Solicitors governing body: Moldovan Bar
Competition authority: Competition Council
Financial regulator: National Bank of Moldova
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Moldova is a civil law jurisdiction backed by the 1994 constitution. The country’s legal heritage includes influence from the continental Europe civil law tradition and also the Soviet system from its days as part of the USSR up until independence in 1991. 2002 saw the country adopt the latest version of its civil code.
In regards to local legal practice, citizenship of the country is required to be registered as an advocate, though non-Moldovan lawyers can enter into associations with local lawyers as long as they are registered with the Moldovan Bar.
There are no restrictions on foreign firms setting up offices in the country, though the above rules apply in regard to lawyers practising local law.
Moldova’s size and economy mean that the legal market is largely made up of local firms, though some firms from neighbouring Romania (Vernon David) have set up offices as have regional firm Schoenherr and the legal arm of professional services provider PwC.
ACI Partners is one of the preeminent Moldovan domestic firms, with particular expertise in the finance and M&A areas.
During the research period, the firm’s M&A highlights included acting for Czech company, EPH, on the acquisition of one of the largest companies in the Moldovan energy sector. Further M&A mandates included work for Ellation on the purchase of software company, Yopeso, and for telecommunication firm, Kazakhtelecom, on the potential acquisition of Moldcell. In the restructuring area, the firm notably represented the International Financial Corporation (IFC) on restructuring secured loans it granted to a Moldovan joint stock company, Glass Container Prim.
Along with those outlined above, ACI Partners has worked with international clients such as Google, Microsoft and Vodafone.
“ACI Partners has several professionals with a wide expertise, especially in civil and commercial transactions. Their availability together with their knowledge of Moldovan law make them good at always finding the best solution for the client.” – Banking
“Excellent response time, very knowledgeable and responsive. Right level of assessment and feedback on required areas of law.” – Banking
“ACI Partners provided us high-quality and valuable services.” – Banking, M&A
“ACI Partners has supported my company as a legal service provider for many years. I can confirm the highest level of professionalism, customized approach to a customer and attractive prices.” – Banking, M&A
“They are prompt and professional” – Project development
Cobzac & Partners is recognised for its work within the restructuring and insolvency space, where it has represented clients on issues including financial restructuring, the acquisition of distressed companies and exit financings.
During the research period, the firm notably worked for the creditors on insolvency proceedings against companies such as winemakers, Lion Gri, and plumbing company, Belvilcom.
Other recent notable clients of the firm include Blutech Energy, Eximbank and Victoriabank.
“Cobzac & Partners is one of the best law firms from the Republic of Moldova. We have been working with them for several years and are satisfied with their services. Due to the specifics of our work, we constantly ask for services and legal assistance from Cobzac & Partners in order to find the best solutions and to negotiate and solve the problems with the business partners and debtors of our company. Every time we get effective help from this law firm, so that we are fully informed about all the existing solutions and the advantages and disadvantages of the choices we make. As a result of our collaboration, we noticed that our business thrives, and this is largely due to the help we get from Cobzac & Partners. That's why we definitely recommend companies from abroad to choose the services of this law firm.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“We can surely affirm that the work done by Cobzac & Partners' team for our firm was enormous.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“We have been working with Cobzac & Partners for many years, and had many difficult cases where this team represented us and protected our interests. The team is well-prepared, consisting of open-minded persons that are always ready to help us when we need their expert advice. We are satisfied by the flexibility of the bills set by Cobzac & Partners and consider the prices of their services reasonable. We appreciate the professionalism they demonstrate in all their relations with clients and are grateful for their skills of negotiation and capacity to adapt to new situations and persons.” – Restructuring and insolvency
Recent highlight deals for Efrim Rosca & Asociatii include consulting a Romanian investor on the purchase of shares of a Moldovan company, which owns iTaxi.md. During the research period, the firm provided public procurement advice to Romanian company, Process Engineering.
British American Tobacco, FlyRen Energy, and ICS ProDigital are also among the firm’s key clients.
Domestic firm Gladei & Partners has strength right across its financial and corporate practices, with recognition for its work in handling bank acquisitions, cross-border financing and debt restructuring.
In banking and finance, the firm has notably advised international financial institutions on loans to Moldovan manufacturers such as Orhei-vit and Glass Container Company.
The firm has experienced steady growth over recent years, establishing new international clients including Ludwig Pfeiffer and Banca Transilvania. Bodies such as the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB), Société Générale and the World Bank, are also among the firm’s key clients.
Popa & Associates is perhaps best known for its restructuring and insolvency practice, with recent developments noted in the financial space during the research period.
The firm assisted German consortium BB-Hämodialyse with the development of heathcare centres. The firm’s role included working project finance advice and on a PPP model. A further mandate included work for construction firm, Glorinal, on its insolvency.
Other notable clients include the State Road Administration of Moldova.
The Chisinau branch of PwC Legal is recognised for its work on corporate restructuring. The firm undertakes work in matters including due diligence and liquidations. On larger matters, the firm often works alongside PwC Romania’s partner law firm D&B David si Baias.
In the financial and corporate space, the firm has worked regularly on buy-side due diligence roles on M&A deals. Furthermore, the firm has advised on the regulatory framework of international projects including the first Moldovan IT park and the Good Governance Fund for the Ministry of Finance.
Adobe Systems, Japan Tobacco and McDonald’s are among the firm’s clients.
Schoenherr Moldova, the Chisinau-based regional branch of the Austrian firm, has a strong presence in the jurisdiction across the financial and corporate space. The firm often works with foreign clients, and undertakes significant work in areas including banking and M&A.
During the research period within the banking and finance area, the firm notably advised regional telecom operator Moldcell on the restructured reduction to a share capital of a Moldovan joint-stock company, and worked for Swiss company Viatrans on the liquidation of its local presence in Moldova. The firm also assisted the Italian banking group, Intesa Sanpaolo, in relation to the retransfer of non-performing loans from its Moldovan subsidiary, with the deal being the first of its kind in the jurisdiction.
Amazon, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Justice are among the firm’s prominent clients.
“Client-friendly approach and timely delivery of advice.” – Banking
“Excellent collaboration, flexible, respect deadlines, provide advice, good quality documents, responsible, amiable.” – Banking
“Very reactive; business and client oriented; competent and knowledgeable.” – Banking
Turcan Cazac is a leading performer in Moldova across the financial and corporate space, with a particular strength in dealing with cross-border work and delivering finance facilities.
During the research period, the firm notably acted for Eurotransgaz as it acquired Vestmoldtransgaz, a company that manages the Moldovan side of the Iasi-Ungheni gas pipeline, from the Public Property Agency of Moldova. Other highlights include acting as the Moldovan counsel to foreign investors in the takeover of Victoriabank, working on multiple financings for Trans-Oil Group to fund its agricultural production, and assisting the issuer on the IPO of Purcari Wineries at the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), MC Aviation Partners and Société Générale are among the firm’s key clients.
“Very responsive. They provide clear and robust advice. Also very helpful in ongoing deal management and keeping us abreast of relevant developments.” – Banking
“Creative problem-solving, excellent client service. Top-tier in Moldova.” – Capital markets, M&A
Vernon David is a leading Romanian firm, which also provides full-service legal advice through its Chisinau office. The firm is recognised for its M&A practice, as well as its expertise in assisting international clients with corporate entry into the Moldovan market.
In a stellar year, the firm worked on the buy side for some of the market’s high-value M&A deals. Notably, the firm advised Orange on its acquisition of Sun Communications, in one of the largest Moldovan deals of 2017. Likewise, the firm advised Ferring Pharmaceuticals as it acquired a large Moldovan drug manufacturer in a high value transaction. Other prominent corporate work during the research period include helping telecommunications company, Ingress Communications, and German hypermarket, Kaufland, establish their Moldovan bases.
Other clients of the firm include British American Tobacco, KPMG and the Salvation Army.