Commercial, corporate and M&A in Georgia

BGI Legal

The team at BGI Legal specialises in major cross-border M&A deals that span a variety of different sectors. Despite unusual market conditions, the firm has taken on several new important clients this year who have subsequently brought a series of significant deals. The group has seen a considerable amount of work within the renewable energy sector and continues to be a key destination for multijurisdictional matters. The department is led by Lasha Gogiberidze and Zaza Bibilashvili. Sandro Bibilashvili and Unana Gogokhia are also highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Gogiberidze; Zaza Bibilashvili

Other key lawyers:

Unana Gogokhia; Sandro Bibilashvili; Tamara Tevdoradze

Testimonials

‘BGI have excellent experience in M&A (including cross-border transactions) and company related regulations in Georgia. We do not know a firm in Georgia which has such high experience.’

‘Sandro Bibilashvili, partner of BGI Legal is highly-talented. He has rich experience in transactions and corporate regulations. He understands the intentions of the client very well, and gives very appropriate advice that satisfies both the regulations and the will of the client.’

Key clients

Korea Water Resources Corporation

Apple Inc

Facebook

BP Georgia

MND Group NV

Marriot International

Vialis Belgium NV

4finance

CT Park

McDonald’s

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

IHI Corporation

Ferrero International

Paddy Power Betfair PLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Paddy Power Betfair PLC on the restructuring and €116m acquisition of majority shareholding in Adjarabet.
  • Advised Tokyo Electric Power Company on the acquisition of a 31.4% stake in the 108MW Dariali Hydropower Project.

BLC Law Office

The practice at BLC Law Office handles complex and innovative transactions in Georgia, as well as at a cross-border level for both local and international clients. The firm's wide range of clients includes Philip Morris, BP, Astra Zeneca and Wizzair. Alexander BolkvadzeKetti KvartskhavaGiorgi Batlidze Rusa Tchkuaseli and recently promoted partner Tamta Ivanishvili head the practice.

Practice head(s):

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

Key clients

Lactalis Group

Philip Morris

Iberia Refreshments JSC / PepsiCo bottler in Georgia

BP

KBOC

Aric Group

Heidelberg Cement Georgia

Wizzair

Havi Logistics

AstraZeneca

Tbilisi Hills Golf & Residence

Global Benefits Georgia

Work highlights

  • Advised Lactalis Group on the acquisition of the entire shareholding participation in the leading Georgian producer of dairy products – Sante GMT Products.
  • Advised Philip Morris on launching IQOS in Georgia.
  • Advising on BP’s operations in Georgia, including assistance during the period of Covid -19 restrictions.

Dentons

The 'friendly and efficient' practice at Dentons is experienced in assisting with sophisticated Georgian and English law governed M&A transactions. The firm has also assisted with purchase agreements, regulatory matters and the due diligence of target entities. The team is led by Avto Svanidze, who is qualified in Georgia and England and Wales, and experienced litigator Otar Kipshidze. The group is active in sectors including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, construction, telecoms and retail. Senior associate Irakli Pipia is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Avto Svanidze; Otar Kipshidze

Other key lawyers:

Irakli Pipia

Testimonials

‘It was the first time I needed to identify a legal firm in Georgia and I hit the jackpot straight off.’

‘Professional, friendly and efficient in dealing with our needs. Highly recommended.’

Key clients

Georgian Industrial Group

Molson Coors

Stada Group

Mars Georgia

Garda World

Amazon

Motorola Solutions

Nike

Upclick Malta Limited

Intervet

Universal Pictures

Work highlights

  • Advised Georgian Industrial Group on the $16m acquisition of Geo Hospitals LLC, which owns a large number of hospitals in Georgia, from Vienna Insurance Group.
  • Advised Molson Coors on a multi-jurisdictional compliance due diligence of its potential Georgian partner – one of the major beer producers in Georgia.
  • Advised Stada Arzneimittel on the execution of an asset purchase agreement for more than 20 pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs and dietary supplements from Takeda group in 11 countries ($600m).

MG Law Office

The team at MG Law Office has 'strong corporate and commercial experience'. Clients include multinational, regional and local corporations; state-owned companies; private equity houses and international investment banks, funds and other financial institutions. The practice has also seen recent activity in the field of blockchain and development programmes. M&A expert Nicola Mariani and 'true, trusted adviser' Archil Giorgadze co-head the practice. Ana Kochiashvili is an 'outstanding' associate.

Practice head(s):

Archil Giorgadze; Nicola Mariani

Other key lawyers:

Ana Kochiashvili; Tamar Jikia

Testimonials

‘The team is very competent and fast, they are very responsive and meet very short and tough deadlines, the advice is clear and practically helpful ’

‘Archil Giorgadze and Tamar Jikia are particularly helpful ’

‘Lawyers in the MG Law team have strong corporate and commercial experience and are able to provide advice of a level required by foreign investors who are not familiar with Georgian law but are familiar with the laws of other developed jurisdictions. MG Law is a standout law firm. ’

‘Archil Giorgadze is a stand out individual that has a deep and broad understanding of Georgian law. He always makes himself available and is a true trusted adviser.’

‘Overall company reputation is very positive, flexibility and quick responses makes the overall working experience very fast and pleasant ’

‘They are very candid and transparent, which is really rare. This makes communication with them much more easier and gives a higher level of trustworthiness.’

‘The MG team combines an excellent knowledge of Georgian law with a great understanding of the needs of international clients. ’

‘Archil Giorgadze has become a truly trusted partner over the years. I know that if he says it will be done, then I do not need to worry about it. Ana Kochiashvili is an outstanding associate. She is fully able to manage a reasonably complex deal on her own, including the client relationship and the third parties. She is exceptionally competent and reliable. ’

‘Very strong team of excellent lawyers, very responsive and solution-orientated’

‘I regularly work with Archil Giorgadze, I am always happy with his advice and I am impressed from his energy industry know-how. Definitely, market leader quality. Also, his associate Ana Kochiashvili is a pretty good young lawyer. ’

‘The team we worked with simplified the agreements we worked on so that it could be understood by our team members who are not well versed with legal jargon. They helped our team to make sure that we always know what we are getting into, while protecting our best interests at the same time.’

‘This ability to guide clients in a thorough yet simplified manner is what sets MG Law apart.’

Key clients

Dhabi Group Georgia LLC

Government of Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority Georgia LLC

Rakeen Uptown Development LLC

LEPL Anaklia Deep Sea Port Development Agency

Government of Georgia

J.P. Morgan Securities and UBS AG London Branch

Linnaeus Capital Partners B.V.

Geo Fitness LLC

Evolution Georgia LLC

Solibro Financial Investments

Atlas Management Group

Schoenherr Attorneys at Law

Tbilisi City Government

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Ideacity LLC

Sofrecom

Gunvor SA

Culmen International

Work highlights

  • Acted for Tbilisi City Government in relation to the settlement of a potential dispute (involving acquisition of assets and operations) from the former parking management company in Tbilisi with respect to termination of the exclusivity agreement.
  • Advised on the EBRD Project “Support for the Implementation of Renewable Energy Auctions in Georgia” to develop a design document for the implementation of renewable energy auctions in Georgia.
  • Advised J.P. Morgan Securities plc and UBS AG London Branch, who were acting as joint lead managers for the inaugural $100m AT1 capital perpetual subordinated notes issued by JSC Bank of Georgia.

BLB (Business Legal Bureau)

The team at BLB (Business Legal Bureau) provides corporate legal support to corporations, financial institutions, investment funds, government agencies and private investors. The group has a core focus on due diligence matters. Kakha Sharabidze and David Khaindrava head the team, which also includes senior associate Ana Rekhviashvili.

Practice head(s):

Kakha Sharabidze; David Khaindrava

Other key lawyers:

Ana Rekhviashvili

Testimonials

‘Always available and has a can-do approach to all topics they deal with for us!’

‘Speed, availability to partners and understanding of the local environment’

Key clients

Maersk

Old Energy

Gloria

Poti Sea Port Corporation

KMC Glass

Rustaveli Property

Black Sea Aquaculture

Porsche Central and Eastern Europe

Work highlights

  • Providing general corporate legal support to Poti Sea Port Corporation and its sole shareholder APM Terminals B.V..
  • Provided general corporate legal services to Old Energy, the company operating one of the largest hydro power plants in Georgia.
  • Advised Black Sea Aquaculture on a share acquisition by an investor and major equity financing.

EY Law

Offering 'expert support,' the team at EY Law assists with commercial contracts, competition and compliance matters. Clients stem from a variety of industries including hospitality, food production, oil and gas, construction and life sciences. The practice is led by the 'hardworking, smart and solution-orientedGeorge Svanadze. The firm has recently provided support to one of the biggest retailers of electrical appliances in Georgia,  including the drafting and negotiation of sales contracts with international partners It also advised on operating in compliance with existing restrictions in the country during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

George Svanadze

Other key lawyers:

Elene Sulkhanishvili; Mako Maisuradze

Testimonials

‘EY in Georgia has provided expert support, advice and most importantly, they’ve provided these top services as a team, not as one individual.’

‘They are a client oriented team that delivered results with excellence.’

E’Y Law is essential for its in-depth knowledge of commercial, corporate and M&A fields. Extensive cooperation in day-to-day business operations with EY Law has shown us that the EY team is able to effectively cover multiple tasks and what is more important, maintain the quality of the work done. EY is always eager to face difficulties and provide great proposals, drafts and agreements in short time. ‘

‘George Svanadze, head of EY Law is the most hardworking, smart and solution oriented lawyer we have ever dealt with. His approaches and enthusiasm plays the key role to maintain EY Law as the service provider. Moreover, EY Law always tries to deliver new technologies in day-to-day business operations and enhance the effectiveness of the delivery process.’

‘George Svanadze’s comprehensive academic knowledge and practical experience makes him one of the most effective, efficient and successful consultants of the company.’

Key clients

Georgian Manganese LLC

JSC Lelo

Caucasus Nature Fund

Marvel Georgia LLC

Meidan Group (Meidan Parking LLC)

Maqro Group (Maqro Tourism LLC)

International Potato Center (CIP)

Gvinadze & Partners LLC

Gvinadze & Partners LLC assists major Georgian corporates and global multinationals with commercial, corporate and M&A matters and is particularly strong in tax, compliance and regulatory issues. It provides ongoing assistance to the likes of Nestlé and Monster Energy and has been representing Asian Development Bank in a landmark transaction in the Georgian market. Nick Gvinadze heads the department. Sophie Panjikidze is experienced in corporate, banking and finance, contracts, real estate, labour, insurance, IP and competition law matters.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gvinadze

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Panjikidze

Key clients

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)

National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Elements Global Services

Amtel Investment Holdings

Monster Energy

Nestlé

OTIS Lift LLC/United Technologies Corporation

Dasta Records Management

Robert Bosch

San Diego State University

Dreymoor Fertilizers Overseas Pte. Ltd.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz Georgia

The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)

Covington & Burling LLP

NextClinics International GmbH

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Silkeveien Invest Gruppen SA

British Embassy

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal Middle East LLP / Mitsubishi Electric

TIME Watches & Jewellery

Work highlights

  • Advised Asian Development Bank on the merger between Georgian State Electrosystem (GSE) and the country’s main electricity transmission company – EnergoTrans LLC, as well as the transfer of the government’s shares in GSE.
  • Advised, together with Bär & Karrer, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) on Georgian legislation and regulations in relation to football and Covid-19.
  • Assisted Nestlé in the corporate restructuring of its local Georgian subsidiary, including advice on the corporate documentary and procedural requirements of the shareholding transfer between Nestlé Group entities, drafting and perfection of respective share transfer documentation and ultimate successful registration at the Georgian Public Registry.

MKD Law

The 'client-oriented and problem-solving' team at MKD Law has considerable experience in business and contract law. The practice has recently assisted with contractual arrangements,  due diligence work and loan agreements for local companies and multinationals operating in Georgia. Victor Kipiani, David Dzidziguri and Archil Kbilashvili head the practice. Clients include Microsoft, Visa and GlaxoSmithKline.

Practice head(s):

Victor Kipiani; David Dzidziguri; Archil Kbilashvili

Other key lawyers:

Sandro Samadbegishvili

Testimonials

‘The lawyers and partners have a very client-oriented and problem-solving approach, they are very dedicated to their job. We have been working with this law firm for a number of years. The lawyers are very experienced, have a good knowledge of our industry (pharmaceuticals and healthcare) and our company.’

‘We are mostly working with Sandro Samadbegishvili, partner. He is a very experienced lawyer, able to meet tight deadlines, very much client-oriented, always offers a few solutions and explains which one should work best and why. ’

‘Strong communication skills, very practical in their advice, diligent and timely with advice – even if requested at short notice. Thorough advice and solutions – provide alternatives with levels or risk.’

Key clients

Export Development Canada

Syngenta Agro Services AG

Expedia Inc.

Gebrüder Weiss LLC

Lok Home Irrevocable Trust

Microsoft Corporation

CEFC China Energy

GlaxoSmithKline

Visa

Synergy Construction LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Lok Home Irrevocable Trust on the renegotiation and documentation of its joint venture in JSC Dariali Energy.
  • Assisted Microsoft Georgia with various Georgian law matters (employment, regulatory, procurement, anticorruption), drafting, contracts, legal opinion letters etc.
  • Assisted Gebruder Weiss with the negotiation and drafting of various contractual arrangements.

Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners

Led by founding partner Lasha Nodia and corporate specialist Vakhtang Gamtsemlidze, the team at Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners assists clients with a range of commercial and corporate issues. The firm recently assisted a client with the acquisition of a minority interest in one of the largest Georgian brewery companies.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Nodia; Vakhtang Gamtsemlidze

Key clients

Bavaria N.V.

Amring Pharma SRL

JSC Goodwill

Jean Frederic Paulsen

ResponsAbility Investments AG

B&N LLC

Cobra instalaciones y servicios

FL Technics UAB

Work highlights

  • Advised Amring Pharmaceuticals on the launch of pharmaceutical products in CIS countries and assisted with setting up its business operations in the said countries.
  • Advised ResponsAbility Investments on the enforcement of promissory notes issued to the recipients in Georgia.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia LLC

The practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia LLC assists clients with a range of corporate, commercial and M&A work. The practice is jointly headed by tax specialist Sergi Kobakhidze and Vano Gogelia, who is highly regarded for his 'proactive approach and professional attitude'. Senior associate Natia Kobosnidze is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Sergi Kobakhidze; Vano Gogelia

Other key lawyers:

Mariam Makishvili; Teona Zhizhiashvili; Nino Usharauli; Natia Kobosnidze

Testimonials

‘Legal team of PWC Georgia LLC provided outstanding legal advice on the corporate law and M&A. The head of legal practice Mr. Vano Gogelia provided outstanding full scale corporate legal advice. He has not only excellent legal qualification but as well as outstanding interpersonal skills which makes the collaboration easy and comfortable. I would recommend him and his team for legal advice on M&A-related legal services as well as legal representation at the Georgian Courts.’

‘Vano Gogelia’s proactive approach and professional attitude is worth mentioning alongside his outstanding legal advice on corporate and employment law matters. Mariam Makishvili, an associate, provided excellent advice on financial regulations.’

‘Our company trusts PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia LLC legal team’s expertise, which covers a broad range of practice areas. PwC’s ability to provide full-scope legal services makes working with them very comfortable and efficient. PwC legal team includes high-experienced and reliable individuals, their approach to each case is always unique and professional. ‘

‘We had an opportunity to work with Mr. Vano Gogelia and Ms. Teona Zhizhiashvili. Both of them are intelligent, competent professionals, motivated and client-oriented individuals. Ms. Zhizhiashvili was very actively engaged in the project and always ready to support. Her broad vision based on scrupulous analysis of the details gave us a very good insight of the project. Teona handled assigned matters with high legal standards and confidence. ‘

‘The team of PwC is very very flexible what makes it quite easy for our in-house lawyers. Also, we had a very complex service requested and they handled it very well.’

‘I’d like to single out their head of legal practice – Vano Gogelia, who is a very good and reliable professional.’

‘The firm is client-orientated and very inclusive with clients’ internal procedures, which makes it enjoyable to work with them. The firm is exceptionally dedicated to achieve the deadlines.’

‘We are pleased to work with Nino Usharauli, a senior associate. She provides us timely and on the point advice, and she proved to be reliable and a knowledgeable lawyer. ‘

‘Team is balanced with professionals in different areas. Professional attitude and behaviour is seen in every action they undertake: e-mail or phone communication, meeting, etc. Supervision is at appropriate level as well and the information flow is structured appropriately.’

‘Vano Gogelia was leading the engagement. He demonstrated his professional attitude and due care to the issue the Company had. He demonstrated his competence in every discussion and gave output that was expected.’

‘Nino Usharauli and Natia Kobosnidze were well prepared for each meeting and discussion. Ready for support in every instance. ‘

Work highlights

  • Advised Toyota Caucasus on the roll out of joint insurance products with several Georgian insurance companies.
  • Advised an Azerbaijani investor on the complex divestment of a 50% stake in Caucasus International University.

Archil Mchedlidze’s Law Practice LLC

The practice at Archil Mchedlidze’s Law Practice LLC assists with a variety of business matters including conducting legal due diligence on commercial transactions and corporate dispute resolution. The firm's founding partner Archil Mchedlidze co-heads the team with Valeri Bendianishvili.

Practice head(s):

Archil Mchedlidze; Valeri Bendianishvili

Testimonials

‘Mostly I communicate with Archil and Valeri. They are very professional, friendly and always ready to help with other team members.’

‘Archil is the person with many years experience and he is really one of the best in his field. His education, long-term career, skills and personal characters makes him absolutely unique and all this gives you pleasure to work with him.’

BDO Legal

The team at BDO Legal assists clients from a variety industries including hospitality, healthcare, steel manufacturing, and oil and gas. The firm is predominantly focused on M&A and has recently assisted various clients with the sale of majority shares. Practice heads are David Khrikadze and David Gelashvili.

Practice head(s):

David Khrikadze; David Gelashvili

Testimonials

‘My experience with the firm so far has been very good, support is provided in a professional, efficient and effective manner.’

‘Professional, attentive, quick and provide solutions.’

‘Good communication, quick grasp of what should be done.’

Key clients

Lukoil Georgia

Georgian Steel Group Holdings Limited (UK based company)

Vienna Insurance Group

Berlin-Chemie AG Representative Office in Georgia 

ABB Group

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

JSC Telasi

Air France-KLM

Work highlights

  • Advised Georgian Steel Group Holdings Limited (UK) on the acquisition of 39% of the shares from JSW Steel.

GRATA International Georgia

Formerly known as Law Firm Kordzakhia Jgenti GP, the team at GRATA International Georgia has recently assisted multinational clients with contract negotiations, corporate governance, regulatory and tax work. Clients include construction companies and financial institutions. The team is led by Irakli Kordzakhia and Sofia Roinishvili.

Practice head(s):

Irakli Kordzakhia; Sofia Roinishvili

Key clients

Domus Development

MACS Gmbh

Arci Group Entities

Bloomberg

Aggreko

Coca-Cola Mesrubat Pazarlama Danismanlik Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S.

Energo Invest LLC

Work highlights

  • Advised Domus Development on a contract for the construction of the head office of a large commercial bank.
  • Advised MACS on a water and waste-water management project.
  • Assisted the EBRD with a Country Report on Corporate Governance in Transition Economies – Georgia.

VBAT

Experienced in 'providing competent advice on various business and corporate regulations and laws', the team at VBAT assists clients with a full range of services, including support with cross-border transactions. The practice is led by founding partners Davit Kikaleishvili and Davit Kvachantiradze who are both highly regarded for their 'professionalism'.

Practice head(s):

Davit Kikaleishvili; Davit Kvachantiradze

Other key lawyers:

Natia Gogadze; Tinatin Tskhvediani

Testimonials

‘Great team both professionally and in terms of everyday communication. I personally do not know anyone (several of our partner companies also cooperate with them) who were not satisfied with their services.’

‘Natia Gogadze and Davit Kikaleishvili, who directly manage our cases, are distinguished by high professionalism, which you will easily understand even after one meeting. They are lawyers who are always ready to help you.’

‘Davit Kikaleishvili and Natia Gogadze can even handle such important corporate affairs and legal cases that at first seemed unbelievable even to us.’

‘VBAT is staffed with a highly professional team, competent, smart, well organised. They always provide timely response to client’s needs and requests.’

‘VBAT have been providing professional and qualified services to our company throughout these years in relation to company registration with the local authorities, providing competent advice on various business and corporate regulations and laws.’

‘We mainly deal with Davit Kikaleishvili and Tinatin Tskhvediani. They are highly professional, strong, motivated, competent, customer-oriented, qualified and confident in what they are doing, in their knowledge of subject, in they way they provide services and assistance to their customers.’

‘VBAT has handled a variety of our cases, including the drafting and negotiation of major commercial agreements and the counselling in intellectual property matters. Most recently, the firm assisted us in the closing of a complex acquisition deal. We find the team very comfortable to work with, as they provide exceptional, high quality services and, importantly, in a very swift manner. Due to this, we are happy to see the team at VBAT as reliable partners, always dedicated to our interests and needs. The firm has given us the sense of stability, which is crucial in our business.’

‘We mostly work with Tinatin Tskhvediani. She has negotiated some of the major deals for our company, drafted the key agreements and successfully represented our interests before the courts. Over the years, we have been impressed with Tina’s excellent knowledge of the field, diligence and helpfulness. Tina is very reliable, thorough, detail-oriented, responsive and punctual. Her sense of responsibility and competence has been exceptional.’

‘Exceptional team, supportive, easy to communicate, friendly and very professional.’

‘Natia Gogadze and Davit Kikaleishvili, who directly manage our cases, are distinguished by high professionalism, which you will easily understand even after one meeting. They are lawyers who are always ready to help you.’

Key clients

Gross Energy Group LLC

Nobel Ilaç Sanayii ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi

Blauenstein Georgia LLC

ENKA Insaat ve Sanayii AS

Build Territory LLC

TLScontact Georgia LLC

NL Continent Tbilisi LLC

Leasing Expert LLC

Toyota Center Tbilisi LLC

Advanced Medical Technologies and Service/AMTS (Official Representative of Philips in Georgia)

Fashion House Materia LLC

Sansonit LLC

Novator LLC

DOTS LLC

East Point Mall (CBD Development LLC)

Kings Georgia LLC

Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp.

Aversi Pharma

Base Co LLC

Tbilisi Open Air (Atiani LLC)

JSC MFO Crystal

Reuters

Mtsvane Dighomi

RSP-40

Night Show Studio

JoAnn Medical Centre

IDC Legal GmbH

Spring Construction

Transcaucasus Plaza LLC

Preda LLC

TMD Limited

UMG Limited

TVO2

Work highlights

  • Advised Gross Energy Group on various corporate matters related to a major hydropower project in Georgia.
  • Advised Toyota Center Tbilisi on various corporate matters and cross-jurisdictional transactions related to its automotive business.
  • Assisted Nobel Ilaç Sanayii ve Ticaret Anonim Sirketi with various corporate, regulatory and IP matters.