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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon 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 > Banking, finance and capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking, finance and capital markets
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Who Represents Who

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Bernitsas Law¬†is, among other work, particularly active in the non-performing loans space, particularly advising buyers on NPL portfolio transfers. A notable highlight was representing Intrum Justitia on acquiring ‚ā¨1.5bn of diversified unsecured consumer loans from Eurobank, the first NPL transfer from a Greek systemic bank. Turning to more traditional financial work, the firm advised Astir Group, including its sponsors AGC Equity Partners, on a ‚ā¨265m bond loan to refinance existing debt for the refurbishment of the Astir Palace Hotel. Team heads¬†Nikos Papachristopoulos¬†and¬†Athanasia Tsene¬†enjoy excellent reputations, as does¬†Panayotis Bernitsas.

Karatzas & Partners¬†has a first-class reputation for cutting-edge banking and capital markets work. A major highlight has been advising the Public Debt Management Agency on the refinancing Greece's sovereign debt with the issue of new notes through the PSI Bonds Exchange. The firm has also been one of the lead advisers to the National Bank of Greece with regard to the ‚ā¨30bn bond exchange agreements it has agreed with the European Supervisory Mechanism and the European Financial Stability Fund. The firm has also been active on the NPL side, and represented B2Holding as bidder on Alpha Bank's auction of non-performing loans with a face value of ‚ā¨3.6bn worth of loans.¬†Catherine Karatzas¬†leads the team, which includes¬†Alexandros Metallinos, Nikos Fragos,¬†Anna Manda¬†and the recently-promoted partner¬†Alexandra Kondyli.

Koutalidis Law Firm¬†has a superb reputation for banking, finance and capital markets work, where it acts for the full range of lenders, borrowers and issuers. The team¬†is often called upon to advise on the country's largest and most complex transactions. Recently it advised National Bank of Greece as lead agent and subscriber to Hellenic Petroleum's ‚ā¨300m revolving bond loan, which refinances an existing bank debt. Other key clients include Alpha Bank and JP Morgan. The highly rated¬†Nikos Salakas¬†leads the team.

Moratis Passas Law Firm¬†is extremely well-respected in areas such as structured finance, syndicated loans, high-yield debt and capital markets. The team is jointly led by name partner Dimitris Passas¬†and Vassilis Saliaris.¬†Recently the practice advised Morgan Stanley on a $100m syndicated loan to Navios South American Logistics. ¬†Another highlight was advising Credit Suisse Securities as lead manager on a ‚ā¨500m covered bond issue by Piraeus Bank, under its ‚ā¨10bn Residential Mortgage Loans Covered Bond Programme. Other key clients include Barclays, HSBC, Eurobank and Citibank.¬†George Moratis¬†is also active in this area.

Norton Rose Fulbright's 'very constructive' team of banking lawyers is 'always available to respond, support and provide for clients on complex matters', and its 'vast experience across the market gives it in-depth knowledge of market developments'. Clients also appreciate that the team's 'experience and know-how doesn't lie with one partner, but is evident across their staff'. The, which is led by Dimitri Sofianopoulos, handles English and Greek law advice to both borrowers and bankers. Other key names include Yianni Cheilas and Vassilis Koroxenidis.

PotamitisVekris Law Firm¬†provides 'very practical and creative advice on timely issues' and is 'always there when clients' need them, usually under very tight time-frames'. 'Go-to lawyer'¬†George Bersis¬†heads a practice that also includes the firm's¬†managing partner¬†Stathis Potamitis¬†and¬†Euripides Ioannou. Recently, the team advised a syndicate of six banks, including the four Greek systemic banks, on the Alumil Group's ‚ā¨150m debt restructuring. The firm is active in the non-performing loan space and advised Alpha Bank on ‚ā¨3.7bn sale of a portfolio of unsecured retail NPLs.

Alexiou & Kosmopoulos Law Firm¬†has established a very strong standing in the market and represents all the major Greek banks on financings, regulatory, restructurings, and capital markets work. Recently it advised Eurobank Ergasias on a ‚ā¨65m loan to a shopping centre owner and operator. The firm also advised Alpha Bank on the ‚ā¨35m refinancing for a high-end residential project which includes over a hundred properties.¬†Alexandros Kosmopoulos¬†heads the team, which includes¬†George Zohios.

Dryllerakis & Associates¬†has strong expertise in¬† transactional, regulatory and tax issues, advising public sector bodies such as the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund, as well as banks and borrowers. Recently, it advised Lampsa Hellenic Hotels on a ‚ā¨43m loan to finance its acquisition of the King George Hotel in Syntagma Square. Senior partner¬†Emmanuel Dryllerakis¬†heads the team, which also includes¬†John Dryllerakis¬†and¬†Sophia Grigoriadou.

Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm¬†is increasingly active in debt and equity capital markets, where it acts for issuers, sponsors and underwriters. A notable highlight was advising Frigoglass on its restructuring which involved a debt-for-equity swap through a ‚ā¨380m convertible bond issue. ¬†On the lender side, it assisted the European Investment Bank with a multimillion-Euro loan to Athens International Airport, relating to the extension of its existing airport concession agreement.¬†Konstantinos Vouterakos¬†and¬†Theodore Rakintzis¬†jointly lead the six-partner team.

Lambadarios Law Firm has developed an 'outstanding reputation' for its advice to lenders and borrowers. The team is praised for its 'in-depth knowledge of the Greek legal system' and for being 'always happy to pick up the phone and make time'. Among the partners, Prokopios Dimitriadis and George Panopoulos are both 'focused, meticulous and very accommodating', while Constantinos Lambadarios and capital markets head Konstantinos Botopoulos are also very highly regarded.

Papapolitis & Papapolitis' expanding team often leads on highly complex banking and capital markets transactions. The firm has been active on the NPL side, where it advised investors such as Apollo Capital Management on bids for portfolios. The firm also advised GEK Terna Group, a construction company, on a ‚ā¨120m bond listing on the Athens Stock Exchange. Managing partner¬†Nicholas Papapolitis¬†and¬†Nikolaos Katsaros¬†jointly lead the team.

Saplegal - A.S. Papadimitriou & Partners Law Firm is praised for its 'timely, down-to-earth and sound' legal advice, and for helping capital markets clients 'navigate the regulatory maze' from start to finish. The team, led by Thenia T Panagopoulou, 'exhibits a business acumen that is hard to find among legal professionals in Greece'. Managing partner Evangelos Lakatzis 'has a warm personality that belies his fast thinking'. Senior associate Eleni K Likou's 'attention to procedural norms saves clients valuable time and effort when dealing with regulators'. The firm has recently advised Eurobank Ergasias on several high-value NPL portfolio sales. On the capital markets side, it advised CNL Capital on its listing on the Athens Exchange.

Tsibanoulis & Partners has an excellent pedigree in regulatory, capital markets and finance work, where it regularly represents public sector bodies and financial institutions. Dimitris Tsibanoulis leads the five-partner team, which includes Anna Apostolaki and Marina Perraki. The team recently advised Attica Bank on the special liquidation of three debtors in the health sector. It also advised BNP Paribas on securities clearing and settlement issues linked to the Central Securities Depositories Regulation (CSDR).

Watson Farley & Williams ‚Äď Greek Branch's strong banking arm extends beyond the world of ship finance, in which it has a first-class offering. On the borrower side, it recently advised Cosmote, a subsidiary of OTE, on a ‚ā¨300m financing from the European Investment Bank and the EBRD. Key bank clients include Alpha Bank, which it advised as lead arranger on the ‚ā¨42m bond financing of a major hotel corporation.¬†George Paleokrassas¬†and¬†Virginia Murray¬†jointly lead the team, which also includes¬†Marisetta Marcopoulou¬†and¬†Nikolaos Kostikas.

Zepos & Yannopoulos¬†has made a strong push into this area, with¬†¬†Christina Papanikolopoulou¬†a notable name. The practice acts for a mix of domestic and international lenders, issuers, arrangers, and underwriters. The firm is active in the non-performing loans arena and advised Piraeus Bank on the sale of a ‚ā¨1.6bn portfolio of corporate NPLs to Bain Capital, and on the buy side assisted CarVal Investors and Intrum Justitia on the purchase of a¬†‚ā¨2bn portfolio from the¬†National Bank of Greece. The team also advised European Investment Bank and European Investment fund on a multi-million securitisation of car finance receivables by Autohellas.

Avramopoulos & Partners has a 'unique team' with 'quick responses and an understanding of our needs'. Clients 'fully appreciate the transparency, confidentiality and loyalty' of the group, which is led by Athanassios Avgeros. The firm acts for a mix of borrowers and lenders on transactional and regulatory issues.

KLC Law Firm has a track record of advising major banks and international financial institutions. The team has been instructed by the European Investment Bank to advise on the management of several funds, including the Jessica Holding Fund Greece and the Infastructure Fund of Funds. The firm also advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund on the sale of its 35% stake in HELPE, which is listed on the London and Athens Stock Exchanges. Aristides Chiotellis  and Panayiotis Tzioumas jointly lead the team.

Machas & Partners Law Firm is very active in capital markets, regularly advising on significant debt and equity listings. The team's finance work also includes structured finance, such as over-the-counter derivatives and securitisation. Diana Vougessis is very active in this area.

Moussas & Partners Attorneys at Law is a popular choice for securities and banking regulatory advice. Testament to the firm's standing in this area is its ongoing advice to the Hellenic Deposit and Investment Guarantee Fund, which it advises on the full range of regulatory issues. The firm represents several key clients in the pensions and insurance industry, such as the Public Servants' Supplementary Insurance Fund, one of the largest public sector pension funds in Greece. Nicholas Moussas is recommended.

Paraskevas Law Firm has a solid banking practice led by managing partner Dimitris Paraskevas. The firm acts for several major funds on capital markets issues. Past banking clients include Deutsche Bank, UBS, RBS, and Credit Suisse.

Politis & Partners¬†has a strong banking team, which is praised for its 'knowledgeable, authentic and business-partnering approach'. Recently, it advised Eurobank Ergasias on a ‚ā¨37m financing for the acquisition and renovation of a major Athens hotel. Other recent clients include LXM Group, SPI Energy and Bosch. Managing partner¬†Evangelos Politis¬†leads the team.

PPT Legal is especially well-known for its expertise in shipping finance, in which practice head John Papapetros is very well regarded. The firm's experience does extend into other sectors, including energy, aviation and real estate. Clients include Aegean Baltic Bank, Navios Maritime Holdings and Canadian Forest Navigation.

Sarantitis' banking practice is praised for 'fully understanding the needs of the banks and providing excellent services'. The 'excellent team' is praised for its 'highly experienced and well-educated lawyers', as well as its 'commerciality and very quick responses'. Major clients include HSBC, UBS, Alpha Bank and Maillis Group. Alexandros Metaxas leads the team.

Souriadakis Tsibris gives 'technically excellent, highly commercial advice', and is recommended for securities regulatory advice, where 'on the buy side of the market they are superb'. Managing partner Michael Tsibris and partner Ioannis Koumettis are 'technically superb and very focused on the commercial aspects'. The firm acts for several leading asset managers, such as M&G Investments.

Tsoukala and Partners Law Firm has acts for a broad mix of banks, funds, distressed debt investors and corporate borrowers. The firm has also been advising on key regulatory issues such as MiFID II. Managing partner Eleni Tsoukala and Constantinos Kapitsinos jointly lead the team, which acts for clients including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, APS Holding, and The Olayan Group.

Your Legal Partners¬†has augmented its already strong capabilities through a strategic alliance with¬†Dracopoulos & Vassalakis LP, which is well-known for its capital markets expertise. The firm regularly advises Ford Credit Europe Bank on both its retail product and financing of Ford dealers. On the borrower side, it advised Evergolf on a ‚ā¨63.5m loan from Alpha Bank to finance its acquisition of a 70% stake in Golf Residences.¬†Katerina Christodoulou¬†and¬†Katerina Politopoulou¬†head the team.

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