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Apr 2020

Top Tier recognition in The Legal 500 EMEA 2020

Bernitsas Law is ranked in the Top Tier in the Legal 500 EMEA 2020.

an absolutely top-ranking firm … remarkably positive attitude …  excellent performance, reliability and response times …  perfect choice … professionalism, dedication, good knowledge, commitment … one of the most experienced teams in the Greek legal market’

Please click here to read more about the Legal 500 EMEA 2020 Client Testimonials.

Banking, Finance and Capital Markets

Renowned as ‘an absolutely top-ranking firm’, Bernitsas Law’ combines ‘strong technical knowledge’ with a ‘remarkably positive attitude’. The team provides extensive expertise with key strengths ranging from acquisition and project finance transactions, NPLs, capital raising techniques, debt and equity transactions, capital markets offerings, financial services regulation and foreign direct investment. The ‘extremely commercial’ Nikos Papachristopoulos is a market leader in relation to the takeover of listed companies as well as primary listings and secondary offerings of securities and acquisitions. Headed by Papachristopoulos and Athanasia Tsene, the team also includes Dionysis Flambouras who specialises in financing arrangements, securitisations and bond issues. Sector expertise includes insurance, automobile, technology, professional services, real estate, energy, life sciences and healthcare, among others.

Commercial, Corporate and M&A

Bernitsas Law enjoys a market leading reputation for corporate advisory matters, privatisations, commercial agreements, corporate restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, risk compliance and advice on day-to-day business activities. Lambros Belessis and Nikos Papachristopoulos jointly head the practice with a proven track record in sectors such as finance, automobile, technology, professional services, pharmaceuticals, life sciences and retail. It has also recently acted for an increasing number of private healthcare and private equity fund clients. Papachristopoulos is a go-to name for equity and debt offerings, takeover bids and corporate reorganisations while Panayotis Bernitsas is highly experienced in transaction, litigation and advisory work. Associate Evi Kitsou is another name to note with expertise in regulatory compliance. The insurance industry is yet another sector where the team is active; it recently advised AIG on the establishment of a branch in Greece and also in the Greek law elements of its Brexit-induced global restructuring.

Dispute Resolution

Bernitsas Law fields a ‘strong team with huge experience’, which ‘provides a global view of all possible outcomes’. The team is a market leader in a broad array of litigation including administrative and compliance, banking and finance, corporate and commercial, corporate crime and fraud disputes. Dimitris Roussis has ‘very good legal knowledge of administrative and public procurement law’, while Christos Paraskevopoulos ‘stands out through his deep experience and skill in finding pragmatic solutions’. The pair jointly lead the practice, which has knowledge of the food and beverage, retail, insurance, energy, infrastructure and pharmaceuticals sectors, acting predominantly for international entities. Clients also single out associates Pelina Leontiadou and Evangelos Mamalakis. George Atie departed to an in-house position.

EU and Competition

Praised for its ‘strong international experience and knowledge of competition law issues’, Bernitsas Law assists clients with cartel and market investigations, abuse of dominance issues and state aid cases. The group also has notable expertise in merger control matters; it recently advised Media-Saturn-Holding on the competition aspects of its proposed merger with Olympia Group. The department’s EU law knowledge allows it to counsel clients on legislative issues relating to commercial, corporate and banking transactions. Marina Androulakakis leads the practice, which includes cartel specialist Panayotis Bernitsas  and Augustine Almyroudi, who has strength in the competition and antitrust aspects of privatisations and joint ventures. Clients also single out senior associate Tania Patsalia.

Employment

Bernitsas Law is noted for its ‘accuracy, responsiveness and attention to detail’ and advises clients from a wide range of industries including the travel, photographic equipment, pharmaceuticals, watch, automobile, electronics and healthcare sectors. Key areas of expertise span contracts, regulations and compliance, pensions, incentives, disputes, collective agreements and industrial relations. Headed up by  Katia Papantonopoulou, the team has also recently been handling employment law due diligence exercises arising from M&A.

Energy

Bernitsas Law is distinguished through the breadth of its expertise, handling instructions in the thermal, oil and gas, renewables and hydrocarbon sectors while also leveraging expertise in transmission assets, distribution networks and gas transportation. The group also handles the development and financing of energy projects and recently advised a consortium of international financing institutions on the project financing of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. Market leader Yannis Seiradakis heads up the practice, which also demonstrates strength in the privatisation of state-owned assets, regulatory matters and environmental considerations. Associate Eleni Stazilova is an active member of the team with expertise in project finance and energy-related transactions, public procurement issues and public private partnerships.

Insurance

The team at Bernitsas Law is recognised for its ‘excellent performance, reliability and response times’, and handles the preparation and negotiation of insurance contracts, insurance-related M&A, restructuring and insolvency work, corporate advisory issues, compliance matters and disputes. Lambros Belessis heads up the department, which has recently seen an uptick in regulatory work pertaining to the implementation of the Solvency II directive. Clients include Greek insurers and reinsurers, and also international entities including Axa Insurance.

Intellectual Property

Lambros Belessis and Yannis Chryssospathis jointly head up the practice at Bernitsas Law, which assists clients with the protection and utilisation of their patents, designs and brands. In addition, the practice routinely advises on the creation and registration of all forms of IP and is knowledgeable of the regulatory and legislative framework from a national and EU perspective. Transactions, portfolio work and licensing are also key areas of expertise, with the team handling an increasing number of litigation in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and shipping sectors.

Projects and Privatisation

Bernitsas Law is praised as one of ‘the most experienced teams in the Greek legal market’ which delivers ‘business-orientated, in-depth knowledge’. The group handles project finance work, PPPs and landmark privatisations, and has strong sector expertise across a range of industries including the insurance, automobile, technology, real estate, infrastructure, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and energy sectors. Yannis Seiradakis is an industry leader with notable experience serving as Special Secretary for Privitisations at the Ministry of Finance. Seiradakis leads the practice with Dimitris Roussis and Panayotis Bernitsas; the trio advised Gastrade on the development of the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System. Another name to note is associate Dionysis Flambouras, who is a specialist in financing arrangements.

Real Estate and Construction

Bernitsas Law has a notable track record in handling high-end transactions, developments, ownership structures, financings and commercialisations. The team advises on an array of asset classes including commercial, retail, secondary residential and industrial properties, offices, malls, marinas and hotels. Group head Panayotis Bernitsas has extensive experience in energy and infrastructure projects and investments; the team also frequently assists the Greek State and Greek Orthodox Church with their real estate assets. Bernitsas is advising the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund on a public tender for the disposal of Castelo Bibeli, a hotel and residential project located on the island of Corfu. Associates Nikos Vouhiounis and Christina Zakopoulou are also active on the matter and are highly recommended.

Restructuring and Insolvency

At Bernitsas Law, the team undertakes the restructuring of finance and project finance transactions, local and cross-border companies and distribution networks. The team also advises lenders and borrowers on distressed situations and is experienced in handling refinancings, liquidations, debt reschedulings, administrations, workouts and receiverships. Athanasia Tseneis always at the top of her business, providing timely and informed advice’; she heads the practice alongside Lambros BelessisDionysis Flambouras is another name to note at a practice which is focused on all forms of financing arrangements, securitisations and bond issues. The team recently acted as Greek law counsel for Aegean Marine Petroleum Network in relation to the comprehensive restructuring of the client’s worldwide operations and capital structure.

TMT

Bernitsas Law is hailed as the ‘perfect choice’ for clients seeking ‘fast help, accurate insights and comprehensive explanations’. Among its core strengths are licensing, data protection, GDPR compliance, commercial agreements and corporate transactions. Highlights from its recent caseload included advising Acun Medya Turkey and Acun Medya Greece in relation to their TV production agreements with stations in Greece, as well as advising BMW Hellas and BMW Austria Bank on data protection issues. Practice head Augustine Almyroudi is well versed in advising telecom and media companies outside of the EU on the establishment of services in Greece. Marina Androulakaki is a standout name with knowledge of EU, competition and antitrust matters, while the ‘dedicated, punctual and accurateTania Patsalia is also recommended.

Tax

With ‘excellent knowledge in the tax field‘, the practice at Bernitsas Law ‘always keeps updated on new regulations‘. Clients include private and public companies, individuals and partnerships who rely on the team for corporate advisory and transactional work in addition to investigations and disputes. Wealth and estate planning is also a keystone of the practice, as is cross-border structuring and liability work. The department is headed up by Panayotis Bernitsas, who has extensive experience handling tax controversies. Counsel Fotodotis Malamas is singled out for praise by clients.

White-Collar Crime

Clients recommend Bernitsas Law for its ‘strong court representation’, ‘strong experience’ and ‘attention to detail’. Financial crime, fraud, anti-bribery and negligence all fall within the team’s areas of expertise, and it represents several notable players in the banking, electronics, automobile, clothing, pharmaceuticals and defence sectors. Panayotis Bernitsas and Christos Paraskevopoulos jointly head the practice, which also dedicates a significant amount of time to risk management matters.