Banking and finance in Georgia

BGI Legal

The banking and finance team at BGI Legal is a popular choice for foreign development associations and international banks, funds and financial institutions, where it handles high-value banking and finance transactions. Capital markets expert Lasha Gogiberidze heads the team. Unana Gogokhia is another key name; a recent mandate of hers was advising the IFC with respect to an investment in JSC Isbank Georgia. Gogokhia also handles corporate transactions and restructuring. Zaza Bibilashvili is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Gogiberidze; Zaza Bibilashvili

Other key lawyers:

Unana Gogokhia

 

Key clients

Korea Water Resources Corporation

International Financial Institutions (IFIs) including IFC, EBRD, and China Development Bank

EFSE

BP Georgia

4finance

MoneyGram

Western Union

Mastercard

AC Maritime Lending

ACT Maritime LLC

Liberty Bank

Coinbase

TBC Bank

E-Toro

Alipay

Investment banks

Work highlights

  • Advised a Delaware lender/financial institution on the issuance of secured loans with a total commitment of $39m to finance the expansion of the marine business of the borrowers.
  • Advised the IFC on the establishment of its 500,000 Georgian Lari domestic bond programme for Georgia.
  • Acted as counsel to investment banks for the placement of $500m onto the London Stock Exchange by the state of Georgia.

BLC Law Office

The ‘dynamic and motivated‘ group at BLC Law Office acts for both lenders and borrowers on financing transactions and has worked on many high-profile capital transactions as well as landmark bond issues. The team has also recently been a member of the committee working on the amendments to the Civil Procedures Code of Georgia and the new draft law on insolvency regulation. Alexander Bolkvadze, is noted for his experience representing investors. Tamta Ivanishvili is noted for her work on capital markets and securities matters. Senior associate Rusa Tchkuaseli is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Bolkvadze; Ketti Kvartskhava; Giorgi Batlidze; Tamta Ivanishvili; Rusa Tchkuaseli

Testimonials

‘Very dynamic and motivated team.’

‘Professionals.’

Key clients

State of Georgia

Georgian Railways

Georgian Global Utilities

DFC

Pace Terminals

Proparco

OFID

Gazelle Finance

Small Enterprise Assistance Fund

JP Morgan

Georgia Capital

TBC Capital

Small Enterprise Assistance Fund

Foresight Investments

Work highlights

  • Assisted the State of Georgia with a $500m sovereign debt issuance with a five-year maturity on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Assisted the joint lead managers with a $500m eurobond issuance by JSC Georgian Railways.
  • Advising various clients on structuring their asset management business and setting up the relevant asset management companies and investment funds with the National Bank of Georgia.

Dentons

The team at Dentons has a ‘great understanding of regulatory issues and practices‘. The firm is experienced in advising clients on debt and equity financing transactions, having recently been involved in a number of high-profile matters including advising Caucasian Metal Terminal on receiving a loan from the Bank of Georgia. The practice also provides legal and regulatory analysis to international financial institutions. ‘Detail-oriented and creative‘ corporate and finance specialist Avto Svanidze and experienced litigator Otar Kipshidze lead the practice. Sopho Mebonia and Mariam Vashakidze provide additional support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Otar Kipshidze; Avto Svanidze

Other key lawyers:

Sopho Mebonia; Mariam Vashakidze; Irakli Pipia

Testimonials

‘We had a great experience with Otar Kipshidze. Fast and thorough work, a great understanding of regulatory issues and practices and great availability.’

‘The strengths of the team are communication, accessibility and the ability to evaluate matters in detail.’

‘I would especially like to mention Irakli Pipia. He is distinguished by a high level of professional knowledge and persistence in achieving goals.’

‘An extremely professional and knowledgeable firm. We have worked with them on numerous complex transactions and the team always came across as pragmatic, result-oriented and able to understand business needs. They produce high-quality work in a timely manner and propose creative solutions.’

‘Avto Svanidze is extremely hard-working, detail-oriented and creative. He is very pleasant to communicate with.’

Key clients

Silknet

ADB

Liberty Bank

World Bank Group

JP Morgan

Citi Group

AFD

Caucasian Metal Terminal

Alfa Bank

ING Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Silknet on the issuance of an innovative financial product.
  • Assisting JP Morgan with the issue of a tap eurobond by JSC Georgia Capital.
  • Assisting Liberty Bank with the US International Development Finance Corporation’s $15m financing to the bank.

Gvinadze & Partners LLC

Gvinadze & Partners LLC is sought out by international financial institutions to assist with the regulatory and operational aspects of banking and finance transactions. The group also has a track record acting as local counsel to international law firms assisting clients with their activities in Georgia. Nick Gvinadze leads the team, which also includes Sophie Panjikidze, who is noted for her transactional work and wide-ranging expertise.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gvinadze

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Panjikidze; Mariam Metreveli

Key clients

Paysend Group

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

China Development Bank (CDB)

Commerzbank AG

Raiffeisen Bank

MFO Credit Plus Georgia JSC

Quilam Capital

WB21 Pte.

Amundi

MasterCard

Reed Smith / The World Bank

Finstar Financial Group / 4Finance

INOKS Capital SA

Dreymoor Fertilizers Overseas Pte. Ltd.

Baltvesta/Georgian Retail Centers LLC

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Asian Development Bank with a project aiming to improve the quantification of quasi-fiscal activities by state-owned businesses and supporting SOE sector reform.
  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the extension of financing to an existing borrower through a funded risk participation in a senior secured loan.
  • Advised Paysend Group on the compliance of its operations with the applicable laws and regulations in Georgia.

BLB (Business Legal Bureau)

BLB (Business Legal Bureau) is a popular choice for European, US and international corporations conducting transactions in Georgia. The practice is led by Kakha Sharabidze, who is an  ‘expert in project finance and deals with financial institutions‘. Rusudan Maisuradze has a track record of assisting large holding companies and handling large-scale investment projects. Associate Ana Rekhviashvili is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Kakha Sharabidze

Other key lawyers:

Maya Mtsariashvili; Rusudan Maisuradze; Ana Rekhviashvili; Nino Gotsireli; Levan Kirtskhalia

Testimonials

‘They are always competent and willing to work towards the stated goals and beyond. Their extra effort and understanding makes a big difference.’

‘Partner Kakha Sharabidze and Senior Associate Ana Rekhviashvili really stand out. They are both experienced professionals with high ethical standards. Both are very pleasant to work with.’

‘Kakha Sharabidze is an expert in project finance and deals with financial institutions. Ana Rekhviashvili is sharp, professional, responsive and reliable.’

‘BLB’s team has unique experience in banking and finance as it has been representing most IFIs active in Georgia since the 1990s. They are the number one choice for the borrowers’ side as well as the smooth completion of deals. This team has good knowledge of local investment and the local business environment.’

‘Head of the practice and managing partner Kakha Sharabidze is an excellent negotiator and extremely knowledgeable lawyer. His service is always world-class. We also worked with Ana Rekhviashvili, a very smart professional who can be trusted to keep a deal on track and hit all deliverables ahead of time.’

‘Team members are very smart, experienced and well-educated. They answer every question quickly and in detail. We highly value their recommendations and expertise. Their services are customer-oriented and exceptional.’

‘The practice can always be relied upon for timely, thorough, and applicable analysis.’

‘Kakha Sharabidze and Ana Rekhviashvili are always available to provide thoughtful and thorough counsel. They have tremendous knowledge of the local legal landscape. They are able to present complex legal matters in a helpful business context and provide actionable recommendations.’

Key clients

International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

World Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised EBRD on its issuance of a €6m loan to TBC Leasing to broaden access to finance for Georgian micro, small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Represented and advised the EBRD regarding the financing of the state-owned Georgian air navigation entity Sakaeronavigatsia.
  • Advised the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on its transition process requiring the transfer of loans/a collateral package for each borrower from Georgia for pending projects.

Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners

Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners' team is led by founding partner Lasha Nodia, who is noted as a ‘highly qualified lawyer in the banking industry’, and tax expert Eprem Urumashvili, who is particularly involved in transactional work within banking and finance, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. The group's workload instructions from financial institutions and banks on transactions concerning a wide variety of sectors.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Nodia; Eprem Urumashvili

Testimonials

‘The firm has access to a wide network of business experts and can readily obtain the required skills when needed.’

‘They are customer-centric, intelligent and humble people who try to find the best possible solutions for clients.’

‘This firm is highly recommended for insolvency cases and banking litigation cases.’

‘Mr. Nodia is a highly qualified lawyer in the banking industry. His participation in the development of insolvency legislation of Georgia and his experience as an insolvency lawyer stands out.’

Key clients

Ziraat Bank Turkey

Ziraat Bank Georgia

Tera Bank

Bank of Georgia

Procredit Bank

JSC Bank of Georgia

JSC basis Bank

JSC VTB Bank

JSC Pasha Bank

JSC Crystal

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in relation to the acquisition of a loan and insolvency proceedings.
  • Advised JSC Pasha Bank on labour law matters, corporate regulations and bank regulations in Georgia.
  • Advising ResponsAbility Investments AG in relation to the execution and enforcement of several promissory notes concluded with various legal entities incorporated in Georgia.

Begiashvili & Co. Limited

Begiashvili & Co. Limited has historically handled several significant financial transactions in Georgia. The group counts the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as a key client. Founding partner Giorgi Begiashvili is the name to note.

Practice head(s):

Giorgi Begiashvili; Levan Gotua; Irina Aleksidze

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Zurich Insurance Group

Xella Inetrnational GMbH

Clifford Chance LLP

Homburger AG

Allen and Overy LLP