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Charalambos Prountzos, Partner, Law Practice Leader

What do you see as the main points that differentiate EY LAW Prountzos & Prountzos LLC from your competitors?

I believe that what our clients see in us is a highly specialized, contemporary commercial, corporate and financial law boutique. Our policy has always been to have a high ratio of partners to support staff. This allows us to offer each and every client the services of a partner in relation to every issue he may be facing, either on a day to day basis or in a supervisory role. Prountzos & Prountzos LLC is an integral part of EY in Cyprus in terms of operations and market offering and an EY member firm. Through EY’s network, we offer integrated solutions and support to our clients from a legal, tax, advisory and digital perspective.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We live in a transformative age, and there are today several forces driving change both globally and in Cyprus. I would identify four sectors where I expect our practice to grow over the coming months: Funds, Regulated Financial Services; through the incorporation into local law of the provisions of the AIFM Directive and the recent introduction of a new AIF Law, Cyprus is being transformed into a modern funds jurisdiction, attractive to investment managers throughout Europe. Cyprus differentiates itself and provides a competitive alternative to other popular funds jurisdictions on the basis of its common law background, sophisticated legal and regulatory framework and relatively low cost for the formation and maintenance of a funds structure. Digital and GDPR/Data privacy; the adoption of the GDPR has drastically changed the game for organisations through new requirements and more stringent data protection. At the same time, the digital revolution, along with great opportunities, is creating new challenges for our clients. At Prountzos & Prountzos LLC, we offer a unique value proposition since our integrated Global data privacy and legal team has deep knowledge of GDPR / privacy assessments and implementations, advanced cybersecurity and data protection skills, sound understanding of different sectors, and the ability to translate deep technical issues in business and compliance terms. Real Estate and Construction; the growing demand for commercial and residential space throughout Cyprus has given rise to substantial activity in the property market. Shipping; important developments are reshaping the shipping industry both globally and in Cyprus. Key developments, including the challenges to globalization and world trade, and the shift of global economic activity towards the Asia Pacific region will undoubtedly disrupt the shipping industry and could impact Cyprus’ role within the industry. However the Cyprus flag is a top-quality sovereign flag that has withstood the test of time, and we trust it will continue to do so. EY has always stood at the forefront of the shipping industry, both globally and in Cyprus and is ideally placed to help our clients navigate these challenges.

What's the main change you've made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Technology; at EY we strongly believe that technology and the pursuit of innovation is what enables us to make a difference. We seek not only to keep up-to-date with the digital era but to be always one step ahead. This allows us to and to utilize the digital advancements both in our day-to-day operations as well as with our deliverables to our clients who benefit from our efficient practices.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Yes, particularly through our Legal Managed Services offering following our strategic acquisition of EY Riverview Law. We constantly work on developing and being at the top of the game in terms of technological developments and being in a position to effectively support our clients with their interaction in the constantly developing technological framework. We believe it is a crucial area which we need to utilize to the greatest possible degree in order to be able to support our clients and facilitate their business needs in an efficient and proactive manner.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

You realise that there are client confidentiality issues involved, but I could mention a few examples: Particularly given our focus on natural resources and energy law we provided full legal support on the EuroAsia Interconnector which is the official EU project developer of the 2,000MW electricity interconnector between Israel, Cyprus, Crete – Attica, Greece and Europe. EuroAsia Interconnector is a leading European Project of Common Interest (PCI) labelled as an EU “electricity highway” connecting the national electricity grids of Israel, Cyprus and Crete-Attica, Greece through a 1,518km subsea HVDC cable. This is an emblematic project, with strategic importance for Europe and Cyprus in particular, given that it is the only EU country not yet connected to the European power grid. Our substantial experience and expertise in energy matters have added value to this high-profile. Over the past several months, we have provided specialized services to a number of our clients with regards to their data privacy and compliance of their organisation with the regulatory framework. We offered them a unique value proposition since our integrated Global data privacy and legal team has deep knowledge of GDPR / privacy assessments and implementations, advanced cybersecurity and data protection skills, sound understanding of the retail sector and the ability to translate deep technical issues in business and compliance terms consisting of:

  • Integrated offering by EY Advisory and EY Digital Law services to translate privacy and legal requirements into a risk-based and customized approach for the client.
  • Excellent business, technical skills and experience in data privacy and GDPR assessment and implementation activities, as well as cyber security and digital law in general, supported by proven global methodologies and tools that will effectively and efficiently address your specific needs.
  • A highly knowledgeable and technically skilled team from EY Cyprus, consisting of experienced and certified under the IAPP advisors and lawyers and the Central and South East Europe Data Protection and Privacy contact person.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Particularly during such uncertain times, what clients are looking for is trusted, highly-experienced, expert professionals to strategically guide them through the ever-changing, complex, legal and regulatory EU and local legal frameworks. We have no doubt that our team is uniquely placed to provide this and therefore feel confident about where our form will stand three years from now. We aim to maintain our consistent growth and evolution as reliable consultants and the go-to firm for start-ups up to bet-the-company matters on behalf of multinational corporate clients, in commercial, corporate, financial and digital law.

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