Commercial, corporate and M&A in Georgia

BGI Legal

The offering at BGI Legal includes an extensive range of services but the practice continues to be a key destination for multijurisdictional M&A matters. In recent trends, the team has seen a considerable amount of work within the renewable energy and oil and gas sectors. The department is led by Lasha Gogiberidze and Zaza Bibilashvili. Sandro Bibilashvili is noted for his transactional expertise. Tamara Tevdoradze and Unana Gogokhia are also highly regarded and internationally recognised lawyers.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Gogiberidze; Zaza Bibilashvili

Other key lawyers:

Unana Gogokhia; Sandro Bibilashvili; Tamara Tevdoradze

Key clients

Apple Inc

Facebook

BP Georgia

MND Group NV

Marriot International

Vialis Belgium NV

Korea Water Resources Corporation

CT Park

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

IHI Corporation

Ferrero International

Tokyo Electric Power Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. on an acquisition project financed by the EBRD.
  • Advised a finance company on the acquisition of a stake by an energy giant as part of a project financed by the ERBD.
  • Advised a transportation company on the sale of its 100% ownership interest in a Georgian subsidiary.

BLC Law Office

The practice at BLC Law Office has a ‘good combination of expertise‘, handling complex transactions in Georgia, as well as cross-border work for both local and international clients. Its impressive client roster includes Aric Group, Wizzair and Havi Logistics. Alexander Bolkvadze, Ketti Kvartskhava, Giorgi Batlidze, Rusa Tchkuaseli and Tamta Ivanishvili are the practice heads.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘Highly knowledgeable on banking and corporate law. Demonstrated knowledge on cross-border transactions. Reliable team, they are open and available to promptly advise clients and work in different time zones. The firm has high standards; they are efficient and the quality of the work was outstanding.’

‘Rusa Tchkuaseli is an expert on M&A with knowledge of the regulatory system. She has a positive attitude, is open to listening to the client, and proposed solutions to complex legal problems.’

‘The team is highly skilled with good a combination of expertise in company law, M&A, financial, energy, real estate and contracts. Top notch theoretical knowledge is mixed with practical experience. The value lies in their result-oriented approach devoid of rigid formality.’

‘Partner Giorgi Batlidze is a superb lawyer with loads of experience. He is vastly knowledgeable yet keen to learn and develop constantly. He grasps the business, not just the law. Rusa Tchkuaseli is a very intelligent lawyer. Her memos are very insightful and well written. She understands our business, enabling her to offer tailored advice.’

‘Very active, very engaged, always responsive, everybody is accessible’

‘Mr. Batlidze is accessible for me 24/7. I always got a quick response to any kind of question.’

Key clients

Lactalis Group

Philip Morris

FINCA Group

SOCAR

KBOC

Aric Group

Adjara Group

Heidelberg Cement Georgia

Wizzair

Havi Logistics

AstraZeneca

Tbilisi Hills Golf & Residence

PACE Group

Global Benefits Georgia

Work highlights

  • Represented FINCA Microfinance Cooperatief U.A. in a divesture from its local subsidiary – FINCA Bank Georgia.
  • Supported Philip Morris in launching IQOS in Georgia.
  • Assisted SOCAR in Georgia in relation to externally providing legal services for and in support of SOCAR’s operations in Georgia.

Dentons

In addition to handling the Georgian and English law-governed aspects of M&A transactions, the team at Dentons has also assisted with joint ventures, complex shareholder agreements and due diligence of target entities. The team is led by ‘client-centric’ lawyer Avto Svanidze, who is experienced in complex corporate, finance and projects matters, and experienced litigator Otar Kipshidze. The practice heads are supported by senior associate Irakli Pipia. The group acts for clients in sectors including food and beverages, energy, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

Practice head(s):

Avto Svanidze; Otar Kipshidze

Other key lawyers:

Irakli Pipia

Testimonials

‘Avto Svanidze is one of the most client-centric lawyers we’ve worked with on Georgian market, which is highly appreciated.’

Key clients

Proparco

Amazon

Cerberus

China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC)

World Bank

Mars Georgia

Silknet

Molson Coors

Converse and Nike

SF International

Work highlights

  • Advising Cerberus on the acquisition of Bakhvi 2Hydro Power Plant from a Georgian renewable power company.
  • Advising Proparco on an equity investment in Credo Bank in Georgia.
  • Advising China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) on the interpretation of supply contract for construction materials.

MG Law Office

The ‘reliable and competent‘ team at MG Law Office handles ‘both domestic and international issues’. The practice has seen a noted uptick in instructions in the field of blockchain and development programmes. Clients include multinational, regional and local corporations, state-owned companies, international investment banks, funds and private equity houses. ‘Outstanding international lawyerNicola Mariani and Archil Giorgadze co-head the practice together with recent arrival George Svanadze who joined from EY Law. They are supported by ‘excellent‘ associate Ana Kochiashvili.

Practice head(s):

Archil Giorgadze; Nicola Mariani; George Svanadze

Other key lawyers:

Salome Meladze; Tamar Jikia; Ana Kochiashvili

Testimonials

‘Tamar Jikia is very attentive to detail. Within ten minutes of a conversation she can get the whole picture and be fully involved. A fast and professional lawyer with great future.’

‘Nicola Mariani is an outstanding international lawyer. Archil Girogadze is the best Georgian lawyer we have come across. Ana Kochiashvili is also an excellent lawyer.’

‘Archil Giorgadze is very personable, has a ‘can do’ attitude, and has a commercial outlook.’

‘MG Law always issue competent and exhaustive opinions. Their cooperation is flexible with the possibility to work out of business hours and to tight deadlines.’

‘Archil Giorgadze is always ready to provide valuable advice and legal documents with the highest level of competence.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable in energy matters and commercial contract drafting. Perfect service, very reliable, and always thinking outside the box.’

‘Tamar Jikia is an outstanding associate with a wide breadth of knowledge. Salome Meladze is also a knowledgeable, punctual associate who has a very intense work ethic.’

‘The company was founded by two of the most highly regarded practitioners in Georgia, and the company has retained that feel, with excellence being their calling card. They are on the cutting edge of all important innovations.’

Key clients

Dhabi Group Georgia LLC

Government of Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority Georgia LLC

Rakeen Uptown Development LLC

Schoenherr Attorneys at Law

Evolution Georgia LLC

Solibro Financial Investments

JSC Bank of Georgia

Hyatt International LLC

JSC Georgian Railway

Tbilisi Central Hospital

JSC Galt & Taggart

COSMOTE Technical Services and Monemvasia Shipping and Trading Co. Ltd

Baltic Business Development LLC

TR Real Estate LLC

TR Georgia Project 2 LLC

Mevolto Group

Work highlights

  • Advised JSC Georgian Railway on green notes issuance in an aggregate principal amount of $500m and the related liability management exercise.
  • Consulted JSC Georgian State Electrosystem (GSE) alongside Galt&Taggart and PWC.
  • Advised EBRD and Schoenherr Attorneys at Law on an EBRD project to develop a design document for the implementation of renewable energy auctions in Georgia.

BLB (Business Legal Bureau)

The team at BLB (Business Legal Bureau) is praised as having a ‘unique composition of very accomplished individuals with an excellent understanding of the law’. The group has a track record providing corporate legal support to corporations, financial institutions, investment funds, and private investors. As well as being noted as ‘extremely helpful with government relations, arrangement of licenses and permits’, the group has a core focus on due diligence matters. Kakha Sharabidze and David Khaindrava head the team which also includes ‘incredibly smart and detail-oriented‘ senior associate Ana Rekhviashvili.

Practice head(s):

Kakha Sharabidze; David Khaindrava; Maya Mtsariashvili

Other key lawyers:

Ana Rekhviashvili

Testimonials

‘BLB’s team has a unique composition of very accomplished individuals with an excellent understanding of the law. A very versatile and effective group that works together well to address a client’s needs. They have a strong understanding of business, the law and how to achieve business objectives.’

‘Collaboration and partnership is a strength of BLB.’

‘The staff are a group of professionals. They are friendly, responsive, and care deeply about the quality of their work.’

‘The team impresses with its depth of knowledge and business acumen. Their advice is very helpful and reliable not only from a legal standpoint but from a commercial perspective as well. BLB’s team is extremely helpful with government relations, arrangement of licenses and permits; their service completely replaces an in-house counsel. All partners, counsels, and associates team up with our people and deliver the desired results for our company.’

‘Kakha Sharabidze always manages to put the right people in the team. He acknowledges when further expertise is needed and brings the right resources into the team seamlessly. David Khaindrava’s advice is always pragmatic, efficient, and very business-oriented. Ana Rekhviashvili is an incredibly smart and detail-oriented lawyer.’

‘As well as being extremely well educated and knowledgeable in the Georgian legal system, Kakha Sharabidze understands and provides the right guidance in accordance with English law. He also has a deep understanding of the business processes in various sectors like energy, construction and manufacturing, which makes him indispensable advisor in organising deals and transactions.’

‘From the start of our cooperation with BLB we had a pleasure of communicating with many different members of BLB’s team, ranging from managing partner to accountants. Every member of the team is helpful, professional and diligent, but we would highlight senior associate, Ana Rekhviashvili, who has been a crucial part of our cooperation.’

‘BLB’s team integrated themselves into our team and are the leading forces behind our company’s success when it comes to legal support. They fully replace the need for in-house counsel. We count on their advice on a broad spectrum of matters from corporate, employment, migration and commercial matters, to M&A deals.’

Key clients

Frontera Resources Corporation

Maersk Georgia

Krtsanisi Villa Residence

Sparkassenstiftung Georgia

MRKT

APM Terminals B.V.

Georgian Americal Alloys s.a.r.l.

Black Sea Acqua Culture LLC

Gallery CH64 LLC

Work highlights

  • Advising APM Terminals B.V. on the expansion of Georgia’s largest port, Poti Port, operated by PSPC.
  • Advising AP Moller Maersk’s subsidiary in Georgia, Maersk Georgia.
  • Providing corporate legal services to Frontera Resources Corporation and its holding companies.

EY Law

EY Law‘s ‘flexible' team assists clients with commercial contracts, competition and compliance matters. The practice is now led by new partner and experienced practitioner Tato Chantladze. The firm has recently provided support to one of the biggest retailers of electrical appliances in Georgia and also utilises its ‘international status‘ to advise on some significant international M&A transactions; these include the purchase of shares in companies owning IP rights to one of the biggest sports broadcasting channels in Europe. The group also advises Georgian firms looking to expand their business internationally. George Svanadze left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Tato Chantladze

Other key lawyers:

Elene Sulkhanishvili; Mako Maisuradze

Testimonials

‘Good team with an international status. Experienced people in the core team who are able to instruct and direct new team members.’

‘Flexible and time-oriented. Good communication skills.’

‘The team was extremely flexible. They understood and answered our needs professionally and in a timely manner.’

‘The team was friendly, passionate, interested in the job and motivated.’

Gvinadze & Partners LLC

Gvinadze & Partners LLC is particularly strong in tax, compliance and regulatory issues and has a strong network of local and international connections. The group provides ongoing assistance to clients including Nestlé and The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), and has also represented Asian Development Bank in a landmark transaction in the Georgian market. Nick Gvinadze, who has vast experience in commercial law, heads the department. He is supported by Sophie Panjikidze  whose diverse workload includes involvement in many corporate and commercial transactions.

Practice head(s):

Nick Gvinadze

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Panjikidze

Testimonials

‘The team has always been very responsive and helpful when approached.’

‘Nick Gvinadze is an excellent communicator, very responsive and always willing to help.’

Key clients

Ellex Valiunas / SOLTERA

Buren Legal

IDS Borjomi

Reed Smith LLP

OTANI Tires

Goodwin Procter LLP

Herzog Fox & Neeman

SPORTRADAR GROUP

Asian Development Bank (ADB)

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Nestlé

Dasta Records Management

Robert Bosch

The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX)

Covington & Burling LLP

NextClinics International GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising IDS Borjomi on a bonds issuance together with Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
  • Advising Covington & Burling LLP on Georgian law regulations applicable to medical devices and personal data protection within the healthcare/pharmaceutical sector.
  • in collaboration with Buren Legal, conducted legal due diligence and issued a legal opinion for an IPO by a Chinese technology company.

Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners

Led by founding partner Lasha Nodia and ‘outstanding lawyerVakhtang Gamtsemlidze, who is a corporate specialist, the team at Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners assists clients with a range of commercial and corporate issues. It has also been involved in an increasing amount of M&A transactions recently. including assistance to Royal Swinkels Family Brewers in relation to the acquisition of minority shares in JSC Argo.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Nodia; Vakhtang Gamtsemlidze

Other key lawyers:

Giorgi Kekenadze

Testimonials

‘The team possesses a knowledge of the current developments in local, national and worldwide business by absorbing facts and figures, analysing material, and being able to identify what is relevant.’

‘The team has the ability to outmanoeuvre opposing parties and secure a positive result by employing their creative thinking and problem-solving skills.’

‘A well organized team of outstanding lawyers. Fast and adequate responses to all questions, whether these are legal or practical. They display a thorough understanding of the Georgian legal system as well how this functions within political and economic life.’

‘Vakhtang Gamtsemlidze is an outstanding lawyer. He is a pleasure to work with, and it’s a pleasure knowing that the job gets done well.’

Giorgi Kekenadze’s work is of high quality and he works in collaboration with the partner of the firm.’

‘We worked with Nodia, Urumashvili and Partners on a cross-border matter that spanned a couple of months. We are very happy with the results. They suggested doing things in a most efficient and straightforward way without us asking.’

‘We worked with an Giorgi Kekenadze and Vakhtang Gamtsemlidze. Both of them were exceptionally responsive and did the work flawlessly.’

‘Based on my experience with working with Nodia, Urumashvili and Partners, I can candidly say that the team is uniquely experienced, utterly reliable and responsible. They always see themselves as the part of my team.’

Key clients

Bavaria N.V.

Amring Pharma SRL

JSC Goodwill

responsAbility Investments AG

B&N LLC

FL Technics UAB

Lilo Property LLC

Pasha Bank

JSC Basisbank

JSC Crystal

Retro Construction LLC

Kolkheti LLC

Bluorchard Finance

Royal Swinkels Family Brewers

Irakli Baramia

Work highlights

  • Assisted Royal Swinkels Family Brewers with a full range of legal services.
  • Advised responsAbility Investments AG on the enforcement of promissory notes issued to the recipients in Georgia.
  • Represented Irakli Baramia in negotiations with other shareholders of Retro Construction LLC and provided the full range of legal support.

Archil Mchedlidze’s Law Practice LLC

The team at Archil Mchedlidze’s Law Practice LLC conducts legal due diligence on commercial transactions and handles corporate dispute resolution, focusing on large engineering, infrastructure, urban and agriculture development projects. The firm’s founding partner Archil Mchedlidze co-heads the team with extremely experienced practitioner Valeri Bendianishvili.

Practice head(s):

Archil Mchedlidze; Valeri Bendianishvili

Testimonials

‘The team is high qualified, easy to communicate with, friendly and always ready to help.’

‘Archil is professional, well educated, experienced, and a very good negotiator. He always gets the result that the customer requests. The team has a full service for whatever the client may need.’

BDO Legal

Clients from various industries including mining, retail, IT, and gaming instruct the ‘very knowledgeable’ team at BDO Legal. The firm is predominantly focused on M&A and has recently assisted a foreign business with forming a joint company with a Georgian state-owned entity. Practice heads are David Khrikadze and David Gelashvili. The latter specialises in the tax structuring of cross-border transactions and regulatory compliance within the healthcare sector.

Practice head(s):

David Khrikadze; David Gelashvili

Testimonials

The team is a great support and is very knowledgeable.

I have received full support from BDO Legal team. I want to underline their high level of work. There is a heavy focus on the client and ensuring that advice and support is always available.’

‘Davit Khrikadze is a great partner who is always available.’

‘David Khrikadze is always in touch and ready to assist. It has has been both a pleasure and privilege to work with him.’

Key clients

CDM Smith Europe GmbH

International Gaming Technologies

EPAM Systems Inc.

Exactpro Systems Limited

G.D S.p.a

CAA Industries

SEAF (Small Enterprise Assistance Funds)

Novo Nordisk

ABB

Work highlights

  • Advised CDM Smith Europe GmbH on forming a joint venture with local company Saunders Group for infrastructure tender projects.
  • Advised CAA Industries Limited on forming a joint company with a government owned entity within the Ministry of Defense in Georgia.
  • Advised EPAM Systems Inc. on setting up a local company, acquiring a local leading IT company and obtaining the tax status of an international company.

GRATA International Georgia

The team at GRATA International Georgia is jointly headed by Irakli Kordzakhia and Sofia Roinishvili. The group has recently assisted multinational clients with contract negotiations, corporate governance, regulatory and compliance work. Clients include media and financial institutions.

Practice head(s):

Irakli Kordzakhia; Sofia Roinishvili

Key clients

Energo Invest LLC

Domus Development LLC

EBRD

Pfizer

Vedder Price

Himalaya Global Management Ltd

Svalner Pixel Management LLC

Aggreko

Insta LLC

BBC (Georgian branch)

L’Oréal

China Railway Tunnel Group Co

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

CENN

KDV Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted the EBRD with a country report on corporate governance in transition economies.
  • Assisted the Georgian branch of the BBC with the process of obtaining work permits for foreign employees.
  • Advised Vedder Price on an aircraft lease.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia LLC

The practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia LLC is jointly lead by tax specialist Sergi Kobakhidze and Vano Gogelia, who is lauded for his ability to ‘clearly and succinctly explain legal risks and formulate proposals.’ Senior associate Natia Kobosnidze is another key name. The group assists clients with a range of corporate, commercial and M&A work.

Practice head(s):

Sergi Kobakhidze; Vano Gogelia

Other key lawyers:

Natia Kobosnidze

Testimonials

‘The firm is able to provide comprehensive advice on all legal aspects of a transaction, ranging from corporate to tax to environmental issues. Their advice is sound and to the point. They are always reachable.’

‘Vano Gogelia is clearly very experienced. He is able to clearly and succinctly explain legal risks and formulate proposals for how these should be addressed.’

‘PwC Georgia’s legal team is staffed by professionals providing outstanding legal services. Partners and associates are very dedicated. They have a client-oriented approach and are able to work under pressure to meet strict deadlines. ‘

‘Very active, very engaged, always responsive. Everybody is accessible.’

‘Professionalism, timely turnaround and attention to detail. General understanding of commercial aspects of a project to make legal advice more specific and tailored.’

‘Vano Gogelia was instrumental in making our transaction with a complex shareholding agreement go through. He demonstrated a high quality of understanding of the industry and the commercial nature of the work.’

Key clients

British Petroleum

Pharmax LLC

Credo Bank Georgia JSC

DLA Piper UK LLP

General Electric Inc. Branch of Georgia

Polat Yol Yapi Sanayi Ve Ticaret Representation in Georgia

LG Electronics Gulf FZE Branch in Tbilisi

LC Waikiki GE LLC

Sabis Holdings S.A

BB Finance Group Ou

Work highlights

  • Advised Credo Bank Georgia JSC on the acquisition of Finca Bank Georgia.
  • Provided British Petroleum with corporate secretarial services.
  • Supported LC Waikiki GE LLC with a full range of ongoing regular and complex legal work.

VBAT

The team at VBAT provides support in cross-border transactions as well as handling a range of corporate matters. The practice is led by founding partners Davit Kikaleishvili and Davit Kvachantiradze. The pair are supported by Tinatin Tskhvedian who is noted for being ‘very good at commercial contracts and employee contracts.’

Practice head(s):

Davit Kikaleishvili; Davit Kvachantiradze

Other key lawyers:

Natia Gogadze; Tinatin Tskhvediani

Testimonials

‘We can absolutely rely on VBAT’s team. They are very responsive, pragmatic (but creative), and have outstanding expertise in corporate matters. The team is always available, flexible and highly qualified.’

‘Tinatin Tskhvediani is a very talented, exceptionally qualified practitioner. She advises us on corporate governance and compliance matters. She has impressed us with her extensive knowledge of the field and excellent negotiation skills. Besides, she works quickly, efficiently, and is focused to seek and offer actual solutions.’

‘The service was of high quality. This is a team full of true professionals who are excellent at their job.’

‘Thanks to Davit Kikaleishvili and Tinatin Tskhvediani for helping me with my issue. They are real professionals who are very organised, goal-oriented and attentive. They always do everything on time and their communication was excellent.’

‘Excellent communication skills and a deep understanding of the client’s needs. They are reachable any time and have a customer-oriented approach.’

‘Tinatin Tskhvediani is very good at commercial contracts and employee contracts.’

‘The main strength of VBAT is their professional approach and ability to come up with client-oriented solutions.’

‘Nana Amisulashvili has good analytical and negotiation skills plus all the qualities we expect from a lawyer.

Key clients

Blauenstein Georgia LLC

Toyota Center Tbilisi LLC

Advanced Medical Technologies and Service (AMTS)

DOTS LLC

CBD Development LLC

Mtsvane Dighomi LLC

JoAnn Medical Center LLC

Bakologic LLC

PMO LLC

Leasing Expert LLC

Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp.

Aversi Pharma LLC

Tbilisi Open Air

RSP-40 LLC

Night Show Studio

TVO2 LLC

NS Studio LLC

Akhmeta Wine House LLC

Foodoliz LLC

InvestortTV LLC

Turkish construction company

Work highlights

  • Advised a Turkish construction company on the Radisson hotel development project in Georgia, including on the FIDIC-related matters.
  • Represented Blauenstein Georgia LLC in a series of real-estate related disputes.
  • Represented InvestorTV LLC in a series of real-estate related cross-border transactions.