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Tomasz Dąbrowski, Chief Executive Officer of Dentons Europe: We see great potential in the Romanian market and are looking to build on our success and grow our business in Bucharest. This will require some investment, and we are ready to make that investment if we find the right opportunity

03 Iulie 2018   |   G. S.

An interview with Tomasz Dąbrowski, Chief Executive Officer of Dentons Europe and Perry Zizzi, Managing Partner Dentons Romania.

 
 
Globally renowned law firm Dentons intends to develop its practice in Bucharest and is prepared to make investments in order to further possition itself on the market and to broaden its sphere of abilities.Bizlawyer interviewed last week Tomasz Dąbrowski, Chief Executive Officer of Dentons Europe and Perry Zizzi, Managing Partner Dentons Romania.The two law firm officials are saying that Romania’s market has a big potential and that they are optimistic regarding the future. Moreover, they emphasize the firm’s main objective in CEE, which is to become the number one law firm in the region.

An interview with Tomasz Dąbrowski, Chief Executive Officer of Dentons Europe and Perry Zizzi
, Managing Partner - Dentons Romania.

BizLawyer: In what way shall we look at this change: changing the management model, repositioning within the market, focus on development, expansion in the next period? What were the main arguments for changing the Managing Partner in Dentons Bucharest office?

Tomasz Dąbrowski: The change is a part of a rotation program to bring new perspectives to our leadership positions, while allowing partners who have served for many years in leadership roles to go back to concentrating fully on their practice and clients. 

BizLawyer: How can you describe the activity of the Bucharest office in comparison with other offices in CEE? What would be some of the pluses and minuses?

Tomasz Dąbrowski: We have been present in Bucharest for more than 20 years.  We have a great team of lawyers on the ground, who have deep knowledge of the market, a solid track record, and a very good client base.  Many of our Romanian lawyers are recommended by Chambers, Legal 500 and other directories as being among the leading lawyers in the country.

However, we believe that there is still untapped market potential and room to grow in Romania, and we would be very open to bringing in additional talent to further enhance our market position and broaden our capabilities.

BizLawyer: Dentons wants to become the number one firm in CEE. What would be the main elements of the strategy for reaching this goal?

Tomasz Dąbrowski: With a history in CEE/CIS going back to 1991, and 14 offices in key cities around the region, Dentons is already a leading firm in the region.  We have worked on many of the largest transactions, and are particularly well known for our ability to advise on complex cross-border deals. Our market leadership was recently recognized by our award as “Law Firm of the Year in CEE” at the Chambers Europe Awards.

Our strategy is very clear - we want to be the clear number one firm in CEE and this means constant growth, reinvention and innovation to make sure we always offer new value to our people, our clients and our communities. Since CEE markets are not as big as their neighbors in Western Europe, there is a constant focus on market consolidation in the legal sector, which we want to lead.

BizLawyer: As part of the global business strategy, will you invest in developing the office in Bucharest? Can you give us more details?

Tomasz Dąbrowski: We see great potential in the Romanian market and are looking to build on our success and grow our business in Bucharest. This will require some investment, and we are ready to make that investment if we find the right opportunity. For us, the ideal merger partner in Romania would be a well-respected firm with high quality lawyers, a solid client base, and an international mindset. A very important consideration is to find a team with compatible values and a similar high-performance, innovative culture.

BizLawyer: What will be some of the changes in the activity of Dentons Bucharest office that will take place under your leadership? Which will be your „personal touch”, and what major changes are you planning to make this year?

Perry Zizzi: There is a lot of work to be done and I am up for the challenge, as I am convinced that this is the right moment to grow our practice in Romania. Two of my main goals this year are to improve collaboration and increase transparency within the firm.

Another priority is to implement locally, new technologies that are being developed by legal tech startups, in which Dentons has invested.  Here I am referring to our Nextlaw businesses, including Nextlaw Labs, a collaborative innovation and legal tech venture. We are constantly looking for integrated solutions to better serve our clients and anticipate their needs – now and in the future. We are seeking ways to be more efficient, to work smarter and to find better ways to deliver client service.

So my personal touch would be to focus more on innovation and the way we deliver client service.

BizLawyer: What are the main goals to be achieved under your mandate? What is your strategy?

Perry Zizzi: My main goal is to strengthen our market position in Romania while concentrating on bringing world class service to our clients. I look forward to working with my colleagues to build on our existing foundation.

BizLawyer: You’ve mentioned (in the press release) that you plan to develop the key practice areas and grow the office to match the capabilities of other Dentons offices in Europe. Could this development be accelerated by absorbing/merging with a local law firm?

Perry Zizzi: Definitely, and we are actively searching for quality talent in Romania. As mentioned already by Tomasz, we are looking for a firm or team that is well regarded on the market, has attractive an client base and with which we would enjoy important synergies. And knowing the law is no longer sufficient. Our clients want to work with lawyers who truly understand their business strategy and are able to counsel than rather than merely tell them what the law says.

We are planning to move our office in Bucharest to a new location that will fully meet our firm’s standards of quality and have the capacity to accommodate an increased number of lawyers and admin staff. The relocation should take place before the end of the year.

BizLawyer: What are some of the most active practice areas and which are the areas for which the economic context is less favorable? What are the key areas of practice that you plan to develop and how will you do that?

Perry Zizzi: Corporate and M&A, Real Estate, Banking and Finance, Litigation and Employment continue to be our most active practice areas. We have also seen increased demand for assistance in relation to compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation.

Our number one priority is to further develop our Corporate and M&A practice. To do this, we will reinforce our bench with additional talent and we will also focus on increased collaboration with our colleagues in major European markets and around the world to provide seamless cross-border service to investors in Romania.

BizLawyer: From your office as coordinator of one of one of the most important business law firm in Romania, how do you see the evolution of the economy, the direction we are heading, the prospects? Is it a picture frame that inspires optimism, indicates more opportunities for law firms than in previous years?

Perry Zizzi: Romania has had several years of solid economic growth, and in 2017, we were the fastest growing economy in Europe.  While the GDP growth level will likely come down a bit, the outlook is still very positive. M&A volume has fluctuated a lot over the past few years, but overall there is an upward trend.  I would say I am very optimistic about the future and about the opportunities for our firm.

BizLawyer: Do you see on the horizon opportunities for a particular type of consultancy that seems promising at the moment?

Perry Zizzi: We expect demand to grow for legal advice relating to data privacy and blockchain transactions..

BizLawyer: What are your expectations for 2018? What are this year’s main challenges?

Perry Zizzi: To continue to grow, innovate and offer value to our team and our clients. To build on our strong foundation to become the number one law firm in Romania and Central Eastern Europe.

 
 

PNSA

 
 

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