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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Zamfirescu Racoti & Partners

18 February 2016

This Romanian firm originally specialised post-privatization disputes, but is now just as well known for its construction work

People in Who’s Who Legal: 1
Pending cases as counsel: 11
Value of pending counsel work: US$1050 million
Treaty cases: 0
Current arbitrator appointments: 6 (of which 3 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator: 2

Zamfirescu Racoti first took shape in the mid-1990s, just as the Romanian legal market began to liberalise. Headed by Calin-Andrei Zamfirescu, the firm made its international arbitration debut as counsel to the state agency managing Romania’s privatisation programme. It won its first case, over a cancelled US$238 million oil refinery sell-off, which opened the door to later privatisation disputes.

Later it branched out into construction, representing Romanian construction company Bog’Art in a series of 10 cases beginning in 2003. The firm has since built upon this area, with partner Cosmin Vasile in particular known for his FIDIC expertise.

In 2007 it made its investment treaty debut as co-counsel with White & Case in a US$10 million UNCITRAL dispute, followed by a US$140 million claim against Romania for a US client.

In recent years clients have included Romania’s state-owned motorway company, which it is representing in two disputes each worth over US$100 million, and a US$750 million dispute for a Romanian energy company against ENEL over a put option in a privatisation agreement.

Client comment

Laura Voinea, legal director at Romania’s state assets administration authority, praises the firm’s capacity to respond to requests and mobilise at short notice. “This rapidity in their reaction as well as the professionalism of their advice clearly distinguishes them from other companies,” she says.

“I was pleasantly surprised to find out that, apart from the privatisation and post-privatisation-related matters, they have extensive knowledge of international private law and environmental law.”

She singles out Vasile and senior associate Cosmin Cojocaru: “They have a very practical approach, an excellent capacity of synthesis as well as an ability to foresee the opponent’s moves.”