Cristian Vlaicu



Cristian Vlaicu joined SAA as Partner and Head of the Banking and Finance practice area.

With more than 20 years of experience in the field of banking and finance, Cristian acts for both lenders and borrowers and, in recent years, has been involved in advising international banks and financial institutions on a number of ground-breaking transactions in the CEE region. He is particularly well known for his expertise in local and cross-border structured and complex finance transactions, sale of NPL portfolios and regulatory issues, including matters related to banks’ sale procedures.

Cristian is highly recognised for his work on the most complex and innovative matters, and has been nominated by the Legal 500 directory in 2010, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Throughout his career, he has advised clients from all over the world, having been praised for his communication skills by individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and in every major business sector.

In addition, Cristian has published numerous legal articles on banking and finance law and he is also the co-author of the chapter regarding Romania in the second edition of “Set-Off Law and Practice, An International Handbook”, edited by Oxford University Press, a department of Oxford University, one of the leading universities in the world.

Prior to joining us, Cristian led the Banking and Finance practices at Wolf Theiss and DLA Piper and worked as senior legal adviser for ING Bank and Raiffeisen Bank.



Romanian – English



2007 – Masters in European Union Law (LL.M.)

Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest

2006 – Postgraduate Course in European Union Law

Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest

2000 – Postgraduate Course in Civil Law and Commercial Law

Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest

1997 – Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.)

Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest



Financing Projects

  • Advised European Investment Bank on EUR 104 million financing granted to the Maspex Group.
  • Advised one of the most important recycling group of companies in Romania in connection with the EUR 66 million syndicated loan facility granted by four major Romanian banks.
  • Advised one of the biggest global funds, as a borrower, in connection with the EUR 90 million cross- border real estate financing granted by an Austrian bank for the purpose of acquiring, amongst others things, a logistics portfolio in Romania.
  • Advised a top Czech real estate company in connection with a syndicated loan facility arranged and granted by one of the largest Romanian banks.
  • Advised an Irish group of companies involved in agribusiness regarding the addition of two Romanian subsidiaries to a EUR 400,000,000 facilities agreement granted by an international syndicate of banks.
  • Advised two international banks with respect to drafting and negotiating a security package to be provided by a glass manufacturer in order to secure the obligations undertaken by its parent company.
  • Advised a top German bank with respect to the restructuring of a credit facility granted to two Romanian companies by way of a sale of shares to an Israeli private fund, followed by the partial repayment of the loan and the assignment of the balance of the loan to the purchaser of the shares. 
  • Advised a major Austrian bank, as a lender, in connection with a multi-purpose facility of more than EUR 15 million granted to a group of Romanian companies (as landlords for 15 retail commercial parks throughout Romania). 
  • Advised a major Hungarian bank with respect to the Romanian law aspects pertaining to an uncommitted revolving trade finance facility in an aggregate amount of up to EUR 2,500,000 granted to a Hungarian incorporated company acting in the field of agribusiness, and the creation of certain Romanian governed security by its Romanian subsidiary.
  • Advised an Irish agribusiness group of companies on acquiring two Romanian companies and their banking debts (involving over EUR 30 million in banking debt).
  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on a guarantee issued by a Romanian bank for a loan to its leasing subsidiary, incorporated under the laws of the Republic of Moldova, to help finance SME enterprises in Moldova. 
  • Advised a leading global digital commerce provider, with respect to USD 14 million of financing granted by PNC Bank.
  • Advised various Romanian reputed banks in the drafting and negotiation of loan documentation in a multitude of financing projects.
  • Advised a top Austrian bank in drafting loan documentation for various financing projects.
  • Advised an investment fund based in London on the negotiation of the entire documentation relating to a real estate loan facility of EUR 90 million.
  • Advised the Romanian subsidiary of a top Austrian bank in respect of the forfeiting of the promissory notes issued by the National Company for Motorways and National Roads.
  • Advised a leading Italian bank in respect of the financing of the construction and development of a biomass plant by a Romanian company.

Distress Assets and NPLs

  • Advised a Georgian group active in the agricultural sector, as a purchaser, in relation to the restructuring and acquisition of the debts contracted by a group of nine Romanian companies (including loans and collateral with four Romanian banks).
  • Advised a top Irish agribusiness group regarding the process of the restructuring and acquisition of certain banking debts of two Romanian companies (with five banking creditors), as part of a larger M&A transaction.
  • Advised two international funds in relation to the potential implications of the acquisition of real estate assets and non-performing loans in Romania, including the specifics of enforcement proceedings in Romania and a due diligence on the selected samples of the NPL portfolio.
  • Advised RBS Bank Romania with regard to several insolvency files, including the insolvency of a group of companies in the railway industry with a debt of over EUR 90 million.
  • Advised Investkredit Bank AG with regard to restructuring the project finance of the real estate subsidiary of one of the biggest Romanian retailers.


  • Advised a top Israeli bank in respect of the sale of its Romanian subsidiary.
  • Advised an Irish-domiciled credit institution, ultimately owned by a US based regulated credit institution, in relation to the regulatory compliance requirements applicable in Romania as a result of its cross-border activities in Romania. 
  • Advised a UK based payment institution, providing payment services and related foreign exchange services through its Romanian branch, in relation to certain regulatory requirements as well as in relation to its standard terms and conditions applicable when dealing with corporate and consumer clients.
  • Advised a Spanish electronic money issuer in relation to regulatory requirements in the context of the provision of payment services in Romania via an agent (a Romanian leading credit institution), as well as in relation to the negotiation of the contractual documentation to be concluded with the agent and the terms and conditions to be signed with customers in Romania.
  • Advised a Romanian bank in respect of a new banking product consisting of offering non-clients the ability to make online deposits, without having to open a general account with the bank (being the first bank in Romania to offer such a service). Such a new bank service raised many regulatory issues due to the lack of any legal provisions or precedent in this regard.
  • Advised a Romanian bank in respect of passporting and outsourcing certain financial activities in Poland.



one herastrau office

30-32 Daniel Danielopolu Street, One Herastrau Office, 6th Floor, Bucharest, 014134, Romania

Phone: +40 (21) 316 87 49

Fax: +40 (21) 316 87 56


09:00 – 19:00



Digital Park, 15A Mihai Viteazul Street, 6th Floor, Chisinau, MD2004, The Republic of Moldova

Phone: +373 (22) 994 990; +373 (22) 009 109

09:00 – 19:00