Firm Profile > Karatzas & Partners > Athens, Greece
Karatzas & Partners Offices
8 KOUMPARI STREET
106 74 ATHENS
Karatzas & Partners > The Legal 500 Rankings
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 €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 €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.
Karatzas & Partners provides 'continuous excellent advice' thanks to the team's 'long experience in complex M&A transactions of all sizes'. The 'highly motivated and proactive team' is commended for its 'smart thinking and resourcefulness' and 'out-of-the-box solutions in terms of deal structuring'. Led by Catherine Karatzas, the team includes several top-notch lawyers, including 'the always very resourceful and well prepared' Alexandros Metallinos, the 'brilliant' Anna Manda (who brings 'outstanding knowledge and positive attitude') and Christina Faitakis, who has 'skills and expertise of the highest level'. Recently, the firm advised Puig Group on its purchase of Apivita, a Greek cosmetics business. Other clients include LAMDA Development, BC Partners, and WIND Hellas.
Energy Tier 1
Karatzas & Partners is a 'top-tier law firm with extensive experience in energy projects'. The practice is led by Christina Faitakis and Alexandros Metallinos ('a brilliant and sharp legal mind with a deep knowledge of almost every legal field'). The firm remains local counsel to the €3bn Trans Adriatic Pipeline project, while on the lender side, it recently advised National Bank of Greece on the €52m financing of four wind parks constructed by Eltech Anemosin.
Projects and privatisation Tier 1
Karatzas & Partners has a 'solutions-oriented' and 'very experienced team with fantastic knowledge of the market'. The firm has an incredibly strong private sector client base and has been involved in several major infrastructure projects including advice to the project company on the Greek leg of the €3bn Trans Adriatic Pipeline project. The firm also acts for lenders on the financing of renewables projects. Alexandros Metallinos and Christina Faitakis have strong standings in the market.
Real estate and construction Tier 1
Karatzas & Partners 'provides exceptional service' at the cutting edge of real estate law, often on behalf of investment funds, banks, and major investors and developers. Recently it advised Lamda Development on acquiring a 50% stake in Lamda Olympia Village, owner of the Mall Athens, from Irere Property Investments Luxembourg. The firm is also highly experienced in REICs, and advises NBG Pangaea REIC and Grivalia REIC. Vassiliki Salaka leads the group, which also includes the highly-respected Christina Faitakis.
Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1
Karatzas & Partners is one of Greece's market leaders for complex restructurings, both for creditors and debtors. Recently, the firm advised the lenders on the restructuring of the Corinth-Tripoli-Kalamata-Sparti Highway concessionaire's debt. It also advised the senior bondholders on Frigoglass's restructuring. On the non-performing loans side, the team advised Bain Capital Credit on purchasing corporate credit exposures secured with €1.95bn of real estate collateral. Vassiliki Salaka's team also benefits from the expertise of Alexandros Metallinos and Christina Faitakis.
TMT Tier 1
Karatzas & Partners is commended for its 'good expertise on the local regulatory framework' and its 'very professional' lawyers. The firm continues to advise WIND Hellas on its network-sharing joint venture agreement with Vodafone. Recently, it advised e-Travel Internet Tourist and Travel Services on the Greek aspects of its takeover by the Swedish company eTraveli. Anna Manda leads the team.
EU and competition Tier 2
Karatzas & Partners has a 'well-established' practice that is highly experienced in merger clearance work, thanks in part to its market-leading M&A team. The firm has also represented several clients in investigations before the HCC. The team recently advised Bain Capital on merger control issues concerning its purchase of a portfolio of non-performing loans from Piraeus Bank. Anna Manda leads the team.
Dispute resolution Tier 3
Karatzas & Partners is 'very collaborative and open-minded in building a case strategy' and 'excellent at confronting aggressive defendants'. Clients also appreciate its 'international expertise in solving complicated disputes'. Georgios Minoudis leads the team, which also includes the 'excellent' Alexandros Metallinos, who has 'huge experience in international and regional disputes'. The firm has been particularly active in financial services disputes.
Karatzas & Partners > Firm Profile
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.
|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|
|Dispute resolution||Christina Faitakis|
|Dispute resolution||Georgios Minoudis|
|Mergers and acquisitions||Catherine Marie Karatzas|
|Mergers and acquisitions||Nikos Fragos|
|Project finance||Alexander Metallinos|
|Project finance||Christina Faitakis|
|Real estate||Vassiliki Salaka|
LanguagesEnglish French German Greek
Catherine Karatza, Managing partner
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Karatzas & Co from your competitors?
- We are always at the forefront of our market. Our recent work highlights demonstrate our presence in many of the market defining mandates at a crucial time for Greece.
- In addition to working on precedent setting matters in all of Greece’s key economic sectors, many of the transactions on which we have worked recently have been important firsts for Greece, for example the first project finance first LBO, the first ever securitization, the first ever securitization of non-banking receivables.
- We have an unparalleled track record of having worked on some of the biggest deals in Greece, in terms of value as well as in terms of complexity and innovative structures and, in particular, in terms of impact on the wider market.
- Legal innovation and ingenuity remain at the forefront of all of our work for all of our clients. We are constantly evolving to continue meeting all of our client’s needs in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
- We rank among the absolute leading firms in Greece for legal capital. Our profile is commensurate with all of the firms that comprise the highest ranking tiers in all of your practice areas.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
- Debt and equity capital markets, including major debt market deals that are currently a vital engine for Greece’s ongoing economic recovery.
- Real estate, still an important area of economic activity, particularly in certain parts of Greece.
- NPE will continue for 1-2 years.
- Privatizations and project finance have been particular highlights recently, some of our deals in these areas have been particularly notable.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
- Training lawyers even in non-traditional fields like technology and communication.
- Investing in technology.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
- Definitely, coupled with security and GDPR.
- We are in the process of getting certified for ISO 27001 (Information security management system (ISMS)) and we will be the first Greek law firm to offer the security advantages of such advanced systems management tools.
- We would ideally like to use more apps in our work, similar to UK firms, although the language barrier remains an issue.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Among the many ways in which we add value to all of our clients’ businesses is ensuring that all of their transactions are suitably structured to achieve all of their goals as efficiently as possible.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
- Investing in top legal talent: we aim to continue expanding our team at all levels.
- Retaining and training such talent: we believe in investing in our human resources.
- Technology: we will continue to cement our position as a leader in the use of technology to streamline and improve our operations and obtain positive outcomes for our clients.