Overview & Experience

Our Shipping, Aviation & Transport Law practice holds considerable domestic and international experience. Our lawyers specialize in shipping litigation and finance, including “dry” litigation and arbitration for owners, P&I and defence clubs, charterers, cargo underwriters and bunker suppliers, shipbuilding disputes and shipping finance, acting for banks and other financial institutions and structuring shipping finance and related collateral.

We have advised on many aspects of Trade and Transport of goods by sea, road and air, such as sale/purchase, charter, cargo insurance, recovery, arrest, execution, cargo and freight claims, maritime liens, maritime litigation and arbitration. We also have considerable experience and expertise in advising on the relevant Romanian statutory and regulatory framework.

Our Aviation & Aerospace expertise ranges from international aspects of Aviation Law to specific advice on the Romanian aviation legal regime. Our firm has acted in a wide range of matters from purchase of aircraft, cross-border leasing, advising on major loan agreements, lease and mortgage of aircraft and the registration, enforcement and securitization of aircrafts. Our experience has extended from advising on the privatization of the national airline carrier to the incorporation of special corporate vehicles for airline services.

IULIAN POPESCU
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9V8A2201 Iulian Popescu resized

Deputy Managing Partner

Areas of practice: Corporate & Commercial Law,Mergers & Acquisitions / Privatisation, Telecom, IT & Media, Shipping, Aviation & Transport Law

Phone: +40 21 202 59 28

Fax: +40 21 223 04 95

E-mail: iulian.popescu@musat.ro

Address: 43 Aviatorilor Boulevard, 1st District, Code 011853, Bucharest, Romania

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Practice Highlights. A selection of our deal highlights includes advising and representing:

  • Damen Shipyards Group, on the acquisition from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering of the shipyard, Șantierul Naval Mangalia S.A., the sole Romanian producer of military vessels, and subsequent joint venture with the Romanian State.
  • Elbit Systems Ltd., with respect to a complex agreement concluded with C.N. Romtehnica S.A. and the Romanian Ministry of Defense for supplying advanced aviation systems.
  • Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), an international player in the design, manufacture, maintenance and supply of equipment and components for railway systems, in connection with the public acquisition launched by Metrorex S.A. (the local company which runs the Bucharest Metro), in view of awarding the Sectorial Contract for the acquisition and commissioning of 16 new subway trains to serve Bucharest underground network, with a total value of approximately EUR 100,000,000. Legal work included drafting and reviewing the tendering documentation, as well as assistance during all stages of the procedure.
  • Holdingmaatschappij Damen B.V., a member of Damen Shipyards Group, on a financing transaction involving ING Bank N.V., ABN Amro Bank N.V., and several leading European banks, in connection with a EUR 700,000,000 credit facility project for the construction of vessels.
  • Astra Rail Industries, in connection with the acquisition of three Romanian companies in the wagon industry – Astra Vagoane Arad, Meva S.A. and Romvag Caracal (the largest railway wagon producers in Romania), with an overall value of EUR 150,000,000. Our mandate covered an extensive due diligence exercise on all three companies, as well as assistance during negotiations with the sellers and the creditors (Citibank, RBS, ING Bank, Piraeus Bank), drafting the relevant sale-purchase agreements and related documentation. The acquisition of the assets pertaining to the three leading undertakings in the wagon industry, in view of continuing and further developing the business, turned this transaction into one of the most important on the Romanian market to date.
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB), in structuring the entire project finance scheme in relation to financing the SIBIU airport construction and development project.
  • The European Investment Bank (EIB), in connection with structuring and negotiating a project finance scheme in excess of EUR 17,000,000 granted to the Municipality of Oradea for purposes of public transportation development.
  • Caterpillar Financial Services U.S., in connection with a financing project for vessel construction in Romania, including drafting the mortgage agreements over the vessels under construction and conducting all registration formalities thereof with the local port authorities.
  • Constanța Shipyard, in connection with the construction and sale agreement of “Mineral Sakura” (the biggest vessel ever built in Romania).

Other representative mandates of our Shipping, Aviation & Transport practice includes advising:

  • Zim Shipping Ltd., in connection with the successful acquisition (buy-out) of the remaining 50% share quota held by Romtrans in Zimrom Shipping S.R.L.
  • Universal Alloy Corporation Europe (UACE), part of the Aerospace division of the Swiss group Montana Tech Components A.G. (MTC), in relation to its facility for the production of aluminium components for the aerospace industry located in North-Western Romania.
  • Alenia Aeronautica, the leading Italian aeronautical manufacturer, with regard to its proposed bid for the privatisation of Avioane Craiova, a high-profile Romanian aircraft producer. 
Our legal assistance included drafting and negotiating the security documents, handling the necessary registrations in Romania and the issuance of a legal opinion on the effectiveness of the securities structure.
  • Banca Comercială Română (B.C.R.), in connection with a loan facility of USD 115,000,000 granted for the purchase of six oil drilling rigs and providing legal assistance on the validity and enforceability of the maritime mortgage.
  • Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), the largest mining company in South America and one of the four largest companies in the global metals & mining industry, on various transport law proceedings, including drafting cargo agent and port operator services agreements regarding a major import, stockpiling and transit operation of Brazilian iron ore through Constanța Port.
  • GE Capital Aviation Services, for performing a legal survey on Romanian legislation and judicial practice, including advice on maritime transport of containers and other equipment and ship arrest matters.
  • Wikborg, Rein & Co, Karmsund Maritime Services (Norway), in various legal proceedings involving Romanian subcontractors, with a view to prevent the latter from seizing a fishing vessel owned by Karmsund Maritime Services (Norway), while located in Romanian waters, based on a proceeds claim related to contracted shipbuilding services.
  • The Ministry of Transport, in connection with drafting the due diligence on the Romanian state-owned shipping companies Petromin S.A., CNM Romline S.A. and CNM Navrom S.A., in view of their privatization by the Romanian Privatization Authority.
  • Petromin S.A., one of the largest shipping companies in Romania, in connection with the joint-venture agreements concluded with international shipping companies from Greece and Norway, as well as drafting various commercial contracts, drafting a legal opinion on various shipping issues, such as ship arrest and ship claims.
  • The National Oil Company Petrom S.A., on a shipping agreement for the transport of imported oil. We assisted in the negotiations of various types of charters (voyage charter party, time charter party, shipment charter, management agreement and bareboat charter).
  • P&O Group, a world leader in cargo services and port management, in the proposed construction of a port for loading, unloading and transport of container freight in Constanța.
  • Petromin S.A., in commercial and shipping litigation resulting in the arrest of a ship to secure interlocutory relief and contractual performance.
  • GE Commercial Aviation Services Limited, on various aviation matters in connection with regulatory issues ranging from aircrafts leasing agreements concluded with several business partners.
  • The Romanian Ministry of Transport, with respect to the restructuring process of the National Air Company Tarom S.A., as a first step towards privatization.
  • Advising on a leasing agreement concluded between Airwork Holdings Limited and Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in connection with a Boeing 737-377 aircraft.
  • Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services, on leasing agreements concluded with Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in relation to a Boeing 737-300 aircraft and a Boeing 737-500 aircraft.
  • Advising on leasing agreements concluded between Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services and Carpatair, a Romanian airline, in relation to three Fokker F70 aircrafts.
  • Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services, in relation to Romanian law aspects regarding the repossession of an aircraft leased to a Romanian airline.
  • Advising on leasing agreements concluded between CIT Aerospace International and Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in relation to three Boeing 737-800 aircrafts.
  • Pearl Aircraft Corporation, in relation to the lease of several Boeing aircrafts and engines to Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost charter airline. Assisting the client in negotiating the assignment of its agreements on alternative corporate structures and assisting with all required regulatory work with the Romanian Civil Aviation Authority. We have also assisted the client in debt recovery procedures, including grounding of aircraft on the Romanian territory and negotiations with contracting parties.
  • Sparbank Vest A.S., with respect to mortgage agreements having as object two Saab 340B aircrafts and to the registration thereof with the Romanian Aircraft Registry. Our legal assistance included, without limitation, the issuance of a legal opinion on the effectiveness of the securities structure.
  • CIT Aerospace International, on various aviation matters in connection with regulatory issues concerning aircraft leasing agreements concluded with its business partners.
  • RBS Aerospace, in relation to various regulatory issues in structuring potential aviation business in Romania.
  • Advising on a leasing agreement concluded between FNBC Leasing Corporation and Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in relation to a Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
  • Two Swedish banks (Ringkjøbing Landbobank A/S and Lokalbanken I Nordsjælland A/S), with respect to loans exceeding USD 20,000,000 granted to NAC Nordic Aviation Contractor A/S for financing five Saab 2000 aircrafts currently on lease to Carpatair.
  • Eurocopter, with respect to a contemplated equity joint venture agreement with IAR Brașov (the leading Romanian helicopter producer) having as object the manufacturing of helicopters and helicopter equipment.
  • Assisting the National Air Company Tarom S.A., on an aircraft lease agreement concluded between Air Lingus Limited, Skywell Limited and Tarom S.A. in respect of one Boeing 737-548 aircraft.
  • Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services, on a leasing agreement with the National Air Company Tarom S.A. for financing a Boeing 737-300 aircraft, as well as in connection with a mortgage over the aircraft and its registration with the Romanian authorities.
  • Natwest, a British Bank, in connection with a mortgage over a Boeing 737-500 aircraft and the registration thereof with the Romanian Aircraft Registry.
  • An international aircraft operator, with respect to all relevant legal issues in connection with placing an aircraft for servicing with a Romanian repair and maintenance company.
  • DHL International Romania, the Romanian subsidiary of the global market leader in international express, air and ocean freight, overland transport and logistics, in connection with various transport-related matters, including drafting transport agreements, as well as legal assistance in related litigation arising from the current mail express activities.
  • Constanța South Container Terminal, local subsidiary of Dubai Ports World, one of the world’s largest container port operators, in the negotiation and conclusion of various commercial agreements in relation to the acquisition of equipment for loading and unloading containers, negotiation with Constanța Port Authority with respect to a multi-million USD rent and operation agreement for several areas in the recently built Black Sea Container Terminal.
  • Alstom Transport S.A., in connection with drafting and negotiating several commercial agreements concluded with various business partners, including railway vehicles maintenance and other transportation issues.
  • Roose + Partners, a UK-based law firm specialized in maritime law, on the prospected procedure for arrest of “MSC Flaminia”, a post-Panamax container vessel with a capacity of 6,750 TEUs and deadweight tonnage of 85,823 tons, docked for repair in Constanța harbor.
  • Codex Mulder B.V. Advocaten, a Netherland-based shipping law firm, on certain aspects related to the possible assignment of rights over shipped cargo and the prospected filing of legal action against a carrier, according to the Romanian law.
  • Dedeman S.R.L., the largest Romanian capital DIY retail chain, on the negotiations for the execution of a Sale-Purchase Agreement for a corporate business jet, as well as on all registration formalities with the Romanian Aeronautical Civil Authority.
  • CHC Helicopter, one of the largest worldwide helicopter operators, in connection with various regulatory issues pertaining to its flight operations in Romania. We have also assisted CHC in several corporate matters relating to its local subsidiary.
  • Roosendaal Keyzer Advocaten, a law firm in Belgium specialised in maritime law, regarding the regulatory aspects in connection with the sale of the ship “Auguste” and in connection with carrying out the necessary formalities before the Romanian authorities in order to remove it from the registers.
  • Aerovista FZE, an integrated aircraft operator in the leasing and charter system, in connection with the drafting of a legal opinion regarding the execution of a rental contract concluded with a company from Romania, regarding a Boeing 737-300 aircraft, as well as regarding various legal aspects regarding the registration procedure of the aircraft at the Romanian Civil Aeronautical Authority.

Accolades 
The prestigious British legal publishers IFLR 1000, Legal 500 Europe and Chambers & Partners rank Muşat & Asociaţii as leading / highly recommended law firm in Corporate/M&A, Privatisation & PPP, Dispute Resolution, Banking, Project Finance, Energy & Natural Resources, Real estate & Construction, IT, Telecoms and Media, Employment, Environment, Capital Markets, Restructuring & Insolvency, Competition / Antitrust, Tax, Private Equity.

“This firm is involved in some of the biggest cases, which are often the first of their kind” say peers. Source: Chambers & Partners

Clients praise the firm for its “quick understanding of the needs of the client, strong competence on Romanian law, and familiarity with international legal practice in acquisitions”. Source: Legal 500

“Clients are pleased with the flexible approach taken by the firm: “They responded very promptly and found an amicable way to solve a difficult issue.” Source: Chambers & Partners

“Muşat & Asociaţii - indefatigable Romanian giant [which] retains an impressive list of corporate clients and virtually unparalleled contacts with government: agencies.” Source: Chambers & Partners

“Working with Muşat & Asociaţii has constantly been very satisfying; they know our business very well, have great command of the legal matters and understand perfectly our requirements," says one client. Source: IFLR 1000

Clients about Muşat & Asociaţii’ lawyers: “High level of professionalism and involvement, innovative spirit and original solutions.” Source: Chambers & Partners

Muşat & Asociaţii has been described as a “one stop shop law firm with the ability to provide us with all the services we need” by one client. Source: IFLR 1000

Sources say: “We choose Muşat & Asociaţii because of its impeccable service. Prompt, innovative and practical, it always suggests several solutions to fit our business strategy.” Source: Chambers Europe

Clients believe the firm to be “professional, with a great team of lawyers displaying depth of knowledge.” Source: Legal 500

One client comments that the “service they provide is excellent and we always feel confident that what we ask from them will be delivered.” Source: Legal 500

One of the firm’s international clients says: “There is a seven-hour time difference and they were always willing to speak on the phone”, adding “We worked with other law firms, but we felt that Muşat were the best”. Source: IFLR 1000
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