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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Georgia > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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The banking and finance team at BGI Legal¬†is led by experienced capital markets partner Lasha Gogiberidze, and handles corporate bond issuances, listings and project finance. Clients include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and J.P. Morgan; the firm advised the latter and Citigroup on issuing¬†‚ā¨370m corporate bonds on the Irish Stock Exchange. Gogiberidze led the advice on the matter alongside newly promoted partner Unana Gogokhia, who also worked with a UK-headquartered law firm to advise the European Investment Fund on guaranteed SME loans in Georgia. Associate¬†Tamar Morchiladze¬†is heavily involved in investment matters, and assisted on a proposed $10m investment by the International Finance Corporation in BasisBank.

BLC Law Office handles complex finance matters for high-profile clients including TBC Capital and the EBRD. Rusa Tchkuaseli is head of banking and M&A, supported by legal director Tamta Ivanishvili. Giorgi Batlidze is the key name on most matters, and is legal adviser to the Georgian Insurers' Association, which he assists with drafting private insurance documents. The firm acts as legal consultant to USAID, and is providing technical assistance to the National Bank of Georgia to amend regulations in the finance sector. Ketti Kvartskhava is advising Anaklia Development Consortium on the state funding and development of a deep sea water port on the Georgian coast.

The 'strong and experienced team' at Dentons Georgia LLC advises clients on debt and equity transactions as well as energy, infrastructure and real estate financing. Avto Svanidze is an 'expert in banking and finance', and offers 'insight and advice on certain issues that other lawyers would not be knowledgeable about'; he recently advised Proparco on the Georgian law aspects of an $8.6m financing of hydropower projects. Svanidze also worked alongside managing partner Otar Kipshidze, who held the same position at DLA Piper Georgia LP until May 2017, in acting for Silknet on the $14m issuance of bonds listed on the Georgian Stock Exchange. Kipshidze is praised by clients for his 'market knowledge and quick responses to queries'. Associate Neli Tsivtsivadze is 'a pleasure to deal with', and her 'work product is of a high quality'; she was part of the team that advised Georgia Capital in connection with the issuance of $300m-worth of notes admitted to list on the Irish Stock Exchange. Senior counsel Ted Jonas and senior associate Mariam Vashakidze, a recent arrival from BLB (Business Legal Bureau), are also recommended, offering 'highly professional and clear' advice. Associate Sopho Mebonia is active on banking and finance matters.

Begiashvili & Co. Limited is heavily involved in insurance and project finance in the region. Recent highlights include advising the lenders, which included the EBRD and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, on the $600m financing of Anaklia Deep Sea Port. Giorgi Begiashvili led the team on this matter, as well as acting for the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and the European Investment Bank on the provision of a $75m financing to Georgian Water and Power. Zurab Ckheidze and senior associate Levan Gotua assisted on both matters. 

BLB (Business Legal Bureau) combated the departure of Mariam Vashakidze to Dentons Georgia LLC with two new hires: litigation partner Zaza Japaridze, who came from the Supreme Court of Georgia and has been involved in drafting banking legislation for the Ministry of Justice, and associate Levan Kirtskhalia from BLC Law Office. Managing partner Kakha Sharabidze and Kirtskhalia advised DEG on financing the construction of a new plant in Georgia by Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia. Sharabidze and Kirtskhalia similarly combined to represent the EBRD in the proposed financing of a $90m hydropower project, assisted by senior associate Ana Rekhviashvili.

'Approachability, responsiveness and local market knowledge are the key differentiators' of Gvinadze & Partners LLC. Founder Nick Gvinadze acts for clients in regulatory, banking and finance matters, and recently advised European fintech start-up WB21 on its launch in Georgia. Sophie Panjikidze is also highly regarded, and was instructed by Amundi to provide legal advice on placement activities in Georgia. The pair advised Mastercard on financial services co-operation with Georgian law, assisted by senior associates Mariam Metreveli and Tornike Amilakhvari.

Mgaloblishvili, Kipiani, Dzidziguri Law Firm works with international finance organisations and regional banks on financing loans. The firm's main client for banking and finance work is the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, and firm co-head Victor Kipiani recently advised this client on a $7m loan to Bank of Georgia for SME financing. In addition, he advised the client on a $50m bond issue admitted on the Georgian Stock Exchange. Another major client is FMO, which instructed the firm to advise on its first issue of Georgian currency bonds, amounting to $65m. Lawyers Giorgi Kankava and Natalia Babakishvili assisted with the commercial aspects of these bond issues.

Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners acts for both foreign and domestic banks, as well as finance organisations. Lasha Nodia is founder and managing partner at the firm, while Eprem Urumashvili is an experienced tax specialist and praised for his 'excellent knowledge and experience'. He recently acted for a major bank on corporate bonds and a Georgian Stock Exchange listing. Ekaterine Danelia also comes highly recommended, and is 'very knowledgeable, experienced and comfortable to work with'.

BDO Legal handles loan issuances, and recently advised Incofin Investment Management on a $1.5m loan to microfinance organisation Georgian Credit. David Khrikadze leads the practice, and was the key name advising Luxembourg-based LS Opportunities Fund on a $3m secured loan for the financing of residential and commercial real estate projects.

CCLA ‚Äď Law Consulting Agency¬†is predominantly active in the microfinance sector, and advises international corporations on the Georgian law aspects of banking and finance matters. The firm is recommended for providing 'high-quality analysis really promptly'.¬†Founder¬†Ucha Dzimistarishvili¬†has a 'high level of competency'; he recently acted for 4finance and IDF Holdings, as well as advising the Turkish Ziraat Bank on an ad hoc basis. Junior associate Jemal Mezvrishvili¬†also comes highly recommended, with engagement that leaves clients feeling 'like it is their own legal department'.

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