Nestor Nestor’s history is entwined with the growth of arbitration in Romania; both have flourished in recent years
- Pending cases as counsel:
- Value of pending counsel work:
- US$1 billion
- Treaty cases:
- Current arbitrator appointments:
- 1 (1 as sole or chair)
- No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
Even before he created an arbitration group within his law firm, Ion Nestor had a strong personal feeling for the power of arbitration in society – even a Communist-era one. His father had helped establish the country’s first institutional arbitration body – the 1953 committee – which was attached to the Romanian Chamber of Commerce.
In 1989, when Romania changed its political system, foreign investment became essential – even as the country struggled to implement the rule of law and free market principles. Arbitration became an essential economic tool during that period and, as a result, Romanian businesses and firms that grew up then – such as Nestor Nestor – are well-versed in it.
The practice is led by Ana Diculescu-Sova and partner Simona Neagu, who are identified by directories as effective advocates.
Professor and former Constitutional Court judge Viorel-Mihai Ciobanu joined the firm as counsel in 2008. He also served as president of the Court of International Commercial Arbitration at the Romanian Chamber of Commerce from 2009 to 2012. He also sits as arbitrator and has heard over 400 cases (both domestic and international) throughout his career to date.
Ciobanu works closely with partner Sorina Cretu, who joined the firm as a lateral hire from rival Stoica & Asociatii.
Who uses it?
The firm is co-counsel with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to the Romanian government in a long-running ICSID case initiated by European Food. The damages claimed in the case – which began in 2006 – total more than €500 million. A decision is still pending.
Other clients have included energy producer Electrocentrale Bucharest, investment fund Bluehouse Capital, Dutch consultancy Vapro, and US construction group Bechtel.
The firm is also assisting Arlyn in its bid for recognition and enforcement in Romania of an LCIA award worth more than €70 million. In separate cases, it is also advising clients Portinox and Scandstick as they seek similar recognition of arbitral awards in Romania.
In 2008, Sorina Cretu successfully defended British engineering group JacobsGibb against a claim about motorway repairs started by a Romanian state entity.
In another matter, the firm teamed up with Hogan Lovells to help US client Bechtel settle an ICC claim against Romania’s national motorway company, CNADNR in 2011.
Simona Neagu, Sorina Cretu and Emil Bivolaru were promoted to equity partners.
Meanwhile, arbitration work has continued apace. In addition to its work on the long-running ICSID dispute mentioned above, it counselled Asmita Gardens in proceedings arising from a FIDIC construction contract. The value of the parties’ claims exceeded €46 million.
In another FIDIC-based dispute, it obtained a win for Star Project Development in an ICC arbitration against All Plan Construction.
The firm also had success last year when a tribunal dismissed a US$70 million claim against its client Aurora Business brought by Credit Bank Europe.
When deciding to create a special practice centered on arbitration matters, NNDKP founding partner Ion I. Nestor had as model the dedication of his and the profession’s antecessors and intended to continue their work and bring to life their ambitious dreams of equity and justice.
Hence, the roots of our arbitration practice are found in the history of Romanian Arbitration in the early sixties, when Prof. Ion Nestor, father of Ion I. Nestor, acted as one of the founding members of the Arbitration Committee, the first institutional arbitration body for foreign trade, associated with the Romanian Chamber of Commerce.
The year 2006 marked a significant moment in NNDKP’s arbitration practice, as the firm’s arbitration team, under the coordination of Senior Partner Manuela Nestor, working in cooperation with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, started providing assistance in the ICSID case initiated by European Foods. A decision in this case is still pending. The same year, our arbitration team also gained one new member Mrs. Simona Neagu, former judge with background in fiscal and administrative law, in view of developing the public section of the arbitration practice.
In consolidating our existing team, in 2008 we added to our team the expertise of Prof. Ciobanu, a highly respected arbitrator and teacher of civil procedural law, as well as the expertise of our leading attorney in the field of arbitration, Mrs. Sorina Olaru (Cretu) (former partner in a major law firm with experience in the arbitration field on the Romanian market), thus joining both their academic perspective and invaluable expertise so as to provide our clients with a comprehensive perspective and an integrated service.
Our arbitration practice is growing stronger and more experienced every day, creating with each new case a brand for excellence and professionalism.
No. of pending cases: 18
No. of arbitrator appointments (no. as chair or sole):
Prof. Ciobanu – over 415 starting with 1990 out of which over 60 within the last two years (over 40 as chairman)
Names to know:
• Prof. Dr. Viorel Mihai Ciobanu - Counsel NNDKP
• Manuela Nestor - Senior Partner NNDKP
• Simona Neagu – Partner NNDKP
• Sorina Olaru (Cretu) –Partner NNDKP
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