Sponsored briefing: What you need to know: Ireland’s Individual Accountability Framework (IAF)

Sponsored briefing: What you need to know: Ireland’s Individual Accountability Framework (IAF)

Introduction

The Central Bank (Individual Accountability Framework) Act 2023 (the Act) was signed into law on 9 March 2023 and provides for the introduction of Ireland’s IAF, which represents a significant development in Ireland’s regulatory landscape. The Act’s origins can be traced back to the Central Bank’s 2017 recommendation for enhancing senior individuals’ accountability within regulated financial service providers (RFSPs). It aligns with international efforts to mitigate misconduct risks and addresses cultural failings identified in RFSPs during the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: What you need to know: Ireland’s Individual Accountability Framework (IAF)”

Offshore report: Tempering against the tempest

Offshore report: Tempering against the tempest

When taking stock of the markets over the last 12 months, it is safe to argue that tougher times must inevitably be afoot. While upheavals wrought by the pandemic may have largely receded into the rearview mirror, the volatility that has come to characterise recent times shows no sign of abating, with the Ukraine war leading to energy insecurity and the cost of living crisis, the need to navigate ever-changing Russian sanctions, as well as the looming threat of a global recession.

However, even in this tumultuous environment, offshore law firms continue to defy the odds, with 2022 only building on the growth seen by many in previous years. ‘Despite expecting a challenging economic environment, income has been up across service lines and sectors, without exception,’ states Edward Mackereth, global managing partner at Ogier, echoing the sentiment of many offshore law firm leaders. Continue reading “Offshore report: Tempering against the tempest”

Greece focus: Lap of the gods

Greece focus: Lap of the gods

Greece remains buoyant, despite the global pressures affecting jurisdictions worldwide. Major transnational corporations and huge global players are beginning to adjust their investment strategies and are viewing Greece as a major opportunity for inbound investment. Panagiotis Drakopoulos, managing partner of Drakopoulos Law, remarks: ‘It has been somewhat surprising that a lot of foreign investors (particularly non-EU) see Greece as a gateway not only to just the region, but to Europe itself.’

The country is strategically located geographically, economically, and politically, and is highly attractive to growing numbers of investors that view Greece as a potential hub for their operations. Drakopoulos attributes the shift in part to political factors, noting that ‘the current political climate is very friendly to foreign investment; Greece is in a growth mode.’ Elected in 2019, the Mitsotakis government is self-proclaimed to be avowedly pro-investment and has passed key investment legislation. Continue reading “Greece focus: Lap of the gods”

Sponsored briefing: Outlook for the Greek legal market

Sponsored briefing: Outlook for the Greek legal market

Dimitris Zepos, managing partner of Zepos & Yannopoulos, on what the future holds for the legal market in Greece

The Greek legal market has traditionally been highly fragmented and therefore shallow, with freelance lawyers and small family-owned offices making up the lion’s share of the market. To be fair, small-scale business models have not been a particularity of the Greek legal market, but rather a replicate of the average Greek entrepreneurial model. According to the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises, 96% of SMEs employ up to nine people and this includes companies without any employees or with just one.

According to data published by the Greek Authority of Public Revenue, the number of individual lawyers has remained steady since 2019, amounting to approximately 35,000 (34,672 for 2021). According to the same data, the total turnover of legal services in Greece amounted to €940M in 2019, out of which, approximately €470M was generated by individual lawyers. This means that 35,000 individual lawyers generated approximately 50% of the sector’s total turnover in 2019. To put things in perspective this amount is equivalent to the annual turnover of one single international law firm, Bird & Bird, which in 2019 was ranked 100th in the world, based on turnover.

The figures in question have started shifting, indicating that the legal market is moving slowly, yet steadily, towards a more mature way of doing business. In 2021, the number of law firms increased to 1,060, compared to 907, back in 2019. The total turnover of legal services reached €1.4bn, growing by 60% compared to 2019. Out of that figure, approximately €940m of turnover has been generated by law firms, whereas the performance of individual lawyers has remained in the range of €500m. In other words, growth in the sector has been fuelled by the increasing number of law firms and their growth.

Fragmentation of the legal market is also evident when one looks at figures concerning headcount. The ten-largest law firms in Greece, based on headcount, employ approximately 600 lawyers in total, out of the approximately 38,000 active lawyers in the country.

At Zepos & Yannopoulos we have always believed that strength derives from teaming up. With a total team of 118 lawyers, 14 economists and 82 other professionals, we are proud to be within the top 3% of employers in Greece. Consolidating practices and people allows us to adapt to the pace of a constantly changing world, to foster legal talent and encourage innovative thinking, all to the benefit of our clients, our people and the community as a whole.

The legal profession in itself is changing. Firms are called upon to cater to a wide and complex range of comprehensive needs. The question is no longer whether the Greek legal market should change to adjust to this new era, but instead how fast it can do so.

For more information, please contact:

Dimitris Zepos,
Managing partner

Zepos & Yannopoulos
280 Kifissias Ave. 152 32 Halandri Athens, Greece

T: (+30) 210 69 67 000

E: info@zeya.com

www.zeya.com

Sponsored briefing: Greece: M&A outlook and FDI attractiveness from a legal and regulatory point of view

Sponsored briefing: Greece: M&A outlook and FDI attractiveness from a legal and regulatory point of view

Early 2023 held a sweet spot for cross-border M&A activity in Greece, unmuting all those opportunities that had joined a waitlist during the Covid-19 pandemic and have been looking for the right time to be deployed and lead into new business models and scaling deal-making strategies.

In fact, the current market status suggests that deal-makers rebound with a strong intention to radically shift the transactional landscape by throwing into the mix highly sophisticated implementation plans and solid completion strategies, opening up to new industry sectors and playing up to transformational deals that will most definitely impact their core operations and medium-term strategic goals. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Greece: M&A outlook and FDI attractiveness from a legal and regulatory point of view”

Sponsored briefing: Legal trends in Greece

Sponsored briefing: Legal trends in Greece

After overcoming a decade-long financial recession, Greece is currently going through a period of political stability and economic growth. During this period, the Greek government has taken a proactive role in charting a determined course for Greece that is friendly to investment, promotes growth and welcomes new business, primarily by enacting legislation that provides considerable incentives to investors.

In particular, during the year 2021, the Greek economy manifested a GDP growth of 8.3% and welcomed an increase of 90.2% in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), in accordance with the data provided by the Hellenic Statistical Authority and Bank of Greece respectively. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Legal trends in Greece”

Sponsored briefing: Green bonds: the future of equity financing?

Sponsored briefing: Green bonds: the future of equity financing?

1. A BURGEONING INDUSTRY
Green bond issuance is expected to balloon over the next few years. On a global scale, predictions for 2023 alone estimate up to $600bn will be raised from green bonds, with Europe playing a leading role in this. The European Commission will fund up to €250bn over the next few years by issuing NextGenerationEU green bonds, making the EC the largest green bonds issuer in the world. Greece is expected to raise substantial amounts through green bonds in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Green bonds: the future of equity financing?”

Sponsored briefing: The importance of the Greek jurisdiction and Greek law in international shipping disputes

Sponsored briefing: The importance of the Greek jurisdiction and Greek law in international shipping disputes

Alexander C Dovles, partner at Saplegal – A.S. Papadimitriou & Partners Law Firm, outlines why knowledge of the Greek jurisdiction and law is often crucial in shipping disputes

Historically, Greece has always been a maritime nation, which is distinctly reflected in the modern Greek economy. Undoubtedly, Greece remains today the top ship-owning nation in the world, since the Greek shipowners with their 5,514 ships currently control approximately 21% of the global fleet. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The importance of the Greek jurisdiction and Greek law in international shipping disputes”

Sponsored briefing: France: new regulations on shortages of health products and new challenges for the life sciences sector

Sponsored briefing: France: new regulations on shortages of health products and new challenges for the life sciences sector

Diane Bandon-Tourret, partner and head of the life sciences practice at LexCase, and Tamara Milano, associate in the life sciences practice, consider new regulations in France aimed towards avoiding shortages of medical products

These last years, shortages became a major public health concern, highlighted by the Covid-19 crisis and the current shortages of major medicines. As a result, adoption of new regulations to prevent shortages have become a priority for many countries. In the EU, new regulations have strengthened shortages prevention, such as Regulation (EU) 2023/607 which extended the validity period of CE certificates issued under the previous regulation to avoid the unavailability of medical devices (MDs). In France, regulations on shortages recently evolved in the field of medicines, MDs and in vitro diagnostic devices (IVDs). Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: France: new regulations on shortages of health products and new challenges for the life sciences sector”

Sponsored briefing: Doing business in Greece

Sponsored briefing: Doing business in Greece

Theodore Pistiolis, managing partner of Andersen Legal in Greece, examines the benefits of doing business in the Greek market

A sea of opportunities

During the last years and despite adversities, Greece became an investment destination for local and foreign capitals. The perception of Greece as an investment destination is strong, and the country built trust and optimism about its prospects. Greece’s economy recorded solid growth in the first half of 2022, but rising inflation took its toll on growth in the year’s second half. However, the RRF program (Recover and Resilience Facility loans) supported the economy. Government measures cushioned the impact of energy prices on businesses’ input costs and households’ real disposable incomes. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Doing business in Greece”