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May 2021

Greece Law Firm of the Year and Greece Corporate Firm of the Year at the IFLR Europe Awards 2021

Bernitsas Law has won two awards at the prestigious International Financial Law Review Awards (IFLR) 2021 Europe.

James Wilson, the IFLR’s Commercial Editor said, ‘Bernitsas Law was named Greece Law Firm of the Year and Greece Corporate Firm of the Year in the IFLR Europe Awards 2021. Bernitsas regularly produces some of the most innovative and high calibre legal work in the market and 2020 was no exception.  

Among its most influential transactions last year, Bernitsas advised PIMCO and DEVA Capital on their bid for the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Alpha Bank’s servicing company Cepal and their participation in three NPL portfolios originated by Alpha Bank, valued at over €10 billion. It was undoubtedly one of the market’s landmark transactions, structured under a new regulatory regime and requiring sophisticated input from a range of legal specialisms. The firm’s work on the deal underpinned its corporate award, as did its role advising Thomas Cook on the sale of its Greek companies to LMEY Investments. This corporate work was capped off at the end of 2020 when its client, CVC-owned entity Venetiko, signed an innovative deal to acquire Vivartia – a transaction that relies on new legal tools introduced in the market in 2019.  

Outside the corporate practice, Bernitsas had lead roles on Greece’s most pioneering securitisations. A team advised Citigroup and Piraeus Bank on a securitisation of car lease receivables originated by a company owned by Avis Greece, shortlisted as the Olympic/Avis Hellas auto lease receivables securitisation. It was the first non-banking securitisation in the Greek market completed after the implementation of the EU Securitisation Regulation. The firm also advised Piraeus Bank in its first public NPE securitisation in Greece.’

Panayotis Bernitsas, Managing Partner of Bernitsas Law, said: We are proud to be recognized for our key role in the most innovative deals to have taken place in Greece by the renowned and leading corporate finance publication, the IFLR. In what has been a challenging year for everyone, the resilience of the Greek transactional industry and all who participate in it has been exemplary, and I am proud of our corporate and finance teams for leading the legal sector with their stellar achievements. Innovation has always been a key component of our work, and I am delighted that the IFLR has repeatedly recognized us as a market frontrunner in their annual European Awards.’