Dispute resolution in Georgia
BGI Legal's dispute resolution practice is led by Zaza Bibilashvili, who acts on corporate and commercial disputes. The firm handles both local and international litigation, and has experience in white-collar crime cases; Bibilashvili and associate Davit Kakoishvili defended the former President of Georgia against criminal allegations by the new government. Kakoishvili also defended the former Justice Minister and Prime Minister in similar white-collar crime cases. Giorgi Sarajishvili assisted Bibilashvili in representing an Israeli-owned operator of parking services in Tbilisi in a $50m dispute with the government. He was also the key name on a trade mark litigation case, in which the firm successfully represented Ferrero. Experienced litigator Sandro Bibilashvili recently acted for Vialis Belgium in a breach of contract dispute.
Dentons Georgia LLC
The dispute resolution team at Dentons Georgia LLC is well known for its 'good knowledge and experience', and 'meticulous attention to detail'. Otar Kipshidze and counsel Zurab Kiliptari are 'reliable, easily accessible, responsive and always open for critical discussions'. The pair represented BP in a $13m patent infringement claim, and are assisting the same client with rights of way disputes relating to its three pipeline developments in Georgia. Associate Natela Otaridze assisted Kipshidze in successfully representing Estonian transport company Spacecom in civil proceedings against the state-owned Georgian Railway over alleged compensation claims.
The 'thoughtful business approach' exhibited by Gvinadze & Partners LLC leads some to see it as 'the best in Georgia'. Veteran litigator Nick Gvinadze impresses clients not only with his abilities in the courtroom, but also with his 'deep investigation of the subject and ability to find out important points'. Gvinadze recently defended British American Tobacco against a $37m claim relating to alleged antitrust violations; he was assisted by Sophie Panjikidze and Zakaria Shvelidze, both of whom were promoted to partner in September 2017. Shvelidze acted for the Georgian branch of Cushman & Wakefield in contract litigation in Tbilisi City Court, and he and Gvinadze represented Nestlé in a claim (and subsequent counterclaims) against a former senior employee. Panjikidze assisted Hublot with an anti-counterfeiting claim involving the seizure of fake goods and prosecution of the infringer.
MG Law Office principally represents foreign government organisations in civil arbitration. Nicola Mariani and Archil Giorgadze lead the team, which was boosted by the recent arrivals of senior associate Ana Kochiashvili and associate Anna Chikovani, both previously of Dechert LLP. The firm represented Dhabi Group Georgia in a number of disputes relating to the construction of a five-star hotel in Tbilisi, including payments and income tax. The team also defended Foodmart against a $25m claim by the Revenue Service of Georgia over alleged tax avoidance.
BLB (Business Legal Bureau) is 'highly professional and very responsive'; 'what makes it better than most other firms is its effectiveness, organisational skills and vast knowledge'. The team primarily handles IP litigation, and managing partner Kakha Sharabidze is an expert in this field, whose work is described as 'groundbreaking'. He and associate Nino Gotsireli represented Microsoft in a copyright protection case, the company's first in Georgia, and acted for Sony in a dispute over a violation of the client's IP rights. Experienced litigators David Khaindrava and Maya Mtsariashvili represented the former shareholders of Tbilaviamsheni in an $89m property dispute with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the National Agency of State Property.
GLCC Law Firm acts for local companies and foreign investors, and has represented clients in high-profile disputes against the state. One such example was the firm's successful representation of Greennet in a claim for payment against the Ministry of Education and Science. Irakli Gaprindashvili leads on most cases, and successfully acted for Saunders Group in an employment dispute brought by an employee alleging wrongful termination. Associate Nick Abutidze supported Gaprindashvili in this case. Grigol Mumladze successfully represented New Life Georgia in over 20 disputes against the state relating to the refusal to acknowledge surrogacy rights.
J&T Consulting LLC
J&T Consulting LLC is sought after by clients for its 'specific industry experience'. Managing partner Giorgi Tsertsvadze is a litigation specialist; he successfully represented Geo Fitness in six different high-value proceedings, and acted for Populi in a $15m dispute with the Revenue Service of Georgia relating to company recognition. Senior associate Otar Machaidze supported Tsertsvadze in both cases. The pair also represented Saga Impex in a dispute over the enforcement of a Ukrainian court ruling in Georgia, assisted by senior associate Teo Kvirikashvili and associate Ketevan Tarkhnishvili.
Law Firm Kordzakhia Jgenti GP's team is led by founder and managing partner Irakli Kordzakhia, who is 'always ready to meet the client's needs and to work with them'. He successfully represented Sun Petroleum in a dispute with former petrol station owners relating to the invalidity of purchase agreements. In addition, Sofia Roinishvili and senior lawyer Rusudan Rogava have 'strong legal knowledge and experience', which was highlighted by their defence of the Constanta Foundation in a $5m dispute over whether money was transferred to the state budget under duress. Roinishvili also led the team representing telecoms company Akhali Kselebi in a $400,000 tax dispute with the Revenue Service of Georgia.
Mgaloblishvili, Kipiani, Dzidziguri Law Firm
Mgaloblishvili, Kipiani, Dzidziguri Law Firm offers a 'professional, responsive and efficient service', and clients report that the team is 'a pleasure to work with'. Co-founder Irakli Mgaloblishvili is a 'thorough and competent professional who gives a lot of thought to the strategy in a litigation case'. Archil Kbilashvili advises clients on corporate disputes, and represented Rich Metals Group in a number of cases brought by former employees over compensation for lost income. He was also the lead partner in the representation of an automobile group in a sales agreement dispute with a Ukrainian manufacturer. Managing partner David Dzidziguri heads the dispute resolution practice.
Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners
Nodia, Urumashvili & Partners has a strong track record in construction litigation, and advises clients in the hospitality, banking and retail sectors. Managing partner Lasha Nodia represented a Georgian insurance company in a dispute over guarantees with the Revenue Service of Georgia. He was supported by associates Archil Tsertsvadze and Giorgi Kekenadze; they were also part of the team led by Daduna Kokhreidze that defended Chengdu Design and Research Institute of Building Materials Industry against a claim by a subcontractor relating to construction works.
The team at BDO Legal represents both public and state bodies, and is led by senior associate Giorgi Maisuradze. Highlights included acting for the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation in a dispute over private land ownership, and representing the majority stakeholders of Campa, a juice producer in Georgia, in a $2m claim against minority shareholders for unlawful enrichment.
EY Law's disputes team is 'very observant, detail-oriented and attentive', and clients are 'fully satisfied by its critical reasoning and consistency'. George Svanadze, who has a 'strong and consistent manner and great confidence', leads the team in Tbilisi; he represented a foreign energy client in a competition dispute with the state. Senior associates Elene Sulkhanishvili and Mariam Makishvili give clients 'peace of mind that they are in the right hands'.
LCG (Legal Consulting Georgia)
LPA LLC represents clients in corporate, civil and administrative disputes, including tax litigation. Archil Lezhava is head of the litigation and arbitration team, and has experience in corporate and real estate disputes. Levan Nikoladze is an IP specialist, and represents clients in trade mark and patent disputes. Associate Elene Mebonia joined the firm from the Supreme Court of Georgia.
PricewaterhouseCoopers Georgia LLC represents clients in corporate, civil, construction and IP disputes. Vano Gogelia is head of the legal practice, and recently represented media equipment company Smiley in an IP dispute with the Georgian Copyright Association. Alongside associate Tamar Kankava, Gogelia is also defending Capitol Construction against allegations of a health and safety breach on construction premises, assisted by senior associate Natia Kobosnidze.