75% of the STOICA & Asociaţii incomes come from litigations (Ziarul Financiar)

The law firm STOICA & Asociatii, founded and managed by Valeriu and Cristiana Stoica , is one of the most active local players in the litigation segment, activity which brings approximately 70-75% of the firm’s income, in amount of approximately Euro 7 millions.

“In the development of the firm we did not follow the requests of the market, but we took into consideration the aptitudes of our lawyers, having good results. (…)

In the present, only 25% of the firm’s incomes come from consultancy, the rest of the fees being received for services performed in the litigation activities. Still, we shall develop the consultancy department by recruiting lawyers specialized in financing, mergers and acquisitions, market capital and real estate “, declared Cristiana Stoica, founding partner of the firm.

Presently, of the almost 30 lawyers of the firm, less then a third are assistants, the objective of the firm being to reach a number of 15-20 lawyers who can offer services of legal consultancy.

“It is not easy to find adequate people. The effort is very high, especially within the firm for their formation. It is important that they are opened to learn. In the recruiting process we gave importance to the professional component which we destined to the enterprise”, says the lawyer who manages a firm with the medium age of lawyers of 30-35 years.

The request for lawyers services increased significantly in the last years, thus, most of the firms of the market registered substantial advances, both as regards the turnover and the number of lawyers.

“Last year was maybe the best on the market. Our turnover was approximately 70% higher. Also, in each year we propose to have incomes at least at the level of the precedent year, and in the last years the increases were of at least 20-25%”, Stoica says.

As regards the number of lawyers, STOICA & Asociatii could have this year more then 35 people, and for the next years the firm’s objective is to reach a number of 50-60 lawyers.

“An increasing number of lawyers, who practiced independently in a general manner, realize that they want something else professionally and a law firm can be a solution for them. After taking the step, they can become shortly important persons in the firm and can even reach in the partnership structure”, Stoica says.

She practices the legal profession since 1980, and since 1996 she manages the firm STOICA & Asociatii together with her husband Valeriu Stoica. With the two of them, the structure of management of the firm also has five more partners.

“This year we could have one or two promotions in the partnership structure”, says the lawyer to whom the management of the firm occupies 35-40% of the time.

The medium fees of STOICA & Asociatii are around Euro 150-200 per hour, the profitability margin being between 30 – 50%.

As regards the entering on the Romanian market of various foreign law firms, Cristiana Stoica says that they “come here only if a traditional client important for them expands its activity in Romania. Otherwise, they prefer to subcontract”.

Among the most interesting litigations in which the lawyers of STOICA & Asociatii were implicated are the defense of the producer DaimlerChrysler in a series of trials filed by the victims of some road accidents, as well as in other litigations of important clients as are Coca-Cola, Arcelor Mittal or Shell Brands.

“As future strategy, we propose to develop a component of European law for us to be able to implicate in litigations in front of the European Court of Luxemburg. It is mandatory to develop in this direction”, considers Stoica.

On the list of the clients of STOICA & Asociatii are names as Arabesque, RCS& RDS, Affichage or International Finance Corporation, on different themes which need legal assistance.

As regards the real estate legal consultancy, the lawyers of STOICA & Asociatii have as clients companies as Primavera Development, the developers of the business park S-Park or the developers of the Arena mall in Bacau, as regards the obtaining of the financing for the construction of these projects. The business law market in Romania is estimated to a value of approximately in Euro 150-200 millions, approximately 90% of the incomes being obtained by the first 20 firms on the market.

Article published in Ziarul Financiar (March 10, 2008), author Cristi Moga