Shipping finance in Greece

Norton Rose Fulbright

At Norton Rose Fulbright, department head Dimitri Sofianopoulos is a finance expert, with vast experience in fleet acquisitions, newbuilding contracts, joint ventures and demise charterparties. He is supported closely by Yianni Cheilas, who is a specialist in syndicated, secured and unsecured facilities and cross-border transactions. The team offers on-site Greek and English law expertise and is equipped to advise on all shipping finance matters, including ship loan portfolio transfers, in addition to international trade and commodity, insurance, M&A, port and infrastructure, technology and contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Dimitri Sofianopoulos

Other key lawyers:

Vassilis Koroxenidis; Yianni Cheilas

Key clients

Alpha Bank A.E.

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Piraeus Bank A.E.

ING Bank N.V.

HSBC Bank plc

DVB Bank SE

Nordea Bank Finland plc

National Bank of Greece S.A.

Eurobank Ergasias S.A.

Credit Suisse AG

Citigroup

Skandinaviska Enskilda Bank (AB)

Bank of America Merill Lynch

Amsterdam Trade Bank N.V.

National Australia Bank

Korean Development Bank

Fortress Credit Advisors LLC

LMZ Shipping S.A.

Safe Bulkers Inc.

Fomentos Armadora S.A.

Equinox Maritime Ltd.

Latsco Shipping Limited

Latsco LNG LLC

Costamare Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing three mandated lead arrangers (MLAs) and a host of other mainstream commercial banks (ABN Amro, Citigroup, Nordea Bank – BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse – ING Bank and DNB ASA) in the three separate $2bn facilities to GasLog Ltd and GasLog Partners, refinancing all upcoming maturities of the GasLog fleet of LNG carriers.
  • Represented the MLAs (Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, KfW) and a syndicate of ten lenders in the $700m financing of the Dynagas fleet of LNG carriers.
  • Represented Credit Suisse as the MLA in a $350m financing of a private shipping group for the purpose of the refinancing and scrubber outfitting of 25 tankers and dry bulk carriers.

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch acts for both financiers and borrowers in Greek and English law matters, leveraging its ‘deep specialisation in shipping finance'. Department head George Paleokrassas is an expert in the structuring and restructuring of loans, shipping loan portfolio transactions, shipbuilding projects, leasing transactions, long-term charter arrangements and transactions involving distressed assets. His team recently gained a new partner in Marsila Karpida, a transfer from the firm’s New York office who focuses on loan and security documentation, shareholders' and investors' agreements, and shipbuilding contracts. Senior associate Christina Giagka is also noted. Konstantinos Mexias departed to Ince in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

George Paleokrassas

Other key lawyers:

Marsila Karpida; Alexandra Michalopoulos; Alexia Hatzimichalis; Alexandros Damianidis; Christina Giagka

Testimonials

‘George Paleokrassas, Alexandros Damianidis and Christina Giagka have great knowledge of the subject area, and are hardworking and commercially minded.’

‘Deep specialisation in shipping finance with long experience in the sector and an extensive team of top professionals.’

‘Competent, committed, friendly, available, efficient and hardworking.’

‘Professional and diligent legal advice and support.’

‘Knowledgeable and very capable.’

‘The team is characterised by its professionalism and excellent knowledge of market trends and new regulations. The team always performs excellently under strict deadlines.’

‘The management of the team and the associates (including George Paleokrassas, Alexia Hatzimichalis, Christina Giagka and many others) are very experienced in ship financing, and always seek to advise on all possibilities regarding a specific matter, covering all the aspects that may arise. Their work is always well-structured and accurate and they are willing to offer their advice and assistance whenever it is required.’

‘Deep understanding of the customer’s business and needs, disciplined approach and a focus on results.’

Key clients

Danaos Corporation

HSBC Bank plc

EnTrust Global

Star Bulk

Deutsche Bank

Hellenic Bank

HSH Nordbank

Korea Development Bank

SKANDINAVISKA ENSKILDA BANKEN AB (SEB)

Credit Suisse

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

DNB Bank ASA

Bank of Cyprus

Work highlights

  • Advised a syndicate of six financial institutions led by Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank on a sale and leaseback transaction entered into between Fleetscape and Advantage Tankers relating to, initially, 11 oil tanker vessels.
  • Advised National Bank of Greece throughout the bidding process and sale pursuant to Greek law 4354/2015 of a portfolio of shipping loans governed by Greek and English law of an aggregate nominal exposure of €262m to funds advised by Cross Ocean Partners.
  • Advised a subsidiary of Oaktree Maritime Finance, as the end buyer of a bulk carrier, on a bareboat charterparty with a subsidiary of the original buyer.

Constant & Constant (the Maritime Division of TLT in Greece)

On the cutting edge of shipping finance', Constant & Constant (the Maritime Division of TLT in Greece) is a go-to firm for advice on shipbuilding contracts, sales and purchases, bareboat charters, co-operation agreements and workouts. The team is headed by Jeremy Watson, who is 'one of the most experienced lawyers in the field’, with a focus on the Greek and Middle Eastern markets, acting for major banks, financial institutions and borrowers. He is closely supported by TLT’s UK-based lawyers, in addition to the ‘very helpfulStelios Andreiotis, who excels in acquisition finance, loan and vessel acquisitions, enforcement and restructuring matters.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Watson

Other key lawyers:

Stelios Andreiotis

Testimonials

‘Attentive, focused, experienced and results oriented, with a full understanding of commercial pressures in the real world.’

‘Jeremy Watson and Stelios Andreiotis are personally involved and provide not only legal expertise and opinions but also common sense and commercial thinking to complex legal issues, allowing for results-oriented advice and billing which is fair and properly represents the work done.’

‘Constant & Constant is a boutique shipping finance practice offering large-firm expertise with the personal service and partner attention of a smaller firm. Their efficiency and transaction-processing time, as well as quality of output, makes them market leaders in shipping finance in Greece.’

‘Jeremy Watson has extensive knowledge and experience in ship financing, advising across a wide range of flags, jurisdictions and finance structures. He is diligent in his representation of lenders whilst always ensuring that the position of the client is well protected.’

‘Jeremy Watson is a craftsman of legal drafting and is able to provide tailor-made solutions to complex financial transactions. He always seeks to find solutions and can be relied on to perform within tight commercial timeframes. His attention to detail and personal approach ensures a high level of client confidence.’

‘Their work is always characterised by professionalism and reflects the latest updates on ship financing loan documentation. Their comments are to the point and they always work towards a smooth completion of the transaction.’

‘We have been collaborating with Jeremy Watson and Stelios Andreiotis. Jeremy has substantial experience in ship financing and in a number of areas of law, including shipping litigation cases. Through his long involvement in a broad range of work in the maritime sector and the expertise he has developed, he has managed to act on behalf of major shipping lenders and shipowners in the structuring and restructuring of loan transactions and vessels.’

‘TLT’s team in Greece is on the cutting edge of shipping finance. Jeremy Watson is one of the most experienced lawyers in the field. The team moves quickly through complicated issues and is on top of developments in the space. It also knows the Greek shipping market very well.’

Key clients

Punjab National Bank International Limited

Bank of India

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP's team of ‘high-level professionals with in-depth business understanding’ is engaged on shipping finance matters by a varied client roster which includes ship owners and borrowers, international banks, large corporates, private equity firms and financial institutions. The team is knowledgeable of both the commercial shipping and yacht industries and lends its expertise to ship building contracts, charterparties, share and hire purchase transactions, restructuring and cross-border insolvency matters. Department head Jasel Chauhan and senior associate Anthony Paizes are key names.

Practice head(s):

Jasel Chauhan

Other key lawyers:

Anthony Paizes; Vanessa Tzoannos

Testimonials

‘Partner-led with a focus on detail. Very user-friendly and good at anticipating issues before they arise.’

‘Jasel Chauhan is an excellent shipping lawyer. He is well regarded within the market and always seems to know the best way to solve any problems that arise. His commercial understanding is very good and so he is able to provide very complete and considered advice.’

A continuously developing team with strong values and in-depth knowledge. Anthony Paizes, Vanessa Tzoannos and Jasel Chauhan stand out.’

I feel very comfortable calling them even on their mobiles and I know I can receive on-the-spot, top-quality advice anytime during the day or night.’

‘A team of high-level professionals with in-depth business understanding which provided us with valuable legal and strategic business advice, adding great value to our business.’

Jasel Chauhan has vast experience and expertise. His advice is always honest and fair.’

Key clients

Piraeus Bank S.A

National Bank of Greece SA, Piraeus Bank SA, Eurobank SA and Euroxx Securities SA, in their capacity as joint coordinators and bookrunners

Work highlights

  • Advised Piraeus Bank S.A (as lead underwriter) on a €150m public bond offering by Terna Energy and the subsequent listing on the Athens Exchange.
  • Advised the National Bank of Greece SA, Piraeus Bank SA, Eurobank SA and Euroxx Securities SA, in their capacity as joint coordinators and bookrunners, on a €500m public bond offering by Terna Energy and the subsequent listing on the Athens Exchange.

HFW

At HFW, transactional expert Kalliopi Karaiskaki is the key contact for finance matters; she advises ship owners and borrowers, corporates, and domestic and international banks on bills of landing, individual and fleet acquisitions, leasebacks, shipbuilding contracts and charterparties. The shipping department is jointly headed by Karaiskaki alongside Dimitris Exarchou and Dimitri Vassos.

Practice head(s):

Dimitri Vassos; Dimitris Exarchou; Kalliopi Karaiskaki

Ince

At Ince, the team is well versed in transactions involving ship, offshore and yacht assets, with the capacity to act for all the relevant parties, including owners, managers, lessors, funds and banks. Beyond the firm’s expansive global platform, other key differentiators for the group include its focus on innovative, advanced finance and lease financing structures, in addition to its knowledge of Marshall Islands and Liberian law. Department head Robin Parry , Ronan Le Dû and Konstantinos Mexias who recently joined from Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Robin Parry

Other key lawyers:

Ronan Le Dû

Testimonials

‘Their service is characterised by consistent, professional and accurate work, with good industry knowledge.’

‘Robin Parry and Ronan Le Dû have substantial experience in ship financing and have proven their professionalism with well-structured deals and to-the-point advice.’

‘The significant engagement of the partners from the initiation of the transaction until closing is their most distinctive advantage. They always provide the necessary support and properly safeguard our interests during negotiations with the other party. They have a high level of commercial awareness and try to find tailor-made solutions according to the specifics of each deal.’

‘Robin Parry’s long-term successful presence and extensive experience in the shipping finance market speaks for itself. Ronan Le Dû is a really hardworking partner who is always available to provide advice and find solutions on highly complex matters.’

Key clients

ABN AMRO Bank NV

Oaktree Maritime Finance

Piraeus Bank AE

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited

Alpha Bank AE

Navios Maritime

Oman Shipping Company SAOC

Goldenport Shipmanagement Ltd

Export-Import Bank of China

Eurobank SA

Dioryx Maritime Corporation

Chemnav Shipmanagement

Deutsche Bank

Oceangold Tankers/Gunvor/Maas Capital

Dynacom/Dynagas

Credit Suisse AG

Euronav NV

GMTC 1 LLC

The Export-Import Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Advised Oaktree Maritime Finance on a three vessel/three facility cross-collateralised lease financing with mortgages on all ships in favour of fully subordinated creditors of lessees.
  • Advised Piraeus Bank in relation to a $176m loan facility secured on 42 vessels.
  • Advised Hellenic Bank Public Company Limited in relation to a loan facility to Navios Maritime Partners L.P. to refinance existing debt.

Sarantitis

At Sarantitis, the shipping finance team acts for a client roster of banks, international and domestic shipping companies, and shipping-related institutions on a broad variety of mandates. Examples of its work over the past year include newly built vessel acquisitions, the purchase and financing of numerous bulk carriers, and the new financing, restructuring and rescheduling of existing finances granted to shipping companies. Eleni Papakostas serves as department head, operating from the firm’s dedicated office in the shipping port of Piraeus.

Practice head(s):

Eleni Papakosta

Other key lawyers:

Alexandros Metaxas

Key clients

Chronos Shipping Co. Ltd.

Zim Hellas S.A.

Cuma Shipmanagement Ltd.

Piraeus Bank S.A.

Niovis Shipping Co. S.A.

Neptune Lines Shipping Company S.A.

Oil Marketing & Trading International

Work highlights

  • Advised Chronos Shipping Co. Ltd. on all legal issues related to the sale of an oil carrier to a major Hong Kong-based group.
  • Advised Piraeus Bank on the financing granted to an Athens-based shipping group for the acquisition of a bulk carrier.
  • Advised Niovis Shipping Co. on the financing of the acquisition of two tankers (for $44.5m and $37m respectively), marking its expansion into the tankers sector.

Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood is ‘highly experienced in maritime law’. The team’s defining trait is its work on facilitating loans from banks in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe to shipping companies based in Greece, Croatia, Bulgaria, Israel and Turkey. The department is led by managing partner Nigel Bowen-Morris, who 'stands out for his extensive experience', and Chris Vartzis, who chairs the dedicated Turkish desk. The team is also equipped to handle commercial and trade agreements, projects, insolvency and restructuring mandates. Associate Constantinos Karachalios provides 'significant expertise in this area'.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Bowen-Morris; Chris Vartzis

Other key lawyers:

Constantinos Karachalios

Testimonials

‘They have a praiseworthy knowledge of the sector.’

‘Very knowledgeable, flexible and committed.’

‘Experienced professionals who are dedicated to delivering on time, helpful and available.’

‘Available 24/7 to provide support.’

‘Stephenson Harwood always provide a professional, first-class service. The team is highly experienced in maritime law and possesses a unique knowledge of the local and international markets. They have a strong commitment to their clients and can always be relied on to deliver first-class work, even when faced with very tight timeframes. They stand out for their efficiency and good advice, and their ability to ensure that all negotiations proceed smoothly, even when faced with highly complex transactions.’

‘Nigel Bowen-Morris stands out for his extensive experience, in-depth knowledge and professionalism. He can always be relied on to provide an efficient service, and should be noted for his strong commercial advice and problem-solving skills.’

Constantinos Karachalios is extremely hardworking. His attention to detail, significant expertise in this area, immediate responses and availability at all times, as well as his organisation and commercial skills, ensure that all transactions are completed efficiently.’

Timagenis Law Firm

Timagenis Law Firm is among the strongest domestic firms for shipping finance matters. Representing both domestic and international shipping companies and banks, the team is looked to for new loan, newbuild vessel delivery, addenda or supplemental agreement, rescheduling and restructuring matters. Lily Timagenis heads the department alongside Yiannis Timagenis, who is dual-qualified in England and Wales and Greece. Gregory Timagenis is also an integral member of the team, with a track record of acting for prominent shipowners, shareholders, charterers, shipyards, ship managers and lenders.

Practice head(s):

Lily Timagenis; Yiannis Timagenis

Other key lawyers:

Gregory Timagenis; Christos Timagenis

Testimonials

‘I believe they give a corporate service with a personal touch. I am so impressed with the responsiveness of the lawyers and the professionalism of the team.’

‘Responsiveness, professionalism and notable versatility.’

‘We have a longstanding relationship with Timagenis Law Firm, including in several shipping finance transactions. In short, it is an absolutely dedicated team providing top-notch advice.’

‘Yiannis Timagenis is a specialist with a practical approach, focusing on the points that matter; he is always my first choice when it comes to shipping finance. Because he is a true all-rounder, his advice covers all the aspects of any shipping finance transaction.’

Lily Timagenis is recommended.

Key clients

Eurobank Ergasias S.A.

Diana Shipping Inc.

Performance Shipping Inc.

Dorian LPG Ltd

Magna Marine Inc.

Efnav Company Ltd.

Technomar Shipping Inc./ Global Ship Lease Inc.

Globus Maritime Ltd.

Metrostar Management Corp.

Pavimar S.A.

Queensway Navigation Co. Ltd.

Dorian LPG Management Corp./Dorian Hellas S.A.

Castor Maritime Inc.

Allseas Marine S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised a major shipping group in connection with loan facilities of about $67m with the National Bank of Greece, secured by two vessels.
  • Advised two buyers on the sale and purchase of two chemical/product tankers, registered under the Panamanian flag.
  • Advising a major Greek bank on supplemental agreements to four shipping loans relating to changes in the repayment schedule.