Index of tables
Legal market overview
This ranking is based on quality and scope of service. Therefore, narrowly focused practices may be ranked lower in the table than a quality competitor with a broader base but may still be considered outstanding in chosen disciplines.
‘One of the best in Georgia’, BGI Legal’s full-service practice provides ‘simply excellent’ service to leading international or domestic companies and banks, and frequently works alongside international law firms. It undertakes routine general legal support as well as more complex matters such as financings, M&A, dispute resolution and capital markets work. It is handling several significant financings as well as tax and labour law litigation. Founding partners Lasha Gogiberidze (‘extremely organised, smart and available’) and litigator Zaza Bibilashvili (‘excellent’ and ‘very professional’) are recommended, as is associate Giorgi Kavlashvili, a regulatory specialist with substantial litigation experience. The team has good depth through director Sandro Bibilashvili, and counsels Tamara Tevdoradze and Ekaterina Aleksidze.
BLC Law Office provides ‘unquestionably reliable legal services’ from its offices in Tbilisi and Batumi. It has a busy practice in the energy sector, in addition to which it frequently advises more broadly on IP, corporate, private equity or finance matters. Alexander Bolkvadze and Giorgi Batlidze have been leading advice to EPC contractor and joint shareholder Calik Energy on the corporate, commercial and tax aspects of a thermal power plant construction project. The team also recently assisted İş Bankası A.Ş. with establishing a licensed branch in Georgia and advised Elenilto Minerals on negotiating an oil and gas production sharing agreement. Other clients include Georgian Railway LLC, HSBC, Johnson & Johnson, and JSC Bank Republic. Ketti Kvartskhava is ‘one of the best litigation and transaction lawyers in Georgia’. Alexander Bolkvadze and Levan Dediani are other key figures.
DLA Piper Georgia LP is the international law firm with the longest constant presence in the market. Its ‘very good’ 12-lawyer practice provides a full service across all contentious and non-contentious matters. Particularly active sectors are transport, financial services, oil and gas, and mining. The firm advised AerCap Ireland, Aviation Capital Group and International Lease Finance Corporation as well as Bank of Scotland on several aircraft leases to FlyGeorgia. It has also been handling a significant financing for a leading development bank and assisting leading utilities and manufacturers with disputes. Other clients include Avon Cosmetics, BP, JP Morgan, and TBC Bank. Highly regarded managing partner Ted Jonas is recommended along with Otar Kipshidze and legal director Avto Svanidze. Senior associate Nino Suknidze is emerging as another core team member.
BDO Legal’s team is ‘very communicative’ and its service is ‘very professional and timely’. Its chief strengths are corporate, commercial, investment and tax law. Recent work includes advising Poros Group on wind energy sector investments and assisting Pasha Bank Georgia with its restructuring from a representative office to status as a functional local bank. Other clients include Alliance Group Ltd, which is the local representative of multinationals such as Johnson & Johnson and Ferrero Roche, and new client LG Electronics. David Khrikadze is ‘a good lawyer with good client relationship skills’.
Dechert Georgia LLC ‘displays quick response times, sound judgement and recommendations, and a sound overall approach’. Resident partners Nicola Mariani and Archil Giorgadze are supported by office managing partner Louise Roman Bernstein, who is based in London but frequently travels to Georgia. The firm has been advising JSC Dariali Energy on its hydropower plant project as well as assisting another client with contractual matters relating to an infrastructure project and advising a foreign investor on corporate restructuring. Litigation and arbitration also form part of the workload.
Gvinadze & Partners LLC’s ‘very professional lawyers provide a very reliable level of service and charge very fair fees’. Corporate and commercial law are core practices, and dispute resolution is a growing area. The team advised LOT Polish Airlines on corporate and tax matters, and picked up Acer as a new client in the technology sector. Other clients include DB International, Nestlé, Robert Bosch and Duty Free Georgia. Managing partner Nick Gvinadze is ‘very professional, knowledgeable, meticulous and diligent’, and senior associate Sophie Panjikidze is ‘very good, always timely and professional’. Thomas Dimitroff, of counsel Tedo Ninidze and senior associate Zakaria Shvelidze provide good support.
Law Firm Kordzakhia Jgenti GP has a full-service practice with a substantial body of work in banking and finance, IT, real estate, and infrastructure. The team also recently acted in a case against Bank of Georgia. Recent clients include Bloomberg, Egis and TBC Bank, and the firm also has a number of projects funded by the US Agency for International Development or international financial institutions. ‘High-quality professional’ Irakli Kordzakhia recently achieved accreditation as a mediator. The other partners are Irakli Jgenti, David Pataraia and tax specialist Sopho Roinishvili.
David Dzidziguri is managing partner at the well-regarded firm of Mgaloblishvili, Kipiani, Dzidziguri Law Firm, which is remarkable foremost for banking and finance expertise although it has a full-service offering. Recent clients include Asian Development Bank, the EBRD and IFC.
Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners is well known for its banking, finance and tax law practice, where clients include Bank of Georgia and Bank Republic. Another notable specialism is real estate and infrastructure, where it has been acting for a construction company regarding a new motorway. Managing partner Lasha Nodia, who is chairman of the Georgian Association of Arbitrators, is recommended along with Nino Bakakuri, tax partner Efrem Urumashvili and real estate specialist Daduna Kokhreidze.
BLB (Business Legal Bureau) has recently acted for BlackBerry and OPIC. Managing partner Kakha Sharabidze is ‘a very good lawyer’.
Begiashvili & Co. Limited’s practice centres on its two partners: Giorgi Begiashvili is recommended for litigation and alternative dispute resolution, while Jaba Mamulashvili is expert in investment, corporate and commercial law.
Ernst & Young LLC’s seven-lawyer team provides multidisciplinary legal services and is able to leverage accountancy and consulting support from colleagues in other divisions of Ernst & Young. It recently advised oil trader CanArgo on restructuring its Georgian operations and assisted a local client with selling a minority stake to Dreymoor Fertilizers. Ivan Khokhlov is the key figure.