Solicitors governing body: Local bar aassociations
Competition authority: The Hellenic Competition Commission
Financial regulator: Bank of Greece
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Greece is a civil law jurisdiction backed by the country’s constitution, the latest version of which was adopted in 1974. The technical origins of the system can be found in the city states of ancient Greece.
Foreign law firms can open an office in Greece relatively freely. There are few restrictions and as long as registration is achieved firms can operate under their own name, hire Greek lawyers and practice local law. There is also no requirement for Greek qualified lawyers to have Greek citizenship.
The country’s economic woes have impacted the legal profession directly in that as part of the economic reforms agreed as part of the country’s financial bailout agreement, some previous restrictive measure have been abolished. Most notably the rule that lawyers could only practice within the geographical area of the local bar to which they were registered was abolished in 2011.
Despite the relative ease of setting up an office, few foreign law firms have made the step, even before the economic issues that have troubled the country since 2008. The majority of those firms that have tend to be focused on the country’s thriving shipping industry. Norton Rose Fulbright, Reed Smith and Watson Farley & Williams are the most prominent foreign law firms present in the country at present.
Lawyers often act across a range of practice areas, but within the financial and corporate areas tend to focus either on finance matters or capital markets and corporate deals.
In banking and finance, Alexiou-Kosmopoulos has been predominantly engaged in loan transactions advising the likes of Eurobank and Alpha bank as arrangers and lenders.
In projects work, the firm has been acting for the lenders on financing the construction of real estate.
The firm’s capital market works involves the listing of corporate bonds on Athens Exchange, acting for the lead managers and joint bookrunners.
In M&A, the firm has been advising the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) on the privatization of Thessaloniki Port Authority. In real estate, it advised Lamda Development on the sale of the Hellinikon project.
Key clients include National bank of Greece, Piraeus Bank, and Alpha Bank.
Bahas Gramatidis & Partners is notable for its work in the banking sector.
During the research period, the firm has been active in aviation finance, advising on several lease agreements and structure amendments for lessors including Aero Capital and KDAC. It also picked up work in the funds sector where it advised the likes of DELSK Group and Europe Way Capital Management on real estate acquisitions.
Key clients include Aero Capital and Attica bank.
"Reliable, accurate, and punctual." – Restructuring
"It provides thoughtful, good and clear explanations of jurisdictional issues." – Regulatory
"Great depth of knowledge and good at explaining details clearly."
"Responsive, detailed, meticulous, customer-oriented, knowledgeable and up-to-date."
Bernitsas Law is one of the largest Greek firm with strong reputation across all practice areas.
In the banking and finance the firm’s primary focus has been on NPLs and loan transactions advising the likes of Itrum Justitia and Eurobank.
In the capital markets the firm has been advising clients on placements of shares and notes issues, acting for issuers, managers and joint bookrunners.
In M&A the firm has acted on deals across healthcare, banking and the telecommunications sectors. It has advised private equity firms such as CVC Capital partners and Investment Management firms like Pimco in acquisitions in the jurisdiction. It has also taken an advisory role for Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) on its privatisation mandates.
In project development, the firm has been particularly active in the gas sector advising the lenders on financing the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project. It is also engaged in wind parks and waste management PPPs, advising developers such as PPC and Intrakat Consortium.
Notable clients include Pimco, CVC Capital Partners, Alpha Bank, and Hellenic Petroleum.
"In-depth due diligence work, extensive coverage and great connections at a local level." – Banking, M&A, regulatory
"We've used Bernitsas for financial projects extensively over the last decade. The team headed by partner Athanasia Tsene and Dionysis Flambouras is top tier in Athens. Athanasia is an experienced lawyer with in-depth knowledge of the Greek and European banking legislation and with first-hand experience of the way Greek banks operate. Both Athanasia and Dionysis are 'user friendly', responsive and expedient in work. Over the years they have acquired good knowledge of our needs and cooperate smoothly with our in-house lawyers and the treasury department. Managing partner Panayotis Bernitsas and partners Yannis Kourniotis and Yannis Seiradakis have worked on privatisation projects. Panayotis has excellent business acumen and vast experience in corporate matters. He is a real gentleman of the Athenian legal market. Yannis Kourniotis specialises in energy matters, especially E&P projects; he is a top range professional. Yannis Seiradakis has unique experience and deep knowledge in privatisation projects." – Banking, capital markets, M&A
"Highly professional, expertise offering prompt responses on urgent issues. The firm is very well structured in various departments covering all aspects of law." – Banking, M&A
"Professionalism, in depth knowledge of legal matters, responsiveness, and business-oriented feedback." – Banking, project finance
"Solid work and perfect collaboration in advising our affiliated company into applying for a loan management licence. Very well educated and to the point advice." – Project development, regulatory
"The firm has knowledge and experience, and delivers efficient communication and collaboration." – M&A, project development
"Very fast responses and able to cope with tight time frames. It offers clear and concise advice." – M&A
"What differentiates it from its competitors is that it has a strong technical competence and works really hard. It also cares passionately about developing relationships with its clients." – Capital markets
"Excellent collaboration and prompt assistance when needed. Deep knowledge on the specific field for licensing."
"Very good professional, specialising in financing issues."
"He is extremely commercial; he gets to the bottom line and has a good sense of what is viable to a counterparty. He is always available to give an opinion."
"High expertise in labor issues and provides practical solutions."
"Professional, business-oriented, creative, responsive, strong communicator and team player. He also has global approach with in-depth knowledge and great attention to detail."
"Analytical skills, great judgement and perseverance."
"Excellent and quick response. Always available."
"Client-oriented professional with high quality legal advice. Provides immediate feedback and understands urgency."
"Top quality specialist in financing project. Perhaps the best practitioner on that field in the Athenian market. She is knowledgeable, experienced, expedient and responsive."
Drakopoulos is present across South East Europe via its four offices in Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Albania.
During the research period, the firm has been active in the real estate sector, advising a Greek-Cypriot joint venture and US investors on the development and financing of residential properties, and on the acquisition of a logistics centre and other real estate.
Notable clients include Vodplay, Clean Earth Capital, and Kiron Interactive.
Dryllerakis & Associates is active across all areas of financial and corporate work, with greater emphasis on M&A.
In banking and finance the firm has been active across the real estate sector, advising borrowers on acquisition financing and refinancing transactions. It also advised on loans for private equity funds.
In capital markets, the firm has advised public companies on listing of bonds and on regulatory matters in relation to MIFIDII.
In M&A the firm has been engaged in the privatisation of Thessaloniki Port, advising the acquirers, and in the sale of distressed assets for clients including SoftOne Technologies. It has also been advising investment funds on potential acquisitions of distressed public companies.
The firm has acted for the likes of SEGT, Laskaridis Group, ad SoftOne technologies.
KLC law firm is a full service law firm that is reputable in Greece.
In banking and finance, the firm advised national and internal banks on regulatory matters in relation to MiFid II. In relation to transactional mandates, public work include the firm's advisory work for Eurobank on cross border debt restructuring of three local business groups.
The firm's M&A work primarily involved Greek and state owned assets. The firm's highlight work include its work for private equity in the acquisition of Korres and provided legal support to Slentel on its sale of 10% stake in 14 regional airports.
During the research period capital markets partner Dr Vassiliki Lazarakou left the firm to start her own practice.
Key clients include the likes of European Investment Bank and Eurobank.
Kyriakides Georgopoulos has expertise across all areas of work covered by the rankings, with stronger emphasis on banking and finance and project development work during the research period.
In banking and finance, the firm has been particularly active in loan transactions, acting for lenders in refinancings. Elsewhere, the firm has been active in financing deals in real estate, telecommunications, and the energy sectors, advising the borrowers such as Colossos and international lenders. A notable debt restructuring saw the firm advise Frigoglass in debt for equity swap.
In capital markets, the firm has picked up mandates for both nationally and internationally listed public companies.
In M&A, the firm has acted for international clients in the privatisation of Greece’s public gas transmission operator and the Independent Power Transmission Operator where it acted for the seller and buyers respectively. It is also been active in real estate transactions where it primarily advises the acquirers.
In project development, the firm has been advising Repsol Exploracion on its operation in the Greek upstream market. It is also active in the social infrastructure sector where it has been advising on the Hellinikon Development project and a soild waste treatment plant PPP, advising on the implementation and financing aspects of the projects.
During the research period, the firm hired Yannis Erifillidis as counsel from Bryan Cave, strengthening its banking and finance and capital markets practice.
Key clients include notable banks such as EBRD, EIB, HSBC, and Alpha bank.
"Highly professional, prompt replies, reliability and competitive fees." – Banking
"Overall, I'm satisfied with the level of service and associated fees." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, regulatory
"Really fast and to the point." – Banking, M&A
"Agile, business-oriented and diligent."
"High professional, high experience and clear exposition."
Lambadarios Law firm is active across all practice areas with stronger presence in M&A where the firm has been engaged in work in the energy, gas, food and real estate sectors recently.
In banking and finance the firm has been largely active in advising Hoist Finance on various NPL sale related work and acquisition financing transactions. It is also engaged in the project financing of a wind project on the borrower side.
In capital markets, the firm’s work has largely involved the acquisition and sale of shares in the stock exchange, acting for the likes of Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and Coller capital.
One notable M&A transaction saw the firm counsel HRADF on the sale of 5% shares of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation.
Notable clients include HRAF, Hoist Finance and Coller Capital.
"Excellent knowledge of the sector. It provides insightful commentary and advice when necessary." – Banking, M&A, project development, project finance, regulatory
"Highly motivated individual lawyers with business acumen and sector knowledge." – Project development, project finance
"I have worked with Kostas Lampadarios, Kostas Botopoulos and Prokopis Dimitriadis. All are very familiar with the Greek environment in all areas." – Regulatory
"LLF advised us in connection with our investment into an energy exchange where there were four other parties. It is very knowledgeable about the regulatory environment, very responsive and excellent at negotiating with our counterparts. It was able to achieve very quick execution in what was a complex transaction on a very tight timeline." – M&A
"The firm consists of highly proficient professionals with extensive experience in the primary field of expertise we use the firm for. The engagement partners’ primary target is client satisfaction by providing timely and substantiated 360 views of legal advisory services. It has in depth knowledge of the Greek banking and project finance market regarding infrastructure and PPP projects, with growing experience in the energy sector. The firm, however, should invest in enlarging its team of professionals, as the growing demand for services and mandates seems to stretch its current capacity to maintain the same level of services provided." – Banking, project finance
"Very good cooperation, deep knowledge of the field and deal." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, project finance
"Very skilled and supportive on negotiations. Fully operative in a very short time, giving the impression that it is part of the corporation. It is very prompt in a tight time frame and always on our side, day or night." – Investment funds
"Well informed on foreclosure and insolvency law, providing quick and reliable opinions." – Insolvency
"Very responsive and knowledgeable."
"Creative and supportive approach with deal friendly solutions."
"Business acumen with determined attitude."
"Very client friendly, responsive and knows the law well."
"Very precise, deep and reliable."
"Very responsive and knowledgeable."
"Highly professional with in depth knowledge of the law in the field of commercial and financial advisory services."
"Great experience and knowledge of the sector. Able to provide spot on advice and comments."
Prokopios Dimitriadis and George Panopoulos
"Competent, focused, meticulous, quick to respond and very accommodating."
Machas & Partners is an independent law firm with a good M&A practice.
Most of firm’s recent work is confidential but publishable mandates included advising a client and its target on the latter’s absorption by the former. The firm has also acted on restructuring and M&A work in the energy and insurance sectors advising a mix of US, UK and Greek clients.
Publishable clients include Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, and Pharmathen.
Moratis Passas is strongest in banking and finance. During the research period, it has also picked up capital markets work.
In banking and finance, the firm advised the arranger, Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, on senior secured term loan facility to Navios South American Logistics. It also acted for servicer Financial Planning Services in relation to Intrum Hellas’ recently acquired non-performing retail loan portfolio.
In capital markets the firm acted for the arranger and lead manager on the issuance of a series of covered bonds by Piraeus Bank.
Key clients include Barclays Bank, Credit Suisse Securities, and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding.
"The firm offers high expertise, high professionalism, excellent cooperation and interaction with the legal and business departments of the company, responding within very strict deadlines with a commercial approach to the problems." – Banking, capital markets, investment funds, M&A
"High level of knowledge in the areas of corporate and financial law." – Banking, investment funds, M&A, restructuring
PotamitisVekris is one of the leading domestic firms in Greece. With strength across the financial and corporate area, the firm is reputable across Southeast Europe.
In banking and finance the firm has been active in the sale of NPL portfolios advising on both sellers and buyers. It has also advised banks on debt restructuring mandates and on the financing of several wind farms.
In project work the firm has been active on waste management and wind farm projects, advising the lenders on financing aspects of the projects.
In capital markets the firm has been advising Bank of Cyprus on its delisting from the Athens Exchange. The firm is also engaged in advising public companies on various mandates including bond issues.
In M&A the firm has seen work in the paper packaging and natural cosmetics industries where it advised on an acquisition and sale respectively. In the pharmaceuticals sector, the firm has advised AstraZeneca in both acquisition and sales.
Key clients include DCEA investments, Hellenic Real Estate Asset Development Fund, AstraZeneca, Sony, and Alpha bank.
"Results and solutions oriented, good business mind, fast, flexible, and responsive." – M&A
Souriadakis Tsibris Law Partnership has primarily acted on public and private M&A during the research period.
Public M&A highlights include advising Greek listed company on the acquisition of treasury shares, and overseeing the merger between two high-capitalization Athens Exchange-listed companies.In private M&A mandates, the firm's buyer side highlight include acquisition in media sector, where it advised Alter Ego on the acquisition of insolvent Lambrakis Media Organization.
Sarantis and Alter Ego are some of the firm's notable clients.
Tsibanoulis & Partners is notable for its strength in regulatory work across all practice areas.
The firm’s banking and finance and capital markets team has been engaged in regulatory work for the likes of BNP Paribas, and Alpha Bank, and Axia Ventures.
In M&A the firm has acted for a mix of buyers and sellers providing due diligence support and drafting share purchase agreements in sectors including banking, fintech and insurance. Highlights included due diligence work for a notable investment fund on the acquisition of a bank.
Key clients include Alpha Bank, Co-operative Bank of Epirus, Piraeus Bank, and ProCredit Bank Bulgaria.
"Excellent team with deep knowledge, reacting promptly and always of great assistance. Dr Tsibanoulis is a stand out." – Banking, M&A, regulatory
"I have been working with Tsibanoulis & Partners for several years. It is able to effectively provide appropriate legal services and efficient logical solutions within the legal framework for the management of pension funds in Greece. Also, it has global knowledge of the pension fund industry, a fact that has allowed it to share know-how on the handling of similar cases in the EU. It also provides punctual service." – Banking, investment funds
"The company and every single one of its partners has demonstrated excellent quality of service and deep scientific knowledge." – Capital markets, regulatory, restructuring
Anna E. Apostolaki
"We are very much satisfied with her work."
"Team player who efficiently understands clients' needs and adapts to specific requirements."
"Excellent in all aspects."
Vassilis Douzenis, Efi Palaiologou and Nikolaos Simantiras
In banking and finance Your Legal Partners is active in project finance mandates in the wind farm sector. It has also acted on refinancing transactions for the likes of Alpha bank.
In M&A, the firm has been active in energy and real estate advising on investments and the establishment of joint ventures. It also advised Vassilakis Group in the acquisition of two distressed wholesale companies.
In the projects area the firm has been advising on the development of wind farms.
Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), National Bank of Greece and Alpha bank are some of the notable clients the firm has advised during the research period.
"It is client-oriented and innovative in finding ways to balance cost and efficiency in a less time consuming framework." – Capital markets, project development, regulatory
"The work of the firm is comprehensive, accurate and prompt." – Regulatory
Zepos & Yannopoulos is active across all areas of financial and corporate work.
In the banking and finance the firm has picked up work from the NPL market, advising the likes of Attica bank in the securitisation of NPLs and UCI credit in obtaining a licence for a loan servicing platform.
In capital markets the firm has been engaged in covered bonds transactions advising Eurobank on its issuance. It also advised the joint bookrunners on notes issues.
In M&A, the firm has been primarily working for buyers in real estate and healthcare deals during the research period. In one of its mandates, the firm advised Thomas Cook Hotels on its joint venture with Resorts Holdings.
In projects work the firm has been advising a non-profit foundation on its collaboration with the Greek state in the project development of hospitals, the Greek National Library and the Greek National Opera. It has also been active on wind farm projects and land acquisition mandates where it advises the project developers.
Staffing changes include the departure of Marina Kolia, who used to head the energy department in the firm.
Notable clients include TUI travel, IFC, and Piraeus bank.
"It has excellent response times and advice that is always appropriate and to the point. Case-specific parameters are taken into consideration which is analysed for a tailor-made legal opinion. It has strong business acumen and in-depth industry knowledge. The firm and its lawyers are very professional and always follow up on their work and are available at short notice for clarifications." – M&A, restructuring and insolvency
"The firm is very professional, highly ethical, responsive and organised." – Project development, regulatory
"He has in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of insolvency issues, including spherical understanding of both local and European laws and directives regulating insolvency matters. He has provided us with legal opinions on complex insolvency matters in a very structured and concise manner, which we found easy to follow and comprehend."