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  • 1. Singapore, 2011KLEOPATRA KOUTRA, LL.M.
  • 2.  Athens Bar Association ◦ Attempt to challenge the validity of the MoU between Greece and its creditors (EU and the IMF) on constitutional grounds. ◦ June 21, 2011: Greece’s Council of State (High Court) ruled that it does not violate the Constitution due to the outstanding economic circumstances – public policy. Not an international treaty - no need of the 3/5 of the votes in the Parliament to have the MoU voted – a majority of 50%+1 was enough ◦ Now challenge Before the European Human Rights Court 2
  • 3. -Population: app.11,2 million (inGreece)- Coastline: app.16.200 klm 3
  • 4.  Official language – Greek (only) Democracy – Laws mainly made by Parliament Structure of Law – Civil Law (mainly German influence) Structure of Judicial system – Subordinate Courts, Court of Appeal, High Court(s) Member of the EU since 1981 ◦ supremacy of European Law ◦ European Courts 4
  • 5.  Poor state? – poor people????  Greeks have 600 billion Euros in Swiss bank accounts (Der Spiegel, 7 February 2011) Main industries: Shipping, Tourism and Energy  According to the BTS, the Greek-owned maritime fleet is one of the three largest in the world, Centralized provision of legal services  Balkan Area (training and language skills of Greek lawyers)  Cyprus – holding companies Foreign companies may be established in Greece according to the provisions of Law 89/1967:  aiming exclusively at the provision of the following services to their head- offices or affiliates abroad: Consulting services, Centralized accounting services, Quality control of production, products, procedures and services, Preparation of studies, designs and contracts, Advertising and marketing services,Data processing services, Receipt and supply of Information and Research & Development services. 5
  • 6.  Foreign companies may be established in Greece according to the provisions of Law 89/1967: ◦ permits foreign shipping enterprises to establish a base in Greece from which to manage their operations outside Greece ◦ almost all shipping companies ◦ great tax incentives ◦ labor law incentives Quick and Efficient Procedure to set-up a Greek company  One stop-shop (5 working days)  Minimum capital for companies and partnerships Attraction of Asia investors  Chinese shipping company Cosco took full control of container terminals in the port of Pireus, leasing it for 35 years for almost $5 billion BUT dispute resolution: time consuming (5 years) - settlements 6
  • 7.  Court of First Instance – District – Bar Association Restrictions for lawyers of other Bar Associations – esp. branches of law firms Essential cooperation Regime expected to change very soon Branches of law firms - CANNOT 7
  • 8.  Lawyer : self-employed or employee Law offices vs Law firms Law firms of 2 people– beware! Law firms – up to 120 lawyers International Law Firms - branches In house lawyers Expertise : Boutique Law firms vs Big Law Firms Foreign trained lawyers in Greece (LL.Ms) and language skills 8
  • 9.  EU Lawyers ◦ can practice as avocato (IT), solicitor (UK) etc-capacity to appear before courts BUT need to register with a Bar Association (EU registered lawyers) Non-EU lawyers ◦ complete formalities to provide services as employees – no capacity to appear before courts Admission to Bar Association Athens Bar Association (circa 23.000 members – but some “inactive”) ◦ LL.B. from Greek university or recognized university by the National Academic Recognition Information Centre ◦ 18-month training contract ◦ Exams (oral and written) – in Greek 9
  • 10.  Minimum fees by law ◦ Court cases (from 64 up to app. 2000 Euro) ◦ Consulting services (min. 64 Euros/ hour) Variations by agreements– even lower VAT 23% Regime expected to change very soon – big debate Salaries for young lawyers (starting from 800 Euro) 10
  • 11.  See: ◦ Supreme Court: http://www.areiospagos.gr/en/INDEX.htm ◦ http://www.ministryofjustice.gr/site/en/Leadership /Greetings.aspx ◦ Council of State: http://www.ste.gr/councilofstate/index_gr.jsp ◦ Athens Bar Association: Http://www.dsa.gr/index.phtml?url=welcome 11
  • 12.  Kleopatra Koutra Athens Bar Association Reg. No.: 29740 Mob (Gr): +306947126681 Spyridonos Law Firm ◦ 55, Skoufa str. 10672 Athens Greece ◦ Tel: +302103644436 ◦ E: kleopatra.koutra@asplaw.gr ◦ E(personal): kleopatra_koutra@yahoo.gr 12
  • 13. THANK YOU! 13