Karatzas & Partners > Athens, Greece > Firm Profile

Karatzas & Partners
The Orbit-5th floor
115 Kifissias Ave
115 24 Athens
Greece

Greece > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 1

Karatzas & Partners has a well-established reputation in financial and capital markets transactions, and its sizeable team is well versed in securitisations, bond issuances, refinancings and non-performing exposure (NPE) matters. The team has long-standing relationships with global law firms in the UK and the US, including DLA Piper, Linklaters LLP and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, which it can leverage to advise on complex international transactions. The team is led by Catherine Karatzas, who has over 30 years’ experience in banking, finance and capital markets matters. Clients also commend Christina Faitakis, who has extensive experience in the financing of construction and development projects. Other names to note include Alexandros Metallinos, a specialist in energy project financing and acquisition financing, and the ‘very strong‘ Alexandra Kondyli.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Karatzas

Other key lawyers:

Alexandros Metallinos; Christina Faitakis; Nikos Fragos; Alexandra Kondyli; Nikos Askotiris; Christos Paraskevopoulos

Testimonials

‘The team has a high level of knowledge of the relevant law. It is focused on satisfying the client’s business needs and is very knowledgeable about the procedures of both the banks and the authorities.’

‘Christina Faitakis is outstanding in banking matters. She has deep knowledge of the law, market practices and the structure of all Greek banks. Alexandra Kondyli is very strong in capital markets issues – one can always depend on her for a solid and accurate answer.’

‘Alexander Metallinos has a deep overall understanding of legal matters, enabling him to come up with innovative solutions to address complex legal issues.’

‘Expertise in all aspects of banking and finance. Market leaders in the field. Especially recommended for transactions of a large size and complexity, as well as for innovative, unprecedented Tier 1 legal services.’

‘Excellent and creative ideas combined with a pragmatic approach that really differentiates them from other legal firms.’

‘Vast expertise and top-notch knowledge of the Greek market. A commercial approach that makes a huge difference when executing deals. Outstanding relationships with the relevant authorities. Great interpersonal skills. It is a pleasure working with them.’

‘The quality of the service provided by the firm is second to none and this applies across seniority levels: they have top-quality, extremely knowledgeable and accessible partners, supported by a hardworking, deep bench, resulting in a well-rounded team and robust legal knowledge across all sectors of the Greek economy.’

‘The team is knowledgeable and has an all-round view of our company’s activities and history, hence it is very good at assessing the impact of financial and capital markets transactions on all aspects of the company.’

Key clients

Goldman Sachs International

National Bank of Greece S.A.

Piraeus Bank S.A.

UniCredit Bank AG

Deutsche Bank AG

DoValue SpA

Dromeus Capital Partners

Eurobank Ergasias Services and Holdings S.A.

Eurobank S.A.

Pharmathen Group

Athens International Airport

Lamda Prime Properties S.A.

Lamda Olympia Village S.M.S.A.

Lamda Development S.A

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurobank SA on Project Mexico, its milestone multi-asset securitisation of NPEs with a gross book value of €3.1bn, aimed at reducing its NPE ratio to a single digit number.
  • Advised the National Bank of Greece on a two-stage auction process for the securitisation of receivables of non-performing mortgages and loans granted to large corporates and SMEs, primarily secured with total estimated exposure of approximately €7bn.
  • Advised SAZKA Group on the Greek law aspects of a €640m senior secured loan facility from a consortium of Czech and international lenders, including the related intercreditor agreement and the Greek law security documents.

Greece > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Karatzas & Partners‘ ‘deeply knowledgeable‘ corporate and commercial team stands out for its focus on transactional work, particularly large and complex M&A, often with a financial element. The sizeable team has extensive international experience, handling cross-border transactions across a range of jurisdictions, including Romania, France, the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and Cyprus. The firm’s international reach is bolstered by its collaboration with leading global law firms such as Shearman & Sterling LLP, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Reed Smith LLP and Milbank. Managing partner Catherine Karatzas, who is also admitted to the New York Bar, leads the practice. Alexandros MetallinosAlexandra Kondyli and Anna Manda, who has a focus on M&A in the TMT and pharma sectors, are also key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Karatzas

Other key lawyers:

Alexandros Metallinos; Christina Faitakis; Vassiliki Salaka; Georgios Minoudis; Anna Manda; Nikos Fragos; Alexandra Kondyli; Angeliki Tsatsi

Testimonials

‘Very thorough and well organised.’

‘Good communicators. They provide an excellent analysis of the issues and propose solutions.’

‘The partners showed an outstanding ability to find solutions and convince the counterparty.’

‘Deeply knowledgeable and has an understanding of the market and the people.’ 

‘Anna Manda has excellent legal knowledge and is focused on results.’

‘Anna Manda is an experienced lawyer with solid knowledge, who is eager to address the client’s requests and support their interests while respecting the deadlines.’

‘Karatzas & Partners covers all the legal needs of a corporation in M&A, commercial and corporate matters. It is an extremely experienced and client-focused team with excellent business sense.’

‘Alexandros Metallinos is experienced, creative and focuses on the solution rather than the problem.’

Key clients

Piraeus Bank S.A.

Eurobank Ergasias S.A.

Italgas

Viohalco S.A.

EDP Renewables EUROPE SLU

Dromeus Capital Group (UK) Ltd

Prodea Real Estate Investment Company

Etem Bulgaria

ABB Ltd

CNP Assurances S.A.

Matrix S.A.

SIDMA SA

Lamda Development

Sazka Group

doValue SPA

Marfin Investment Group Holdings S.A.

Ellaktor S.A.

Sitecore Corporation Holding II A/S

The shareholders of Chipita  S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurobank S.A. on Project Cairo, an innovative corporate transformation plan that included a merger, a multi-asset securitisation of NPEs with a gross book value of €7.5bn, a demerger, and the contribution in kind of part of notes issued in another multi-asset securitisation.
  • Advised Lamda Development S.A. on the acquisition from D- Marinas B.V. of the DOGUS Group of the remaining 50% of the shares of Lamda DOGUS Investments S.A.
  • Advised doValue SPA in respect of its acquisition of 80% of the voting shares of Eurobank Ergasias S.A.’s licensed loan servicer and subsidiary company, Eurobank Financial Planning Services.

Greece > Energy Tier 1

Karatzas & Partners is notably strong in long-term projects connected with the oil and gas, renewable energy and power industries. It handles a wide ambit of mandates, including those concerning project development and project financing. The firm is acting for PPC on the sale of its 49% share of HENDO to a strategic investor. Christina Faitakis, Alexander Metallinos and Valia Apostolopoulou are the co-heads of the practice. Another notable individual is Anastasia Petta.

Practice head(s):

Christina Faitakis; Alexander Metallinos; Valia Apostolopoulou

Other key lawyers:

Anastasia Petta; Georgia Vathi

Testimonials

‘Exceptional knowledge of the energy regulatory framework and very good grasp of the rapidly evolving energy market. Efficiency and responsiveness, direct involvement of partners in negotiations and attention to business needs.’

‘Valia Apostolopoulou, as the leading energy partner, has been involved in a wide variety of financing transactions especially focusing on financing of energy-related projects. She is sharp and attentive to detail and she has a deep knowledge of the energy legislation and relevant regulatory framework in Greece.’

Key clients

National Bank of Greece SA

European Investment Bank (EIB)

Italgas SpA

EDPR

DEPA SA

Eurobank SA

PPCR SA

Work highlights

  • Advised EDP Renewables Europe on the acquisition of 100% of the participation units in Wind Shape Ltd for €5.2m.
  • Acted for Ellaktor S.A. in its joint venture with EDP Renewables for the development and implementation of a portfolio of wind parks with a capacity of 900MWs.
  • Advised National Bank of Greece S.A. and Eurobank S.A. on a secured bond loan issuance of up to €8.73m in addition to another secured bond loan issuance of up to €9.91m.

Greece > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Karatzas & Partners particularly distinguishes itself acting for REICs such as Noval Property, Trastor and Grivalia. Its team also has notable expertise in hotel acquisitions and related financings; in 2020, it acted for Prodea Investments REIC on the sale of a shareholding stake of its Cypriot subsidiary MHV Ltd to Papabull. It is also active in due diligence covering land registries and cadastres, real estate financing and hotel acquisitions. The practice is led by Vassiliki Salaka, who acted for Hellenic Public Properties Company on the open tender process for the sale of a property in the northern part of the Skaramagkas Shipyards.

Practice head(s):

Vassiliki Salaka

Other key lawyers:

Christina Faitakis; Argyro Vagia; Alexandros Anagnostopoulos; Athena Economou

Testimonials

‘The collaboration with K&P individuals is perfect. They are always available to receive your questions or additional requirements. At a deadlock, they will always try to find the optimum solution so that a transaction is not cancelled.’

‘They can support a corporation over a wide range of sectors. Extremely experienced and client focused team with excellent business sense.’

‘The team has a result-oriented mentality and can think outside of the box if needed to seek solutions and overcome obstacles that otherwise could be deal-breakers. They can walk the fine line between business and legal sense, and point out real risks that are worth fighting for but also bypass non-essential formalities.’

‘Mrs Vassiliki Salaka was personally engaged throughout the project, fully aware of all the details, personally leading calls and conversations with buyer’s advisers and available at short notice.’

Key clients

National Bank of Greece S.A.

H&M Hennes & Mauritz

Eurobank S.A.

Lamda Development S.A.

Prodea Investments Real Estate Investment Company

Viohalco S.A.

Hellenic Public Properties Company SA (ETAD)

Italgas S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Hellenic Public Properties Company SA on the management and exploitation of former state-owned properties in Greece, through the open tender process organised by the ETAD.
  • Advised Lamda Development SA on development and financial aspects of its involvement in Project Hellinikon.
  • Advised PRODEA Investments REIC on its participation in a joint venture with Diamond S.A. for the development of Piraeus Tower.

Greece > TMT Tier 1

Karatzas & Partners handles a full spectrum of TMT matters for clients, which includes telecommunication complaints before regulators, as well as broadcasting matters concerning Greek TV channels and operators. The team also has expertise in online and social media; it advises Skroutz, which is a major price and product comparison e-commerce website, on the operation and legislation of multi-sided platforms. Team head Anna Manda has experience of assisting WIND Hellas with a wide range of TMT-related transactions. In addition, her other work included acting for Sitecore on the acquisition of Moosend Ltd.

Practice head(s):

Anna Manda

Other key lawyers:

Vassilis Goulielmos

Testimonials

‘The team clearly has extensive knowledge of the fibre and telcoms market and how equivalent deals are being structured. It is also very good at delivering very clear, concise and practical advice that is tailored to the specifics of the project. It is very responsive and has delivered high-quality, focused work.’

‘The team is very sophisticated – they have a solid understanding of the Greek market and can articulate this in a way that non-Greek clients can understand.’

‘Anna Manda is able to understand clients’ concerns, distill the main issue, and recommend feasible and creative solutions. Vassilis Goulielmos is very responsive and able to see the larger picture.’

‘They have heavily invested in technology expertise, bringing people with relevant experience, as well as talented new joiners who make the difference. They offer a dedicated team to each project and offer end-to-end legal advice that is properly justified with strong legal opinions and facts.’

‘Partners and engagement leaders are always up to date, they listen to the customers needs and they have a good knowledge of the respective regulatory framework especially when it comes to e-commerce. Friendly staff that try to act as a business partner and not just as an adviser.’

Key clients

WIND Hellas Telecommunications S.A.

TELEFONICA GLOBAL SOLUTIONS GREECE

Kathimerini

Skroutz

Sitecore

Mobileum

Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders and Creditors of Intralot SA Group

Mouchalis S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised Marfin Investment Group Holdings S.A. on the sale of SingularLogic S.A., the leading Greek enterprise software solutions provider, and its group to, Epsilon Net S.A. and Space Hellas S.A.
  • Acted for Sitecore Corporation Holdings II A/S on all Greek law matters relating to the acquisition of all shares and voting interests in Moosend Ltd.
  • Advised Mobileum Inc. on all Greek law matters relating to the acquisition of all shares in Niometrics Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based deep network analytics provider with two Greek subsidiaries.

Greece > EU and competition Tier 2

Karatzas & Partners is well-versed in merger control work; in one highlight in 2020, it assisted SIDMA with obtaining HCC clearance of the acquisition of sole control over part of Bitros Steel. Department head Anna Manda led the advice to Prodea Investments REIC on the Greek and EU antitrust aspects of the sale of a stake in its Cypriot subsidiary MHV Ltd to Papabull Ltd, resulting ultimately in a tri-partite joint venture between Prodea, its related company Invel and Papabull. Elsewhere, beyond undertaking transactional work, behavioural matters are also a mainstay of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Anna Manda

Other key lawyers:

Marina-Sofia Chronaki; Angela Boletsi; Vassilis Goulielmos

Testimonials

‘Experienced team; efficiency; collaboration with counsels from other jurisdictions; excellent communication with the client.’

‘The firm outshines other law firms by being natural leaders. The people work with solid foundations, are committed to their work and are very reliable.’

‘The people are natural leaders who thrive at influencing and persuading others. They tend to be very responsive, investigative and hard working individuals. We value their work and collaboration and high qualities.’

‘They have created a highly-skilled, well informed and educated team on EU and competition-related issues. They do not act as generalists but as area experts that are capable of handling every project no matter the level of complexity.’

Key clients

SIDMA S.A.

Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC)

Eurobank SA

Piraeus Bank SA

H&M Hennes & Mauritz SA

Prodea Investments REIC (Prodea) (former NBG Pangaea REIC)

Hellenic Public Properties Company SA (ETAD)

Kotsovolos S.A.

Skroutz S.A.

E.J. Papadopoulos S.A.

Omega Pharma

MOUCHALIS S.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised SIDMA S.A. on successfully obtaining merger control clearance from the Hellenic Competition Commission for the acquisition of sole control over part of BITROS STEEL S.A., resulting in a complex concentration within the steel distribution markets.
  • Assisted the Hellenic Public Properties Company SA with all state aid matters relating to the preparation and launch of an open tender process for the sale of a real estate property located in the northern part of Skaramagkas Shipyards for a successful bid of €37.3m.
  • Advised Skroutz S.A. on competition matters relating to the operation of multi-sided platforms and the relationship of the various parties therein.

Greece > Projects and privatisation Tier 2

Karatzas & Partners has a strong pedigree for handling substantial privatisations and project finance transactions, as illustrated by the fact that it is advising Lamda Development on financing matters associated with the high-profile Hellinikon Project. Also notable is that it advised Athens International Airport on a €140m bonds issuance. Christina Faitakis and Alexandros Metallinos co-head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Christina Faitakis; Alexander Metallinos

Other key lawyers:

Vassiliki Salaka; Anna Manda; Valia Apostolopoulou

Testimonials

‘This law firm offers a significantly high level of service in terms of response time, business acumen, industry knowledge and appropriateness of advice. Their depth and breadth of knowledge ensures that they are able to support every client’s business needs successfully and provide high quality, innovative legal solutions in the increasingly complex area of legislation and practice.’

‘They are extremely competent and flexible. They are perfect problem-solvers.’

‘Alexander Metallinos is a brilliant lawyer with immense legal knowledge in various fields of law. He has a unique ability to find practical solutions. Having consulted Alexandros one knows that nothing important has been missed in the advice.’

Key clients

National Bank of Greece SA

PPC SA

DEPA SA

Ellaktor

Lamda Development

Italgas S.p.A

European Investment Bank

IFC

Eurobank

EBRD

Work highlights

  • Advised Italgas S.p.A. on its participation in both the first and second bidding phase of the international tender for the sale of 100% of the shares of DEPA Infrastructure S.A..
  • Advised Lamda Development SA in aspects of Project Hellinikon.
  • Advised Athens International Airport on the issuance of an additional common bond loan of up to €140m to finance AIA’s working capital and operational needs.

Greece > Restructuring and insolvency Tier 2

The practice at Karatzas & Partners is ‘renowned for its ability to advise on the most complex structures and handle the most challenging transactions‘. Restructurings are a mainstay of the practice, with its work for Value SpA on Project Duette, involving the issuance of new senior secured notes amounting to €300m and falling due in 2026, a recent highlight. For Eurobank, the practice advised on the undertaking of Project Cairo which surrounds a corporate transformation plan, encompassing matters of multi-asset securitisation of NPEs and a hive-down process. The team is headed by Vassiliki Salaka.

Practice head(s):

Vassiliki Salaka

Other key lawyers:

Alexandros Metallinos; Sonia Saranti

Work highlights

  • Advised B2Holding as participant bidder throughout the two-stage bidding process on all legal matters pertaining to the sale and transfer by Alpha Bank of receivables of sub-performing and non-performing consumer and small business loans portfolio with total exposure of approximately €2.5bn.
  • Advised Eurobank in its recently completed NPL reduction acceleration plan, Project Cairo, now a model for other transactions in the sector.
  • Acting for the arrangers on the VEGA transaction which consists of three NPL securitisations by Piraeus Bank with a book value of €5bn.

Greece > Dispute resolution Tier 3

The team at Karatzas & Partners handles an array of significant litigation and arbitration cases. The team has integrated its disputes and transactional practices to take a comprehensive approach to the provision of services, facilitating its niche experience in private banking law and enforcement cases. Georgios Minoudis and Vassiliki Salaka head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Georgios Minoudis; Vassiliki Salaka

Other key lawyers:

Alexandros Metallinos; Christina Faitakis; Sofia Mavridou

Testimonials

‘This legal team offers a significantly high level of service in terms of response time, business acumen and industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength-in-depth and value for money.’

‘Alexander Metallinos and George Minoudis are excellent legal advisers with numerous strengths and qualities such as correct judgement, analytical skills, creativity, perseverance and commitment.’

‘Karatzas & Partners have a unique approach and helped us avoid unnecessary disputes. They have proved that they are open minded in building a case strategy and are solutions-oriented. The have a very good expertise in the Greek regulatory framework.’

‘Vassiliki Salaka and her team have an excellent knowledge of both the local market and the local legal and regulatory framework. They are all very professional and had great client care. Vassiliki especially is always at our disposal, even during weekends and holidays, providing valuable advice.’

‘Their exceptional knowledge of concessions, banking, project finance, real estate and tax makes them highly competitive when the object of the dispute relates to these matters.’

‘Alexander Metallinos is a really exceptional legal thinker who is able to deliver excellent results in arbitration. There is no doubt that Alexander is both exceptionally intelligent and a quick thinker, saving a tremendous amount of valuable time for everyone involved during the preparation of a big arbitration case.’

‘Clear, commercial advice provided in a timely manner. Excellent associates who collaborate well.’

‘Christina Faitakis provides strategic direction and advice clearly and concisely. Responsive to client demands.’

The firm: Karatzas & Partners is a market-leading law firm, with outstanding experience advising international clients and a strong focus on transactional work. The firm was established in 1963, and has since grown and expanded steadily. The firm offers legal services and advice across the entire spectrum of commercial and financial law, including banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and commercial, competition/antitrust, energy, project finance, M&A, real estate, securities and telecommunications, with a client base both in Greece and abroad. The firm’s dispute resolution department represents clients in litigation and arbitration relating to all aforementioned areas.

Karatzas & Partners has extensive experience advising international clients in relation to a wide range of transactions and practice areas. The firm has been involved in some of the biggest transactions in Greece in recent years, many of which have had a strong international element. Examples of key recent matters include: the recapitalisation of the National Bank of Greece, the acquisition by BC Partners of a majority stake in Pharmathen and the acquisition of Makro Cash & Carry Greece by Sklavenitis.

The firm’s clients include foreign banks and multinational corporations such as Barclays, Citibank, Coca-Cola Company, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Goodyear, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Unilever and Wrigley. The firm also regularly works with major international law firms, such as Allen & Overy, Cleary Gottlieb, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters, Shearman & Sterling, Simpson Thacher and Bartlett, Skadden Arps, Slaughter & May and White & Case.

Areas of practice
Banking and finance: the firm advises on all aspects of banking and finance, including project finance, structured finance, secured and syndicated loan transactions, as well as derivatives and other OTC or listed products and securitisation.

M&A: the firm regularly advises international clients on M&A transactions in Greece and has participated in all the major pioneering corporate transactions in Greece in recent decades.

Securities: the firm advises on all aspects of securities law, such as initial public offerings, regulation of business conduct of securities firms and listed companies, bond issues and takeover bids. The firm routinely represents clients before the Hellenic Capital Market Commission and the Athens Exchange.

Corporate: the firm advises on the establishment of companies and joint ventures, spin-offs of Greek companies, stock option schemes, marketing law and due diligence. It also assists with the day-to-day legal affairs of a number of major Greek companies with international activities.

Energy: the firm has strong experience in both oil, gas and power, including renewables, especially wind and solar, and has participated in all the major pioneering energy projects and project finance transactions in Greece in recent decades.

Telecommunications: the firm has been involved in many of the seminal transactions in the telecoms sector over the past 20 years, including the first change of control of a mobile telephony operator and the first merger of two competitors in the mobile telephony market.

Competition/antitrust: the firm advises international clients on all aspects of Greek and EU competition law such as merger control, vertical restraints, abuse of dominant position and concerted practices.

Dispute resolution: the firm represents clients in litigation and arbitration before Greek courts and international arbitral tribunals in relation to a wide range of disputes.

Intellectual property: the firm advises on trade mark portfolio management, registration and litigation.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Banking and finance Catherine Marie Karatzas
Banking and finance Vassiliki Salaka
Capital markets Nikos Fragos
Capital markets Catherine Marie Karatzas
Commercial and company Alexander Metallinos
Commercial and company Georgios Minoudis
Competition Anna Manda
Dispute resolution Christina Faitakis
Dispute resolution Georgios Minoudis
Energy Christina Faitakis
Mergers and acquisitions Catherine Marie Karatzas
Mergers and acquisitions Nikos Fragos
Project finance Alexander Metallinos
Project finance Christina Faitakis
Real estate Vassiliki Salaka
Telecommunications Anna Manda
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