Georgia

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Georgian Bar Association

Competition authority: Competition Agency

Financial regulator: National Bank of Georgia

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Financial and corporateProject development

Jurisdiction overview

Since achieving independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has effectively rebuilt its entire legal system, replacing Soviet era laws with new ones created with the assistance of Western European legal experts. 

As with other countries with a civil law model, Georgia has a constitution and civil code at the core of its legal system. In the case of the former, the country adopted its current constitution in 1995, but various amends have been made since, including a flurry between 2004 and 2006 which recast the respective powers of government, parliament and president.

One interesting talking point from a regulatory perspective is the future of financial regulation in the country. While this has traditionally been overseen by the National Bank of Georgia (NBG), 2015 saw the latest attempt to transfer regulatory oversight to a separate financial regulatory body. 

Though there are no explicit restrictions on foreign firms practicing in the country, only Georgian citizens licensed by the Georgian Bar Association can practice as local advocates. Equally there are no restrictions on foreign law firms hiring local Georgian lawyers.

The legal market is made up primarily of local Georgian firms, but a handful of foreign firms have opened offices including Dechert, DLA Piper and the legal branches of accountancy firms Deloitte, EY and PwC. These offices are generally staffed by local Georgian advocates.

As with most countries in the CEE (Central and Eastern Europe), lawyers in Georgia are not specialised in just one area of practice and generally act on a range of matters that fall under the broader umbrella of business or corporate law.

Financial and corporate
BDO Law

BDO Law’s Tbilisi office is best known for its financial and corporate work.  

The firm has experience on matters including financing and debt restructuring.  

During the research period the firm acted for the buyers and sellers in M&A mandates, and completed a deal in the insurance sector for the first time.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

  • Euroins Insurance Group acquisition of IC Insurance Group
  • LS Opportunities Fund $1.7 million loan restructuring
  • Pasha Investments $6.4 million acquisition of 45% stake in Vivo Medical Group

Client feedback

"Good partnership and good attitude." – Banking

Begiashvili & Co

Begiashvili & Co is a strong performer on both corporate and projects work in Georgia, and has notably appeared on several project financing mandates of national significance in recent years. 

The firm also has a strong M&A and restructuring offering, and regularly works on deals in involving sectors such as gaming, retail and oil and gas. 

The firm has specialised in providing Georgian law expertise on construction and financing matters to international development banks, and has subsequently appeared on many of the country’s largest ongoing infrastructure projects for sea ports, hydroelectric power plants and wind farms. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Anaklia deep-sea port
  • Nenskra 280MW hydroelectric power plant
  • Wissol Petroleum Georgia $65 million loan restructuring 
BGI Legal

BGI Legal is one of the leading names in Georgia’s legal market and has strength across the board, often playing a role in the country’s largest transactions.  

The firm is also renowned for its capital markets work, a rarity in the jurisdiction, and recently represented clients on eurobond issues and listings on the LSE. 

During the research period the firm had buy-side roles on large Georgian M&A deals across the financial services, food and beverage, and gaming industries.  

In project development the firm represented parties on several of Georgia’s biggest ongoing infrastructure projects, and assisted the government in improving the concession framework for large-scale hydro power plant developments. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Energo-Pro €250 million 4.5% bond issue
  • Nenskra 280MW hydroelectric power plant
  • Paddy Power Betfair €116m acquisition of 51% stake in Adjarabet

Client feedback

"It's a pleasure working with the firm. Their availability and flexibility are the main strengths." – Banking

"Very professional, solution-oriented and efficient." – Banking

BLC Law Office

Broadly experienced in financial and corporate transactional work, BLC Law Office has expertise in the areas of financing, bond issuances and securities trading. 

The firm’s recent deal highlights include lender side mandates for international development banks and brokerage houses in support of financings in the pension, retail, and food and beverage sectors. The firm has also been active in capital markets work.  

In the projects space the firm has notably been involved in the construction of large hydroelectric power plants and led on work on Georgian wind power plants. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Anaklia deep-sea port
  • Basisbank $15 million financing
  • Energo-Pro €250 million 4.5% bond issue 

Client feedback

"Easy to work with and their knowledge of local and international law has helped greatly" – Project development

"Very experienced, educated and supportive team." – Project development

Anri Khonelidze

"Good work ethic and great knowledge. Goes the extra mile, which is refreshing."

Lasha Uplisashvili

"He is one of the most experienced lawyers that I've ever met. Very supportive and cooperative. He has a sound knowledge of local legal framework and cases."

Business Legal Bureau

Business Legal Bureau is generally strong in international and cross-border financing work. The firm is also active in the projects area and is recognised for its construction work. Financial services, hospitality, and technology are some of the sectors in which the firm has expertise.  

The firm’s banking lawyers regularly work for international development banks on the financing and construction of large infrastructure projects in Georgia, representing the likes of the German Investment Corporation (DEG), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia factory
  • Global Beer Georgia €18.5 million financing
  • Kheledula 3 51.3MW hydroelectric power plant 

Client feedback

"The law firm has a high standard of delivering what it has promised. Very fast at replying and very professional." – Banking

"The firm provided very valuable advice, with a focus on business and commercial points." – M&A

"They are very professional in their field. They understand the client very deeply and act in accordance to the client's desires." – Project development

Dentons

Dentons’ Georgian offering has a strong banking, capital markets and M&A offerings, and is often seen representing clients on the jurisdiction’s landmark deals. 

Recent transactional highlights for the firm include work on the largest Georgian M&A deals in the gaming and telecommunications sector, while also working on the first tier 1 capital bond issue by the Bank of Georgia.  

In project work the firm has arguably been one of the market’s leaders in electricity and oil and gas projects, with work representing developers and sponsors.  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Paddy Power Betfair €116m acquisition of 51% stake in Adjarabet
  • Silknet $153 million acquisition of Geocell 
  • Silknet $200 million 11% eurobond issue

Client feedback

"Excellent response times and communication skills." – Banking

"Good cross section of knowledge and experience." – Banking

"My overall impression is very positive. The professionalism and high quality of work is guaranteed there." – Banking

"The key strength of the firm is professionalism. The consulting service that they provide is reliable, and that saves a lot of time and creates comfortability for customer." – M&A

"I appreciate the speed in which they deliver the work. Quality meets my expectations." – Project development

"The work was performed within the assigned timeframe and covered all aspects." – Project development

"They have received detailed information and assistance. They are open and willing to assist and explain. Very cooperative." – Project development

"Very pleased with the advice and level of support at all levels. Supportive, constructive, and creative." – Project development

Gvinadze & Partners

Gvinadze & Partners is best known for its strong banking offering, where it often represents international development banks. Energy, real estate, transport and utilities are other sectors where the firm has expertise. 

A recent highlight for the banking team was representing Asian Development Bank on supporting a corporate governance and financial management project involving Georgian State Electrosystem. 

In the projects area the firm often works on attaining licenses and negotiating contracts for fertilizer and mining firms. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Chirina ₾12 million financing
  • Georgian State Electrosystem $50 million financing
  • NextClinics International acquisition of a Georgian fertility clinic
MG Law Office

Following the closure of Dechert’s Tbilisi office in early 2018, the remaining lawyers rebranded into MG Law Office. The team has extensive experience on advising clients across the financial and corporate spectrum. 

The firm has a strong banking team and is capable of delivering on large debt capital markets mandates, which is a rarity in the jurisdiction.  

It has a strong M&A offering, and recently worked on transactions including the sale of the largest Georgian mobile operators and utility provider.   

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Georgia Capital $300 million 6.125% bond issue 
Mgaloblishvili Kipiani Dzidziguri

Mgaloblishvili Kipiani Dzidziguri is best known for its banking and capital markets work, where it often represents international development banks on Georgian mandates. The firm has recently served clients in the aviation, hospitality and oil and gas sectors. 

The firm has recently developed its capital markets’ work portfolio by advising on bond transactions for Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).  

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Credo Bank ₾20 million financing
  • TBC Bank ₾103 million financing
  • The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank ₾120 million bond issue 
Nodia Urumashvili & Partners

The team at Nodia Urumashvili and Partners has a credible offering across financial and projects work in Georgia. 

The firm has seen recent financial and corporate work in the energy, pharmaceuticals and real estate sectors. It has done banking work for both lenders and borrowers.   

The firm’s construction law team is recognised for its expertise on FIDIC forms, which are used in most infrastructure projects in Georgia. During the research period the team has advised on prominent highway and roads projects financed by international development banks. 

Recent Deal Data highlights 

  • Aqua Energy financing
  • Maqro Construction joint venture

Client feedback

"Very positive. Efficient. Able to produce high quality work in quick time-frames and at short notice. Other strengths include excellent knowledge of FIDIC contracts, and excellent understanding of international construction law." – Project development