In particular, we have advised major international enterprises, developers, development consultants, financial institutions and investors (both resident and non-resident) on how to assess and administer all tax liabilities arising in Greece (such as corporate income tax, stamp tax, property tax, municipal tax and VAT). We have also provided advice on a great variety of legal issues, among which regulatory restrictions on land usage, administrative permits and implications arising from the transfer of land in border areas.
Our experience includes:
- Structuring real estate acquisition and use of flexible and tax efficient schemes (i.e. choice of the most appropriate property vehicle, legal due diligence, equity structure, financing arrangements etc.)
- Advising potential investors with respect to the contemplated privatisation of state-owned real estate, including the due diligence of the real estate assets, the holding, development as well as the commercial exploitation of real estate (e.g. commercial leases, sale and lease back agreements, construction contracts etc.)
- Divestments related to real estate (i.e. exit strategies, repatriation of profits, international tax implications etc.)
- Advising clients with respect to the renegotiation and/ or termination of lease agreements
- Advising high net-worth individuals who are interested in acquiring real estate in Greece for residential purposes and/or touristic exploitation
- The legalisation of unauthorised constructions in collaboration with engineers. Advice on the legal framework applicable to real estate projects, which covers zoning & planning areas, permits & other regulatory approvals, forest and archaeology clearances and drafting construction agreements
- Advising clients with respect to the establishment and operation of Real Estate Investment Companies on all relevant regulatory, corporate and tax related aspects
- Litigation on all issues pertaining to real estate (e.g. title claims, lease disputes, tax claims).
Indicative cases recently handled include representing:
- TUI AG, in the acquisition of the Greek Stella Polaris SA, which was a subsidiary of the listed company “Karatzis SA”, in Crete. Stella Polaris owns a real estate property in Crete, where TUI will construct and operate a brand new Robinson Club
- A leading Chinese investment conglomerate, in the potential acquisition of over 75% of the shares of the leading Greek insurance company Ethniki Insurance, including the legal due diligence of one of the largest portfolio of real estate assets in Greece
- IFC in relation to million Euro facility to Grivalia REIC which included the due diligence on 5 building units divided into 183 distinct properties, and the perfection of the security interests over such properties in favor of the lender
- Molonglo Group, in its Greek set up and its property investments in Greece, and more specifically on issues pertaining to the acquisition of real estate, planning & regulatory issues, regarding the future exploitation of the properties, tourism legislation etc.
- Club Med in the sale of hotel in Kos to LBRI Group in a multi million euro deal.
- Unior dd, in the transfer of its Greek real estate within the context of its Greek operations restructuring
- L’Oréal, in the negotiations and the conclusion of three (3) retail commercial leases in various commercial areas of Athens
- Thomas Cook, in the planning and implementation of the restructuring of Thomas Cook Greek Hotel Business in the context of a Hotel Fund set-up with a US investor
- A major US IP Company, on the status of its Athens Headquarters Lease Agreement following bankruptcy of the 2 Lessor companies, which resulted in successful negotiations with the present owner of the building for the conclusion of a new lease agreement with terms beneficial to the client
- Decathlon, in the negotiations for the conclusion of the lease agreement for the establishment of its first major store in Athens, Greece
- Bank of Cyprus in relation to a comprehensive restructuring of a collateral package comprising in rem securities over real estate properties in Greece within the context a the financial restructuring of the c. €400m indebtedness of Leptos Group, one of Cyprus’ biggest real estate and building developers
- NYU with respect to a long term lease in Athens for an educational/research institute in Greece
- HSBC Bank plc, Mediobanca Banca di Credito Finaniario S.p.A., and Merrill Lynch International, underwriters in the EUR 2.038 billion institutional offering of Eurobank Ergasias S.A. in the context of the recapitalization of Eurobank Ergasias S.A., one of the four systemic banks in Greece. In the context of our mandate, we were involved in the structuring of the transaction, the drafting and/or commenting on the Greek law sections of the offering International Offering Document and the underwriting agreements. The deal was an international institutional offering of shares issued by Eurobank Ergasias S.A., one of the four Greek systemic banks listed on the ATHEX combined with a voluntary liability management exercise (LME)
- Advising clients with respect to the acquisition of luxury private villas in Costa Navarino, the prime touristic destination in Greece
- UPS of Greece with respect to a lease agreement and all administrative and permitting issues
- Goldcar in setting-up its car lease business in Greece and in the negotiation and drafting of numerous commercial lease agreements all over the Greek territory
- The Stavros Niarchos Foundation with respect to the largest private real estate project currently being developed; said project involves the construction of a Euro 450 million Cultural Centre which will comprise new state-of-the-art facilities for the Greek National Opera and the National Library of Greece, set within an Educational and Cultural Park. We advise the Foundation on most legal and tax aspects of the project, including the negotiation of agreements with the Greek state and public authorities, construction companies, suppliers of services, etc.
- The owners of two of the largest private islands in Greece on a wide array of legal, regulatory and tax issues related to the use, exploitation and sale of the islands
- Tui Group in investments in corporate vehicles/hotels holding real estate in Greece and tour operator business in Greece
- Numerous subsidiaries of large multinational corporates (e.g. HP, Nokia, SGB, Footlocker, Media Markt, Philips) on the renegotiation and/or termination of their lease agreements
- Numerous high net worth individuals with respect to the acquisition of residential properties in the mainland and on the islands
- One of the largest international food retailers in Greece in the leasing of shops and entertainment facilities in a Commercial Centre constructed in Sophia, Bulgaria. Our work included preparing all relevant contracts and negotiating and managing all aspects of the leasing process for over 100 tenants on an ongoing basis for over 2 years
- A multinational corporation in clarifying the current lease and ownership status of a block of apartments; our work included updating leases and advising the client on the most efficient manner of exploitation of such apartments, as well as on the restoration of the building.