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Legal market overview
The Greek economy may remain in turmoil, but for the country’s largest law firms business has been relatively buoyant. Foreign investors are seeking bargains in the market, which has spurred corporate activity. Meanwhile the government’s privatisation programme, as conducted by the Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund (HRADF), and the recapitalisation and consolidation of the banking sector, as overseen by the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund (HFSF), have generated considerable activity. The shipping market has also responded to the improved global economic climate, and shipping lawyers report a revival in ship financings and newbuilds, adding to the refinancings and disputes which have dominated the practice area in recent years. This uptick in maritime work has been good news for several of the UK law firms in the market, such as Norton Rose Fulbright, Watson, Farley & Williams – Greek Branch, Ince & Co and Stephenson Harwood.
Whether this overall increase in activity represents a genuine turnaround in the economy, or is simply an artificial market pumped up by government intervention, remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the ‘flight to quality’ that such deal activity entails has meant that the largest firms, including Karatzas & Partners Law Firm, Koutalidis Law Firm, Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm (KG Law Firm), M & P Bernitsas, and PotamitisVekris, have been relatively busy.