Solicitors governing body: National Chamber of Advocacy of Albania
Competition authority: Autoriteti i Konkurrencës
Financial regulator: AMF : Albanian Financial Supervisory Authority
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Albania is a civil law jurisdiction and has been a republic since the fall of communism in 1991. The country's constitution, that underpins the legislature, has been changed numerous times in the last 100 years with the current system adopted in 1998. There are no regulations specifically barring foreign law firms or lawyers.
The Albanian legal market is primarily populated with domestic firms, and those domestic firms rarely have offices in other jurisdictions. However most of the leading firms have associations with other Balkan firms or are part of broader law firm networks in South East Europe. Those foreign firms that are active are primarily the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe) regional outfits headquarted in Vienna, these firms either have their branch offices in Tirana or work closely with the leading local firms.
For historical reasons, the jurisdiction has close connections with neighbouring Kosovo, and as when work arises across the border, Albanian firms, or their Pristina branch offices, often have a leading role.
Due to the size of the market, most financial and corporate lawyers in Albania have broad practices and can handle work in a number of practice areas. This being said, individuals will often have more of a focus on finance and capital markets work or general corporate and M&A advice.
All the leading domestic firms active in the financial and corporate areas are headquartered in the capital Tirana.
Boga & Associates is one of the leading firms in Albania with strengths across the financial and corporate and project development areas.
In financial and corporate work, the firm has been active on project finance, primarily working for lenders. It also has been engaged in M&A, restructuring and regulatory matters for the likes of Messer and EBRD.
In project development, the team has advised on projects across various sectors including oil and gas, and renewable energy acting for the project developers.
Key clients include the EBRD.
"Boga & Associates has provided sufficient, efficient and good work." - M&A
"Everything was fine."
During the research period, firm has been working on litigation matters representing American Hospital against claimants.
Drakopoulos has been primarily engaged in corporate work advising foreign companies on consumer protection matters in Albania.
In project development, the firm advised Intrakat on the Vlora waterfront project, and Adiratic Petroleum Platform on the tart-up and operation of a mooring facility.
The firm has acted for Intrakat and Hygeia Hospital during the research period.
Founded in 2013, Frost & Fire Consulting has recently advised domestic and international clients on project finance and tender agreements, and real estate acquisitions.
Deal highlights includes advising Gener 2 on the concession proposal for a road PPP. Elsewhere, it is advising the borrower on the financing of a coastal resort’s development.
Staffing changes include the recruitment of corporate and finance lawyer Reshard Kellici.
American Bank of Investment and Sport Vision are two of the firm's key clients.
"Competent and very professional." – Project development
"Rezart Spahia is an experienced, serious and knowledgeable lawyer with impeccable integrity. He pays great attention to details, and understands deal structure very well." – Banking, M&A, restructuring and insolvency
"Professional, competent, and responsive." – Banking, project development
Gjika & Associates focuses include work in the energy, oil and gas and real estate sectors, and recently it has been advising an international energy company on the acquisition of power plants. In the finance area, the firm has acted for the borrowers on loan transactions.
Clients include Tirana Residential Park, Turkey Garanti Bankasi and Bankers Petroleum Albania.
Hoxha Memi & Hoxha has been engaged in both corporate and project work for a mixture of domestic and international clients during the research period.
New clients such as Strabag and Kredo Finance have kept the firm busy with the establishment of new businesses in Albania. The firm’s highlights also include its assistance to Credins Bank in the establishment of the first privately owned stock exchange in Albania.
In project work, the firm has been active across infrastructure and energy sectors, working with private sector that have concession agreements with the state.
The firm has advised the likes of Tirana Bank, Adidas, and HP.
"Very good knowledge on the matter; experienced in the financial sector; solution-oriented advice and service; and offered practical solutions." – Regulatory
Kalo & Associates is strong across all areas of financial and corporate work but has had a greater focus on M&A recently, acting primarily for buyers. In other corporate work advised the creditors on Kurum’s bankruptcy proceedings. In banking, the firm has worked for lenders on financing transactions. Oil and gas, and infrastructure are other sectors in which the firm has been active.
Senior partner Ardjana Shehi left the firm during the research period.
Black Sea Trade Development Bank, IFC and Knauf International are some of the firm’s clients.
Optima Legal & Financial is active in both the financial and corporate and project development work. Best known for its M&A practice, the firm has had a broader focus recently, advising a Turkish creditor on Kurum’s bankruptcy and the Albanian government on regulatory matters in the gas sector.
The firm has been active on mining, gas, and renewable energy sector work, advising the government and foreign companies on acquisitions of, and development of power plants. It is also engaged in road infrastructure projects advising Ellaktor on the development of Tirana-Elbasan Highway.
The firm boosted its natural resources expertise with the return of its co-founder Dael Dervishi.
The firm has acted for the likes of Ellaktor, Sara International and the Government of Albania.
"Excellent and highly professional expertise in all they do." – Banking, investment funds, M&A, project development, project finance, regulatory, restructuring and insolvency
"Optima Legal & Financial have been our law firm during very important company restructuring, company set up, and joint venture engagements during the past two years. They have been diligent, professional, and calm, and have provided very specific legal strategies for us to follow in order to achieve our objectives." – M&A, restructuring
"Optima provides strong legal and local knowledge. They know the market." – M&A, project development, project finance
"Our company has been working with Optima Legal & Financial for many years. We feel very comfortable working with their lawyers and supporting staff. They follow timelines and always deliver. Their strengths are knowledge of local markets and experienced staff. When you compare the value added to your company from their services and their costs, it might give you the feeling you owe these guys big favors." – Banking, M&A, project development, project finance
"They have capable individuals working as a team which gives the feeling that the result is the best one you can get." – Banking, M&A, project development
"They are a great team and provide valuable advice. I want to highlight their ability to support clients in different industries with competencies and good knowledge of the legal environment." – Banking, regulatory
Wolf Theiss has a strong presence in Albania across both the financial and corporate and project development areas.
Known for its financial and corporate expertise, the firm has picked up work on cross border M&A across wide of range of sectors, largely advising the buyers. The firm has also acted on several loans transactions, with its clients fairly evenly split between guarantors and borrowers.
In the projects area, the firm’s clear strength lies in transport infrastructure. Notable highlight saw the firm advise the concessionaire in all aspects of the Nation Highway, Elsewhere, it advised Digit-Alb on its digitalisation of audio-visual broadcasts.
Key clients include EBRD and Marriott Hotel International.
"Very professional, accurate and fast in providing the requested legal services. Highly ethical with a distinguished business insight and a problem-solving attitude. A multidisciplinary team specialized in various legal areas, able to cover a very broad variety of needs." – Banking, M&A