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Salans will not change growth plans for CEE

Salans will not change growth plans for CEE
23.10.2008, 17:04 11

Representatives for law firm Salans, one of the most active players on the domestic market, believe that companies in the legal business need to refocus, given the slowdown of certain fields, such as real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and because of the greater number of legal disputes, restructuring operations and even troubled loans.

"Those who are the quickest to reposition and come up with a good product are the ones that stand to gain. As for Salans, we are focusing on providing products for restructuring and the renegotiation of loans that are already in trouble: it will be in the best interest of both the creditor and the debtor, in order to avoid breaching contracts," says Anda Tudor, one of the two managing partners of Salans' office in Bucharest.
This entails various areas of law, such as financing, real estate, insolvency, labour law, legal disputes including several jurisdictions in some cases, favouring international companies.
"The capital and real estate markets have slowed down, but there will still be a lot of work on the corporate, infrastructure, public-private partnerships and energy segments. I want us to take advantage of the opportunities arising because of the crisis. In Russia, for instance, we recruited lawyers from companies that were withdrawing from the market," says Dariusz Olesczuk, global managing partner of Salans.
Salans has 40 lawyers in its Bucharest office and is carefully studying the opportunities that the current situation creates for recruiting new lawyers. The firm's officials say that the turnover is only 15% higher than last year, but did not reveal the exact revenues.
"Our offices in Central and Eastern Europe are one of our powerful weapons, on a market where we have a history, and moreover, they are very profitable too. The Bucharest office ranks sixth in terms of revenues and fifth in terms of profitability," Salans' boss adds. The firm has 19 offices in cities such as Paris, New York, London, Moscow, Warsaw, Istanbul and Frankfurt.
Despite the fact that the markets in Central and Eastern Europe have already been affected by the financial crisis, Salans will not change its perception and growth plans, because "this is a place where we know how to do business."
Stephen Finch, partner of Salans at its London office believes that law firms will not really be hurt, as long as they know how to adjust to the new conditions on the market.
Chris Berlew, the second managing partner of the Salans office in Bucharest believes that at best, the financial markets will rebound in March 2009, while at worst, the crisis will continue throughout the whole of 2009, and the situation will return to normal in 2010.