Firm / Organisation

BGI Legal

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Managing Partners: Zaza Bibilashvili, Lasha Gogiberidze
Number of partners: 4
Number of lawyers: 14 (excluding partners)
Languages:English, Georgian; in exceptional cases – German, Russian

Firm Overview:
BGI Legal was founded in 2005 by Zaza Bibilashvili and Lasha Gogiberidze, following Ernst & Young’s decision to exit from the legal services market. BGI is a successor to GCG (member of the Andersen Legal network at the time) and shares the legacy of EY Law Tbilisi.
BGI is recognised as Georgia’s leading full-service law firm, effectively synergising international experience with local expertise. BGI lawyers have taken a lead role in substantially every major transaction in Georgia over the last two decades. Known for its efficiency and savvy, BGI offers unparalleled diversity and breadth in its ability to guide clients in the increasingly challenging environment of Georgia’s fast-paced economic and legal transition.

Main Areas of Practice:
Banking, Securities & Capital Markets
Competition Law
Corporate Registrations & Incorporation
Corporate Structuring, M&A, Joint Ventures
Criminal Law & International Courts
Diplomatic Missions
Dispute Resolution
Employment Law
Energy & Infrastructure
Intellectual Property
Legislative Drafting
Personal Data Protection
Privatisation & Government Relations
Project & Trade Finance
Real Estate & Construction
Tax & Customs Advice
Telecommunications, Media & Information Technologies

Banking, Securities & Capital Markets:
■BGI has advised JLMs in $500,000,000 debut sovereign Eurobond issuance by the state of Georgia in 2008
■BGI advised JLMs in connection with the issuance of USD 250,000,000 notes by GOGC (Georgia’s only National Oil Company) due 2021 (admitted to trading on the LSE). As a result of this transaction, GOGC has successfully refinanced Eurobonds issued in 2012, where BGI also acted for JLMs
■BGI advised Goldman Sachs and Citi on the placement of USD500 million bonds by Georgian Railways
■BGI advised Barclays as a sponsor and financial advisor in listing of TBC Bank in premium listing segment of LSE. The bank’s shares were first admitted to the LSE as GDRs in June 2014 where BGI also acted as local counsel for the lead managers

Energy & Infrastructure:
■BGI has been involved in most of the major energy and infrastructure projects in Georgia during the last two decades, starting from the most important project in Georgia’s recent history – BP-operated pipelines transporting oil and gas from the Caspian region through Georgia to Europe
■BGI advises a Korean state-owned company in respect of Nenskra HPP project (with 280 MW of installed capacity). Project cost runs over USD 1 billion
■BGI acted for IFC, EBRD and ADB in Georgia’s key energy project, which involved financing of the construction of the Shuakhevi Hydropower Project. The $250 million debt financing arranged by IFC represented the largest-ever private hydropower investment of IFIs in Georgia
■BGI advises IFC and EBRD with respect to the proposed investment to finance 433 MW Namakhvani Hydropower Project

Dispute Resolution:
■BGI represented Georgia’s former PM Merabishvili in criminal proceedings against him. ECtHR ruled that Georgia had violated Articles 5.3 and 18 of the ECHR in relation to the former PM. This was the first case ever where violation of Article 18 was established by the Grand Chamber of ECtHR
■BGI represented the owners of Georgia’s largest and most influential broadcasting company, Rustavi 2. After Georgian courts ruled to deprive them of their shares in the company, ECtHR suspended the enforcement of the Georgian court decision. This was the first ever case in ECtHR’s 60-year history when such remedy was used in a civil case
■In a landmark judgment the Supreme Court granted BGI’s application to refuse recognition and enforcement of a foreign arbitral award rendered by an ad hoc tribunal seated in London
■BGI achieved registration of a trademark based on ‘distinctiveness acquired through use’, following a complex legal battle on behalf of a multinational confectionery giant Ferrero
■BGI successfully represented Facebook and established a precedent of cancelling a domain name where it contains another party’s trademark.

Real Estate/Corporate/M&A:
■BGI advised the world’s largest food & beverage company in one of the largest multi-jurisdictional M&A deals in Georgia’s recent history
■BGI provided full legal support to UK-based owner and developer of the shopping centre ‘Galleria Tbilisi’ in acquisition, development and sale of the asset
■BGI has advised British, French, Polish and Israeli Embassies in purchasing real estate in Tbilisi for embassy premises
■Provided full legal support to a private investor in acquisition of the systemically important commercial bank in Georgia
■Advised on Georgia’s largest privatisation program for the sale of energy generation and distribution assets with a total transaction value in excess of USD 400 million

Apple, Google, HP, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, UBS, Citigroup, Facebook, Ferrero, British Petroleum, K-water, IFC, EBRD, Asian Development Bank, China Development Bank Corporation, FMO, 4finance, MFO Lendo, ABLV, Amsterdam Trade Bank, BNP Paribas, East-West United Bank, Western Union, Money- Gram, Johnson & Johnson, Diplomat Georgia, CT Park, Marriot International, Embassies of Great Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Israel, Japan and Poland, McDonald’s Georgia, Suzuki, GlaxoSmithKline, AIG.

■ Zaza Bibilashvili, [email protected]
■ Lasha Gogiberidze, [email protected]
■ Sandro Bibilashvili, [email protected]
■ Unana Gogokhia, [email protected]