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Aida Economou, Ph.D., Managing Partner

Aida Economou talks about the past and the future of the firm’s legal business.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Vainanidis Economou & Associates from other law firms?

In challenging times businesses need legal guidance more than ever. Within the framework of the austerity measures aiming to restructure the public sector, control public spending, open markets and eventually, lead to the path of growth, Greece has experienced in the past 8 years an unprecedented wave of legislative reforms. Both then and now, at a time when the country is gradually heading out of the crisis and towards a more stable economic environment, Vainanidis Economou and Associates have supported their clients in finding the desired solutions in a complex world.

Businesses need practical advice, sometimes in a very limited time span. A decision may have to be taken quickly in view of the imminent insolvency of a customer or a supplier or a bank’s decision to request additional securities to maintain a line of credit. In addition, increased competition frequently leads to a re-evaluation of a company’s modus operandi. The understanding of the client’s business together with the experience accumulated over the years and our innovative thinking constitute the key elements which generate the necessary thrust directed to problem solving. These characteristics are expressed in our motto as a “dynamic high-quality law firm”.

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

The substantial legislative reforms in company law have changed the legal framework for existing types of companies and also created new types of business, new mechanisms for the transformation of companies and, naturally, new challenges for economic operators. The firm’s creative approach and its embedded practice of prior consultation with the administrative authorities have led to practical solutions for projects and M&A transactions. There is significant potential in this field. A growth of activity is also experienced and expected to increase in the field of competition law both because of the Hellenic Competition Commission’s increasing enforcement initiatives and the recent implementation in the Greek legal order of the Damages Directive. Data privacy is another area of growing legal activity as a result of the GDPR, as is also real estate due to the implementation of laws aiming to attract foreign investments in Greece.

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

Since our establishment 32 years ago, we have progressed due to the hard work of our people and their investment in the building of relations of mutual trust and respect with our clients. Because of these, the firm has gained recognition from distinguished international law firms and international companies. It is on the basis of the same principles that we shall proceed in the future.

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

Technology is a means which facilitates communication, collection of information and legal research. This undoubtedly affects the relations with our clients as it accelerates interaction and increases their expectations in terms of completeness and speed of legal advice. We use technology in combination with our experience and critical thinking to better serve our clients.

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

The firm advises businesses on a wide range of commercial transactions, antitrust and employment matters. Its deep knowledge of the pharmaceutical, hotel, food and industrial products industries contributes to the provision of efficient legal advice. In addition, the firm has a consolidated experience in privacy protection which currently constitutes a topic of broad interest due to the General Data Protection Regulation. The expansion of Greek entrepreneurs in e-commerce has furthermore led to an increase of legal support towards traditional businesses which have faced difficulties in coping with the challenges of e-commerce. In the area of litigation, we forcefully support the interests of our clients before courts and in arbitration.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms - where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

As mentioned, in the aftermath of the Greek economic crisis, clients regard law firms as an indispensable compass for business. Our firm has a responsibility to respond by providing good and swift advice.

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