Interview with: Pavlos Masouros, Managing Partner
Masouros & Partners | View firm profile
Managing Partner, Pavlos Masouros, explains how the firm stands out from competition and what the trends are in corporate deal-making ahead
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Masouros & Partners from your competitors?
Our strategy is to be a one-stop shop for deals, concentrating on high-stakes corporate situations and servicing sophisticated capital only. Rather than taking in run-on-the-mill legal matters, we emphasize transactional representation; we don’t do across-the-board general representation for clients, but we stay focused on advising them on specific matters that fall within our core area of expertise, that is Corporate/M&A.
In line with its culture to act as special counsel for corporate matters, the work at Masouros & Partners is very partner-heavy; partners do not have an army of associates to foist work onto, this is not part of our culture.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
The impact that the Covid-19 crisis shall have on the Greek economy means that we’ll see many more distressed deals. Corporate reorganizations, NPL buyouts shall definitely be on the rise, but many players will likely seek to strengthen their position by banding together with competitors, so we expect to see many M&A deals too. The structures in the M&A deals to come will be riskier, messier, as the merging parties shall seek to hedge against the uncertainties that lie ahead; so we expect to see many earnout arrangements instead of straightforward cold, hard, cash as the currency of takeovers.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
We have developed in-house with the help of AI apps a process that allow us to handle much quicker massive data involved in legal due diligence exercises. Instead of spending endless hours on traditional LDD review of documents, our in-house, tailor-made, software tool allows us to be more efficient and move quickly to the critical parts of deal-making, that is drafting and negotiating the agreements.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
It goes without saying that in the Covid and post-Covid era technology is key to the kind of service a law firm can offer to a client. As we have always had a predominantly foreign, non-Greek, clientele we are used to using technology to communicate with clients, so there’s no ‘Covid transition’ for us.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
In 2018 a client came to us on the verge of bankruptcy. A mountain of debt suffocated the business and banks were threatening with auctions; we went to the banks within a week with a plan to convert 55% of the debt into cumulative preferred stock. The banks flatly refused and with the help of English Counsel we quickly put together a draft scheme of arrangement, which could cram the plan down on the banks. With the threat of scheme of arrangement hanging there, the banks accepted our suggested workout. Using an English scheme of arrangement for a failing Greek business would be a first, as far as we know, so we like to think we’ve been very innovative with this one.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Our small size insulates us from downturns, which have become very common in the Greek economy in the past decade or so. We intend to keep it this way. Small is stable for clients, as it guarantees that they will likely be serviced by the same team in their next deal. If you’re good at what you do and you do the best job you can, there will always be people who come to you.