at Biriş Goran. The firm has particular expertise in the health sector. It is counsel to a large health care services company regarding various submitted tenders to the Romanian Ministry of Public Health regarding hospital construction projects with an estimated value of €170m. Daniel Visoiu heads the team and ‘can handle difficult situations’.
Corporate and M&A, third tier
Clients are impressed by ‘quick response times, clearly expressed, detailed legal opinions and a practical, commercial approach’ at Biriş Goran. The firm is well known in the market for its expertise in tax matters and real estate work. It acted as lead counsel to EU-based Bongrain, an international player in the milk-processing sector and which is traded on the Euronext Paris exchange, in its acquisition of a majority stake in Delaco, one of Romania’s main dairy product suppliers. The practice also represented Infopress Group, the largest printing company in partnering with private equity house GED, pursuant to a deal worth more than €12m. Daniel Visoiu heads up the corporate team and is recommended.
Dispute Resolution, fourth tier
Tax and insolvency work are at the heart of Biriş Goran’s dispute resolution practice. The firm is acting for the debtor Plus Development in an insolvency matter with a total value of €25m, as well as appearing before the Romanian Supreme Court on behalf of a multinational client in a tax recovery case against the Romanian state. Raluca Năstase heads up the team.
Banking, Finance and Capital Markets, fourth tier
Real estate finance is a key strength of Biriş Goran, and the firm also has a strong reputation in the market for its tax expertise. It acted as legal advisor to the borrower, Portico Investments Limited, on a loan worth €75m from ING Lease to be used to refinance the company’s investments in Hungary, Czech Republic and Romania. On the lender side, the practice acted as counsel to Unicredit Bank and Unicredit Lease as well as to the borrower and lessor (ICCO) on a €26m sale and lease back transaction. The firm also represented the borrower and sponsors on a €60m real estate financing for office and residential development in Bucharest. Cristian Mîndru heads up the team.