Firm Profile > BGI Legal > Tbilisi, Georgia

BGI Legal
18 RUSTAVELI AVENUE, II FLOOR
0108 TBILISI
Georgia

Banking and finance Tier 1

BGI Legal stands out for its ‘exceptional banking and regulatory knowledge’. The practice is headed by Lasha Gogiberidze, a key name for capital markets, whose clients include international financial institutions, foreign development organisations and numerous high-profile international banks and funds. His team also includes ‘the very thorough and competentUnana  Gogokhia whose strengths include securities, derivatives, financial transactions and project finance. Other notable strengths of the group include guaranteed corporate bond and GEL-dominated bond issuances and debt restructuring.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Gogiberidze;

Testimonials

‘Exceptional banking and regulatory knowledge.’

‘Unana is a very thorough, competent lawyer with outstanding skills to anticipate transactional issues and provide solutions.’

Key clients

4finance

Global Climate Partnership Fund

Green for Growth Fund

EFSE

East-West United Bank

Sberbank

Societe Generale

Amsterdam Trade Bank

ABLV

Ceska exportni banka,a.s.

ResponsAbility Sicav

TBC Capital

Moneygram

Heritage Securities

Corner Banca SA

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

At BGI Legal, core strengths include the establishment of joint ventures with private and public sector counterparts, shareholders' agreements, corporate charters, employment matters and franchise agreements. In addition, corporate registrations and incorporations, product safety and regulatory matters also form part of the workload, with the team particularly knowledgeable in the not-for-profit, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. Zaza Bibilashvili is a star name for transactions, disputes and M&A; he heads the practice alongside Lasha Gogiberidze and is also supported by Unana Gogokhia, a specialist in competition, general business and corporate affairs.

Practice head(s):

Lasha Gogiberidze; Zaza Bibilashvili;

Key clients

Korea Water Resources Corporation

IFC

EBRD

ADB

FMO

DEG

BSTDB

China Development Bank

EFSE

Green for Growth Fund

Global Climate Partnership Fund

BP Georgia

MND Group NV

Marriot International

Vialis Belgium NV

MagtiCom

CT Park

McDonald’s Georgia

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company

IHI Corporation

Ferrero International

Paddy Power Betfair PLC

Johnson & Johnson

International Committee of Red Cross

Aecom

Anaklia City

Tbilvino

JVG Vastgoed Groep BV

International Republican Institute

Voith GmbH

Iveco S.p.A

Dispute resolution Tier 1

BGI Legal has a 'proactive' approach and is best known for handling local and international arbitration and white-collar criminal law defence. It has been kept particularly busy recently handling corporate, family, employment, banking, energy, pharmaceutical, construction and IP-related disputes. Sandro Bibilashvili is noted for his ‘professional attitude and endurance’ and is highly regarded alongside Zaza Bibilashvili and associate Davit Kakoishvili. Recent highlights include acting for Ferrero in a series of trade mark litigation cases and also representing Israeli-owned CT Park, exclusive operator of parking services in Tblisi, in numerous disputes with the central and municipal government of Georgia concerning unilateral contract termination. Giorgi Sarajishvili handles litigation matters for domestic and international companies from sectors as diverse as hospitality, energy, wine and real estate.

Practice head(s):

Zaza Bibilashvili;

Testimonials

‘BGI team is proactive and comes with new ideas how to unlock the situation, when we cannot get response from local authorities or courts.’

‘Mr Sandro Bibilashvili has been involved in our case for 2 years and his professional attitude and endurance helped to sort out non-responsiveness of authorities and get the work done. We appreciate his proactive approach and new ideas.’

Key clients

Apple

Facebook

BP Georgia

Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia

East-West United Bank & Sistema Holding

Vialis Belgium NV

Rustavi 2

CT Park

Ferrero

McDonald’s Georgia

MND Group NV

Carlsberg

Pimeks Georgia

Scotch Whisky Association

AgriUni

Mey Alkollu

Park Gate

Lilo 1 – Customs Terminal

Skoda Praha a.s.

UAB Baltic Filter

JSC Heritage Securities

Wilhelmsen Georgia

Penumbra.Inc

K-water

Corner Banca

Real estate and construction (and projects) Tier 1

Clients of BGI Legal include foreign investors, lending institutions, real estate and infrastructure developers and joint ventures. The team handles the full spectrum of relevant matters including acquisitions, leasing, land registration and privatisations with a track record handling projects in the energy, oil and gas, telecoms, construction and real estate development sectors. Zaza Bibilashvili serves as practice head, while Lasha Gogiberidze is also a key name; both are highly regarded. Another area of expertise is advising developers, foreign embassies, private individuals and commercial clients on foreign ownership rights and private ownership of land. Sandro Bibilashvili is particularly active in this area.

Practice head(s):

Zaza Bibilashvili

Key clients

Korea Water Resources Corporation

Citi

Jeffrey’s

Merrill Lynch

JP Morgan

Barclays

Renaissance

UBS

Goldman Sachs

BP Georgia

CT Park

Societe Generale

Marriott International

East-West United Bank

AECOM

World Experience Georgia

Anaklia City

Sarnia Holding & Finance BV

Ferrero International

Diplomat Georgia

Yenigun Construction Industry & Comm. Inc

MND Group NV

The firm: BGI Legal was founded in 2005 by senior partners Zaza Bibilashvili and Lasha Gogiberidze. The founding of BGI followed Ernst & Young’s global decision to exit from the legal service market. BGI is a successor to GCG Law Office (member of the Anderson Legal network at the time) and shares the legacy of EY Law Tbilisi. Since foundation BGI has almost doubled in size.

BGI’s lawyers have taken a lead role in almost every major transaction to take place in Georgia over the last two decades. Its experience of recognised market leaders puts it in a unique position to assist clients by effectively synergising international experience with peculiarities of the local business environment. It represents major foreign investors and lending institutions, real estate and infrastructure developers, national companies, joint ventures, diplomatic missions and international organisations.

It continues to be the referral firm of choice for most international law firms operating in Georgia, regularly undertaking mandates on behalf of Baker & McKenzie, Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Freshfields, Linklaters, White & Case, Hogan Lovells, Norton Rose Fulbright and other global giants.

Its practice offers unparalleled diversity and breadth in its ability to guide clients in the increasingly challenging environment of Georgia’s fast-paced economic and legal development.

Almost all of of its attorneys have advanced law degrees from US and European law schools and are well-versed in the tradition of western law practices, while two of its partners are also licensed to practise in the State of New York.

Areas of practice: BGI Legal is recognised as Georgia’s leading independent full-service law firm, offering clients the full range of legal and professional services.

It holds the record, in so far as the number of deals involving capital markets with Georgian assets are concerned; no one has more deals on this front, neither from those that went public nor those handled through private placement.

A couple of years ago the firm had the largest single date closings that any local law firm has ever been involved within the history of Georgia, with two transactions simultaneously closing on the same day with the total dollar value of US$ 750 m.

In the energy sector, BGI has had the privilege to be involved in most of the major energy and infrastructure projects in Georgia during the last two decades, starting from the most important project in the recent history of Georgia – oil and gas pipelines operated by BP, transporting Caspian oil and gas from the Caspian region through Georgia to Europe. Other notable projects BGI has worked on without limitations include: Tbilisi International Airport, Batumi LPG Terminal, Poti Port, Shuakhevi HPP, Nenskra HPP & Namakhvani HPP projects, etc.

It has advised numerous clients on the establishment of joint ventures with private and public sector counterparts, including advice on the selection of corporate vehicles, the drafting and negotiation of complex shareholder agreements and corporate charters and legal due diligence on domestic partners and target companies. Following incorporation, its service offerings range from employment and leasing to sales, distribution, and franchise agreements.

During 2017, BGI enriched the firm’s portfolio with several historic achievements, setting international legal precedents and establishing national/international case law. In particular, representing interests of Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia it has recently prevailed in a matter of recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award. This Supreme Court decision will serve as a guideline for practitioners and increase the level of certainty for parties seeking enforcement of arbitration awards in Georgia.

It represented Georgia’s former Prime Minister Ivane Merabishvili. The Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered a landmark judgment on 28 November 2017 ruling that Georgia had violated Articles 5.3 and 18 of the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to the former Prime Minister. This was the first case ever where violation of Article 18 was established by the Grand Chamber of ECHR.

BGI also acted for the owners of the largest and the most popular private broadcasting company in Georgia, Rustavi 2. After Georgian courts ruled to deprive the current owners of their shares in the company, ECHR suspended the enforcement of the decision of the Supreme Court of Georgia. This was the first ever case in the ECHR’s 60-year history when such a remedy was used in a civil case.

IP law has been an increasingly dynamic practice area in recent years. BGI set major national precedents by registering a trade mark based on ‘distinctiveness acquired through use’ and cancelling a domain name where it contains another party’s trade mark on behalf of multinational confectionery giant Ferrero and Facebook, respectively.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking, securities and capital markets Lasha Gogiberidze
Banking, securities and capital markets Unana Gogokhia
Banking, securities and capital markets Sandro Bibilashvili
Project and trade finance Lasha Gogiberidze
Project and trade finance Sandro Bibilashvili
Project and trade finance Unana Gogokhia
Energy and infrastructure Zaza Bibilashvili
Energy and infrastructure Lasha Gogiberidze
Energy and infrastructure Sandro Bibilashvili
Privatisation and government relations Lasha Gogiberidze
Privatisation and government relations Zaza Bibilashvili
Privatisation and government relations Ekaterina Aleksidze
Corporate structuring, M&A and joint ventures Zaza Bibilashvili
Corporate structuring, M&A and joint ventures Lasha Gogiberidze
Corporate structuring, M&A and joint ventures Unana Gogokhia
Real estate and construction Zaza Bibilashvili
Real estate and construction Ekaterina Aleksidze
Real estate and construction Unana Gogokhia
IP Sandro Bibilashvili
IP Giorgi Sarajishvili
Telecommunications, media and information technologies Lasha Gogiberidze
Telecommunications, media and information technologies Tamara Tevdoradze
Personal data protection Tamara Tevdoradze
Personal data protection Sandro Bibilashvili
Competition law Tamara Tevdoradze
Competition law Unana Gogokhia
Competition law Ekaterina Aleksidze
Tax and customs advice Lasha Gogiberidze
Tax and customs advice Giorgi Sarajishvili
Dispute resolution Zaza Bibilashvili
Dispute resolution Sandro Bibilashvili
Dispute resolution Giorgi Sarajishvili
Legislative drafting Lasha Gogiberidze
Legislative drafting Zaza Bibilashvili
Diplomatic missions Zaza Bibilashvili
Diplomatic missions Tamara Tevdoradze
Corporate registrations and incorporation Tamara Tevdoradze
Corporate registrations and incorporation Ekaterina Aleksidze
Employment Ekaterina Aleksidze
Employment Sandro Bibilashvili
Criminal law and international courts Zaza Bibilashvili
Criminal law and international courts Davit Kakoishvili
Number of lawyers : 17
Georgian
English
Russian
German
French
Spanish
ICC Georgia
American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia
EU-Georgia Business Council