Reff & Associates assisted in obtaining a decision of the Bucharest Court of Appeal with high importance in the area of capital markets

Publish date: 28-06-2012
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The Bucharest Court of Appeal pronounced in public hearing, on Wednesday, 27 June 2012, in the file regarding alleged market abuse actions in which Horia Ciorcila, the president of Banca Transilvania, Silaghi Claudiu, a former member of the Board of Directors of Banca Transilvania, Georgios Christoforou, the general manager of the Romanian branch of Bank of Cyprus (BoC), Anastasios Isaakidis, former sanctioning manager of the Romanian branch of Bank of Cyprus, and two securities brokers were charged.

The case, initiated in 2010, concerns alleged market manipulation, insider dealing and tipping criminal offences in connection with the acquisition of approximately 10% of the shares in Banca Transilvania, an acquisition made by Bank of Cyprus in 2009.

This is a historical decision in the capital markets field in Romania, both from the perspective of the investigated transactions' value (EUR 25 million), as well as the complexity of the case - the first market abuse case reaching this stage in Romania.  

The case is a complex one, involving an impressive quantity of evidences and other documents submitted in front of the court, including reports provided by local and international experts and court precedents from the European Court of Justice, and detailed studies on the jurisprudence of relevant EU member states in the capital markets field.

The judgments issued both at the Tribunal level as well as at Court of Appeal level confirm the alignment of the interpretation given by the Romanian courts to the EU directives and regulations applicable in the securities law area, as well as to the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Justice and the established practices of the securities regulators in various EU states.  

During the last two years, the lawyers involved in this file have invested a large amount of work on the aspects regarding the capital market law, prepared hundreds of pages of written conclusions, jurisprudence studies, reviews of relevant practice, analyses regarding the transposition of the legislation on market abuse in EU member states.  The decision of the Court of Appeal, which confirms the decision of the Bucharest Tribunal, is important as judicial precedent being a solution of acquittal of the defendants on the merits and on the factual and legal elements of the case and not on procedural aspects, bringing thus a significant contribution to the correct clarification and interpretation of the Romanian capital market law regarding market abuse.   

The team of lawyers that ensured for Bank of Cyprus employees the success of this case was coordinated by Reff & Associates, member of the Deloitte legal network, which coordinated the strategy during the entire judicial phase and also drafted the defenses and ensured representation of the Clients in court. The Bank of Cyprus employees were also supported by lawyers from Stoica & Asociatii. Moreover, specialized lawyers from other four relevant EU jurisdictions members of the Deloitte legal network have contributed to the substantiation of the evidences, under the coordination of Reff & Associates. 

Georgios Christoforou, General Manager al Bank of Cyprus, said: "The Court of Appeal's verdict in this case is reassuring with respect to the observance of rule of law in Romania. While dealing with investigations and court trials for more than two years now has been obviously not a pleasant experience, we appreciate the thoroughness and fairness proven by Romanian courts both at Tribunal and Court of Appeal level, which went into analyzing in detail the merits of a case in a specialized area such as securities law. It is my pleasure to acknowledge our very dedicated team of lawyers, with high specialization and experience in capital markets, out of which Andrei Burz Pinzaru, Leontin Trifa and Radu Straut - lawyers with Reff & Associates - played a key role. I am confident that the Tribunal and Court of Appeal rulings will be upheld up to a definitive decision, acknowledging the correct interpretation of Romanian securities law, in line with the European practices and precedents.” 

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