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02 March 2020

Allen & Overy and Romanian ally end longstanding association

Magic circle firm will no longer have branded presence in Bucharest but will continue to work with RTPR under collaboration deal

Picture of Bucharest

Bucharest: Clifford Chance and DLA Piper are among the international firms with a presence in the city. Shutterstock

UK magic circle firm Allen & Overy (A&O) has ended its longstanding alliance with its Romanian ally in a move that sees six-partner Radu Taracila Padurari Retevoescu (RTPR) relaunch as a standalone practice.

The 12-year alliance, which handed A&O a Romanian office branded as RTPR Allen & Overy, has been replaced by a ‘relationship agreement’.

The two firms said they would continue to collaborate on deals under an arrangement that will extend to shared training and joint marketing initiatives.

In a statement, A&O said it had made an “organisational change” to bring the relationship in line with “other countries where we do not have our own office but work closely with local firms”.

A&O senior partner Wim Dejonghe said: “We value our collaboration with RTPR and are pleased this will carry on under the new arrangement.”

He added that Romania and the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region remained important markets for the firm.

RTPR managing partner Costin Taracila said: “Having a new relationship agreement with A&O is... testimony to RTPR’s highest quality standards of advice and ethics and further cements our position as a leading transactional firm in the market.”

The association was originally forged in 2008, a year after Romania joined the EU, and A&O remains relatively heavily committed to the CEE region with offices in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Tony Williams, principal of the consultants Jomati, said: “Major law firms are increasingly focusing on and rationalising their best friend relationships. Typically these are non exclusive but envisage a close working relationship when appropriate. It appears that A&O's decision in relation to Romania is consistent with this trend.”

Other international firms with a presence in Romania include A&O’s magic circle rival, Clifford Chance, via its alliance Clifford Chance Badea, and DLA Piper, which operates as DLA Piper Dinu, as well as Kinstellar, which was founded in 2008 when Linklaters spun out its Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest and Prague offices.

In January Weil Gotshal & Manges completed its withdrawal from the CEE region when its Polish office was relaunched as the independent law firm Rymarz Zdort.

Last week, A&O confirmed its new leadership team, with Dejonghe elected to serve a second four-year term as senior partner while in January it announced it had forged a formal alliance with a local practice in Shanghai

RTPR is top ranked in the main legal directories for banking, capital markets and corporate work and is also recognized in several other practice areas, including dispute recognition and competition.

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