Overview & Experience

Shipping, Aviation & Transport Law is one of our growing practice areas upon which we have amassed considerable domestic and international experience. Our firm has qualified shipping lawyers who 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. The Firm has also 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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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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A selection of our recent instructions includes advising:

  • A major railway industry producer in connection with the acquisition of three Romanian companies (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, including a significant analysis of the IP-related matters, 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, turns this transaction into one of the most important on the Romanian market to date. As the three companies have been holding the prime position in Europe, with a market share of 30%, this transaction places the investor at the top of the European wagon industry.
  • The holding company of a renowned Dutch shipyard on a financing transaction involving several leading European banks, in connection with a credit facility project of approximately EUR 700,000,000 for the construction of vessels.
  • A major European credit institution 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.
  • Two Swedish banks with respect to loans exceeding USD 20,000,000 granted for financing five Saab 2000 aircrafts currently on lease to Carpatair. 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.
  • A leading Italian aeronautical manufacturer with regard to its proposed bid for the privatization of a high-profile Romanian aircraft producer.
  • A major Spanish international player in the design, manufacture, maintenance and supply of equipment and components for railway systems, in connection with the public tender launched by the local company which runs the Bucharest Metro, in view of awarding the Sectoral 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.
  • A British shipping company in connection with the successful acquisition (buy-out) of the remaining 50% share quota held by Romtrans in Zimrom Shipping SRL.
  • A European credit institution in structuring the entire project finance scheme in relation to financing the Sibiu airport construction and development project.
  • A subsidiary of the Aerospace division of a Swiss components manufacturer in relation to its facility for the production of aluminium components for the aerospace industry located in North-Western Romania.
  • An American finance institution in connection with a financing project for vessel construction in Romania. We reviewed the loan agreements between the client and the vessel owner, drafted the mortgage agreements over the vessels under construction and conducted all registration formalities thereof with the local port authorities.
  • Two of the largest Romanian banks in drafting a maritime mortgage in connection with a loan facility of USD 115,000,000 granted for the purchase of six oil drilling rigs and providing a legal opinion on the validity and enforceability of the maritime mortgage.
  • The largest mining company in South America and one of the four largest companies in the global metals & mining industry on various 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.
  • The relevant Romanian ministry on the privatization transaction of the sole Romanian producer of military vessels, initiated by the Romanian Government.
  • Retained for drafting the due diligence on the major Romanian state-owned shipping companies, in view of their privatization by the relevant privatization authority.
  • One of the major Romanian Black Sea coast shipyards in connection with the sale agreement of “Mineral Sakura” (the biggest vessel ever built in Romania).
  • 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.
  • A major Romanian oil company 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).
  • 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.
  • The financing services subsidiary of a major American company 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.
  • A Norwegian maritime services company in various legal proceedings involving Romanian subcontractors, with a view to prevent the latter from seizing a fishing vessel owned by an important Norwegian technology company , while located in Romanian waters, based on a proceeds claim related to contracted shipbuilding services.
  • The largest shipping company of Romania in commercial and shipping litigation resulting in the arrest of a ship to secure interlocutory relief and contractual performance.
  • A leading Israeli airplane manufacturer with respect to a significant agreement concluded with the foreign defence trade department and the Romanian Ministry of Defence for supplying advanced aviation systems.
  • The financing services subsidiary of a major American company. We have assisted the client on various aviation matters in connection with regulatory issues ranging from aircrafts leasing agreements concluded with several business partners.
  • The Romanian relevant ministry with respect to the restructuring process of the National Air Company, as a first step towards privatization.
  • A leasing agreement concluded between a renowned international leasing company and a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in connection with a Boeing 737-377 aircraft.
  • A major international leasing company on leasing agreements concluded with a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in relation to a Boeing 737-300 aircraft and a Boeing 737-500 aircraft.
  • Leasing agreements concluded between a major international leasing company and an important Romanian airline, in relation to three Fokker F70 aircrafts.
  • A renowned international leasing company in relation to Romanian law aspects regarding the repossession of an aircraft leased to a Romanian airline.
  • Leasing agreements concluded between an international leasing company and a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in relation to three Boeing 737-800 aircrafts.
  • An international aircraft owner in relation to the lease of several Boeing aircrafts and engines to 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.
  • One of the most important Danish banks with respect to mortgage agreements having as object two Saab 340B aircrafts and 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.
  • A major international aircraft manufacturer on various aviation matters in connection with regulatory issues concerning aircraft leasing agreements concluded with its business partners.
  • A leading international aircraft manufacturing company in relation to various regulatory issues in structuring potential aviation business in Romania.
  • A leasing agreement concluded between a leading international leasing corporation and a Romanian low-cost charter airline, in relation to a Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
  • A major European helicopter manufacturer with respect to a contemplated equity joint venture agreement with the leading Romanian helicopter producer having as object the manufacturing of helicopters and helicopter equipment.
  • A major Romanian air company with regard to a leasing agreement with Maersk Air A/S having as object a Boeing 737-5L9 aircraft.
  • A major Romanian air company on an aircraft lease agreement concluded between three leading airlines in respect of one Boeing 737-548
  • A financing agreement between a major Romanian air company and Zerlina Ltd for the acquisition by Zerlina Ltd. of an ATR 42-500 aircraft from I.E. Avions de Transport Régional and the leasing of the same by Zerlina Ltd. to the major Romanian air company.
  • A major worldwide aviation services company 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A local subsidiary of 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 Constanta Port Authority with respect to a multi-million USD rent and operation agreement for several areas in the recently built Black Sea Container Terminal.
  • The transportation division of a major international energy producer in connection with drafting and negotiating several commercial agreements concluded with various business partners, including railway vehicles maintenance and other transportation issues.
  • An UK-based law firm specialized in maritime law on the prospected procedure for arrest of the „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.
  • A Netherland-based shipping law firm on certain aspects related to the possible assignment of rights over shipped cargo and the proposed filling of legal actions against a carrier, according to the Romanian law.
  • The largest Romanian capital DYI 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.
  • One of the largest worldside helicopters operators in connection with various regulatory issues pertaining to its flights operations in Romania. We have also assisted the client in several corporate matters related to its local subsidiary.

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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