Simion&Baciu, one of the strongest specialized teams of lawyers

Talking to Cosmina Maria Simion and Ana-Maria Baciu, the founders of Simion&Baciu Law Firm

What does Simion&Baciu mean at the moment and how did it start?

Ana-Maria Baciu: Simion&Baciu started, predestined as if, from a proposal to amend the legislation in the field of gambling, in 2015.
We met then, quite by chance, each of us providing, at that time, legal assistance to a member of a major international association of remote gambling operators. The association was directly interested in the Romanian legislation, so by the nature of things we came to work together on the position that was to be transmitted to the ONJN – as the initiator of the legislative proposal – from the association.
It was obvious to us, from the first interaction, that we would work much better together than we already worked separately. At that time, each of us was leading the practice of Technology, Media & Telecom, respectively IP, IT & Gambling, in two of the most important law firms in Romania, one international and one local. However, it was quite simple to make the decision to join forces to create what would become one of the most powerful and recognized teams of lawyers specialized, among others, in the field of gambling.

Ana-Maria Baciu
Ana-Maria Baciu

For 4 years this team has been activating and assisting clients as part of the team of the oldest and largest local law firm.
Things changed on the first summer day of 2019, when, by detaching the team we were already coordinating from the former organizational structure, Simion&Baciu was officially born.
Currently, Simion&Baciu is our home and professional family, the place where the magic happens.

What are the areas of expertise and what do you excel at?

Cosmina Simion: Simion&Baciu provides assistance to its clients in niche areas such as gambling, technology & media, personal data protection, the pharmaceutical & health industry, as well as general areas such as intellectual property, consumer protection, corporate law & M&A or litigation.

Cosmina Maria Simion
Cosmina Maria Simion

Although we like to believe that we excel in all the areas we have taken on, our main areas of activity today are gambling, intellectual property, consumer protection and litigation.

How do you see the current pandemic situation, as a challenge or as a source of new opportunities?

Cosmina Simion: The current situation – with all its economic, social and medical consequences – has been and continues to be a challenge for us, a source of opportunities, a good time to expand our areas of interest and team, a difficult time but and a chance to prove and prove that we can. Anything and in any conditions.

Is the field of gambling a constant business for you or just sporadically?

Ana-Maria Baciu: The field of gambling was from the beginning and continues to be one of the professional engines of Simion&Baciu.
For us, the field of gambling means both assistance to gambling operators on issues directly related to the regulation of gambling, but also assistance to them in all areas related to the life of a company – labor law, contracts, protection of personal data, consumer protection, company law or litigation.
It is an area in which we have been active for a long time and in which the experience gained helps us to cover all aspects of interest to our clients. Our understanding of the field is holistic, as is our customer support.

You are a member of IMGL, what does it represent and especially how is it reflected in your activity?

Ana-Maria Baciu: IMGL (International Masters of Gaming Law) is a non-profit association with over 340 members worldwide. Its members are recognized as the foremost experts in their gambling jurisdictions and are involved in most gambling developments and issues around the world.
We were the first members in Romania, and we are still exclusive members for Romania in this organization.
Cosmina is currently a member of the Executive Committee of this organization, and in this capacity participates in executive decisions regarding both internal issues, structure and members of the organization, but also the organization of annual IMGL conferences, participation of the organization as a partner in other events. profile including ICE in London, SIGMA in Malta, G2E Las Vegas etc.

Ana-Maria is co-chair of the Membership Committee, the committee that selects the future members of the organization.

Each year, IMGL hosts two major conferences, as well as IMGL masterclasses at international gambling events and exhibitions, where IMGL presents speakers who are experts in the gambling industry, as well as topics at the forefront of all the top developments in the global gambling sector.
Belonging to this organization, as well as the events we participate in as members, help us to be constantly aware of regulatory trends in all jurisdictions but also to maintain close relationships of collaboration and friendship with specialized lawyers from law firms in these jurisdictions as well as with in-house lawyers, who coordinate legal assistance within international gambling operators.
The friendship and trust that all of them show us honors and makes us responsible, and they are a real help in our personal and professional development.

The year 2021 has brought you many recognitions. How did these recognitions influence your careers and especially how did they influence the company’s activity?

Cosmina Simion: Indeed, both the company, in its entirety, and various members of our team, we are recognized by independent international directors in the researched fields. The main such recognitions come from guides in the field of gambling and intellectual property.

Cosmina Simion

These rankings are based on a number of criteria that may differ from publication to publication, but all highlight the teams in the practice area that offer the latest and most innovative advice.
Research is usually based on feedback from numerous clients around the world, information from law firms, and interviews with top private practice attorneys conducted by teams of researchers with extensive experience in the legal market.
These recognitions also help us on several levels in our activity.
International guides are sources of information for clients who need lawyers in jurisdictions they do not know, but also for lawyers in other jurisdictions who need assistance in these areas in Romania for their clients.
Equally, these recognitions confirm for our clients the choice regarding the lawyers they use in Romania, but they also help us in the recruitment process of the new lawyers who, more and more, take into account (and) these aspects when choosing the companies in which to start or continue their career.

What do you think about the current legislation regarding anti-covid measures and how do you think these measures impact the gambling industry?

Ana-Maria Baciu: Due to the nature of the activity of an important part of our clients – gambling, retail, HORECA – we have been from the beginning, and we remain very close to the regulations adopted by the authorities since March 2020, which were caused, directly or indirectly, by the appearance and the continuation, still, of the pandemic.
Obviously, much of the action taken was necessary and justified, in addition to the obvious reason – the risks to which we are exposed, and the fear of the unknown that we have all gone through.

We also believe that these regulations could be improved, and in particular better adapted to the realities we live in and the various areas of activity directly affected.
Also, here the traditional gambling industry was probably the most exposed field, we believe that it would have been necessary to better correlate the measures imposed to stop / slow down the effects of the pandemic with measures to protect operators, taking into account the realities which they face.

How do you protect your customers during this period and what advice do you give them?

Cosmina Simion: During this period, as in all the periods we have gone through in our life as lawyers, each coming with more or less challenges for our clients, our recommendation remains that every decision they make be taken in full knowledge of the cause.
Of course, it is important that each of them, in their activity, regardless of the field in which they operate, comply with all applicable legal provisions. However, we cannot ignore the fact that sometimes these legal provisions are unclear, or – at least partially – perfectly inapplicable to a certain factual situation. But even in these situations, decision makers still have to make decisions. And these decisions must be based on correct and complete information regarding the applicable legal provisions, their possible interpretations, but also the risks involved in adopting one or another of these interpretations – the provision of all this information being, especially in the case of our clients. who do not have an internal legal department specialized in Romanian law, in our task and responsibility.

Where do you see yourself in five years? But next year at this time?

Cosmina Simion: Our favorite joke is, since we’ve known each other, that in one, three or five years we’ll see each other on a beach in the Maldives.
Leaving aside the joke, we hope that the future will find us by continuing to do what we love, together with colleagues we like and with whom we will continue to do what we know best, for the clients we are useful to and who appreciate us.

Want to add something for Casino Life & Business Magazine readers?

Ana-Maria Baciu & Cosmina Simion: Thank you for taking the time to read this interview. We are at a email or phone distance if you want to send us something, or you have any questions you think we might answer.

Simion&Baciu, one of the strongest specialized teams of lawyers

Cosmina Maria Simion
Managing Partner

Cosmina is an intellectual property, regulatory and technology lawyer with over 21 years of experience in various industries, especially in the tech, media and entertainment, online and gambling industries. Prior to founding Simion&Baciu, she coordinated one of the teams of lawyers in the largest law firm in Romania, founded and led the Intellectual Property & Technology practice of a global law firm, and acted as an in-house lawyer for an American media group, being responsible for the Central and Eastern European region. Cosmina’s experience covers the full range of regulatory and operational issues in the field of gambling, both for gambling operators and for software and platform providers, payment service providers, auditors and certifiers, industry or marketing associations. affiliates, including representation before the Romanian regulatory authority.

Ana-Maria Baciu
Managing Partner

Ana-Maria Baciu is a regulatory and intellectual property lawyer, assisting clients in various industries, including gambling, retail, IT, e-commerce or pharma & health, for more than 21 years. In the field of gambling, Ana-Maria assists gambling operators, software and platform solution providers, marketing affiliates, but also other companies active in this field and relevant industry associations, on the full range of regulatory issues and operational in the field of gambling. Prior to founding Simion&Baciu, she coordinated one of the teams of lawyers at the largest and oldest law firm in Romania.


Articolul precedentSports Business Academy, a school for marketing
Articolul următor3 Upcoming Physical Events by Eventus International