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5 LYKAVITTOU STREET, 106 72 ATHENS, GREECE
Tel:
Work +30 210 361 5395
Fax:
Fax +30 210 364 0805
Email:
Web:
www.bernitsaslaw.com

Panayotis Bernitsas

Tel:
Work +30210 3615395
Email:
Web:
www.bernitsaslaw.com
Bernitsas Law

Work Department

Corporate and M&A; Energy & Environment; EU, Competition & Antitrust; Litigation, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution; Privatisations; Project Finance & Public Private Partnerships; Real Estate; Tax.

Position

Managing Partner
Panayotis has been the Managing Partner of the Firm since 1984. His active, broad-based commercial practice incorporates 35 years of experience in transactional, advisory and litigation work. He is Head of the Real Estate, Tax and Project Finance & PPPs departments. Panayotis is an authority in EU, competition and antitrust law and has represented clients in prominent cartel cases before the Hellenic Competition Commission. He is a senior litigator, with vast experience in all types of dispute resolution, and represents clients in complex, high stake civil and administrative actions before the high courts and arbitration boards. He has also acted as arbitrator at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
Panayotis is an expert in concession projects and privatisations, with an unsurpassed track record of playing a key role in many of the pioneering, ground breaking transactions to have taken place in Greece. He advises extensively on major renewable and conventional energy and infrastructure projects and investments in energy property development companies. His real estate practice is focused on large scale developments and real property asset portfolio investments. Within the framework of his private practice, Panayotis has acted on a number of occasions as advisor to the Government on European Union, State Aids and Privatisation issues. He also advises companies and individuals on complex tax structuring and wealth planning matters and has acted extensively in high stakes tax controversies. Panayotis has been widely published in the legal journals, books and other publications in his areas of expertise. He is a participant in the annual Forum on International Wealth Disputes.

Career

Athens Bar, 1974; Athens Court of Appeals, 1981; Supreme Court of Greece, 1984; Associate Professor of International Economic Law, the Law of International Business Transactions and European Community Law, University of Thrace, 1983-2007; External Counsel to the Ministry of National Economy on the Privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises (National Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) and Refineries), 1991-93; Counsel to the Minister of National Economy on Illegal State Aids and Privatisation Issues, 1990-91; Secretary General of the Hellenic Centre for European Studies, 1990-93; Counsel to the Hellenic Banking Association, 1980-90; Counsel to the Prime Minister on EC Matters, 1989-90; Counsel to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, 1989-90; Counsel to the Greek Commissioner for Common Market Transport Matters, 1983-84; Special Secretary for Public Investments, Regional Policy and Integrated Mediterranean Programmes at the Ministry of National Economy, 1989; Advisor to the Ministry of National Economy during the negotiations for Greece's Accession to the European Community; Authorised to appear before the European Patent Office.

Languages

Greek, English, French, German and Italian.

Member

International Fiscal Association, Greek Section; Fédération Internationale de Droit Européen, Greek Section; Greek Institute for International and Foreign Law (Athens); Hellenic Society for International Law and Relations; International Bar Association; Société de Législation Comparée; International Law Association; American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce; British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce; Hellenic Society for Private International Law.

Education

Degree in Law, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens; DES in Public Law, University of Paris; PhD, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.


Greece

Banking, finance and capital markets

Within: Leading individuals

Panayotis Bernitsas - Bernitsas Law

Within: Banking, finance and capital markets

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.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A

Within: Leading individuals

Panayotis Bernitsas - Bernitsas Law

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Dispute resolution

Within: Dispute resolution

Bernitsas Law provides 'excellent and on-point advice on Greek law'. The 'very creative and pragmatic' co-head  Christos Paraskevopoulos 'understands the commercial context of a dispute and provides very suitable solutions'. His fellow practice head Dimitris Roussis is also extremely well regarded, particularly for administrative disputes, while Panayotis Bernitsas is highly experienced in arbitrations. Among the associates, George Atie  is 'one of the most committed lawyers' with 'solid experience both in civil litigation as well as arbitrations'. Evangelos Mamalakis is praised for his 'very good legal mind'. Recent highlights include advising Wind Telecommunications on a dispute with the Greek state over a contested exclusivity clause in its contract with the state concerning mobile telephony rights.

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EU and competition

Within: Leading individuals

Panayotis Bernitsas - Bernitsas Law

Within: EU and competition

Bernitsas Law has developed a superb reputation in this area, regularly handling merger clearances and cases before the Hellenic Competition Commission, as well as EU law issues such as public procurement. The firm successfully represented Hellenic Fuels on its appeal over the HCC's decision on alleged collusion with Shell. On the merger control side, it advised Hellenic Healthcare on the clearance for its purchase of a 97% stake in IASO. Newly-promoted partner Marina Androulakakis leads the team, which includes the highly experienced Panayotis Bernitsas and counsel Augustine Almyroudi.

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Energy

Within: Energy

Bernitsas Law is an ever-present feature on the domestic energy market, and is regularly involved in its largest transactions and projects. Recent highlights include advising the successful consortium on the purchase of a 66% stake in DESFA from HRADF and Hellenic Petroleum. On the projects side, the firm advised Gastrade on developing the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System Project. Yannis Seiradakis leads the practice, and Panayotis Bernitsas also enjoys an excellent reputation. Former practice head Yannis Kourniotis left the firm.

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Projects and privatisation

Within: Projects and privatisation

Bernitsas Law is often first on the list for landmark projects and privatisations. Recently, it advised the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) on the privatisation of the National Train Operating Company, which was sold to Ferrovie Dello Stato. The practice also advised a consortium of bidders, including Transgaz and the EBRD, in the tender for a 66% stake in the Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA). Key partners include Dimitris Roussis and Yannis Seiradakis, who jointly lead the privatisations team, as well as Nikos Papachristopoulos; while the project finance & PPPs team is led by Panayotis Bernitsas. Yannis Kourniotis is now at Lambadarios Law Firm.

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Real estate and construction

Within: Leading individuals

Panayotis Bernitsas - Bernitsas Law

Within: Real estate and construction

Bernitsas Law regularly advises clients on cutting-edge deals, often at the intersection of corporate and real estate. Recently, the firm has represented several funds on multi-million Euro investments into Greece. The firm also advised HRADF on the public tender for the Castelo Bibelli hotel and residential project in Corfu. Highly rated managing partner Panayotis Bernitsas leads the team.

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Tax

Within: Tax

Clients rate the 'motivated, committed, responsive and value for money' team at Bernitsas Law. The group handles a good mix of advisory and contentious work, including customs claims and transaction-structuring advice. Panayotis Bernitsas leads the team, and the 'excellent' Fotodotis Malamas is 'always up-to-date with the latest developments of Greek tax law'.

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White-collar crime

Within: White-collar crime

Bernitsas Law represents corporate clients in corporate crime and fraud cases. This includes representing major international clients in cases involving alleged bribery, corruption and insolvency fraud. Christos Paraskevopoulos  is a certified fraud examiner, while partners such as Panayotis Bernitsas are also heavily involved in this area.

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