I am a survivor in a highly competitive field in which – to be successful – you have to be able to anticipate what is going to happen in the market, make quick decisions and adopt flexible solutions that you have the courage to do follow. I am a lawyer specialized in litigation and arbitration, insolvency and reorganization, white-collar crime. Working in a large-scale business law firm and, more importantly, its international character, means that the projects in which I am involved are clients of multinational and local companies active in various fields such as energy, production, large goods consumption, financial services, medical equipment, telecommunication, etc. Moreover, work at this level translates into complex projects, which pose interesting and professionally challenging challenges. I was fortunate enough to be involved in a consistent series of multi-jurisdictional projects where – beyond the ability to find creative legal solutions – team and resource management skills are very useful.
Ten years after entering the firm, I was named Partner
I graduated from the Faculty of Law in Cluj-Napoca almost 15 years ago and immediately started working in local law firms in Cluj, continuing my studies in parallel with the Master. In 2006, I moved to Bucharest, where I joined Schoenherr and SCA Associates as a lawyer in the company’s real estate practice, very well developed since that time, amid the boom in the real estate sector.
The economic crisis of 2008 gave a new impetus to my professional career, when the structure of the demand for legal services changed significantly. It was the moment when, including the experience of the Schoenherr team in Vienna in the sphere of litigation and arbitration, we were encouraged to develop a specialized practice in Bucharest. Traditionally, up until that time, Romanian business law firms provided legal advice services, while for litigation or arbitrage, clients were more likely to address specialized litigation firms. I have been involved in the project of developing the Schoenherr litigation and arbitration practice in Romania, along with its founder, Sebastian Guţiu.
Today, Schoenherr & SCA’s specialized dispute and arbitrage practice is one of the key areas of the firm, bringing together 14 lawyers, three of whom are partners and five senior lawyers. Throughout its development, in response to market realities, this practice has also generated two ramifications that are themselves important directions for our lawyers, namely insolvency and reorganization, namely white-collar crimes. Ten years after entering the firm in 2016, I was named Partner.
I believe in equity and justice
Basically, I have always been an idealist, but – with experience – this idealism has gained a more realistic outlook, sometimes even with slight cynical tendencies. I believe, however, strongly in fairness and justice, and these values have also given me the impetus for choosing a lawyer profession. I try, in everything I do, to correlate my actions and decisions with these principles.
It took action at the ECHR and years of work
As far as Positive Experience is concerned, I would point out here the experience we have had in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) case Bărbulescu vs. Romania, finalized a year and a half ago in favor of my client, Mr Barbulescu.
After being dismissed in 2007 by his employer as a result of the latter’s monitoring of his electronic messages, Mr. Bărbulescu asked the Romanian courts to cancel the dismissal decision in violation of his right to private life. The solutions of the Romanian courts to uphold this dismissal decision were a disappointment for me, because – by not recognizing the right to private life – they came in contradiction with principles in which they strongly believe and should govern the act of justice as a whole.
It took action at the ECHR and years of work until it succeeded in removing the bitter taste of these solutions of the Romanian courts. Finally, the judgment of the ECHR Grand Chamber came to the effect that certain principles should be respected by employers in monitoring their employees’ communications and that the right to privacy must be protected at all times, including within employment relationships. Beyond the pride of having contributed to winning the case, this decision, important through its impact in the legislation of all the signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights, has come to reaffirm my fundamental trust in the role of justice.
Life in an international law firm
Last year, Schoenherr and Associates SCA launched and hosted the Fly High | Dive Deep, a unique summer school in Romania, where law school students learned from lawyers and business specialists what life means in an international law firm and how they can prepare for this profession.
I make here, for any future jurist, the same recommendations I have made to the participants in this program: it is essential that, in addition to theoretical subjects, law students should lay the practical foundations of their preparation during their studies. I think that just starting to practice law during the faculty, future lawyers can begin to understand what doors can open the legal professions. At the same time, practice offers an opportunity for an informed choice for a profession or another, within the legal field.
If a general recommendation is allowed for all jurists at the beginning of the road, it would be to form, in any case, their own logical-juridical opinion, and not to get from the start to the ready-made opinions of others. I believe that this very developed ability to generate own ideas, to create own solutions, is one of the most beautiful aspects of the legal professions.
Sentimental can not be left aside
I think an important part of the professional maturation process lies precisely in the ability to give Rational strength to Sentiment. On the other hand, in my profession the Sentimental can not be left aside altogether, because by virtue of it I can rally one position or the other and thanks to it can patronize the position in front of the public in general and of the court in particular.
Law students have many resources and programs
Remaining on the career path in the legal field, and specifically in the field of lawyer’s career in an international business law firm, I would like to highlight here some landmarks in which I hope some of my colleagues tomorrow and which are also important markings in my professional career so far.
I think that the sense of professional success throughout the career depends to a large extent on the decisions taken since its early stages. Carefully choosing a profession that is right for your personal profile is the first step, and another essential one. It then matters the choice of the environment and the people you are going to work with, and mainly the adherence to a set of values that are both yours, not just the organization you are joining. Personally, we have had the good fortune to make these choices, and today we are part of a team of over 60 local lawyers and consultants (out of the 300 at the regional level) supported by a strong team of support experts professional.
The good news is that knowingly choosing a professional path in the field of Law is now easier than ever, and law students and early-stage youth have at their disposal a wealth of resources and practical programs to take the pulse of life lawyer, regardless of the professional field that attracts them.
Lawyer Emeric Domokos-Hancu, for Careers & Business magazine
Bio: Emeric Domokos-Hancu is a lawyer with more than 14 years’ professional experience in the field of business law. He graduated from the Faculty of Law and a Master in the same faculty in Cluj-Napoca, a town where he started his professional career. After two years of practice, Schoenherr and Associates SCA joined in 2006, where – ten years later – he was named Partner. Emeric is one of the key figures in the Schoenherr and SCA Associate Practice Groups in litigation and arbitration, insolvency and reorganization, white-collar crime.
About the company: Schoenherr and Associates SCA is the Romanian office of the regional law firm Schoenherr, one of the most important players in the lawyer market in Central and Eastern Europe. Schoenherr was the first international firm to have established a local presence in our country (in 1996), becoming one of the largest law firms in Romania. Schoenherr and Associates SCA and its affiliate specializing in tax consultancy now have 60 lawyers and consultants.