Founder Partner: Tryfon J Koutalidis
Managing Partner: Nikos C Koritsas
Number of partners and fee earners worldwide: 30
Languages: English, French, German, Italian
Koutalidis Law Firm is one of Greece’s leading firms and has a robust reputation both locally and abroad as one of the foremost providers of legal services in Greece. Awards to Koutalidis Law Firm include: by International Financial Law Review, as Greek Law Firm of the years 2005, 2012 and 2014, and for Debt-equity linked deal of 2013; by American Lawyer for the Global Finance Deal of 2013 and the Public Restructuring Deal of 2013; by International Tax Review for Tax Firm of 2012; by World Finance, as Best M&A Team in Greece for 2008; by Chambers Europe, the Awards for Excellence, as Greek Law Firm for 2008; by World Finance, as Best M&A Team in Greece for 2010; and listing in the 2008 FT Innovative Lawyers List of Financial Times (sole Greek law firm listed).
Main Areas of Practice:
The Firm advises many domestic and international companies on an ongoing basis, such as Vodafone-Panafon, Hochtief, WPP, Alpha Bank, Aramco, Heinz, Deutsche Bank, Societe General, UBS, Citibank, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Credit Agricole, Morgan Stanley, Intracom, China Three Gorges Corporation, Sunpower, Intralot, Lambrakis Press, Mega Channel, ACNielsen, Bosch Siemens Home Appliances, Fraport, Erste Bank.
Privatisations - Restructuring of State Owned Companies:
In one of the strongest years of the M&A and Projects team of the Firm, providing advice: the Hellenic Republic Assets Development Fund (HRADF) with respect to the successfully awarded privatization of Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA), as part of the Privatization Programme of 2012-2015; the Hellenic Republic on the restructuring of Hellenic Defence Systems; the Fraport and Copelouzos consortium, declared preferred bidder, for the award by the HRADF of a concession for the exploitation, operation and maintenance of 14 in total regional airports; a qualified interested party with respect to the privatiSation of the Independent Transmission System Operator by PPC.
The Firm in 2014, was at the forefront of landmark transactions. Advising a syndicate of all four Greek systemic banks (Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, National Bank of Greece and Eurobank Ergasias) and Attica Bank in connection with the €2.3b long term facility to the Public Power Corporation; a syndicate of Greek and international banks (including all four Greek systemic banks and HSBC) on the up to €400m Dual Facility to the Hellenic Petroleum, a pioneer structure combining Greek law bonds and UK facility; The four Greek systemic banks on their €52m Bond Facility to Intracom Holdings and the €90m debt restructuring of Intracom Telecom.
The Firm advised the Arrangers (Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley) on the €3b (April 2014) and the €1.5b (July 2014) Greek Government Bonds issued by the Hellenic Republic; the Arrangers and BNY Mellon on the €325m Eurobond issue of Hellenic Petroleum; Alpha Bank on its €1.2b share capital increase; the HFSF on the new Recapitalization Framework for Greek Banks; the HFSF on the €2.864b share capital increase of Eurobank; the Arrangers (BNP, Credit Suisse, Eurobank, HSBC) on US$400mI Eurobond by the Hellenic Petroleum; the Arrangers (Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank and NBG) on the €1.6b exchange of Greek Government T-Bills for Greek Government Bonds; and the HRADF on the exploitation options in relation to its €500m real property asset through capital markets transaction. M&A: The M&A team advised Alpha Bank on the acquisition of the Greek retail banking business of Citibank N.A. including 100% of Diners Club Greece; Vodafone Panafon regarding the acquisition of Hellas on Line; Imerys in relation to the Greek law aspects of the acquisition of S&B minerals in a €558m transaction; and Olympic Brewery regarding its merger with Mythos Brewery a wholly owned subsidiary of Carsberg to create the second larger beer producer in Greece.
The Firm has been involved in all major project finance transactions in Greece including: Athens Airport, Attica Toll road, Rio-Antirio Bridge. The Firm advised on the €1.3bn Project Reset and Debt Restructuring the Aegean Motorway Group, a consortium lead by Hochtief which was awarded the concession of the PATHE - new toll road Maliakos - Kleidi; a Syndicate of Alpha Bank, National Bank of Greece, Eurobank, HSBC and New Proton Bank on €90ml project financing the acquisition by Lamda Domi of the right to use the International Broadcasting Center in which the leading Greek shopping center has been developed (Golden Hall); and provided ongoing advise to McArthur Glen in relation to its €62m secured facility for the development of the first designer discount outlet in Greece.
Arbitrations & Litigations:
The Firm has been involved in high profile cases such as advice on the implementation of provisional measures on behalf of a Cypriot bank against certain major Greek entrepreneurs (the worldwide freezing injunction was for an amount of €3,79b); arbitration between a major construction company and an oil refinery with total claims exceeding €150m; litigation and Arbitration between Greek energy producer and major equipment supplier with a total dispute over €50m; defending before the Greek courts a motorway Concessionaire for claims exceeding €20m; arbitration between a Concessionaire and the Greek State on a dispute over €45m; technical arbitration between Constructor and the Greek State with potential value at stake over €100m; representing a major real estate firm in litigation concerning land ownership with an amount in dispute of around €200m; representing a French constructor on ICC arbitration involving cost escalation; and representing various major suppliers in the IT and the pharmaceutical industries in multimillion public procurements and respective litigation.
The Firms’ Tax Department advised on the tax aspects of most of the banking, finance and securities and M&A transactions. Including advice to: the Finance Parties, represented by Credit Agricole, and AMSA,on stamp duty on the €1.3b Project Reset Documents for the Maliakos-Kleidi motorway; Alpha Bank in respect of the acquisition of the Citibank Greek retail banking and credit card business; Hochtief AG on the disinvestment from the Athens International Airport; HRADF with respect to the of Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA); and the Subscribers, namely JPM, Citi, HSBC and CACIB, on the €457.1m rights offering of Alpha Bank on its €4b recapitalisation.
During the past year the Firm has further developed its leading presence in the Energy sector. Key transactions were the privatisations of the Public Gas Corporation (eventually aborted), the successfully awarded privatisation of DESFA, the ongoing privatisation of the Independent Power Transmission Operator. In addition, the Firm offers services to major players of the energy industry, such as the China Three Gorges Corporation, Sunpower (a listed subsidiary of Total), Gamesa and Suzlon. The Firm has also advised the China Development Bank on the financing of energy projects.
EU & Greek Competition:
The practice covers all aspects of EU and Greek competition law, including state aid and competition cases (before the Hellenic Competition Commission and the European Commission, and before EU and Greek courts). Examples of recent work include representation of / advice to: Alpha Bank on merger control (acquisition of Citibank’s retail business in Greece) and state aid issues (restructuring plan); Vodafone Hellas in the recent acquisition of Hellas Online; Public Gas Company/DEPA on antitrust compliance matters; Fraport/Kopelouzos consortium in the privatisation tender for Greek regional airports; Vodafone Hellas in its network sharing agreement with Wind Hellas; Bosch-Siemens Home Appliances (antitrust); Intralot (merger control); the Hellenic Republic with regard to the restructuring of the Hellenic Defence Systems (state aid); Ernst & Young in the liquidation process of Hellenic Vehicle Industry; major Greek undertaking in the pending construction cartel investigation launched by HCC.
The Firm advises the Vodafone-Panafon SA, the local subsidiary of Vodafone plc, one of the leading provider of mobile telecommunication services in Greece; Intracom group of companies, which is the major group of manufacturing telecommunications equipment and provides various telecommunication services.
Aviation & Shipping:
Among the clients of the Firm are GE Capital Aviation, International Lease Finance Corporation (IFLC) , PK Airfinance, Federal Reserve Bank N.Y., AerSale Inc., Textron Helicopters and Bavaria Aircraft Leasing, on local Aircraft leases.