Irina Petre comes to Stratulat Albulescu Attorneys at Law with a resume that reveals an impressive depth of experience in the fields of energy, projects and construction law (EPC). From her earliest work with Taylor Joynson Garrett of London / Bucharest and CMS Cameron McKenna, who introduced her to the fields of energy, projects and construction law, her most recent work as a solo practitioner serving as a counselor to the likes of E.ON Group Companies, GAZPROM Group Companies (Gazprom Export, WIEE AG, WIEE Romania and WIROM) and others about European railway infrastructure, Irina has developed a formidable reputation in her selected practice areas.
Irina also served for 5 years the Romanian holding company, E.ON Romania, as head of the business, legal and compliance department. Afterwards, Irina acted for E.ON REGENERABLE ROMANIA as General Manager, Member of the Board, and Head of the Legal Department. For the past 11 years, Irina has advised E.ON Group Companies in each of her locales during this time. In addition, for about 2 years, she worked for Hidroelectrica as Head of their Legal Department.
In addition to her outstanding legal resume, Irina brings a variety of other skills and experiences with her. She received her law degree from the University of Bucharest and was admitted to the Bucharest Bar in 1999. She received an MBA from the University of Trier and she practiced law in a German law office in 1996-1997. She is certified as a German language translator by the Goethe Institute, and she also speaks English, French, and Italian as well as some basic Russian. But, perhaps most interesting, Irina returned to school and graduated from Titu Maiorescu University, Psychology Faculty, Bucharest in 2011. After graduation (2011-2014), she specialized in cognitive-behavioral therapy and teaching assertive communication and negotiation skills as well psychoanalysis.
By joining Stratulat Albulescu, she brings her exceptional experience and skills to new clients while allowing existing clients to benefit from a wide array of supporting legal advice and representation that the firm provides.
Romanian - English - German - French - Italian - Russian
1996 - 1997 University of Trier
And legal practice in law offices in Germany
1999 - Member of the Bucharest Bar and the Romanian Bar Association
Diploma and license issued by the Bucharest University of Law
2011 - Titu Maiorescu University
Psychology Faculty Bucharest
2011 - 2014 Specialized in cognitive-behavioral therapy, focus on assertive communication and negotiation skills.
Currently licensed as psychotherapist, psychoanalysis (under supervision)
As a Member of E.ON Management:
• WIND & other renewable energy projects: Creating/developing/leading and finally transferring to responsible business units several renewable projects (wind, biogas, micro-hydro) together with an allocated team; implementation of various RES generation projects (land securing options, contract negotiation and management, deployment of the permitting process, business development and third party collaborations guidelines, technical planning and design processes, implementation and outsourcing activities of such processes to third parties suppliers or consultants); strategic project analysis and corresponding decision making process, considering the specificity of the relevant Romanian legislation as well as the regulatory framework in the energy industry;
• CHP (cogeneration projects): Analyzing the possibility of establishing a CHP projects portfolio; supporting and leading the local team in Iasi; analyzing and advising on contacts to authorities/legal documents/letters of intent; liaising with responsible business units in respect to such projects;
• Conventional energy projects: Identification and analysis of market opportunities, competition, legislation, the CO2 allocation plan, the use of structural funds, internal and external advisory support, and strategy analysis about hydropower projects in Romania. Actively supporting all E.ON business units in Romania: advice on letters of interest, MOU, and Joint-Venture, etc., negotiations with counter partners, lobbying in respect of new legislation, and market surveillance regarding potential new projects as well as competition threats;
• Nuclear: Support throughout the Cernavoda bid procedure;
• Electricity distribution and supply companies: Provided an analysis of the generation market and competition in the supply sector as well as possibilities to acquire directly or indirectly such competitors; advising on the advantages of using structural funds; drafting/negotiations of tolling agreements;
• EBRD: Liaising with representatives for Romania in respect of issues of major interest such as: regulatory framework, relations with political circles/ministers/Government regarding tariffs policy, (non) payment of state debts; analyzing the potential for future joint business;
• Political lobbying actions: A high officials meetings organized together with management, working meetings together with ANRE (The Energy Regulator) and the Chamber of Deputies;
• ACUE (Association of Companies in the Energy Utility Sector): Assisted in the set-up and leading the “common action” group that should identify common objectives and strategies;
• Provided assistance to the Energy Commission within the Parliament and to ANRE about the Energy Law and the Public Lighting Law (in depth research of European Directives and Regulations as well as practice of the European Court of Justice about it);
• Coordination of unbundling process, other internal restructuring processes
• Drafting and discussion in the Industries and Commerce Commission afferent to the Chamber of Deputies the electricity law and the amendment of the gas law;
• Analysis and debating drafts of public procurement law from European law perspective; discussions with the Public Procurement Authority;
• Analyzing and advising on ANRE’s regulations and Orders together with the Regulatory departments of the operative companies; negotiations of terms of licenses and concession agreement;
• Analyzing conformity/drafting SLAs between the operative companies and other affiliates;
• Coordinating the actions aimed to recover “strategic” debts; analyzing the possibility to cause reactions at EU level related to hidden state aid; negotiating and executing contracts for the sale of receivables;
• Liaising with the Customer Protection Office regarding the compliance by the supply company with the applicable legislation regarding contracts with captive customers, liaising with Competition Office;
• Advised about various energy efficiency projects and dedicated customer solutions. This implies support in drafting energy efficiency related regulations and in-detail analysis of the European Directive and EU court practice in this respect. EU funding was analyzed as a pre-requisite for most of these projects. Legal support implies advice about Public Procurement, Competition legislation as well as concessions, PPP, communal services legislation, regulatory aspects, unbundling effects.
Irina was responsible for conducting complex negotiations, coordinating major court claims, advising on restructuring processes, the rehabilitation works of hydropower units, collective bargaining negotiations, and an IPO preparation. Irina participated in negotiations conducted between the Romanian State and the Serbian Government for the clarification of the schedule of works to be undertaken by both parties about the hydropower plants Portile de Fier.
II. PROJECTS: RAILWAY REHABILITATION AND REORGANISATION
• Advised a major Austrian client (Strabag AG) about road rehabilitation, including advice on a concession contract for the rehabilitation of a motorway. Advising Strabag for 10 years on a daily basis in respect of all corporate, labor, and commercial matters as well as advice on real estate matters. The work performed included negotiation of commercial contracts, concessions, and construction contracts, liaising with various authorities including customs office, Road Agency, Ministry of Transportation, Mayorship of Bucharest, Local Council, etc.
She advised the Strabag-Impregilo-Contransimex Consortia in respect of a FIDIC contract concluded for the “Rehabilitation of the Constanta Port” project; advising in particular on the price adjustment formula, “rebus sic stantibus” principle and its practical applications and obtaining the renegotiation of the construction price in favor of the client based on such formula.
• Advised an American fund about the preparation for privatization of the Romanian freight railway company including the carrying out of the due diligence in respect of the company’s local branches (CFR and CFR Marfa) and analysis of the legal framework in relation to social issues, specific licensing and technical requirements as well as with the view to establish a fair tariff structure. Drafting and proposing new legislation in line with EU legislation and European best practices;
• Advised Bahnbau Wels, an Austrian railway infrastructure company about railway infrastructure projects in Romania;
• Supported the negotiation carried out between E.ON, the Romanian State as well as CFR SA concerning the recovery of huge historical debts owed by the latter to the Romanian electricity suppliers. The successful outcome involved an in-depth analysis of the Romanian Railways System after the spin-off and the inter-company relations and indirect subsidizing between the various railway operators, the Romanian State and the private respectively state-owned energy companies (both supply and producers). This also implied drafting and sustaining new regulations to sort out this issue and insure necessary funds for the independent and sustainable development of the railways and establishing a new company to deal with electricity distribution exclusively for the railway system (CFR Electrificare);
• Advised the Serbian Government, as part of an EU Commission Project, on the harmonization of the Serbian Railway Legislation with EU legislation and as a coordinator of a team of Serbian railway experts, advising on institutional support needed and on drafting and implementing the "Railway Implementation Action Plan "and related Roadmap, which are the basis of the Railway Reform in Serbia.
Our legal advisors were involved in comprehensive Railway Reform, a project that included analysis of European and Serbian railways legislation, drafting new legislation in line with EU Directives and in-depth analysis of OECD and World Bank best practices on restructuring processes at Regulatory and Ministry level. Stratulat Albulescu lawyers offered consultancy over reorganization strategies and revision of the management guidelines.
The extended advice also included proposing rules for PSO contracts, developing the Contract Management Procedure and Plans in accordance with EU regulations and monitoring and evaluating of the Railway Sector performance.
A project of strategic importance for Romania, its scope was to develop and implement in Romania, based on EU legislation and practice, new energy services and products customized for local authorities and SMEs, which could be integrated into sales companies as value added products. Legal support implied, amongst others, public procurement compliance, Romanian and EU data protection & confidentiality rules etc.