NOERR

 | 

JORG K MENZER

  |  07.12.2015

Experience on one market. Transfer of know-how. Tackling issues on other markets. Finding integrated solutions.

Awareness: Realizing problems. Exchanging ideas & know-how.

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NOERR

JORG K MENZER

JORG K MENZER

MANAGING PARTNER at NOERR

1.What are the main lessons that the Romanian business community should learn from the German business
community?

 

I wouldn’t approach it by saying the Romanian community should learn from the German one. Nobody wants to teach lessons, especially if we have a look at some recent news like the dieselgate scandal. I would say that it is more an issue of awareness – realizing where problems are and how to tackle them appropriately, by exchanging ideas and know-how. And
one thing that works in Germany and I personally miss in Romania is, for example, associating with others to protect common interests. Whether we talk about professional associations, NGOs, political parties or unions, there is a great deal of mistrust in Romania that needs to be overcome. There is a lot of truth in the Romanian saying “unde sunt doi, puterea creste.”

 

2.At Noerr, you have the privilege to see and perhaps to try to shape the economy from 2 different angles: as a law company and as an advisory company. Which of the 2 segments was more dynamic in 2014 and why? What are your expectations for the end of 2015?


Actually, they went and will go hand in hand. I couldn’t say exactly how dynamic it will be by the end of this year, but in the medium-term they will probably reach a 50/50 share. This is the path we decided to follow and one of our objectives – being aware of the fact that we are not just lawyers working on solving the client’s legal issues anymore, but also advisory partners who identify business opportunities in the region together with and for our clients. We now work on  finding the right balance between the two, and then keeping them in a certain stability.


3.‘The economic frame should be predictable’ is a postulate that never seems to be respected in Romania. From an advisor’s point of view, is the lack of predictability rather good (as it generates more business) or rather bad (as it discourages new investments)?


Of course it is rather bad, because if affects not only potential investments, but the entire economy and population of the country. Certainly there are small benefits for business, but I wouldn’t say that we are happy about this. Rapidly changing fiscal projections and unrealistic targets hinder our work as well.

Advising rather weak companies that suffer from an unpredictable tax burden is not as pleasant and lucrative as advising companies that plan new investments, and might obtain certain state aids, for example – one thing we are good at advising, by the way.

 

4. From your point of view, what were the main engines for growth in 2014? What drives the economy so far in 2015?


The domestic consumption, industrial production and exports were, as far as I know, the main pillars of growth in the Romanian economy. We could see this in our business too: since several foreign companies regained trust in Romania’s market and asked for advice in planning new investments. I suppose the domestic consumption will lead again as main engine of Romania’s growth this year. But I think it should be accompanied by a significant increase in public investment spending, as well. The quality of the growth is far more important than just a plain figure of growth.

 

5.In terms of national projects, which are the main advantages of an international law/ advisory company compared to a national/local law company? Which are the disadvantages?

 

Being present in several markets and acting on regional or international level is already a main advantage. The company learns better from the experience on one market, and can transfer that know-how to tackle issues on another one. Being connected and knowing the characteristics of the market in Slovakia or Poland for example, helps to understand some aspects in Romania and vice versa. It also helps finding integrated solutions for clients. One disadvantage would be a slower process of decision taking, because there are more people involved.

 

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