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Mar 2021

Top Band recognition in Chambers Europe 2021

Bernitsas Law is ranked in the Top Bands by Chambers Europe in their 2021 Guide to Europe’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

‘delivering continuous quality

‘wide range of legal expertise … excellent communication skills

‘speed, accuracy, in-depth analysis and availability

‘always being available … providing really good value for money

Banking & Finance

Market-leading team assisting with cross-border finance transactions. Has experience in capital markets deals, including note and bond issuances and securitisations. Also advises on corporate lending to Greek companies and on the Greek aspects of pan-European finance deals. Boasts solid experience in syndicated loan transactions. Popular with both financial institutions and private companies for financial restructuring advice, as well as assisting with regulatory matters and issues pertaining to non-performing loan transactions.

Sources praise the lawyers’ strong technical knowledge and say that ‘they are user-friendly and responsive’.

Another interviewee is impressed by the team’s ‘depth of knowledge of the sector, extremely swift responses and client relationship management’.

Managing Partner Panayotis Bernitsas  maintains a strong reputation for his longstanding presence in the Greek market. He has experience in a plethora of banking and finance matters, with particular expertise in project finance topics.

Nikos Papachristopoulos centres his highly acclaimed finance practice on capital markets topics, such as bond and note issuances as well as delisting matters. A market commentator highlights his ‘extremely collaborative’ approach and notes that ‘he knows the stock exchange rules inside out’.

Athanasia Tsene earns excellent praise for her ‘vast knowledge and experience’ in banking and finance matters. Her multifaceted practice encompasses ABS transactions, non-performing loan sales and structured finance deals. Sources find her to be ‘extremely reliable and responsive,’ with one client lauding her ‘great interpersonal skills’.

Dionysis Flambouras assists loan servicers and other financial institutions with diverse topics. He has experience in acquisitions of NPL portfolios and on the issuer side of international bond offerings. According to a market source, he offers ‘deep knowledge’ of the sector, in addition to being ‘always available and caring for his client’.

Competition / European Law

Well-recognised corporate firm with a respected competition law offering, acting for an impressive roster of clients. Has a particular focus on merger control mandates, as well as regulatory issues connected to distribution networks and price fixing. Also has experience in investigations and dawn raids. Additionally assists with the appeal of fines and decisions from the authorities relating to alleged collusion and anti-competitive conduct.

Clients are impressed with the team’s service and note that ‘the lawyers are successful in getting things done very fast’.

‘They know our business and have a holistic approach to cases,’ reports a second interviewee.

Managing Partner Panayotis Bernitsas  is a well-respected figure in the sector, boasting longstanding experience in competition law. His practice covers merger clearances, distribution networks and state aid issues.

The ‘very proactive’ Marina Androulakakis is recognised as a key practitioner in the competition department. She advises a diverse client list on transaction-related topics, dawn raid investigations and antitrust litigation before the Hellenic Competition Commission.

Augustine Almyroudi regularly represents clients in appeal cases arising from fines imposed due to anti-competitive practices. She also offers regulatory and antitrust compliance knowledge, including for distribution agreement topics.

Corporate/Commercial

Boasts a broad corporate and commercial practice, well supported by the firm’s highly regarded financing and competition offerings. Has a strong transactional focus, advising on public and private M&A as well as on stock exchange listings. Also assists international clients with global mergers and corporate restructurings. Also active on advisory mandates, from commercial agreements to corporate governance. Clients hail from a range of sectors including insurance and consumer goods.

A client notes that the lawyers are ‘always efficient, reliable and provide business-oriented legal advice in prompt time’.

The firm ‘provides high-quality legal expertise and is able to cover all important practice areas that are relevant in an M&A transaction,’ another client states.

Managing Partner Panayotis Bernitsas has cultivated a strong reputation in the market and is known for his excellent client relationship skills. He has extensive experience in corporate and commercial matters.

Evi Kitsou assists clients with corporate restructuring matters, mergers and the acquisition of distressed assets. A source sees her as an ‘exceptional’ lawyer, adding that ‘she is a rising star in M&A’.

Market-leading practitioner Nikos Papachristopoulos is ‘very pragmatic, finds solutions and listens to the client,’ according to a source, who further appreciates that he ‘is not afraid to share his opinion and gave the support we needed’. He routinely handles complex M&A and private equity deals involving the infrastructure, energy and aquaculture industries.

Dispute Resolution

Maintains a top-tier ranking on account of its strong market recognition and consistent presence in high-profile cases. Has proven capabilities in public law litigation, including cases linked to public tenders and the breach of public contracts. Defends companies in enforcement actions taken by the Greek data protection regulator or other domestic public bodies. Handles IP litigation and assists with disputes arising in insolvency situations. Has a strong reputation for capacity to handle complex commercial arbitration. Also advises on employment law disputes.

A client is impressed with the team’s ‘wide range of legal expertise’ on top of its ‘excellent communication skills’. ‘They are commercially oriented, offer pragmatic solutions and think outside the box,’ a second source enthuses.

Sources identify Christos Paraskevopoulos as a ‘really persuasive lawyer with a very practical approach’. One interviewee reports that he is ‘always checking that the solution aligns with the client’s needs’. He has significant experience in intellectual property matters, employment claims and shareholder disputes.

Dimitris Roussis is noted for his presence in civil litigation and arbitration. He also represents clients before the administrative courts in actions against the Hellenic Republic, including notable cases relating to contractual breaches or environmental decisions.

Newly introduced to the rankings, Evangelos Mamalakis is seen by a client as a practitioner who ‘looks into every single detail until he clears all the shadows’. The same source goes on to say that Mamalakis is ‘very diligent in examining witnesses’. He assists clients with product liability cases and litigation related to terminated distribution or agency agreements.

Employment

Respected team advising multinational and domestic clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious labour issues. Particularly knowledgeable in employment termination and dismissals, including restructurings, voluntary exits and redundancies. Experienced in mandates involving regulatory compliance and collective labour contracts. Also assists with transaction-related mandates and transfer of undertakings.

The team’s strengths, according to a satisfied source, are its ‘speed, accuracy, in-depth analysis and availability’.

The service provided is always on time and accurate,’ says a second interviewee.

Katia Papantonopoulou advises clients on a broad range of collective and individual employment law issues, including redundancies, M&A-related labour law matters and severance agreements. Respondents value her ‘very clear and to the point’ advice.

Energy

Full-service group advising both international and domestic clients on energy matters. Particular knowledge in contractual and financing agreements pertaining to gas infrastructure projects. Additionally assists with transactions and developments relating to a range of renewable energy sources, including hydropower, wind, photovoltaic and steam-electric power stations. Also advises on licensing topics relating to power trading activities. Often works alongside international law firms on cross-border mandates.

The group receives praise from one source for ‘delivering continuous quality’, ‘always being available’ and ‘providing really good value for money’.

Another client appreciates the team’s ‘help in searching for good solutions for all,’ explaining that the lawyers ‘have a very good knowledge of the law as well as of the practice area, which is a perfect combination’.

Yannis Seiradakis heads the firm’s energy and environment practice and acts on a range of transactions, including M&A, privatisations, public-private partnership projects and the associated regulatory matters. Sources laud him as ‘a very strong partner’ who is ‘super, especially for privatisation projects’.

Real Estate

Experienced department assisting with the acquisition and divestment of properties and portfolios, often involving residential and hospitality assets. Knowledgeable in both public and private tendering processes. Additionally active in finance and refinance mandates relating to transactions and development projects, acting for lenders or borrowers. Clientele includes banks, hotel operators and state entities. Also assists with lease agreements.

‘The team is methodical and showcases good organisation skills,’ attests a client. Another source is satisfied with the lawyers’ service, describing them as ‘very helpful and approachable’.

Nikos Vouhiounis is a well-known figure in the market and is noted by interviewees for his strong business sense. He regularly handles real estate acquisitions and disposals, being particularly popular with clients operating in the hospitality sector.

Tax

Full-service tax offering which works closely with the firm’s M&A and dispute resolution teams. Handles cross-border mandates, often assisting international clients with their operations in Greece, including transactions. Also knowledgeable in transfer pricing issues, corporate income tax, VAT matters and customs duties.

An interviewee attests that ‘the team is focused on resolving the issues from a business perspectiveʼ.

Clients applaud Fotodotis Malamas for being able to ‘translate the business needs into legal adviceʼ. He is well placed to handle the tax aspects of large transactions and he has additional experience in handling income tax matters, transfer pricing issues and inheritance tax law compliance topics.

TMT

Full-service corporate firm with a notable TMT offering. Advises clients on compliance matters, transactional mandates and contentious proceedings before regulatory bodies and administrative courts. Often assists foreign companies wishing to provide services in Greece. Significant experience in data protection and GDPR issues, often advising telecom, technology and e-commerce companies. Also advises on agreements in the television industry relating to advertising, sponsorship, production and distribution matters.

Augustine Almyroudi is the key contact for the firm’s clients.