The Legal 500: Interview with Trofin Valentin, Managing Partner, Trofin și Asociații SCA
Managing Partner, Trofin Valentin speaks about the changing legal industry and the challenges ahead
1) What do you see as the main points that differentiate you from your competitors?
In a world that lives in a perpetual change, in a society led by the race of change, we provide subsidiary and highly adapted expertise. With the massive occurrence of the disputes in the construction industry, it became instantly clear that the litigation process has to be professionally managed. That is the point that made us different: from mind-reading to peace-making and time-saving, we took the challenge to be reliable partners in the era of globalization and interconnectivity. This mission of revolutionizing the interactions between the client and the consultant soon became our ineffable and our strongest commitment to be a pillar for developing a Romanian industrial climate.
2) Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
The next 12 months will certainly be an interval for proving our expertise, engagement and especially our one-of-a-kind approach in terms of the standard of the services we provide. In this diverse and multilateral climate to be different is probably the main challenge. By the end of the period, we see our company as a pioneer in consultancy that will majorly sustain the construction business. For us, the age of large-scale reproduction will be the period to prove that inventiveness has never stopped to exist, that Romania will be the hub of the East and that we will contribute to transforming this project into reality.
3) What’s the main change you’ve made in the company that will benefit clients?
We substantially changed the duties of the senior’s fee earners by increasing their role in tutoring the other younger colleagues. Also, their role in quality and cost effectiveness of the services render to the clients were increased. All the persons are actively encouraged and helped to develop themselves.
Our organization approved a 4 years budget for implementing new technologies and developing new tailor-made software applications to increase the cost effectiveness of our services. The programme has three major chapters: communications, quality and cost management and document management. First chapter of the programme related to communications started by implementing at the beginning of 2017 when our organization completely changed the telecommunications systems adding to it a state of the art Polycom videoconference system. In this moment there are three software applications developed by us which will increase the efficiency and quality of our services. The last one, namely a paperless office desire, is currently pursued.
4) How is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
We can say without any trace of a slight that communicational barriers are now subjects to be studied by history. Grace to the information society we keep out clients informed regarding the terms of the case and the solutions in the files. Having our analysis capabilities enhanced, we are nowadays able to apply competitive prices for high-ranked services.
5) Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Practice has always spoken more than any marketing strategy and we deeply understand this state of the things and here is our conclusive example: a reduction of the legal budget by 40% for one of our clients. There are many examples but I will just pick randomly only two of them. We strongly believe if the both parties in a dispute are acting in good faith there is always room for settlement, and we are always pursuing it. In the first example a construction dispute arose due to failure of the employer to settle the payment certificate. The claim amount was excess of euro 3 million. The construction disputes are time consuming and very costly. Thus, we engaged in almost 12 months negotiation which ended with a settlement where our client, the contractor, cashed all claimed amounts in instalments in less than 30 months since the dispute arose, meaning less than half of the time needed to get from court a final and binding judgement. The second example is a large residential project where we acted as counsel for developer from the moment when he acquired the land plot until he sold and delivered the last unit to the client. The numbers of the project are: euro 60 million project cost; almost 300 units plus 450 parking spaces, 12 months period for planning, design & engineering, and 18 months period for construction and for negotiate the presales and final SPA with the all 200 clients. Our involvement in planning coordinating all legal aspects of the project, drafting and negotiating terms and conditions of the project’s contracts substantially increased the success of the client’s project.
6) Where do you see your company in three years’ time?
We dare to dream and, of course, assume, a position in the top ten Romanian law firms. In the context of such a dynamic and perpetually growing market, we strongly believe to be a leading top-ten company in three years from now.