Leading firms in Albania
Boga & Associates is a full-service firm with a strong track record handling a wide range of contentious and non-contentious issues. Managing partner Genc Boga is especially noted for his expertise in corporate finance matters. Within the wider team, Alketa Uruci has good experience in energy, regulatory and tax work, while Renata Leka handles commercial and IP matters. Gerhard Velaj is one of the main contacts for disputes work, while Sokol Elmazaj is strong in corporate, energy and infrastructure matters, both in Albania and Kosovo.
‘A very solid generalist law firm with strong expertise in all areas important to us.’
‘Renata Leka is very responsive and provides to the point advice.’
Coca-Cola Bottling Shqiperia
- Advised Piraeus Bank on the €57.3m sale of its Albanian subsidiary, Tirana Bank.
- Advised Traxys Europe on a commercial prepayment agreement linked to a €10m loan to Tete Albania Tunnel & Mining.
- Assisting the EBRD with the review of several facility agreements under the Albania agribusiness support facility to commercial banks and non-bank micro-finance institutions.
Frost & Fire Consulting has made a strong impression on the market. The firm acts for an impressive mix of domestic and international clients from across a range of sectors, including energy, mining, financial services, and retail. Managing partner Rezart Spahia is a popular choice for international corporate clients having spent many years practising at a major US firm, both in New York and London. Co-managing partner Alfred Rushaj also represents a broad range of clients from the public and private sector, and knows the market well having previously been the country's Deputy Minister of Finance.
‘I valued their efficiency, professionalism and readiness to quickly address the challenges posed by a protean situation. They have a deep knowledge in their fields of expertise in part derived from the partners’ previous engagements at high level public offices. They have a strong network either in the public or in the private sector.’
‘They are distinguished for their knowledge of law internationally and in the country. They respect the client, listen attentively to their needs, assess carefully and with diligence the situation before they deliver the work required.’
‘In Rezart Spahia we were lucky to find a US lawyer from the best US law firm that has negotiated transactions worth billions of dollars for top US clients in Tirana. At a time when Albania is facing a serious brain drain, that in itself is a miracle.’
‘Alfred Rushaj has gained a reputation for being a first rate technician, with solid understanding of Albania’s legal system and a deep sense of fairness and practicality. Mr. Rushaj is the best tax and energy specialist that I am aware of.’
- Advised Soleil on the project financing for the €10m development of a coastal resort in southern Albania.
- Assisting GSA with the development of greenfield projects to mine ferrochromium.
- Advising G2 Media on the creation of a new television station in Albania.
Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha is a full-service mainstay of the Albanian market, offering strong experience across almost every sector. The firm's three partners are generalists at heart, although Shpati Hoxha has a strong focus on IP matters, Andi Memi is particularly experienced in real estate and tax law, while Eris Hoxha stands out for his public and EU law expertise. Recently, the firm acted on several significant M&As and restructurings (the latter often on behalf of the banks). Infrastructure and energy projects and major disputes have also figured prominently in its workload. Selena Ymeri is a name to note at associate level.
‘The firm combines high level sophisticated counselling with straightforward, clear and business-driven advice. They provide creative and client-specific solutions. They always act in the best interest of their clients.’
‘Shpati Hoxha is truly reliable, professional and competent. It is a pleasure working with such a professional. The same goes for Andi Memi and Eris Hoxha, both of them are experts in their respective fields.’
Vienna Insurance Group
- Advised LG Electronics and Lufthansa Technik on obtaining merger control clearance for the establishment a €7m joint venture company.
- Assisted Lufthansa Industry Solutions with its €3.9m acquisition of an Albanian IT services company.
- Advised Ayen-Alb on its negotiations with the Albanian Government for a €140m 100MW hydropower plant concession contract.
KALO & ASSOCIATES is a full-service firm with an impressive portfolio of international and domestic clients. Managing partner Përparim Kalo is a major player in the market with strong experience in turnkey privatisation, energy and infrastructure projects. Aigest Milo heads the litigation team and is also noted for his tax and finance expertise. Enkelejd Seitllari heads the corporate department, which also includes corporate and IP specialist Eni Kalo. Jola Gjuzi heads the energy and natural resources practice, while the projects and litigation practice was boosted by the return of Oltjon Dano from an in-house position within a major Albanian bank.
‘The team has good knowledge of local practice. They are very responsive and respect agreed deadlines.’
‘The advice was on point and accurately identified legal issues that were helpful to the client.’
‘The team provided us with high quality advice on this project, interfacing very well with the regulators, the local management, their local counterparts, minority shareholders of the target and our firm (acting as lead counsel). They understood very well the needs of our very sophisticated and highly demanding client and enabled us to successfully close the deal within the contemplated timeline, despite numerous regulatory constraints.’
‘Jola Gjuzi was responsive and on point with her advice, understanding the potential transaction issues quickly and providing commercial advice accordingly.’
‘Aigest Milo did a fabulous job in leading the local team, in particular in his discussions with the local regulators, our local counterparts and the minority shareholders of the disposed target.’
Black Sea Trade and Development Bank
- Advised Société Générale on the sale of its Albanian subsidiary, Société Générale Albania, to OTP Bank.
- Acted for Albanian Telecom Invest on its €50m acquisition of a controlling stake in Telekom Albania.
- Assisted Turkish Airlines with the establishment of a joint venture with the Republic of Albania for the operation of the country’s national carrier, Air Albania.
Wolf Theiss has a well-established Albanian branch that is fully integrated into the firm's wider regional network. Sokol Nako leads the full-service office, which is a popular choice for major infrastructure projects and cross-border transactions. The firm's experience carries across a range of industries and sectors, including banking, telecoms, energy and real estate. Nako is supported by a strong team of associates including Denis Selimi and Kristaq Profkola.
Cosmote Mobile Communications
Credit Suisse Securities
- Advised Intesa Sanpaolo on the acquisition of a major non-performing loan portfolio composed of corporate/SME and retail loans.
- Assisting Banca IMI, CitiBank and Societe Generale as underwriters with Albania’s €500m eurobond issue.
- Advising Cosmote Mobile Communications on the €50m sale of its entire majority stake in Telekom Albania.
CMS had a busy year in 2018, advising on some of the largest transactions in the market. The firm's increased activity demonstrates its growing local presence, and the way in which it benefits from its broader international network. The team is led by experienced managing partner Mirko Daidone, who is well versed in major corporate and infrastructure projects. The firm was boosted by the arrival of Besnik Duraj from Drakopoulos.
- Advised OTP Bank on its €32m acquisition of Société Générale’s Albanian subsidiary, Banka Société Générale Albania Sha.
- Assisted Atairos Management with local competition issues linked to its takeover of ProQuest Holdings.
- Acting for OTP Bank on competition issues linked to its €67m takeover of Banca Comerciala Mobiasbanca – Groupe Société Générale in Moldova.
Gjika & Associates
Gjika & Associates has a multi-faceted practice that has been operating in the market since 2013. The firm's international and domestic clients are drawn from a range of industries, including energy, mining, healthcare, tourism, real estate, finance, transport and technology. In recent work, the firm was involved in several significant construction and insolvency matters. Key partners include the firm's founder Gjergji Gjika and Evis Jani.
Turkey Garanti Bankasi
- Advised Turkey Garanti Bankasi as a creditor in the bankruptcy and restructuring of Kurum International.
Haxhia & Hajdari Attorneys at Law
Haxhia & Hajdari Attorneys at Law is a long-established player in the market, and its partners are leading figures within the Albanian legal community. Maksim Haxhia is chairman of the Albanian Bar Association, and has a strong focus on dispute resolution, criminal and administrative law. Artan Hajdari and Eris Hysi are active on the civil law side, with strong expertise in most commercial areas of law.
Optima Legal & Financial
Optima Legal & Financial fields an experienced team of lawyers with experience advising public and private sector clients on M&A and major infrastructure projects. The firm is noted for its disputes expertise and managing partner Ilir Daci is chairman of the executive board of ICC Albania. Dael Dervishi is one of the main contacts for energy matters, while Fatos Lazimi and Florian Piperi handle commercial and administrative disputes. Anjola Aliaj heads the real estate team.
Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy
European Electric Metals
Lengarica Albania/Enso Hydropower
Soravia Real Estate Development
- Advising Albgaz on the formation of the Albanian Gas Service Provider, a joint venture with Italy’s Snam to operate and maintain the Albanian section of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project.
- Advising the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy on the rehabilitation, operation and transfer of the Vlora Thermo Power Plant, and its connection to the TAP.
- Assisting European Electric Metals with its acquisition of the Albanian company Gerold, owner of the Skroska iron-nickel mine.
Tonucci & Partners
Italian firm Tonucci & Partners has a strong Albanian outpost that is well regarded by domestic peers. The firm acts for clients from the energy, mining, telecoms and financial services sectors, advising on contentious and non-contentious issues. Artur Asllani heads the office.
Greek law firm Drakopoulos has an active outpost in the Albanian market. The office provides clients with a full-service offering, and in recent years has been particularly active in transport infrastructure and energy projects, as well as IP protection across a range of industries. Office head Besnik Duraj recently left to join CMS.
Adriatic Petroleum Albania
- Assisting Louis Vuitton with a customs seizure of counterfeit handbags.
- Advising the main shareholder in Hygeia Hospital Tirana on its €1m sale, plus €29.5m in debt, to a local hospital company.
- Advising adidas on a customs seizure of counterfeit shoes.
IKRP Rokas & Partners Albania
IKRP Rokas & Partners Albania is the Albanian outpost of Greek firm Rokas Law Firm, and forms part of a broader regional network that includes offices in Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Romania. The office, which is headed by Eduard Halimi, covers all practice areas.
Loloçi & Associates
Loloçi & Associates has solid experience advising foreign and domestic clients on commercial and financial legal issues, including IP, tax, real estate and dispute resolution. Krenar Loloçi is the main contact.
ShukeLaw has a solid track record for contentious and non-contentious matters. Name partner Enyal Shuke leads the firm which handles a broad range of corporate, banking, tax, employment and real estate law.
Tashko Pustina has a solid presence in the market and also has an office in Kosovo. The firm has a strong focus on litigation and arbitration, but also handles the full range of non-contentious matters. Managing partner Flonia Tashko, Floran Pustina and Florian Hasko are the main contacts.