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Crenguta Leaua
10, Zborului Street, sector 3
+40 31 405 43 04

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Arbitration

Arbitrator in over 100 cases, Crenguta Leaua is listed at WIPO and in Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, Slovenia, Kuala Lumpur, Beijing and Shanghai. Since 2015, she is vice president of the ICC International Court of Arbitration. She is managing partner of Leaua & Asociatii Romania (a GAR 100-listed firm), and acts as counsel in commercial and investment arbitration. She is also an associate professor at two Bucharest universities, teaching comparative international arbitration, construction arbitration, business law and EU Law.

Why did you decide to focus your practice on international arbitration?

I was attracted by the flexibility of the procedure and the possibility to adapt it to the parties’ needs.

What is the most memorable case you’ve worked on?

The first investment arbitration case I was involved in: The Rompetrol Group NV v Romania. It was a very complex case where the defence had to address many issues related to the organisation, functions and activity of a very large number of state institutions and agencies, over a period with significant legislative and institutional changes, due to the accession to the EU.

You currently act as counsel and sit as an arbitrator. Have you considered becoming a full-time arbitrator in the future? If so, how would you work towards that goal?

The understanding brought by these two sides of my activity helped me better perform in each position I took, counsel and arbitrator. I realise that, over the years, the balance inclines slowly towards the role of arbitrator, but for me it is not yet the moment for an exclusive choice.

How can younger lawyers build an effective and successful practice?

I would say that the passion for a high-quality work and the respect for the people one interacts with are the foundation of any solid professional practice. The remaining architecture of success is unique for each person and economic context.

What are the major challenges currently facing arbitration practitioners?

There is an increasing expectation of the parties for efficiency in terms of time and costs of arbitral proceedings. While procedural rules and arbitral institutions are nowadays more and more responsive to this need, it remains for both arbitrators and counsel to make sure that the due attention to all details of the case remains characteristic of arbitration.  

As managing partner, how would you like to see the firm develop in the next few years?

In the last 10 years, the firm has developed a wider range of legal areas other than arbitration and this diversity is going probably to increase.

In an increasingly global legal marketplace, how does Leaua & Asociatii compete with the big international firms?

Being a medium-sized firm, our costs are competitive by definition, so we decided to simply focus on top-quality work. The team of lawyers is a blend of experienced practitioners and professors and academics in business law, constitutional law, administrative law and tax law.

What do you anticipate the future holds for the Romanian legal market?

In my view, the Romanian legal market is already mature. The changes I expect to take place in the future shall probably follow the evolution of the Romanian economy.


Who's Who Legal Arbitration: Lawyers

Crenguta Leaua has acted as counsel in commercial arbitral proceedings under the rules of the ICSID, ICC, WIPO, VIAC and of the Romanian Court of International Commercial Arbitration by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Romania. She has also acted as counsel in ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL rules or various national laws.

Crenguta is a member of the ICC Court, as a representative of Romania, as well as a member of the ICC commission on arbitration, as a representative of the Romanian national committee. She is a member of the ICC task force on decisions as to costs, and was a member of ICC task force on criminal law and arbitration. She has acted as a member of the IBA subcommittee on conflict of interests in arbitration. She is a member of the panel of arbitrators of the Romanian Court of International Commercial Arbitration, and has also been the vice president of this court (2008–2012). She is also a member of the panel of arbitrators of the Vienna International Arbitration Center, of the Bulgarian, Polish and Slovenian courts of arbitration attached to the chambers of commerce of these countries and of the WIPO list of neutrals for intellectual property disputes. She was appointed as arbitrator in cases under the rule of the Danish Institute of Arbitration and in ad hoc arbitrations.

She has written numerous publications and made numerous presentations in conferences on international commercial arbitration, including “Arbitration of Foreign Investments Disputes and Romania” (2006), “The Right to a Fair Trial in International Commercial Arbitration – Introductive Considerations” (2007), “Arbitration in Romania” (2007), “The Appointing Authority in International Commercial Arbitration” (2008), “The Party Autonomy in the Appointment of Arbitrators” (2011), “The impact of the new Romanian Civil Code on the application of NewYork Convention (1958) in Romania” (2012) and “The un-constitutionality exception and arbitration” (2013). She has also authored or co-authored several books: Quality – norms and regulations (2003), Commercial companies: special proceedings, (2008, second edition in 2009) (a reference book on Romanian intra-corporate litigation, and Business law: General notions of private law (2012).

Crenguta graduated from the faculty of legal and administrative sciences, University Lucian Blaga, Sibiu, the law faculty of Ecological University, Bucharest, and she received her licence from the law school of the University Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Iasi, Romania. She holds a PhD, magna cum laude, in corporate litigation from Bucharest. Currently, she is an associate professor in business law at the Bucharest University of Economics and a visiting professor of international comparative arbitration and construction arbitration in the LLM programme of International Arbitration of the Bucharest University Faculty of Law.

She is fluent in Romanian, English and French, has a good command of Italian and basic knowledge of German.

WWL says: Crenguta Leaua regularly acts as counsel or arbitrator in international commercial arbitration and impresses respondents with her “professionalism and diligence”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Arbitration which can be purchased from our Shop.

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