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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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Greece > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

DOING BUSINESS IN GREECE

Contributed by Pistiolis - Triantafyllos & Associates

Greece lies in South-Eastern Europe covering an area of 130,000km2 with a population of 11 million. It borders Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania and the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia and has close trade links with Italy and Cyprus (the latter a particularly close trading partner due not only to geography but also the shared historical and cultural links between the two countries).

Greece is a full member of the EU, the Eurozone, the OECD and NATO. The country has a Mediterranean climate with temperatures ranging from 5C0-20C0 during winter and from 25C0-35C0 during the summer.

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Legal market overview

The Greek market continues to contend with the after-effects of the financial crisis and the country’s painful debt restructuring. Non-performing loans held by the banks continue to dominate much of the business agenda, hence the introduction of a new Restructuring and Insolvency section. The downturn has also exposed many corporations and private clients to allegations of fraud, which is reflected in a new White-Collar Crime section. Despite the gloom, lawyers note that there has been a gradual increase in interest from foreign investors, including both funds and corporates, attracted by low valuations, particularly in the tourism sector. Any optimism, however, is tempered by the knowledge that the market, and the country’s political outlook, can turn quickly.

The major full-service firms, including Bernitsas Law, Karatzas & Partners, Koutalidis Law Firm and PotamitisVekris Law Firm have managed to weather the downturn reasonably well, thanks in part to strong relationships with the banks and a general rush to quality. In area such as corporate finance, they are also seeing increased competition from firms like Papapolitis & Papapolitis, where many of the lawyers have learnt from their training at international firms in New York and London. There are several international firms in Greece, though with the exception of Norton Rose Fulbright and Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch, these are largely focused on the shipping sector.

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