Interview with: John Kyriakides, Co-Managing Partner
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm | View firm profile
Co-Managing Partner at Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm explains what are the challenges and opportunities for Greek law firms today and in the years to come.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm from your competitors?
I fondly believe that amongst the main points that differentiate us from other Greek law firms are the values and attributes we have earned from our predecessors that we carefully follow, combined with our committment to be ahead of our era. KG has always been at the forefront of developments. It was one of the very first partnesrhips ever formed in Greece and a pioneer in many ways setting the pace for others to follow.
At KG we always strive to provide top quality legal services to our clients making sure that we understand their business needs. To achieve our goals we work hard and we are always 100% committed. But our success is also attributable to our workforce. We take pride in the fact that we employee top quality young lawyers emphasizing on their aspiration and motivation, involvement in our projects, constant training, encouragement to take initiatives and remuneration of their hard efforts.
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm has an 85 year old history behind it and is not by chance a leading multi-practice business law firm and the largest legal practice in Greece for several decades.
Our client-oriented approach – we put our clients at the heart of our business. Our objective is to build long lasting relationship with our clients and act not only as their legal advisors but also support them with all their commercial needs and exceed their expectations. To do so, we have developed the necessary processes and systems to collect feedback, listen and understand their business objectives in order to improve the way we work with them, thus act in a more efficient way.
Our team – we believe that our workforce makes us who we are and that is why we focus on recruiting and developing the best. We operate in an open, and collegiate environment, and we encourage constructive feedback. Our ultimate goal is to keep improving our style of service.
Our innovative thinking – we always encourage creativity and pioneering thinking and this is easily shown in the matters that our firm works on.
Our track record – the size of our firm – over 90 highly skilled lawyers – allows us to offer our clients top-notch legal advice even in the most challenging legal situations. The strong expertise and thorough legal knowledge of our lawyers enables them to offer high quality, competitive service to domestic and international clients. We have a ‘one-firm’ approach and we always bring together the knowledge, experience and energy of the whole firm to help our clients.
Which practices in your member firm do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
The economy is steadily improving, the danger of GRexit is now well behind us and the restrictions on capital controls are gradually lifted. At the same time, most of the reforms required to boost the Greek economy have by now been adopted and the level of unemployment has dropped from the all-time high of 27,6 in September 2013 to 18,6 in September 2017.
At KG we also see a strong demand from several international institutional investors to acquire – manage NPLs, NPEs in Greece. Highly reputable and among the largest in the world investors are in town actively investigating, negotiating, bidding and investing. This is expected to assist Banks exceed annual NPE reduction targets until 2021 by actively pursuing alternative solutions by themselves and the investors. So overall the picture is promising and we expect to see a further growth in several industries and sectors of the economy.
The practices that are expected to benefit the most in the coming 18 months will be corporate, M&A’s, restructuring of NPE’s, real–estate, litigation (NPL’s and debt-recovery), tax and wealth planning, energy, information technology, data protection and cyber related matters.
What is the main change you have made in your firm that will benefit clients?
We never stop making changes, monotring international trends and developments, adapting to the IT challenges, and trying to ensure that we offer excellent working conditions for our colleagues. We are currently working on an innovative solution that will allow us to offer services in certain legal practices much more productively and much more cost-efficiently for our clients.
This year, we emphasized on organizing several closed events with selected clients and speakers. Two of those were co-hosted in Athens with major international and well renowned law firms. These events gave our clients the opportunity to meet with international practitioners and discuss their business concerns from a different perspective and approach. The hot topics this year were GDPR and “Wealth & Tax Planning”.
Last but not least, as of June 2018, our firm is officially a member of the Denton’s Nextlaw Referral Network. We believe that this is a great opportunity to better service our valued clients, and furthers our commitment to quality and innovation in this ever-changing world. As a member of the Nextlaw Referral Network, KYRIAKIDES GEORGOPOULOS is now connected to over 600 member firms and 28,000 lawyers across 200+ countries.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Technology has radically changed the way we work, think and interact with our clients. Our lawyers are adept in aiding our clients in understanding the demands made on them and are trusted advisors in helping them build a pragmatic approach to problem-solving in today’s technologically exciting times.
Throughout the whole process, our top priority is to keep ourselves well-informed for all the technological developments that have an impact to our clients in all the different industries. Our dedicated lawyers, who are hand-picked by our partners for being individuals with a clear sense and understanding on technology and law have worked on some of the biggest and most high-profile transactions in Greece, namely for start-ups that have gone on to excel abroad.
Secondly, we understand the importance and necessity of coming up with ‘disruptive’ ideas and developing smarter tools for client work. We have a series of products and processes in the pipeline, including project management and client feedback collection tools, in order to improve our efficiency, responsiveness and quality of services we offer to our clients.
Finally, technology and innovativeness does not scare us. We handle cross-border transactions and matters with ease and confidence. Our experience is bridging jurisdictions for the best outcome all the while covering data protection aspects of technology transactions makes us the no. 1 choice amongst our peers.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
During the past couple of years we have helped a handful of start-up business grow from just an idea all the way to a multi-million share purchase or joint venture transaction. To do so, we are prepared to make sacrifices in terms of our expectations, learn the business needs of our clients along the process of their development stages and help them shape, where necessary, the legal framework to fit the needs of their industry. It is a simple way to add value to clients business and build at the same time long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Certainly they do and we take a lot of pride knowing that we have clients that we serve for more than one, two, even three decades. That shows and confirms our level of commitment and continued professional acumen.
In the next three years we are planning to further invest in the main three pillars, which we see as the key to success: technology, client management processes and systems and workforce training and development.
Additionally, we plan to invest further in collaborations with international firms, including running joint events, secondments and other joint initiatives with our ‘Best Friends’ law firms, most of which are firms in UK’s ‘Magic Circle’.