Bernitsas Law is ranked in the Top Tier in the Legal 500 EMEA 2022. ‘Bernitsas law firm stands out as a firm that has commitment, expertise, dedication and diverse specialist knowledge ... great lawyers, with an understanding of our business needs, always available to provide high quality legal support ... they stand out for their ability in creating strong bonds of trust among their clientele thus ensuring that their clients are in good and experienced hands ... efficient and hardworking, responsive and very well equipped to meet any legal needs’.
Banking, Finance and Capital Markets
Bernitsas Law advises both domestic and foreign clients on complex matters including offerings of debt instruments, mergers and demergers in the banking sector, non-performing loan (NPL) transactions, securitisations, financial regulation, and restructurings and insolvency. The team handles a great volume of cross-border transactions, providing industry expertise across a variety of sectors such as healthcare, telecoms and retail. ‘Leader in the field‘ Athanasia Tsene co-heads the practice, with vast experience in international financial transactions, including security and hedging arrangements. Fellow co-head Nikos Papachristopoulos has been heavily involved in the recapitalisation of the Greek systemic banks. Managing partner Panayotis Bernitsas and counsel Dionysis Flambouras, who specialises in financing arrangements, securitisations and bond issues, are also noted.
Commercial, Corporate and M&A
Bernitsas Law has ‘deep knowledge‘ of the corporate and M&A market, with extensive experience in advising private equity funds and international investors on the acquisition of Greek assets, in addition to handling major demergers and restructurings. The team also assists with day-to-day business issues, corporate governance, commercial contracts and regulatory compliance, with a wide-ranging client base that also includes leading domestic companies, SMEs, financial institutions and state agencies. Lambros Belessis is an expert in structuring, documenting and negotiating commercial transactions, focusing on advising international companies with a presence in Greece. He co-heads the practice with Nikos Papachristopoulos, who is noted for his advice on acquisitions and takeovers of listed companies. Other notable contacts include managing partner Panayotis Bernitsas and Evi Kitsou, an expert in commercial agreements and regulatory compliance.
Bernitsas Law has an ‘excellent‘ team with a wide range of litigation experience spanning administrative, banking and finance, corporate and commercial, corporate crime and fraud, and restructuring and insolvency disputes. Its client base extends from companies in the telecoms, oil and gas, gaming and utilities sectors to pharmaceuticals and electronics businesses. The team offers representation at a specialised level before the Greek and European courts, industrial tribunals and the International Court of Arbitration, with experience in litigation, arbitration and mediation. Dimitris Roussis, who has notable expertise in administrative litigation, co-heads the practice with senior counsel Christos Paraskevopoulos, whose expertise lies in commercial disputes. Other individuals to note are senior associate Evangelos Mamalakis and associate Pelina Leontiadou.
EU and Competition
Bernitsas Law, which acts for domestic and international clients, features prominently in high-profile merger control mandates across a wide range of industries. It is also able to assist with sector investigations, cartel and state aid cases, as well as damages actions. Notable work highlights included acting for CVC Capital Partners’ Fund VII on the EC merger filing associated with the acquisition of Ethniki Insurance from NBG. The sizeable team is led by Marina Androulakakis. Other notable contacts include the highly regarded Augustine Almyroudi, managing partner Panayotis Bernitsas and senior associate Tania Patsalia.
Bernitsas Law provides comprehensive advice to local and multinational companies from a range of industry sectors such as retail, pharmaceuticals, watches, packaging, and software and electronics. Its key areas of expertise include collective agreements and industrial relations, employment contracts and disputes, pensions, incentives and compensation, and regulatory and compliance matters. The team's services are supported by its long-term referral relationships with a range of international law firms, including Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Clifford Chance, Mayer Brown, Hogan Lovells US LLP and Linklaters LLP. Counsel Katia Papantonopoulou leads the practice; she has advised on the employment aspects of transfer of undertakings, restructurings and M&A.
Bernitsas Law has a leading presence in the energy industry, as is evidenced by its work for clients active in areas such as renewable energy, oil and gas, water, mining and electricity. It handles all aspects of upstream and downstream work, such as compliance, management, development and finance. Recent work included acting for London-headquartered renewable energy developer Emeren Ltd on the potential acquisition of photovoltaic plants from Azalea Energy Constructions and Consultancy. Yannis Seiradakis, who heads up the practice, is experienced in advising international investors, financers and government bodies. Senior associate Eleni Stazilova advises on commercial contracts and finance agreements, as well as tender procedures and the acquisition and development of projects in the conventional and renewable energy sectors.
Bernitsas Law provides a comprehensive service to its clients, which benefit from the firm's extensive experience in the preparation and negotiation of insurance contracts, the drafting of terms and conditions of insurance policies, and the evaluation of contracts, among other matters. Its team is also well versed in handling insurance disputes, representing clients in claims arising from distribution, interpretation of contractual documentation, regulatory enforcement and insolvency. Lambros Belessis heads the practice.
Bernitsas Law's workload covers a myriad of issues in relation to trade marks, patents, designs and copyright. It advises on IP creation and registration, as well as portfolio management and data protection, among various other matters. The team has notable expertise in copyright issues pertaining to software development, licensing agreements and filming and audiovisual matters. Lambros Belessis and Yannis Chryssospathis jointly lead the practice.
Projects and Privatisation
Bernitsas Law has a first-rate reputation for advising high-profile clients on major projects, overseeing privatisations of state-owned enterprises, project finance and PPPs. Its work spans areas such as energy (including oil and gas), transport, infrastructure, telecoms and waste management, among others. The firm is advising Vodafone on the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of a Fiber To The Home Network for inner and outer rings and vertical building connections. The practice is led by Panayotis Bernitsas, Dimitris Roussis and Yannis Seiradakis. Senior associate Stella Papakosta is also noted.
Real Estate and Construction
Bernitsas Law advises on a wide array of real estate matters, including planning, land use, finance, tax and development. It is also active in real estate investment transactions and is assisting Luxembourg-based fund Darzalas Capital Sal with its Greek investments, including real estate assets acquired in the context of M&A of Greek entities. It has also advised Percassi on the execution of numerous lease agreements relating to the operation of Nike stores in particular Greek stores. Panayotis Bernitsas leads the team, which also includes experienced senior associate Christina Zakopoulou.
Restructuring and Insolvency
Bernitsas Law is renowned for its sizeable and highly experienced team which frequently assists clients with significant cross-border restructurings and acts for official receivers in liquidation proceedings. Notable work includes acting for Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations Limited on the sale of its shares in its English subsidiary following liquidation. PIMCO entrusted the firm with the securitisation of PPC receivables, pertaining to a portfolio amount of €1.7bn, in relation to outstanding electricity invoices. Lambros Belessis is well known for his expertise within M&As and corporate restructurings. He co-heads the practice with Athanasia Tsene who is well versed in advising on security and hedging arrangements. Other notable contacts include counsel Dionysis Flambouras.
Bernitsas Law is a key player in the Greek telecoms market, as is reflected by the fact that it advises clients on connected systems installed in cars, VoIP services, fixed networks (including fibre) and 5G network deployment. It recently advised BMW Hellas and BMW Austria Bank on GDPR compliance, which involved the review of employee privacy policies, data retention and data processing agreements. The firm also assists Acun Medya Group with negotiating TV production agreements with Greek TV stations, as well as with TV series participants and service providers in Greece and abroad. The practice is led by Marina Androulakakis. Other individuals to note include highly experienced counsel Augustine Almyroudi and senior associate Tania Patsalia.
Bernitsas Law advises on a vast array of tax matters, including company structuring, planning and policy, asset ownership, executive/employee remuneration and benefits and tax controversies. The practice is led by Panayotis Bernitsas, who recently advised a US fund on tax issues arising from a Greek cross-border loan. Counsel Fotodotis Malamas also assisted Bernitsas with the matter. Other work included assisting Thomas Cook Group Tour Operations with the tax aspects of the sale of its shares in its English subsidiary to LMEY Investments AG.
Bernitsas Law covers the full spectrum of white-collar crime matters, representing companies and credit institutions in investigations and criminal and civil proceedings. The practice is jointly led by Panayotis Bernitsas and senior counsel Christos Paraskevopoulos, who are working with associate Pelina Leontiadou to represent the Greek subsidiary of a leading international retail company in criminal proceedings arising from claims of breach of trust, breaches of fiduciary duties and unfair competition, among others.