Banking and finance in Georgia

BGI Legal

The banking and finance practice at BGI Legal is led by Lasha Gogiberidze, a leader when it comes to capital markets transactions in Georgia. The firm assists foreign development associations and international banks, funds and financial institutions with high-value banking and finance transactions. Unana Gogokhia is another key name; she recently advised on landmark transactions which brought $425m worth of investment to the country within a two-week period. Counsel Ekaterina Aleksidze is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Gogiberidze

Other key lawyers:

Unana Gogohkia; Ekaterina Aleksidze

Key clients

Alipay

Western Union

Mastercard

IQ Option

4finance

Dolphin Corp

E-Toro

Deutsche Bank

AC Maritime Lending LLC

Moneygram

Ceska exportni banka, a.s.

Flutter Entertainment PLC

Sberbank

Telcoin

Heritage Securities

TBC Bank

Julius Bar

Coinbase

Work highlights

  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities plc, UBS AG London Branch and Renaissance Securities (Cyprus) Limited, acting as the joint bookrunners, on the debut issuance of $300m 5.75%  Reg S/ Rule 144A senior unsecured notes by JSC TBC Bank . The bonds were listed on Euronext Dublin and Georgian Stock Exchange (GSE).
  • Acted as a legal adviser to the joint bookrunners on the debut issuance of $125m perpetual subordinated callable additional tier 1 capital notes by TBC Bank.
  • Advised the International Finance Corporation on the establishment of its GEL500m Georgia domestic medium-term bond programme and issuance of its inaugural public GEL100m bonds as well as the subsequent repeated GEL100m bond issuance under the same programme.

Dentons

The team at Dentons has a broad range of expertise. The firm has a track record advising clients on debt and equity financing transactions in the energy, infrastructure, industrial, real estate and banking sectors of the Georgian economy. The practice also advises on major capital markets transactions, including assisting J.P. Morgan with the first-ever guaranteed eurobond issue by a Georgian issuer. Corporate and finance specialist Avto Svanidze and experienced litigator Otar Kipshidze head the practice. Sopho Mebonia and Mariam Vashakidze are key names to note at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Avto Svanidze; Otar Kipshidze

Other key lawyers:

Sopho Mebonia; Mariam Vashakidze

Key clients

TBC Bank

AFD

Liberty Bank

EIB

FMO

ISDA

Alpha Bank

JP Morgan

Barclays Bank

EBRD

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to JP Morgan on the eurobond issue by Georgia Global Utilities ($250m).
  • Advised Agence Française de Développement on the financing of the provision of water supply and sanitation services in the town of Khashuri for an amount up to €58m.
  • Advised U.S. International Development Finance Corporation on financing Pace Terminals to develop a multifunctional terminal adjacent to the Poti Sea Port ($50m).

BLC Law Office

The 'dynamic and solution-driven' team at BLC Law Office acts for both lenders and borrowers on financing transactions and has worked on several first-of-its-kind matters in Georgia. The group has recently advised on the first green bonds issued by a Georgian issuer and the first public issuance of bonds secured with a portfolio pledge. One of the firm's founding partners, Alexander Bolkvadze is noted for his experience in corporate transactions. Tamta Ivanishvili was promoted to the partnership in 2020. Senior associate Rusa Tchkuaseli is also noted.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘Great team of professionals.’

‘Very open minded, dynamic and solution driven individuals.’

Key clients

JSC Georgia Global Utilities

Pace Terminal LLC

JSC TBC Leasing

TBC Capital LLC

JSC Credo Bank

Proparco

Gazelle Finance Georgia LLC

OPEC Fund for International Development

China Development Bank

Mogo Finance

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Work highlights

  • Advised JSC Georgian Global Utilities on the first-ever green bonds issued by a Georgian issuer, in a deal that was impacted by new regulations adopted in 2020.
  • Assisted Gazelle Finance Georgia with over 25 transactions involving the financing of SMEs in Georgia.
  • Advised LLC Pace Terminal and LLC Transford on obtaining a $50m project financing facility to fund a major new terminal at the Port of Poti.

Gvinadze & Partners LLC

Led by Nick Gvinadze, the team at Gvinadze & Partners LLC advises international financial institutions on the regulatory and operational aspects of banking and finance transactions. The firm frequently acts as local counsel to international law firms assisting clients with their activities in Georgia. Sophie Panjikidze is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gvinadze

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Panjikidze; Mariam Metreveli

Testimonials

‘Gvinadze & Partners is one of the best local firms I worked with. The firm is experienced in financing documentation, dedicated and responsive. I was particularly impressed with their high quality work and diligence.’

‘The main lawyers I worked with are Nick Gvinadze, Sophie Panjikidze and Mariam Metreveli. The team is legally strong and professional, and they provide clear advice and great support. Nick is very smart and experienced. Sophie is a very smart, diligent and hard working lawyer, and did a flawless job in assisting us in closing the transaction.’

Key clients

China Development Bank (CDB)

Commerzbank AG

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

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.

VisionFund International

Baltvesta/Georgian Retail Centers LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Commerzbank on various legal aspects of its operations in the country, including regulatory advice on banking activities and other day-to-day matters of Georgian law.
  • Advised China Development Bank (together with Linklaters LLP’s Beijing office) on unsecured bilateral lending to one of the top Georgian commercial banks.
  • Acted as local counsel to Raiffeisen Bank on various Georgian law aspects including compliance with AML requirements, special regulations imposed by the National Bank of Georgia and other banking-related matters.

BLB (Business Legal Bureau)

The 'client-oriented' team at BLB (Business Legal Bureau), acts as local counsel to European, US and international corporations conducting transactions in Georgia. The practice is led by the 'professional and experienced' founding partner Kakha Sharabidze. Rusudan Maisuradze joined the firm as partner bringing experience in managing legal affairs for large holding companies and large-scale investment projects. Ana Rekhviashvili provides additional support at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Kakha Sharabidze

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘Excellent boutique law firm expanding its staff and capabilities every year.’

‘Kakha Sharabidze is a professional and experienced lawyer and is closely involved in each transaction. His supervision skills are commendable, his associates demonstrate diligence, responsiveness and attention to detail.’

‘BLB has an exceptionally smart, diligent and responsive team. Their service is most attractive as in each and every project their partners are substantially involved and clients benefit with their extensive experience.’

‘Kakha Sharabidze, the managing partner is the leader in banking and finance practice in Georgian legal market. Kakha’s and his team’s experience in this regard always adds value to the service they provide. We rely on BLB’s advice on many aspects of projects, they always come up with creative and efficient solutions.’

‘BLB’s associates Ana Rekhviashvili, Nino Gotsireli and Levan Kirtskhalia are the lawyers who shall be mentioned. Ana’s client-oriented approach and her thorough understanding of the projects we are working on makes her the lawyer we always choose to cooperate with; she is excellent and proactive counsel you can trust. Levan and Nino do an impressive job as they always deliver services at an international level.’

‘In comparison to other firms this team is extremely client oriented. The team is always ready to assist us. I would also like to highlight their professionalism.’

Key clients

Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) (now International Development Finance Corporation (DFC))

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Work highlights

  • Advised the EBRD on the financing of the largest private enterprises providing leasing services in Georgia with a multimillion-dollar loan.
  • Acted for Overseas Private Investment Corporation as a local counsel in the project finance transaction related to funding JSC Liberty Bank with $15m.
  • Advised on the transfer of OPIC’s rights/securities created in Georgia through various project financing transactions to DFC.

Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners

The practice at Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners advises financial institutions and banks on transactions in a wide variety of sectors. The team is led by founding partner Lasha Nodia and tax expert Eprem Urumashvili. Clients include JSC Ziraat Bank Georgia and JSC Bank of Georgia.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Nodia; Eprem Urumashvili

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

Work highlights

  • Represented B&N as a major creditor in relation to the acquisition of a loan and participation in insolvency proceedings and related disputes

MKD Law

MKD Law has recently taken on a new wave of partners with five associates being promoted. Mariam Antia is one of the five and is specialised in banking and finance transactions. Victor Kipiani is the practice head; he recently advised Asian Development Bank and the Black Sea and Trade Development Bank on a series of Lari-denominated debt securities issuances.

Practice head(s):

Victor Kipiani

Other key lawyers:

Mariam Antia

Key clients

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB)

The Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO)

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Work highlights

  • Advised Black Sea Trade and Development Bank on Georgian law matters with respect to a senior unsecured, term loan issued to JSC “Microfinance Organisation Crystal”.
  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the issuance of Georgian Lari-denominated bonds via a private placement.
  • Advised Asian Development Bank on two issuances (with similar terms, but different maturities) of Georgian Lari-denominated bonds via a public offering.