Interview with: George Economides, Partner
E & G Economides LLC | View firm profile
George Economides of E&G Economides LLC, shares his thoughts on current and future behavior of law firms in Cyprus and abroad.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate E&G Economides LLC from your competitors?
As in all professions, you need to have several factors and elements that can help to differentiate you from the competition; as general and as broad as that may sound. E&G Economides LLC, being in the legal arena for the last two decades, has managed to identify and successfully worked towards adopting such factors, that now help to constitute the firm as one of the leading law firms in Cyprus. You are expected to be professional, efficient and swift, whilst at the same time be able to offer personal attention, care, support and to clearly demonstrate the thorough understanding of the client’s needs. Also, to be flexible, available, supportive of diversity and individualism and quite often, if I may say, compassionate where needed. These are the main values that we possess and which are being cultivated towards the younger generation of lawyers who join our dynamic legal team.
Amongst our people, there is a variety of background, experience and age group diversity. Combined with our long-standing tradition of working with clients and associates from all around the world and of all caliber, it has further contributed to forming a solid professional outlook of an international reach, through which our approach is often tuned in such a way to accommodate the very different international needs, norms, expectations and cultural aspects that each separate case may embed and demand.
Technological advancements such as the use of specialized software, possibility of remote working and paperless procedures add value to the speed and efficiency of our internal workspace.
Moreover, our law firm always strives to adapt with current developments. To this end, shifting further from the traditional services that are generally being offered and in order to distinguish further, we established new departments such as Technology & E-commerce, GDPR and strengthened our IP department; all with highly experienced advocates. These departments currently have a big dynamic and momentum locally as well as internationally, and they often compliment the other traditional services offered to existing clients.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Not counting any unpredicted or unfortunate events such as the recent COVID-19 outbreak, it is rather obvious what practices are most likely to thrive in the near future.
Corporate restructurings and commercial transactions – Cyprus has a strong corporate background therefore such area will never cease to develop.
Shipping – Cyprus has a great tradition in shipping, ship management and crew management matters. The unique tax advantages and incentives that are being offered, such as the tonnage tax and the VAT yacht leasing schemes, are most likely to continue having a strong demand.
Technology & Digital Commerce – Cyprus hosts many leading local and international technology companies and enquiries in services throughout a broad range of areas from corporate transactions to Intellectual Property and consumer protection are frequent. Fintech and paytech innovations and products, EMIs and entertainment such as gaming and telecommunications will also be of immense importance.
Funds & Regulated Financial Services: As a modern and upcoming funds jurisdiction, Cyprus attracts international and local investors. On the other hand, professionals – from fund managers to legal consultants – do have the know-how and expertise to operate a high profile fund based also on the effective regulatory and legal framework.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
The firm’s clients include HNWIs, entrepreneurs, multinational corporations, shipping institutions, magic and silver circle law firms, tax firms as well as banking and credit institutions located within and outside Europe.
Like any other law firm in Cyprus and abroad, the negative impact of COVID-19 into the normality of our day to day business development and client activities and communication has been tremendous. We have been eager to concentrate on the firm’s business continuity and sustainability so that we continue to do business as usual. Because of that and taking an unfortunate situation and turning it over into an advantageous one, we are now always available either at the office or home. This is easier for our staff and professionals to get educated via digital e-seminars with a variety of educational, professional and self-developments seminars.
As clients are becoming more and more demanding, one has to keep up with all modern practices and seek ways to improve its services and modus operandi.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Over the years and further to the variety of transactions that we have participated in, which are most often multijurisdictional, we have noticed that certain procedures and protocols have indeed changed; not only by international law firms, but from clients as well. Because of the constantly growing competition, necessity of agile working and the continuous personal and professional development, one is being forced to adapt so that all aspects of international, commercial and other transactions are being efficiently handled.
Our firm has also, in some occasions, adopted its electronic signature procedure striving to achieve less costs and swift actions in cases of urgency. It is only obvious that such practice shall grow in an exponential pace and will be a necessity rather than just a convenience.
It is also without any doubt that strong winds of change are sweeping through. The office 4.0 is gradually replacing the traditional law firm environment with a rather innovative and entrepreneurial one. Office 4.0 simply adapts with the technology, agility and remoteness, current state of events and the economic situation of said period. This is the model to look forward to and how it will be from now onwards. The pandemic made us realise that this was the beginning of a workplace for the entrepreneur and freelancer professional.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Our professionals have the excellent tendency of working together during projects. Multi-element assignments, such as the below, are giving us the agility of tending to a variety of areas at the same time.
A recent example would be the restructuring of a group of companies which recently acquired a company holding a significant IP. All corporate and due-diligence procedures took place, and we were able to identify the need and indeed provided all other IP requirements such as protection and maintenance, GDPR support and compliance, all related tax advice and, of course, a due-diligence on the software license of the IP.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Moving forward, the regulatory and technological environment both in Cyprus and abroad is changing at a fast pace and the actual challenge is to remain abreast of such developments. E&G Economides LLC has always looked out on investing as much as possible in its people and motivating its personnel on a daily basis whilst at the same time remaining loyal to the unwavering commitment towards clients and associates by exceeding their expectations.