Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch > Athens, Greece > Firm Profile

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch
5th Floor, Building B
348, Leof. Andrea Siggrou
Athina 176 74
Greece

Greece > Shipping finance Tier 1

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch has a sizeable department dedicated to providing a full-service maritime practice and offering specialist advice in ship financing matters. Its highly regarded team maintains a busy workload, and is on the panel of several major companies. Among its notable work highlights is its advice to Danaos Corporation on the $1.25bn refinancing for the majority of the group’s outstanding senior secured indebtedness. The practice is led by George Paleokrassas, who has a breadth of experience advising in the restructuring of loan transactions and transactions involving distressed assets regarding shipbuilding projects. Christina Giagka is a key contact at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

George Paleokrassas

Other key lawyers:

Alexandros Damianidis; Alexia Hatzimichalis; Vassiliki Georgopoulos; Alexandra Michalopoulos; Marsila Karpida; Dimitris Karamacheras; Georgia Asimakopoulos; Christina Giagka; Christina Economides

Testimonials

‘Very good knowledge and practice of the legal profession. Possess a commercial acumen and treats all matters in an utmost professional manner.’

‘Reliable; proactive; provides solutions; prevents hiccups. In addition they are discreet which we as their clients and our clients highly appreciate and expect. They develop excellent rapport with clients and instill confidence. Alexandra Michalopoulos, Dimitris Karamacheras Christina Giagka and paralegal Elein Skala stand out for their qualities and services.’

‘The team never loses sight of the commercial background of a transaction and provides viable options which facilitate a compromise and agreement of the contracting parties.’

‘Alexia Hatzimichalis and Karolina Zachou are very knowledgeable and hard working lawyers. The will go the extra mile and provide excellent services.’

‘Great legal knowledge and always willing to find a solution so that the transaction actually progresses.’

‘WFW is a client orientated, result driven team, with high expertise on the maritime law and up-to-date information on all regulations of their practice. They deliver on time and always assist towards smooth completion of all transactions.’

‘George Paleokrassas is a leading figure in maritime law, with exceptional knowledge of the sector and commercial thinking.’

‘George Paleokrassas: Hands on approach, very knowledgeable and backed by a wealth of experience. Christina Economides: Very experienced, highly skillful, always available and solution oriented.’

Key clients

Danaos Corporation

EnTrust

Australis Maritime Limited

ING Bank N.V.

BNP Paribas

Piraeus Bank

CACIB

HCOB

Dorian LPG Ltd

United Overseas Group Ltd (UOG)

HSBC Bank

Deutsche Bank AG

DNB Bank

Star Bulk Carriers Corp

Work highlights

  • Advised United Overseas Group Ltd (UOG) on the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited (UACC).
  • Advised Dorian on two debt financings: a $155.8m refinancing with a new $25m revolver and a $71.5m sale leaseback transaction.
  • Advised Danaos Corporation on the $1.25bn refinancing of the substantial majority of the group’s outstanding senior secured indebtedness.

Greece > Shipping litigation Tier 1

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch handles litigation and arbitration concerning bills of lading and cargo sale contracts, marine insurance claims and other commercial disputes in the shipping space. The experienced Antonis Lagadianos heads the practice, utilising his expertise in shipping and trade contractual disputes. George Iatridis co-heads the practice, supporting the team with his sound knowledge representing clients in wet and dry shipping litigation matters.  Vangelis Liouskos and Marilina Panoutsopoulou are other notable names in the team.

Practice head(s):

George Paleokrassas; Antonis Lagadianos

Other key lawyers:

Evangelos Catsambas; George Iatridis; Kostis Zafiras; Anastasia Dola; Vagelis Liouskos

Testimonials

‘The practice is unique because of the people; their professionalism and their depth of knowledge.’

‘Antonis Lagadianos: excellent lawyer, modest, always available.’

‘George Iatridis: excellent lawyer , hands on, always available.’

‘WFW provide excellent legal advice in terms of shipping and commercial law. The team is customer and solution orientated. They have a very pragmatic mind and give very quick responses to unforeseen and urgent legal disputes and matters.’

‘Antonis Lagadianos and Evangelos Catsambas are extraordinary professionals who provide outstanding services in a simple, straightforward and personalised manner.’ 

‘Very detailed oriented and quick in their advice, when needed the most. There are cases that time is of essence in the defense of a matter and WFW actively stand by their client, resolving extremely complicated problems fast. They are extremely careful and professional on all fronts as well as they remain professional at all times.’

Key clients

Danaos Corporation

Starbulk S.A.

Technomar Shipping Inc

Cyprus Sea Lines Co Ltd

TMS Bulkers/Tankers Ltd

Navios Shipmanagement Inc.

Eurobulk Ltd

Equinox Maritime Ltd.

Indagro S.A.

Gard P. & I. (Bermuda) Ltd.

The Standard Club

Trithorn Bulk A/S

Gleamray Maritime Inc

Mystic Cruises

Louis Cruises

Naftomar

Attica/BLUE STAR FERRIES

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owner of a bulk carrier vessel in its claim against the time charterer of the vessel for substantial losses and damages caused to the vessel following the explosion of the two hatch covers of one of the cargo holds.
  • Acted on behalf of Louis Cruises in the Sea Diamond case, with damages and claims possibly amounting to over €2bn.

Greece > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch is known for its ability to handle both Greek and English law matters and for the ‘depth and breadth of its knowledge‘ in finance and capital markets. The team has expertise in asset and project finance, with particular strength in the maritime and aviation and energy and infrastructure spaces, respectively. In addition, the practice handles NPL portfolio transactions and banking regulatory issues. Project and structured finance specialist Nikolaos Kostikas heads the practice alongside Marisetta Marcopoulou and Athens office head George Paleokrassas, who focuses on asset finance.

Practice head(s):

Nikolaos Kostikas; Marisetta Marcopoulou; George Paleokrassas

Other key lawyers:

Alexia Hatzimichalis; Alexandros Damianidis; Virginia Murray; Alexandra Michalopoulos; Marsila Karpida

Testimonials

‘This law firm offers a significantly high level of service in terms of response time, business acumen, industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, strength-in-depth of team and value for money. The depth and breadth of its knowledge ensures that the team is 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.’

‘Nikolaos Kostikas is an excellent legal adviser with numerous strengths, including good judgement, analytical skills, creativity, perseverance and commitment.’

‘They have thorough knowledge, are committed to timely delivery and efficiently respond to any side matters that need to be addressed (such as corporate or regulatory issues).’

‘They are persistent, determined and composed during negotiations, while maintaining a respectful attitude towards the counterparties.’

‘Their advice and responses are always very prompt and to the point, supported by their experience and expertise. Billing is very transparent and they always provide a cost breakdown.’

‘We highly appreciated the swift and to-the-point advice from Marisetta Marcopoulou, who has good knowledge and extensive expertise in Greek law, and the associates.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

HCOB

EBRD

National Bank of Greece

RBS

CACIB

Alpha Bank

HSBC Greece

Piraeus Bank

ING Bank N.V.

Work highlights

  • Advised the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on a senior unsecured loan facility of up to €160m provided to Public Power Corporation S.A.
  • Advised ING Bank N.V., London Branch in relation to a $260.61m facility provided to Capital Gas LLC for the post-delivery financing of two liquefied natural gas carriers under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. in South Korea.
  • Advised Hamburg Commercial Bank AG in relation to a facility of up to $64.2m to provide part-financing for the acquisition of six Post-Panamax container vessels from Maersk A/S.

Greece > Energy Tier 2

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch has a sizeable team dedicated to handling energy matters, with experience of PV projects relating to energy support scheme auctions and the negotiation of joint ventures and funding agreements. The practice is led by Virginia Murray, who acts for clients such as EDF Energies Nouvelles, Terna Energy and National Bank of Greece. Senior associate Maira Galani is also noted for her strength in project finance, M&A and regulatory issues in the energy sector.

Practice head(s):

Virginia Murray

Testimonials

‘Virginia Murray is a valuable collaborator of many years, a natural choice after so many successful transactions where she played a key role leading her team. Always available and highly professional.’

‘Great experience in the energy sector and highly professional and experienced personnel.’

‘Knowledgeable but also practical; gives robust and timely advice; commercially oriented.’

Key clients

CUBICO SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS LIMITED

TOTAL EREN SA

EDF EN

EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT

METKA EGN LIMITED

JASPER WIND HELLAS SA

EMERGYA WIND TECHNOLOGIES (EWT)

547 ENERGY (QUANTUM ENERGY CAPITAL)

CANTREVA SA

BAYWA R.E.

ALPHA BANK SA

EUNICE ENERGY GROUP

THEMELI SA

NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE SA

RF ENERGY SA

PURENERGY SA

BLUE ELEPHANT

WATTCROP

Work highlights

  • Advised Wattcrop on a solar PV joint venture with Green Investment Group’s portfolio company Cero Generation.
  • Advised Blue Elephant Energy AG on the acquisition of operational solar parks in Greece with a total capacity of 45 MWp from ABO Wind AG.
  • Advised Cubico on its acquisition of K-Wind Kitheronas Energy S.A., which owns and operates the 21 MW Kitheronas onshore wind farm in central Greece, from Intracom Holdings S.A.

Greece > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Watson Farley & Williams – Greek Branch is particularly active in M&A matters in the energy sector, with recent highlights including advising Wattcrop on a joint venture with Cero Generation to develop its portfolio of solar photovoltaic projects. The team handles M&A, privatisations and the establishment of companies, and has notable strength in cross-border transactions, with the ability to provide English law advice from the Athens office as well as the benefit of an international network. Virginia Murray leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Virginia Murray

Other key lawyers:

Nikolaos Kostikas; Marisetta Marcopoulou; Maira Galani

Testimonials

‘This firm offers a significantly high level of service in terms of response times, business acumen, industry knowledge, appropriateness of advice, the strength-in-depth of the team and value for money. Their depth and breadth of their knowledge ensures that they are able to support every client’s business needs successfully and provide high-quality, innovative solutions.’

‘Marisetta Marcopoulou is an excellent adviser with numerous strengths and qualities such as correct judgement, analytical skills, creativity, perseverance and commitment.’

‘The team’s responses and advice are always swift and to the point, supported by extensive experience and expertise in Greek law. Billing is very transparent and always includes breakdowns.’

‘We highly appreciated the prompt, to-the-point advice from the experienced partners and of course their associates.’

Key clients

Blue Elephant

Cubico Sustainable Investments Limited

United Overseas Group Ltd (UOG)

Danaos

Star Bulk

METKA EGN

547 Energy International Europe

Work highlights

  • Advised United Overseas Group Ltd on the acquisition of United Arab Chemical Carriers Limited.
  • Advised Blue Elephant Energy AG on the acquisition of operational solar parks in Greece with a total capacity of 45MWp from ABO Wind AG.
  • Advised Wattcrop on a joint venture with Green Investment Group’s portfolio company Cero Generation, which will initially focus on developing Wattcrop’s existing solar photovoltaic portfolio.
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Dedicated to client care, industry focus and investment in our people
We are a sector specialist international law firm in the energy, transport and infrastructure sectors advising on complex transactions and disputes through local knowledge and an integrated international network.

Our business exists to help our clients achieve their goals, partnering with them to meet the challenges they face today and will face tomorrow.

Our values rest on developing deep and long-lasting relationships externally and internally through respect, sharing, communication and integrity.

We strive for excellence in all that we do and view investment in our people as key to achieving our business goals and values.

Our teams are integrated across legal disciplines and offices delivering consistently high levels of service locally and in combination across borders.

History: Sector focus has been at the heart of our strategy since we opened for business in 1982.  Having started life as an asset finance boutique focussing on the maritime and aviation industries, our transport focus quickly expanded to other supply-chain led industries, most notably, renewable and conventional energy and infrastructure across these industries.

Through our offices around the world, we provide a full suite of services within our core sectors enabling us to deliver exceptional value to our clients.

Facts

  • Founded 1982
  • 175+ partners
  • 580+ lawyers
  • 17 offices

Senior Partner: George Paleokrassas
Managing Partner: Lindsey Keeble

Global Sector Heads:
Aviation: 
Jim Bell, Charles Viggers
Energy: Malte Jordan, Henry Stewart
Infrastructure: Florian Kutzbach and Jose Maria Anarte
Maritime: George Macheras, George Paleokrassas
Mining & Commodities: Jan Mellmann
Oil & Gas: Chris Kilburn

PhotoNamePositionProfile
Maira Galani photo Maira GalaniMaira specialises in project and structured finance, mergers and acquisitions and regulations…
Christina Giagka photo Christina GiagkaChristina specialises in ship finance. She acts for banks, financial institutions and…
George Iatridis photo George IatridisWith a career spanning 30 years practising Greek law, George has built…
Antonis Lagadianos photo Antonis LagadianosAntonis has over 26 years of experience practising as a shipping litigator,…
Virginia Murray photo Virginia MurrayVirginia specialises in acquisitions and financings in the Greek infrastructure and energy…
George Paleokrassas photo George PaleokrassasGeorge advises on a broad range of work spanning the maritime sector,…
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