BizLaw.md, a Romanian-language portal dedicated to business law in the Republic of Moldova, is celebrating its fifth anniversary. We spoke with its founder, Efrim Rosca & Asociatii Managing Partner Oleg Efrim, to learn more about the project and his plans going forward.
CEELM: What’s BizLaw.md?
Oleg: BizLaw is a media platform about business and business law. I wanted to support the emergence of a media resource that professionally addresses the business field and offers specialists a place where they can discuss professional issues. BizLaw is one of the first appearances of the specialized niche press, speaking simply about complicated issues. This is where business people with their daily problems can find solutions from specialized lawyers. Both business people and specialists in law can find out about important initiatives of the Government and other decision-makers, and about changes in business regulations, right from the stage of their initiation.
CEELM: When did you initiate this project and what was the thinking behind it?
Oleg: I started this project at the beginning of 2016. I am a loyal consumer of specialized law portals in the region from Romania, Ukraine, and Russia. I have always been jealous of colleagues in these countries for having access to such information. And at a certain moment, I decided to start a similar project in Moldova. I did this out of a desire to have a quality media product about business and business law, and a desire both to stimulate professionals to train and contribute to the training of their colleagues and to make my own contribution to the promotion of a legal culture in our country.
CEELM: And how did the Moldovan legal market react to it?
Oleg: In less than no time, BizLaw became a reference name on the market. In its debut year, BizLaw was named Trademark of the Year in the Republic of Moldova. Public reactions highlighted the need for specialized information resources.
CEELM: What about the potential for a conflict of interest or a possible bias towards the law firm that you manage? How do you deal with concerns on that front?
Oleg: Indeed, fellow lawyers are reluctant about the fact that the partners of a law firm are also the owners of the BizLaw portal. But we are not involved at all in Bizlaw’s editorial policies, which are decided by journalists. Bizlaw’s equidistant policy is followed daily by our news consumers.
Moreover, any company or law firm that is ready to share the costs with us can become our partner in the project. The invitation is public. In its first year, BizLaw offered free partnerships to the largest law firms in the Republic of Moldova. This meant that the site was available for any professional – not just from the field of law – to appear on BizLaw in video or written formats. All expenses in this regard were borne by BizLaw.
CEELM: How large is the editorial team today and how has the focus of the publication evolved over time?
Oleg: The BizLaw team consists of four journalists working full time for the portal. The whole team has extensive practical experience, and, in their professional past, they have all interacted with the regulatory process. It is a wonderful team, which does its job every day and doesn’t get tired of generating new ideas, which maintains the public’s interest in Bizlaw.
CEELM: What was the most-read story over the last five years – and, in your opinion, why was it so popular?
Oleg: Experience shows that the most-read stories are those that refer to the regulations in labor law, those related to social insurance, and those that highlight all kinds of curiosities in the legal world. The most-read news of all time is an article entitled “Stupid Questions of Lawyers During Trials. Real Examples,” which registered over 236,000 unique visitors. An article about the entry into force of sanctions for non-compliance with anti-Covid measures gathered over 115,000 unique views. News about the law itself and legislative amendments gather fewer views, as that is of interest exclusively to professionals.
In general, the figures recorded by BizLaw in terms of views – even if it is a niche site, with a specific audience – could easily compete with those recorded by other generalist news sites. This proves that BizLaw has captured the attention not only of business and legal professionals, but also of the general public.
CEELM: Looking back, what is it about the project that you are proudest of?
Oleg: I am proud to say that in the five years since its launch, BizLaw has occupied a well-deserved place in the media market. We are one of the main providers of business news in the Republic of Moldova and about business law. The biggest media outlets trust and quote our news. The video tips recorded by BizLaw are shown on TV channels. One of the BizLaw projects – Martorii lui Justinian (Justinian’s Witnesses) – is a tool for promoting the new Moldovan Civil Code and a source of training for lawyers interested in civil law.
And Bizlaw’s success has also been noticed abroad. In 2019, the Romanian Society of Legal Sciences offered me a Diploma of Appreciation for outstanding contributions to the popularization of legal information in the business environment.
Even if the project is not profitable (yet), I like what BizLaw does and what it looks like every day.
CEELM: What would you like to do that you have not gotten around to yet?
Oleg: My business partner and I expect to stop spending money on the maintenance of this project. We expect that in the foreseeable future the project will bring in enough money to cover our expenses and continue to delight readers with quality news and interesting projects.
CEELM: Where do you see the project five years down the line? How are you looking to develop it?
Oleg: I would like BizLaw to be one of the many specialized news portals in five years, and to continue to provide quality content. We will continue to develop new products to ensure our sustainability.