Areas of practice: Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law/ White-Collar Crime, Corporate & Commercial Law, Insolvency & Bankruptcy
Phone: +40 21 202 59 08
Fax: +40 21 223 04 95
Address: 43 Aviatorilor Boulevard, 1st District, Code 011853, Bucharest, Romania
Mr Gheorghe Buta, PhD, heads the Litigation & Arbitration practice and is one of the best-known and respected experts in commercial, civil and criminal disputes in Romania. During his outstanding judicial career spanning over three decades, Mr Buta has gathered extensive trial experience, first as prosecutor, then as judge in courts of all levels, including with the High Court of Cassation and Justice for 6 years.
In addition, he held the position of Chairman of Bistrita Nasaud Tribunal and of Cluj Court of Appeal, and towards the end of his career as magistrate, he was President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice – Commercial Division. Furthermore, Mr Buta is arbitrator on the panel of the International Commercial Arbitration Court attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania and on the panels of International Arbitration Courts in Vienna and Paris.
His thorough knowledge and extended expertise cover the fields of business law, civil law, civil procedure, administrative litigation, as well as criminal law and criminal procedure. Over the years Mr Buta represented important local and international players, active in various industry sectors, including pharma, energy, oil & gas, investments, and transport. Mr Buta defends the interest of his clients in complex litigation and arbitration cases, with a particular focus on matters related to commercial disputes, recovery of commercial debts, insolvency procedures and enforcement, civil disputes in public procurement matters, complex fiscal litigation cases initiated against fiscal authorities on matters related to VAT, income tax and other duties due to the State budget.
Mr Buta holds a PhD in Law “summa cum laude” since 2002 and is also renowned for his scientific and academic work. For over 10 years, he was a teacher at the “Babes-Bolyai” University of Cluj-Napoca, and for the past 12 years he has been a 1st degree scientific researcher (university professor) with the Scientific Research Institute “Acad. Andrei Radulescu” of the Romanian Academy and a member in the Scientific Board of the same institute. He is also a full member and section President of the Romanian Academy for Legal Studies.
He has authored and co-authored more than 10 reference works in civil, commercial and civil procedure topics, such as “Civil Procedure Code – commented and annotated”, “Commercial Jurisdiction – Theory and Case–Law”, “Payment Summons Procedure. Doctrine and Case-Law”, “The New Civil Code – Studies and Comments”, ”Management of another person’s goods”, ”The Romanian Legal Encyclopedia”, as well as over 120 studies, articles and comments published in high–profile professional publications. He also collaborates with and is a member of the board of several legal journals. .
Twice member of the Superior Council of Magistracy, Mr Buta was nominated in 2004 as chairman of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, and in 2007 by the Government as Romania’s candidate for a judge position at the European Court for Human Rights.
- Postgraduate diploma in Commercial Law, Babeş–Bolyai University Cluj–Napoca (2002)
- Postgraduate diploma in criminal sciences, Babeş–Bolyai University of Cluj–Napoca (1986)
- Law degree, Babeş–Bolyai University of Cluj–Napoca (1979)
- Skills upgrading to “Universite Libre de Bruxelles, European Court for Human Rights, European Court of Justice, The European Network of Councils for the Judiciary etc.
- Legal experience: 32 years
- Experience within Muşat & Asociaţii: 9 years
- Senior Partner, Musat & Asociatii: 2018 to date
- Co-Managing Partner, Muşat & Asociaţii, 2012 – 2018
- Partner, Muşat & Asociaţii, 2010 – 2013
- President of the High Court of Cassation and Justice, Commercial Division, 2009 – 2010
- Judge, The High Court of Cassation and Justice, 2004 – 2010
- Member, Superior Council of Magistracy, 2009 – 2010 and 2003 – 2005
- Judge and President of Cluj Court of Appeal, 1999 – 2004
- Judge at several County Courts, 1987 – 1999
- Prosecutor, 1979 – 1987
- Member of the Scientific Board and Scientific researcher I (University Professor), The Legal Research Institute of the Romanian Academy, 2008 to date
- Chief Editor of the “Romanian Jurisprudence Review”, July 2010 to date
- French, English and Romanian
Recent relevant mandates of Mr Buta includes advising/representing:
- The Romanian subsidiary of a Swiss global health-care company in various pharmaceutical litigations dealing with claims worth over EUR 100,000,000.
- One of the largest European energy groups in two ICC arbitrations concerning contractual performance, with claims value in excess of EUR 850,000,000.
- One of the largest financial investment funds in Romania, listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange, in relation to various complex disputes with a total value of EUR 127,000,000.
- One of the major Spanish construction companies in relation to several civil disputes in public procurement matters, as well as in domestic litigations regarding public procurement proceedings in connection with works and services of public interest. Deals’ value exceeds EUR 90,000,000.
- A local leading service provider in a litigation concerning the client’s service public procurement contract, with a total value of EUR 450,000,000.
- One of the largest oil and refining business in Romania in the three major litigations in Romania, in the context of the repayment by the Client of a historical debt in total value of EUR 570,000,000 to the Romanian State. One of the high–profile disputes, initiated against National Securities Commission has been won by our firm on behalf of the Client as the Court cancelled regulator’s decision to block the delisting process of the company and ordered CNVM to pay damages to our client. Further advising the client with respect to a high–profile commercial dispute against The Romanian Authority regarding the implementation of a share capital increase.
- A major real estate developer in Central & Eastern Europe in relation with various litigations and related legal remedies concerning the ownership dispute over certain real estate projects, with a value in excess of EUR 100,000,000.
- The Romanian subsidiary of the world’s leading healthcare groups with respect to several commercial litigations concerning the recovery of commercial debts amounting EUR 80,000,000.
- One of the world’s largest steel producers in relation with one of the most complex international litigation (claim value: USD 50,000,000), arising from the sale and purchase of steel during the communist political regime. The Firm has successfully acted for the client at various courts of law, including The High Court of Justice. Further assisting the client throughout the insolvency proceedings declared against several of its significant commercial debtors in connection with the recovery of multimillion euro secured and unsecured receivables.
- A leading European energy group in an ICC arbitration concerning contractual performance, with a claim value in excess of EUR 45,000,000.
- A worldwide leading construction group in ICC arbitration proceedings concerning performance of a FIDIC agreement, with a claim value in excess of EUR 40,000,000.
- One of the largest property developers in Europe in an ICC arbitration concerning construction and development of a major real estate project, with a claim value in excess EUR 60,000,000.
- A well-known Israeli bank in a complex commercial litigation with claim value of USD 33,350,000.
- One of the major mutual insurance, banking and financial services group in relation to various multimillion litigations arising from several agricultural insurance indemnities, as well as in relation to a multimillion dispute arising from a maritime insurance.
- A major local player in the research activity of veterinary science and biotechnological production in relation with a complex commercial & administrative litigation with claims in excess of EUR 15,000,000.
- Several financial groups on various insolvency and foreclosure proceedings initiated against its debtors for the recovery of various commercial debts exceeding EUR 37,000,000, arisen from leasing contracts, including prosecution of debtors in criminal proceedings.
- One of the major banks in Romania in relation to various corporate disputes with one of its significant minority shareholders.
- A leading European energy group in various complex corporate litigations, generated by the company’s reorganisation following several acquisition on Romanian energy market.
- A leading Romanian commercial bank before the courts of law in connection with a multi–million Euros commercial litigation against one of the major Romanian insurance companies as well as in relation to the conclusion of a settlement agreement on behalf of the client.
- The German national railway company in the insolvency proceeding initiated against three railway manufacturers for the recovery of multimillion euro debts arisen from the performance of various services and supply agreements concluded between the parties.
- A leading European lessor of standard rail freight car during the insolvency proceeding opened for two of the biggest Romanian players in freight wagon manufacturing.
- A leading pharmaceuticals producer in connection with the insolvency proceedings initiated against Montero, an important distributor of medicines, with the aim to recover a significant commercial debt.
- One of the biggest sanitary ware distributors in Romania in a complex fiscal litigation case initiated against the National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) on VAT, income tax and other duties due to the State budget.
- Representing a major real estate investor and developer in complex VAT litigation procedures against the local fiscal authority arisen from the acquisition of various land plots for the development of two major residential projects.
- The leading producer of iron compounds in Romania, part of a world–leading group, in a complex fiscal litigation initiated against the National Fiscal Administration Agency.
- A leading Romanian metallurgic producer in various fiscal litigations challenging excises and other duties to the State budget (representing the client’s interests against the tax authorities in various Courts). Further assisting the client during the insolvency procedure initiated against several debtors in order to recover various debts arisen from unpaid commercial debts.
- A major Romanian real estate developer in a complex arbitration procedure before the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania arisen from a construction agreement for a residential real estate project.
- A major Romanian industrial manufacturer of ferrous metal products in relation to an arbitration before the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania.
- A major Romanian construction company before the Court of International Commercial Arbitration attached to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania in defending claims deriving from infrastructure development agreements.
- One of the largest pharmaceutical distribution companies with regard to a complex fiscal litigation having as object the annulment of certain administrative acts for the establishment of financial obligations related to customs duties (customs taxes and VAT) in connection with some types of medicines.
- Romania’s National Air Transportation Company on various complex employment litigations related to alleged salary rights and other various employment rights claimed by the trade unions and employees.
- A major local FMCG producer in a fiscal litigation contesting the customs tax calculated based on an misclassification of customs codes for imported goods. Further assisting the client in a complex litigation involving the infringement by a French retailer, of client’s protected designs and trademarks (legal work covers sustaining before the Court and obtaining a Preliminary Injunction motion which currently restricts the retail company infringing activities).
- A leading Finnish forest management group in connection with a dispute against the Romanian State (represented by its administration company) and the Ministry of Finance, with regard to the acknowledgement by the court of its ownership rights over forest roads, acquired along with an over 9,000 ha forest land.
- Bucharest and Romanian Bar Associations (Admitted 1991)
- Leading individual – Litigation & Arbitration (Legal 500, 2020)
- Leading individual – Litigation & Arbitration (Legal 500, 2019)
- Eminent Practitioner (Chambers Europe, 2017)
- Eminent Practitioner (Chambers Europe, 2016)
- Leading individual – Litigation & Arbitration (Legal 500, 2015)
- Highly recommended – Litigation & Arbitration (Chambers Europe, 2015)
- Highly recommended – Litigation & Arbitration (Chambers Europe, 2014, Chambers Global, 2014)
- Highly recommended – Litigation & Arbitration (Chambers Europe, 2013, Chambers Global, 2013)
- “Gheorghe Buta is one of the most well-known and respected experts in commercial, civil and criminal disputes in Romania. An exceptional lawyer with experience, dedicated to the profession.” Source: Legal 500 EMEA, 2020
- Former judge Gheorghe Buta is a highly regarded dispute resolution practitioner, who has “an extraordinary capacity for analysis, as well as a true understanding of how Romanian courts and judges can interpret the law, based on his extensive judicial career.” His arbitration work recently included acting for Colas in three ICC arbitrations regarding construction contracts. Source: Chambers Europe, 2015
- Gheorghe Buta is a “terrific lawyer with extensive technical knowledge”, according to clients. Source: Chambers Global, 2014
- The “exceptional” Gheorghe Buta heads the practice. Source: Legal 500, 2014
- Department head [Dispute Resolution] Gheorghe Buta is praised by clients for“always paying attention to sensitive issues”. Source: Chambers Global, 2013
- The national order “Lawful Service” as officer awarded by the President of Romania – 2000
- The “Mihai Eminescu” award for legal sciences research presented by the “Mihai Eminescu” International Academy – 2008
- The “Andrei Radulescu” award for the “New Civil Code – Studies and comments” (collective work), received from the Union of Jurists of Romania – 2012
- Honours diploma for the “Civil Procedure Code – commented and annotated” [“Codul de procedura civila comentat si adnotat”], second edition, awarded by the Union of Jurists of Romania – 2008
- The “Istrate Micescu” award for “The Commercial Jurisdiction – Theory and Case-Law” [“Jurisdictia comerciala. Teorie si jurisprudenta”] presented by the Union of Jurists of Romania – 2003
- The “I.L. Georgescu” award for “The Payment Summons Procedure. Doctrine and Case-Law” [“Procedura somatiei de plata. Doctrina si jurisprudenta”] presented by the Union of Jurists of Romania – 2006
- The “Judicial Merit” award presented by the President of the Republic – 2002
- Citizen of honour of Nasaud, Bistrita-Nasaud County – 2008
- Senator of Honour of “Babes-Bolyai” University Cluj-Napoca – 2012
- “The New Criminal and Criminal Procedure codes: Important changes towards modernising the Romanian legal system” (Romania Chapter, IFLR 1000, 2015);
- “The New Civil Code. Studies and Comments” [Noul Cod Civil, comentarii], Volume One, coordinated by M. Uliescu, Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2012;
- “The New Civil Code, comments”, [Noul Cod Civil, comentarii] coordinated by M.Uliescu, Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2010 (as well as another two editions, revised and annotated in 2011);
- “The Civil Procedure Code – commented and annotated” [“Codul de procedură civilă comentat și adnotat”], second edition revised and supplemented, Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2008 (in cooperation with prof. dr. M. Tabarca), 1850 pages – awarded “Honours Diploma” in 2009 by the Union of Jurists of Romania;
- “The Civil Procedure Code – commented and annotated” [“Codul de procedură civilă comentat și adnotat”], Universul Juridic Publishing House, Bucharest, 2007 (in cooperation with prof. dr. M. Tabarca), 1750 pages;
- “The Payment Summons Procedure. Doctrine and Case-Law” [“Procedura somației de plată. Doctrina și jurisprudență”], CH Beck Publishing House, Bucharest, 2006, 540 pages (in cooperation with Prof dr. Ion Deleanu) – received in 2006 the “Istrate Micescu” award from the Union of Jurists of Romania;
- “The Commercial Jurisdiction – Theory and Case-Law” [“Jurisdicția comercială. Teorie și jurisprudență”], Lumina Lex Publishing House, Bucharest, 2003, 545 pages – received in 2003 the “I.L. Georgescu” award from the Union of Jurists of Romania;
- “The New Civil Code – Comments” [“Noul Cod Civil – Comentarii”] (in cooperation), Universul Juridic Publishing House, 2010-2012, 490 pages;
- “Business Law” [“Dreptul afacerilor”], EFES Publishing House, Cluj-Napoca, 2003, 385 pages;
- “The High Court of Cassation and Justice – Commercial Division’s Case-Law” [“Jurisprudența secției comerciale a Înaltei Curți de Casație și Justiție”], annual publication (collective work), Hamangiu Publishing House, Bucharest, 2005 (first edition), 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010;
- “Case-Law Journal of the Cluj Court of Appeal” [“Buletinul jurisprudenței Curții de Apel Cluj”], annual publication (in cooperation), Lumina Lex Publishing House, 1999 (first edition), 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005;
- Author of more than 120 studies, articles, translations and communications published in collective works and relevant magazines or presented in congresses, conferences, seminaries having as their topic commercial, criminal, civil court law and human rights matters.