A new hope for Cyprus’s recession-battered lawyers

Years struggling with spiralling debt and a run on the banks brought Cyprus to its knees. But the island’s lawyers are upbeat once more

Crisis is an overused term, worn out by endless repetition. For most European economies, it has meant a period of low or stagnant growth over the last decade and, in some cases, a year or two of negative GDP eventually followed by a welcome recovery. For Cyprus, however, the word has had even greater potency: between 2008 and 2015, GDP per capita declined by roughly 30%. On top of the global 2008-09 recession, Cyprus had its own domestic banking crisis in 2012-13, precipitated by the eurozone collapse. This led to a downgrade of its bond credit rating to junk status and a €10bn bailout programme from the troika of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

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Cyprus: Picking up the pieces

As Cyprus emerges from its Troika-imposed three-year economic adjustment programme, Legal Business assesses how the country’s constantly fluctuating fortunes are affecting the legal market.

On the face of it, Cyprus has much to celebrate. In March, the country completed the three-year economic adjustment programme that followed 2013’s €10bn bailout package agreed with the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. That the country has finally wrested back control of its finances was coupled with the Commission’s prediction of a 1.4% rise in GDP for Cyprus in 2015 – the first year of economic growth since 2011.

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Return of the black dog – Hard times return for Cyprus’ legal community

Last year the outlook for Cypriot lawyers was improving as the country appeared to be pulling itself back from economic collapse. But with dependency on Russia weighing heavily on the island, unease has returned.

Wind back 12 months and the mood from the Cypriot legal community was undeniably improving. The island was meeting the terms of its €10bn bailout from Europe, following near economic collapse in 2013; the discovery of gas reserves offshore looked particularly favourable; and even the Turkish and Cypriot halves of the country had begun reviving stalled peace talks with the aim of once and for all reuniting the island.

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Making bail – getting Cyprus back on its feet

Twelve months ago, the death knell sounded for the Cypriot economy and its legal industry. What a difference a year makes

A year ago Cyprus was heading for disaster. The banking crisis had hit hard and predictions of where it would leave the country ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. Hyperbolic headlines screamed that Cyprus would be forced to quit the eurozone and that everybody would be out of a job. Foreign investors would leave in droves, said the naysayers, so the island had better just go back to fishing and tourism as its mainstay.

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Keep Calm and Carry On – Cyprus’ lawyers face up to the worst

Cyprus is on its knees, reeling from a banking crisis that has left the island close to bankruptcy and forced it into an expensive bailout plan. Legal Business asks the country’s lawyers for their prognosis on a stricken economy

Beware the Ides of March: for two weeks earlier this year, the world held its collective breath as Cyprus teetered on the brink. What began with Cypriot banks closing their doors to prevent a run ended with recently installed president Nicos Anastasiades signing a bailout deal with the Troika that he hopes will save the country from bankruptcy.

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Cyprus – Problem Plays

Just as the economy in Cyprus was looking strong, the Greek debt crisis dented expansion and growth plans. With the international market increasingly interested in this island nation, how will Cypriot law firms cope with the changing demands of clients?

Last year Cyprus’ legal market appeared enviously impervious to the financial crisis. Twelve months later and the Mediterranean financial hub has been hit hard by heavy exposure to the Greek debt crisis and its successive write downs.

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Cyprus – Notes From A Small Island

Improved relations with Russia and accession to the European Union are helping to transform Cyprus as a financial hub. LB looks at the impact on the local legal community.

Cyprus is fast approaching a tipping point in its international development. It may be an island of less than one million people, with a total of 2,000 lawyers, but its strengthening trade ties with Russia and the emerging markets, not to mention its accession to the European Union and some shrewd domestic legislative developments, have helped the country grow its profile in the international financial arena.

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