Banking and Finance
The banking and finance team is expert in both transactional and regulatory banking, covering financial leasing, factoring, project financing, and insurance matters and provide day-to-day legal services to several major banks and micro-finance institutions in Albania.
Reputable clients we have acted for in this sector include Deutsche Bank AG, Royal Bank of Scotland, Société Générale, ABN AMRO, Western Union, Visa International.
The banking and finance team has advised on many acquisitions during a period of over 10 years acting on both the sell or buy side and has advised and provided legal services in projects of syndicated financing, often selected as legal counsel by International Financial Institutions. The firm has worked for and with EBRD,IFC,Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank in various financing transactions.
Legislative projects we have been involved with in this sector include the new law on banking, financial leasing, insurance, corporate and municipal bonds, pension funds and the collective investment funds law.
The firm is frequently approached by international investors seeking to enter the Albanian market in many different ways, also those wishing to enter into cross-border transactions with local businesses. We have been able to provide good advice on agency and distribution agreements, franchising, international sale of goods, leasing agreements, service agreements and indeed any other type of commercial contracts seeking to be compliant with Albania legislation.
Members of this team are internationally qualified, having gained post-graduate degrees in countries such as France, Italy, UK and USA. The diversity of the educational backgrounds and experiences brought by the lawyers has proved to be a great asset in understanding and developing complex commercial contracts. Clients served in this department operate in telecommunications, media, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, aircraft manufacturing, technology, etc.
Clients served: Shell, Colgate-Palmolive, Lockheed Martin, Philip Morris, Microsoft Corporation, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Occidental Petroleum, Bechtel, Ericsson, Avon Cosmetics,Oriflame Cosmetic, Electrolux, Dompé Farmaceutici.
Other clients served in the process of successful acquisitions or mergers: Second-tier banks, leading insurance companies, retail and pharmaceutical companies.
We have also represented major aircarft leasing corporations in the Bankruptcy proceedings against an insolvent local airlin. We also act as counsel for IFC, BSTDB, and two local second-tier banks as secured creditors to maximize the return of over EUR 100 Mio financing in the process of re-organization of an insolvent corporation in a bankruptcy court process, initiated by the borrower.
The corporate team is the engine of the firm, frequently being involved in all key prominent deals in the country working in perfect synergy with all other departments to produce excellent outcomes.
The firm has particular expertise in the field of M & A and in providing excellent legal advice in the creation of complex business structures. Past activities have included the targeted acquisitions of key companies serving within sectors such as banking, media, retail, IT and beverages (clients have included Delta Maxi d.o.o,Société Générale).This department also covers merger control and other competition law matters.Cross border merger clients have included Porsche – Volkswagen, Mars – Wrigley, HP – Compaq.
The firm has assisted in the formation of numerous companies, all of different forms, including branches, subsidiaries, representative offices of foreign companies and simple partnerships (e.g. McCann Erickson, Microsoft).
Infrastructure & Natural Resources
The firm has been involved in the privatization of state-owned companies operating within strategic infrastructure sectors including renewable energy, oil & gas, mining, construction (industrial parks), water supply and sewage and transport facilities.
We represented several clients in tender processes for infrastructure projects, two of which were awarded the concession longest terms ever over the Tirana International Airport and DevolliHydroPower plant. As well, we represented the contractor who built the largest motor way in Albanian infrastructure history
Our advisory capacity has been often utilized to the benefit of the Albanian Government in PPP projects where we have been hired by IFC or EBRD, Black Sea Bank for Trade and Development, either in the privatization of the state-owned companies in the long-term concessions in hydro energy, or in the drafting of concession legislation. Clients in infrastructure are internationally known from theUSA, Germany, Austria, The Netherlands, UK, Turkey, Scotland, Italy, etc.
Litigation And Arbitration
The firm handles many complex commercial litigation cases in areas of banking, telecommunications, intellectual property, property, tax, employment, construction, transport, etc. and has a high success rate. The litigators of the firm are increasingly engaged in arbitration hearings in Albania and overseas
The team boasts a superlative team of lawyers dedicated to enforcement procedures and foreclosures producing successful results for several banks that the firm represents and have successfully enforced foreign judgments and arbitral awards within Albanian jurisdiction, too.
The firm is active in the development of new legislation on commercial arbitration, on foreclosures of mortgages, and institutional strengthening projects, such as the private arbitration centre in Albania and also training for future arbitrators.
Intellectual Property and Communications
The firm has a strong IP service representing trade names and patents owned by Albanian, European, American and Asian proprietors. The IP team assists in securing and the commercialization of IP rights, brand protection and enforcing IP rights.Industrial and Intellectual Property rights have been proven to be an essential precondition of economic success and key to consumer good will and a respected reputation of products/services. The team has forged excellent links with the General Directorate of Patents and Trademarks.
The firm is also involved in telecoms-related matters and acts as counsel for a world leader in the field of mobile communication and also advises other leading companies in the field of telecommunication supplies. Clients we have worked with include ORBCOMM, Vodafone Albania, and Microsoft to name a few.
Tax and Employment
TAX/TAXATION: This is a very strong and experienced team of tax lawyers that have provided tax advice on a very wide range of transactions, corporate structures and deals. This department also deals with customs and excise and provides expert representation in litigious matters related to tax and customs. Clients includeLockheed Martin Inc., SOROS-AEDP foundation, Jab Resources, ALPHA Bank, Hellenic Petroleum, Philip Morris.
In concert with PwC the firm has advised the Government of Albania in the drafting of the new accounting standards through the transposition of IAS and IFRS standards.The firm continues to provide advice and assistance in many drafting initiatives within the ambit of tax legislation and institutional reform.
EMPLOYMENT: The team provides effective employment legal advice ranging from reviewing and drafting employment contracts, advising on compliance with Albanian Labour law; also further advising on social security, health insurance, tax obligations of the employer and all other related matters. Clients include Bechtel,Avon, Alpha Bank, Microsoft, Ericsson.
The Albanian real estate market has proved to be one of the most dynamic domestic economic sectors in the last few years. Activity in the real estate sector is growing in line with the increasing commercial interest from FDIs in fields of both retail property and tourism.
The firm’s expertise in the area of construction and infrastructure makes the firm an attractive choice as legal adviser for particularly large scale projects not only for formalisation of property rights but also due to its expertise in other regulatory matters that include e.g. environmental permits.