Solicitors governing body: Cyprus Bar Association
Competition authority: Commission for the Protection of Competition
Financial regulator: Central Bank of Cyprus
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
The Cypriot legal system, though still codified like a civil law system, is largely based on English common law. As a EU state, much of the country’s legislation is line with EU legal principles.
In line with most EU states, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals may practice law in Cyprus, though they can only practice local law in association with a Cypriot lawyer. Foreign law firms may open an office in the country if they are from an EEA country, but must have the name of their local law partner in the firm’s title.
The market is largely made up of domestic firms, an exception is Harneys Aristodemou Loizides Yiolitis that maintains a link with offshore firm Harneys. The size of the market is largely responsible for this situation.
Cyprus has established itself as a low tax jurisdiction, and like similar centres the country benefits from the re-domiciling of assets and capital. Because of the country’s double tax treaties, historically a lot of this activity has come from Russia and the Ukraine, though the former has stepped up a campaign in recent years to get its citizens and companies to move their assets back to the home nation. Interest from abroad has also allowed the country’s real estate sector to thrive.
Lawyers are often generalists, but many are specialised in the setting up of Cyprus investment structures and funds for the reasons mentioned above.
AG Erotocritou is a boutique financial and corporate law firm that advises foreign clients on investments and activities in Cyprus. Its expertise lies in real estate sector where it acts for international hotel groups and property developers on construction projects, financing and acquisitions in Cyprus.
The firm is also strong in multi-jurisdictional restructuring and insolvency cases and acts for both the debtors and creditors.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Pittas Dairy restructuring
"Punctual, easy to communicate and reasonable fees." – M&A
"The firm was very efficient to perform the duties undertaken. The work was done to the highest standard and we were extremely satisfied with the outcome." – Restructuring and insolvency
"Excellent work, easy to communicate and pragmatic approach."
"Excellent ability to simplify difficult matters and resolve them; extensive knowledge in his field of expertise."
AG Paphitis & Co is a full service firm that has grown in numbers in recent years. It has a strong corporate focus and advises domestic and international clients on a mix of financing, M&A and debt restructurings.
During the research period it advised several international investment firms on a mix of regulatory compliance, licensing, domiciliation and liquidation mandates.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•VS Energy €110 million debt restructuring
"We were very happy with the firm's responsiveness and efficiency. They are proactive, understand the customers' issues, take a constructive approach and advise clients accordingly."
"Good at meeting deadlines and experienced and professional staff."
"High professional skills."
"Excellent expertise. No weaknesses noted." - M&A
"They have a great team that is properly guided and supervised. They often provides analysis of law on events. I would recommend them to anyone for a high level of work and a commercially strong partner." - M&A
"All works are structured with appropriate road map and all documents were prepared as necessary. Communication was perfect. They quickly understood and completed all the necessary work while clearing all the issues." - M&A
"Good feedback and fast response." - M&A
"The legal advice given was great. My lawyer advised me well on the various contract terms and ensured my company was well protected. I liked that my lawyer worked quickly and efficiently, and it was worth the legal fees I paid." – M&A
"AG Paphitis & Co provides highly specialised, high quality and professional services. They appreciate the expertise that different projects require, and they are able to deliver high results in timely manner. The firm's division into different departments and experts in each area of law is helpful and uncommon in Cyprus. AG Paphitis & Co is a market leader in Cyprus when it comes to complex corporate projects." – M&A
"The cooperation is always excellent and they bring highest standard of expertise when it comes to company law and corporate transactions in Cyprus. AGP's corporate team gives concise and commercially realistic advices." – M&A
"Very efficient in responding." – M&A
"Very quick response, strong court department and concise legal advice." – Project development
"We always receive prompt feedback to our requests, high quality services, and attentive approach to customer needs." – Project development
"Very experienced advocates and lawyers understanding clients' exact needs quickly and delivering it. Working overtime if needed - a rare thing in Cyprus." – Project development
"Best lawyer in Cyprus."
"Based on our experience we are very happy with the services we received."
"Very well educated, open minded and provides quick result."
"Very experienced, well-educated and highly-skilled professional."
"Very knowledgeable man in his field of expertise, very attentive and professional."
"Professional and strict to deadlines."
"For sure one of the best legal teams in Cyprus, professionally covering all the main legal spheres, headed by a legal superstar leader: fast and open-minded, delivering the best result. Excellent value for money."
"Angelos Paphitis is a highly experienced and proactive lawyer, able to provide services that are practical, commercial-minded and tailored to clients' needs."
"Brilliant legal knowledge, unique managerial functions and great leader of the company."
"Very helpful, professional and trustworthy with wide knowledge and able to meet deadlines"
"High quality services."
"We are very happy with the services provided by the lawyer."
Antis Triantafyllides & Sons is one of the strongest financial and corporate firms in Cyprus. The firm is especially known for its banking expertise.
During the research period it acted on several NPL transactions, advising systemic banks and investment funds on a mix of disposals, and acquisitions and financings acquisitions of loan portfolios. Elsewhere the firm is also active on the creditor side of debt restructuring and refinancing transactions.
In the corporate space the firm is active on both domestic and cross border transactions. Capable of handling large scale M&A transactions, the firm acted on the high value merger in the banking sector during the research period. Real estate was also a busy sector for the firm.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Apollo Global Management €1.2 billion acquisition of Bank of Cyprus NPL portfolio
•B2Kapital acquisition of Hellenic Bank NPL portfolio
•Hellenic Bank acquisition of Cyprus Cooperative bank
"Good and responsive." - Banking
"The best firm in Cyprus. Responsive and reasonably priced." - Banking
"Very prompt, concise and professional. All the ATS team are very knowledgeable and supportive and will take time to understand our needs so as to formulate the appropriate course of action required for the specific task at hand." – Banking
"Responsive team with a strong legal understanding and focus." - Banking
"They do high quality work." – Investment funds
"ATS is the best law firm in Cyprus. They have deep knowledge of the law, are very commercial and practical in their advice and are fully committed to their clients." – M&A
"Reliable, always reachable and very good in cooperating with other international firms and clients." – M&A
"The firm has provided professional and excellent legal skill analysis services. Their main strength is the team's dedication to clients in meeting their needs and deadlines as well as their vast and in-depth knowledge of Cyprus companies and various corporate laws including Cyprus International Trust Law, Cyprus Companies Law and AML Law. They are also experts on Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission in Cyprus." – Project development
"Corporate advisory, relationship based and very good understanding and knowledge of our group and our business." – Restructuring and insolvency
"Very good - responsive, clear, commercial and helpful."
"The best in Cyprus."
"Stelios is a highly-respected practitioner in Cyprus and one of the top lawyers in the country. He is deeply knowledgeable, takes a practical and commercial approach, and is always available when needed."
"Excellent in all aspects. Great responsiveness and insights."
"High quality work and immediate reaction to requests."
"Excellent problem solving skills and very impressive country/market knowledge."
"Extremely competent with an in-depth knowledge of the regulatory framework and laws surrounding investment firms."
Stelios Triantafyllides and Christiana Vassiliou Miliou
"Mr. Stelios Triantafyllides has an in-depth knowledge of all matters pertaining to Cyprus laws and is always very diligent and efficient in understanding the particular case at hand and identifying the correct course of action. He is always available to discuss any important or complex issues which may arise, so as to provide timely support and advice. Mrs. Christiana Vassiliou Miliou has displayed her dedication and professionalism to assist us on any legal and trust issues. She has proven to be dependable colleague and provided her advice based on the merits of each case and as per applicable laws."
Antoniou McCollum & Co is a recently established boutique that has developed sector expertise in private equity and technology.
During the research period the firm acted for global private equity firms on Cyprus aspects of cross border acquisitions.
The firm also advised the funds on the acquisition of a Cypriot bank's NPL portfolio.
Elsewhere, it advised leading technology companies on a mix of acquisitions, corporate and data protection issues.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Advent International Corporation acquisition of BioDuro
•APS Capital Group acquisition of Bank of Cyprus NPL portfolio
•Baring Private Equity Asia $900 million acquisition of Pioneer
C Samir & Co is a financial and corporate firm and a member of Staubach International Law Firm Alliance – an international network of independent law firms.
During the research period the firm advised a group of companies on the cross border merger under Cypriot and Polish law.
Dr K Chrysostomides & Co is one of the strongest firms in Cyprus with an extensive financial and corporate offering that acts on large and complex local and cross border transactions.
In banking and finance the firm traditionally acts for multinational lenders and financial institutions on a mix of syndicated and bilateral loans, debt restructurings and regulatory issues. During the research period it acted on the financing of a large acquisition and gas project for syndicated lenders. It also advised international corporates on debt restructurings.
In the corporate space the research period saw the firm act on deals across pharmaceutical, telecommunication and financial services sectors, among others. It advised large international entities on a mix of acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•East Line group $650 million debt restructuring
•Energean $1.275 billion financing
•Monaco Telecom €260 million acquisition of MTN Cyprus
"Excellent co-operation and very responsive with detailed knowledge adding value to the transaction." – Banking
"Overall the firm's is very good. We received quality advice. They had a good response time and reasonable fees compared with similar firms." – Banking
"Dr K Chrysostomides & Co are very professional and responsive. They always attend to details and deliver their responses promptly and in a good, clear manner. They always think deeply into the clients' needs. When the real issue falls beyond the curve of the formal assignment, they always highlight real risks and concerns, which we appreciate very much, making Dr K Chrysostomides & Co our preferred and trusted Cypriot counsel. Their team is very professional. They also propose competitive fee quotes." – M&A
"Professional team of advisors providing the client and its advisors with prompt feedback." – M&A
"Professional, to-the-point and business-oriented." – M&A
E Papndreou & Co is a boutique that focuses on corporate mandates.
It acts on domestic and cross border transactions. It advises Cypriot and international corporations and investment funds on acquisition and restructuring transactions across various sectors including energy and real estate. It also advises funds on redomiciliation and the establishment of Cyprus licensed funds.
"We appreciate the in-depth analysis and business-oriented approach on the legal issues, as well as the prompt and well based responses to all queries." – Banking
"An efficient firm with a well-qualified team, deep understanding of Cypriot law and good knowledge of general corporate law principles. They are not afraid to work with and co-ordinate given projects, with in-country specialised law firms when necessary." – M&A
"In addition to being excellent lawyers, they are very prompt in response, careful of details and interests of the client." – M&A
"This firm understood the complexity of the project very quickly and were responsive and prompt in the execution of their work. Their communication was excellent and they were willing to 'roll up their sleeves' and deal with issues as soon as they arose." – Project finance
"Effective, initiative and professional." – Restructuring and insolvency
"Our cooperation with them over the years has always been of high and professional standard." – Restructuring and insolvency
Elias Neocleous & Co is one of the largest firms in Cyprus. Its size combined with its cross border capabilities and focus bring in referrals from international firms from around the globe. In 2019 the firm expanded into Western Europe, merging with Jurispectrum in Belgium and Luxembourg.
In the banking space the firm advises European banks on large-scale financing and acquisitions of loan portfolios.
The firm advises large international funds and private equity firms on acquisitions of Cyprus entities across various sectors including financial services, real estate and energy. It also advises corporates and high net worth individuals from Ukraine and Russia on a mix of disposals and acquisition of Cypriot assets.
During the research period banking and corporate lawyer Michael Pelosi joined the firm as counsel from Kreisson Legal in Australia.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Emma Delta Hellenic Holdings €250 million debt restructuring
•Invel, NBG Pangaea and Coller Capital €50 million acquisition of Aphrodite Hills Resort and Aphrodite Springs
•Sistema $226.6 million acquisition of 25% in Etalon Group
The Cypriot branch of offshore firm Harneys is one of the strongest firms in Cyprus thanks to its cross border capability and local law expertise.
In the banking space the firm advises foreign banks and funds as lenders on corporate lending and acquisition financings. It is also active on the NPL market where it normally advises banks and funds on the buy side.
In the corporate space the firm advises publicly listed Cypriot entities on their shares sales. Over the years it has developed expertise in the sale of Cypriot companies' Global Depository Receipts. The firm is also active in private M&A transactions where it works alongside international firms on large cross border mandates.
During the research period the firm brought in former Apostolou & Co managing Director George Apostolou as the new banking and finance partner.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•Etalon Group R30 billion acquisition of Leader Invest
•HMS Group restructuring
•LocoTech Service / Transmashholding merger
"Harneys have a good experience on the Russian market and as such a good understanding of the market standard. They are responsive and have a good commercial approach." – Banking
"Top-notch in every aspect." – Banking
"Very good, knowledgeable, user friendly and efficient." – Banking
Harris Kyriakides is a new entry to the IFLR1000 rankings. It has a active corporate practice with notable experience in restructuring and insolvency work.
During the research period it acted for a mix of distressed companies, examiners and creditors on insolvency, restructurings, and liquidations under Cyprus law. It also acted for a foreign bidder on a high value NPL portfolio acquisition and for domestic companies on cross border M&A transactions.
"Exceptionally happy with the cooperation." – Banking
Ionnides Demetriou has a strong financial and corporate offering. It has established notable presence in project development where it advises its clients on a mix of corporate, financing and development work.
The firm has a strong banking side expertise, often representing large international banks, financial institutions and asset managers on the cross border financing of acquisitions and corporate loans. It also acts on the borrower side, advising on a mix of project financing, acquisition financing and debt restructuring deals.
In the projects space the firm has been advising the winning concessionaire on all matters pertaining to the privatisation of Larnaca and Paphos airports.
Another notable mandate sees it working for the Cyprus Stock Exchange on the development of the Hellenic Energy Exchange.
Kaimakliotis is a commercial firm best known for M&A. The firm is active on cross border mandates and often advises foreign funds and investors on the Cypriot element of global M&A transactions. It also advises its clients on cross border corporate restructurings and joint ventures.
Recent Deal Data highlights
•KAZ Minerals $900 million acquisition of Baimskaya copper mine
"Broad experience and deep expertise in M&A/Corporate matters. Very client-oriented approach and high level of service. Collaborative approach in difficult situations and resilient under stress and time pressure. English law capabilities is a big plus and advantage." – M&A
"Excellent work - always efficient and available and great support to our business. I very much like that Pavlos is primarily always involved in the client's business." – M&A
"Exceptional performance, professionalism, client-oriented approach and reliable legal advice." – Restructuring and insolvency
"Pavlos Kaimakliotis is an outstanding lawyer, very hands-on and cooperative. We enjoy working with him due his high standard of quality and detailed approach." – Restructuring and insolvency
Michael Damianos & Co frequently receives referrals from international firms in the financial and corporate space.
During the research period its financing work has been evenly split between advising banks and borrowers. It has acted for international banks and financial institutions as lenders and obligors on cross border acquisition financings. On the borrower side the firm was more active in the real estate sector, advising its clients on the financings of real estate acquisitions.
In the corporate space the firm advises foreign clients across various sectors on multi-jurisdictional equity investments and corporate restructurings.
Michael Kyprianou & Co has a notable list of international banks as its clients that often mandate the firm on cross border financings for Cypriot and international companies. It works alongside international firms on cross border transactions and as such has picked up experience in large bilateral and syndicated financings.
The firm has also been active in M&A, advising foreign investors and private equity firms on a mix of acquisitions and sales of Cypriot entities.
"The team is super-efficient and quick - this is especially evident on projects with local counsel teams on several jurisdictions. The firm thinks several moves ahead and knows local specifics very well." – Banking
Patrikios Pavlou & Associates is a strong financial corporate firm that has strong cross border capabilities.
During the research period the firm's banking work largely originated from Russian banks. It was advising on the financing and refinancing of several oil and gas companies. Its strength in the sector was further highlighted by its work for the oil and gas companies on the review of guarantee agreements under Cypriot law.
In the corporate space the firm acts on public takeovers, acquisitions and sales of domestic and international companies across various sectors.
It also advises distressed companies and trustees on corporate restructuring mandates.
"They mostly provide legal opinions of our documents under Cyprus law for a reasonable price. They do it quickly and professionally." – Banking
"Very professional and pleasant to work with." – Banking
"They are good: fast, good project management and business oriented." – Banking
"Good project management, very responsive and witty."
"Elena is very responsive. She is quick and excellent."
Soteris Pittas & Co is corporate firm active across several sectors. It is active on both domestic and cross border transactions, where it works alongside international firms. Cypriot and Russian clients often mandate the firm on a mix of restructuring, escrow agreements, joint ventures and financing transactions.
"Professional, deep expertise, good in communication and helpful in problem solving." – Project development
"The firm is result-oriented." – Restructuring and insolvency