Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)

Our practice guides clients in the evolving area of ESG, from the opportunities and obligations it creates for their business to managing the expectations of stakeholders. We leverage knowhow from our corporate, capital markets, employment, real estate, energy and projects teams to offer cross-departmental expertise. 

We have a long-standing practice advising on the development of renewable energy projects and have acted for high profile Greek issuers in their inaugural green bonds offering. Our team also advises on the application of the Taxonomy Regulation, fund categorisation and disclosure requirements under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), as well as other ESG corporate disclosures. 

Sustainable Investments
We advise clients on the issuance and market offering of green bonds or other sustainability linked instruments as well as fund-raising projects across all industries, including the key energy and banking sectors. We closely monitor new developments in the proposed new EU Green Bond Standard and the requirements companies must meet in the coming years. Our practice has an expertise in advising on the obligations imposed by the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), particularly the categorisation of products as brown, light green and dark green and the applicable disclosures in fund and other documentation.
Corporate Governance
Advising clients on their corporate governance obligations and assisting them in setting up and providing structure around their internal processes is a core service offering. We advise listed companies on improvements to their internal corporate governance system and on full compliance with the demanding Greek corporate governance legislation, including tailoring good practices endorsed by the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. Within this context, we prepare ESG policies and procedures, including diversity and inclusion policies and rules of operation and relevant documentation of any dedicated committee, such as Nomination & Remuneration, Audit and ESG Committees.
Our market leading Energy practice advises on energy transition and carbon neutral targets, including the Energy Efficiency Directive and the European Climate Law. We advise on low carbon strategies, including carbon capture and storage.
Environmental Law
We take a proactive approach to compliance in the environmental law sector which is increasingly affecting the way the majority of companies work. We endeavour to ensure that our clients are in a position to meet the complex and exacting requirements of the regulators. Our practice is well placed to advise on the environmental risks and liabilities arising in the context of mergers, acquisitions, projects and privatisations. We conduct environmental impact assessments, undertake project categorisation and advise on the process for obtaining permits and licences. If disaster strikes, we represent our clients in litigation arising from environmental contamination and compliance failures.
Regulations & Compliance
We incorporate ESG concerns in our due diligence exercises and advise clients on how to mitigate the risks arising from them. We advise on the website and periodic disclosures imposed by SFDR and the Taxonomy Regulation and on the ESG updates to MiFID II and AIFMD. Our team also provides training and updates on ongoing regulatory and compliance issues. Proactive engagement with the upcoming ESG regulatory milestones, such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) and Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDD), is also part of our focus.
Recent Experience
Mytilineos Inaugural Green Bond Offering of €500m Senior Notes
We acted as Greek law counsel to Mytilineos SA on the successful issuance and offering of its inaugural green bond offering to international and domestic institutional investors of €500m aggregate principal amount senior notes due 2026 and the listing of these notes on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange’s Euro MTF market.
Piraeus Bank Inaugural €500m Green Senior Preferred Bond
We acted as Greek law counsel to Piraeus Bank on the issuance and offering to institutional investors of its inaugural €500m Green Senior Preferred Bond, and the listing thereof on the Euro MTF market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
Compliance Calendar for the Association of Members of the Athens Stock Exchange
We set up a pioneering regulatory compliance calendar leveraging technology for the Association of Members of the Athens Stock Exchange. This user-friendly tool sets out various reporting and conduct of business requirements applicable to investment firms in Greece, together with details on their scope of application and a tracking system for firms' compliance with these rules.
Guidance to Global Asset Managers and Private Equity Firms through Greek Market Activities Post-Brexit
We have advised a number of US, UK and other third-country asset managers, private equity firms and venture capital firms on navigating the extent of permitted activities in Greece. These activities have related to marketing, portfolio management and advice carried on in the post Brexit world.
E-Mobility Software Applications
We advised an importer of automobile vehicles on the legal aspects for the implementation and development of on-demand smart mobility applications for electric vehicles and on software licensing agreements.
ESG Advice to Information, Technology and Communications Company
We advised a leading global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, on the applicable Greek legal requirements related to environmental, social and governance issues (ESG).
Solarmacht Development of PV Park and Acquisition of Project Companies
We acted for Solarmacht (North Star Group), a Greek project developer, in connection with the development of PV parks in Northern Greece and the contemplated acquisition of a number of project companies operating PV parks in various areas of Greece.
Space Hellas Governance Framework
We advised Space Hellas on corporate governance related compliance matters and assisted in setting up internal policies and rules of operation of various board committees.
Motor Oil Acquisition of 12 Wind Farms
We advised Motor Oil on the acquisition from a leading global investment fund of a portfolio of 12 wind farms with a total capacity of 240MW, the biggest part of which is located in central and northern continental Greece. The acquisition was part of the acquisition of a wider portfolio of wind projects with a total capacity of 650 MW.
Acquisition of RES Project Developer by Major European Clean Energy Producer
Together with Hogan Lovells, we advised a major European clean energy producer in the contemplated acquisition of a European project developer operating mainly onshore wind and solar assets and with subsidiaries across Europe, including Greece.
Hellenic Petroleum Renewables Acquisition of a 16MW PV Portfolio
We advised Hellenic Petroleum Renewables SA in relation to the acquisition of a 16 MW portfolio of operating PV plants from Trina Solar.
Car Manufacturers Entry to Electromobility Μarket
We advise a number of European car manufacturers in relation to their entry into the Greek electromobility market and launch of electric vehicles charging services in Greece.
Development and Acquisition of Wind & PV Projects
We advise an Israeli RES developer on the development of wind projects and advised on the potential acquisition of a portfolio of 380MW PV projects under development in Greece.
Motor Oil Acquisition of Thalis ES
Bernitsas Law advised Motor Oil on the acquisition of 100% of Thalis ES, a leading company in circular economy, active in solid, water and liquid waste management, recycling and treatment.
Net Metering PV Projects
We advise plant development companies on their investment in Greece for the development of a net metering photovoltaic project to be used for the generation of power at third party facilities through a complex contractual arrangement.
Energy Communities in Central and Northern Greece
We are advising a leading Israeli listed renewable energy company in relation to the acquisition of a cluster of energy communities developing a portfolio of PV projects with a total installed capacity of 200MW in Central and Northern Greece.
Motor Oil Acquisition of ELIN VERD
We advised Motor Oil on the acquisition of ELIN VERD, a company active in the production and promotion of biofuels.
Acquisition and Development of Photovoltaic Plants by Middle Eastern Sovereign Fund
We advise a consortium comprised of a Middle Eastern sovereign fund and a European renewable energy investor in the acquisition and development of several photovoltaic parks in Greece.
Six Energy Communities in Western Macedonia
We are advising a large listed Israeli company (a pioneer in the solar energy sector) in their potential investment in a cluster of six energy communities developing a portfolio of c.100MW of solar projects in Western Macedonia.
Liquid and Solid Waste Liability Issues
We advised a multinational oil company on liability issues arising from liquid and solid waste.
CHP Power Plant
We are advising an investment group in relation to the development of a modern green house facility in central Greece utilizing a large CHP power plant in order to provide heat, cooling and CO2 to that facility.
Carbon Emissions Advice
We advised an international law firm on the mechanisms in place for reducing carbon emissions.
Investment in Energy Communities
We are advising an investment management company in their potential investment in a cluster of Energy Communities developing a portfolio of solar projects with an approximate capacity of 100MW in Western Macedonia.
Advice on Environmental Legislation
We advised an international watch manufacturer on the legislation governing nickel limits, the provisions of REACH and notifications of defective products to environmental and consumer protection authorities.