The Legal 500

Georgia

Index of tables

  1. Legal market overview
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

 

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.


BGI Legal fields ‘a team of true professionals with good knowledge of law and a proper understanding of business needs’. It provides full-service support to leading multinational and Georgian clients, handling general legal matters alongside more complex financing, M&A, dispute resolution and capital markets mandates. Recent work includes advising Bank of Georgia on its $100m supplemental bond issuance in November 2013 and advising on financings or restructurings pertaining to a number of large energy and other infrastructure projects. The firm represents several life sciences companies including Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi Group. More broadly, clients include Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia, Daewoo, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Liberty Bank, Merrill Lynch, JSC Tbilisi International Airport, and UBS. Zaza Bibilashvili and the ‘much-respected’ Lasha Gogiberidze are recommended. Associates Tamara Tevdoradze and Tamuna Gvaramia are ‘extremely impressive’.


One of the most efficient and devoted law firms in Georgia’, BLC Law Office gives ‘clear and concise advice’, ‘achieves excellent results’ and its ‘response times are very good’. The firm has a broad practice with notable experience in the energy sector, as well as capital markets and finance work, tax, IP, and real estate. Highly regarded partner Ketti Kvartskhava led representation of Metra Group Georgia during the acquisition of real estate developer JSC Park Town, a matter in which she was assisted by senior associate Tamta Ivanishvili, who is ‘a remarkable professional with a surprisingly deep sense of industry needs’. The team also advised TBC Bank during a supermarket’s bankruptcy and acted for Dariali Energy JSC on the 108MW financing of its hydropower project. Other clients include Bank of Georgia, Bank Republic, General Electric, Georgian Railway, IBM, Japan Tobacco International, Johnson & Johnson, and Sheraton Batumi. Giorgi Batlidze is ‘knowledgeable, competent and trustworthy’, and Alexander Bolkvadze and Levan Dediani are also key figures.


DLA Piper Georgia LP is ‘very meticulous’; it provides ‘timely, high-quality advice, adheres to deadlines, and is attentive to details’. Recommended litigator Otar Kipshidze took over as office managing partner, replacing Ted Jonas, who remains a core member of the team and is now group head for the CIS region. The firm maintains a full-service practice and has a substantial, consistent tenure in the market. It acted as local counsel to TBC Bank on preparation of its June 2014 IPO and listing of GDRs on the London Stock Exchange, and has been advising Millennium Challenge Corporation on Georgian law aspects of the drafting and agreement of the Second Compact between the client and the Georgian government. It serves as general corporate counsel to Toyota Tsusho Corporation. Other clients include International Lease Finance Corporation, Marussia Beverages, OPIC, Tata Power and Tethys Petroleum. Legal director Nino Suknidze and recently promoted partner Avto Svanidze are also important team members, with associate Natela Otaridze being recommended for tax and transactional advice.


BDO Legal’s ‘diligent and highly professional’ team provides ‘good value for a fair price’, and is able to ‘successfully handle tight deadlines without compromising the quality of the services’. The firm’s multidisciplinary practice has a particular emphasis on corporate investment, banking and finance, and tax law. Recent work includes advising Georgian Manganese LLC on potential corporate bond issuances and assisting GCF Partners LLC (manager of the $6bn Georgian Co-Investment Fund) with some of its due diligence and shareholder agreements with co-investors. The team also represented UGT in winning a government tender to provide computers to schools and successfully annulled a tax penalty assessed against Humana Georgia. The ‘highly knowledgeable and co-operative’ David Khrikadze has ‘good and clear communication skills, and an understanding of clients’ needs’. David Gelashvili is ‘a very good and professional lawyer’.


The full-service firm BLB (Business Legal Bureau) provides ‘thoroughly professional service’, is ‘very much focused on client satisfaction, and always delivers services on time and for reasonable costs’. It is assisting Rustaveli Property with a hotel construction project and advising GCF Partners, the sovereign-backed private equity co-investment fund on certain matters. Other clients include A.P. Møller–Mærsk A/S, APM Terminals, Servanta and TBC Bank. Managing partner Kakha Sharabidze is very highly regarded.


Since its arrival in 2012, Dechert Georgia LLC has picked up instructions on numerous financings, high-end investments and other transactions, as well as transport and energy infrastructure project mandates. The team also handles litigation and arbitration. The firm provides general corporate advice to Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation on an ongoing basis. Resident partners Nicola Mariani and Archil Giorgadze are supported by office managing partner Louise Roman, who visits the market regularly.


Gvinadze & Partners LLC provides ‘professional and timely assistance; its lawyers are efficient and competent’. The firm primarily advises on corporate and commercial law and related matters, although the dispute resolution practice is also increasing. The team has been busy advising Amtel Investment Holdings and its subsidiaries on diversified investments into Georgia, and handles wide-ranging legal support for clients including Avon Cosmetics, Nestlé and Robert Bosch. Managing partner Nick Gvinadze shows ‘great professionalism and provides prompt legal support’; he and senior associates Sophie Panjikidze and Zakaria Shvelidze are ‘highly qualified attorneys with outstanding legal skills’.


Mgaloblishvili, Kipiani, Dzidziguri Law Firm is a full-service law firm with a robust international client base that includes GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of New York Mellon, the EBRD and new clients GE and Harley-Davidson. The firm has a strong project finance capability and has been advising development banks on matters such as the financing of the expansion of Tbilisi International Airport. David Dzidziguri is the managing partner.


Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners is ‘a reliable tax adviser’ and is highly regarded for its banking and finance practice, an area in which its clients include Bank of Georgia, ProCredit Bank, and VTB Bank, as well as Bank Republic, for which it is external general counsel. Construction, real estate, dispute resolution and general corporate support are other key area of expertise. Notable recent work also includes successful rehabilitations of companies following insolvencies. Managing partner Lasha Nodia, who is chairman of the Georgian Association of Arbitrators, is ‘excellent in real estate law and knowledge of FIDIC’, and has ‘deep knowledge and strength in dispute resolution’. Tax expert Efrem Urumashvili and real estate specialist Daduna Kokhreidze are recommended along with Nino Kvinikadze. Nino Bakakuri left the firm after being appointed as a Supreme Court judge.


Archil Mchedlidze’s Law Practice LLC is ‘focused on building a partner-led, high-quality relationship with clients’. The team of 12 ‘professional and motivated’ lawyers focuses on corporate law as well as some civil and administrative dispute resolution, and has broad coverage of many industry sectors, including substantial experience in pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Archil Mchedlidze ‘has the ability to think of reasonable solutions when problems and unique situations arise’. Valeri Bendianishvili is the other partner.


Begiashvili & Co. Limited’s Jaba Mamulashvili handles investment, corporate and commercial law advice. Giorgi Begiashvili focuses on litigation and alternative dispute resolution.


Ernst & Young LLC provides good-quality general legal support and transactional advice to a range of clients including oil traders and manufacturers. Clients appreciate the access to accountancy and consulting services from colleagues in other divisions of Ernst & Young.


Law Firm Kordzakhia Jgenti GP has a comprehensive practice with substantial experience in real estate transactions, projects, and financial services instructions including financings, disputes and bank mergers. The partners are Irakli Jgenti, tax specialist Sopho Roinishvili and accredited mediator Irakli Kordzakhia. Former colleague David Pataraia was appointed as the head of the Presidential Administration.

 

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